Thursday, July 28, 2016

All It Took Was a Change of Title

All writers produce stories they like more than others.  One of my favorites has just been "reprinted" on the Literally Stories site.  It originally appeared two years ago in the Rind Literary Magazine.

I knew this was a successful short story, because I presented it several times at public readings.  It always got laughs in the right places.  Nevertheless, I couldn't seem to sell the story to a magazine.  It kept getting rejected, over and over.

Eventually, I decided that the original title was the problem.  The story is about a drunk writer who shows up at the house of his ex-girlfriend late one winter night.  I called it "Reunion at 3 a.m."  That title didn't pop -- it didn't make an editor want to publish it.

I decided to change the title and submit it to literary magazines.  So I gave it the oh-so-pretentious title of "The 3 a.m. Litterateur."

That's all it took.  The Rind Literary Magazine picked it up immediately.  And now it's up again, on a new site.

Sometimes it pays to be pretentious.