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1. The Pros and Cons of Publishing With a Small Publisher

As the editor of Writer’s Market, I’m often quizzed by writers about which is the better option: self-publishing, or getting an agent and trying to land a deal with a big book publisher.

While many professionals seem to acknowledge only these two paths to publication as well, there’s a third route that should not be overlooked: the small press. There’s a whole field of reputable publishers outside of New York’s “Big Five” that can offer the support of the traditional publishing model on a smaller scale—and most accept unagented submissions.

So what are the pros and cons of publishing with a small press, and what should you expect if you decide to give it a go?

—By Robert Lee Brewer

The Submissions Process

There are some crucial differences in what small press editors look for in a submission, in contrast to the “Big Five.” When I speak with writers at conferences, they often voice frustration over the importance of writing commercially marketable stories in today’s publishing environment—and the lack of true risk-taking in the business. That’s what they hear emphasized by editors at big houses, because those professionals have aggressive sales goals. Small presses obviously have sales goals, too, but they’re typically more willing to take risks on projects they believe have artistic merit.

[Understanding Book Contracts: Learn what’s negotiable and what’s not.]

Jen Michalski, who in 2013 published a novel, a novella and a short-story collection with three different small presses (Black Lawrence Press, Dzanc Books and Aqueous Books, respectively), says, “The most important draw about these presses was their willingness to publish work that was risky, a difficult read, and therefore inherently commercially unsuccessful.”

Part of this mindset is formed by how small presses view publishing and sales. “With a small press, there is no 90-day window to make your book a bestseller,” Press 53 Publisher Kevin Morgan Watson says. “We continue to market and support our books and authors years after the book is released. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Michalski says she didn’t even discuss sales targets with the publisher of her novella. “Dzanc really loved what I was trying to do, and we never talked about whether or how it was going to sell, only that they were going to publish it,” she says. “Because that’s what they do—they publish challenging, boundary-pushing fiction. And they’ve achieved a formidable reputation by sticking to their principles.”

If you think a small press might be a good fit for your work, what should you know about vetting your options? Whether the books are made available as print, digital or both (formats and contract terms vary widely, which may give you room to negotiate), authors earn their money primarily through royalties—roughly 10 percent on print sales and up to 25 percent per digital purchase. On average, advances tend to be small—$1,000–2,000 is a common range—or even nonexistent. (At a larger publisher, you’d likely receive a bigger check upon signing—but remember that all advances are paid against royalties, meaning you aren’t paid royalties until you “earn out” your advance. At a small press, you’d likely receive less payment up front, but earn royalties sooner.)

Of course, how many copies you can expect to sell will depend on the nature of your book, as well as the distribution and marketing support the press can offer. Don’t hesitate to ask lots of questions along these lines, as well as what the expected print run would be, before you sign a contract—especially if you’re doing so without agent representation.

Many small presses solicit manuscripts through a mix of open submission periods and book contests. I secured a contract for my poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems, by submitting directly to Press 53 during its open submission period. But like many other small publishers, Press 53 also offers book contests that award a lump sum and other prizes (in Press 53’s case, a $1,000 advance and a launch party). Keep in mind that such contests are very competitive, and most require reading fees between $10 and $30 per entry. When deciding which are worth the investment, consider giving preference to those that offer all entrants a premium, such as a copy of the winning book, so you get something for your entry fee, even if it’s not publication.

The Publishing Process

When asked about the top advantage small presses offer to authors, Erika Goldman, publisher and editorial director of Bellevue Literary Press, says, “Tender, loving care.”

Small press authors can expect to receive a lot of attention from the editor, designer and even owner. That can translate into a more re-warding writer-editor relationship, as well as more involvement with the publicity department.

“We take the time to make sustaining connections for authors in the world of literature, scheduling author tours and creating a thoughtful list of prizes to nominate their work,” says Megan Bowden, director of operations and outreach for Sarabande Books.

In my case, I discussed distribution and marketing ideas directly with the owner of Press 53. I spent time on the phone with my editor during the day, in the evening, and even on weekends. And I had input on my book’s cover, even being able to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down on the suggested design. This type of artistic involvement is not available to most authors at larger houses—but in the small press world, my own experience was not an anomaly.

“I work directly on each book, designing it along with the author to produce something that a reader will want to purchase, as well as an object that best fits how the author wants their writings to be displayed,” says Geoffrey Gatza, founder, editor and publisher of BlazeVOX [books].

Of course, while book design and editorial input are important consi-derations for any author, that doesn’t mean you should expect complete creative control. (Otherwise, why not self-publish?)

“We try to do what’s best for the book in the end,” Bowden says. “We want to hear the desires of the author, but we’ve also been publishing books for almost 20 years and hope that when an author agrees to publish their work with us, they trust that we’re going to work hard and do all that we can to create a smart, bold cover that works with the overall theme of the book, edit the work to the best of our ability without compromising well-executed poetry or prose, all the while understanding the retail side of the publishing world enough to know how a book should look and feel to the reader.”

[Learn important writing lessons from these first-time novelists.]

Career Building

Small presses offer unknown and emerging authors a place to get a foothold in their pursuit of success by publishing those early works upon which a career is built.

“The advantage of being a published author is what most of us want, and a small press can do that tremendously well,” Gatza says. “A small press is the stepping-stone to bigger and better things, and not an end for a book—it is a wondrous beginning.”

Unlike with self-publishing, this beginning is endorsed by an objective gatekeeper who believes in your work enough to invest time and energy in the project—and pay you for the effort.

Of course, small press authors are expected to do their part.

“We expect our authors to be ac-tively publishing nationally and promoting through local and regional events and activities,” Watson says. “You can’t sit back and wait for readers to find you. Creativity does not end with writing the book.”

Thanks for visiting The Writer’s Dig blog. For more great writing advice, click here.

*********************************************************************************************************************************
brian-klems-2013

Brian A. Klems is the online editor of Writer’s Digest and author of the popular gift book Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters.

Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Sign up for Brian’s free Writer’s Digest eNewsletter: WD Newsletter

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2. How to Write Middle Grade Horror: 7 Tips

I scare children for a living.

As the author of a middle grade horror series, my job is to deliver stories that frighten and thrill my readers. Those readers tend to range in age from ten to fourteen, which makes delivering on that task more difficult than you might imagine. My readership is growing up in the age when video games are rife with monsters and violence, when YouTube offers limitless access to scary independent films and, of course, when “The Walking Dead” is the number one show on television. So, if I want to inspire some good old fashioned fright in my fans, I need to do more than yell “Boo!” Here, then, are seven tips for scaring the pants off of young readers:

GIVEAWAY: Ty is excited to give away a free copy of his novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Please note that comments may take a little while to appear; this is normal).

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA        the-undertakers-novel-drago

Column by Ty Drago, author of THE UNDERTAKERS: SECRET OF THE
CORPSE EATER (the third book in his middle grade horror series). The
book was praised by Publishers Weekly, while Booklist said the story was one
that would “both disgust and delight readers . . . who will be clamoring for the
continuation of the story.”  Ty has authored numerous sci-fi and horror books
for kids. (Find them all on Amazon here.) His first Undertakers novelette,
NIGHT OF MONSTERS, is currently available for free on Smashwords.com
and barnesandnoble.com. Connect with Ty on Twitter or Facebook.

1) Pick the right villain

Any horror story is only as good as its bad guy. When writing adult horror, it’s prudent, when appropriate, to add a dash of humanity to one’s serial killer, vampire, succubus, etc. We do this to give the character depth. But in children’s fiction, that rule goes out the window. Even if your villain is a human, he or she must still be a monster. They should be savage and pitiless. Your bad guy needs to take delight in their misdeeds, cherish each moment of the suffering they cause. And if he or she is inhuman, then let them revel in their inhumanity. Let them be the absolute worst that they can be — then throw in a little more awful, just for the fun of it.

2) Start on page one

In children’s fiction, the old writer’s axiom, “start the story where it starts,” is at its most vital. Kids, even avid readers, expect a book to grab them from page one. They have a harder time immersing themselves in a plot with a gradual build. If your story is about an alien invasion, open with that. If your story centers around demonic slayings, begin with the first of them. Whoever — or whatever — your villain is, let’s meet him, or at least glimpse him, right up front.

So here’s a new axiom: “The first scare should be on the first page.”

(Never open your novel with a dream — here’s why.)

3) Find a new slant

Say what you will about sparkly vampires, they worked.

Even the villain you tout is one of the classics, your young readers will still expect to see something they haven’t before. Be it a two-headed werewolf, a mummy who can wrap up its victims in bandages and turn them into mummies, or a vampire clown (kind of like that last one!), your bad guy has to bring something original to the table. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked at a school visit, “Do we need another vampire book?” and received a resounding “No!” I wonder how they’d feel about the clown?

4) Ebb and flow

Non-stop action worked for Indiana Jones, but it’s tiring in print. Even the most gripping horror story needs to allow its readers to take a breath. This is especially true in children’s fiction, where the attention span can sometimes be — abbreviated. Keep your chapters short, your scares solid, but use the gaps between the scares to build characterization, establish mood and voice, and let your reader’s heart rate steady.

Then: At ‘em again!

5) Use the “Pop Out”

I know: It’s considered cheap in a horror movie. The terrified heroine standing before a mirror and, suddenly, the demon’s face is at her shoulder. The violins slash a discordant chord as she spins around, to only find nothing there. But in fiction, the Pop Out can actually prove quite effective. The trick lies in how you spin it. When writing such moments, keep the paragraphs small and the sentences short. Don’t over-describe the scene; allow your reader’s imagination do the work.

So let those purple dead hands reach out from a hole in the floorboards to seize an ankle or two, let those red eyes shine in the window, and never hesitate to have something drop out of a tree or lunge from under the bed.

(Agents define their “ideal client” — hear what they have to say.)

6) Use the “Slow Dread”

Pop Outs are great. But they don’t tell a horror story. For that, you need the right mood, the perfect edge, the slow dread. Even when no immediate danger threatens your heroes, the whisper of it must always be there. I usually establish this subtle undertone of menace by getting inside my character’s head, letting my reader share their apprehension, their fear of what might be around the next corner, or what may happen when the sun goes down. Just remember to “show” and not “tell.” Never inform the reader, not even in children’s fiction. Instead, let them use what the characters see, hear, smell and feel to inform themselves.

7) Mind your happy endings

We’re living in an age of ambiguity, at least where endings are concerned. In fiction, as in life, endings are rarely completely happy. Young readers tend to be skeptical of a conclusion that ties everything up in a neat bow. Heroes can ride off into the sunset, but there should be an edge to their triumph — the death of a friend perhaps, or a broken promise, or simply the loss of innocence — that tempers their success. This is not to say that evil should triumph. I’m a big believer in good winning the day every time. But victory should be tempered with sacrifice, and no hero, regardless of their tender age, should escape entirely unscathed.

To wrap things up, here’s another axiom: “Never underestimate your reader.” Today’s kids don’t want to be coddled. They don’t want you to hold back the frights. They don’t fear nightmares, and they want to show the world that they can “take it.” So if horror is your genre, then horror should be your goal. Let your young readers tremble in the shadows and run for their lives.

After all, it’s why they bought the book!

GIVEAWAY: Ty is excited to give away a free copy of his novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Please note that comments may take a little while to appear; this is normal).

 

2014-childrens-writers-and-illustrators-market

Writing books/novels for kids & teens? There are hundreds
of publishers, agents and other markets listed in the
latest Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market.
Buy it online at a discount.

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

 

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more.
Order the book from WD at a discount.

