Thursday, June 25, 2015

An unrequited love story

I've posted another one of my shorts on my web site. It's called Marie and it's a sort-of-sweet, sort-of-sick love story. Who doesn't love those, right?

Marie is a quick read because I originally wrote it for the CBC short story contest, which has a rather restrictive word limit. The original iteration of the story (The Swimmer) did pretty well in that contest, making it as far as the long list. 

In case you're wondering, I've posted this story and others online because I've chosen to withdraw myself from the literary journal submissions universe for the foreseeable future.
My reasoning is pretty simple: Life's too short. 

One of my stories has been in circulation for four years. Four! Gaahhhhh! Do you know how much hotter I was four years ago?? Plus, aside from the fantastic One Story, I don't even read any of the journals I've been submitting to, so I was basically a fraud. A fraud looking to pad my byline. 

I don't really care about that anymore. Maybe it's because I'm more confident now. Or broken and beaten down by the grind of rejections. Or maybe because my novel is coming out next year and I don't feel that I have as much to prove. 

Either way, I don't want these stories to spend the best years of their lives rotting away in some sad little folder on my Mac. For what? For the off chance that some journal I don't read will accept it in 10 years? Well, I say poo poo to that.

I want my stories to live and see the world while they're still young! I want people to %^$#ing read them. 

Speaking of, if you want to read Marie, you can do so here. I hope you like it. And if you do, please share it with your friends and loved ones... like that guy you've been stalking. I think he'll especially enjoy it.


  1. Great story! Especially the last line. And I take your point about submissions, though I wasn't expecting to be won over. I love submitting, even if I get rejected--it's still a ping from the universe, letting me know my writing has been read. I am not able to submit right now--everything I have that is not in shambles is under contract for my book--and I miss it a lot. Kind of the opposite side of the coin, I guess. Anyway, glad it all resulted in your sharing this story!

    1. Thanks Rebecca. That means a lot coming from you.
      I wish I had your attitude about submitting. It's MUCH better than mine. Tradesies? ;)

  2. You rocked this one, Emily. So good, and again, refreshingly weird. I really loved the line "I am frosting every building smooth as cake ..." And I am in complete agreement about getting your work out there for it to be read. If the turn-around for the submission rigamarole was faster, I think I'd submit more, but knowing that we're sending things out for 6-10-12 months before getting any kind of response (and usually a negative one), knowing that it can take years before the work might find a home with any kind of 'traditional' publisher raises big questions about the immediacy and urgency of our particular art form.

    1. Thanks Erin! So glad you liked it because you're such a good writer. And yes, I am (obviously) in full agreement re: the rigamarole. It's a shame because I respect the traditional process, but the amount of time involved is verging on the insane. Plus my shorts tend to be weird so there are fewer takers!