The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

The Serial: Calling all writers

The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment

Series: The Serial | Story 1

April 13, 2019

Did you know that Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations” started out as a serial in a literary magazine? Published in 1860, from December to August 1861, readers waited anxiously for their next installment until the anticlimactic ending.

Undaunted, the readers clamored for more and in the ensuing years, relished the “Pickwick Papers,” “The Three Musketeers,” “The Count of Monte Cristo” and Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina.” Serials were a way for authors to share their stories to a wider public that did not always have the resources and opportunity to buy their books.

Later, radio and television created their share of serials, having listeners and watchers hanging onto their every word from week to week as stories unfolded. From mystery and detective stories to romance and comedy, characters grew beloved, well-known and a part of the fabric of our lives.

Written serials are not a lost art. It was mentioned recently by Midge Lyn’dee, The Loop book reviewer, that Hugh Howie used the serial system in the ebook system to measure out his story “Wool” to a growing readership. This week’s review tells how Alexander McCall Smith used The Scotland newspaper to dole out the first of his “44 Scotland Street” series. It still works. Readers relish the tantalizing tactic of a story that makes you wait from week to week to answer the questions played out by new, curious and interesting characters.

This week we are bringing the serial story to The Loop, but with a twist. You will find the beginning of a story here. The place and the first major characters are set. The story begins. The path to answers are as yet unknown.

We are inviting the community to participate in our serial, those who are writers and those who just love to write, of any age, by submitting the next installment of “Valley of Lights” and move our story along.

Be concise and get to the point as this is intended to become a short story, or at best, a novella, not novel length. Build the characters and the setting, but always be mindful that each word must count toward clarity and be moving somewhere, have continuity and a flow that leads to a believable, logical and/or fantastical conclusion.

Yes, this is a community experiment and I hope many will participate. The Loop will make the deciding factor of each segment published from your submissions.


You must give us your name in your submission and the submission must be no longer than 500 words. It can be dropped off at The Loop office, 206 S. Green St. in Downtown Tehachapi or sent to: [email protected]

The writing will become the property of The Loop and will not be used in any other publication or for profit of any kind.

This should be fun! Use your imaginations and remember to put some heart in it.

May the best submissions give us serial satisfaction.


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