December’s WWS New Member Orientation and Tips for Self-Care

by Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

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Andrea Gutierrez has been published in make/shift, Mujeres de Maiz, Bitch, Huizache, On She Goes, and has previously edited for make/shift, Drunken Boat, and Los Angeles Review of Books.

Our next WWS New Member Orientation and Submission Party is set for Saturday, December 9th from 10am-2pm at 5481 Santa Monica Blvd 90029. We will begin at 10am with a one-hour workshop on self-care from WWS member and chingona, Andrea Gutierrez, who recently co-led a workshop on self-care at the 2017 Thinking Its Presence conference at the Poetry Center in Tucson, AZ. The workshop will be followed by breakout sessions from 11am-11:30am for a WWS orientation for new members and goal setting for current members. We will be submitting in real time from 11:30am-2pm. If you are looking for places to submit, check out this list of current open calls from Entropy.

New this month, we are gifting up to $200 worth of individual grants to WWS members to help offset the burden of submission fees thanks to the Center for Cultural Innovation selecting WWS for an Investing in Tomorrow grant. Submission fee grants will be given in $25 and $50 amounts and will be based on need. These grants are for current members, but don’t worry, to become a member, all you have to do is show up. New members will be eligible for a grant at our next public meeting in February.

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A Repost: The Fabulous 40

Back at the end of 2015, WWS organizer, Tisha Marie Reichle, curated this fantastic list of 40 feminist journals to support and submit to in 2016. Since we are coming to the end of 2017, why not challenge yourself to hit up a couple of these markets before the new year? Check out these journals that didn’t make it on to our first list–Gigantic SequenceLady/Liberty/LitMothers Always WriteVIDA, Women in Literary Arts, and What Fresh Witch is This–and be sure to share any new journals we missed in the comments! 

NPG x126136; Jackie Collins; Joan Collins by Terry O'Neill

by Terry O’Neill, bromide fibre print, 1970s

The Fabulous 40: Sister Journals to Read, Support, and Submit to in 2016

by Tisha Reichle

When setting your reading and writing goals for 2016, consider the work being done by other women writers and editors – people like you! Think about subscribing to one or more of the journals listed below. Make a conscious effort to read print and online journals edited/curated by women writers. Submit your work regularly to the journals and magazines that address themes you are writing about. As we move towards being more responsible literary citizens in the upcoming year, keep our sister writers in mind. (Information below is edited from each journal/magazine website information.)

If there are publications that have not been included on this list, please add a brief description and a link in the comments below so others can learn about it and we can update our information.

13th Moon: A Feminist Literary Magazine
Founded in 1973 in the ferment of early second wave feminism, as a home for women writers and their readers. Because the surrounding culture has tended to erase women writers from history, their work has needed rediscovery, preservation and its own dedicated space each generation. Continue reading

Ten Kind Suggestions for Being a Literary Citizen

by Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

1. Read

The most important way to contribute to a community of writers is to read their writing. Buy and read the books and journals of those around you, those you admire, those who you wish to work with, those you call friend or wish to call friend. Of course, we can’t buy every book, but if you can’t buy it, then borrow it from a friend or the library (And by the way, support your local libraries! They do important work for the community’s children and families). We are writers; it’s what we do; it’s what we work for. Show your appreciation for others by knowing their work.

2. Share

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Use social media to share what you’ve been reading and help promote other writers’ work, readings, or events. I like to post photos of my current reads to Twitter and Instagram with #amreading and tag the author if I can. As someone whose first book debuted a year ago, I know it gives me all the warm, happy feels to see my book in a reader’s hands on social media, and I want to give that feeling back. Also, it helps promote their work and possibly gain them more readers and followers. I also like to share photos of events I’m at, especially if they are women, women of color, and writers of color centric events because we need to be archiving more. I think it’s important to capture these moments, and say, yes, these writers were here; their work is important; you should know these writers.

It costs nothing to share what you’re reading or the events you’re attending on social media, so why not give freely and widely? Continue reading

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

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

Hedgebrook and Other Residency Resources

by Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

Hedgebrook’s 2018 Writer in Residence is now open. The deadline for applying is July 25th. Though there is a $30 application fee, rumor is you can request a fee waiver based on need, and if you are accepted, the stay–which includes room and board–is free of any cost aside from travel costs to Whidbey Island an hour outside of Seattle, Washington.

Hedgebrook is an all-female and female-identifying writing retreat. Writers stay in their own little cabin in the woods equipped with a desk and fisherman’s fireplace, and are given three meals-a-day, which includes a community dinner each night. No more than seven writers are on the premises at one time. One aspect that makes this residency highly sought out is Hedgbrook’s belief in radical hospitality. Some highlights of this include: menus catered to each writer’s specific food needs (and even the occasional favorite comfort food), fresh baked cookies daily, a well-loved garden writers are encouraged to pick flowers from for their desks, and absolutely no pressure to write. As someone who has experienced Hedgebrook, you and your writing will rarely feel so nurtured. Continue reading

WWS On the Town: Gathering of Latina Writers and LA Weekly Pitch Workshop

by Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

Saturday, June 17th, The Latino Arts Network sponsored the very first Gathering of Latina Writers at Plaza de la Raza in Lincoln Heights. The Gathering was organized by LAN organizers, Rebecca Naverez and Tomas Benitez, along with Jessica Ceballos y Campbell and Iris de Anda. This was a free event that included four panels on genre bending, publishing, identity and community, lunch, and an award presentation to Trini Rodriguez of Tia Chucha Press. Many WWS members were in attendance including WWS organizers, Tisha Reichle, Ashley Perez, and me. Continue reading