With only a day and a half left, give or take, January has been a long month. Here is an equally long update, and an exciting announcement, detailing how I spent it!
One of the first posts I published on my Facebook writer's page involved submissions. To date, I have now submitted to a total of 10 places with 26 pieces (some simultaneous, others not). I am thrilled to hear back from them, along with the other submissions I had out already in 2016!
The e-zine edition of the February The Horror Zine is now up and running! The full home-page featuring all artists, writers, and updates (including a spectacular set of awards!) can be found with this link: http://www.thehorrorzine.com/
And my personal feature (including my photo, blurb, and published poems), can be found here: http://www.thehorrorzine.com/…/F…/AutumnLala/AutumnLala.html If you get a chance to read, please let me know what you think!
It was an honor and privilege to work with the amazing editor, Jeani Rector, and I hope to do so again in the future!
On another note, Luna Smith / Luna Eclipse Modeling and myself have been collaborating more and more as the weeks pass by. We've got exciting stuff happening, now and in the near future. I'm beyond blessed to have the opportunity to work with her. If you have a chance to check her out, please do so! She, and all the photographers she works with, do wonderful work!
As you all know, I accepted the Editor-in-Chief position of the University of Cincinnati's Odyssey community earlier this month. Two of my creators' articles made it onto their (Odyssey's) Facebook page, and one of those two is still trending. I am proud/thrilled/jumping-off-the-walls-ecstatic to say that my team exceeded our page view goal by hundreds of thousands. I hope to make this a trend in the coming months, and with your support, I know we can!
If you all did not see, Peg Allen at my previous vocational school, Warren County Career Center, also interviewed me! I am so grateful to have graduated from an institution that supported me and encouraged me when I needed it most. I wouldn't be the professional I am today without them. Here is that link once more: http://www.mywccc.org/protected/ArticleView.aspx…
Of course, I am also a student. Currently, I am starting the fourth week of my 15 credit hour / 5 class semester. There is more reading than I anticipated, but I am enjoying my classes and doing my darnedest to impress my professors and get ahead so that I can dedicate more time to Odyssey, my writing, and my personal life.
Because of this, and my amazing professor, Laura Wilson, my announcement comes from an academic source.
I was offered - and have accepted - an internship with University of Cincinnati's English Department for next fall. Specifically, for the Rhetoric & Professional Writing Department. My long-time friend Clarity Amrein and I will be working on a number of projects, including promoting the program so that more students can discover how beneficial and versatile it is!
If I land the other internship I have my eye on for this summer, I will graduate next spring with my double-major B.A. with two editorial positions, two Editor-in-Chief positions, a Teaching Assistant position, and two internships under my belt.
*takes a deep breath*
It's been a long month - a long year - but I could not have done it without you all. Thank you for being here, supporting me, and encouraging me as I continue to build my career.
With the introduction of social media into our society, the way people interacted changed. The phrase, "glued to your phone," comes to mind. The dynamics of relationships have shifted as social media has dominated conversations. Needless to say, social media has become an issue for writers, as well. Some cannot stay off of it, which is where isolated programs such as Scrivener come into play. So, if it effects even the production of writing itself, how does this new phenomenon effect the publishing industry as a whole?
For starters, we now have what most call Digital Literature. It has a certain ring to it, don't you think? In fact, this new wave of literature has swept the nation - the world - so quickly that I am already taking a college course on how it is directly effecting the publishing industry. The market, especially. We aren't too far into the course, having only read an article or two, but my curiosity propels me to investigate further.
In an earlier article, I may have touched upon my writerly roots. For a re-cap: I began writing online on a website called Quizzaz (now named Quotev) where people around my age bracket posted stories of varied lengths. I wrote stories, received feedback, posted updates, gained followers... The whole she-bang.
At the time, I was a middle school student with an interest in words, ie. what they could do and how they could make people feel. Looking back now, as a senior in college, my writing was horrifying. However, I noted other, more important aspects in my reflection.
While it opened up a platform for feedback and criticism, there were several detriments. Most writers on the website were young, inexperienced, and wholly satisfied with their current skill level; on this plane, there was hardly room for betterment since the criticism was — often times — laced with positives and pleads for the author to post rather than observations or notes for improvement. Overall, the state of quality for the stories on the website stayed the same with a few notable members rising through the cracks.
Fast forward to today, where dozens of these interactive, writerly websites exist, and I am brought back to the moment where I was — for a lack of better wording — searching through digital slush in order to find a story worth reading, be it from a technical, stylistic, or narrative standpoint.
I had to remind myself — force myself — to only spend my time on the crème de la crème of stories in order to further my skills the way I wished. I am conflicted on how to feel about this, especially in regards to the future of writing and what it means to publish. Amazon has a publishing feature with, essentially, no barriers. This allows anyone computer-literate to publish their work.
