The first short story I ever got all the way through and kind of liked was “When It Rains“. I had written a few others before then, and even entered one of them in the Hopwood Awards annual contest at the University of Michigan, but I didn’t win. At the time, I was very hopeful: Arthur Miller had won that contest many decades before I tried, and I thought that it would be a great way to break into the business, by bursting onto the scene from the College of Engineering. Now they limit the contestants to those taking a course in writing.
I had to settle for the engineering degree. My final semester at Michigan, I took a course in creative writing at Washtenaw Community College. It was cheaper than taking a similar course at the U of M, and I could not take such a thing as an Engineering student. I was allowed to transfer the credit in, however.
I spent the better part of that summer writing this story, along with the other exercises. It appeared in Passages North, the journal of Washtenaw Community College, but was not officially published. I submitted this story to many other journals, and it was rejected, with prejudice, by all of them. You may now be the judge.
What I got out of that course was a great friendship with Brian, and this story. I still love them both.