To help me ring in the new year, on New Year's Eve two copies of the fall issue of J Journal arrived via the USPS. In it is my story, Younger Things. Arriving a couples weeks prior was an email from the editors of J Journal alerting me that they had nominated my story for a Pushcart Prize. Amazing. It's well into the first week of 2010 and I'm still pleasantly shocked that they chose Younger Things to help represent the journal for the Pushcart.
Each year editors of small presses can nominate up to six pieces of writing from their year's publications. Winners are published in the The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, which features fiction, poetry, memoirs, and essays selected from hundreds of little magazines and small book publishers. I think this is one time when saying it's an honor just to be nominated is spot on. I know I'm in great company no matter what happens.
Younger Things is the story whose editing process I discussed on this blog late last summer (Publishing 101) when the J Journal editors made revision suggestions during the story's acceptance process. The experience of making these kinds of edits was a new one, but was well worth it, helping the story transform for the better and see publication.
Based out of CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, J Journal is a specific breed of lit mag that offers new writing on justice, and "examines its subject through creative work, directly and tangentially." I'm not sure how my story, about a young man in love with a wild, at times dangerous older cancer patient, fits into this description. I'm just happy the editors found a place for my story in their journal. A special shout-out to my writing group from last year under whose eagle eye Younger Things first passed, and whose comments and suggestions helped shape the manuscript before I sent it out for publication.