"I am trying to check my habits of seeing, to counter them for the sake of greater freshness. I am trying to be unfamiliar with what I'm doing." - John Cage

Thursday, March 30, 2023

3 Key Takeaways from the Submissions and Publications Workshop Series 2023

 “The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as that between lightning and the lightning bug.” – Mark Twain

This workshop series created a supportive community of writers where we discussed tips and trends for submitting our work out into the world. We learned where to research resources for finding the best venue for a writing project and how to prepare a manuscript for submission. Then we pushed the SUBMIT button!

I think the best part for me was getting to meet and discuss insights with local authors about their experiences with agents and hybrid, self, and traditional publishers. They guided us through the steps they took to publish their manuscript and shared knowledge on conferences, writing residencies, and other opportunities the writers use to support their writing projects.

  • I am grateful to Tim Houserman for telling us the story about writing and publishing his latest memoir titled Going it Alone. Just released, its the personal story of the conflict between Tim's deep love for time alone in the wilderness and the feelings of loneliness and fear he sometimes finds once he gets there. Tim has written hundreds of articles for over a dozen publications on travel, recreation, free range parenting, the lure of danger, and over-tourism.

  • I'm grateful to Gayle Brandeis for sharing her experiences publishing in so many genres, including poetry, craft of writing, memoir, fiction, children's and YA.Gayle's most recent book is called Drawing Breath: Essays on Writing, the Body, and Loss, exploring the potent intersection between the writing life and the embodied life.

  • I'm grateful to Alenka Vrecek as she zoomed from Baja, California with us to share the story of publishing She Rides, her memoir to be released mid-June. Stay tuned for book launch events! She was a ski coach and a director of Palisades Tahoe ski teams for thirty years and owns Tahoe Tea Company.

  • I'm grateful to JacciTurner, an Amazon bestselling author of middle grade and young adult fiction. She writes adult fiction, too. She shared her experience with a variety of publishing methods, from traditional to Indie presses. Her latest book, Tree Singer is her first fantasy. Jacci is a recipient of grants from the Nevada Arts Council, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies in partnership with E.A. Michelson Philanthropy.

Key takeaways from Submissions and Publications Workshop Series 2023:

Your platform as a writer consists of various planks of engagement. A plank is anything that gets your name, face, or work in front of interested people. Here are some examples:

  • Internet: Blogs (yours and others you write for), forums you participate in, social media, websites, e-mail newsgroups, e-mail lists, podcasts, vodcasts
  • Media: Television exposure or contacts, radio, bylines, publications you write for or edit, publications, articles and reviews you write,
  • In-Person: Classes you teach, talks you give, book signings, clubs or other organizations you participate in (both professional and genre), events you attend, writers you support, workshops and conferences you attend, readings, book stores

Prompts for this workshop series:

1.     Why do you write?

2.     What do you write about?

3.     What is your unique perspective?

4.     What needs and emotions do you cater to or go after?

5.     What is your message?

6.     Who is your audience?

7.     Which planks do you currently have and which ones would you like to add to your platform as a professional writer?

8.     Set your submission goals for this month, this year:

As Roxane Gay wrote so beautifully, “Literary citizenship is the importance of remembering that no one is alone in the writing world.” I recommend her article for finding inspiration on how you can strengthen your own presence in the literary community: Eight Questions Writers Should Ask Themselves, Writer’s Chronicle, Nov 2013.

We are all citizens of Tahoe and the larger literary community. We are all contributing to the same big work; we are all on the same team.  One writer’s success is success for the whole community. How can you find ways to reach out and participate in order to make a difference in our communities?

Join us next year for this series!



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