I did a blog post for the GrubStreet’s “The Daily Grub,” in which I discuss the dreaded alarm-clock openings.
This comes from River Styx website. Now, I have my own stash of favorite (if outlandish) cover letters I collected back in my editing days. But these ones are really quite funny. Enjoy, but don’t try this at home.
Recently I’ve had a few conversations with students considering applying to MFA programs sometime in the future. The first step, I always say, is research, and summer, of course, is the perfect time to start researching.
On the Long River Review blog, the fabulous Jerome Daily, who just graduated from the University of Connecticut and is heading to the University of New Hampshire’s MFA, is sharing his experiences and tips.
In the meantime, Publishers Weekly, has a whole special section: M.F.A. Survey 2014, which includes a good overview of the various programs, interviews with publishing professionals, as well as interviews with some writers who teach in MFA programs.
Some excellent opportunities to consider:
More information can be found here.
This advice comes from already-mentioned MFA vs NYC book, more specifically from the interview with the Paris Review editor Lorin Stein (adapted from the longer piece, previously published in The Days of Yore):
“And I would say, for people who want to go into book publishing or any kind of publishing, it is good to have experience writing really short stuff for really conventional magazines. Because once you learn how to spit out boilerplate, whether it’s for Elle Magazine, or Publishers Weekly, or Bon Appetit, whatever, that skill translates into all kinds of memo writing and copy writing and back of the book stuff and letters that you need to write. I think training in the world of schlock journalism can really give you skills that are useful in other areas of life.”
In fact, anyone interested in a publishing career should read the whole interview.
I am reading an advanced copy of a fascinating collection, MFA v NYC, edited by Chad Harbach of The Art of Fielding and n+1. (Full disclosure: I was interviewed for this book and some of my answers appear on its pages.) The concept: “In a widely-read essay [of the same title], bestselling novelist Chad Harbach argued that the American literary scene has split into two cultures: New York publishing versus university MFA programs. This book brings together established writers, MFA professors and students, and New York editors and agents to talk about these overlapping worlds, and the way writers make (or fail to make) a living within them.” Continue reading →
I used to submit stories to literary magazines. A lot. And once upon a time I even edited a literary magazine myself. But the last few years, I was focused on writing a novel, and in that time the world of literary magazines changed a bit. For example, there are now reading fees, and they’re becoming more and more common. Are they necessary? Excessive?
In this article, Becky Tuch solicits opinions of several writers.
My own take is, I really don’t mind paying $3 if it saves me a trip to the post office. Besides once you add up postage, SASE, the cost of printing and paper and envelopes, the time and trouble it takes to put a physical submission together, not to mention the paper cuts, $3 begins to look like a total bargain.
Now a $10 or $20 reading fee is a different story entirely.
HISTORIC GROLIER BOOKSHOP in Harvard Square, the oldest all-poetry bookstore in the country, is looking for a Manager.
Since it was established in 1927 Grolier Poetry Bookshop has been a gathering place for poets, including T. S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, E. E. Cummings, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Charles Olson, Adrienne Rich, Frank O’Hara, James Tate, Robert Pinsky, and many others. The store hosts many events, including readings, book-signings, and discussions. It also sponsors a poetry contest and publishes the winning manuscripts.
Responsibilities Continue reading →
I’ve mentioned The Review Review before. Lately they’ve become a favorite of mine, a wonderful source of lit magazine news, reviews, interviews, and interesting articles. And now they are looking for an intern: “If you are a student or know someone who would like to learn more about the inner workings of lit mag machinations, please be in touch.” You can e-mail the editors at 99review<at>gmail.com
From McSweeney’s to PANK, magazine editors explain rejection letters.
A good — paid — opportunity for graduating students/recent grads, especially those in NYC or those in Connecticut who don’t mind commuting to NYC a couple of times a week. Find out more here.
Earlier this year, me and several other Syracuse MFA alums, returned to our alma mater to discuss this very subject at a panel organized by our beloved professor, Arthur Flowers. Is there life after the MFA? What is the nature of “literary success”? Not surprisingly, we weren’t the only ones puzzling over these questions. In fact, faculty and students in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Purdue have put together a website, The Writer’s Job, to address them. The site, though still new, has among other things, a section on submitting work to literary journals, a post about the benefits of subscribing to Duotrope, a series of power point slides on finding a literary agent, and a section on making a living (its categories include teaching, publishing, journalism, business writing, nonprofit, freelance, and other jobs). Regardless of where you are in your writing career, this site is definitely worth exploring.
I often caution students not to go crazy with creative writing contests — unless, of course, said students happen to be independently wealthy. Maybe one contest every six months, I usually say. Be selective. But maybe that’s just me. I know writers who love submitting their work to contests, and let’s face it, there are many great contests out there to choose from. For those interested, Places for Writers, is a good site to explore.
Today, while reading the Review Review newsletter, I discovered that there’s a site listing all sorts of jobs for writers. It’s called, not surprisingly, Write Jobs. I very quick check revealed a score of freelance opportunities for blog writers, as well as ghostwriters, crime writers, greeting card writers, copy editors, tech writers, fashion writers, content writers, and more. It’s fascinating and perhaps worth digging through.
Yesterday Flavorwire posted a list of 25 independent publishers, which included such notables as Coffee House Press, Tin House, and Graywolf Press, but also a lot of places I haven’t heard of. At the same time, there were some serious omissions. Ig Publishing, for example. Or Small Beer Press. Or Other Voices Books.
I’d love to compile a more comprehensive list, so if you can think of other independent publishers the article didn’t mention, let me know.