Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Are you overlooking a hidden gem?

Here’s a link to an article worth reading for every up and coming author and poet. Lindsay Merbaum, fiction writer and essayist, tells it like it is without totally quashing all hope of getting published. While she lets it be known that indeed there is an MFA in-crowd and the system does work in their favor, she also offers hope for newbies and the less prestigiously affiliated.

She says, “Remember that no publication is too small. Years ago, I published a story in a little-known online magazine, back when any online publishing was considered second-rate. I was sort of disappointed, until I discovered a secret about those up-and-coming journals: they work hard for their writers. Because of the dedication of the editors at that journal, my story was nominated for an award and ended up in a print anthology of online writing. Two agents saw the piece in the anthology and contacted me, which is such a rare occurrence, it's like I got struck by lightning. Twice.”

We have a local example in the Marin Poetry Center Anthology. While submission is only open to members, submissions are competitive and actually having a poem accepted in the annual anthology is not a given. There’s a lot of talent in Marin County and the Bay Area. MPC members include such notable poets as Kay Ryan and Robert Hass, both past US poet laureates, as well as Jane Hirschfield, Ellen Bass and Prartho Sereno, all established poets with books, students and awards to their credits. The 2015 volume is the first to include many of them, perhaps because this little anthology has rightfully developed quite a reputation, and these renowned poets not only want to support the local poetry community but feel their own poetry belongs there too.

And, as Merbaum mentions, small publications nominate for awards like the Pushcart Prize, too. Our own Stephanie Noble was a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee, something she gets to have on her bio forever, and all because she didn’t turn up her nose at offering her work to a lesser known publication.

Something to consider! Read the article and let me know what you think.




My Blog List

  • This is a draft test. When I get a great story idea I can compose on my phone. Here I am.
  • Please go to Issues in the menu to see what’s on offer in our Change issue!
  • Lying on her back and doing her shoulder extensions, slowly raising her arms above her head until the back of her hands graze the sheepskin rug, Delia imag...
  • The best gift we can give is our up-to-the-moment Presence. We can arrive with clients or friends or strangers in curiosity and deep witness. People steepe...
  • Today’s guest post is by author Dawn Reno Langley (@proflangley) of Rewired Creatives. More than a million books are published every year, and whether you ...
  • If you write or want to write, the North Bay Writers Groups workshop is for you. Writers of all skill levels, ages, or genres are welcome. Whether your goa...
  • Halloween has come and gone and that’s just fine with me. Except for the adorableness of little trick or treaters and the creativity of some neighbors, it’...
  • I'm just back from the Independent Author Conference in Philadelphia. Here are some of my thoughts from the trip in this solo show: People don't buy books,...
  • The intoxicating fragrance of peppermint tea bags, fresh from the box.