Short Stories – Submit It or Quit It Presentation and Press Coverage

A few weeks ago I gave a presentation at the Jersey City Writers group titled Submit It or Quit It: Short Stories, followed by a panel discussion with two other writers, Nancy Mendez-Booth and Meg Merriet. The panel was hosted by Adriana Rambay Fernandez.

L - R, panelists include: Meg Merriet, Nancy Mendez-Booth and me

L – R, panelists include: Meg Merriet, Nancy Mendez-Booth and me

Our panel moderator, Adriana Rambay Fernandez

Our panel moderator, Adriana Rambay Fernandez


We were lucky enough to get press coverage for the event, and The Hudson Reporter published us on the front page yesterday under the article title A Gathering of Scribes.–Jersey-City-Writers-talk-about-how-to-get-published–?instance=latest_story

To begin my presentation, I did a reading from Etgar Keret’s Suddenly A Knock On the Door; specifically I chose to read The Story Victorious, which was well received and got the laughs it deserved.

Making a funny face while reading The Story Victorious by Etgar Keret

Me making a funny face while reading The Story Victorious by Etgar Keret


Me hugging Rachel Poy, the co-organizer of Jersey City Writers for all her help on setting up the event

Me hugging Rachel Poy, the co-organizer of Jersey City Writers for all her help on setting up the event

Then we had an excellent panel discussion facilitated by Adriana, followed by questions from the audience.

My message on submitting short stories was simple … if you work at your craft and are persistent and put in the time to submit to journals, you will be rewarded by getting published eventually.

I offered suggestions on how to stay organized by maintaining a spreadsheet / submission tracker. I mentioned Duotrope and Poets & Writers as places people can go to search for potential journals where work can be submitted. And I also told folks that many journals use Submittable, and that setting up a Submittable account is easy and free for writer-submitters.

None of this is rocket science, but it does take time and effort to cultivate a pipeline of finished pieces you want to submit, then select multiple markets, read submission guidelines and send your work around… then track all the results.

I’d been meaning to put up a posting covering the event, and now that we’ve gotten local press coverage I realized the time is now to post a few photos and to say thank you again to Rachel, Jim, Adriana, Nancy and Meg for all of their support in getting this event together and participating.

New Story – The Temple Maiden – Live on Gone Lawn!

My new flash story, The Temple Maiden, is now live on Gone Lawn, Issue 13.

Please read it by clicking here:

Once again, many thanks to Yarrow Paisley for her editorial encouragement and acceptance of this piece.

Fyi – many of the details in this story are based on a trip I took to Oaxaca, Mexico in 2011. Photos of this trip are here:

I saw, and photographed, many of the items mentioned: black pottery specialized to that region; the turquoise encrusted skull in the museum highlighting artifacts from Monte Alban. Also, I personally climbed the pyramid mentioned in the story and visited the church at the top.

A permanent link to this story is on the Published Stories page of this blog, so you can easily find it and read it again if you like!

New Story Accepted by Gone Lawn!

I got some wonderful news today from Yarrow Paisley, one of the editors of Gone Lawn. They have accepted my flash fiction piece The Temple Maiden for publication in Gone Lawn, #13.

And in my acceptance note, Ms. Paisley wrote, “The writing is lovely and mysterious, withholding as much as it offers to view, and it’s just the sort of piece we enjoy featuring in our little mag!”

Wow, thank you! Yes, you better believe I’m proud enough of a comment like that to want to share it. ūüôā

As with all stories, when it goes live I will post an announcement with a link here, and then the permanent link will go on the Published Stories page.

Finally, this piece is a milestone for me. It is the 30th item I’ve had published since I began re-investing in my writing 3 years ago. It’s humbling to even think of all the editors who have supported me to get to this place.



New fiction up on Failbetter!

Given the generous support of editor Thom Didato and editorial staff at Failbetter, my very short micro-fiction work “Holocaust” is now live and available for your reading pleasure!

Please give the story some readerly love, by clicking the link:

It’s a funny thing about this work… I wrote it several years ago, and the piece was accepted over a year ago by Failbetter and is now getting some public sunlight.

It’s ironic to me because the entire story is about 200 words. But writers need to cultivate patience to get their works published, and I’m extremely pleased this piece is seeing the light of day.

A permanent link appears on my Published Stories page.


New flash fictions, Ozone and Belongings, up on Camroc Press!

I’m very excited to announce Ozone and Belongings have been published by Barry Basden, Editor of Camroc Press Review. This is the first time my work has appeared in this journal.

Camroc Press’s editorial emphasis is work that has a deep emotional focus.

These works¬†are¬†in company with¬†several other pieces I’ve gotten published this year that I’ve challenged myself¬†to write since¬†they explore territory that goes far beyond what I’ve written in the past. It’s difficult to be so “naked” in front of a reading public, but it’s taught me about honesty in my work to “go there.”

