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First Published Short Story

In January of 2020 I got the email all writers want. The email informing me that one of my short stories had been accepted for publication. I honestly couldn’t believe it at first. After months of nos (some very kind and encouraging, and some with useful critique), I got a yes from Orson’s Review. Today I thought I’d share just what it took to get, “The Kushocopia,” published.


The Kushocopia went through one major rewrite on some advice given to me from the editor of J Journal. He ultimately rejected my piece, but pointed out that I needed to make the story resonate more emotionally for the main character. Of course I tweaked little things here and there, but kept what I changed from the major rewrite.

Time to Write:

The Kushocopia took around 10 days to write the initial draft. I can’t remember how long the rewrite took, probably more like a week. The final piece clocks in at about 3500 words.

Submission Stats:

Rejections: 16

Withdraws: 3

Not too bad! These are pretty lucky stats. I’ve heard of professional writers who don’t give up on a piece until it’s been rejected 50+ times. I think part of this was finding the right magazine for my work (which is the result of my own research and voracious reading). When my piece was accepted by Orson’s Review it was also under consideration by three other journals from whom I ultimately had to withdraw my piece. One of those journals had had it for over eight months (not unheard of, but in my opinion a bit too long).


Glaring problems in the American justice system, specifically the so-called “war on drugs.” I wanted to explore a no-win scenario in which the main character is better off doing something illegal than he is post-legalization and post-prison.


These are pretty good/lucky stats and much better than I anticipated with one of my first short stories. If you’re a fellow writer and have any questions, maybe about something I forgot to mention, please ask!

Have you read my last post about making coronavirus masks? You can here!


Avene USA