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Click on the video above to hear about Kathleen Z. McCormick’s publishing experience with Writer’s Relief!
Our featured client Kathleen Zamboni McCormick has been submitting work for almost as long as Writer’s Relief has been in business! She’s been published in many journals, including Zone 3, Crack the Spine, Phoebe, Green Hills Literary Lantern, and more. And her first novel, Dodging Satan: My Irish/Italian Sometimes Awesome but Mostly Creepy Childhood (Sand Hill Review Press, 2016), had excerpts published in literary journals—which helped her land a literary agent!
Read on and watch the video to hear how Writer’s Relief has helped Kathleen connect with that literary agent and get published!
In Kathleen’s Own Words
I began working with Writer’s Relief back in late 2003 when they were pretty new themselves (Writer’s Relief started helping writers in 1994) and I’d just begun to write creatively. A friend said he thought I was such a good oral storyteller that I should try writing and publishing short stories. I’d already published a number of books and scores of articles as a professor of literature. So I decided to subscribe to Poets & Writers, which he said would “fill me in on everything.” I still remember the panic as I looked at the dizzying number of calls for creative work and the infinite ads for prizes. I bought some literary journals—things weren’t available online back then—that I thought my writing might be a good match for based on what I’d read in Poets & Writers. Invariably, when reading each literary journal, I felt they wouldn’t accept my work. I’d spent my whole career reading and publishing in academic journals—and I felt the enormous gap between my intimate understanding of academic publishing and my complete lack of knowledge of literary journals.
About to give up before I’d even begun, it was due to complete luck that I discovered in Poets & Writers an unassuming ad for Writer’s Relief. In about four lines they explained that they knew the literary market extremely well—and if clients supplied the creative work, they’d match it up with journals that would likely be interested in it. I wrote to them immediately, and for about five years (2004–2009), Writer’s Relief found homes for approximately three to four stories a year. I’ve had over twenty-five creative publications because of Writer’s Relief.
I came back to Writer’s Relief when I’d put a book together, and they helped me find a literary agent. Each chapter of my first novel, Dodging Satan: My Irish/Italian Sometimes Awesome but Mostly Creepy Childhood (Sand Hill Review Press, 2016), had originally been published as a stand-alone story under the guidance of Writer’s Relief.
So now that I’m working on a second book, I’m back for the discipline, the support—I hope the success!—and the sense of being part of a writing community that Writer’s Relief provides.
More About Kathleen
Kathleen is a professor of literature and writing at Purchase College, SUNY. Her academic books include The Culture of Reading and the Teaching of English (MLA Mina Shaughnessy Award), the co-edited MLA’s Approaches to Teaching James Joyce’s Ulysses and Approaches to Teaching Italian American Literature, Film, and Popular Culture, among others.
She’s published creative work in Witness, South Carolina Review, CAYLX, Paterson Literary Review, Superstition Review, Kestrel, and many others.
Her first novel, Dodging Satan: My Irish/Italian Sometimes Awesome but Mostly Creepy Childhood (Sand Hill Review Press, 2016), received strong reviews and won the 2017 Foreword Reviews Gold Medal in Humor and the 2017 Illumination Bronze Medal for Catholic Books (Pope Francis won the Gold!), along with other awards in humor and religion. In June, she received the 2019 Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Award. Named for the first woman in history to receive a PhD, this award recognizes outstanding Italian-American scholars for their significant contributions to their profession and their communities. One of the areas of excellence cited by the award committee was McCormick’s creative work featuring Italian-American characters.
You can find out more about Kathleen by visiting her website: KathleenZMcCormick.com.