My newest short story has been published, and I’m trying something a little different this time.
The journal is the Spring 2017 issue of Cottonwood, a lovely edition made by students and faculty of the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Kansas University. The story is titled “Secretary of Groveland,” and its protagonist is a burned-out teacher who leaves the profession but doesn’t stop caring for young people.
This is a story that’s very close to my heart. I’m the son of a high school English teacher. I’m a lifelong bibliophile. I’ve worked in bookstores. My entire career has been in and around publishing, in particular involving instruction in Reading, English Language Arts, and Writing & Language, for K-12. And of course, I teach creative writing.
I’ll leave it to you to discover how the story action speaks to the importance of guidance and literacy for young people, how it involves books and learning. You can read the opening pages, in any device, here.
Supporting the Cause
If you like that, please buy the journal. For a limited time, you can order the it from me, and I’ll donate the difference between the cover price and my “contributor” rate to the Children’s Library at my local public library, here in Kingston, New York. Kingston Library offers a great summer reading program and Super Saturdays—and of course no public library is ever flush with cash.
I have high hopes for this story. I found a note among my drafts saying that I was reading a short story collection by french writer Guy de Maupassant at the time, and I humbly submit that I may have succeeded in mimicking his broad scope and attention to social issues. The frustrations that the protagonist experiences are timeless; they transcend political seasons, and persist in persist in America regardless of which party holds office. I’d like this story to be read by many young people. I’m even hoping it’s submitted to something like the Pushcart Prize contest; if there are literacy advocates on the judges’ panel this year, I think it stands a chance of making an anthology.
So, teachers everywhere, why not share this story with your colleagues to add to their summer reading list? Teachers in the upper grades can even add it to their curriculum. What do you think students would have to say about Ms. McLellan? For discussions questions, classroom activities around the story, and essay ideas, just email me.
You can check out today using a credit card, PayPal, check, or bank transfer. The journal will ship directly from KU. Thank you!
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