December 7, 2007
Dear Writer’s Relief Team,
I received my submission materials two days ago (they’ll be in the outgoing mail tonight), and I had to write and say how thoroughly impressed I am with the company and the great service you provide.
Every step has been utterly professional and well-executed. The value you deliver is WELL worth the fee.
Thanks in advance. Who knows if my novel will ever be published? But I’m 100% certain you’ve helped to increase the odds many times over.
FYI—I also have a great nonfiction proposal I’m planning to get your help with next year.
Thanks again, and happy holidays to all of you.
November 20, 2007
Dear Ronnie and staff,
This holiday season, I want to take this opportunity to thank Writer’s Relief for starting me on my way! My career in writing has really jumped in the last month. You secured my first publications, Porcupine and Homestead Review, and now I’ve used your lists to snag The Hurricane Review for “The Great Christ Heist,” and descant for “The Fountain Tuner.” In the midst of this small flurry of successes (two this month!), I actually had multiple acceptances for “Christ Heist” and while negotiating my way through this mini-minefield, the publications I had to turn down, now want me to send more stories directly to them! Wow. Now my problems have switched from lack of publication to lack of new stories to send out. This is a wonderful development!
I certainly would never have done this without Writer’s Relief, and I’m always recommending your service to my writer’s club. As a matter of fact, I just sent out your contact information to one of my new writer friends today.
I hope this holiday season brings all the Writer’s Relief staff great gobs of turkey with all the fixins as well as a joyous Christmas, a splendid Chanukah, and a fabulous New Year.
I ’ll be contacting Writer’s Relief for editing purposes, so will be in touch soon!
November 2, 2007
I have been writing, studying the craft of writing at various colleges and writers’ conferences for more than 25 years. I write short stories a difficult genre to sell. I attended many panels and lectures on “how to publish.” “Go through Writers’ Market,” they said. “Send away for copies of the journals and read the stories they publish; find those who publish work like yours.” I diligently did this, in the early years, though the journals were expensive. I often waited for months for my copy, and then the question—“Is this work like mine?” No two stories are alike. As nearly as I can describe them, they seek to reveal what I see about human behavior. It’s a broad gambit. But I selected a few journals, sent them my stories, and after months and months I got rejections from all of them. I gave up, feeling that the business end of marketing one’s work was not wedded in my personality, with the self that needs to write or create.
I learned about Writer’s Relief from a poet at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She said she had written for years, never published; signed on with Writer’s Relief, and to her astonishment, began to be publish a lot. I was 60 and thought, “If I don’t at least try this—let someone else figure out the administrative end of the craft—I will not have given this my best shot in life.” I have not regretted a single penny of the cost. Writer’s Relief is efficient, thorough, professional, and the staff is amazingly polite and compassionate. They provide me with deadlines and a structure, without which, I would wallow in self-pity over rejection and make excuses not to write. In selecting markets I would never find myself, and in preparing cover letters that take hours to generate, they free me from hours of tedious business that I, simply, am not good at. They treat me as if I were a client with a real job, something most of the people in my own world don’t acknowledge or accept, because after all, who takes writers very seriously “What a good hobby to fill the time…”?
I have received two acceptances in the year I have been with Writer’s Relief, but I am surprised that it is not the most satisfying aspect of the experience. In the end, the fact of publication did not matter as much as I thought it would. In the end, what has mattered is the sense of direction, purpose, and credibility that working with Writer’s Relief has afforded me. I am not sure how one defines “success” in writing, but I’m fairly certain it is not by number or ranking of publications. I think it comes from getting up each day and having the discipline to do one’s best, to keep working at it not withstanding repeated rejection. Most people, I’ve found, think in terms of costs and benefits and “bottom lines.” We need to count or measure everything, and rewards need to be tangible. I find it embarrassingly hokey to admit that my “bottom line” has turned out to be self-fulfillment and the realization of individual potential. I am much closer to achieving it with Writer’s Relief than I was in 25 years going solo.
October 31, 2007
A note of thanks for the wonderful service and support from Writer’s Relief. Thanks to your organization, I am realizing my dream of becoming a published poet. I now have several acceptances.
The entire staff is great. The editing and proofing help is valuable; the shrewd choice of magazines has proven very effective. I also found the reassurance and statistics about rejections especially helpful. I would never have had a thick enough skin to brave the inevitable rejections on my own.
October 27, 2007
I am very happy with the work that you and the rest of the staff at Writer’s Relief have done for me.
Although I have enjoyed writing for years, I did not know the first thing about getting my work published. The few times I tried, I quickly became frustrated, discouraged, and more than a little cynical about what it takes to be published. I was resigned to having my poems read by only a small circle of family and friends. Several months ago, a friend of mine—I knew that he wrote, but did not know that he had published—told me about Writer’s Relief and how you had helped him to get started.
