X7: “On the Move”
Posted on November 28, 2010
Filed under X7
Posted by Tim Xue
I am planning to submit my first project “The Wall: A Handbook on the Basic Elements of Tennis” to the publication On the Move.
On the Move is a bi-monthly newsletter published and distributed by Los Caballeros Racquet and Sports Club (Los Cab), where I’ve been a member since I was ten years old and where much of the autobiographical evidence from my piece is grounded. The one liner just below the title states the publication serves as “Your Guide to Los Caballeros Racquet and Sports Club’s Programs and Activities.” There are not many articles because as a newsletter, the purpose of the publication is to let the club members know what is going on at the club and get them further involved. What takes up most of the space are schedules and pictures of ongoing events, and the few articles that do appear usually accompany these and are fairly short in length. However, there are usually two or three longer articles published in each issue of On the Move. These typically profile a recent outstanding accomplishment by a member, a new tennis coach or fitness trainer, or a longtime member and his or her unique experiences at the club. The latter is what I will be targeting.
However, there are a few potential complications with submitting my piece. Most of these longer profiles take the form of a Q & A or a third person narrative. In addition, even the third person profiles, which tend to be longer, are still maybe only half as long as my project one. I began reading the newsletter regularly when I was in high school, and I only recall two times that I have seen an article of similar length and form to my project one (a long first-person narrative) published in On the Move. Because it is a relatively short, informational publication, I will have to make a strong case if I am to convince the editors to devote a full page to my piece, as there are usually at least three articles per page.
I believe I can argue my case well, though, because I strongly believe my work is a great fit for the publication. Two of the central focuses of my work, Wojtek and the wall, are rooted at Los Cab—Wojtek has taught hundreds of children, teenagers, and adults tennis throughout the years, and I know for a fact that there are people besides me who practice at the wall. My piece also contains elements that appeal to non-tennis members as well. The themes of disciplined learning, agony over injury, and recovery as a journey that pervade my work are things many athletes have experienced and (I think) would enjoy reading about.
If my piece is accepted, there is one minor change to the form of my project one I am considering. I may get rid of the tennis handbook elements and definitions and adjust the title to broaden appeal. The handbook elements only add enjoyment, I think, if you play the sport and understand the implications. In addition, it may be difficult maintaining the form given the publication’s format constraints; I may just use dotted lines separating the four sections. As for an adjusted title, I was thinking along the lines “The Wall: A Story of Embarrassment, Learning, Injury, and Rediscovery.” Of course, this is all experimental at the moment, and I would be open to the editors’ suggestions.