Decades of tear sheets of my printed stories and rejected manuscripts filled my filing cabinet to capacity, and I had to make decisions: what to keep, what to trash. At the first run-through I only trashed the stories without my byline. The second down-size eliminated uninteresting features.

The third was the “keep” file. These are perennials, the feature stories that are as fresh today as they were in the 1980s.

  • Domestic violence
  • Homelessness
  • Health care
  • Parenting and child care
  • Diversity
  • Retirement
  • People accomplishing feats and making lasting contributions

Where do you find perennials? Read newspapers and magazines.

I reduced my files to one expanding folder, a few unpublished short stories, one nonfiction manuscript and two full-length novel manuscripts. The filing cabinet was trashed as well, so these files found space in a closet. No more tear sheets. Everything is online now.



Article By: Jo Ann Mathews

I published three ebooks in 2020: Women and Adversity, Honoring 23 Black Women; Women and Adversity, Recognizing 23 Notable Mothers; and Women and Adversity, Saluting 23 Faithful Suffragists to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. These books are meant to be study guides for all students from grade school through college to help in choosing topics for assignments and to learn more about these noteworthy women. Go to, and to learn more.

    Write a Reply or Comment About This Article

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Time limit exceeded. Please complete the captcha once again.


    Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 219 other subscribers

    Discover more from Jo Ann Mathews

    Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

    Continue reading