The editor-in-chief of Southern Writers Magazine, Susan Reichert, sent me the welcome news that my story Inflatable Untethered Holiday, had placed in the top ten finalists in the magazine’s 2017 National Short Story contest. Finalists, as well as winners, would be published in a special short story issue.
Wahoo! Another of my Manassas, Virginia stories had finally found a home.
Could I send a recent photo? Yes!
Could I send a 150-word bio? Yes!
Would I like to use the magazine’s “Congratulations” banner to run on my website?
Uh-oh. I don’t have a website.
I used to, when I was a freelance writer in Virginia, but I closed it down when I closed my business and moved.
Wait, I have this blog!
Looking at the shiny gold banner they sent….and looking at my blog….it’s like bringing a new rug into the house, and seeing how faded and worn the wallpaper is next to it. I haven’t changed my blog design in years.
That made me explore my whole wobbly writer’ s platform. Facebook and Twitter? Junky. LinkedIn? A parking lot. Pinterest? Like the waiting room for the dead in “Beetlejuice.” Google group? A few holdouts in a ghost town.
I need to clean out, change up, coordinate and sparkle. I also need to explore new forums I haven’t used, like Instagram.
This morning at Cornerstone Writers, a faith-based group I meet with every Saturday morning at 9 am in uptown Selma, North Carolina, we prayed and spent an hour brainstorming our personal vision boards: individual collages of words and pictures that represent each of our personal goals. My vision board will bring me focus as I write. I know I want to continue to write about ordinary people in small towns, and how faith works in their lives, as well as my own. A vision and a platform. I have lots to do!
Thanks to Southern Writers Magazine, the Pisgah Review, Redheaded Stepchild and soon, the Virginia Writers Club Centennial Anthology, for publishing my work this year. I can rejoice that the stories and poems I’ve been sending out are finding new places to thrive.
Watch this space – I will be redesigning my blog soon.
Meanwhile, here’s one of the three banners that Southern Writers Magazine sent. I am proud to use them all!
You can find the complete list of winners and purchase an online or print copy of the special short story magazine at http://bit.ly/SWSS2017.
Congratulations to the winners and the other finalists!