Jersey City Writers (JCW) is celebrating a victory with regular member Ross Hewitt, who was recently published by Medium. Ross’s short story, “Space Oddity,” was inspired by one of JCW’s Thursday night writing prompts, which are designed around writing competitions and calls for submission.
Ross is a regular attendee of both Thursday night prompts and workshops as well as the performance/competition Flash Fiction Friday online meetups. He has won and placed in Flash Fiction Friday competitions several times. He has also attended the novel plotting crash course and has started digging into a novel, inspired by the course.
Ross is first and foremost a playwright. He has written two full length plays, plus a host of one-acts that show off his natural wit. “I like the format,” Ross says of one-acts, “the challenge of telling a condensed but complete story.” He is also working on a collection of memoir essays to transform into a novel, and has dabbled in short stories.
We asked Ross about his journey from writing to publication, and the role that JCW and other writing groups had in making publication possible.
“I have to thank JCW’s intrepid Treasurer Joe Kowalski for hosting Thursday night prompts while VP Jim was away. It was Joe’s prompt suggestion: a Sci-Fi story in under 500 words.
“The great thing about practicing prompts is that it teaches you to go with your first impulse, and not to overthink things. We wrote for 11 minutes. We each read what we wrote if we choose to. I thought I had a good idea and wanted to pursue it. The prompt was from an online publication within medium.com. I slept on my idea and on Friday night I finished the first draft. My main effort was to put a lot of science into it, even some that was clearly fictional!
“I have another writers group that I belong to that met Saturday morning so the story was read for them. They liked it, and gave me suggestions for clarity. Sunday night, I revised it. Monday night I tweaked it one more time and then submitted.
“It was accepted the following day (wow, that was fast!) and published on Wednesday. I have received some nice feedback. It was also a positive experience — my first publication in the Sci-Fi genre. Writing is meant to be shared. The worst thing that could happen when you submit a story is that they turn you down. So, submit it somewhere else!”
You can read Ross’s story here: https://medium.com/@rosshewitt
Ross G. Hewitt is a produced playwright and flash fiction writer from the New York City area. He is an active member of Jersey City Writers and an associate member of the Dramatists Guild of America. His short story, “The Alligator and the Catfish,” was published last year at twosisterswriting.com. He also has published many stories on Medium.com.