ROBERT SERB'S WRITINGS:
UPDATES FOR JULY 2019:
In 2011 I went back to graduate school at Northeastern Illinois University, and five-and-a-half years later was awarded a Master's Degree in History to compliment my Master's Degree in Literature from DePaul University. I wrote my Master's Thesis on Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show at the 1893 Columbian Exposition. Several of the professors were impressed enough that I was asked to present an abbreviated version of my thesis at the 2015 Conference on Illinois History, and then in the spring of 2018 my entire thesis was published in the Journal of the West, a somewhat obscure academic journal devoted to study of the American West during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Because this is an obscure journal (only 3 of the colleges and universities in the Chicago area have subscriptions to it) I am attaching a copy of the article here for you to review if you would like: "Lucky to be Left Out of The Fair: Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show at the 1893 Columbian Exposition"
In addition, just a few weeks ago I had a short story published in the online magazine Book Smuggler's Den, , in an issue about "Campfire Stories" (So of course I had to get creative with that!)
You can read that story here:
I've been working on a new collection of stories about Boy Scouts and all the antics Scouts get into (my favorite story so far involves burning down a tent). I intend this to be another novel/book project; I've finished 11 Boy Scout Stories so far, and have ideas for a half-dozen more. I've sent samples off to some literary agents in an attempt to drum up interest, but judging by the form letters I've been getting back there isn't any interest to drum up. The problem seems to be that these aren't really kids' stories; they're intended for adults who remember being kids. Still, I'll keep trying--I think it will be an interesting read when it's done.
After soliciting publishers directly over the past year and being told by many of them that they only review work submitted through a literary agent, I've finally begun sending material to literary agents. This rankles me quite a bit, since I consider literary agents to be parasites. It's quite a racket— the publishers insist you need to go through an agent, and since most agents are former employees of publishing houses what they're really doing is guaranteeing their own future job prospects. The agents, meanwhile, collect a 15-20% commission merely for marketing the work you've done to their former coworkers. If the agents actually helped edit and polish your work that might be different, but they'll only do that for an additional fee up front— I sent a letter to one agent and within a week got a stack of fliers and brochures advertising all their writing classes and editing services; for fees starting at $500. Of course, no mention was made of the work I'd submitted or whether they would represent it. Still, in the interests of getting into print I've broken down and started to send out letters and samples to agents. We'll see how that works out.
Here are the Stories I've published so far....
(Only one story, but hopefully soon to be more!)
"The Score" Published in the April/May 2005 issue of PKA Advocate.
Recently I've revised and polished my novel manuscript, and have been sending it out to publishers and literary agents, trying to drum up some interest and get it published. No luck so far, but since I've sent out many copies of the first few chapters I've decided to break down and post Chapter One here, to tantalize and entertain visitors to my site. If you're a publisher or agent, or know someone who is, and want to see more, by all means e-mail me...not that I'm shilling or anything.
At the Edge of the Rainbow:
Since I still haven't gotten that magical acceptance letter, and have now sent the first few chapters out to approximately 130 publishers and 80 literary agents, I might as well put up Chapter #2:
At the Edge of the Rainbow:
Hope you enjoyed reading my work!