What Makes a Post Freshly Press-able: How I Deal With Things

Every day, a handful of bloggers are featured in Freshly Pressed. And every day, many more wonder, “What do I have to do to get Freshly Pressed?”

On The Daily Post, we’ll take a close look at one post and why we thought it was Press-worthy to provide insight into the process and give you tips and tools to make your blog the best it can be.


Anyway, Miss Anna, that’s our teacher, she got really angry when she heard the firework sounds. Popping noises, that’s how I heard other people talk about it. Popping sounds. So when she heard them, she got angry. And she told us all to be very quiet, but she didn’t yell it, like she sometimes does. I don’t know why, but we all did.

All kinds of creators use to showcase their work — artists, photographers, cooks, poets, musicians. We’re home to plenty of fiction writers as well, as a quick look through the Fiction or Flash Fiction topics will tell you, and we try to make sure they’re represented on Freshly Pressed, too.

We found Ignorant’s short story “How I Deal With Things” while reading through the excellent commentary y’all are publishing on last month’s Newtown shooting. Her decision to describe the experience through the eyes of a child, perfectly punctuated with a stark photo of an empty classroom, hit us viscerally. We featured the story on Freshly Pressed, hoping it would provide a different kind of space for people to process their reactions — and judging by the hundreds of Likes and comments, we were right. Here’s what drew us in:

It was timely.

“How I Deal With Things” hooked into a story that was already on everyone’s minds (and given the scope of the tragedy, not just in the US). Along with providing an angle that traditional news and analysis doesn’t, it opened the door for people who don’t ordinarily turn to the blogosphere for fiction by giving them a story for which they already had context.

It highlighted a different perspective.

How many of us thought, “My god, what if that had been my child/nephew/little sister? What would I do?” when we heard the news? But how many of us stopped to think about the lived experience of the children who survived — the fear and confusion, the lasting scars, but also the understanding and insight? This story jolted us to a stop, made us consider a different perspective, and brought home the enduring nature of tragedies like this one.

It captured a child’s voice.

“How I Deal With Things” wouldn’t have worked as a piece of fiction if the narrator’s voice hadn’t felt real. From the run-on sentences to the (seemingly) non-sequitur asides to the description of gunshots as “fireworks,” we felt like we were reading a child’s account and not a piece of fiction — mission accomplished.

What did you think of “How I Deal With Things”? Will you start looking for more fiction on your travels through the Reader?

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  1. Hi, I just wanted to know do you look for specific tags when deciding what to press or do you literally read through thousands of blogs to find one that is good enough? I have always wondered how it works. Thanks.


  2. From a ‘child’s perspective’ seems appropriate considering we see so many angles and perspectives through the adults involved in these tragedies, when reported. However, children are what they learn at home, and their perspective on things (tragedies or not) can mirror, or reflect what they view through the eyes of a parent or adult who has the greatest influence in their life. Some children may handle the crisis better, or view it differently than another child.


  3. how do we know if we have been freshly pressed? other than going back through all of the categories. do you let us know or do we get lucky and someone points it out


  4. I am a bit conflicted about trying to “tailor” a post to fit the Freshly Pressed mold. Sure, the notice by other bloggers is what many clamor to see, but what if it changes our voice? I mean, woundn’t it mean more to be Freshly Pressed while using the tools you have developed your entire writing life?


  5. I’ve read things and learned and thought about things I never would have in my pre-blogging days. I’ve appreciated the highlighted blogs on Freshly Pressed and check in daily. Thanks for that feature!


  6. I am always fascinated by your choices, subjective they may be (well, subjectivity is a privilege), but I subscribe in the way you justify your choices. I agree too that one should never tailor a post to fit Freshly Pressed. FP Editors have to be dynamic also in their choices, otherwise, what boring choices could there be if they present us with one and the same story features all throughout. Bottomline is, there is always the biggest human interest in freshly pressed posts.

    We just have to write down our thoughts very well on significant topics and highlight the things that stand out in the story.

    Congratulations to the lucky pick.