I was happy to hear today that a fellow member of my writing group, Cornelia L. Oancea, just published her first short story, “Breathless in the Meadowlands,” on the Asbury Pulp website.This is surprising — and fitting.
It’s surprising because this is really the first short story Cornelia has published. I’ve seen enough of Cornelia’s short fiction at this point to say that it certainly won’t be the last. This makes me think of some writing advice I filed away in the murky depths of my brain once, which was something along the lines of this: If you want to be published, you have to submit it. Yeah, you’ll get rejected. But do it enough and you’ll figure out why — and what you need to do to get it right.
So why fitting? Really I mean the right fit, because Cornelia found the perfect home for her story: an online journal focused on central New Jersey culture (yeah, I really wrote that, didn’t I?). Her story is quintessential Jersey, placed in a Jersey setting with characters and conflict that struck the perfect notes for that particular place. It is such a great fit for Asbury Pulp that the submissions editor must have been thrilled to receive it.
So: Submit. Submit again. And again. And submit to the right places — do your homework. After all, you can’t start a fire without a spark.