Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Small Press Spotlight :: One Story

One-Story, launched in 2002, is a literary magazine which features short stories written by people like me and you. The 3,000 – 8,000 word stories are published and mailed to the 7,500+ subscribers every three weeks. Subscribers receive their magazine which features only one story that has not been previously published, from one author. The authors who are chosen only get published in One Story once, so readers experience new, fresh, and different voices each issue. Stories can be submitted between September 1st and May 31st, so check out for specific guidelines and submit your story today! The magazine is great for those on the go. It’s small and lightweight design makes it easy to carry and read anywhere, whether on your commute to work, on a lunch break or right before you get some beauty rest. One-Story focuses on stories that “leave readers feeling satisfied and are strong enough to stand alone.”

The DWC's Kim DeHaven shot a few questions to Tanya Rey, from the Managing Editor for One Story. She took the time to answer a few questions I had about One Story and the writing world. She has an MFA in fiction from New York University and you can find her work at McSweeney's. (Information taken from

KD: As the Managing Editor, what do you think makes a story an actual story, besides a beginning, middle and an end? In other words, what makes a story a good story? A story that, as your guidelines suggest, leaves the reader "feeling satisfied?"

TR: A "One Story story" is one that is brave enough to stand on its own. Since we only publish the one, our stories have to create their own world, suck the reader into it, and leave the reader thinking about the characters and/or world long after they're done reading. Some stories that we come across are very good stories, and might be good for other magazines where they'd appear between other stories or essays or poems, but would feel too slender on their own.

KD: Who is the general audience of One Story, and if there isn't one, what do you think draws people to read the stories that are published in your literary magazine?
TR: I think people are drawn to the stories in One Story because they know they'll get something new and different every time, since we only publish each author once and really strive to make every issue different from the last. We don't really publish for any one audience, and our subscribers come to us from so many different places that it makes for a very diverse group of readers.

KD: How does One Story advertise itself? Why should aspiring authors want to submit their work to this literary magazine, as opposed to the many others out there?
TR: We don't really advertise, but rely on word of mouth and small-scale promotions for publicity. We also are included in several anthologies each year, which brings us a good amount of new subscribers. Writers should want to be published with us because they get the undivided attention of our 10,000 readers every month, and because they get to work with a team of editors that work closely with them on their story until it's perfected for publication. Once a writer publishes with us, we consider them a part of the One Story family, and promote them on our site and at events.

KD: What advice or suggestions would you give to an aspiring author that might help them get work published, whether in One Story or elsewhere?

TR: Write often, then write well.

KD: If it is not too personal of a question, why do you enjoy working with One Story? Why do you have an interest in literary fiction?

TR: I enjoy working with One Story because I believe in our mission: to save the short story, and to get quality short fiction into the hands of as many readers as possible. I also love that One Story does so much to help out their authors, particularly the emerging authors.

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