Short Words From The Writer
By Jeff Baker
I got a small stack of back-issues of “The Writer” today, most from around 1970. Browsed through them and found a few things that may interest writers out there, especially writers of short-stories.
First off, from the excellent Flannery O’Connor; an essay The Writer republished in its January 1970 issue:
“Being short does not mean being slight. A short story should be long in depth and should give us an experience of meaning.”
The Writer’s columnist Lesley Conger presented “A Writer’s Alphabet” in her May 1977 Off The Cuff column in that issue. Here are a few gems:
“M is for Mailbox. If you feed the public mailbox on the corner regularly, your own mailbox may begin to feed you.”
“P is for Publisher. To be able to preface this word with ‘My’ is the aim of every beginning writer.”
“T is for Time. …the best way to make use of time is to deal with it even if there are only minutes of it foreseeably available ahead of you.”
“E is for Envelope. Going out, manila envelopes are fine. Coming back, envelopes should be thin, long and white.”
The Writer is still publishing. Back in 1977 they were celebrating their 90th year. Times have changed since the days of manila envelopes and mailboxes. But I wish for all the writers reading this the metaphorical white envelopes of success.