Issue # 99 & 100: “Beanball” by Ron Carlson

I’ve been a fan of Ron Carlson’s work for years, but the first time I met him was at Breadloaf in 2004, where he gave the best lecture on the writing process that I had ever heard. I actually bought a recording of it, so that I could listen to it again and take notes. I was thrilled when Ron finally sent us a story, and even more thrilled after I’d read it. “Beanball” embodies a kind of classic storytelling: beautiful prose, great characters, dynamic plot twists and an all-American subject: baseball. We felt it would work perfectly for our 100th publication, and because of its size, we decided to make it a special double issue. Soon after we were approached by Josh Wolf Shenk, the director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College, about making a letter press edition of a One Story issue. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Now we have a very special handmade book to commemorate our 100th issue. If you’d like to read about how the letter press edition of “Beanball” was made, go here, and if you’d like to buy a copy, visit our store.┬áRegardless, we hope you’ll write in and let us know what you think about issue #100.

The process of putting out a literary magazine requires an incredible amount of work. First there is the mountain of manuscripts to wade through–days and months of reading to find that perfect gem. Then there are edits with the author, going back and forth to polish the story into the right shape. Then there’s the copyediting, and layout, and proofreading and then printing and finally distributing to our subscribers. It’s hard to believe that One Story has gone through that entire process 100 times. In many ways the past six years have been a blur, but whenever I look at all of our issues spread out across a table, as I recently did, when we moved into our first office space, I remember all of the details of working with these excellent writers, and each special circumstance when I read their stories for the first time. There is a thrill when you read a good short story. It usually happens on the first page. Sometimes it even happens in the first paragraph. But when it comes, it’s clear as day: This is a One Story story.

2 thoughts on “Issue # 99 & 100: “Beanball” by Ron Carlson

  1. Happy Centennial One Story. My S.O. found you and gave me a gift subscription and I couldn’t be happier, Especially when one of my favorite authors writes the story for the 100th issue. Keep up the amazing work!

    I first heard Ron Carlson on Writers on Writing with Barbara Demarco-Barrett and I try to catch each of his interviews. I am inspired to write each time I hear him talk about writing. And I listen to the interviews again and again. He has nailed the process to a tee for me and makes me believe that I can achieve something great in writing.

    Thank you Ron Carlson! Thank you One Story!

  2. Just finished reading “Beanball” – it moves, it flies, it is extremely absorbing with evocative descriptions of characters, events, and various locales – the first issue in my new subscription to One Story, and I must say that I am already glad my wife insisted that we subscribe after having attended one of the recent One-Story events at Piano.

    We began our subscription to One Story principally because we are both very interested in the short story form – especially those reflecting characters, events, “issues”/themes in and of contemporary America – and also because my wife selects these sorts of stories to translate for Hebrew-speaking audiences and publishes her work in contemporary Israeli literary journals. Sadly, she most likely will not translate “Beanball” (I will, however, advocate that she might more seriously think about translating this work), although Israeli readers are just now becoming increasingly familiar with American-style baseball what with the opening of their league this past summer.

    At any rate, we look forward to future issues of One Story for our own enjoyment, for their literary value, and for the potential sharing of a selection for cross-cultural enjoyment, as well.

    If future issues of One Story contain work of the quality of “Beanball,” I feel certain that at least one will be read in Hebrew and published in a leading Israeli literary journal in the not-too-distant future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *