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Featured Client: Kate McCorkle

Our featured client Kate McCorkle works as a freelance writer and editor—because life is not intense enough with four children under ten and a husband. Her essays and fiction have appeared in Midway Journal; Juked; The Anthology of Cozy-Noir; Free State Review; The Penmen Review; Sand Hill Review; and r.kv.r.y quarterly, among other places. Watch Kate’s video and read on to learn how Writer’s Relief helped her find the courage to submit her work to literary magazines.

In Kate McCorkle’s Own Words:

On forms, I’ve always listed my occupation as “Writer,” but I never considered that work real writing. It’s business copy for someone else. I had another voice—my voice—but how does that even come out and where does it go? Making time to find out seemed impossible on top of cobbled-together gigs that were themselves jigsawed into the spaces not already held by my young children and husband.

Then, in 2012, a good writer/friend suggested I join the Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio, taught by Alison Hicks. I did, and eventually those atrophied muscles engaged. It also clicked that part of the process is allowing other people to read your work—literally putting yourself out there. This aspect makes me nauseous.

Between my introverted need for privacy and the voice saying the work’s no good, it takes courage to even think about submitting. And when I started, I was told this submission process is basically a job itself. But I already had a job. And four kids under the age of six. And I was trying to make time to write.

Enter Writer’s Relief. I first heard about them through my workshop. Their website held valuable information, but the idea of becoming an actual client seemed outlandish and self-indulgent (four kids, remember?). Then my husband and I decided if I was accepted as a client, we’d take things month to month and make it work.

Writer’s Relief has been an incredible asset since then. The staff is professional and unfalteringly helpful. I initially feared something mercenary, but they speak the language. They’ve also assumed the overwhelming and unenviable task of researching all the publications out there, discerning which are the best fit for me, then tracking their submission schedules and various guidelines.

Writer’s Relief does not get your work accepted for you. They put you in the best position to do it yourself. In other words: You’re holding the ball, but they turn the lights on in the gym and point you in the direction of the hoop.

More About Kate McCorkle

Kate McCorkle’s 2016 essay “Laundry” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her 2015 satirical piece, “Common Core,” came second in tNY.Press’s bureaucratic writing contest. She writes with the Greater Philadelphia Wordshop Studio and swims to stave off insanity.

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One Response to Featured Client: Kate McCorkle

  1. Interesting article. I have many of the same fears as Kate once did; time management,self confidence,afraid of judgement by others and more.
    A few years back I submitted some poems to Writer’s Relief. I was afraid of rejection and judgment of my poems, my creations, my children. I finally found courage and submitted expecting discovery and acceptance, with Writer’s Relief’s astonished reply, “Where have you been all our lives!” Instead I received notice that I wasn’t what Writer’s Relief was looking for, and took the rejection to mean, “You’re not good enough for us.” An affirmation of what I actually believed to be true myself for most of my life.
    I read the poems I submitted a few days ago, and Writer’s Relief Staff had it right all along. My poems weren’t the best and needed polishing. I have written better poetry since then, but deep down I know I need to take the free advice Writer’s Relief offers. I should join a writing group, attend a seminar or two, and make a conscientious effort to better my writing skills through classes at a community college. This will be my future plan and although my ideas and expressions may be there, my delivery and technique needs to catch up. I’ll keep reading Writer’s Relief for inspiration and advice. Someday I hope to become a client and contribute something valuable to the literary world. Kate you’re an inspiration to not give up!

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