My involvement with Beginnings starts back in 2002, when I submitted my very first short story for consideration in Beginnings 2002 Winter Short Story Contest. Billed as a magazine for Novice Writers, and published through the efforts of Jenine Boisits, Editor/Publisher, it was a place where raw beginners had a shot at publication.
My story, CRANBERRY CORNERS, was selected as the First Prize winner, subsequently published in January 2003. I was paid $75, which seemed like a veritable fortune, and I was able to put “Award Winning Author” on my resume.
Looking back at the story today, I’ll admit it’s more than a bit rough (I also find it amusing that the dog in the story, a Golden Retriever, is named Levon. Levon is a central character in THE HANGED MAN’S NOOSE, and he’s very much human.)
I’m not sure what happened to Jenine Boisits or Beginnings Magazine, but one thing is certain. This story changed my life, because it gave me validation that I was on the right path. So, thank you Jenine, wherever you are.
I’ve attached a PDF of the scanned story for those of you brave enough to read it. Beginnings-Cranberry Corners
UPDATE October 2014: Thanks to Oliver Peterson, I’ve just heard from Jenine Boisits! Here’s what she had to say:
I want you to know what a wonderful surprise it was when Oliver sent me your link. It came at such a good time, too, because I was indecisive about starting all over again; taking another risk at something that may or may not work a second time is pretty scary!
I really appreciate that you took the time to express your appreciation of Beginnings and how it made a difference for you. BEGINNINGS is making a comeback, so please visit the site @ www.literarybeginnings.org! We encourage new writers to start posting again. The Forum’s page has always been a safe place to share work, to accept critiques and some much needed encouragement. Let’s be that “family” again!
UPDATE Spring 2015: Despite her best efforts, time and financial constraints have forced Jenine to give up her dream of resurrecting BEGINNINGS.