Just about every writer will tell you that there is no such thing as a yellow brick road to getting published; most times it is just sheer luck being in the right place at the right time. That is exactly how it happened to me.
Back in 2008, at the invitation of a coworker I was working with at the time, I attended a conference called Write Now! put on by the Triangle Area Freelancers (affectionately known to its members as “TAF.”) The event opened my eyes to the world of freelance writing. I joined the group shortly afterwards attending their monthly coffee meetings to gain writing inspiration.
In the fall of 2010, Kristy Stevenson, a fellow TAF member, informed me of a story callout from Chicken Soup for the Soul for a book called Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada that they were set to publish later in the fall of 2011. Kristy encouraged me to write a story and even offered to edit it before I sent it in.
Over the holidays I put together a short story of how my father and I used to watch our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs play on Hockey Night in Canada every Saturday night; and how my poor mother would have to spend the evening in her sitting room watching movies on PBS. Kristy reviewed the story and provided a few timely revisions before telling me it was good to go. I then went to the Chicken Soup for the Soul website and clicked on the “Submit Your Story” button. After that, there was no turning back.
I never heard anything back about the status of my story at first so discouragement began to set in. That all changed on March 22, 2011 when I received an email from the publishers of Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada informing me that my story had made it to the final selection round. Another email on September, 7, 2011 confirmed that my story was in fact, going to be published in the book. The book went into bookstores on November 1, 2011, 15 days before my birthday on November 16th. It was the best present a new writer could ever get. To this day, I tingle every time I open the book and see my name in print.
That is, in a nutshell, how easy it is to get a short story published. There is no yellow brick road, or manual on how to get your name in print. It’s all a matter of writing the right story, at the right time, to the right publication. So, if you’re thinking of getting a story published, I encourage you to stop thinking about it and just write something and hit that “Submit Your Story” button just like I did.
You can puchase the book by emailing Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.