Your assistance in proofreading my work, formatting my submissions and correspondence to professional standards, and, most importantly, identifying and targeting the appropriate publications for my submissions has been invaluable. In less than four months, three of my poems have been accepted for publication in nationally recognized literary journals (including The South Carolina Review and California Quarterly). This would not have happened without your help. I am confident that we will continue to have success publishing my work.
I look forward to continuing to work with you.
October 26, 2007
I want to take this time to write a few words. Without the professional attention of the staff at Writer’s Relief, I believe that my work would not be published at this time.
I have little patience for the detailed effort necessary for getting my work out into the marketplace.
I have also found everyone at Writer’s Relief genuine and helpful. It makes a difference.
Thank you for all your work,
October 26, 2007
I heard about Writer’s Relief from a woman at a writing conference who told me she had her poetry published in the Harvard Review. I was intrigued because, although I have published a book and won the 2003 Jim Angell Award for it, I was about to give up on submitting further work. I’m a busy psychotherapist in private practice, and I’m terribly inefficient at the submission process. I decided to try Writer’s Relief, and besides being impressed with their professionalism and their prompt responses when I needed help, I had an essay published in The Rambler, a great magazine I wouldn’t have known about on my own. The folks at Writer’s Relief are not tied to my insecurities and will send my writing to places I might not consider. I like the way the Write’s Relief process spurs me to polish my work and to submit on a regular basis, and I appreciate their timely prompting, so that I don’t have to feel too much of a time crunch. It’s a fine resource for writers—I’m glad I found it.
October 23, 2007
Many thanks to you and to your staff for helping me to secure an agent to represent my nonfiction book proposal. I’m a first-time author and really value the practical advice I received while shaping my material for submission. The list of agents you provided was also obviously on the money since I received two offers of representation from my very first round of submissions.
All in all, it was a professional and worthwhile experience working with the team at Writer’s Relief.
October 23, 2007
To Ronnie Smith:
Writer’s Relief is a very useful author submission service, especially for busy professionals. Their caring and supportive staff takes the guess work out of how and where to send writing. I’ve been writing for several years and have received many rejections. After just one submission period, Writer’s Relief made me a published author! That’s a great feeling. Thanks, Writer’s Relief!
October 21, 2007
To Ronnie Smith:
I have garnered more publications in the past five months with Writer’s Relief than I have in the past ten years of submissions on my own. The Writer’s Relief staff is better than a literary agency, more thorough and easier to contact, whether by e-mail or phone. They have a wonderful knowledge of the literary market that relieves me of the arduous task of wondering where to send my work and what the cut-off dates are. Also, it makes rejections easier to take because I now have acceptances in my field. The staff is considerate, supportive, and answers my questions in a prompt manner. I highly recommend them. Five of my friends use them and rave.
October 21, 2007
To Ronnie Smith:
In a little under a year of working with Writer’s Relief, I have had ten poems placed in eight journals. I rate my experience extremely satisfying. The submission cycle inspires me to write regularly, and it’s a relief to know that the destination for each submission is the product of informed decision making by the staff. This frees me up to just write.
I trust Writer’s Relief and look forward to another year working together.
October 21, 2007
Dear Ronnie and all at Writer’s Relief,
I was one of those poets who just didn’t send things out. Everyday I’d say, “I really should send out my work,” and everyday I didn’t. No wonder I never got anything published! Since I signed up with Writer’s Relief, in May 2006, I’ve had 23 acceptances. This has made me very, very happy.
I knew nothing about the publishing world. Writer’s Relief has been my strategist and my secretary. I now feel more connected, more confident, less alone and less afraid.
October 19, 2007
As a rather prolific poet, and as someone with a hectic work schedule, the submission process is something I have traditionally dreaded. Let’s face it, writers have three jobs: 1) to write, 2) to make a living, and 3) to promote and submit his/her writing. Yikes! Where does one find time to live? That’s where Writer’s Relief comes in. Not only does this group of smart, professional, and extremely supportive team alleviate the writer’s submission headaches, but they also act as a kind of safety net.
Typically a poet sends work into the world solo. The responses range from respectful to rude to bewildering. Dealing with editors’ responses, or lack thereof, is one of the many things that Writer’s Relief helps with. As a result, I have managed to get about 30 poems published in one year alone, and many of the journals are upper-echelon.
In addition to being a poet, I have written a memoir. Approaching agents is terra incognita to me. As such, the process is terrifying. Sadly, I have tried this on my own; and because I really didn’t know what I was doing, I failed miserably. In contrast, after having my query letter, synopsis, and sample chapters edited meticulously by Writer’s Relief, and after having appropriate agents chosen for me, I managed to get the interest of four agents in merely two weeks. Although I am not a wealthy person, I have come to think of the money I spend on Writer’s Relief as a crucial investment in my future.
