I Was Published in a Literary Journal and I Need a Bit of Validation

Writers all want a little external endorsement

Jason Weiland
4 min readJul 17, 2022


Photo by GRÆS Magazine on Unsplash

I wrote a little story and submitted it to a certain Medium contest, which of course it didn’t win. But I felt like the story was good enough, so while I was still going to Southern New Hampshire University, I submitted it to their literary journal, The Penmen Review.

I don’t write much fiction (this was more autobiographical fiction), but this one came out better than I expected and turned out fantastic after Mike got his editing hands on it. Mike turned what was a dull, shapeless mess of words and thoughts, and made it sparkle like a shiny new penny.

The editors let me know a few months ago that they were going to publish it, but it wasn’t until this month, July 2022, that it showed up in their latest issue. I was thrilled!

The story, “A Renaissance Among Scorpions,” was one of my favorite things I have ever written and it got that way because both Mike and I put our hearts into it. If I could have put him on the byline, I would have, that is how much impact he had.

After it was published and I shared it with my friends and family, I wasn’t sure how I felt. On the one hand, it is a literary journal, and they only publish the best, on the other hand, the news dropped like a rock in my circle, and it didn’t seem to make much difference either way.

I guess I was expecting more when I was finally published. Did I expect I would feel different from this accomplishment?

Is this how it would feel to write a book? The build-up is sweet as you think of all the kudos you’ll get and the accolades people will heap on you, but when it actually happens, you realize it is just another day, and nothing that spectacular has really happened.

But I didn’t pout, because, what was I expecting would happen, a parade for my writing brilliance? Did I think that everyone would come out of the woodwork and proclaim that I have finally arrived and I would get a plaque that said “Published Author?”

I guess the importance of something like this in the whole of my writing career, is generally low. I felt the same way the first time I had a piece featured on…



Jason Weiland

Mental Health, Tech, and personal essays from a guy who never tires of writing about his life - jasonweiland.substack.com