In the spring of 2016, I was cruising around Duotrope, that fabulous online repository of literary publishing information, when I found a "newbie" listing for Chroma Magazine. Headquartered in the UK, they were in the start-up phase for an online and print, multi-media chronicle. There was a quality to their nascent web banner that let me know they meant business. And I loved their concept: each issue an anthology of color. Their inaugural issue was for the color RED and for that, I had a great story to tell.
In April, I submitted a piece to Emma Phillips, their managing editor. It was all about missing the color red after moving back to the US from Singapore and arriving in the drab winter of the Pacific Northwest. She liked the story but it needed work. For the next couple of years, while they were getting their website complete and marketing their new venture, we went back and forth with emails and revisions. I found her to be a decisive editor who clearly stated what she wanted changed and why. I followed her lead and ended up with "Better Red Than Blue", published online this month.
So why spend two years with a startup in the hope of finally getting a piece online? My work was not selected for the print issue and yet, I never lost hope for the online edition. Publishing is a huge morale boost. It's confirmation. Something to make some noise about. And it creates new relationships and gives you experience working with editing voices other than your own. Done right, submitting a story here and there does not have to draw you away from whatever major project you have going, but it does give you added juice to continue. So many great reasons to see your name in print. Competitive? Yes, but if you are strategic, it can be an interesting process with a satisfying outcome.