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Featured Client: Laura Schulkind

Our latest Featured Client, Laura Schulkind, does it all. Poetry, short stories, even a novel—Laura has tackled them all with skill and success. Her poetry, while often light and conversational, also addresses powerful, universal topics such as human nature and interpersonal relationships. In her prose, Laura’s characters are flawed and three-dimensional to the point that they seem like real people; after just a few paragraphs, readers become deeply invested in the shockingly realistic dialogue between parents and their children, quarreling coworkers, etc. Laura’s work has appeared in Schuylkill Valley Journal of the Arts, Talking River, and other great literary journals.

In Laura Schulkind’s Own Words

Before Writer’s Relief, I wrote but would not call myself a “writer.” Writing for me was an insular, meditative act—a sort of private love affair with words. Writer’s Relief gave me (and continues to give me) that essential ingredient that makes me a writer: Readers. Writer’s Relief does this in a variety of ways:

  • First, it locates the journals right for my work. (Fourteen poems and short stories accepted in two years!)
  • Second, it uses a submission cycle that keeps me focused and productive. Each cycle is long enough that I am almost always able to have new work ready, but short enough that it deters procrastination.
  • Third, it relieves me of the mind-numbing details that would otherwise deter me from ever putting anything in the mail to anyone.

Finally, and most important, Writer’s Relief’s knowledgeable and responsive staff members have acted as true collaborators. They have been creative, thoughtful, and innovative. They have provided tailored submission strategies, Web design, tremendous proofreading, and gentle prodding when I need it. There is no question in my mind that without their support, I would still be the silent, one hand clapping.

More About Laura Schulkind

By day, Laura Schulkind is an attorney, privileged to represent public schools, community colleges, and creative educational institutions throughout California. She is also the mother of two young men and finds that this combination—the mother/lawyer—both inspires and impels her to write poetry.

As unlikely as it may seem, lawyers (good ones at least) are by nature frustrated poets. They believe in the power of language; they think people’s stories are worth telling; and they like verbs—adjectives not so much. But they are constrained to tell the stories of others; their own require another outlet. Laura finds hers in poetry and fiction, where she explores the humbling and joyous experience of parenting, friendship, loss, forgiveness, and the desire to be understood. To a certain extent she also writes about romantic love, but admits that her partner of 35 years gets short shrift. Poetry is where she figures out problems, and (happily!) he just isn’t one of them.

Laura grew up in Maryland and hopes her writing indicates that she has inherited at least some of her mother/sculptor’s boundless creativity and her father/lawyer’s gentle wisdom. She lives in Berkeley and Big Sur with her partner, Dan Perlstein.

Her first chapbook, Lost in Tall Grass, has been accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press (March 2014) and individual pieces have appeared, or are forthcoming, in The McGuffin, Talking River, Eclipse, Minetta Review, Forge, Bluestem, Caveat Lector, Tiger’s Eye Journal, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Dos Passos Review, and Diverse Voices Quarterly. Her published work, and more musings on why “lawyer/poet” is not an oxymoron, can be seen on her website.

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