Home » SHORT STORY – “Getting Published”

SHORT STORY – “Getting Published”

Jamie Furness    June 29, 2022    3 min read   

SHORT STORIES by the Forest Lake and Inala Writers Group.


Getting Published

By Tom Jones

I was awoken from my reverie by the secretary.

‘He can see you now Mr. Jones.’ She held her arm out like a signpost to the only other door in the room apart from the one from which I had entered.

‘Thank You,’ I said automatically.

Mr. Boardman’s office was everything I had expected only more. It was a throwback from an earlier time or should I say century. I was feeling a little ‘testy’. My appointment had been for 8:45am and it was now 09:11. I grimaced at the obvious ominous time then felt guilty that I should be so petty.

‘Come in Mr. …’

I was concentrating so much on my surroundings that I missed my cue to provide my name. By the time I realized the fact, my mood made me feel smug that I hadn’t done so. I sat in the proffered chair before the publisher’s humongous desk and looked up innocently.

‘Now, where have I…’ he said as he ruffled through some folders of paperwork. ‘Your book is…’ Again Mr. Boardman let the phrase hang in the air like bait for the fish.

By now I was in a combative mood and I let it slide by once more. I noticed that the edge of his desk held some crumbs and multigrain seeds, the air held the unmistakable aroma of vegemite. The empty cup, well, almost empty, allowed me to reason the real reason for the twenty-six-minute delay of our appointment.

‘Well, Mr. …?’

I stared at him malevolently.

‘Look, I don’t think your book is something we might be associated with. We usually stay within the strict parameters of “Thriller’s” and “Mysteries” and your book is a…?’

‘I could make it into a thriller’ I ventured. ‘Or a mystery if it comes to that. It certainly seems to have the characteristics of one’

‘Yet we have so many well-established authors who are plying that field Mr. …?’

I could see that he had out-trumped me and that from now on my name was Mr. …? And my book was the er…?

‘Mr. …? May I ask what your book is about?’

I breathed deeply, steepling my fingers thus allowing me a second or two of preparation. ‘It is the story of a disgruntled novelist who murders his publisher, who he feels is inconsiderate of his work and who cares little of his feelings.’

‘Well that doesn’t sound like anything we would publish’

‘Yes, I think I realize that now’ I said as I rose to leave.

‘As a matter of interest Mr. …? Err… How did the writer murder the publisher?’

‘He poisoned his vegemite!’

It gave me a great deal of satisfaction to see Mr. Boardman look towards his desk drawer furtively and the feeling was only surpassed by the sound of vomiting as I shut the door behind me.


Forest Lake and Inala Writers welcomes those who are looking for a smoother path toward publication. For further information contact Tom.

Avatar photo

Jamie Furness