- Believing you are of the wrong age, weight, gender, race, nationality, religion or anything else other or not other.
- Always attending conferences.
- Never attending conferences.
- Only reading Facebook and Twitter posts.
- Only reading what you like and or that which doesn’t challenge your sensibilities.
- Reading only the genre in which you write.
- Sacrificing your health, family, values, and quality of writing for the sake of getting published.
- Believing you don’t have a story to share.
- Not locking your office door (or otherwise protecting your writing time and space) when you write.
- Saying no when you should say yes.
- Saying yes when you really mean no.
- Never doing research.
- Doing too much research.
- Dogwood – A Journal of Poetry and Prose: An annual national literary journal seeking works from writers during its fall reading period each year. We publish fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction of both contest winners and other writers in May of each year. The literary journal is produced by the faculty in the Department of English at Fairfield University, and Fairfield undergraduate students gain hands-on experience in helping to edit and produce the journal by taking EN 340: The World of Publishing or The World of Publishing II.
- The Magnolia Review The Magnolia Review was born in October 2011 by Bowling Green State University creative writing undergraduates. Suzanna Anderson is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder. Please visit the Submit tab for information on how to submit. While The Magnolia Review will not have physical copies at this time, the editors may compile a print version if funds become available. We publish two issues a year, deadlines on November 15 and May 15. The issue will be available January 15 and July 15 online.
- The Mantle: Founded in 2017, The Mantle is an online quarterly journal dedicated to contemporary poetry. We’ll publish the most memorable poems we receive. When the time comes, we’ll nominate for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Our first issue releases on August 1st. We are now reading for issue #2. Find our submission guidelines here.
- Naugatuck River Review: This is a literary journal founded in order to publish and in doing so to honor good narrative poetry. We publish twice a year. Our first edition was Winter 2009. A print issue will be available through this site for purchase. It will also be available for download. Publication rights will revert to the author of the poem and we do not pay for poetry published. We accept simultaneous submissions, but please inform us if your work is accepted elsewhere. Naugatuck River Review is dedicated to publishing narrative poetry in the tradition of great narrative poets such as Gerald Stern, Philip Levine or James Wright.
- Panoply, A Literary Zine: Join us here for a wide-ranging and impressive array of writing. Issue 7 will be a double issue and comes out August 18, 2017.
- Peacock Journal: Have you ever been so attracted to something, you just wanted to be close to it? You just wanted to exist within the same space? Or have you ever seen something so beautiful you thought it might be a door to another world? And all you desired, with the entirety of your being, was to pass through that door, into that other place, and just exist there for a little while? It’s not a separate reality, it’s a heightened, more intense reality, fuller and more complete. Write that and send it to us. It’s really difficult. It’s far easier to write gritty and pedestrian. But try it. Send us something about water and wind and light and the interplay of harmonies between them.
- Pearl S. Buck Writing Center Literary Journal: The theme for the Fall 2017 Issue, Volume 2, Number 2, of the Pearl S. Buck Literary Journal is Justice and Mercy. We see a host of possible avenues for writing about justice and mercy — the lack of either virtue OR the presence of either virtue. We include both sides of this theme, for, in Anne Kaler’s words: “If there were perfect justice, we would not need mercy. If there were perfect mercy, we would not need justice.”
- Quill’s Edge Press: QuillsEdge Press is dedicated to publishing the poetry of women over the age of 50. We offer an annual chapbook contest during the fall and winter, and beginning in 2017, an annual anthology of new, emerging, and established women poets called 50/50: Poems and Translations by Women Over 50.
- Seshat – A Homeschool Literary Magazine: Submissions will be open until September 1, 2017. Please review the submission guidelines before submitting your pieces to our email. All pieces will be reviewed immediately upon being received.The inaugural issue of this journal is planned for release on September 15, 2017. Any further news regarding this new release will be updated as time passes.
- Sliver of Stone: Sliver of Stone is a nonprofit online literary magazine. Our editors are the talented progeny of the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Our mission is to provide for a web-based environment for outstanding literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art from around the globe. We want to expand the influence of these genres beyond their traditionally academic audiences.
What, Where, and… Hey, want a Candy Bar?
Sometimes we do something so “right” in the setup of a story but we couldn’t say why—until later, in that rear view mirror of life. I’m talking about getting lucky with the “what” “where” and “a candy bar” in marketing my new YA novel, One Right Thing. I’ll explain.
I knew my book’s title (any book’s title) was important. I just hadn’t focused on the reasons why. So, I hadn’t thought how helpful my title choice would be. One Right Thing is a character driven “family drama” that includes teen pregnancy and sexual abuse. A few months ago, in a fit of absentee-agent-desperation, when my beloved book hit my deemed quota of rejections (Can we say 4 X 10, everyone?) I considered changing One Right Thing to “Sex 101.”