 

 

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3. Where Writers Write: The Homes of Jack Kerouac

The author in 1956. Credit: Tom PalumboThe living quarters of authors have always held a weird fascination for me. There’s something strangely intimate about knowing where another writer works and lives, how they arrange the furniture, what artwork adorns the walls. So I was interested but a bit disheartened when the Tampa Bay Times posted a series of photos from the interior of Jack Kerouac’s final residence, a “nondescript bungalow” in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Kerouac was famously nomadic: His classic novel, On the Road, follows the adventures (and misadventures) of a thinly-veiled Kerouac stand-in named Sal Paradise (and a band of pseudonymous friends, including Dean Moriarty as Neal Cassady and Carlo Marx as Allen Ginsberg.) Over the course of 300-odd pages, Sal travels from New York to Denver; San Francisco, Selma, Bakersfield and Los Angeles, California; then back again through Arizona, Texas, Missouri, Indiana and Pennsylvania, finally arriving again in New York, where he narrowly missed a visit from Dean. You can follow the route exactly on this color-coded, annotated map.

Before he was a wandering, jazz-fueled free spirit, Kerouac was born to French-Canadian parents in the second-floor apartment of a house in Lowell, MA. That house, at 9 Lupine Road, is still standing.
Photo credit: Rus Bowden, 2010.

Kerouac’s birthplace in Lowell, MA. Photo credit: Rus Bowden, 2010.

His family moved around in Lowell through Kerouac’s youth. In one house, which the author later called “sad Beaulieu,” Jack’s older brother Gerard died of rheumatic fever when he was only nine years old. Jack, who was four, never forgot him, and later named his novel Visions of Gerard after the older brother he’d lost.

Photo credit: Rus Bowden, 2010.

“Sad Beaulieu,” Kerouac’s childhood home in Lowell, MA. Photo credit: Rus Bowden, 2010.

When he was a bit older, Kerouac and his parents lived in an apartment over a corner drugstore. Here, he wrote The Town and the City, published in 1950 under John Kerouac, which was well reviewed but sold poorly. (The drugstore was later replaced with a flower shop, as shown below.)

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The tiny apartment where Kerouac lived while writing The Town and the City. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

At the very cusp of fame—in 1957, just after On the Road was purchased by Viking Press—Jack moved to Orlando, Florida, where he lived in a tiny cottage with his mother. It was here, at 1418 1/2 Clouser St., that Kerouac typed the manuscript that would later become The Dharma Bums.

800px-Jack_Kerouac_House_-_Winter_Park_Florida

The home in which Kerouac completed The Dharma Bums, located in College Park, Orlando, Florida. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

The College Park house is now the focus of The Kerouac Project, which, with the help of the state of Florida and a foundation of local fans and celebrities, has renovated and opened the house to the public.

In his last years, Kerouac lived in St. Petersburg, Florida, with his third wife, Stella Sampas, and his mother.

Photo: LARA CERRI

Exterior: The home of Jack Kerouac and his third wife, Stella Sampas. Photo credit: Lara Cerri for Tampa Bay Times

It’s a sad story, the kind you don’t really want to hear: The King of the Beats was ill, lonesome and broke when he was last visited by press in 1969. He let the reporter in, but there were no shots of Kerouac taken that day: “You better not try to take my photo, or I’ll kick your a–,” he said. A few weeks later, he was dead at age 47.

Photo credit: Lara Cerri

Kerouac’s desk. Photo credit: Lara Cerri for Tampa Bay Times

Though the beloved Dharma Bum is gone, his house at 5169 10th Ave. N. remains, along with the author’s desk (above), which has been with the family since 1969. The desk is in great shape. The house is not. Family and volunteers are working to clear out the rats and repair broken windows, and considering opening the house to the public once the maintenance is complete.
Photo credit: Lara Cerri

The living room of 5169 10th Ave. N., the home of Jack Kerouac at his death in 1969. Photo credit: Lara Cerri for Tampa Bay Times

To help fund the repairs, volunteers are hosting fundraisers at local venues. For more information about the house, and for more photos, visit Tampa Bay Times.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

This post is the first in a series titled “Where Writers Write,” which explores the homes and hideouts of famous authors: living and dead, foreign and domestic. A new post will appear each week on There Are No Rules. Stay tuned!

If you have suggestions for authors to feature in this segment, please email them to us at wdsubmissions@fwmedia.com with “Where Writers Write” in the subject line. No attachments will be opened, so please include your suggestions or questions in the body of your email. ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Adrienne Crezo is the managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine. She lives and writes in Ohio. Her work has been featured on MentalFloss.com, The Atlantic, Business Insider, The Week and many other print and web publications. You can follow her on Twitter at @a_crezo.

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4. 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 23

I’ve been having a wonderful April, and I hope you have too. Counting this morning’s poem, I think I’ve already written more than 30 poems this month (not all of my writing ends up on this blog), and I’m pretty happy with a few of the poems I’ve written for this challenge.

Yes, this has been another great National Poetry Month, and here’s a great kit to celebrate: The Writer’s Digest National Poetry Month Kit, which includes a digital version of The Poetry Dictionary, a couple paperbacks (Creating Poetry and Writing the Life Poetic), a tutorial on building an audience for your poetry, the 2014 Poet’s Market, and more! Click to continue.

For today’s prompt, write a location poem. Location could be physical–like the laundromat, a public park, a glacier, flying saucer, etc. Or location could be emotional, psychological, metaphysical, or some other kind of word that ends in -al. Or surprise everyone!

*****

Daniel Nester

Daniel Nester

Free up your poetry with constraints!

Learn how putting constraints on your poetry through poetic forms, blank verse, and other tricks can actually free up your poetry writing skills and enhance your creativity in Writer’s Digest’s first ever Poetry Boot Camp.

This boot camp will be led by April PAD (Poem-A-Day) Challenge guest judge Daniel Nester, author of How to Be Inappropriate and editor of The Incredible Sestina Anthology, and it will include a one-hour tutorial, personalized Q&A on a secure “attendees-only” message board, feedback on three original poems, and more.

Click to continue.

