Making of "The Reunion"

This page is a work in progress

"The Reunion" started out as part of a personal journal or diary that I used to keep. Later I shared it with a few friends and some online friends on CompuServe. They encouraged me to try to publish it. I wouldn't listen at first. Finally I sent it to "Indianapolis Monthly" magazine just to prove them wrong. In a few weeks I got a letter and a phone call from Editor-in-Chief Deborah Paul. She said she started to whip out her typical form letter rejecting it because...

  1. They never publish first-person essays
  2. It doesn't fit their general format
  3. It is WAY too long.
But she started reading it and couldn't put it down. She loved it and hated to reject it. She showed it to the other editors and they liked it too. Finally she concluded...
  1. Just because they never publish first-person essays doesn't mean they can't start.
  2. Hey! I'm the editor. I say what does or doesn't fit the general format!
  3. It is still WAY too long.
"Chris, you've put your soul on paper", she explained. "We only want half your soul". She said they would agree to publish a shorter version or I could try to get the whole thing published elsewhere. If I stuck with them, she said she would normally edit it herself but since this was such a personal story she would let me cut it first. I cut about 40% and resubmitted it. They cut a few more things and even put back a paragraph or two.

"Indianapolis Monthly" now regularly publishes articles written in first person.

Click here to return to the story.

Click here to read about what happened afterwards and the awards it won.

Click here to return to my handicap page.

Click here to return to my home page.

Last updated:March 7, 1996

Please write me: Chris Young