This may not sound very exciting, to have a short 300-word piece of creative non-fiction published in a magazine. But for me, it is a real triumph. Let me explain.
I have been subscribing to Mslexia Magazine for about eighteen years, a fantastic women’s writing magazine filled with through-provoking articles on writing, plus a selection of poetry, prose and other writing. Mslexia has been instrumental for me in finding publication with my first two novels, finding out about competitions and securing a publisher for my non-fiction book coming out later this year.
Over the years, I have submitted to Mslexia numerous times in the form of short stories and writing competitions, but never been accepted. Competition is fierce due to its wide and loyal readership and subscriptions. More recently, I started submitting to their ‘alphabet’ slot; the premise has been to write a short piece of creative non-fiction around a word starting with a given letter of the alphabet. I first thought I would submit on the letter M (mangrove) and steadily worked my way through the alphabet every three months, to no avail. Not that it mattered, as no writing is writing wasted. But still, three and a half years is a long time to keep submitting.
Finally, the letter Z was reached and, whereas for every other submission I’d worked around a particular word, I decided to break the rules and allow Z to speak for itself. After all, this was my final shot at it before moving on to a different submission slot in the magazine so I had nothing to lose. I couldn’t quite believe it when I heard back from Mslexia to say that the judges had unanimously chosen my entry!