You Must Be This Tall...

I have to admit, this is pretty exciting...*

My story "Especially Roosevelt," which appeared last April in The Sun, has been reprinted in You Must Be This Tall To Ride: Contemporary Writers Take You Inside the Story, edited by B.J. Hollars, and available now from Writers Digest Books.

It's an anthology of coming-of-age tales (loosely defined, especially considering my addition to the volume), supplemented by both craft essays about the stories and writing exercises written by the authors themselves. Imagine those little essays that accompany the bios in the Best American Short Stories series, only more extensive.

I worked on my craft essay and writing exercise last year at about this time, and though I knew that the book was eventually going to happen, it seemed like a long way off, like something I may not even live to see. But then, a few weeks ago, it showed up at my house via FedEx, and I could just, like, hold the thing in my hands.

For the past year, whenever I mentioned the anthology to people, I said something like, "The line-up is pretty sick. It's got all these great writers--and Chad Simpson." It always sounded merely self-deprecating, I knew, but I never meant it that way at all. I mean, have a look at the authors:

Steve Almond

Aimee Bender

Kate Bernheimer

Ryan Boudinot

Judy Budnitz

Dan Chaon

Brock Clarke

Michael Czyzniejewski

Stuart Dybek

Michael Martone

Antonya Nelson

Peter Orner

Jack Pendarvis

Benjamin Percy

Andrew Porter

Chad Simpson

George Singleton

Brady Udall

Laura van den Berg

Ryan Van Meter

Now you know what I'm talking about, no? Huge thanks to B.J. for asking me to be a part of this/allowing me to be the mutt amid a bunch of, um, pure-breads?

B.J.'s been doing what he can to give the book a proper launch. He's started a Facebook page, which you should all join, right now. And he also has a website, which looks like it's also going to be an online journal, as B.J. is accepting submissions of coming-of-age stories as I type. Head on over there, please. Maybe even think about submitting something.

*even for a guy who claims most of the time to enjoy the feeling he gets after spending a few hours writing to the feeling he gets when he receives any sort of external validation for the stuff he has written...but, hey, this is the first time anything I've written has appeared in an actual book, so I guess I'm allowing myself to get a little excited.


Molly Gaudry said...

I can't wait to read this! Some of my favorites here, definitely.

Aggie said...

Hi Chad,

I ordered it for Kepler's Books Writing and Publishing section.
Great anthology!