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Say hello to Featured Client Nancy Scott Hanway! After only a year with Writer’s Relief, Nancy has already been published in six prestigious journals. We’d say that’s pretty impressive! Her prose demands to be read: In stories that reach just a couple of pages in length, Nancy manages to create characters who seem to jump right off the page and linger in the reader’s memory. She pulls the audience in with her vivid imagination, narrating from the points of view of thieves, soon-to-be-divorced husbands, and even dogs. Her publication credits include Forge, North Dakota Quarterly, and Willow Review, among others. Read on to learn more about Nancy as a writer, and about her experience working with Writer’s Relief. Click to watch her video.
In Nancy Scott Hanway’s Own Words
For many years, I wrote fiction and never got published. I thought of myself as someone stuck in the montage section of a martial arts movie, in the part where the hero goes from gawky youngster to muscled fighter. In the movies, all that work—thousands of push-ups, endless frustration of doing faceplants in the mud—happens in a few short minutes of inspirational music. Then our brave hero always goes out to prove his or her worth against other fighters, ending up a triumphant champion. But I felt permanently stuck in the montage section, always sending out work that I thought was good, only to have it rejected by the ninja masters at literary journals. I was beyond frustrated.
And I was busy: finishing coursework for my PhD in Comparative Literature before doing archival research in Argentina, writing a dissertation, having a baby, starting a tenure-track job as a Spanish professor, and then writing an academic book. In between all of these things, I made time to write fiction, but I couldn’t also do the work of researching and targeting my short stories. Enter Writer’s Relief.
Once I began using Writer’s Relief, I began to get published immediately. I realized later that—as in every hero’s journey—on the road to getting published, I needed a guide and mentor. The work that Writer’s Relief does is based on many years in the field. They know the journals, understand the kind of work they accept, and they remind you that rejection is part of the game, and that it takes more than a few faceplants to make a writing hero.
Over the years, I have occasionally stopped using Writer’s Relief, when I think I can’t afford it or when my job seems too overwhelming. But I always regret leaving my wise publishing masters, and I always return. And now I’ve finished my first novel, and I am delighted that Writer’s Relief will be by my side again, helping me go from gawky newbie to, I hope, published novelist ninja.
About Nancy Scott Hanway
Nancy Scott Hanway is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She earned her MA and PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Iowa. She is Director of Latin American, Latino & Caribbean Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Florida Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Forge, poemmemoirstory, Pearl, Willow Review, Portland Review, Washington Square, Primavera, Main Street Rag, Grey Sparrow, Apalachee Review and in the Conte Online Workshop. She blogs about books and wine (mostly Malbecs) at wordvine.org. Her wonderful family includes her husband Cecil, a lawyer, and her teenage son Griffin. Her novel, The Criminal Gene, is about a fifteen-year-old girl who discovers she comes from a family of female criminals.