2018 began with great news – one of my short stories was published in the excellent Under the Radar magazine.
Under the Radar is the bi-annual mag from Nine Arches Press, the Rugby-based regional publishing powerhouse that’s making great waves in poetry circles right now.
In fact, Under the Radar is Nine Arches flagship title. It describes itself as ‘a lively mix of the best up-and-coming and established poets and writers’.
My story, titled The End of the Road, tells of an elderly man who embarks on one last trip in a much-storied classic car to visit a dying brother he hasn’t spoken to for many years, and for good reason. But the journey doesn’t go to plan.
It features in the Winter 2017/18 issue 20 of Under the Radar, and I don’t mind admitting a gave a whoop when I got my issue through the post, and felt it in my hands.
Under the Radar’s not a slender pamphlet like some literary titles – it’s a chunky, beautifully produced publication, that nods its head toward the likes of, I don’t know, Granta?
Anyone who’s serious about writing, and who submits regularly to competitions and agents and publishers, will likely know what it’s like to graft, craft and polish a piece, then jump through submission hoops, then wait, wait, wait some more, then if you’re lucky get a rote rejection.
You get a thick skin or you give up on your passion. Every now and then, when an email comes back with a scrap of positive feedback, a morsel of encouragement, you devour it with gratitude.
And then sometimes, just sometimes, it’s a yes – a story gets accepted for publication somewhere. For a writer, there’s no feeling like it.
It’s a blast of charge for the batteries, and enough to keep me scribbling and dreaming.