Thanks and Thoughts from an Intern

This week I packed up my lunchbox, stamped my last envelope, scanned my last check, and bid the Old American Can Factory goodbye. My internship with One Story as an editorial assistant is ending, and I’m sorry to see it go. I’m off home for the summer, where I’ll be trying to do a bit of my own writing, now that I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the stories that come across my table and end up, tightened and polished, in One Story’s pages.

It’s been a great semester, getting the chance to see a story’s conception from draft to print. Take our most recent issue, #135, “Corporate Park” by Grant Munroe. It was especially exciting to hear that this story came to our editor Pei-Ling straight through the slush pile. After some back-and-forth, with new sections being written to strengthen the piece, “Corporate Park” was ready to go. I’ve interned at a few different literary magazines, but never with the others did I feel so strongly that a young writer could send a story with promise and get the personal attention needed to make it great.

Or take another story that is upcoming in our pages, “Number Stations” by Smith Henderson that involves ostriches, radio signals, and other slightly strange details. The moment Marie-Helene Bertino brought this one to an editorial meeting, she was excited about it. This was one of those rare stories that needed a little tweak here and there, but had come to us virtually perfect. As an intern, of course, I got to see the original submission, the margin notes of the editors, the underlining of particularly gorgeous phrases. Readers, you have something to look forward to with One Story’s next issue, and I got to see it early.

Then there were the things I got a chance to learn this semester that I didn’t expect to. I learned a lot about party-planning, from how many empanadas three hundred people will eat to planning raffles, art auctions and dramatic performances; I even tried my hand at bartending for a while during One Story’s Debutante Ball. I became a whizz at entering subscription information into the computer, so One Story, I thank you for your training in any future jobs in data entry that I take. Most of all, though, I enjoyed the weekly editorial meetings with all of One Story’s staff, talking stories, readings, and what One Story authors are accomplishing now. It’s exciting to hear about all these young talents breaking into the business, and I can’t help thinking that with a few more publications under my belt, I might get there as well.

So thank you, One Story editors, for giving me some terrific experience in the lit mag biz. And what color will the next issue be?

Helen Ellis Shows How A Luddite Reads One Story

A friend of Hannah Tinti’s, Helen Ellis, is a self-proclaimed Luddite with a new book and a new website, Helen Ellis Writes. In a charming video series, “Diary of a Luddite,” Helen keeps us informed about the difference between Luddite and Green, what a magazine looks like, and how to teach your cat to answer the phone. The short videos are just kind of delightful in their simplicity and humor. This week she has a segment about One Story, and tells us about Hannah’s first 6-floor walk-up apartment in the East Village. It’s hilarious, and a good reminder of the pleasure of getting One Story in the mail. I particularly like the moment when she whips out a hunting knife to open the envelope. As Helen tells us, “I like to read it in the tub.” Watch below, and check out Helen’s new book, The Turning, about a girl’s strange and frightening transformation.

Thanks for the shout-out, Helen! You can see our latest story, “Stiltsville”, featured via the link below.

Helen Ellis on One Story

Jim Hanas to Read at Joyland’s Fiction Feed

Our own Jim Hanas (issue #8, “The Cryerer”) will be reading as part of a new Joyland Spring event in New York. Joyland is a Canadian literary mag and network for short fiction, and Jim will be reading along with its co-founder Brian Joseph Davis and One Story pal & Cursor’s Richard Nash. Here the details about the event:

What: Joyland presents “The Fiction Feed 2”
When: Monday, April 5, 2010, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Where: McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince St. (b/t Lafayette & Mulberry)

We’re always glad to see our writers reading, especially in New York. Check out Jim’s blog,, and be sure to stop by McNally Jackson Books to see him read his new work, “Pangaea.”

One Story Author Dani Shapiro On Today Show this Friday

Dani Shapiro, author of One Story issue #69 (“The Six Poisons”, Jan 2006), will be on the Today show this Friday! She’ll be talking about her new book, Devotion, a memoir of spiritual and personal exploration. Dani’s story in One Story was also about yoga and meditation; be sure to check out her Q&A on our site. Dani’s novel is getting some very nice reviews from the likes of Publishers Weekly, which writes, “An insightful and penetrating memoir that readers will instantly identify with…Absorbing, intimate, direct and profound, Shapiro’s memoir is a satisfying journey that will touch fans and win her plenty of new ones.” So be sure to tune in to the Today Show to hear more about Devotion. Congrats, Dani!