A Letter to your Future Agent

Dear Him/Her/Them/You:

Before we knew each other, I shaped you into a complex character because that’s how we writers deal with agent querying. Even memoirists create a kind of life to live in when faced with the business side of writing. Dream sequences. Reliable narrators. End on an up note.

I imagined your office was in a pre-war, West Village brownstone off Hudson, even though most of the publishing world speed walks in the 20s crosstown between 5th and 6th Avenue. Manuscript pages whirled in the air as you released each loose leaf from your hands after reading them. Authors stopped by after midnight for advice and fell asleep on your Perla tufted sofa, intoxicated from the scent of cherry red markups and pink eraser dust. You dragged a landline phone cord over stacks of books that measured up to your waist while talking me out from underneath five thousand line notes crowding my brain. You waved your pen like a conductor and my book was submission ready. I was enchanted by the notion of you as a romantic bibliophile, a protective lion or lioness, a guardian angel. Continue reading

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It’s Blitzing Time!

by Ramona Pilar

With August gone and September already begun, we’ve reached the time of year for Women Who Submit’s annual SUBMISSION BLITZ (*pewpew*)! For the fourth year in a row, women across the country – nay, all over the world – are encouraged to flood top-tier journals with their fiction and nonfiction prose and poems.

The annual Submission Blitz is one of a plethora of actions Women Who Submit takes to work towards equity in the publishing world. These in-person gatherings give us a chance to celebrate each other and our commitment to our work, and ourselves because writing is hard. And discipline is hard. Staying the course against outer and inner obstacles is hard. So what better way to honor making it another whole trip around the sun as a writer, than to get together around food and drink, and WOO-HOO each other as we send out best work out to the mero-meros, the crème de la crème, the top-tier journals and shake up their slush pile! Continue reading

A WWS PUBLICATION ROUND UP FOR AUGUST

August was one of the busiest months on record for WWS publications. Settle in, the list is long. Congratulations to all the WWS members who had work published in August:

From Antonia Crane‘s “Stripped Bare: How I Told My Mom I Was a Stripper” at Lenny Letter:

My mom knew I’d quit doing the drugs that made me paranoid and skinny because I’d started returning her phone calls again. She also knew about my bisexuality because I’d brought my girlfriend, Austin, home one Christmas. The two of them sat close, sipped whiskey-Cokes, and giggled while Mom’s cheeks turned rosy. “I always thought being bisexual would be the best of both worlds,” she said. She knew I struggled financially and that I was in AA, too, but she didn’t know I’d slinked away from our small town to be a sex worker. Would she be ashamed of me if I told her? Would she stop loving me? Continue reading

Behind the Editor’s Desk: Joanna C. Valente

By Lauren Eggert-Crowe

Are you a witch?

Do you have a dark, strange story or poem looking for a home?

Are you drawn to the magical, the mysterious, the occult?

Then it’s time to start reading and submitting to Luna Luna. Founded four years ago by Lisa Marie Basile, Luna Luna is a delightfully witchy feminist journal dedicated to all things occult, poetic, and otherworldly. At Luna Luna you’ll find everything from a personal essay on Mexican White Magic to a Berry Lip Stain Spell for Confidence to a rundown of movies about BDSM to directions on how to sew a poppet. The mixture of essays and magickal ephemera is beautiful.

I asked some questions of Managing Editor Joanna C. Valente. Continue reading

Behind The Editor’s Desk: Sherisa de Groot

by Lauren Eggert-Crowe

In a current cultural moment saturated with blogs dedicated to all things childrearing, it can be nonetheless difficult for some mothers to find the answers and community they are looking for. There are still constrictive stereotypes about what a “regular mom” looks and acts like: white, middle-class, straight.  Women who don’t look like they just walked off the set of a dish detergent commercial often get shut out of the conversation. On top of that, the creative knowledge production around parenting and family-building still gets devalued in comparison to other, supposedly more urgent topics, because it is most often women who are producing this knowledge and pushing the conversation forward.

Enter, Raising Mothers, an online magazine “for mothers by mother writers, publishing personal essays, in-depth interviews and creative writing, honoring both parenting and personhood.” Raising Mothers “actively seeks out and supports work by and about those often marginalized in the literary conversation, including people of color and gender non-conformists, and members of the LGBTQIA and differently abled communities.”

If you are a mother searching for a community that sees you and wants to lift you up, Raising Mothers wants to hear your story. Continue reading

I’m a Writing Conference/Workshop Junkie

by Tisha Reichle

I don’t know if it’s being surrounded by the energy of other writers or pretending for a week, a few days, an afternoon, that I’m a student again, but I sit dutifully in the hotel ballroom chair or at a classroom table or around the cozy fireplace with a view of nearby nature, and listen carefully, take notes, ask thoughtful questions, and offer my insight when appropriate. In 2015-2016, I attended more than ten different conferences and workshops, traveled to seven cities, and spent a lot of my teacher salary. Various notebooks strewn about my apartment and a pile of receipts can attest to this. The experience thrills me every time and after each one, I’m eager for the next.

There are many writing conferences and workshops to choose from in the US and abroad. Which one is “the best” depends on your needs as a writer, your budget, and your desire for distance (or not). I usually looked for conferences/workshops in summer when I wasn’t teaching, in places I love (like New Mexico), where a writer I admire is an instructor, or a topic I’m passionate about is the focus. This strategy led me to my first workshop, Flight of the Mind, in 1995 in Eugene, Oregon with Helena Maria Viramontes. Continue reading