When you’re a writer, life can slip into strangeness very quickly. You may spend your days killing off kings, uniting star-crossed lovers, rollicking in enchanted forests, riding into battle and hiding (or exposing) the secret pasts within your family circle or apartment building.
That last scenario touches on the plotline of Emily Webber’s short story “Macerated,” the winning entry for our Tell It Strange contest, held in collaboration with Kelly Caldwell and Britt Gambino, our valued colleagues at Gotham Writers Workshop. You can read Webber’s story in this issue – as well as the comments of the contest judges and interviews with the runners-up. We are delighted to be the first publishers of “Macerated.” (You can read all three stories at writermag.com, as well as at gothamwriters.com, which is also a gateway to many online and onsite writing classes.)
In the midst of articles featuring the benefits of content marketing, authors’ tips for starting and ending novels, a Q&A with TV writer Veena Sud (The Killing), a profile of the “demon” interviewer Lynn Barber and so much more, we have placed Webber’s fictional tale of about 1,000 words on the strangeness of life and human connection. She was riffing off a line from an Annie Proulx story, Proulx being a writer fully at home in the realm of strange. But Webber made the story her own. And that’s what caught our attention.
Making a work your own is what drives us, whether we’re employed by a corporate organization or slaving away at a desk in a living room in the Florida swamps. We hope you’ll take the time to read “Macerated” and learn how Webber worked through drafts, tapped into her surroundings, listened to the world around her and then let her imagination take over. It’s the process we can never visit too often – and one I daresay that we, as writers, are drawn to learning time and time again.
Wherever you are writing, whatever type of writing you do, we believe you’ll find a home in the pages of this magazine. As our short-story contest says: Tell it strange. Or tell it silly. Or tell it shockingly or sweetly. But tell it. That’s why we’re all here.