Getting Published

All posts in the Getting Published category

The Little Story That (Almost) Could(n’t)

Published April 22, 2018 by Philip Ivory

This is a storyIMG_1614 about a story that was accepted three times but almost but not quite ended up nowhere.

My flash fiction piece, “Apparition on the Threshold,” was born out of an exercise in my Writers Studio Intermediate Class in 2014. (My thanks to Writers Studio teacher Janelle Drumwright for providing encouragement and guidance that helped me develop the exercise into a publishable piece.) It’s an imagistic piece born out of some memories and/or imaginings from my childhood.

I started submitting “Apparition on the Threshold” for publication in late 2015. On February 18, 2016, I was notified that my piece had been accepted by an online journal called Mystic Illuminations. (Strangely enough, it was the same day I learned that my day job of over 20 years was going away, perhaps an omen of rockier times ahead on all fronts.) Here’s what the nice people at Mystic Illuminations had to say:

 We truly enjoyed your work and found that it fits beautifully within the scope of our journal. We would like to include “Apparition on the Threshold” in our next issue of Mystic Illuminations.

I acknowledged this with a thank you and sent polite notices to five other places to whom I had submitted the piece, informing them that I needed to withdraw it from consideration.

The folks at Mystic Illuminations were friendly and helpful, and set up an interview with me at The Writers Lens which was a lot of fun to do.

I waited patiently for word on when the next issue would appear. Mystic Illuminations was a beautifully designed, graphics heavy site. I imagined that was what accounted for the delay, which stretched from weeks into many months.

In June of 2016, I was informed that the next issue was definitely in the works, and I was invited to update the bio I had sent in months earlier.

In October, I was surprised to find that a new issue of Mystic Illuminations had gone online … but with my piece missing in action.  I sent a “What’s the deal?” query and was told somewhat apologetically that Mystic Illuminations had published an all-poetry issue, and they had forgotten to tell me my fiction piece would be held for the next issue.

Another year ticked by. Other stories of mine were submitted to other places, many rejected, some accepted.  In December 2017, I received an email from Mystic Illuminations, regretfully informing me that no other issues were liable to be published. I was encouraged to try my story elsewhere.

So my piece had been in limbo for nearly two years. I was determined not to let it die in obscurity. I send it out to some other places.

It didn’t take long. The Zodiac Review informed me of their acceptance of the piece on December 28, 2017. It was one of the kindest acceptance letters I’ve received:

It’s a superior, polished piece worthy of a loftier venue than ours.  We know that because two of us, owners of some 100 years of experience in writing, speaking and communications, can’t find anything “wrong” with it.  Or any opportunity to suggest an improvement or make a correction.  We’d like to publish it in our next issue, out in April-May. 

Naturally, I was delighted. My piece had found a wonderful new home. What could go wrong? I notified a half dozen or so other journals that I had to withdraw the piece for consideration. Surely this would be the last time I would need to do that.

Here’s the point where this little chronicle might seem to defy belief. On January 31, 2018, I received this notice from my friends at The Zodiac Review:

Sorry to report that we have decided to discontinue publishing The Zodiac Review. Thanks for submitting.  Best of luck to you in all things.

Reeling a bit and wondering if my piece was cursed, I … and really, what other option does one have? … rolled up my sleeves and tried again. I sent the piece out again into the world, tactfully approaching some of the journals I had previously withdrawn from, explaining my situation and hoping they might be charmed by my saga of the little piece with the big Voodoo whammy on it.

On March 23, two days after I had resubmitted it to them, I received word from esteemed journal Ghost Parachute (which I know of because it published work by a writer friend, Lilian Vercauteren) that “Apparition on the Threshold” had been accepted, for the third and let us hope final time.

It’s slated to go online on or around May 1st, with artwork created especially for my piece.

So has “Apparition on the Threshold” found its forever home? Stay tuned for May 1st, and we shall see. Whether the piece is actually worthy of such drama is another question, one I’ll leave to my readers to decide.

One final note. A website called Duotrope.com has proven to be invaluable for me. Duotrope provides a search function to help you find the most appropriate journals to send your fiction or poetry to. It also has a tracking feature to help you remember where and when you submitted your material … something that was essential in helping me navigate the journey of “Apparition on the Threshold.” The site requires a reasonable annual fee but is worth it.

 

How We Cured Racism

Published December 30, 2017 by Philip Ivory

My new short story is called “How We Cured Racism.” But first, some back story.

