An image of a woman with glasses and shoulder length brown hair smiles at the camera. She is wearing a green t-shirt with the words "Jo & Meg & Beth & Amy & Marmee" written in white letters across the right side of the shirt.
Me on July 1, 2021, sharing the news about my first ever short story sale.

I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog, but not much has happened since the last time I was here. I’ve written a few more stories and poems and attended a couple of virtual writing conferences. I’ve still been momming during a pandemic. Luckily, three of the four people in my immediate family are fully vaccinated. We can’t wait until our younger kid can get his shots when they become available for children 12 and under.

The reason I’m here today, though, is that I have BIG NEWS: I FINALLY SOLD A STORY!

While checking my stats on the Submission Grinder (which is a great website for writers to keep tabs on our acceptances, rejections, and open submission calls), I discovered that I’ve been submitting short prose and poetry–26 pieces, so far–since 2018. In that time, I have earned 180 rejections. On May 29, 2021, I submitted one of my little stories (one I wasn’t sure would fit anywhere, honestly) to a market I thought might give it a chance. On June 30, 2021, I received an email from the lovely executive editor of Page & Spine, N.K. Wagner, stating they would pay to publish my story on their website. And today, July 2, 2021, “Ruby’s Delivery” is out in the world! (Turnaround time in publishing usually isn’t this fast. I got really lucky for my first acceptance.)

Dear Readers, I am absolutely delighted to be able to share one of my stories with you in a venue like Page & Spine. “Ruby’s Delivery” is a fairy tale mashup of Red Riding Hood and Snow White, which is pretty on brand for me. It’s also a story about friends helping friends, and it’s probably the sweetest thing I’ve ever written. If you’re so inclined, please feel free to give it a read, and many thanks if you do.

Image of a screenshot of the beginning of a story called "Ruby's Delivery" written by Amanda Cook, along with an author bio. A banner with a galaxy background and the words "Outta This World" in blue appears at the top of the image. The story is typed on a brown background.
I had to take a screenshot of the beginning of my story along with my bio. I’ll probably print it and frame it for posterity.

On the same day I received my FIRST STORY ACCEPTANCE EVER, I also received word from another market that they are holding a story I submitted to them for further consideration. I probably won’t hear back about it for months, but that’s quite all right. A hold notice from a market is a great thing, just one more step towards another possible acceptance. *fingers crossed*

In the meantime, my family and I are trying to enjoy a very wet summer here in Indiana. We’re actually going on vacation soon to the actual ocean, and I could not be happier. I need some sun and sea and salt air in my life. Maybe I’ll be inspired to write more poetry. I’m finding the most joy in poems these days and am planning on submitting them soon to various poetry markets.

That’s all I have for now. Thank you, my friends, for all your love and support over the years. I feel honored to be able to share my words with you, no matter the venue.

And, as always, thank you for reading.

A. Cook

Amanda Cook is a writer and stay at home mom who lives in a southern Indiana woods with her spouse, kids, and one clingy dog. In the Before Times (and sometimes even now), she could/can be found helping out with her kids' school, catching up on her toppling TBR pile, playing games with her friends, hanging out at virtual conventions, crying over period dramas, or sewing yet another cosplay. Her second novel, "When We Were Forgotten," was the winner of the 2018 Bronze Medal for Best Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror E-Book from the Independent Publisher Book (IPPY) Awards. She writes short speculative fiction and poetry that can be found at various markets and here on her blog.

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