*****

Here’s my attempt at a Location Poem:

“locate”

i am over here
and you’re over there

if you move here
i’ll move there

i used to be there
where you are

but i moved
when you arrived

nothing personal
not trying to be a jerk

i mean i am
but don’t take it that way

that would be so like you
taking things like that

and here you come
so there i go

*****

Today’s guest judge is…

Erika Meitner

Erika Meitner

Erika Meitner

Erika’s first book, Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore, won the 2002 Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry, and was published in 2003 by Anhinga Press. Her second book, Ideal Cities, was selected by Paul Guest as a winner of the 2009 National Poetry Series competition, and was published in 2010 by HarperCollins. Her third collection, Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls, was published by Anhinga Press in 2011. Her newest collection of poems, Copia, is due out from BOA Editions in 2014.

In addition to teaching creative writing at UVA, UW-Madison, and UC-Santa Cruz, Erika has worked as a dating columnist, an office temp, a Hebrew school instructor, a computer programmer, a lifeguard, a documentary film production assistant, and a middle school teacher in the New York City public school system.

Meitner is currently an Associate Professor of English at Virginia Tech, where she teaches in the MFA program, and is also the associate faculty principal of Hawthorn House (one of the residential colleges at Virginia Tech).

Learn more here: http://erikameitner.com/.

*****

PYHO_Small_200x200Poem Your Heart Out

Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

Click to continue.

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. The book includes poems in a Kroger parking lot, at an arboretum, and other locales. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

*****

Locate a few other poetic posts here:

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5. Live Webinar: Slush Pile Showdown

Nothing in the world of writing can cause anxiety-induced panic attacks quite like waiting on a response from a literary agent. And crafting that perfect query letter is as important as anything else you’ll do as an author. Without a strong query letter and a good, quick hook to a manuscript, an author’s submission threatens to be lost in the dreaded slush pile. Separating yourself from the competition and creating a successful pitch has never been more paramount.

That’s why Writer’s Digest has a unique, upcoming opportunity for writers. On Tuesday, April 29, literary agents Barbara Poelle and Holly Root will pull back the curtain and show authors exactly what goes on when an agent reads a query during a liver webinar—Slush Pile Showdown: How to Make Your Submission Stand Out. They’ll simulate the slush pile, critiquing queries that you submit, while giving insights into which ones stand out and why, how queries can be improved, and the common pitfalls to avoid.

This is a one-of-a-kind sneak peak into what it’s like to be a literary agent, sifting through the slush pile, hoping to strike gold. You’ll see exactly what they’re looking for, and can better tailor your submissions to meet those expectations. Remember: your query is your first introduction to the world, and it’s the first step to getting noticed, requested, and signed!

The webinar begins at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 29, and will last about 90 minutes. The registration price is only $89.99, and each registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for one year. This means you don’t have to be present for the live event, as it will be recorded.

Attendees will have the ability to chat with Barbara and Holly during the live event and ask questions. Answers to questions that they don’t get to in the webinar will be answered and e-mailed out approximately one week after live event.

All registrants are invited to submit a one-page query letter, plus the first page of their manuscript (300 words or less) for the critique. If you are interested in having your materials critiqued live, they must be submitted and received before 5 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 28. All submitted materials are guaranteed a written critique, and Barbara and Holly will cover as many of the query and page submissions as possible during the live webinar.

For more information about registering, submitting your query letter and materials, and setting up for the live webinar, please visit our official page for Slush Pile Showdown: How to Make Your Submission Stand Out.

About the agents:

Holly Root is a literary agent at Waxman Leavell Literary Agency who represents adult fiction, select nonfiction, and novels for children and teens; she is not seeking picture book clients or screenwriting clients. She heads up a Los Angeles office for the New York City-based Waxman Leavell Agency. Visit her online at www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/hroot, www.waxmanleavell.com, and www.twitter.com/hroot.

Barbara Poelle is Vice President at Irene Goodman Literary Agency representing fiction for teens and adults. Her roster trends toward thriller and suspenseful women’s fiction as well as mystery, young adult and horror. Barbara also writes a monthly Q&A column for Writer’s Digest magazine and has previously signed three clients from attendees of her Writer’s Digest webinars. Visit www.irenegoodman.com to learn more.

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6. The Discovery

When you return to school for a conference, you bump into one of your old professors, who is rambling on excitedly about a new discovery. He asks you to follow him to his office—he has something he wants to show you. What is the new discovery? Why is your professor so excited? Write this scene.

Get two weeks worth of writing prompts that will inspire you to write great stories.Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

Want more creative writing prompts? Download:

The Writing Prompt Boot Camp (Free Download)

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7. 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 22

A few people have sent me e-mail messages asking if I’m going to favor this type of poem or that type of poem; if I’m looking for this kind of poet or that type of poet; and so on (since I’m the person making the finalist lists to send to the guest judges). So here’s what I’m looking for: poems that make me care.

Funny poems, sad poems, angry poems, rambling poems, concise poems (ahem, haiku), traditional form poems, free verse, prose poems, rhyme poems, non-rhyme poems, poems that make perfect sense, poems that leave me scratching my head; or in other words, I have broad range of interests, and I’ll know it when I see it; or in even other words, don’t worry about me or the guest judges–just write what you care about writing, and the rest will take care of itself.

Today is a Tuesday, and you know what that means: Two for Tuesday Prompts! Write one, write the other, and/or write both!

  • Write an optimistic poem. The glass is half full.
  • Write a pessimistic poem. The glass is half empty.

*****

Get feedback on your poetry!

If you want some professional feedback on your poeming efforts, the Writer’s Digest Advanced Poetry Writing course is a great place to start.

Click here for more details.

*****

Here’s my attempt at an Optimistic and/or Pessimistic Poem:

“today is not the end of it”

we’re from the same blood
we’re hooks holding up hooks

we’re lost items being found
before getting lost again

we’re trees bent by the wind
we’re animals searching shadows

we’ve got the scent in our
nostrils tails in the air

we’re running off the path
we’re not looking back

*****

Today’s guest judge is…

Lawrence Schimel

Lawrence Schimel

Lawrence Schimel

Lawrence writes in both English and Spanish and has published over 100 books in many different genres, including the poetry collection Desayuno en la Cama (Egales) and the chapbooks Fairy Tales for Writers (A Midsummer Night’s Press) and Deleted Names (A Midsummer Night’s Press).

