It's official! I finally got my first short story accepted by a west coast literary journal! I got my contract in the mail today from Howard Junker + just found out that my short story, "Sixty-Seven Dollars for My Favorite Dictator," about a crazy + wonderful Peruvian family in Chicago, is going to be published in the Spring issue of ZYZZYVA . The beautiful thing is, I just sent HJ that story last week. But in all fairness, I'd workshopped it in Aimee Bender's class + then revised it several times. But still, how rad is that?
I've been submitting stories to ZYZZYVA since I first heard of it in Portland, Oregon in late 2002 where the journal has quite a following, and for good reason. It's one of the best journals in the West Coast + probably one of the top 15-20 literary journals in the whole country. I'm pretty sure the first thing I submitted was a very drafty version of "City of Sand" years before it was ready for print + was sad when HJ didn't write any feedback on my rejection letter. The rumor used to be that Howard Junker commented on every story, which the rejection note even commented on. Later on, I'd cheat and send ZYZZYVA stories every Christmas I was with my mom in Solana Beach for a month (since the journal only accepts writing by West Coast writers). Anyway, seven years later, now that I'm living in LA + working on my PhD + working with amazing writers + building my weight up, so to speak, I finally got a story accepted, sent in good faith, of all things. Ah, perseverance + karma: that cosmic cocktail. Anyway, be on the lookout for my story, coming achew in the Spring. Holla!