The official site of author Ed Lin.

I Don’t Write Short Stories But I Have Been

Posted by on Jun 22, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I have an essay in Issue #8 about my time as a self-righteous asshole who happened to go to Sunday School.

One thing I’ve been getting into lately is writing short pieces, fiction and non.

When I was just starting out, finding my voice and all, short pieces were all I could do. I think I started writing pieces longer than three or four pages when I joined The Asian American Writers’ Workshop, um, 19 years ago. At the time, The AAWW was more like a writing group — 16 people or so met every week to share writing and give feedback.

I was scared and excited to be in my first real writing group. I worried all the time I wasn’t good enough. Sometimes I would work on something, go to bed thinking it was crap, and then get up again and write because I couldn’t sleep. Some decent stuff came out of it.

I can still stand by those early short pieces that were published in the APA Journal, if I am allowed to slouch slightly.

As time went on, my aesthetics changed and my preferred form grew longer. I wrote shorter essays from time to time, but abandoned short fiction altogether for a decade until the Lunar New Year marathon reading at The AAWW in 2009.

I had been planning to read a section from a book, but I figured that would be sort of weak, since the marathon reading featured new writers and new writing. Couldn’t I come up with something new, too?

I ended up writing “Chinese New Year,” which I actually like a lot, and it was eventually published in the first issue of The Asian American Literary Review. I’ve been writing short fiction since. They come in handy for readings and cool journals, including We’ll Never Have Paris and Animal Farm. (I have pieces in the latest iterations of both.)

Well, I’ll just keep it short for now and end here.

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