Fishtrap: Week 17 Reflections

It’s a pretty gratifying set-up, this Union County Writer-in-Residence lifestyle. Without the commitment of teaching the college class, I’m finding that I genuinely have a lot of time on my hands. Effectively, that’s what being a WIR is all about—when you’re on, you’re 110% teacher; when you’re off, you’re 110% artist.
I spent some time with the 6th graders at Imbler Elementary School and a few more sessions at Elgin High School, wrapping up their intro to flash fiction. Since this is just a pilot program, they only get a taste, but I was still able to offer a few generative prompts and time for in-class sharing.  One class had only one female student and the rest males. Here’s a few of the budding writers anxiously waiting for the class bell to ring:
 Meantime, more rejections have come in. The Naval Institute Press (they published Hunt for Red October) sent perhaps the nicest rejection letter I’ve ever received. They loved the writing, they said, and believed in its merit and quality. But they weren’t sure how to market the book successfully, and in a market where taking risks can kill a publisher, they weren’t prepared to take on that burden. Frank, but much appreciated after the recent slough of form rejection letters.

I spent the first half of the week fulfilling WIR and editorial duties. The second half was devoted to finding an agent, and thanks to the boatload of email responses and wi-fi access, I now have a list of 16 NY agents I’m going to query. Feels daunting, in a way, but at least I have somewhere to start. Let the querying begin!

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