Friday, September 13, 2013

A Lucky Day

Today, September 13, 2013, marks a special anniversary for me. Thirty years ago today, I became a published author when my first short story appeared in Woman’s World magazine. While that may not sound like such a big deal to most people, for anyone who writes and dreams of being published, well, you know it is a huge deal. I still remember what it felt like to go into the store and pick up that September 13, 1983 issue of the magazine and know my story was in it and it would be read by countless people all across the country. Talk about a rush!

I had been writing with the goal of getting published for several years then and had spent hours upon hours at a manual typewriter, spinning tales I feared only I would ever read. I’d submitted a few chapters of full length novels to a few publishers and been quickly rejected. Then I happened to read a list of the best 100 markets for fiction in Writer’s Digest magazine. Woman’s World was number 5 on the list. Since I wasn’t having much luck with the novels I’d written, it made me think that perhaps I should give short stories a try. I’d always loved reading them in magazines, and at that time there was still a pretty decent market for short fiction. I studied the guidelines for what Woman’s World wanted and started writing.

I honestly don’t remember how long it took, nor how many drafts I wrote before I was satisfied with the final one. I do know that when I finished it, I decided to write a second story, a shortened version of one of the novels I’d written. When I finished typing up the completed manuscripts on the old Smith-Corona, I sent them both off to the fiction editor at Woman’s World. I truly did not expect to hear from them for a long time, let alone get back anything but a rejection.

Imagine my surprise (really more like shock) when a short time later, a letter came in the mail accepting the first story for publication. Imagine my even greater shock when I received a phone call from an editor, telling me they also wanted to publish the second story! I am pretty sure I spent at least a week pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. The stories were published in successive issues, and so for two weeks that September of 1983, I was on cloud nine.

The title for my first story, which I had called For Love of Joshua, was Love Takes a Lesson. The second, Good-bye to Summer Love, was closer to my own title of simply, Goodbye to Summer.
            Besides the price of the magazine--only .59 back then!-- much has changed in the world of publishing in the 30 years since my story of a little boy with a reading disability, his single dad, and the teacher who helps them hit the stands. I could write a whole other blog on just that and how it's affected writers. Some of the changes have been good ones. One of the benefits is that stories that have long been out of print can now find a second life as e-books.

My first e-book, An Uncommon Prince and Other Short Stories, a collection of five of my Woman’s World stories, was released from Amazon in July. One of the stories in that book is Goodbye to Summer. My second e-book of short stories will be released soon and will include that very first story, For Love of Joshua. Please watch for it soon in the Amazon Kindle store.

To celebrate this 30th anniversary date, I am giving away two $5.00 gift certificates to Amazon. Anyone who comments here will have a chance to win, and I’ll leave it open until midnight. I'll announce the winners here on my blog and also on my author page on Facebook
Happy Friday the 13th and good luck in the drawing!












Maris said...

Ooh, pick me, pick me. :-) Just kidding (maybe). Lucy, I among others know how difficult it was and is to be published by Woman's World. That they picked two of your stories right off the bat was wonderful, and I know you had many more published after that.

Patricia Kiyono said...

Congratulations on your publishing anniversary. Woman's World is one of my favorite magazines - in part because of the fiction included in the very affordable issues. And I've sent them stories, but none were accepted, so I'm totally in awe of the fact that you had two printed right away.

Lucy Naylor Kubash said...

Thanks Maris and Patty. I think WW is an even harder nut to crack today. The stories are shorter and trickier to write, but I'm thinking about giving it a try again.

Diane Burton said...

Congratulations, Lucy. Short stories are hard. Wishing you all the best.

Lucy Naylor Kubash said...