Friday, March 5, 2010

A Cappella Zoo and "The Letter"

I found out something pretty exciting day before yesterday: my story "The Letter" is now available online at the A Cappella Zoo eZine!

A Cappella Zoo
is a perfect-bound, beautiful print magazine that also posts their past issues online with authors' permissions. I found this market through Duotrope, which is an amazing online resource for fiction and poetry writers.

A word about Duotrope... Duotrope is an online writers' market which is in a constant state of being updated by their dedicated staff. There's a search engine on the website that's easy to use and searches over 1000 markets for the print publications that fit a writer's particular publishing needs. It's a very customizable engine and you can sort by all kinds of things... how the market is issued (print or electronic), what the market pays, genre, response time to submissions, percentage of acceptances, how the market accepts work (through post or email), and lots of other options as well. I've found it to be one of the most valuable tools I've used over the last few years. It's always up-to-date, and new markets are added every day. There's also a nifty submissions tracker where you update your personal information on which markets you've sent work to. It keeps track of all their information so you don't have to! Fellow writers, if you haven't seen it yet, you really should check it out.

OK, back to A Cappella Zoo. I was published in the spring volume of this market last year, in Volume One, Issue Two. This was the first piece I was ever paid for - very exciting! They offered to pay via PayPal or check, and I asked for a check so I could have something physical to put in a frame. Call me sentimental, but getting paid for my work for the first time was so monumental, I had to celebrate it somehow.

I couldn't have been more pleased with how the book looked and felt in my hands, and my story began on page 75 of the volume - a number that has significance for me, as it's the year of my birth and the number I use in my email address. Here's a picture of the beautiful cover, artwork by Jim Fuess:

I was tickled by how professional it looked and how excited the editor, Colin, was about his market and my story. He was a joy to work with, and still is. He sends out regular updates to his contributors and asks us to make sure we send updated author bios every now and again so the information on the A Cappella Zoo website is correct. He's also offered to review my novel when it's completed! What a great market to work with.

The story is set in Charleston, and it's about a lonely, sad man who meets a peculiar old woman one day at the busy downtown Charleston old Slave Market - a sort of high-class flea market that's walking distance from many significant locations in downtown Charleston. The old woman gives him a gift: one wish for his birthday. I wrote this story several years ago, back in '99 or '00. When I pulled it out of my archives and dusted it off in 2008, I saw it needed only minimal tweaks and a little polishing, so I cleaned it up and sent it out. It only had one stop before A Cappella Zoo, where it found a happy home. This publication was a great experience.

The online version of "The Letter" can be found here. If you decide to take a gander at it, I'd love to know what you think, dear readers.

I'm so excited to have a piece published in an online eZine that I can send my new friends to! I love being able to point people in the direction of my work so they can get a taste of what I do. Thanks, A Cappella Zoo and Colin!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations and I'll have to check out Duotrope!

B. Miller said...

Thanks, Alex! I hope it's as helpful to you as it has been to me. I found three of the four markets which published my work through Duotrope. Good luck!

Hart Johnson said...

Thanks for all the info on Duotrope! That looks like an excellent resource. I don't write shorts very often, because I seem to have a hard time getting to the point, but when I DO, I never have a CLUE who might want them, so they just sit in my rusty short story folder.

Printed off your short to read this weekend--congrats to you--both for the hard copy publish last spring, and now to have an official place to send people so they can see it!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Great cover art. Congratulations!

Rake the Gnome said...

thats awesome Becky! Congrats!

Arlee Bird said...

Glad to hear of your publication. I read the story and found it to be enthralling. The descriptions were vivid and the dialect was well done. A mysterious ending left me pondering, but the old lady in her wisdom seems to know all the secrets. Good job.

Lola Sharp said...


Write on,

B. Miller said...

Thanks, you guys, for all the encouragement. And Lee, thanks so much for your kind words about my story! I love the blog-o-sphere. :)

Hart Johnson said...

B. I read your short this weekend and it is FABULOUS! It was such a vivid picture of location and characters--it really is wonderful!

B. Miller said...

Hart, thank you for the great compliment! I'm so glad you enjoyed reading my story.