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Writer Goals for 2017

Goals are important to us at Women Who Submit. At every submission party we begin by asking each person in attendance to state a goal for the day. We encourage members to think of these goals as practical, short term tasks that can be completed (or at least begun) within our three hour meet ups. It is our mission to get results and help women and nonbinary writers physically hit send at least once before they leave us at the end of the day.

For more on the power of writing affirmations, check out LiYun Alavarado’s essay “THE POWER OF THE POST-IT: WRITING MY LIFE INTO EXISTENCE“:

“my own experiences creating vision boards and posting advice and affirmations around my home, have made me a true believer in the power of the post-it, or, more accurately, the power of clearly articulated aspirations, affirmations, and images posted prominently in our living and working spaces. I’ve come to believe that these post-its, lists, candle affirmations, and vision boards can function as powerful aids in attaining our hearts’ deepest desires—as writers, artists, and even as human beings.”

In this spirit, we share 2017 writing goals from our WWS-LA members. Please feel free to comment below and share your own goals for the coming year.

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A WWS PUBLICATION ROUND UP FOR DECEMBER

An eventful year finally winds down as we all look forward to a fresh start in 2017. Congratulations to all the Women Who Submit members who have had work published in 2016 and to those who sent their work into the world in December.

From Tisha Marie Reichle‘s “An Argument Against Old Cheese” in Ghost Town:

“What did you do to your hair?” Mother exclaimed, sorry she’d sent Beth to the neighborhood salon alone. “What about your graduation pictures?”

Beth fingered the brightly colored stripes that corrupted her freshly-cropped, light-brown hair. “That’s why I did it! The green and orange match the Ducks!” She was ecstatic about leaving her isolated desert home for the lush consciousness of Oregon in August. Until then, she had other problems to worry about. She kissed her mother on the cheek and ran out the door.

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2016 in Review with Encouraging Words from Sara Novic for 2017

by Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

2016 began with the establishment of the WWS Leadership Team who worked together on debut presentations for AWP16, BinderCon Los Angeles, and MixedRemix Festival. Thanks to our WWS Chapter Director, Ashaki Jackson, we welcomed new chapters in New York City, NY, Grand Forks, ND, Seattle, WA, and Oaxaca City, MX as well as other locations across the country. In September, we celebrated our 3rd Annual WWS Submission Blitz  where over 100 women participated remotely and submitted to top tier journals with over 20 women joining the LA meet up at the Faculty Bar. We held five private submission parties hosted by LA members, and new this year, we held our bimonthly new member orientations at different art and literary centers across the city. In February we met at Libros Schmibros in Boyle Heights with guest speaker, Tammy Delatorre, who shared strategies for contest submissions, April was dA Center for the Arts in Pomona with Cati Porter talking about directing Inlandia Institute and creating Poemeleon, a journal of poetry, June was  Antioch University in Culver City with Pamela Redmond Satran speaking about the road to becoming a successful professional writer, October was Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center in Venice Beach with Siel Ju sharing tips for finding an agent, and finally this month at Avenue 50 Studio in Highland Park, Sara Novic skyped in from Cincinnati, OH to talk about writing and activism post election. Continue reading

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Claps and Cheers: To You, you artist, you.

by Ramona Pilar

In the first few dizzying days following the most recent presidential election and circus-level campaign season, I observed an array of reactions and emotions. I was not a Trump supporter and do not know of any close family members who were. I did not see pro-Trump propaganda in my newsfeed unless it was part of a satirical or critical news piece.

I was stunned at his winning the election, but not shocked. It is stunning that the country that I was born into would rather have a fratboy running the government and managing their future, but not surprising. Stunning in the way you can see a car crash happening in slow motion right before your car hits another, and you break, and airbags deploy, and you’re sitting with your mouth full of powder trying to determine if it’s one of those anxiety dreams or if the car accident you’ve been lucky enough to avoid for most of your adult life has finally happened.

I was stunned to see the profound misogyny, racism, classism, and xenophobia of this country become prevalent enough for those long unaffected by it to finally see it, to begin discussing it.

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Highlight on WWS-NYC: An Interview with Chapter Lead, Kirsten Major

Women Who Submit: How would you describe your city and your local literary
community?

Kirsten Major: New York is a big-little city. We are 8 million in number, but the literary scene is small–everyone is about 1 person away from everyone else. Sharing air with literary giants is not uncommon. The five boroughs, plus Jersey City, plus Long Island reading scene is endless. My fantasy day job would be to be the Bill Cunningham of the literati, on my bike every night with a camera around my neck, on my way to a reading somewhere to take pictures of my world.

WWS: How did you hear of Women Who Submit, and why were you drawn to start a WWS chapter in your area?

KM: It just gets so. Darned. Hard. To keep putting yourself out there. Leland Cheuk, who wrote The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong, has written about this beautifully, persevering in the face of unstinting rejection. And also, it is mighty easy to have dedicated writing time co-opted by sending my work out if I haven’t in a while. Above all, it’s lonely. I am pretty active on Twitter so one day I put it out there, “Is there any one who knows if there are submissions parties? Is this a thing?” And someone sent me the WWS Twitter handle and I thought, that’s for me. It was absolutely key that Ashaki Jackson, co-founder, had a training session, coached me about attracting people and then worked her own NYC-based network of poets at Cave Canem,to help me get started. The national organization has supported me at every level and that keeps me going.

WWS: What personal experiences are you hoping to bring to the table as the chapter lead?

KM: I am good at pitching, and it is fun to help people with their letters. I am super grateful that long-time, literary friend, Laura Catherine Brown, is generally there and people witness her counseling me out of moments where I am so frustrated and down.

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What do you do?

by Lauren Eggert-Crowe

I’m never quite sure how to answer the question, “What do you do?” There are a few answers, depending on who’s asking. I’m an executive assistant at a Jewish anti-hunger nonprofit. This is where I spend the majority of my time and what takes up most of my brainspace. I’m also a writer, but I don’t write as often as I’d like to. My work in the literary community is often heavy on the social aspect. I support my friends at literary events. I organize readings and Women Who Submit submission parties. I forge connections and put in the effort to build community.

I started this job at the very beginning of the second Obama administration. Over the years I’ve sometimes found it difficult to marry the two halves of my life. I spend my weeks assisting the operations of a non-profit, and spend my evenings and weekends trafficking in book talk, fielding 10-25 reading invites a week. I listen to author talks, I donate money to the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, I read my friends’ books and I promote their successes on social media.

Two things happened to me this year that re-aligned my perspective on both my paid career and my unpaid career. The first was personal. The second was global. Continue reading

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A WWS PUBLICATION ROUND UP FOR NOVEMBER

2016 has been a great year to find Women Who Submit members in publications all over the world and November was no different. Congratulations to all who were published this month!

From “As a Teen, I Saw Myself in Rory. Now I Strive to Be Like Lorelai,” by Alana Saltz at the Washington Post:

Like Rory, I was an introverted teenager who aspired to share my experiences through writing. Now I strive to be like Lorelai and like my own mother — self-sufficient, independent and resilient.

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