From the Trenches, Till Next Time

Eva, Abby, and Rose

Eva, Abby, and Rose

We are being withdrawn from the trenches. Despite the fact that there was really never a war going on, we figured that the time is right to make some room in the dugout for new One Story interns. But this means saying the g-word.

It being our last day in the office, the topic of goodbyes came up numerous times. Editor Marie-Helene Bertino introduced us to the concept of an Irish Goodbye, in which you might leave a room without saying a word, or say you have to move your car but in actuality drive it home. The concept of avoiding the emotional attachment to the simple word “goodbye”.

Therefore, before we do the deed, we thought we’d leave you with a collection of advice, musings and One Story insider information from our summer spent, knee-deep, in the literary trenches.

1. Those lovely invoices/renewal forms/miscellaneous mail items that show up at your door? Not sent by robots. Sent by us. Also received by us! So send us a fun note and keep using those quirky personal checks. Shout out to the fan of Spaying and Neutering Your Pets: Bob Barker would approve.

2. An internship does not give you security. We all came into this internship from different places wanting different things. We learned that interning is all about trying on various roles and seeing if it feels good—if it doesn’t, that’s okay. Actually, it’s more than okay. Exploring your curiosities will make you more curious, and as Dorothy Parker said: “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

3. When all else fails, bagels.

4. Be patient with your submissions. We work hard to make sure they get good reads, but sometimes this means it takes a while. This is the same for other small literary magazines and presses. Patience is key, but persistence, when suitable, is welcome.

5. It’s hard to run a literary journal. There is an extreme amount of care and love that goes into each issue of One Story. From the Thursday morning editorial meetings to when we stuff your envelopes, we make sure that what you are getting in your mailbox is something that we would want in ours (because it is).

6. Finding new voices in fiction is exhilarating. Giving other people the opportunity to do what we often hope for in the future is incredible. One Story is largely a literary family looking for some beautiful new children to put on display and later smother with excited hugs and kisses. The best part is: the number of extended family numbers is infinite. Maybe you can be the crazy uncle.

7. No matter how much you’ve read, you have not conquered all.

8. Writers are people who write, not necessarily people who are always getting published. Myla Goldberg gave simple directions: find a place where there is a low cost of living. Go there. Write. She spent the year after college in Prague strictly because she could survive on $100 a month and have the chance to work on her writing. Being a writer is a lifestyle choice and whether you have a year to set aside for the cause, or a few early wake ups a week, it’s a choice anyone can make.

9. Although it does feel like we all merged together a bit in these past few months, we’re all off on our own adventures. Tanya Rey, our beloved managing editor, is also embarking on a journey apart from One Story. But as Simon Van Booy helped us see, endings are really the prologue for beginnings, and there is no need to be afraid of them.

So sit tight while we hop on over to 5th Avenue for some coffee. We’ll be right back.

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