What is Your Publishing Persona?

Publish date:

Some people in my grad program submit their work to magazines and contests often, some sporadically, and some not at all. I’ll freely admit that I fall into the first category. I guess it’s because before I started my MFA, I spent so many years writing in the dark, afraid to show my stories to even my closest friends and family members. Now I’m like a baby who’s learning to talk and babbles constantly, testing out this new voice he’s discovered. Even as rudimentary and incomprehensible as that voice sounds (as I often feel is an apt description of some of my writing) all that baby wants to do is share it.

There are benefits and drawbacks to being a frequent submitter. Benefits: when you have success, you get to do cool things like, for example, write a blog for an awesome magazine like WD! And success also leads you to validation. Writers are neurotic and we need people to tell us that we’re good enough. Professors and classmates will do that, and we will gratefully lap up their snippets of praise, but there’s always the chance they’re just being polite. Or maybe they just like you as a person and therefore claim to like your writing too. But when an anonymous editor chooses YOU from the slush pile, you know they’re being objective.

Drawbacks; You get rejected. A lot. For each success you have, there are many failures. You’ll submit to a contest or a magazine, and six months of frequent trips to various submission managers will end with an anticlimactic, one-sentence rejection email. That hurts, but it doesn’t hurt as much as never knowing.

Ernest Hemingway, unsurprisingly, said it a lot better than I can: In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dulled and know I had to put it on the grindstone again and hammer it back into shape and put a whetstone to it, than to have it bright and shining and unused.”


Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido: Entertainment and Outrage

Authors Dr. Munish Batra and Keith R.A. DeCandido explain how they came to co-write their novel and why it's important to them that the readers experience outrage while reading.


Incite vs. Insight (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use incite vs. insight with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.


Jane K. Cleland: On Writing the Successful Long-Running Series

Award-winning mystery author Jane K. Cleland describes what it's like to write a long-running book series and offers expert advice for the genre writer.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: #StartWrite, Virtual Conference, and New Courses

This week, we’re excited to announce free resources to start your writing year off well, our Novel Writing Virtual Conference, and more!


20 Most Popular Writing Posts of 2020

We share a lot of writing-related posts throughout the year on the Writer's Digest website. In this post, we've collected the 20 most popular writing posts of 2020.


Carla Malden: Writing With Optimism and Innocence

Screenwriter and author Carla Malden explains why young adult fiction and the '60s go hand-in-hand and how she connected with her main character's voice.


Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Talking About the Work-in-Progress

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake writers make is talking about the work-in-progress.


Greta K. Kelly: Publishing Is a Marathon

Debut author Greta K. Kelly reveals how the idea for her novel sparked and the biggest surprise of her publication journey.

Poetic Forms

Mistress Bradstreet Stanza: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the Mistress Bradstreet stanza, an invented form of John Berryman.