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A couple days ago, I found a woman’s wallet lying on the pavement in the parking lot where I was food shopping. I spotted a woman getting into her car and rushed over to return the wallet to her, for which she was very grateful. As I walked back to my car, a man standing by his truck spoke to me. He had observed the scene and told me that I had done a very good thing. He seemed very impressed, almost amazed by this simple act. (It made me wonder —  would he have done the same?) Then he told me the universe would do something good for me.

“I hope so,” I said in return.

Maybe he was right, because in the last two days I’ve had two works of fiction accepted for publication. One won’t appear until well into 2018. (More on that when it appears.)

The other was a story I had developed by participating in NYC Midnight’s 11th Annual Short Story Contest, which I wrote about in this blog earlier in the year. I didn’t win the contest, but have been sending the story out for publication for the last few months.

Today, which happens to be my birthday, I woke up to an email informing me that the story had been accepted at a journal called Rosette Maleficarum, which identifies itself as “a literary journal of dreams, nightmares and madness.”  Not only that, but it had been published today and was already online.

Here’s Rosette Maleficarum’s creedo:

“This literary journal shows the beautiful, yet depraved nature that lies within reality, both in humanity and the environment surrounding us. From dark, Gothic fairy tales, to dream-laced poems, the Maleficarum dances between the boundaries of life and death itself.”

So whether it was because of good supermarket karma, or because it was my birthday, or for whatever reason, I’m grateful for the publication.

It’s an edgy, speculative story that leans toward the dark and disturbing. In some ways I think it reflects the tumultuous, divisive, unhappy world we currently find ourselves in. It is perhaps all the more disturbing in that the voice that narrates the tale is that of a child.

Find out for yourself. Read “How We Cured Racism” at Rosette Maleficarum today.

Thanks, and a much happier New Year to all of us.

 

 

New Flash Fiction: The Daytime People

Published May 26, 2017 by Philip Ivory

Today I had a flash fiction piece published in a new online journal, Edify Fiction. It’s called “The Daytime People” and was directly inspired by an afternoon I spent observing people in a fast food restaurant here in Tucson.  You can Read It Here.

The Daytime People

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The piece  was created for a Writers Studio reading event last fall. My thanks to Renee Bibby and all my friends and colleagues at Writers Studio for providing the inspiration for this piece and the impetus to write it.

Hope you enjoy the piece, and feel free to leave a comment by clicking on the orange dialogue box to the right of the story title.

If you have fiction, poetry or digital art of a uniquely positive nature, consider submitting it to Edify Fiction.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Writers Studio 30th Anniversary Anthology

Published April 20, 2017 by Philip Ivory

The Writers Studio is the renowned creative writing program founded in 1987 in New York by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Philip Schulz. With its branches in NYC, San Francisco, Tucson, Hudson Valley as well as its online and “Kids Write” components, Writers Studio has been helping poets and fiction writers reach their potential for 30 years.

Through my work with Writers Studio as a student and now as a teacher, I’ve become more confident at developing strong narrative voices that take command of my creative material. Using effective narrators that help guide the reader through a satisfactory literary experience has helped me  publish multiple short pieces and make progress on a novel, a first draft of which I hope to complete later this year.

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To celebrate its three decades of helping writers develop their craft, Writers Studio is releasing a 500-page 30th anniversary anthology, featuring nearly 100 hundred authors. The publisher is Epiphany Editions.

The Writers Studio at 30 features work by Writers Studio advisory board members Jennifer Egan, Robert Pinsky, Edward Hirsch, Grace Schulman, Matthew Klam, Carl Dennis, and Jill Bialosky, as well as 30 years of students and teachers from its creative writing classes.

I’m proud to be one of the authors featured, with a short fiction piece titled “Probably Last Meeting of the Bluebell Ridge II Homeowners Association.” It was previously published in The Airgonaut.

A celebratory reading will be held in New York on May 6 at the Strand Bookstore to mark the occasion. Wish I could be there, but traveling to NY is not in my budget right now.

The Writers Studio at 30 Anthology should be a great resource for anyone interested in enjoying a smorgasbord of strong narrative voices used in service to poems and stories containing wildly divergent subject matter. 

Until May 6, you can pre-order the anthology at a discounted price of $20.

Click here for Discount Pre-Order.

 

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Probably Last Meeting of Bluebell Ridge II Homeowners Association

Published March 1, 2017 by Philip Ivory

Please check out my new piece of flash fiction at The Airgonaut, a monthly online literary journal specializing in absurdist, fabulist, magical realism, and surreal work.

