Places to submit

Wordrunner: Rites of Passage

Wordrunner is accepting fiction, memoir and poetry, with the theme rites of passage  for an echapbook anthology to be published March 2018. The rites of passage theme includes any kind of passage through life, time or space. Submissions will be open from December 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018. * Submit up to three poems or a short story, novel or memoir excerpt, or personal essay (1,000 to 5,000 words). There are separate categories for each genre (poetry, fiction, nonfiction). Note that really long poems are not suitable for this venue. Send us your best. *Note from Marlene:  Polish your writing now, so you will be ready to submit during the submissions timeline. Payment: $100 for collections, $5 to $25 for poems, stories and essays published in the annual anthology. Submission fee: $2 for poems; $3 for prose All rights revert to authors.

Guest Bloggers

Does your book concept have legs?

Today’s guest blogger, Jerry Jenkins, has written a thorough article, “How to Write a Book: Everything You Need to Know in 20 Steps.” I love lists, so of course I was intrigued to find out more. And I love it when writers talk about passion. Listed below are a few of Jerry’s steps about writing a book, excerpted or paraphrased from his comprehensive list (link at the bottom of this post). Where to start… What each step entails… How to overcome fear, procrastination, and writer’s block… And how to keep from feeling overwhelmed. Establish your writing space. If you dedicate a room solely to your writing, you can write off a portion of your home mortgage, taxes, and insurance proportionate to that space. You can also write in restaurants and coffee shops.  Assemble your writing tools. Try to imagine everything you’re going to need in addition to your desk or table, so…

Just Write

Thumbnail sketches

Figure drawing classes often start with timed gesture drawings of initial poses lasting as short as five seconds before the model moves. Gradually the time increases to 10, 15 and 30 seconds. By the time you get to a minute, it feels as if you have all day to capture the pose on your sketch pad. The idea is to keep you free, dexterous and more focused on process than product. Such short bursts also keep you from taking yourself too seriously—otherwise, you’d quickly become frustrated. —“Train Your Eye for Better Writing,” by Tess Callahan, Writer’s Digest September 2017 Tess suggests you can do the same with writing. “At odd moments throughout the day, in a diner or in transit, jot down gestures, expressions or snatches of overheard dialogue. . . . Whether or not these little moments make it into whatever story you are writing, they will deepen your…

Places to submit

The Wax Paper

The Wax Paper The Wax Paper is a broadsheet publication open to all forms of written word, image, and collected conversation. The first priority of The Wax Paper is to expand our understanding of the people we share the world with, and in doing so, expand our understanding of ourselves. Pieces will be selected on their ability to illuminate the humanity and significance of the subjects that inhabit the work. The Wax Paper was inspired by the life of Louis “Studs” Terkel. Our name is taken after his first radio show, The Wax Museum, a groundbreaking program, emblematic of his democratic fondness of variety, in which arias were played alongside folk ballads. We look to populate The Wax Paper with pieces that share the spirit inherent in Studs’ written work.  Work that required patient observation, remained steadfast in its empathy, and displayed genuine vitality. Studs Terkel’s voice and the voices he collected are a necessary…

Places to submit

The Rumpus

How could you resist submitting to a magazine named The Rumpus! “The Rumpus is a place where people come to be themselves through their writing, to tell their stories or speak their minds in the most artful and authentic way they know how.” — The Rumpus “The Rumpus is dedicated to fostering new voices: We want to introduce you to authors you’ve never heard of before . . .” The Rumpus has boosted the careers of writers such as Roxane Gay and Cheryl Strayed. Maybe you’ll be next on the “boosted career” list. Submit!    

Just Write

I don’t know what I’m doing . . .

“Eventually, I stop looking back and being prissy about the beginning, but I’m pretty prissy about it for a long while. At a certain point, I only go forward. I allow myself to write a chunk where I can say, ‘You know, I don’t know what I’m really doing here. It’s a bit messy.’ I cut myself some slack. I can also write with blind spots where I say, ‘I know I’m going to have to figure this out later I don’t know what the answer is right now but that’s OK,’ and I can keep writing.” —Julianna Baggott Excerpt from “Pure Writer,” by Elfrieda Abbe, The Writer Magazine, January 2016 Note from Marlene: When you get to a “stuck” place in your writing, type ‘xyz” or “something here” in red at your sticky spot.You can come back to that unsettled place later and fix it.  Take a break. Get…

Just Write

Emulate Writers to Improve Your Writing

The following is an excerpt from “Train Your Eye for Better Writing,” by Tess Callahan, September 2017, Writer’s Digest: “I encourage my students to read deeply a broad range of writers, and after each one, try writing a few sentences in that wordsmith’s style. For example, take a signature line from William Faulkner. . . and, while keeping the sentence structure intact, pluck out all of the nouns and verbs and replace them with your own. Don’t place these emulated lines directly into your own writing. . . Instead, the idea is to practice emulating lines so that the many different styles can work their way into your brain, spin around in the blender of your subconscious, and serve to inform your own unique voice. No art form exists in a vacuum. The impressionists were friends and rivals who hung around in the same cafes, shared, traded and borrowed, and…


Writers are such heady creatures . . .

“Writes are such heady creatures that we often forget our characters have bodies and senses. To fully imagine a life, one has to supply undeniable details about the exterior world so that when the novelist has to make the truly improbable leap to the interior world of another human being, the reader is primed to believe us.”  —Julianna Baggott Excerpt from “Pure Writer,” by Elfrieda Abbe, The Writer Magazine, January 2016