He has published poems in a broad range of periodicals, including The Saturday Evening Post, Physics Today, The Christian Science Monitor, and Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, and his poems have been widely anthologized in The Random House Treasury of Light Verse, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman: The Book of Dreams, The Incredible Sestina Anthology, Chicken Soup for the Horse-Lover’s Soul 2, Obsessions: Sestinas in the 21st Century, etc.

Lawrence lives in Madrid, Spain where he works as a Spanish->English translator.

*****

PYHO_Small_200x200Poem Your Heart Out

Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

Click to continue.

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. The collection has a recurring theme of pushing the re-set button and getting back to basics. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

*****

These poetic posts are half there but also half not (or something):

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8. 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 21

Before we get started today, I just want to take a moment to thank all our guest judges for volunteering their time, energy, and talents to this year’s April PAD Challenge. Be sure to find their poems online and if you like them, buy their books! Click here to review the complete list of our 30 guest judges.

For today’s prompt, write a “back to basics” poem. For me, back to the basics means jumping to the fundamentals. Maybe it’s me re-learning (or practicing) fundamentals–like running or writing–but it could also be a child learning how to tie his shoestrings, which can be a unique experience for both the child and the adult trying to give instructions and advice. Back to basics could also be re-setting a state of mind or getting back into a routine. In a way, spring is a season that gets back to the basics.

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Get feedback on your poetry!

If you want some professional feedback on your poeming efforts, the Writer’s Digest Advanced Poetry Writing course is a great place to start.

Click here for more details.

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Here’s my attempt at a Back to Basics Poem:

“marketing”

forget websites & blogs
what i need is a business card

i miss the tactile presence
of a name and job title

displayed with contact info
& sometimes a logo

but what i miss most
is the blank slate back side

on which i could jot notes
& random couplets

sometimes i’d sketch pictures
or get the contact info

of someone i actually
intended to contact

that cardstock carried no
analytics but it was

useful in a way only
a human could measure

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Today’s guest judge is…

Deborah Ager

Deborah Ager

Deborah Ager

Deborah recently co-edited The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry (2013) and Old Flame: Ten Years of 32 Poems Magazine (2013).

The latter is a finalist for the Forward Book of the Year prize.

Learn more at: http://www.deborahager.com.

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PYHO_Small_200x200Poem Your Heart Out

Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

Click to continue.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. The collection has a recurring theme of pushing the re-set button and getting back to basics. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

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Get back to basics with these poetic posts:

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9. New Literary Agent Alert: Michelle Richter of Foreword Literary

Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Michelle Richter of Foreword Literary) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

 

michelle-richter-literary-agent

 

About Michelle: Michelle Richter was formerly an editor at St. Martin’s Press. Michelle has a degree in Economics with a minor in Russian from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and left a career in finance for publishing. She joined St. Martin’s Press’ editorial department in 2006 after obtaining a Masters in Publishing from Pace University. Richter says: “What I’ve most loved as an editor is discovering new authors, helping them make their writing stronger, and finding just the right audience for them. Now I’m excited to bring the skills I developed over eight years at St. Martin’s Press to my new role at Foreword Literary. I’ve been impressed by how the Foreword Literary team capitalizes on the myriad opportunities to find writers and reach readers, whether through traditional publishing channels or in the evolving digital landscape, and I’m thrilled to be joining this dynamic, energetic agency.” Find her on Twitter at @michrichter1.

(Can you re-query an agent after she’s rejected you in the past?)

She is seeking: Michelle is primarily seeking fiction, specifically book club reads, literary fiction, well-crafted women’s commercial fiction, thrillers, and mysteries. For nonfiction, she’s interested in fashion, film, television, science, medicine, sociology/social trends, and economics for trade audiences.

How to submit: To query Michelle, please send your query letter, a 1-2 page plot synopsis, and the first twenty pages of your manuscript to querymichelle [at] forewordliterary.com as an attached Word document. Please allow up to eight weeks response time.

(Are you writing middle grade, edgy paranormal, women’s fiction or sci-fi? Read about agents seeking your query.)

 

2014-guide-to-literary-agents

The biggest literary agent database anywhere
is the Guide to Literary Agents. Pick up the
most recent updated edition online at a discount.

 

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

 

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more.
Order the book from WD at a discount.

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10. 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 20

I’ve been playing with forms a little this month. It’s something I do when I start to feel a little stuck in my writing. Imposing rules–oddly enough–seems to free me up a bit. So far this month, I’ve written a villanelle, sestina, a couple sonnets, and even a couple haiku on the side. As you’ll see below, I went all triolet on today’s prompt.

For today’s prompt, write a family poem. I’ve actually written a few poems about my family this month already, but you don’t have to restrict yourself to your own family. There are any number of human families, of course, but also animals, insects, and other organisms. Plus, there are “families” of other types as well. As usual, feel free to bend the prompt to your favor.

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Get feedback on your poetry!

If you want some professional feedback on your poeming efforts, the Writer’s Digest Advanced Poetry Writing course is a great place to start.

Click here for more details.

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Here’s my attempt at a Family Poem:

“dinner”

Tammy asks us all to hold hands
as Will and Hannah lead the prayer
so fast that no one understands
Tammy asks us all to hold hands
and the boys make their food demands
while I start to growl like a bear
Tammy asks us all to hold hands
as Will and Hannah lead the prayer.

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Today’s guest judge is…

Scott Owens

Scott Owens

Scott Owens

Originally from Greenwood, SC, Scott holds degrees from Ohio University, UNC Charlotte, and UNC Greensboro. He currently lives in Hickory, NC, where he teaches at Catawba Valley Community College, edits Wild Goose Poetry Review and serves as vice-president of the NC Poetry Society.

His 11th book of poetry, Eye of the Beholder, was recently released by Main Street Rag.

His work has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, the Next Generation/Indie Lit Awards, the NC Writers Network, the NC Poetry Society, and the Poetry Society of SC.

