Olivia Lowden writes:
We are extremely lucky to have such great creative writing modules at our university, and I have found them both inspiring and helpful to my own writing. The second year module Writing and Revising particularly helped me to hone the skills that I began to gain in the Introduction to Creative Writing module, and probably saw some of the writing that I am most proud of. I think having open and frank discussions in an environment you are comfortable in really allows your writing to mature.
One of the products of Writing and Revising was a short story I wrote called ‘The Method of Existence’. The story began as a small idea I had – I wanted to write something that focused on themes of guilt. I began with this one particular image of someone regretting something so deeply, but not being able to express it out of fear of condemnation or reprimand. And so, over the duration of spring term the idea formed into a story with the help and guidance of my seminar leader and classmates. After receiving a grade I was proud of, I decided I wanted to take the story further. Literary magazines are a great place for budding writers to showcase their work, and many cater to unpublished authors. I found a list of all the UK literary magazines online and decided to work my way down the list, submitting my story to the ones that suited the content of ‘The Method of Existence’. For example, some magazines are genre based, some are very prestigious and some only accept poetry. Submitting writing is a fairly long process as most magazines required a short third person bio and other information, so it’s best to have these at hand. I got rejected by a fair amount of magazines as I expected – it’s a very competitive field. However, eventually the toil paid off and I received an email from STORGY accepting my submission. STORGY is an online magazine that really suited the themes in my story and is incredibly open to submissions from new writers, so I was thrilled to be accepted by them.
This was a really rewarding experience and I would encourage other students of creative writing to do the same, as you never know which publication might accept your work. And importantly, don’t be disheartened if your work is rejected at first, but keep submitting until you hear back!
List of UK literary magazines: http://www.neonbooks.org.uk/2017/09/11/big-list-literary-magazines/
Where you can read ‘The Method of Existence’: https://storgy.com/2017/10/02/fiction-the-method-of-existence-by-olivia-lowden/