A post in which I recap what I’ve been up to this year and thank as many people as I possibly can for proof-reading, publishing, reading, editing, re-tweeting, liking and buying publications in 2017.
At the start of the year none of my work had been published outside of a few personal blog posts but I’ve managed to end the year with 2o pieces of flash fiction, either published or forthcoming, in various online lit mags (and one printed zine). I can’t thank these magazine editors enough for finding space for my words.
The only goal I’d set for myself at the beginning of the year was to get my writing to a standard that it was deserving of being published. I’d have been happy with one or two acceptances. It took a few months but, after a handful of rejections, Sick Lit Magazine accepted, ‘Manicure’ for publication in March – it appeared online the following month and the wait was agonising. I’ll always be immensely grateful to Kelly Fitzharris and Nicole Ford Thomas for agreeing to publish it. Re-reading it now, its not the best thing I’ve written, and if given the chance I’d change a few lines here or there, but it was important for me to get it out into the world at the time. That acceptance gave me a real confidence boost. It told me that people – outside of friends and family – saw enough in what I was doing to want to publish my words.
Later that month I won an Ad hoc fiction weekly prompt with my first attempt – I was beaming for weeks after receiving that email. I’ve submitted a few times since and haven’t gotten anyway but let’s not talk about that. In fact, the weekend I worked on ‘Rebel Mechanic’, with the prompt word ‘socket’, I drafted two other pieces which eventually became ‘He’d Expected to See Some Blood’ and ‘Tea and Toast Alarm’ so maybe I should give Ad hoc another shot sometime soon, if only to get some inspiration.
Without listing everything I’ve had published, you can read them all here, I’d like to thank all the editors who’ve included my work on their websites. Each acceptance has been an encouraging pat on the back.
Some time around May I had the idea to set up the online magazine, Ellipsis Zine. I didn’t really have any direction for it, past offering the community of writers I was getting to know on twitter another space to showcase their words, but within a few weeks I’d created something that was more popular than I could’ve ever imagined. Riding on that wave of enthusiasm I had another moment of madness and decided I was going to compile a printed publication to accompany the website.
‘One’ was released in late October – thank you to everyone who purchased a copy – and was well received enough for me to commit to producing more issues in 2018. ‘Two’ is planned for release in late February and judging by the quality of work I’ve already received, it has the potential of being bigger and better than ‘One’.
I’m so grateful to the hundreds of writers who’ve taken the time to send their words for consideration, and for those who allowed me to publish them. Many of these writers I’ve chatted with on Twitter – I’ve even had the opportunity to meet a few of them – and you/they have become the best people I never knew I needed.
Thanks to all my friends who’ve endured reading and re-reading endless proofs of the same 100 words and being honest with me when I needed them to be, and to my family for putting up with my constant need to tap into my phone so that I can edit one tricky line over, and over, and over again.
I’d especially like to thank, in no particular order, Alva Holland, Chris Milam, Stephanie Hutton, Rebecca Williams, Gaynor Jones, Richard de Nooy, Helen Rye, Matthew Paul, Emma Purshouse, Christina Dalcher, F. E. Clark, Janis Long and Caleb Echterling who’ve been so supportive and appreciation of what I’ve been doing. And also Amelia Sachs – who’s encouraged me to set the goal of reading my words to an audience in (early) 2018.
Best wishes for the new year.