OUR RIGHT TO WRITE AND PUBLISH
This play on words is technically called a homonym, defined as words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Those of us who have a deep need to write down our ideas, our histories, our hopes and fears, and create great imaginative worlds, might understand this need as more of a compulsion that must be satisfied. Those of us who are placed in an environment—in a country—that does not attempt to subdue our writing passions are, indeed, greatly blessed. However, because we have the right to write, we also have the responsibility to do it well. Some might even say that we have the responsibility to release each piece into the world—to publish. So it is that this month’s series of blogs will focus on a few avenues of becoming the published author you are meant to be.
FOR the non-techie writer, who barely touches the Internet, consider these options to begin your publishing career. Start by spending some time in your local library. Research information about:
- ANTHOLOGIES. For those authors who enjoy short-story writing, the “themed” anthologies can be a dream-come-true. You may hear that this is an extremely tough market to break into, however, it is well worth the effort. My first published piece was accepted into a Science Fiction Anthology (sadly no longer in existence), and that encouragement gave me the nudge I needed to keep writing. These themed anthologies can be found on just about any topic you can imagine from motherhood to military missions, fishing tales to poetry. And another upside to Anthologies—differing from single issue magazines—is that an anthology doesn’t become dated after three or six months. They remain on library shelves for years becoming sought-after collections.
- Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly CONSUMER MAGAZINES. There are hundreds to choose from, so be very selective. Narrow these periodicals by the genre of your choice—your interest. If you love to read the Smithsonian and American Gardening and the Reader’s Digest, start there. Request their submission guidelines and begin formulating your pieces to fit their needs. Because you’re already familiar with the writing styles of authors who are published there, you’ve developed the writer’s “ear” for “hearing” those articles. Thus, producing you own will be easier.
- LITERARY JOURNALS. Some say these journals are fading away. However, I’m of the opinion that excellent writing will support these journals for generations to come. SO I encourage you to research these and find your niche. The smaller literary journals offer an array of opportunities. However, wherever you find a journal that impresses you, that is the place to start. Get their submission guidelines and follow them exactly! While the initial pay may not be great, just wait for your short story to be reprinted in such venues as The Best American Mysteries, or The Best American Short Stories. That is resume/portfolio success!
Bottom line here is NOT to put all your eggs in one basket. Also, think outside the box. Sorry for the cliché usage. However, one of the most inspiring stories I’ve heard is how a group of writers started their own journal/magazine. They may not have become rich (or maybe they have, but I don’t way or the other), yet they published their work and encouraged other writers in the process. ⚓︎
|ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.