Learn more here: http://www.scottowenspoet.com/.

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PYHO_Small_200x200Poem Your Heart Out

Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

Click to continue.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. He thinks family is very, very important–no matter what structure that family takes. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

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Share these poetic posts with your family:

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11. 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 19

At the beginning of the challenge, there’s a lot of excitement about starting; at the end of the challenge, there’s excitement (and sadness) over finishing the challenge; but in the middle, it’s kind of like the dog days of summer–at least for some. For me, each day is a new challenge. And speaking of challenges, don’t forget to check out my poetic challenge with a $500 grand prize (deadline: May 15). Click here for more details.

For today’s prompt, pick a color, make the color the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. You can make your poem black, white, red, purple, turquoise, puce, or whatever your heart desires. And the subject of your poem can cover any topic–as long as you’ve plugged a color into the title. Let’s do this!

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Get feedback on your poetry!

If you want some professional feedback on your poeming efforts, the Writer’s Digest Advanced Poetry Writing course is a great place to start.

Click here for more details.

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Here’s my attempt at a Color in the Title Poem:

“onyx”

my father would cover the windows
with heavy blankets the only light

a digital clock that counted slow
the minutes i didn’t have patience

but i knew how to listen and keep
silent i often wonder if he

knew i wouldn’t tell years later when
i did he said he could remember

nothing but admitted it could’ve
happened a decade keeping secrets

and keeping them alone that hurt most
father asking if i loved him and

saying to not tell a secret we
must keep and me wanting to escape

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Today’s guest judge is…

Thomas_Lux_poetThomas Lux

Thomas Lux’s most recent book of poems is Child Made of Sand (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012). Selected Poems is due from Bloodaxe Books this fall.

He is also the author of several other books, including The Cradle Place and God Particles. In addition to poetry collections, Tom is the author of From the Southland, a book of literary nonfiction.

He holds the Bourne Chair in Poetry and is director of the McEver Visiting Writers Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has been awarded multiple NEA grants and the Kingsley Tufts Award and is a former Guggenheim Fellow.

Click here to learn more.

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PYHO_Small_200x200Poem Your Heart Out

Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

Click to continue.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. The title poem from that collection is about the relationship mentioned in the poem above. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

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Color your life with these poetic posts:

 

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12. 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 18

One of the cool things I was asked to do already this year is to be a guest judge at the InterBoard Poetry Community for the first three months of the year. It was fun reading through the submissions each month, and my last round of judging recently went live on the site. Click here to read the winners

–and to check out the various forums/communities.

For today’s prompt, write a weather poem. A weather poem can be a poem about a hurricane or tornado; it can be a poem about the weatherperson; it can be a poem about forgetting an umbrella on a rainy day; it can be big; it can be small; etc.

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2014_poets_market

Get published!

Learn how to get your poetry published with the 2014 Poet’s Market. This essential guide to publishing poetry is filled with articles on the craft of poetry, business of poetry, and promotion of poetry. It includes poetic forms, poet interviews, and new poetry. But most importantly, it includes listings to poetry publishers, including book publishers, magazines, contests, and more!

Click to continue

.

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Here’s my attempt at a Weather Poem:

“my brother, the storm chaser”

my brother is a storm chaser
i am a storm racer my brother
chases after storms i race from them

my brother looks at online data
& knows where tornadoes will drop
i just see a big red & green blob

of potential destruction my
brother is the guy everyone
in my family wants to discuss

i am happy to fly under
the radar & stay out of harm’s way
& pray for my baby brother’s health

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Today’s guest judge is…

Nin Andrews

Nin Andrews

Nin Andrews

Nin’s poems and stories have appeared in many literary journals and anthologies including Ploughshares, The Paris Review, Best American Poetry (1997, 2001, 2003, 2013), and Great American Prose Poems.

She won an individual artist grant from the Ohio Arts Council in 1997 and again in 2003 and is the author of several books including six chapbooks and five full-length collections.

Her next book, Why God Is a Woman, is due out from BOA Editions in 2015.

Learn more here: http://www.amazon.com/Nin-Andrews/e/B001JOVUG.

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PYHO_Small_200x200

Poem Your Heart Out

Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

Click to continue

.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems

. He really does have a storm chasing brother named Simon Brewer (click here to learn more about him). Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

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Weather the day with these poetic posts:

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  • Tracy Davidson: Poet Interview
  • .
  • Sijo: Poetic Form
  • .

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    13. What Magazine Editors Want (& Don’t Want)

    What are editors pet peeves? What can you do to get more and more assignments tossed your way by editors? Do editors expect you to know SEO? (Do you know what SEO means?)

    I was honored to be interviewed by Laura Pepper Wu, editor of The Write Life magazine, where we discussed many important topics that relate to freelance writers. It’s a lot of great info packed into a relatively short conversation, so it’s worth checking out (not to mention I look incredibly dashing in my bright blue headphones). Here’s the clip.

    Thanks for visiting The Writer’s Dig blog. For more great writing advice, click here

    .

    *********************************************************************************************************************************
    brian-klems-2013

    Brian A. Klems is the online editor of Writer’s Digest and author of the popular gift book Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters

    .

    Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianKlemsWD Newsletter

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    14. Successful Queries: Agent Sara Megibow and “Falls the Shadow”

    This series is called “Successful Queries”

    and I’m posting actual query letter examples that succeeded in getting writers signed with agents. In addition to posting these query letter samples, we will also get to hear thoughts from the writer’s literary agent as to why the letter worked.

    The 66th installment in this series is with agent Sara Megibow (Nelson Literary) for Stefanie Gaither’s young adult novel, FALLS THE SHADOW

    (Sept 2014, Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers). Kristi Helvig, author of BURN OUT, said of the book: “[It's] a smart, futuristic thriller that grabs you and doesn’t let go until the very last page. This is a fantastic debut.”

    (Agents share their query letter pet peeves.)

     

    Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 10.09.36 AM

     

     

    Dear Ms. Megibow,

    I’m currently seeking representation for my YA novel, FALLS THE SHADOW. Given your interest in science fiction, I thought it might be a good fit for your list.

