For the first time in six years, I’ve had a short story accepted for publication. It’s called ‘A week in the Library of Babel’ and will appear in Studio: a journal of christians writing sometime next year.
When I started concentrating on novels, I stopped writing short stories and stopped submitting them. But there was something sustaining about the constant submissions, the rejects and the occasional thrill of an acceptance. It’s a long process, but still a much shorter cycle than spending several years on a novel and then casting it out on the waters.
The other factor in the decline of submitting shorter work was that I started blogging in 2003. Suddenly I could get fifty visitors a day and instant feedback. (It’s less common to get feedback from a piece in a journal; it goes out and you might never know what it does to people, which is really what happens for most writing.)
But perfecting a piece for print publication is a good discipline, further removed from the demands of right now which blogging often puts on me.
I think I might be doing some more submitting and focus some more on shorter pieces. But I have to finish with the confession that ‘A week in the Library of Babel’ is but a self-contained piece from a novel I started last year. (And for the record, the last story I had accepted was ‘Across the River’, an extract from The Fur, for Voiceworks in 2002!)