Why I Want to Publish Your Work.

Whenever I visit my family in Cleveland, I feel like a ne’er-do-well. Which, as you word nerds might already know, is a fancy word for “loser.”

My family does try to be encouraging—they ask me how my soon-to-be-best-selling great American novel is coming along.

Which I suppose is nice.

And I know I write for the personal satisfaction and artistic drive and blah blah blah, but I end up having a lot of conversations that go like this:

“You’re a writer? Have you published anything?”


Awkward pause.

“Oh, well, that’s okay. Some day you’ll have a best-selling novel!!!”

And I think, this is why perfectly good artists put their heads in the oven.

So, here’s why I’m here: I want to publish your stuff, so that when you’re at your family parties, you can have conversations that go a little something like this:

“You’re a writer? Have you published anything?”

“Why, yes, I have. I recently had a piece in The Ne’er-Do-Well magazine. It’s out of Portland, Oregon.”**

“No way! That’s awesome! Let me buy you an apple-tini!”

**Don’t worry; your relatives probably don’t read literary magazines, so they’ll never know that I’m just some chick figuring this out as she goes along.

About me:

I’m Sheila, and I’m a fiction writer.

And I used to think that if 99% of all the writers out there would just drop off the planet, maybe I could get some damn stuff published.

But then, when I was in grad school at American University getting my MFA in Creative Writing, I worked as an editorial assistant at Folio: a Literary Journal, and I got to collaborate with one of the fiction contributors on the final edits of his short story. This dude was a new writer, and he was just absolutely stoked to be publishing a story. And rather than wanting him to drop off the planet, I felt empowered. Because it’s not writer versus writer. It’s writers (plural) versus the big apathetic world. It’s writers versus crap. It’s writers versus mystery books written by and about cats.

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