December 28, 2000
Dear Ronnie et al.,
When my first child was born, I saw my time available for tending to my written work shrink dramatically. I was no longer sending out submissions to magazines as I once had. This dismayed me greatly because I always felt contact with a writing community was essential to one’s growth as a writer. I felt increasingly isolated.
In a little over a year with Writer’s Relief, you have helped me place eight of my own poems in literary journals, and 4 poems in translation from a Portuguese writer. Writer’s Relief also helped me make contact with an editor who accepted 8 more poems from Brazilian writers whose work I had been translating. I have had work accepted in the following magazines: Apalachee Review, Fourteen Hills, Gulf Stream Magazine, Illuminations, The MacGuffin, Nightsun Magazine, (translations in Illuminations, Lullwater Review, and Marlboro Review). Directly and indirectly, that’s a total of 22 poems in a little over a year. Those kind of numbers speak for themselves. Certainly this rate of acceptance was much better than I had ever achieved by my own machinations. Through Writer’s Relief I made contacts with editors whom I didn’t even know were on the map, and such contacts reaffirmed my belief that not all editors are of a garden variety. There really is great variation out there, and many have been gracious enough to read my own work with enthusiasm.
Sheer statistics aside, Writer’s Relief has provided me with intangible benefits as well. The knowledge that my work is “getting out” is invaluable. There is nothing more frustrating than working on a piece, and after it seems finished, wondering if it will ever be looked at. Often, before I used Writer’s Relief, I would get a sinking feeling that a poem I had just finished was just an artifact of my own mental stirrings, a relic that was sure to remain buried on some lonely hard drive. This feeling has subsided, and it has removed the ghost-who-relegates-objects-to-obscurity from looking over my shoulder as I write. It has loosened me up because I don’t have to puzzle out where to send it.
Thanks again for all your hard work in the past year,
December 27, 2000
Dear Prospective Client:
Any writer trying to find her way through the thicket of publishing will be delighted to know that Writer’s Relief already knows the way! In the eighteen months that I have been submitting work to publications through Writer’s Relief, I have had 23 poems accepted for publication in such magazines as The Sun, Southern Poetry Review, Apalachee Review, Aura, Baltimore Review, The Distillery, Gulf Stream Magazine, Illuminations, Limestone, Lumina, Paintbrush, Sanskrit, Poem, and Wind. Clearly, they know how to target work to receptive markets.
Just as importantly, Writer’s Relief’s professional and efficient staff is always available to assist you with any questions and concerns, and Ms. Smith promptly helps with any issues that may arise with editors, author’s right, etc. I get tremendous support from Writer’s Relief and highly recommend their services to any writer.
December 1, 2000
To Whom It May Concern:
I have had the pleasure of using Writer’s Relief services for the past six months or so. And what a relief it has been! I have had 3 poems accepted in that time-by Sojourner and Writer’s Forum-and encouraging remarks from several other publications.
One of the biggest advantages of using Writer’s Relief for me has been their organization and record keeping of the nitty gritty aspects of this process. I’m glad not to think about it. All of my materials are professionally prepared. They do the research and legwork to determine where I should submit. I have called more than once with questions and have always received personal, helpful information.
I can recommend their services without reservation. (The price is very reasonable, too!)
November 2, 2000
I’m so pleased with the submission services you’ve provided. In less than a year my writing is scheduled to come out in three publications: Lumina, Porcupine, and Westview. I also have work under consideration at Ellipsis, Sanskrit, and SunDog. I like your schedule. It’s comfortable and yet helps me keep my work in constant circulation. I’ve learned how publishing is partly a numbers game, and I don’t think I’d ever have organized these mailings on my own. I’ve developed a thicker skin for rejections. Some of them have been encouraging. I’m especially grateful for your tracking system, the prompt answers I get to my questions, and the personalized attention that’s helped me start my career as a published writer. All ’round terrific!
Thanks so much,
November 2, 2000
Dear Ronnie and Associates:
I wanted to thank you for the ease and professionalism with which you have enabled my poems to be published. I very much appreciate how knowledgeable you are about the literary markets. You seem to have access to a never-ending array of magazines, periodicals and journals. The road to publication can be disheartening, but you are unfailingly supportive, courteous and prompt. It makes this process much easier.
I am very excited about the acceptance of three of my poems for publication in the last few months. The service you offer allows me to build a track record; a foundation is being laid for a career. Yet I still get a focus on what is most important to me: the actual writing. Your firm serves writers in crucial ways, and you do it with competence and grace. I strongly recommend Writer’s Relief to any writer who wants to see his/her work in print.
