Sunday, June 12, 2011

Something New and Webby

You don't have to look too hard to find all sorts of accounts of how the internet has changed how writing is distributed to readers. But here's my recent story, which I think is interesting for how "new" it will sound. Some of the terms in this story would have been total nonsense only four or five years ago.

My most recent publication is called "Something Bad and Stingy" and you can find it at Briefly, here's the story of how my story made it that site:

1. The First Line
2. Twitter
3. Submishmash
4. Saved Twitter Searches

1. The First Line. No really, the lit journal The First Line inspired the piece, or at least made me write the idea down. The First Line is a great journal with an awesome conceit. They provide the first line of a story and then accept submissions that expand on this line. It sounds gimmicky, and I suppose it is, but the results work and are high quality.  Austin people can find The First Line at Book People. Seriously, check them out.

The first line for the issue coming out this fall was "We need to talk." For a few months I'd had an image of a man and woman on a date, but the guy wasn't listening to the conversation because he was too busy narrating his own story in overblown, purply language. I saw the first line and thought it would work for this little scene in my head.

They rejected it.

It's okay, I don't blame them, the draft I sent them wasn't very good and needed a lot of polishing.

2. Twitter. I tweet--I like it, it's fun, get off my back. For one thing, I think it's a great way to stay up to date on book and writing sites.

3. Submishmash. Those of you who write and submit to journals know about submishmash. They're a fairly new web-based submission manager that lit journals, websites, whoever, can use to accept, organize and respond to submissions. Most of my recent submissions for the past six months have been through submishmash.

4. A saved twitter search. I have a saved twitter search for "submishmash" and @litmagnews. This helps me find sites to read and submit to. One of them tweeted about Snake Oil Cure, I clicked the link, read some of what the site had posted and sent them my revised "Something Bad and Stingy."

This is how it works now. Writers networked into a series of sites and staying actively engaged in the internet. As a result of a print journal and twitter my work is out there to a few more people and my circle of writers and writing sites is a little larger.

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