It was a complete surprise and pleasure to find the email in my inbox several weeks ago;
"Thank you for your submission; we'd love to publish it on our website."
I did a little dance, smiling like a goof, glad no one was around to see me.
It was a small literary magazine, an offshoot of a larger publisher. The editors were largely volunteers. It was an unpaid contribution; the only purpose of submitting was to share my story. Even so, I had no expectations that anyone would want to read it, let alone publish it on their website.
So getting the positive response was a tiny jolt of adrenaline, pride in having successfully tricked someone else into reading (and enjoying) my writing. I was pleased beyond what the small affirmation warranted.
Working with the editors was a wholly enjoyable process. I had been sitting on this essay for so long that I could hardly look at it without some disdain. Having someone smarter, and with fresher eyes, look through and make the necessary adjustments was more than welcome; it was necessary. I felt like a professional, even though I was doing this completely for the joy of it. I was, and am, an amateur. I have never been paid for my creative writing (excluding a small piece I wrote for a Christian teen magazine in another life).
And then, the final email: "It's live! :)"
...and it was. Live, that is. On their website for anyone to read. I don't know whether it will make a difference, or make anyone else look at the world differently, but it is a darn good story, if I do say so myself, and someone else thought so too. Enough to let it represent a part of their literary mission.
Thank you to The Hopper for taking my story, and for publishing it!