AWP

This is where I’ll be spending the next three days. I can’t wait!

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recently published

Read Bread on Running Waters, a poetry collection, by the talented Ani Gjika and Middle Men, short stories by Jim Gavin.

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Italy

Read the heartbreaking “Italy” by my dear friend and fellow BU alum, Antonio Elefano, just published in The Journal.

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orchard

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Bug Light

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Scrivener

Earlier this summer I downloaded the free trial of a writing program called Scrivener. I have always used Word, but find organization within that program frustrating. I often keep a separate document for notes and a third for an outline. If I do not work on a particular project for a few weeks or months, I end up lost and spend much of my time trying to figure out where I was. Enter Scrivener. This program allows one to organize a novel by chapters and scenes, or however one wishes. Each scene has a “note card” attached to summarize the contents. There is a note card view and outline view. I can make all of the buttons and clutter disappear so all I can see is words with a white background, helping to eliminate distractions while writing. I can also keep a research folder with images and character profiles. The combination of Scrivener and Freedom has made my summer writing productive and less frustrating.

There was a bit of a learning curve, so I did go through the entire walk-through, which took an hour or two, and I’m sure there is functionality that I am not using right now, but for the first time in the 1 1/2 years (on and off) that I’ve been working on this novel, I feel organized. It is decidedly a first draft writing tool; when it comes down to editing and formatting I will be working in Word, which gives far more control in that arena.

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on submissions

At the moment, I have six short stories that I consider ready for publication. It’s entirely unpredictable which does and doesn’t get attention. The story that was published in The Gettysburg Review was one of my most criticized at BU. I had low expectations for it. Stories that I expected more from have been rejected by a dozen magazines already. C’est la vie.

It’s a discouraging process, but I have learned not to take it personally. Every time I click “submit” or hand a stack of crisp yellow envelopes across the counter to the postman, new possibilities arise. Here’s hoping this round will be fruitful. I have a list of about 15 more magazines to submit to once their reading periods open in September.

Current Stats:

Story #1: 12 rejections, currently with 6 magazines, some nice personalized comments from editors

Story #2: 11 rejections, currently with 6 magazines

Story #3: 5 rejections, currently with 4 magazines, some nice personalized comments from editors, request to see more of my work

Story #4: 8 rejections, currently with 3 magazines, request to see more of my work

Story #5: 4 rejections, currently with 2 magazines

Story #6: 0 rejections, currently with 3 magazines

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