Saturday, February 18, 2023

The Weekend Writer: Rethinking A Traditional Piece Of Writing Advice

Earlier this month, I attended another excellent Zoom program sponsored by the Off Campus Writers' Workshop in Chicago. If you're available on Thursday mornings, this is a great source for inexpensive and short workshops with accomplished writers, editors, and writing teachers.

Editor Panel: Which Literary Magazines and Journals Are Looking For Your Work with Joshua Bohnsack  (editor of TriQuarterly) Sue Cho (multiple editorial positions), Hattie Fletcher (former managing editor of Creative Nonfiction), and Aram Mrjoian (an editor-at-large at the Chicago Review of Books and an associate editor at Guernica) is a case in point. The panelists were better prepared than the members of other panels I've seen. Many panels, in my experience, end up being some people shooting the breeze. These particular panelists also prepared sophisticated handouts that I have not had time to dig into but am looking forward to.

The Takeaway For Us This Weekend

One of these panelists, and I am sad to say I cannot recall which one and my notes are failing me on this, made a very interesting point regarding some traditional writing/publishing advice. Usually, he said, writers are advised to keep submitting a rejected manuscript. As soon as one place says, "No," send it out to another. He suggested we do something else.

If five to seven editors have rejected a manuscript without offering any kind of feedback, it's time, he said, to consider doing some revising. 

I actually have revised rejected work between submissions, but I had always considered that to be an anxiety-related issue and not good writing practice. So someone is feeling good about herself today.

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