5 for Friday: Publishing

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5 writers on publishers and publishing from Advice to Writers, compiled and edited by
Jon Winokur

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“The
rules seem to be these: if you have written a successful novel, everyone
invites you to write short stories. If you have written some good short
stories, everyone wants you to write a novel. But nobody wants anything until
you have already proved yourself by being published somewhere else.”

-James
Michener

“I don’t
think it’s a good idea for writers to think too much about the publishing
world. I sense in a good many books, even in books by the best writers, an
anxiety about how it will do in the marketplace. You can feel it on the page, a
sort of sweat of calculation.”

-Elizabeth
Hardwick

“Go to
a big book store that has lots of poetry books. Look them over and see if you
find any affinity groups that you like among the magazines and publishing
groups, people you dig or who might dig your mind. Send them your stuff.”

-Allen
Ginsberg

“Today
is the first of August. It is hot, steamy and wet. It is raining. I am tempted
to write a poem. But I remember what it said on one rejection slip: After a
heavy rainfall, poems entitled “Rain” pour in from across the nation.”

-Sylvia
Plath

“I
think it is the most curious lack of judgment to publish before you are ready.
If there are echoes of other people in your work, you’re not ready. If anybody
has to help you rewrite your story, you’re not ready. A story should be a finished
work before it is shown.”

-Katherine
Anne Porter

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