    When Cate Benson was twelve, her sister died. Two hours after the funeral, they picked up Violet’s replacement, and the family made it home in time for dinner and a game of cards.

    It’s the year 2055, and Cate’s parents are among the wealthy elite who can afford to give their children a sort of immortality—by cloning them at birth. So this new Violet has the same smile. The same laugh. That same perfect face. Thanks to advancements in mind-uploading technology, she even has all the same memories as the girl she replaced.

    She also might have murdered the most popular girl in school.

    Or at least, that’s what the paparazzi and the crazy anti-cloning protestors want everyone to think: that clones are violent, unpredictable monsters. Cate is used to hearing all that, though. She’s used to standing up for her sister too, and she’s determined to do it now—even if proving Violet’s innocence means taking on those protestors and anyone else attacking her family. But when her own life is threatened—not by protestors, but by the very scientists who created her sister’s clone—Cate starts questioning everything she thought she knew about the cloning movement. About herself. About her sister.

    And the answers she finds reveal a more sinister purpose for her sister’s copy—and her own replacement—than she ever could have imagined.

    FALLS THE SHADOW is complete at 80,000 words, and is the first in a planned series. The manuscript is available, in part or full, upon request. Thanks for your time and consideration!

    Best,

    Stefanie Gaither

     

    COMMENTARY BY AGENT SARA MEGIBOWfind it on Amazon already

    .]

    (Query letter FAQs answered.)

     

    Need help crafting an awesome plot for your
    story? Check out the new acclaimed resource
    by Ronald Tobias, 20 Master Plots.

     

    Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:How NOT to Pitch Your Book.

  • Examining an Excellent Pitch.
  • Genre Author Taylor Stevens Explains “How I Got My Agent.”
  • How I Got My Agent: Oksana Marafioti, Author of AMERICAN GYPSY
  • .
  • Sell More Books by Building Your Author Platform
  • .
  • Follow Chuck Sambuchino on Twitter
  • or find him on Facebook. Learn all about his writing guides on how to get published, how to find a literary agent, and how to write a query letter.

     

    Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
    Create Your Writer Platform

    Order the book from WD at a discount

    .

     

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    15. 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 17

    Yesterday afternoon, I posted about the value of poetry (at least in my eyes). Spoiler alert: It’s more than just publication credits and rolling around in hundred dollar bills. In fact, it has nothing to do with either. Click here to check it out and share your thoughts

    .

    For today’s prompt, write a pop culture poem. I guess I broke out the Bon Jovi a day early, eh? But hey, write a poem about Bon Jovi or Van Halen; write a poem about the Kardashians (or don’t–and say you did); write a poem about a popular SNL skit; write a poem about Dr. Who or Downton Abbey; write a poem about any kind of popular culture thing-a-ma-bob you wish. In fact, write three! (Just kidding; you only need to write one poem–but seriously, write three and be sure to add a little more cowbell.)

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    Workshop your poetry!

    Click here to learn more

    .

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    Here’s my attempt at a Pop Culture Poem:

    “Much Ado”

    I wanted to write a poem on James
    Franco, but it turned out too obvious,
    because he writes his poetry the same
    as Jewel, and I’m not the fool who’ll discuss
    what is or is not good poetry. My
    poems have their own flaws and unspoken
    laws of engagement. Shia LaBeouf cried
    in his paper bag over Miley’s tongue–
    they’re both young, and I do not understand
    kids these days [or adults, for that matter
    (like I fell asleep and a complex strand
    of the '80s took hold--but it's sadder,
    more self-aware)]. I miss all the good times
    when poems were filled with funtastic rhymes.












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    Today’s guest judge is…

    Mary Biddinger

    Mary Biddinger

    Mary Biddinger

    Mary is the author of multiple collections, including Saint Monica and O Holy Insurgency. Her collection A Sunny Place With Adequate Water

    is due out in May. She’s also the founder of Barn Owl Review.

    Mary has received two Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards in Creative Writing for her poetry: one in 2010, the other 2007.

    In addition to all this, she also edits the Akron Series in Poetry and the Akron Series in Contemporary Poetics for the University of Akron Press.

    Learn more here: http://www.marybiddinger.com/

    .

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    PYHO_Small_200x200

    Poem Your Heart Out

    Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

    Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

    Click to continue

    .

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    Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems

    . He writes by the motto: When in doubt, write a sonnet. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

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    Get more than pop culture here:

    .
  • What Is the Value of Poetry
  • ?
  • Heather Bell: Poet Interview
  • .

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    16. What Is the Value of Poetry?

    In the opening poem (“matters of great importance”) of my collection, Solving the World’s Problems

    , I ask a simple question: what’s more important / writing a poem / or building a bridge…

    At least, the question starts off simple enough, but then it continues to spiral out into giving thanks, stocking chairs, delivering chairs, managing systems, and so on. But there are times when I waste time worrying about which really is more important. There are times when I wonder, “What am I doing here?”

    Here being writing poems and devoting a tremendous amount of time and energy to a poetry blog. After all, there’s not a lot of money in writing poetry–even for a publisher like Writer’s Digest Books. But there’s more to measuring value than dollars and cents, isn’t there?

    Why Am I Saying Any of This?

    Every so often, there’s some kind of “death or uselessness of poetry” post or article that runs all viral on the Internet. So I’ve been meaning to write a post on why I think there’s value in poetry for a long while, but it was still simmering in me until I received this message on Facebook from Aleathia Drehmer, a poetry advocate who lives in New York:

    Robert,

    I just wanted to say thank you for everything you do with the PAD challenges. The one in November helped me get over the death of my cousin and brought me back to writing after a year of near silence. This challenge is helping me get over the death of my mother. She passed in January and this is her birth month.

    I actually don’t care if I ever get published again. Life has taken on a new meaning now and I honestly am getting back to the roots of writing when I was a little girl. Just writing because my heart says so, because it is a way I can communicate my little slice of the world with my dad and any friends that care to read.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me back something I had lost and thought I would not find again. Grief can be a great eraser sometimes. I’m just glad it hasn’t erased me yet.

