Those of you who have been following The Copperfield Review know that autumn is my favorite season. Perhaps it’s the teacher in me, but I find autumn to be the true beginning of the year. It’s when students and teachers head back to school, excited by the possibilities. Here in Las Vegas, it’s when the stifling desert heat slowly fades into cooler, breezier weather. Today in Vegas it’s a mild 87 degrees, which may sound hot in some places, but when it’s been 112 degrees, 87 feels great. My house is decorated for the fall, I have pumpkins and leaves everywhere, I went to Trader Joe’s and loaded my cart full of pumpkin spice coffee, Pumpkin Os (the cereal), and roasted pumpkin seeds. I had my first Pumpkin Spice latte from Starbucks, which is the official start of fall, as we all know.
This is an interesting time for me. At the end of August I passed my proposal defense and became a PhD candidate. I’ll finish my degree in April, and then…who knows? I haven’t finished my dissertation yet, but the end is within shouting distance, and I’m already becoming nostalgic about the experience. I’ve learned a lot–mostly about myself–and I’m looking forward to whatever comes next. Right now I have my eye on a few academic positions in English. After all, what else am I qualified to do but read and write and talk about reading and writing? At the moment, I have no idea where the wind will blow me, but that’s okay. I’ve learned to be open to anything and then to be still and allow the universe its say. That’s a little woo woo, I know, but I’m a woo woo kind of person.
What are you reading this autumn? I’m currently reading The Man Within My Head by Pico Iyer, who talks about the deep connection he feels with the novelist Graham Greene. While I haven’t read any of Greene’s novels, I can completely relate to how we form bonds with our favorite authors without ever having met them–my own bond being with (you guessed it) Charles Dickens.
I wanted to remind readers of an important point I made here last time. If you’re an author looking to be published in The Copperfield Review, you should know that 85% of the submissions we receive are historical fiction, 10% of the submissions we receive are historical poetry, and 5% of the submissions we receive are a combination of nonfiction and book reviews. I bring this up to make the obvious point that if you’re sending historical fiction, you’re facing a lot more competition than if you submit historical poetry. If you really want your submission to stand out so you have a better chance of being published by The Copperfield Review, send in a nonfiction piece about writing and/or researching historical fiction or a book review of an historical novel. We cannot guarantee publication for any work submitted, but you’re helping your odds by sending in nonfiction or a book review.
I wish everyone a happy autumn. Keep reading great books, and keep writing great stories.