October 31, 2000
If it weren’t for Ronnie Smith and her knowledgeable, courteous, and thoroughly professional staff at Writer’s Relief, I would have been a hundred years old before I found a publisher for my work. In a culture inimical to making a living at serious writing, where it’s a struggle to manage a career and find time to write, the final piece of the puzzle, researching the market, was something I thought of at three o’clock in the morning. Writer’s Relief is that piece of the puzzle. In my harried, slapdash attempts at marketing before, I never dreamed how easy this would be if I let a professional handle it.
Today I received word from Stockholm that I am on the short list for the Nobel Prize. The phone rings constantly with P.E.N. people and Pulitzer people. Total strangers stuff twenty-dollar bills into my pocket. Beautiful girls think I’m swift. Poetic license. I can use it now since I’m a poet.
October 25, 2000
I can’t tell you what a “relief” it’s been to use your submission service. You’ve taken over that part of the writing process I like the least, giving me time to devote to the part I love: writing.
From the start you and your staff have been most professional and a pleasure to work with. You’re prompt about deadlines, and your schedule keeps me submitting on a regular basis, something I never managed to do on my own.
Even though I’ve had a number of poems and stories accepted for publication in the past, the submission process was still so tiresome and discouraging that it had been two years since I had sent anything out. With your help, I had three poems accepted for the first month. It feels good to be in print again.
Thanks and keep up the good work.
October 23, 2000
To Whom It May Concern:
Before I decided to use Writer’s Relief, I had been writing for many years, but I had never worked seriously at the business of getting published. I used to send out about ten submissions a year, and I could not figure out why what I thought were perfectly fine stories did not get published. Of course, I now know why: while I love reading literary magazines, I do not have the time to do the research necessary to find a home for my work.
I have been working with Writer’s Relief for about a year, and have had two short stories accepted for publication in literary journals. I recommend Writer’s Relief enthusiastically. I have been impressed by the professionalism, efficiency, and kindness of the entire staff. In fact, my decision to use the services of Writer’s Relief has been one of the best investments in my work that I have ever made.
May 3, 2000
I am writing to thank you and your staff for your efforts resulting in the publication of my two short stories.
Despite a successful career in marketing, much of it devoted to targeting customers, and experience writing articles and features in local magazines and newspapers, I really felt quite at a loss trying to find the right audience for my short fiction. I was familiar with only a handful of literary journals and not familiar at all with their processes and procedures. The best decision I ever made was to leave all that in the hands of professionals and focus on the stories themselves. I was particularly happy with the beautiful presentation Pleasant Living gave my story, “Carrie Me Back.” They not only published it, they seemed to appreciate what I was trying to say!
As a book reviewer for Publisher’s Weekly and the Richmond Times-Dispatch, I see a wide variety of genres and styles that have somehow made it into print. Why not mine? Yet I was not getting very far with a hit-and-miss approach. You provided a consistent strategy that has given me momentum and confidence, even in the face of the inevitable rejection slips that precede the inevitable acceptance.
Most of all, I appreciate your readiness with suggestions and insights on situations I know nothing about: seasonality, simultaneous submissions, even taxes. So thank you again. I look forward to our continued success together!
May 2, 2000
Dear Writer’s Relief:
I am writing to thank you for all the thorough and attentive work you have given my manuscripts. The recent acceptance of my story “Please Deposit Twenty-Five Cents” for publication in River City is another testament to your professionalism and your productive, effective relationship with writers. And you’re just damn nice people too.
March 1, 2000
Dear Ronnie and Associates:
As you know, I have recently signed with a prominent New York literary agency to represent a memoir I am co-authoring. My partner has been a producer on radio projects that I have written. I write now for television and film and am active in the Writers Guild of America and Women in Film. This is our first nonfiction collaboration. So, although we are Hollywood professionals with long careers, we did not know how to target agents and editors for this market.
While a Fellow at The Ragdale Foundation artist colony in Lake Forest, Illinois, I heard about Writer’s Relief, and I am greatly relieved that I did. In the very first round of submissions, we were offered representation. True, our proposal was strong, but I credit Writer’s Relief with getting our book to a carefully selected list of agents.
Your editing and record-keeping services have been equally helpful. Many thanks, and we’ll keep you informed of our book’s progress. We have already recommended Writer’s Relief to other authors.
