The Laurel Review published my story "The Wide Missouri, the Blue Danube" in their latest issue. This is my second print-only (not online) publication in a row. When I first started publishing, print-only publications were the norm. In fact, I remember when a print journal asked to put one of my early stories online and I refused because it seemed like I would lose control of my story. And that does happen, as a recent case of an author plagiarizing stories from online journals shows.
However, over time I realized that online journals had some advantages. They opened my work up for a much larger audience. Many online journals are highly selective and prestigious, especially for publishing flash fiction. Now, when something is published only in print, some friends ask why they can't just click and read it.
Still, there is something satisfying about holding an actual copy of your work in your hands, so I also enjoy publishing in print journals. It's nice to do some of each.
The story, "The Wide Missouri, the Blue Danube," is set in Budapest. As I wrote in an earlier blog post, I used a trip to Budapest with a chorus tour as an inspiration, including a river cruise on the Danube. We also went on a Danube cruise in Prague, so some details from that cruise snuck in as well, especially singing "Shenandoah." In Budapest, "The Blue Danube" waltz played nonstop on the cruise. In Prague, though, we sang music about America's Missouri river. Both river songs made it into the story's title.
Ann Hillesland writes fiction and essays. Her work has appeared in many literary journals, including Fourth Genre, Bayou, The Laurel Review, and Sou’wester.
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