Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Just Because You Should

A few months back I picked up Sinclair Lewis’s book Main Street. I really have no real reason why I did this. It’s an old book and for some reason I feel or perhaps I felt, I should read this book. Who knows? I’ve read all sorts of books because people tell me I should read them, and there have been a few I’ve picked up for no reason at all.

It could be because I live in a small town on the outskirts of absolutely nowhere. In my town we have a Main Street. And as I’m thinking about it, this is the first place I’ve ever lived with a Main Street. I mean, there have been Broadways, Front Avenues and that’s saying something. There just has never been a Main Street. The Main Street in my town is overlaid on US Hwy 287 which runs from the Canadian border in Montana all the way through to the Texas Gulf Coast. 287 is a very long road.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Writer and The Literary Press: The FRCC Workshop

Objective: Provide a basic understanding of the writer's relationship to literary magazines with a focus on the online journal. Knowing many young writers want to published, this brief instructional will walk through the process.

Ice breaker: Q: Why write? (A: Short Stories were made of magazines.) Q: Why publish? (A: Meet other writers and editors, readership, CV building, money.)

Literary Magazines: online vs print. My thought: it's a fickle business. Online has unlimited circulation. Print? Issue oftentimes remain in boxes in the editor's basement. Magazines come and go.

The Nuts and Bolts:
  1. Your manuscript. It had better be good. Very good.
      1. For Fiction: 12 pt. Times New Roman, double spaced with 1” margins and clean of headers and footers.(Clean, Not So Clean, Peacock)
      2. Poetry: keep it clean. Strange formatting (spaces, tabs, etc) doesn't translate.
  2. Market research. Read magazines, many-many magazines. Read. Follow. Submit.
      1. A great service used by many magazines.
      2. Greatest source for magazine listings. Free.
      3. Another great resource for writers, subscription based, about $5/mo
        Magazines I like because they offer cool features: Similar to New Pages but they offer articles Everything here is cool “self-editing advice” “free ebooks” Vets in the room? I love the format and the audience

  3. Unsolicited vs Solicited manuscripts
      1. Solicited. Not likely for you. Only editors you know are likely to ask.
        1. The query letter.
      2. Unsolicited Manuscripts are the norm.
        1. The market research
        2. Following guidelines (Siberian Tiger Handler's Wives)
        3. Your manuscript
        4. The cover letter (brief intro, brief synopsis with word count, etc.)
        5. Third person bio. (50 words or less)
  4. Housekeeping
      1. Schedules and timelines (how long/when)
      2. Stay motivated
      1. The rejection. What should you do? Plan on at least ten of these per publication.
      2. The Acceptance
        1. Be gracious and comply
        2. Tell everyone you know.
          1. Promote yourself
          2. The magazine that published you
          3. And all the other writers therein
        3. Connect with everyone: the editors, magazine, writers
          1. LinkedIn
          2. Facebook
          3. Websites
        4. Build your CV

Thank you. Connect with me: my email/LinkedIn/follow my blog

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Writer and the Literary Press: The rejection and the acceptance

Once the best possible short story (or poem) has been written, rewritten and rewritten again, then the best market has been discovered and the submission has been made, we wait. That's right, we wait.

We wait some more.

Seasons change. And we wait. In this waiting process, there are a few things that can happen. First, there is excitement, after all, we've just written the best poem (or short story) and we've let it go out into the literary world. Then the excitement wanes and uncertainty creeps in like a Lovecraft haze slowly infecting us. Did we really write the best piece? Was our cover letter good enough? Did we pick the best magazine for the submission? Are we really fit to be writers? And we wait. We wait some more.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Writer and the Literary Press: Ready, Steady, Submit!

Now comes the big moment. The big unknown moment. The unsteady, the unsure, the insecure moment. This is the moment to get others involved in our creative work. Strangers. It's time to submit.

For most writers of fiction and most poets there is only one type of submission: the unsolicited manuscript. Fortunately, most literary magazines only accept one kind of manuscript, the unsolicited. With the unsolicited manuscript comes a great deal of the unknown. With the great deal of the unknown comes the inevitable and the relentless line of rejections.