I hope you’ll¬†take a moment to read¬†these pieces¬†here:

A permanent link to these works will be available on my Published Stories page.

New Poem Live on Sassafras – She Took To Her Bed

My poem, She Took To Her Bed, is now live on Sassafras, Issue 2! Many thanks again to Miranda Holqvist, editor. Comments on this poem are welcome here on my blog .


Please click here to read the piece:


The permanent link is available via the Published Stories page, here on the blog.

Poem to appear in Sassafras!

Miranda Holmqvist, the editor of Sassafras Literary Magazine (, reached out to me based on a story of mine she read in Metazen. As a result of seeing my work, she was kind enough to invite me to submit a piece for her consideration for inclusion in Sassafras, her new mag.

This is the first time an editor has reached out to me directly without prior contact to invite me to submit. I have had editors invite me to submit based on prior contact and¬†existing relationships,¬†and knowledge of my prior submissions, but I’m excited to have been found this “new way” by Miranda. I hope it’s a trend!

And so I’m pleased to announce she has accepted She Took To Her Bed, a poem I wrote last year, to appear in Sassafras Issue #2. I’m excited to be an early contributor as she gets her fledgling publication off the ground.

Issue 2 of Sassafras is supposed to appear next Monday, 9/16. I will post a link to the piece when it goes live!

New Story: For Art’s Sake – now live on Word Riot

This story is dedicated to CT.


I’m proud to announce For Art’s Sake is now live on Word Riot; it is my third piece published in that very esteemed journal. I am endebted to Kevin O’Cuinn for his unflagging support and encouragement.

Please give the story some click-love here:

A permanent link will go on the Published Stories page.

New Story: Ozone, accepted by Camroc Press Review!

I’m extremely pleased to announce that my short fiction work, Ozone, has been accepted by Barry Basden, the editor of the Camroc Press. This is the very first appearance of any of my work in Camroc, although I’ve been trying for quite some time.

Camroc Press is especially known for intense emotional work, and for me Ozone was an attempt at a level of emotional honesty made public that I find uncomfortable. It was not an easy piece to write, and bit by bit I’m coming to terms with how to “reveal” this part of myself to readers.

Barry has told me the publishing que is backed up about six months, so the publication date on this piece is tbd; it’ll be much later this year. When the piece comes out, I’ll put up a post with the link so you can see what I attempted. In the meantime, a placeholder will go on my Published Stories page as a reminder it’s on the way.


P.S. As a follow up to my previous post, I’m nearly over my second terrible cold in two months, although I admit my appetite hasn’t returned yet… I fly west today and have already packed all my¬†vitamins!

New Story: For Art’s Sake Accepted by Word Riot!


My flash fiction work, For Art’s Sake, has just been accepted by Kevin O’Cuinn, fiction editor at Word Riot.

This is a new milestone for me, a third piece of flash being pubbed in the same journal: Woo Hoo! (Deep endebted thankfulness to Kevin, as always.)

The pub date has not yet been determined but when it’s published I’ll let you all know with a joyous announcement and¬†link for your reading pleasure. For now, a placeholder will go on the Published Stories page…


New Story: Recyclables Now Live on Pure Slush!

Hi everyone,

I’m so excited! Matt Potter, Editor of Pure Slush,¬†(a literary journal based in Australia) has sent the good word over the wires. My story Recyclables is now live on the Pure Slush website, within this month’s theme issue “The Office.”


CLICK HERE to read this new piece of flash fiction!

Matt has asked me to let readers know there is a comments feature on the site. All comments posted to the story will become part of its history…so, write on people! Feel free to leave a comment if you like. ūüôā


As I usually do a permanent link to this story will always be available on my Published Stories page so you can easily find it, and my “back catalogue.” ūüėČ


Special Free Bonus! Pure Slush also publishes the Hue Questionnaire. It’s a “what’s your favorite color” on steroids, or in my case…maybe asteroids. Curious?

Click here and navigate to my name to read my answers:


My author interview on the PANK blog and other stuff

If you’d like to read my author interview on the PANK blog, it’s up and available on this link:

The interview was conducted for a story of mine PANK pubbed in Feb 2012 called The Price of Luxury. And the fine folks at PANK sent me my interview questions and dutifully posted the interview on their blog on May 21st, 2012 and I didn’t see it there until, well… now.

That’s embarassing.

But correctable!

I wanted to let my regular readers know the interview is there, and while you’re at it if you haven’t read the story … why not take a moment to read it now?


As a side note, I’m getting more excited because Recyclables is coming out soon on Pure Slush, an Australian small literary mag (how cool is that peoples?!). The fine folks at Pure Slush also publish an add-on which they call the Hue Questionnaire. Since each author fills one out, I’ve done what I could to amuse you, my reader… so now that you’re feeling all intrigued and such, don’t forget to come back in about a week to click on the links to the story and the questionnaire!