Lastly, let me not forget to add how incredibly warm, smart, and personable the staff is. Thanks to all of you!
October 18, 2007
My work would never have reached as many journals as it has during the past year without Writer’s Relief. Certainly, if I had been preparing my own work to submit, my poetry would not have looked as beautifully prepared as it always does when Writer’s Relief does the job. In addition, the cover letters and address labels to editors are extremely professional looking. The high quality of the appearance of my submissions announces that I take my work seriously.
Furthermore, since Writer’s Relief assumes all of the responsibility of researching appropriate journals where I can send submissions, my poetry has gone to many more venues for publication than I would ever have been able to reach on my own. The amount of time Writer’s Relief has saved me from preparing manuscripts and finding places to send my completed work is literally beyond belief. I have gotten results; my very first packet had a poem accepted. More than half of the groups of poems I have sent out have garnered acceptances. I can honestly say that Writer’s Relief has made all of this possible. Heartfelt thanks to you, and everyone of your wonderful staff for all you have done to support me and my writing. I don’t know what I would do without Writer’s Relief.
October 18, 2007
Dear Ronnie Smith,
I am happy to recommend Writer’s Relief to anyone who is serious about his or her writing and pursuing publication. They know the markets; their manuscript preparation is impeccable; and I have found their staff knowledgeable, courteous, and helpful. Their database is a great plus to keep track of submissions and acceptances. Writer’s Relief has revitalized my writing career and enabled my work to find acceptance in top markets.
October 17, 2007
I am thrilled with the service provided by Writer’s Relief. You do so much of the work of submitting for me. I’d never have been published in Westview without your service. I also appreciate the editing service you provide. No matter how often I go over my poetry, your editors still find errata!
Once again, thank you for your superb service. I’ll close by thanking your employees for being so friendly and pleasant in their dealings.
October 17, 2007
To Ronnie Smith:
With thanks to Writer’s Relief, I have had several poems published in good journals in the year and a half I have been a client. Some of these journals include Atlanta Review, Carquinez Poetry Review, Connecticut Review, Eclipse, Flyway, International Poetry Review, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Nimrod International Journal of Poetry, and Prose, Paterson Literary Review, Phantasmagoria, Quercus Review, South Carolina Review, and Spillway. They are extremely helpful with their excellent proofing of the poems, selecting journals where work might be published, and answering calls with warmth and courtesy. I highly recommend their service for busy writers.
October 17, 2007
My first year with Writer’s Relief has been a positive experience on balance. The due dates and the discipline require moved me to edit old work and produce new on a scale that never would have happened if left to my own initiative. Having my poems accepted by a number of leading journals around the country has increased confidence in my own work and led me to join a local poets’ reading group.
October 17, 2007
Writer’s Relief is efficient and effective. The editors are first-rate and have transformed my attention to my work in ways I hadn’t anticipated. The supplies and directions given to the writer are clear and concise. The Writer’s Relief staff has honed their intentions to such a degree that the feeling one has is depicted in their moniker: Writer’s Relief. I haven’t been with Writer’s Relief for long and have gotten some good news recently. I highly recommend contacting them and starting the process.
August 24, 2007
Thank you for your words of congratulations. To say I’m delighted to have my poems published is an understatement. You and your team have been such a great support for me; there is no way I could have done this on my own. However, the greater support I’ve received from your organization is the encouragement to continue writing. This is such a lonely endeavor that having a team to support me makes the creative process more joyful.
August 7, 2007
To Ronnie Smith:
I know my strengths and weaknesses, and getting my writing out there for the right people to review in a regular and organized fashion, as well as making sure that it isn’t filled with typos and format problems, is among the latter. Writer’s Relief is superb at both, and their very competent, supportive, and pleasant staff makes the whole experience not only painless, but—despite the frequent rejection letters—actually enjoyable.
August 1, 2007
I’ve been singing your praises from the beginning.
I think what you do is invaluable to the writer and the reason you have so much success is not luck, but a result of the hard work you put into researching potential agents and knowing when they will read. I got very quick responses to all of my packets. Some, it almost seemed, came by return mail.
Everyone that I have dealt with in your company has been courteous and a delight to talk to. I am not an easy client. I raise Labrador Retrievers and have 31 pups at the moment. I also run two other small businesses, and I have been handling my mother’s poetry through Writer’s Relief. She, too, was successful on the first mailing and had two poems published in different literary journals. Once again, I know that was due to your targeting abilities. But, as I said, I am wearing so many hats that often I have been late and didn’t follow directions. The Writer’s Relief staff was always patient and firm at the same time about deadlines. It is good practice [for the writer] for what lies ahead once an agent is secured.
