Author Archives: Julie McArthur

“Walking Past” in The Nottingham Review

My short story “Walking Past” appears in Issue 3 of The Nottingham Review This story had fifteen rejections before being accepted at this British digital literary journal. I love the cover photograph “Three girls in kitchen” by William Gedney.

“Walking Past” excerpt:

“There is a curious woman in my neighbourhood. She appeared two months ago and strolls around the building that sits on the corner of my block. Every morning I see her walking past on my way to the streetcar stop and again after work. Around and around she goes. I’ve never seen her in any of the stores the building houses—the grocery, the post office, the pharmacy, or the coffee shop. Sometimes she stands, staring into space when I pass. She doesn’t seem to notice me, or that I notice her—two invisibles.
She wears the same thing most days—an olive-coloured three-tiered skirt, an over-sized brown leather jacket, and weathered cowboy boots. I imagine a nice body under her many layers. Her straight blonde hair is well past her shoulders. And her skin is tanned with freckles, natural, not one of those fake carroty rub-ons.”
“Walking Past” is included in my first short story collection, Men and the Drink, which is under consideration at several publishers. 

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Writing Tips | February

Ploughshares. Presto!: A comparison of Magical Reveals in Fiction

Bustle. 15 Dysfunctional Literary Couples, Ranked

BBC Future. Are paper books really disappearing?

The Star. Five independent booksellers what do more with less

Real Simple. 6 Grammar Mistakes Even Smart People Make

The Paris Review. What Kind of Name Is That?

Compound Interest. What Causes the Smell of New & Old Books?

Helping Writers Become Authors. What Every Writer Ought to Know About the Omniscient POV

The Guardian. Read it and beep: what robots will learn from our greatest literature

The Millions. The Private Library: What Books Reveal About Their Readers

Writing Tips | January

Writers Write. 14 Points To Consider Before You Write The Ending

Book Riot. Some Like It Hot: The Literary Function of Sex Scenes in Romance

NPR. What Exactly Does An Editor Do? The Role Has Changed Over Time

Lit Reactor. 10 Albums Based on Books and Literature

Los Angeles Times. My so-called life: Jim Ruland on writing memoirs for other people

Buzz Feed. 16 New Year’s Resolutions Only Book Nerds Can Relate To

Vulture. Can Short Stories Still Shock?

The Rumpus. Writing On Old Age

The New York Times. Words Unwired

The Guardian. Top 10 failed romances in fiction

Writing Links | December

Huff Post. 30 Ways Authors Can Prepare for the New Year

Open Book Toronto. Taking Your Medicine in the Editing Room

the guardian. The best book we’ve read all year: Guardian writers and readers look back

Ploughshares. Round-Down: Rounding Up the Submission Fee Debate

Mashable. An illustrated guide to bookstore reading etiquette, starring cartoon Jonathan Franzen

Electric Literature. Now You Can Get Short Stories from a Vending Machine

Writer’s Relief. 5 Ways to Make Your Characters More Three-Dimensional

Manhattan Book Review. Advice You Won’t Learn in a Writing Program

Literary Hub. How the Literary Class System is Impoverishing Literature

Buzz Feed. 24 Hilarious Tweets Every Grammar Nerd Will Appreciate

Writing Links | November

The Wall Street Journal. What’s Really Hot on Dating Sites? Proper Grammar

Book Riot. 12 Signs You’ve Been Binge-Reading

Positive Writer. Surviving Criticism without Losing Confidence in Your Writing

You Tube. Who votes for new words? you do!

