The-Art-of-Hiding-and-Reve.jpg (18565 bytes)  

Fiction Editor's Note

Valerie Cihylik

     The Art of Hiding and Revealing -- by Scott Odom


Final Note from the Fiction Editor


More than five years have passed since I joined Melic as Fiction Editor. During that time I have read countless stories from authors all around the world. It’s been quite an adventure for me. There were times when I feared I wouldn’t find a single story that worked for me. There were times when I had so many good stories that I regretted having to choose only three or four. We had our Micro Fiction Contest that brought in nearly 500 entries and left me wondering how it was possible that 300 words could be crafted into so many unique stories of depth and humor.

I learned so much during my tenure. There is a knack, perhaps even an art, to being an editor. Every story I read, considered and finally returned to the author with my noodges and tweeks before publishing it made me a better writer. All those stories I read, appreciated but could not choose helped me finally understand the capriciousness of selection process. For all the fine writing I have read as fiction editor – writing that I truly admired – I admit to selecting only the stories I also truly enjoyed. The distinction surprised me and I pass this little discovery on to all of you who as you read this are waiting to hear from some editor. It is personal. Ultimately no matter how terrific, how beautifully crafted, how well written your story is, it will always come down to some mysterious something that the editor does or does not find when she reads it. That’s frustrating, I know. But on the other hand, look at all the wonderful stories that made it. My advice: send out your stories, and if you get encouragement, keep going back to that editor until you click.

I am very pleased to present you with the final four: Frank Haberle’s Dancing Santa while being a charming Christmas story is even more so a story about the changing life of a neighborhood; in Then Worms Shall Try . . ., Michael Hartford follows the romantic life of a man trapped by his youthful attachment to Andrew Marvell’s "To his Coy Mistress"; language and culture barriers collide with politics and humor in Charles Lowe’s The State Newscast at 10; and in Unplugged, V.C. Nash takes a look at modern depression through the lens of the classic horror story.

Thank you one and all for your wonderful stories, for your incredible patience and your willingness to work with me through the process. Does anyone have a job for an unemployed fiction editor?