In my busy life I just don’t have time to research which agents might be good for my work. Also, people move around and change so much in this business so I can never be sure if my submissions are going to an active agency. I certainly do not know who is reading and when.
Thank you Writer’s Relief!! This never would have happened without you.
All the best,
June 22, 2007
Just wanted to drop you a little note to tell you what I will be doing today. I have assembled a group of eight poets who are going to read at our local library for a poetry luncheon. [This event] got great publicity, and we expect a large crowd from all over the state! Our South Carolina Poet Laureate will be reading as well as the most famous poets in South Carolina.
I could never have pulled this off without a little credibility…that I got from Writer’s Relief!
No one listens to a poet who has never been published. My recent acceptance to South Carolina Review has put me on the top 1/3 of the heap!
Thanks to you and the staff for all of your hard work. It has really paid off for me!
Have a great day, and pat yourself on the back. Or maybe, take the day off!
May 17, 2007
I cannot say enough about the wonderful care and guidance I received at Writer’s Relief. The staff is always professional, and they made the process of sending out my manuscript easy (even fun). From the very beginning I knew that I was in competent hands. All paperwork was well-organized, and directions for submitting packets and recording agent responses were clear. Any time I had a question, I simply called and spoke to my knowledgeable contact person, Barbara.
In addition to helping me ready my manuscript for submission, Writer’s Relief also effectively targeted appropriate agents. This can be a monumental task as anybody who’s ever looked through Writer’s Market knows; yet each time I sent out my manuscript, I secured an agent. (I sent it out twice because my first agent retired before we were able to find a publisher.)
All in all, I would say that my experience with Writer’s Relief has been excellent. I would highly recommend that anyone who wants the burden of finding an agent lifted or lightened, try Writer’s Relief. It certainly worked for me!
March 2, 2007
I have just secured wonderful agent representation in NYC. I am a Fulbright fellow (seven times) and a professor emeritus.
Writer’s Relief has been the sterling guide behind my writing career.
For ten years my work has found representation and publication because of this fabulous organization led by Ronnie.
February 28, 2007
I had spent four years writing my first novel Nantucket Sleigh Ride. I had never written anything longer than a college paper in my life. When I thought it was ready, I searched the Internet and “stumbled” on to Writer’s Relief. I found good information on the business of book publishing and getting agent representation. My ignorance level was high. I called you up to inquire what SASE meant, and you graciously answered.
The requirement to submit a sample of my work to Writer’s Relief and when you took me on as a client were turning points for me. For the first time my work was validated by someone else besides friends and family.
My first submission bundle went out in January 2006 and I secured representation in May 2006. I did double submissions the entire time. I had three agents request a full manuscript and one agreed to work with me Theron Raines.
Then the real work began. The novel became 50 percent longer and, working through the summer and fall, we polished it up, and it is out to publishers now. I await their decision while working away on my next novel.
February 1, 2007
Dear Writer’s Relief:
While I am deeply ensconced in a new novel that has already been receiving interest from publishing houses, I wanted to tell your readership that I still have a completed novel out there and under consideration after using your service’s immeasurable and meticulous help.
I was certain that the novel was “dead.” With your excellent guidance, databases and sound advice, I created a blind submission package that, on the first 29 letters, received four responses from major agents asking to see the whole novel. Subsequently, on the second round of submissions, there were two more—still in the consideration process.
What I deduced from my experience with Writer’s Relief was that the end result of using your service was equal in time and effort to the efforts and time involved is using personal and/or previous contacts. (I have had three previous agents who took forever to respond.)
While my experience in the past has been both easy and hard—two earlier novels were accepted by pub houses but were derailed in business debacles—, this era demands that writers submit and submit and submit. You have proven to me that if I have a good sample package, I will not be lost in the agent-finding process. I may not get any further than a request to read my entire manuscript, but it shows that many agents do read what is sent to them—perhaps it takes a long time, but so does the writing. Perhaps some of them have silly response mechanisms: One sent a rejection the size of a fortune cookie’s message and another suggested I read more about their agency. In general…expedient and effective.
Thank you for making the process of sending out and getting back the package merely “white noise,” while the real activity is taking place in the present—in today’s writing. Having been the editor of a literary magazine for five years, many years ago, I want writers to know that when a pile of mail two-feet high lands on your desk, it takes a long time to go through, and sometimes, at the end of the day, you just can’t absorb one more word.
Keep trying, writers! Keep trying. That’s the only way to break through the sound barrier.
January 11, 2007
I hired Writer’s Relief before I ever looked for an agent or published a book. Writer’s Relief explained the process, identified my likeliest prospects, and did all the dirty work of organizing my search. Without their efficient, professional help, I might still be shopping around for representation.