Quick and Dirty Tips. First, Second, and Third Person

The Review Review. What Editors Want; A Must-Read for Writers Submitting to Literary Magazines

The Guardian. Dan Fante: underground writer expressed madness of the US workplace

Buzz Feed. The Ultimate Guide To Getting Published in a Literary Magazine

Open Book Toronto. An Etiquette Expert Weighs in on How to Handle the Most Awkward Questions Authors Get

Electric Literature. 31 Fairly Obscure Literary Monsters

Writing Links | October

Open Book Toronto. How Tarot Can Help You With Your Writing

Quick and Dirty Tips. Merriam-Webster’s Peter Sokolowski Explains How Dictionary Definitions Change Over Time

The Rumpus. (K)ink: Writing while Deviant #2: Michael Broder

The New York Times. The Gonzo Vision of Quentin Tarantino

The Review Review. “An Ongoing Experiment in Anarchist Publishing”: A Chat with Mark McCawley of Urban Graffiti

Electric Literature. Writing on Screen: Why Do Writing Students Love Such Terrible Mentors

The Bathroom Monologues. Carrie Bailey on Struggling with Disability in Life and Fiction

Sarah Selecky. How to Become a Better Writer

The Guardian. You’re never too old to read young adult fiction

BuzzFeed. Can You Identify These Classic Novels From Their Closing Lines?

“Disconnect” in Necessary Fiction

My short story “Disconnect” is up at Necessary Fiction. After seventeen rejections, this story finally found a home at this webjournal published in Boston. 

Inspirations include my time working as a nanny, struggles with insomnia, and Trinity-Bellwoods Park in Toronto. Here is the opening excerpt:

“Disconnect” was written many years ago and is included in my first short story collection, Men and the Drink, which is currently under consideration at a few publishers. Here’s a cover I designed for fun…

Links to my online short stories

Writing Links | September

the review review. Believe Quality Writing Matters: Put an End to Submission Superstitions

Business Insider. The surprising benefits of reading before bed

Global English Editing. The 120 Most Helpful Websites For Writers in 2015

grammarly blog. 10 Ways Keeping a Journal Will Genuinely Improve Your Life

the Town Crier. On Writing Vulnerability

the guardian. The pleasure of a Jackie Collins novel was always the dish

New Republic. Drunk Confessions: Women and the cliché of the literary drunkard

The River Trading Company. Why Used Books?

The Atlantic. How Literature Inspires Empathy

Clickhole. 8 Rejection Letters Publishers Sent To Famous Authors

“Separated” in The Antigonish Review

My short story “Separated” is featured in the latest issue of The Antigonish Review, published at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

“Separated” is the third story in a trilogy that appears in my first collection, Men and the Drink. Part one, “20 Grit”, was published in Front & Centre #22. “Crappy Little Job” is the second story.

“Separated” Excerpt:

“With no cuts or scrapes to solve the mystery of my injury, I surf the web for information.

Dislocations, rotator cuff tears, tendinitis, bursitis . . . I stop at separated shoulder – the junction of the clavicle (collarbone), scapula (shoulder blade), and humerus (arm bone) is disrupted. It is usually the result of a sudden traumatic event. Pain is severe at the time of injury. Alcohol’s oblivion spared me this. A small bump appears over the injury. I stand square in front of the mirror and see the protrusion. Separations are graded one through six, six being the worst.

Throbbing intensifies, and I wake nightly when inadvertently rolling onto my right side. By Sunday I concede the need for medical attention—a trek to the local emergency room in the morning.

No visible war wounds from the small mass gathered here today.”

Note: this story had thirteen rejections from literary magazines and journals before finding a home on the east coast… a reminder of the importance of patience, perseverance, and the belief in one’s own work.

The Antigonish Review can be found in the magazine section of Indigo and some independent bookstores. 

Writing Links | August

The Atlantic. An Introverted Writer’s Lament

Buzz Feed. 51 Of The Most Beautiful Sentences in Literature

Sarah Selecky. How to end a short story: a case study

Bustle. 5 Common Reading Mistakes You’re Making That Could Ruin Your Literary Life

Jezebel. Homme de Plume: What I Learned Sending My Novel Out Under a Male Name

The New Yorker. Remembering James Salter, And His Commas

Literary Hub. In Defense Of The Present Tense

The Guardian. Rude awakening: three essential rules for writing good sex

Liz Worth. My Guiding Principles of Creativity

Ploughshares. Dead Stories: When to Say When