I set a challenge to myself to see if I could write a piece in the format of notes from a homeowners association meeting. The resulting story can be read here:

Probably Last Meeting of Bluebell Ridge II Homeowners Association.”

Thanks for reading!

Embed from Getty Images

 

The Masters Review Fall Fiction Contest

Published February 27, 2017 by Philip Ivory

I must be feeling ambitious, so I have submitted a new story not only to the Epiphany contest (deadline March 1) mentioned in my last blog entry, but also to the Masters Review Fall Fiction Contest (deadline March 13, see link below.)

Both offer generous cash prizes and publication, and both require $20 entry fees.

Take a look, and if you decide to enter … Best of luck!

 

 

The Masters Review Submission Manager Powered By Submittable – Accept and Curate Digital Content

Source: The Masters Review Submission Manager – The Masters Review Anthology – Judge Roxane Gay $5000 awarded

Epiphany Magazine Spring Writing Contest

Published February 23, 2017 by Philip Ivory

Deadline’s been extended to March 1 for this contest run by Epiphany magazine. There’s cash money to be had, so consider entering!

 

ANNUAL WRITING CONTEST

Our annual Spring writing contest deadline has been extended until Wednesday, March 1. We have four fantastic judges—writers whom we respect and admire—judging this year. They are:- Peter Ho Davies (Fiction)- Saïd Sayrafiezadeh (Nonfiction/Memoir)- Patricia Smith (Poetry)- Ann Goldstein (Translation: Fiction) —–1st Prizes: $400 + publication in our contest issueRunners-up: $100 + publication in our contest issue*Contest submission fee includes a free 1-year subscription to Epiphany (a $23 value). Join our mailing list to be notified about future submission periods.

Source: Epiphany Magazine Submission Manager

Freeing the Stories Inside You: Writers Studio Tucson

Published September 22, 2016 by Philip Ivory

Tucson writer friends!

Do you have stories inside you, bursting to get out? Do you have the longing to write fiction or poetry, but perhaps lack the confidence to know how to judge and develop your own material? Feel stalled, stunted or blocked?

Take a class at the Writers Studio. Different days and times are available to suit your schedule. Writers Studio exercises will jumpstart your creativity and help you unleash new expressive voices from within. Our teachers are highly skilled and adept at nurturing and encouraging your creative expression.

Sign up today! Classes begin the first week in October.

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Tucson Poetry Event: The Offering with Eleanor Kedney

Published September 8, 2016 by Philip Ivory

Join Writers Studio Tucson for a special event on Sept. 9.  For details, visit:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1684550965200130/

 

Eleanor Kedney’s poems constantly surprise the reader with flashes of sheer intelligence and attention to language. While her spirited work no doubt engages the intellect, these are also poems of the body and the voice; this book never disappoints. The sensuality of The Offering is unavoidable and ultimately joyous. There is a music here that sings and rings and lingers in the mind.

—Juliet Patterson, winner of the Nightboat Books Prize

Fiction Publication: Most Of Us Are From Someplace Else

Published July 5, 2016 by Philip Ivory

Most of Us Image4

I’m pleased that today the online literary journal, “Literally Stories,”  published my short story, “Most Of Us Are From Someplace Else.” It’s about a group of eccentric characters who have created an unusual community in an abandoned railway station in a town in Pennsylvania. Read it here.

“Literally Stories” was launched in 2014, created “by writers for writers.”  It showcases a wide spectrum of short story fiction from new and emerging writers to more seasoned authors.

This story wouldn’t exist except for the “Write-to-Read” challenge issued last September by Writers Studio Tucson. The contest was open to past and present students of the Writers Studio and featured a writing challenged crafted by award-winning Tucson author Adrienne Celt. The writing prompt centered on the idea of “nested narratives,” inspired by the image of the matryoshka, or Russian nesting doll, containing smaller dolls.

I was honored that my entry was chosen as one of three winners of the contest, and I enjoyed the privilege of reading my story aloud at a Writers Studio event last November. (Read more about the event here.)

In accordance with Adrienne’s writing challenge, the story has a larger narrative in which are contained smaller back-stories about the residents of this oddball community, each of whom has suffered some disillusioning experience before finding a place to call home.

I hope you’ll read “Most Of Us Are From Someplace Else” and let me know what you think.

Thanks!