Yes, today's the day I can finally call myself a published author! True enough, it's only a publication in an online literary magazine, not a contract with a publisher (I wish!) but in all honesty, I never thought I'd even achieve this much. Short stories aren't generally my medium (usually when I think of an idea, it expands into a novel or series before I can write it down!) but I've written a few. Being a passionate self-critic I rarely actually LIKE anything I write, especially short stories - most of my attempts fall under the category 'Artistic Failures'. But there are two I've completed in recent years that I've grown attached to (bizarre anecdote about a homicidal duck aside!): the first is a 5000-word fantasy story entitled 'Behind the Mask' (featuring dragons, magical portals to other worlds, and a delightfully evil protagonist - perhaps the reason no one bar my family, friends and boyfriend actually like it!), and the second is a dystopian sci-fi piece of around 1700 words called 'Wedlock', about a couple's doomed attempt to evade the laws of their society in which love is irrelevant: everyone must marry the partner whose 'identity tag' matches their own. Before I get shot down by the Plagiarism Police, I realise that this idea has been done a LOT in recent literature - however, in my defence, I planned this story over three years ago, long before dystopia became THE genre, and before many of the books which use similar ideas were published. It may be the current vogue for dystopia that caused the magazine to take notice of my piece - if so, I'm eternally grateful for it!
In any case, here it is: http://www.inkapturemagazine.co.uk/2012/06/wedlock-by-emma-adams/