A high point for every writer is getting published. Maybe nobody's buying the novel, and the short stories languish between magazine submissions - but if you read periodicals, you have perpetual opportunities to see your name in print.
Previously I've scored with the Washington Post:
A letter (co-written with Fred) about the renaming of National Airport to honor Ronald Reagan.
One about the real value of a machine that chews up tumbleweeds - the article's tone was derisive, compelling me to observe that a flaming tumbleweed is the fastest way for a prairie fire to spread.
Another in response to DC Police incarcerating a woman whose blood alcohol level was well below the legal threshold. Arresting her, they cited "zero tolerance" for alcohol. Apply this principle to other situations: should we arrest drivers for going 20 in a 25 mph zone?
This February I scored a coup: two letters in the Washington Post in the same week:
One was on the editorial page, regarding the discomfort suffered on airplanes by oversized passengers and their seatmates. I suggested that airlines replace three-seat configurations with two-seaters, and charge whatever premium they find appropriate.
In the Health section my letter described the technique that helped me stop biting my fingernails.
I moved to Denver this spring, and subscribed to the Denver Post.
My letter in that paper about Christo's "Over the River" proposed project pointed out that I'd seen fabric samples at an exhibit in Washington DC. Far from being opaque, the translucent material on display invited the eye to see beyond its shimmering surface.
Then this Sunday Sept. 26th, I scored! Twice! --
1. My letter published in the Denver Post, "Making a difference with a bicycle | eLetters" was in response to Nicholas Kristof's column on World Bicycle Relief. I mentioned several similar organizations which have been operating for years in different parts of the US. These groups collect and ship bicycles to Third World countries, turning those extra bikes gathering dust, into much-needed low-cost durable transportation.
2. My letter showed up at the top of the column of letters in the Sunday New York Times' Week in Review section: Letters: A Drug Trial, and a Wrenching Choice I suggested revamping drug trials in situations where the control group's treatment has been well established as painful and ineffective: Use data from previous trials for the control group, and give all participants the new treatment.
So when you think you can't stand another rejection letter, try another venue:
If you know something an article writer didn't, your information may be welcome.
If your perspective is original, share it.