July 1, 2013

Writing News

Remember back in late April & May, when I talked a lot about my writing, how I was working on a particular piece and feeling all braggy about sitting at my kitchen table and writing almost every morning?
I talked more about it back in this post, how I was working on an essay about shopping, and the department stores of my youth.

Well, last week I received word that my  essay "I Dream of Department Stores" has been accepted for inclusion in a book of personal essays, all themed around different takes on shopping. The anthology will be published by Seal Press, a small yet well-established publishing house out of Portland that specializes in women's interests.
Actually, I knew that I was potentially in as a "yes" awhile back, through e-mail correspondence with the editors, and I felt especially writerly when I received the (minimal) edits for the piece last month, which meant I was working with an editor. Heady stuff!

But I knew it was Officially Official when I received my contributors contract last week, which outlines the details of my publishing rights and payment (again, minimal) and all that. Also, I knew it was official when in another e-mail, the editor told the contributors, "Yes! Feel free to tell everyone!"
This is not the first time my writing has been published. I've had a few short stories appear in small literary journals (including this one), and had some journalism published way, way long ago in the OC Weekly. But this was certainly the first contract I've ever received, and it will easily be the most I've been paid so far for putting pen to paper. It also goes without saying that this is the first book that I've been in, which is the most exciting part of it all.

The best and worst part is that this is my first piece of memoir that I've had accepted. Best, because this is the genre that I'm working in now, and it feels great to have this finished piece accepted so easily (easily, after the accumulation of rejection slips for my short stories that were eventually published).  Worst, because its memoir. It's all true, all just out there. I was driving around last week, and the sudden realization that the names of some of my family members would be out there in the world made me want to pass out. Or take it all back: "wait, can I change some names here??"  But I'm not going to change names, or take anything back.

The book, titled The Dressing Room, won't be published until the fall of 2014. That feels like a long time, maybe even long enough to  work up to telling my extended family. (Ha!) In the meantime, this news is a great, great boost to my motivation to keep going with memoir, and telling my family's particular story.  (Although I've been incapable so far this summer at figuring out how to write with the kids at home.)

All photos from my Instagram account. Also, it's July 1 and I'm in total denial about the demise of Google Reader. (As of this morning, it was still working.) Follow me on Instagram at "readingnest1," my Facebook page (where I always link to my new blog posts), or at Feedly, though I haven't actually figured out how to properly navigate around there yet.


  1. This is the most wonderful news Kelly. I am happy for you and wish this to be just the beginning of a long and successful writing career. Cheers.

    1. Thank you so much, Lisbeth (I think?). I hope you're doing well this summer!

  2. Yayyyyyyyyy!!!! OMG Kelly, how exciting! You must be so proud :-) That is fabulous! Congratulations! (Exclamation point, exclamation point, and another exclamation point!!!)

    1. Totally digging all those exclamation points. Yes!! (And thanks.)

  3. Soooo excited for you, Kelly! I can't wait to read it! So awesome!

    1. Thanks, Jenn. YOU are the one who's been knocking it out big-time with your writing since Wild Mountain. Congrats on all your recent success. :)

  4. Congratulations, that's wonderful news! That feeling of getting a publishing contract of any kind never gets old. Do keep us updated on the collection.


Thanks for commenting! :)

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