Over the years, Ploughshares has sometimes received longer submissions that were difficult to publish due to space considerations in the print issue. Pshares Singles is an eBook series for these lengthier stories and essays, selected by our editors. A new Single will be published every month, available for download on your Kindle or Nook. (If you do not have a Kindle or Nook device, you can download apps for smart phones, tablets, and computers.)
We are very excited to announce the publication of our very first Pshares Single, Lady of the Burlesque Ballet!
In a topsy-turvy ragtime era of side-shows and bamboozlers, Irish Maupin goes from street urchin to burlesque star. Plucked from the streets as a girl and fattened up for candy-factory advertising, she navigates a sensational career around heart-break and loneliness, gaining and losing hundreds of pounds, manipulated by the men around her even as she defies them. From acclaimed Nebraska author Timothy Schaffert, this inaugural Pshares Single is a surreal adult fairy tale about obesity, murder, and how we change our bodies to meet the needs of others.
Here’s a brief excerpt from the story:
“Now don’t you worry,” the matron told Irish as she led her from the office and back down the hall. “They’re going to love who you turn out to be.”
“The men. The men in there. The executives. They’ll love you.”
“No, I mean, who do I turn out to be?”
“Don’t you worry about that, darling,” the matron said. She stopped and took Irish by the shoulders, smiling big. She spoke slowly. “Who you turn out to be will be far, far better than anyone you ever were. I promise. Haven’t you always been able to trust me?”
And who are you? she wanted to ask. I’ve trusted you?
Interested in submitting a story for the series?
If you have a longer story or essay—roughly 6,000 to 25,000 words—please read our guidelines and submit online. Make sure you select “Pshares Singles: Long Story/Novella” from the dropdown box under “genre.”