As part of my plans to write more short stories, I though I might collect some of my work (more on this in a future post). It was fun to take a little trip down memory lane, reading all these short stories I wrote over the years. Some of them were okay, some better, some real stinkers that never saw daylight.
And it made me remember my first short story acceptance. I had started writing short stories as a quiet hobby, fearing that… Well, that I would really suck at it. Maybe these tales I was spinning were just really terrible, how was I to be able to tell, since I was the one who wrote them?
So I sent out a few stories, to small presses and The New Yorker alike (this was before I figured out I would never be published there). Got my rejection slips, some with a scribbled note on it, some just a Xeroxed slip, the Dear-Author-Not-For-Us rejection.
I sold my first short story to the Storyteller, a tiny press magazine. Well, maybe not sold, since all I got was two copies of the magazine—but I had a byline. And reading the story today, I have to say it wasn’t bad. I hadn’t found my voice yet, but it had a good crime/mystery in it. And it told me something important: I didn’t totally stink. Someone thought my stories were worth reading—the best encouragement for any writer.
So thank you to the Storyteller’s Regina Williams, for that first acceptance I’ll never forget.
How about you fellow writers out there? What’s your first acceptance story?