Having sifted through enough writerly sludge online, this saddens me. But it also makes me strive to work that much harder to rise through the cracks. So, that's what I encourage you to do, as well. Since this literary evolution - spurned on by technological and societal advancement - is largely out of our control, embrace it. Take it as another opportunity.
Discover what you can do through this new medium and ride the waves of inspiration.
As always, please share your thoughts with us below! How do you feel about the surfacing of digital literature? How does it effect you? And if there is any writerly topic or subject you wish to see discussed, please don't be shy!
In earlier articles, I have remarked - really, stated over and over - how important it is to a writer's career to be an opportunist. Sometimes, opportunities walk straight into you, refusing to budge without acknowledgement. Sometimes, they pass by - simply existing - waiting for your initiative. Thus far, I have experienced both.
Now, I cannot say with absolute certainty which is better and which is worse - since the value of opportunities is subjective in itself - but I can introduce an opportunity to you and let you judge it for yourself.
For years, I have been subscribed to Writer's Digest. If you are familiar with my Facebook Writer's Page, or one of my other accounts, you may have seen a picture of my collection: magazine after magazine precariously stacked into a leaning tower, moments away from slipping into a whirlpool of paper on my apartment's floor.
However, Writer's Digest has both a beneficial print and online platform. While you have to pay for the magazine subscription - to me, a worthy venture given the variety of content - access to the website is absolutely free. There are several other subscriptions and services Writer's Digest offers that cost money, but today, I will not be discussing those.
Instead, I'd like to point your attention to Writer's Digest's Editor Blogs. Essentially, there are four Editors Blogs, which I will outline below:
1. The Writer's Dig produced by Brian A. Klems.
In this series of posts, Klems "covers everything about writing" which is an awfully broad definition. However, they expand upon it slightly. Aside from the assortment of Guest Columns, it's what I aim to do with "Wrong, Or Write? Take:..." Click here to check it out!
2. Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino.
The title of Sambuchino's blog explains the premise succinctly. Though, as you read Writer Digest's description of this blog, there seems to be much more to it. Sambuchino also keeps up with conferences, contests, publishing opportunities, and more. Click here to check out what else he has to offer!
3. There Are No Rules by the editors of Writer's Digest.
Unlike the previous blog, the title of this one is misleading when paired with Writer's Digest's short, explanatory excerpt: "Get on the cutting edge of today's publishing trends and how authors can succeed in a world of fast-paced technological change..." To check out what "There Are No Rules" is made of, click here!
4. Poetic Asides produced by Robert Brewer.
Brewer focuses entirely on poetry in his Editor Blog from the market to issues effecting poetry to poetic forms in themselves. Additionally, when he introduces various poetic forms, readers and writers alike may submit examples for a chance at being published in a future edition of their print magazine. To take a look at all of Brewer's posts, click here!
After browsing through, I feel this is a wonderful feature. Multiple articles are published each day packed with advice, information, and opportunities. No matter what you write - or what you are interested in - I am almost positive you will find some worthwhile tips and resources within the pages of these blogs.
2017 is upon us. Many welcome the new year with open arms, a smile, and a succinct: "Finally!" The end of the year - especially after the holidays - is exhausting. At this point, most of us are ready to wash off the past year and ease into the new one, which can make writing motivation ever more the elusive creature. For other writers, however, they are eager to begin a new project alongside the fresh start.
Keeping up with a writing project - like any New Year's resolution - can be a chore. A new year can often mean new obligations, new priorities, or even the old ones catching up to you. In these times, it's important to keep the project at the forefront of your mind.
Give yourself daily reminders. Post it notes placed in the areas of your home that you frequent - the kitchen or bathroom, for instance - are a good start. It's a type of positive, auto-suggestion where you suggest a behavior to yourself. Followed often enough, it can become a habit.
Have more time? Dedicate a certain part of your day exclusively to writing. To remind yourself in the beginning - until it becomes routine - perhaps set an obnoxious alarm on your phone so you never forget. The alarm is a small way to keep yourself accountable.
If accountability is a problem along with motivation, utilize your writing community / writing friends. Group together - support each other - and set daily or weekly goals for each other that you have to meet. Working with others can be a difficult task due to scheduling, which is why I favor a weekly goal where you can set aside one day a week to come together and share your hard work.
On a larger scale, when you are not the only one writing, the expectations may vary person to person and that's okay. One person may have a personal goal to write two chapters a week. One person may wish to write one chapter and read a published book. Another person may be working on a different medium - say, poetry - and have specific, numeric goals for how many poems they would like to draft or finalize in that time-span. Another member could still be in the planning stages of their project, discovering just what it is they want to do and how they would like to go about doing it.
Every writer has their own unique life with their own set of priorities and expectations; it's natural for each to have their own goals.
Please, share your thoughts with us below! How do you like to start the new year? With a fresh start, or finishing something not-quite-so-new? And if there is any writerly topic or subject you would like to see discussed, please don't be shy!