A small favor, from you to me

Twitter _ Alice Bradley_ Creative Nonfiction is loo ...

I had a long talk with an old friend of mine several months ago.

We knew each other back in college, when we both had our heads stuck pretty far up our asses. And then, over the years, we kind of lived on parallel tracks: getting into advertising, learning to be grownups, forming decent relationships, rekindling our secret interests in writing, getting published,

Oh, wait. He got published.

A short story, in a little literary magazine called Salamander. (It’s good; you should buy it.)

As he said, he may or may not have been more talented than the other people in his writers’ group, but he’s the only one who submitted his stuff. And you know what? Like they used to say with the Lotto, ya gotta be in it to win it.

I am not ready to submit a poem to Salamander (yet). But when I read the tweet from the wildly talented Alice Bradley, whose writing* I adore about Creative Nonfiction looking for submissions from bloggers, I had two thoughts:

  1. Hey, I’m a blogger who writes a lot of creative nonfiction, the fancy new word for essays!
  2. Why bother? They’ll never pick mine. (Wah wah. Sad trombone.)

This kind of crap has got to stop.

They might not pick mine, but you know what? They definitely won’t pick mine if I don’t submit something.

So here’s what I’ve done: selected what I think are the best posts that fit the criteria for submission, written in 2009, and that will stand alone (e.g., not too insider-y, not part of a series, etc), and collected them here.

I would love for you to read one or two or however many and submit them yourself. Or read them and tell me in the comments which I should submit. Because hot damn on a stick, I am entering this contest. Yes, I am.

And if I enter and you enter on behalf of me, maybe I will have a better chance, so I am asking for that. Yes, I am.

And if you tweet about it or put it on the Facebook or tell your mom, maybe I will have an even better chance, so I’m asking for that, too.


I thank you for your time and attention. I thank you for being here, just reading this blog, because no matter what, you reading is a big part of what’s kept me writing.

Now go forth and put yourself out there.

And me, too, if you would…


The deadline for nominations is August 31, 2009, but why tempt fate or failing memory? Vote now!

*And whose hi-larious site on motherhood she co-writes with the equally wildly talented and marvelous Eden Kennedy you should jump over and read immediately upon finishing this. Because I’m pretty indifferent to the topic and boy, howdy, I laughed my doomed, hateful, non-breeder ass off at this.


  1. DONE! I submitted because:
    I know you are greatness on getaway sticks;
    Taking a stand must become commonplace; and
    You asked.


  2. Done. I submitted the Oprah post (it’s really hard to pick one). Despite the fact that I am a long-time (pre-Oprah) fan of Eckhart Tolle. ;-)

  3. Kudos to you for asking. Kudos to you for not settling for not submitting. I submitted your Oprah piece. Hope you win!

  4. You guys. You’re too good to me.

    And Dave, I don’t care if they reject that entry. It means far more to me that you’d remember a particular post from so long ago with such fondness.

  5. Done. I submitted two, and am keeping my fingers crossed. The act of entering the contest takes tons of courage, as does asking for help, so you’ve already won.

  6. I just voted for “Why I wasn’t Colleen Wainwright (and why I am now)” and think you should nominate it too. I went through the kind of process you describe before I “came out” online as Elaine Merrill. (I started my cyberlife as “Elizabeth West,” a combination of my given-but-never-used first name and my geographical home.) Owning up to who one is, which you also touch on in “Why people hate Oprah,” is a life task that I’m sure many people relate to.

  7. Done! So hard to choose, but I submitted Change and the Kitchen Sink (loved that one.)

    And can I just say that I am in awe…Colleen from The Communicatrix plays the sad trombone sometimes? Wow? You so clearly rock. Gives me hope. Maybe I rock too, unawares. :)

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