“Velvet Elvis” info you can ignore

This is a self-serving post that you can ignore if you want.

You may recall that my story “Velvet Elvis” appeared at Bartleby Snopes in December. The magazine runs a vote for readers to select the best story of the eight they host each month. The winner of the vote is then given a spot in the publication’s semi-annual print edition. (Call me old fashioned, but I still like to see my stories on paper.)

Because my story had been selected an Editor’s Choice, it made the cut and will appear in the print edition, regardless of its outcome in the voting. When the voting opened, my story raced into the lead, which was gratifying but unnecessary since I didn’t need to win. Soon after that, though, another story, “My Father and Jackson Pollock” by Wesley McMasters surged past and remained well ahead for the duration of the voting. That’s fine with me. I was disappointed, though, that my choice hadn’t done better in the voting. I had voted for “Reynaldo’s Solutions” by Shaun Hayes, which I thought was fun and well done. In the end, this story came in third (after mine in second and McMasters’ in first).

Recently the editor sent me the proof of the print edition. The entire print edition. The entire eight megabyte print edition. I read through my story to find any errors (none), and I flitted through other parts looking for any errors I could find (a few). But I was happy to see that “Reynaldo’s Solution” has also made the cut. It will appear in the print edition. I don’t know how the editors make their choices in cases like this, but I don’t care. I’m pleased that Mr. Hayes will see his worthy story in print (on paper).

Further rumination:

What if my story hadn’t been selected as an Editor’s Choice? Would I have organized a get-out-the-vote campaign? Would I have wrung my hands as I watched the votes come in for the various stories? Would I have been truly sad when I didn’t win the popular vote? The better part of me says that the story exists on its own and doesn’t need validation from anyone. The other part of me, I suspect, would have other things to say.

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4 Comments on ““Velvet Elvis” info you can ignore”

  1. Averil Dean Says:

    I admire anyone who can write without need for validation. I think I would pretend it didn’t matter at ALL (sniff, who needs your vote) while sneaking peeks at my diminishing rank and sobbing into a vat of Ben and Jerry’s.

    We all cope in our own way.


  2. Hey, congrats! That’s great news. And you don’t need to be so humble — there’s no need to tell us to ignore your good news. In the writing world, we take all the good news we can get, and I think all of us here like cheering on our friends’ successes.


  3. I don’t do well with “get out the vote” kinds of things where my writing is involved, so I can relate. It’s such a weird situation to me. While there’s nothing wrong with it (I know some see it as screaming for attention, but to each their own), I’ve always had a hard time making the leap from, “Hey, this is what I’m doing,” to “Vote for me!”

    I see many writers on Twitter and other places who do well with the “Vote for me!” moves. It’s something I can’t bring myself to do, even though I think it’s only natural to want to win.

    I’m glad another thing you’ve written will see life on paper, and glad that several good stories will keep your story in good company. Congrats!

  4. Rachel Lamble Johnson Says:

    Next time (when it isn’t the holiday traveling season), I will do a much better job organizing your get-out-the-vote campaign. If a fan organizes it, it is totally kosher. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to get extra readers involved in the competition.


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