While in the midst of undertaking some much needed office cleaning, the other interns and I have had the opportunity to start reading through some of the fiction short stories/novels submitted to CALYX. Having primarily edited news articles in the past, these fiction compositions are a very welcomed change of pace. That being said, sometimes the process of reading through such works can still be a bit taxing. At times, I wish the publishing process corresponded more with the work I conduct at the Writing Center: it would be fabulous if I could sit down with the author and read through the manuscript alongside them, asking them questions for clarification when necessary, and giving them advice on how they might improve their work. Publishing by nature is a much more ruthless, time-constrained business, however, and with so many submissions coming in on a daily basis from all across the nation, working alongside writers isn’t a viable option.
Despite the lack of reader/writer interaction, it has been an intriguing experience to read through the different plot structures and sentence styles from such a wide-ranging group of people, and to see how all of these individuals’ works have been brought together under one desire: to be published by CALYX. From across the country in New York City to across the street in Corvallis, the countless hours of brainstorming, mapping, drafting, and endless revision that these authors have put into their work has resulted in the partial manuscripts that now lay at our fingertips. Some will make it to the next round of the submission process, with letters sent to the authors asking for a completed manuscript. Others will rejected, unfortunately. In either case, however, each author should be proud of that fact that they have dedicated themselves to actualizing their short story/novel and seeking publication, both of which portray a level of writerly self-efficacy to be admired.
– Paige O’Rourke | CALYX Intern
P.S. For those of you who are feeling overwhelmed by your writing endeavors (whatever they may be), take a break to enjoy the witticisms of a fellow writer/blogger, who does a fabulous job of articulating the obstacles and failures we all meet in life in unlimited hilarity: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/apparently-i-am-failure-at-success.html