A few weeks back I was telling one of my classmates about this deal I found online. It concerned a literary analysis website that bought people’s old essays.
Here’s what the deal looked like.
Now, my average for essays was something like 97%, and my friend’s was pretty good too, so I suggested that we make an easy hundred bucks by selling our papers (which we were going to throw away anyway).
Being smart and all, I said this while sitting right in front of our career advice teacher.
That got us a five minute lecture about plagiarism. To cut that story short, I never sold any of my essays online. Or anywhere else, for that matter.
But my teacher’s advice came too late. Because while I didn’t sell any essays, I had already sold homework online. In a completely legal fashion.
You see, several months ago, my English teacher assigned us this nebulous assignment, to “write something and put big words into it and pray it makes sense”. Now usually, when she did this, I would write a blog post (like this one) and add some choice jargon out of a thesaurus before submitting it.
But that day, well, things were different. I had been dying to write a story that was bouncing around in my head for eight months. Except, of course, I never had the time.
So I decided, finally, that I would just write it in English class.
The original (planned) length of the story was around 10,000 words, (hence my apprehension about spending too much time during the school year to write it), but I still needed time to do other homework, so instead of writing that much, I managed to pare down the plot to a mere eight hundred words. Talk about less is more.
Then I handed it in.
Meanwhile, the most amazing thing happened. After handing it in, I went to bed, woke up, read it again, and realised I still liked it.
Three days later, I still hadn’t started to hate the story. That was nothing short of a miracle. So finally, I decided that it would be a good time to try submitting it to a magazine.
I sent it to an online magazine called Daily Science Fiction.
After developing insomnia and an addiction checking emails for about three weeks, they bought my story.
Well, that floored me.
But even better: I wasn’t sent to the principal’s office for selling my homework, even after I told my English teacher I had done so. (She was actually quite impressed. But then I never told her that I had removed all the big words she had given me marks for before I submitted it.)
And that is the story of my short story, “One Step Down”. You can read it here on Daily Science Fiction. I hope you like it.