This week, all week, jmww journal is publishing a special issue: all flash nonfiction, all week. Titled “In the Pocket,” pieces 350 words of fewer have been running as of last Friday. New pieces post every day, through this coming Friday.
By way of a preview, please follow along as Walburga Appleseed wrestles with a question that continues to plague this nation, down to the individual.
What It Isby Walburga Appleseed
“It’s just a blob,” says the counselor on the other end of the line. “Just a blob of cells. It doesn’t even have a heartbeat yet.”
She is trying to be helpful and kind, and I want to believe her, but the thing that invited itself into my womb is not a blob. It is a universe.
Last year, I was a nominee. This year, as an editor, it was my privilege to nominate. My nominations are in the Nonfiction category. I listed the other categories’ noms, just in case you’d like to read those, as well.
Well-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.
I 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.”