• Laynie Bynum

My First Publication

Did you know that on top of books, I also write short fiction?

My story, A Cure Revisited, came out recently in Z Publishing House's Emerging Young Adult Authors of the Deep South anthology. (You can get it here!)

Her only goal is to save her sister from the same plague that took their parents, but when Harper discovers she’s infected too, she’s forced to make a choice between loyalty and self-preservation.

“Helplessness consumed me, there was nothing to do but wait as my sister died. I couldn’t even hold her, comfort her, because then I, too, would take on that horrid mark. When sitting across the room from her sobbing, curled figure became too much, I embarked on the streets of the town, avoiding lingering eyes that seemed to burrow into my mind and see my troubles.
In my incessant pacing, my mind cleared onto a single thought. A thought that repeated itself over and over in my head until it burned itself behind my eyes and between my ears. A thought that would likely be my downfall.
I would not let her die.


When I first decided to pursue writing as anything more than a way to express myself, I looked around at classes I could take. At that time, I was obsessed with the idea of MOOCs or Massive Online Open Courseware. Take a business class from Harvard? Sign me up. I won’t ever use it but why not? A nutrition class from Stanford? I could always be healthier. An entire Creative Writing track from Wesleyan?!? That’s where it all started. In particular, that’s where this story started. In the first class of the track, The Craft of Plot, Professor Brando Skyhorse gave us an exercise: Follow the ABDC scene structure. Make your character make a choice.

And thus, this story was born. Or at least the bare bones of it. When I first wrote this story in 2016, I was a baby writer. My writing voice? It was pretty much just all passive telling. My work read like a shopping list.

June had left the store. It was busy and it had made her angry. Mike had loved the store though. It made him happy.*

*okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but still… you get my point.

BUT the ideas were there. It was like staring at a massive pile of legos and having no idea how to build anything.

The Cure, as it was first written, was a square four-lego “house”.

As I grew, met other writers, took other classes, READ everything I could get my hands on, it grew.

I added an awning, and a patio, and some bay windows. Then I planted some bushes.

I tried to sell it a few times, but no one was buying.

So I added a pool, and an exercise room, and remodeled all of the bathrooms.

And then the right buyer showed up.

The point is. What you see as the first story in this anthology is not what rolled out of my brain the moment I put pen to paper. It’s a reflection of the learning and growth I experienced during the early years of my writing journey. And it’s fitting that it is the first piece of my writing you can buy online even though others sold long before it.

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