Friday’s Essay – For Publication

Pen and PaperI am considering submitting some writing for publication.  I had thought I might have a few short stories by the end of March.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.  However, Saskatchewan History Magazine – the publication of the Saskatchewan Archives Board – is looking for articles concerning the province’s military history for the fall issue.  Well, boy howdy!  I’ve already written a one-hundred page thesis dealing with the province’s military and veterans’ history.  So, I’ve started hacking some chapters.  Hopefully, I’ll have something worthy of publication by the end of May.

This doesn’t scare me.  I think I have a pretty good shot at having an article based on my thesis published.  My thesis was accepted by a group of historians who included the esteemed Drs. Bill Waiser and Brett Fairbairn (don’t worry – they’re only famous in Saskatchewan).  In any event, the historical article will come easily.  I have eight years of training in the discipline of history.  I have a pretty good idea of how to structure this piece.  And, of course, I’m not writing it from scratch.  The other thing that I’m used to is criticism of my non-fiction.  I wrote what seemed like five hundred million essays and research papers in university – mostly in history and political studies.  And, while these were papers that I spent time crafting and writing, I never took the criticism as a personal attack.  I always used the critiques to improve my craft.

I’m concerned that I feel differently about my fiction and poetry.  I’m afraid that every rejection from every little magazine will feel like an arrow to my heart.  Or worse, an arrow to the eye.  That sounds far more painful and disgusting.  I hope that publishers send the rejection notices with constructive criticism accompanied by a few words of encouragement.  Of course, that’s really what workshopping is for, isn’t it?  One thing I haven’t sought out yet is a writing circle.  Such a group would very likely help assuage (awesome word) some of my concerns regarding the publication readiness of my work.  And, I might meet some interesting writer friends along the way!