April 26, 2000
Just wanted to send a few words of gratitude before I take off for a month at a writer’s colony. The six months I’ve been using your service have really changed my writing life. Even though I’ve been writing for twenty-five years and have published three books and many short pieces, I’ve never systematically sent out my poetry. Sending out a submission packet every two months keeps me producing, revising and evaluating my poems in a steady and consistent way. And you take care of the rest with such know-how, efficiency and courtesy that I always feel that I have someone in my court, a buffer and advocate between me and the world of literary publishing. It’s like having an agent for poetry, that unheard of creature! It’s so gratifying to have my work accepted by good literary magazines, five poems so far out of the four batches I’ve sent out, and many not yet returned. I look forward to a long and productive association.
April 25, 2000
Please let this letter stand as a strong recommendation to potential clients. I have found Writer’s Relief to be highly professional and accountable in the submission process.
I particularly enjoy the fact that the staff is open to my input re: where a story or poem will be submitted. And after previously publishing several poems, I credit their expertise in the successful sale of a poem to GRIT this past February.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention that the staff is warm and friendly.
Again, thanks. I look forward to continuing our successful relationship.
February 14, 2000
Dear Ms. Smith:
After ten query submissions on my part, all of which were answered with impersonal form-letter rejections addressing me as “Dear Author” (initially I thought they were misspelling Arthur) and telling me how much they liked my work, which they had not seen, because only my query letter asking if they would like to see something had been sent, I learned of and contracted with Writer’s Relief. This letter is in part to inform you that I have just received an acceptance to represent me by a literary agency with the first set of submissions prepared by your staff, which at your suggestion included the unsolicited first story of the fiction collection.
This letter is also intended to serve as a recommendation of Writer’s Relief to other unagented writers, and as a thank-you to you and your staff. Your organization has been professional to the utmost in its advice on the nitty-gritty of such things as the synopsis (my understanding was that for fiction, twenty pages was the usual; you said two), the font and format to use, and even to telling me up front what I didn’t wish to hear; that it’s extremely difficult to gain agent representation for fiction by an unpublished writer. The next step will be for the agent to succeed, of course, but in the meantime, because of your help, I have time to write more stories, and I am immensely grateful to you.
January 20, 2000
Many thanks for your help placing my poems. Your service really works and saves me valuable time.
Thanks for your support next year.
All the best,
H. Bruce M.
January 18, 2000
I am writing to you in order to let you know how much you have helped me in the past year. As you can imagine, writing itself is quite a time-consuming task. And, when you then have to switch gears and start marketing your own work, well, it’s just a bit overwhelming.
Your service has enabled me to do what I love to do: write. And, luckily, I have been accepted for publication in ten literary journals, such as RE: AL, Comstock Review, and Eureka. Without the support of your talented, organized and patient staff, I would have never found an outlet for my work.
I am very grateful that you are in my life. I look forward to an exciting new year with you.
January 18, 2000
Dear Ronnie Smith,
I have already thanked my poetry teacher for recommending Writer’s Relief to me. Now I would like to thank you more directly. I have been published in the past, both in the U.S. and in Israel, but with your aid, I have had more poems accepted in the last month than I’ve had in years of submitting by myself.
I am pleased that, under the guidance of your marketing service, I am sending my poems to a variety of good literary magazines. I am impressed with your efficiency and organization, guiding me through the submission process step-by-step. It is a relief not to have to deal with the marketing headache. But more than anything else, I am pleased with the results!
January 4, 2000
One pleasant way to begin the new year is to thank you for the help in getting my submissions “out there,” especially with the success of having a recent submission accepted for publication in RE: AL.
I have been published in a professional journal and had papers accepted for presentation at local and international conferences, but this was my first concerted foray, in almost ten years, into the world of literary journals and little magazines.
Writer’s Relief helped me in a number of ways. My manuscripts and cover letters went out in proper form, minimizing the possibility that an editor would be negatively distracted by any of the kinds of typographical sloppiness that, left to myself, I am wont to produce. Having someone else take over the burden of choosing the targets of my submissions gave me time to write and read seriously, rather than obsessively scouring Writer’s Market.
But the important help was intangible. First there was the feeling that someone empathized with my aspirations to write and be published. And second, the cycle of preparation and submission supported my motivation to have something ready to submit on a regular basis.
So I am looking forward to the publishing year ahead, planning submissions in a variety of formats-non-fiction as well as fiction-and hoping for unprecedented (for me) success in my assault on the literary world.
Best wishes for a good year for all of us.