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A New Video for an Old Essay

One of my favorite essays, The Brass Ring, published in Creative Nonfiction Magazine in the 1990s. The Euonia Review (I can’t pronounce that, either) re-published it in 2016.

I’m having so much fun making trailers for my new publications that I’ve moved on to fluffing the old pubs. Enjoy! But don’t forget to come back here to read the essay.


About Publishing How I Got That Story The Glam

My New Position: Senior Nonfiction Editor at jmww!

scrabble-tiles-906404_1920Well-y well-y well-y! If we have been paying attention, in January, jmww published m’essay Round Down. They had an open position as the senior nonfiction editor, and boy, did I snap up that application.

Writers: please do send me your work. Use the jmww Submissions page (scroll to the bottom). Make sure to address your cover letter to me. Mention that you are a subscriber to About Childhood. I will treat you well.

As you read About Childhood, you probably understand the ethos of what I look for in nonfiction. In case you need a nutshell:

Alle looks for essays with exquisitely observed moments lived by captivating characters, all firmly based in the agreed-upon reality. The combination must lead to endings that satisfy the story as well tapping into universal truths.

Go read the nice things they said about me



About Publishing Calls, News, & Reviews How I Got That Story

Movie! Movie! I’m a quarter-finalist!


Congratulations! You are officially a quarter-finalist

in the 2017 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Contest!


Came the e-mail, precisely as above; centered and everything. There were over 1.400 entries. Now were are 500. I will need your good wishes.

How I Got That Story:

Last fall, I received one of those emails writers get, yadada yadada contest yadada. This announcement was different in that they were looking for short stories to adapt into feature films. You could enter for free, or pay $39 for feedback.

I plunked down the $39 and one of my favorite stories, I Wanted Ten (currently on submission at 8 different literary magazines). The feedback was completely positive, so I questioned the value of the exchange, then forgot about it until I received the big news note today.

I would love it if you could hold your breath with me until the semi-finalists are announced on February 14th. heart


About Parenting How I Got That Story Human Read Alle's work The Glam

Rounding Down “Round Down”

jmwwI began “Round Down” at least a hundred years ago – okay, probably fifteen years ago – in a Hugo House class taught by Brangien Davis on writing humor. I hoped it would be a funny little piece about cheating in eighth grade. I titled it “The Rhenquist ‘B’ Incident.”

No one wanted it. No one gave me any feed back. It was “Dear Writer: NO” the whole way. I found the first traction with it when I began to go deeper, when I found the bravery to explore the weight that a family legacy of cheating had on me.

“Round Down” as it stands now visited the submission boxes of 24 magazine since I began tracking submission and rejections, three years ago. I have no idea how many rejections it faced when the sad sucker was in the form of “The Rhenquist ‘B’ Incident.”

Thanks so much to Jen at jmww for recognizing my brilliance.



About Publishing How I Got That Story

Ya Da-da-da-da-dada, Submission!

SubmissionIn general, it takes 3-6 months to hear back on a writing submission. During this time, I am reading magazines to compare what they publish against what I write, and arranging  my pieces in the order in which I will submit them after I receive me “NO.”

The healthiest way I have found to look at the process is to expect a “NO.”

Naturally, I have my hopes. At least one a year, those hopes pay off with a literary publication. (2017: twice. 2016: thrice.)

However, when I expect a rejection, as soon as I receive my “No” I send out another piece.

At times, I have maxed out the places I can send pieces. (I try to keep it to ten submissions at a time, per piece.) Or, the magazine I want is taking a break from reading.

However, when I receive a NO and send out post-haste, I can have my “Submission! Boo hoo hoo-hoo-hoo-de hoo” feelings with another piece in already in the submissions process.

As a result, I have between 10 and 40 submissions under consideration at all times.