A Real Audience
Creative Writing: It’s Not over Yet
As any good writing teacher will tell you, your writing piece is not finished until it’s published. That’s the good ones. The great ones will tell you that your writing is never, ever finished. That even after its published, you’ll want to tear it apart and put it back together. I know. I have done just this. So where does that leave us?
Good Is the Enemy of Great
Don’t believe this–we are writers, you and I. We don’t have the luxury of being good. We must be great. We must befriend great.
Great Is the Enemy of Perfect.
This you can believe. If you wait for something to be perfect, you will be waiting a very long time. well, not to us–as they say, we are our own worst critics. Instead of creating perfection–listen to people you trust when they tell you it’s ready. Let it be great, and the send it out.
Publish. And if you can’t, try.
There are so many ways to publish your work. I am going to offer you just a few. The most common ways that people will publish (if one disregards personal blogs and fan-fiction and so on) is through literary magazines and journals. PCC has a journal, actually. It is called The Final Note, and I am the managing editor for the magazine. The journal (not under me…yet) has one several awards. Keep an eye on your student emails for more information.
From Ploughsharesand Glimmer Train at the very high end to such wonderful publications as The Final Note, Tempered Steel (CSU-Pueblo’s literary journal) and Arapahoe Community College’s Progenitor, many options are available. You can try Googling “literary journals” or you can go to a database of journals. One of my favorites is NewPages.
Along with literary journals, one can enter writing contests. Some of these (such as the ones from Glimmer Train) can net you quite a bit of money, though they are extremely difficult to win. The reality is that places like Glimmer Train receive 40,000 submissions per year, and to be noticed, you have to be great and you have to be lucky.
Self-publishing can take a number of forms, but you will have to do any marketing yourself. And if you really want your work to be read, consider why you are self-publishing. Is it so that you can make some Christmas presents for friends and family? Great! Is it so that you can get exposure for your novel? Don’t self-publish.
Following this lecture is one of my own attempts at multi-genre self-publishing through Adobe’s Sparkpage. I want a keepsake, and Adobe offers that. I need nothing else for this project.
In short, know what you want to do–and do that!
You will need…
- A cover letter (see that page in this content)
- An outstanding writing piece
- A real email addy. “Glitterbunny_B3L1EB3R@aol.com” is not going to work.
In this (our last!!!) week of classs, we will develop a short presentation of our work, we will write a cover letter, and we will send out at least one piece of work. Happy writing, friends.