Sending My Debut Short Story Collection Into the World

I’ve finally done it. After six years of work, I wrapped up my debut collection a couple of weeks ago. Part of why it took me so long was fear. I mean, it’s scary to send your words out into the world to be rejected and dissected. But there’s also the fear of that it’s no longer mine. It will go into the hands of editors and readers.

It’s not all scary, though. I felt immense joy after I typed that last word in that closing story. These stories have been a part of me throughout my twenties. They shaped me. They comforted me. In a sense, they guided me. They are a reflection of who I was and what I was feeling. Maybe it’s strange to admit, but, in a way, these stories have been like a friend to me. I turned to them when I was broken, and I also fell into them to share moments of joy.

I have all fingers and toes crossed that I’ll find a good home for it. Who knows how long it’ll take—or even if it will ever find a publisher. I am patient, though. And I’m hopeful.

Some really great magazines have already shown so much love to my work. For that, I’m very thankful. A few of the stories are on submission. The editors at BULL, Syntax & Salt, Rose Red Review, Signal Mountain Review, formercactus, Literary Orphans, Ghost Parachute, The Wild Hunt, The Airgonaut, Five:2:One, Vending Machine Press, Occulum, and Drunk Monkeys have already believed in me, so I’ll believe in myself as this journey continues.

For now, I’ll turn to the novel. These two notebooks are staring me down, begging for a fourth rewrite.

Bradley Sides