Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hope Floats

I'm one of those people that can't function in the absence of hope and can't write fiction that doesn't offer the reader hope And that has been a problem in placing my short stories in literary magazines. I've cracked most of the women's magazines including Good Housekeeping and Woman's World but acceptance in literary magazines has eluded me and I crave it. Even though I know their stories are frequently depressing -- as in woman finds long-lost brother and he kills her with a blunt instrument -- I still desire the prestige of appearing in one.

Over a year ago I heard Whiskey Creek Press was putting out an anthology of stories with Hope as the theme. Two of my stories were accepted and I was thrilled. Before I'd received contracts for them, I heard from a prestigious literary magazine that they wanted one of those stories. Now mind you, they had held that story (Mrs. Moody) for 22 months and never communicated they were considering it. I assumed they'd lost it when I submitted it to WCP. Though I hadn't yet gone to contract with Whiskey Creek, a deal is a deal. Still for a few days I felt like doing myself in with a blunt instrument.

But I got over my angst and was thrilled to work with three wonderful editors, Katherine Smith, Louise Bohmer and Giovanna Lagana. Giovanna also taught me the art to a great blurb which has benefited me ever since. And during this season of Hope, I learned the anthology finaled for an EPPIE. So am I ever glad to have let a certain magazine pass me by.

My New Year's resolution this year is going to be the same as always: place a story in a literary magazine. One of these days I'll make it and in the meantime I can say I was an EPPIE finalist.


Sarita Leone said...

Kathy, congrats on your EPPIE finalist status! How wonderfully exciting! :)

I know you will find a spot in a literary magazine. I have no doubt. With your talent, it's only a matter of time. Let's hope '08 is the year!

And I agree with you about hope. It is, sometimes, one of the only things we have. A treasure.

margaret blake said...

Kathy, Congratulations on being an Eppie Finalist, it could not have gone to a more talented writer. You are a rising star, Kathy, and your prose is wonderful.

You give me hope, Kathy, in more ways than one!

Blessings, Margaret.