Ditch Shoes

I’ve started looking into competitions or literary magazines as a way to build a reputation or at least a portfolio of published work.  It’s something that is always mentioned in agent’s bios so maybe a couple of published works will give us some street cred.  So here we are researching places to submit, with a special place in my heart for the free ones.  One such magazine is called On the Premise.  They recently issued a call for a short story competition about a piece of clothing that runs through the story.  I chose shoes.  I chose shoes because of another real life inspiration, a gentleman who tried for months to find a home for a new pair of shoes he found in the ditch behind his construction trailer.  He would ask everyone with such a genuine persistence if the shoes fit with an obliviousness for the rest of the happenings in his life. I found it fascinating and hilarious.  So I decided to try my hand at a short story about these series of events and it ended up being a hard story to write.  It was difficult to capture the character because I was so baffled by his motives.  Why was he trying so hard to find someone to wear these shoes when it seemed the rest of his life was crumbling, when it seemed like he had a lot bigger fish to fry then some ditch shoes?  Maybe the reasons why it didn’t seem like a good idea were the reasons he thought it was. This was the premise I tried to convey and unfortunately it did not hit the home run I was hoping.

Dear RYAN:

Thanks for entering the 31st “On The Premises” short story contest. We received 231 entries. Of those, 10 were selected for the final round of judging. We’re sorry to have to inform you that Ditch Shoes was not among them.

Our next contest, a mini-contest, will begin the same day Issue #31 is published (in mid-April). Look for it, and keep on writing!


The “On The Premises” editorial staff


Yet it was a good learning experience.  It seems the short story is a great vehicle to practice your writing and hone your writing style…..find your voice as they say.  I think I’ll try again here soon.