    Have a great day.

    Aleathia

    Robert Lee Brewer

    Robert Lee Brewer

    Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. In addition to editing Poet’s Market, he manages the Poetic Asides blog, writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine, edits a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter, and more. He’s married to poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets (four boys  and one princess). He’s given up trying to figure out which is more important between writing a poem and building a chair; it’s really a chicken-egg argument, because both are necessary and valuable. Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer

    .

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    Get published!

    Learn how to get your poetry published with the latest edition of Poet’s Market. It’s filled with articles on the craft and business of poetry. Plus, it contains hundreds of listings for book publishers, online and print publications, contests, and more!

    Click to continue

    .

    *****

    Find more poetic posts here:

    .
  • Thomas Lux: Poet Interview
  • .
  • Somonka: Poetic Forms
  • .

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    17. Comment on 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 15 by Funkomatic

    My heart, the maple tree
    Home to wrens in their afternoons
    Revel with chirping esprit
    My heart, the maple tree
    Still green though you’re absentee
    Knows too many winter tunes
    My heart, the maple tree
    Home to wrens in their afternoons.






    Add a Comment
    18. Comment on 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 2 by Snow Write

    She’s on her way
    not sure where she’s going
    knows she has to get away
    find a new place
    determined now
    to set out on the journey
    yet finding herself
    going back






    Add a Comment
    19. Comment on 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 16 by Monique

    To An Old Friend

    It started at a salad bar
    And a book lying on the counter
    I knew you were friends with the book’s owner
    You promised to return it
    And waited with me while I waited for the bus



    For four years, you were the grandfather I never had
    I knew I could always sit with you
    I would laugh at your jokes
    And tell you about my day
    Thinking that things would never change



    Then you had to move away
    Around the same time I did
    We celebrated your birthday in the summer
    Then you moved north and I moved south
    Still thinking things would be okay



    It ended with a sleepless night
    I turned to my computer to find comfort
    Instead I find the worst news I could hear
    I found myself holding onto a rope
    Hanging over a deep dark pit



    I pushed my memories of you away
    Trying to hide from my sadness
    Wondering how no one else was crying
    I was in a dark tunnel
    Waiting for a train to hit me



    Finally, I found someone who would listen
    I let my tears out
    I found others who also missed you
    Embraced the hope that you were at peace
    And found happiness that pulled me from the pit



    Add a Comment
    20. Comment on 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 14 by Andrea Heiberg

    Oh, yes, Ina. That’s the core of it. We, I, seldom know where our limits are.Thank you.

    Add a Comment
    21. Comment on Your Story 58: Submit Now! by JoseCordova

    The prompt says “YOU come home…”, but can the story be written in the third person, with myself not necessarily being one of the characters?

    Add a Comment
    22. Comment on 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 16 by derrdevil

    Gaia
    By Derryn Warwick Raymond

    This is the life, the song
    A story for the world to mourn
    Though it was still able
    They broke it, and left it unstable
    Pieces shown of the real scene
    Shattered dreams, they may seem
    Of a journey through torrential rain
    Extremes of the mentally insane
    Call it deranged,
    But I see it pained
    I see the strain, upon the soul
    In its twilight hours, the mortal toll
    Oh, how it hangs dear
    Clutching from fear
    For the world, that it gave
    Begged it never, for a save
    The incomprehensible life
    Of a mother,
    A sister,
    A wife.


















    Add a Comment
    23. Comment on 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 16 by Domino

    By fate’s caprice, that awful day, and for no other
    reason we comprehend, they were at work
    when the fire started. How could they know that
    life as they knew it was about to change
    forever? It is a curious thing,
    that people replay over and over
    the day of a tragedy. They question.
    They doubt. Their minds continue to circle
    endlessly about the somehow morbid
    question: What could we have done differently?
    People say with satisfaction that no
    human lives were lost, but a family has
    been broken. The black smoke took not only
    all the things that made up their house, but a
    cherished furry friend that helped make
    it home. Broken hearts declare there is no
    healing, there’s no bringing back buried hopes.
    But at the foot of the stair to heaven,
    on the rainbow bridge, their best friend awaits,
    wagging tail, happy grin, til that distant
    day, to greet adored family once more.



















    For Tina and Thomas Batt

    Diana Terrill Clark

    Add a Comment
    24. Comment on 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 16 by Domino

    By fate’s caprice, that awful day, and for no other
    reason we comprehend, they were at work
    when the fire started. How could they know that
    life as they knew it was about to change
    forever? It is a curious thing,
    that people replay over and over
    the day of a tragedy. They question.
    They doubt. Their minds continue to circle
    endlessly about the somehow morbid
    question: What could we have done differently?
    People say with satisfaction that no
    human lives were lost, but a family has
    been broken. The black smoke took not only
    all the things that made up their house, but a
    cherished furry friend that helped make
    it home. Broken hearts declare there is no
    healing, there’s no bringing back buried hopes.
    But at the foot of the stair to heaven,
    on the rainbow bridge, their best friend awaits,
    wagging tail, happy grin, til that distant
    day, to greet adored family once more.



















    For my friends Tina and Thomas Batt

    Diana Terrill Clark

    Add a Comment
    25. Comment on 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 16 by Emma Hine

    Angels Do Not Live In Graves

    She was so young,
    too young to see the passing of her short years.
    I was young too…
    Too young to feel the pain of true loss tears.
    Sweet sixteen, world at her feet…
    Who could have predicted
    before a husband,
    her maker she would meet?






    She was so young,
    young enough to capture the energy of life.
    I was young too…
    Young enough to follow where mischief was rife.
    Inseparable then, two friends sharing fun…
    Who could have predicted
    that so soon,
    two would become one?






    So young, and yet
    not so young to understand that she was not in her grave.
    So young, and yet
    old enough to let her spirit, for me, a new path to pave.
    After a while, I stopped visiting…
    Who could have predicted
    that no bones in the Earth,
    would ever respite bring?






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