Short Stories

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An Unexpected Honor

Published November 7, 2013 by M E McMahon


As some of you may know, my short story “The Plagiarist” has been accepted for publication by Long Story Short.  I might have mentioned it (in great detail) in my post “Strike Up The Band.”  Of course I was thrilled to have my story accepted by such a great magazine.

But, much to my surprise, I received an e-mail from Linda Barnett-Johnson, assistant editor for the Long Story Short and, well, I’ll just show you what it said.

Hello Mary Ellen

We liked your story so much, that we’d like to accept it for our story of the month for November. Please complete the following and send back asap.


I couldn’t believe it! My eyes popped, my mouth dropped open and I gave such a loud yelp that my SO, Danny came running in from the yard.

The honor, the delight and the thrill of receiving this Award is indescribable!  My humble little story about my dad’s brush with plagiarism won an Award!

There were Interview Questions to be completed (another first for me), which I promptly answered and sent back to Linda post haste.  I mention this because all of you,each and every one of you, is mentioned as being a part of my success in writing  I couldn’t name names, but you all know who you are.

You’ve been my mentors, my inspiration and my friends since I started writing just a short year ago!  Your generosity in sharing your comments, your support and your own talents have inspired me to write more, write better and to send my work to publishers.  I owe you all a part of this Award!

Also, Long Story Short reviews all the award winning stories at the end of the year and selects one for their Story Of The Year Award.  If I win, drinks are on me!

So, my fellow bloggers, writers, poets and photographers, keep on with your wonderful works and again, my undying gratitude for the honor of being included in your Blogging Community.

You can read my story and my interview by clicking Here!

I also want to thank the Editorial Board of Long Story Short for selecting my story for this unexpected honor.  You have truly made this writer a very happy camper!

Yours in Writing,

Stepping Away For A Closer Look

Published July 15, 2013 by M E McMahon


You finished the short story.  You love what you wrote.  It’s everything you meant it to be.  You’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s.  You find the right venue that your story fits into like a well-fitting glove.  What’s the next step?

You wait.  Yes, as hard as it is to believe, the best thing to do with that work is to set it aside for a few days, a week or at least long enough for you to be able to go back and look at it as a Reader, not a Writer.

You should always be the first Reader of your work and to do that you must separate yourself from the words long enough to be able to take a fresh look at what you’ve written.  You might be surprised at what you’ve missed, a hole in the story or a character that isn’t believable might pop up and as a Reader, you find those flaws.

I know that when I write, I sometimes am so intent on getting my words out, that I don’t realize that the reader is not in my head.  I can’t assume they know my past or my thoughts…I have to write about them so they understand the who, what and where of my story.

How many times have you walked away from a conversation and thought about all the things you should have said?  Things that would have made your point of view clearer, easier to understand and make a greater impact on the listener?

As writers, we get the chance to go back and add those things so that the readers have a better understanding of where we’re coming from and where we’re going with our story.

So, as hard as it is to do, set that finished piece aside for a while.  Then return to it as a Reader.  Step away and take a closer look. If you feel the same excitement you felt when you finished it; then it’s ready.

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