Must you ask?
Put “sex” in anything, probably even a picture book, or a recipe, and you’ll double your hits! Swapping out One Right Thing for “Sex 101” would have been a sell-out. Worse, it wouldn’t have held the marketing magic One Right Thing offers.
You want your title to be memorable and unique. And not overused! Run a check to see what other books, and on what other subjects, already have “your” title! And you want your title to give away a bit of what your book is about. Even though mine is about pregnancy, it’s almost, not at all, about sex. And you want your title to issue a kind of invitation, a “Come take me off this shelf!” plea. One reason I think One Right Thing works is people instantly want to argue with anything so one dimensional and dogmatic. “Who says only one?” “Why only one? Why not two?” “What’s this author’s one right thing, anyway?”
NPR had an essay contest a few years ago called “This I Believe.” Their entrants were mostly adults. With the similarity between “This I Believe,” and “One Right Thing,” I decided to sponsor a national contest for the 12-20 age group. This contest will keep many in my target audience saying and thinking my book’s title over and over: “Hey, Joe, what’s your one right thing?” “I dunno, man; I’m deciding. What’s your one right thing?”
We want, our readers thinking about our titles—pondering them, looking through the pages, figuring out what the titles mean. Make your title work for you. My book also looks at abortion and adoption. The idea isn’t to proclaim “one right thing,” but to get people talking about what’s right. For them.
Can you make your title into a contest? Can yours get mileage by lining up with a product? Something going on in the news? Something people know, maybe want, before they even know they want your book?
The next stroke of genius… okay, luck… is the “where” in my story. Books with a firm locale, that name streets you could go and stand on, intrigue me. Don’t they you? So, without seeing what a coop this would be, I set my novel in the town where I grew up. I now find that I have a natural and eager audience in the readers in this area. And it gives me a launching pad for my book and contest with the teens in Manhattan and Junction City, Kansas, where I started out. I’m beginning my book tour there because many local readers will be already interested in buying it. They’ll want to see if they can decide where, exactly, Maggie and her father lived, with all his broken down cars in the drive. Which hill is it where Skylar takes Maggie the first night they stand beneath the harvest moon and kiss? Do you have a place that burns with memories for you? Might it be a setting for a book?
The third marketing coop is, again, pure luck! Now, fun! Skylar, my hunky, male protagonist, devours Score candy bars. Get the double meaning? In football, and in life, Skylar is a jock, a risk taker, a boy with a appetite. He’s always hungry and… he always wants to score. How am I making use of this food item in marketing? And how might you put something like this, on purpose, into a piece of writing? Everyone likes getting a free book. Even better if it comes with a candy bar!
One Right Thing is a “print on demand.” I jumped in the first day and bought 100 “seed” books, books that—often—I send out, gratis, upon the waters of the reading world. I also bought, on sale, a huge box of Scores. When I give a librarian, or a teacher, or a teenager, a copy of One Right Thing with a goal or request—“Might you review this for me?” “Can you “like” this on your Facebook?” I also give them a Score candy bar. “Why the Score?” they ask. I smile and say, “Read the book; you’ll know!”
Bonus marketing creativity… I ordered new business cards that have the book’s cover on one side and my picture and how to reach me on the other. I give out five cards a day, to five different people, even if that means, as night nears, I give one to my neighbor, walking his poodle. If spreading the word about One Right Thing does nothing else, it’s increasing neighborliness. Poodle and I are getting to be great pals.
Last: always—like your purse or wallet—carry your new book everywhere you go, every time you leave home. Studies show that the first time you see something (i.e. my book jacket) you only “see” it. “Okay,”your eyes report, “that’s a book.” The second time you see something (again, my book) the information becomes: “There’s a book and I’ve seen it before.” The third time you see my book, your brain makes a leap. It says: “I see this book all the time. Maybe I should read this book!” And, of course, you should!
Good luck when it’s your turn to take on marketing. Write and share with Lisa and me your creative marketing ideas. Lisa will, and I will, be excited to hear from you. I thank my generous friend, Lisa, for sharing her blog space with me this month.
For you Kansas City readers, you are invited to a book party for One Right Thing on Thursday, Oct. 18, at the party room of Sulgrave-Regency condominiums from 6:30-8 p.m. Please come!
Chalise grew up in Manhattan, KS, and graduated from Kansas State Univ. She freelanced for 20 years, but her two favorite works are: Rain Forest Girl, a nonfiction children’s book about adopting from Brazil, and her most recent work: One Right Thing, a fiction YA on sexual abuse and teen pregnancy. You can reach Chalise – and she welcomes being reached – on her website: www.chalisebourque.com