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.