Client Reviews and Testimonials 2012

Our author’s submission service assists writers of poems, short stories, essays, and book manuscripts in getting their work published. We work very hard to promote our clients’ work. Letters from clients follow below. (Originals with signatures available upon request.)

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December 27, 2012

Three of my short stories are seeing the publishing light this year. Obviously I could never have gotten here without Writer’s Relief.

And then I can keep writing.

They make me submit more…and write more.

Until I can call myself a writer.

Cecile Barlier

December 18, 2012

Writer’s Relief has been a much-needed support to my creative process. Prior to my association with WR, post-writing submission trauma made sending out work excruciatingly difficult, due to the doubt and aversion that would plague me, and led to a very erratic submission history. The cheery communications from my submission strategists and a good acceptance rate have helped minimize my fears and encouraged me to keep generating and sending out both prose and poetry.

Leisha Douglas

December 13, 2012

December 13, 2012

I have a secret life.

I’ve had a secret life ever since reading Charlotte’s Web when I was very young, through Jane Eyre, through the poetry of the Johns, Donne, and Berryman, through Emily Dickinson, and on to the short stories of Alice Munro, Antonya Nelson, Edward P. Jones, and Wells Tower, to name a few.

It took me a long time to dare even try what they were doing. But eventually I went to an MFA program and started writing. The process was slow and painful. After I finished the MFA, I wrote—and sent out—only piecemeal, not feeling as though I was getting much done. Finally, on my own, I published three stories. I thought I had it made. But another lull followed. Then a friend told me that through Writer’s Relief, she’d published seventeen poems.

For the first Writer’s Relief cycle I participated in, I hauled out a story I’d written at the outset of the MFA program, three decades before. People in the program had liked the story, and it had won a school prize. Over the years I’d sent it out twenty-seven times. Twenty-seven times it’d been rejected. I’d gotten a number of notes from editors, and comments from people I was periodically in writing groups with, all to the same effect: “This just needs a little something more at the end.” I wasn’t sure that it did, and I’d never been able to get enough into the mood and voice of the story to fix it. But before sending it in to Writer’s Relief for that first cycle, I had one more go at it. I put a little more into the ending. The story was accepted for publication right away.

When you tell people you write, the inevitable question is, “Have you published?” It’s good to be able to say, “Yes, eleven stories.”

Writing is no less difficult now, but it is more fun. And Writer’s Relief has taken care of getting published. Because Writer’s Relief has managed to get my work in print, I feel as though I’ve knocked on the door of that secret society, the society of writers. Because Writer’s Relief has managed to get my work in print, I’ve made a contribution to the secret life. You can read about it in my stories.

Margaret Holmes

November 15, 2012

Before I signed up for Writer’s Relief in September 2006, I was shy about sending out my work and often too busy with my various jobs and raising a family, like most writers. Vastly impressed with the poetry I read in literary journals and book after book, I also felt my work just wasn’t up to par. Then I remembered some sage advice given by William Stafford at one of his last workshops in May 1993. “The world needs your poems. Send them out, and give them a good title!” I had almost immediate success, having two poems published in Prairie Schooner in the summer of 1995, but it took years and a friend’s advice to follow through. She convinced me Writer’s Relief might be my ticket. As rejections poured in, so did some acceptances. Writer’s Relief has helped me focus on those, and some rejections which say, “Not this time, but do send more. We are impressed with your writing.” Writer’s Relief continues to encourage me to write and submit, for which I am very grateful. When journals arrive with my name in the Table of Contents, it is a wonderful feeling, and I love connecting to other poets around the country. I am deeply thankful to Writer’s Relief for enhancing and enriching my poetic life.

Perie Longo

October 29, 2012

My first submission to the Review Board was rejected, which turned out to be a good thing because it forced me to confront the weak points in my writing instead of playing to my strengths. And after a few months of honing my craft, I came back with some much better work, and they accepted me. Less than a year later, my first story was published and, of the three I’ve submitted since that time, two more have been accepted for publication. Having Writer’s Relief on my side feels a bit like I’m cheating. I can only imagine how frustrating it would be for somebody to try to do all of this without help. Whether they know it or not, Writer’s Relief offers more than the services that they advertise because, yes, they take the drudgery and the frustration out of getting published, but they aren’t just going through the motions. They honestly love the stories they read—the stories their clients submit through them—and they strive for us to succeed. That enthusiasm shines back on us, it gives us encouragement, it gives us momentum, it challenges us to develop our voices. From the very beginning, they’ve done much more than what I’m paying them for; it feels like I have a fan club already. If you’re dedicated to having your work published, Writer’s Relief is worth every penny.

Anders Benson

October 19, 2012

When I made the decision to write full-time, I had no idea how consuming the submission process would be. I struggled for several years trying to find the balance between writing, submitting, and living an already full life. An acquaintance of my stepdaughter’s mentioned she had started writing and had had great success with Writer’s Relief. I was pleased and relieved to discover such a first-class operation. I’ve been with Writer’s Relief for about three years.

My Writer’s Relief team keeps me motivated and on target. For me, knowing I’ll have an opportunity to send a story out every two months helps me focus on the work at hand and provides a reassuring sense of structure. The quality of my Writer’s Relief team’s editing services, coupled with their uncanny ability to locate just the right journal for my stories, never ceases to amaze.

Writer’s Relief is a gift I give to myself and my writing. A gift that never disappoints. Thank you, Writer’s Relief.

Mary Bess Dunn

October 11, 2012

Writer’s Relief has been, well, a relief. I first tried researching the markets myself online and with Writer’s Digest. I was spending more time sorting out publishers than writing, and though the research was necessary, it was not what I wanted to be doing. Additionally I could never spell, thus Timm with 2 m’s, and though I can still diagram a sentence, my grammar can be inconsistent. Writer’s Relief takes away all of that hassle and lets me write.

Timm Holt

September 13, 2012

I am alone. When I write, I am stuck inside the dark, twisted corners of my own mind, following my protagonist down a dark alley, into a lover’s arms, or simply into his own coffin. It is a lonely journey, but every writer has to make the journey alone, finally stepping over the finish line when he types those two last words: The End.

But the end is merely the beginning. Which of the thousands of markets to send my work? Which agent will see my vision and believe in my work? Was that third comma in my second to last paragraph actually supposed to be a semicolon?

Every writer needs help, and Writer’s Relief is my writing team. I am alone as I write this now, but I can rest assured that, before anyone reads my words, Writer’s Relief will proofread and make sure every comma, conjunction, or independent clause is exactly where it is supposed to be. Thank you, Writer’s Relief, for never making me feel alone.

Keith Buie

August 23, 2012

Dear Ronnie,

Submitting to the Writer’s Relief Review Board took a leap of faith. I wanted to get a short story published and I believed that if Writer’s Relief liked my story enough to take me on as a client, someone else might like it too. At the time, I had no intention of writing full-time or publishing more than that one story. But when Writer’s Relief became my partner, I had professional people I could talk to about my work plus deadlines to meet. What seemed like a dream, someone else’s life, became my own. I thought my first publication was a lucky break. But my second publication meant something more. It meant I could get three. And little by little I started to believe I was a writer. What a gift.

Corie Adjmi

August 9, 2012

After years of giving my energy to others’ creative projects, I reclaimed it for myself. Inspired by William Stafford, I practiced writing a poem a day. I kept a notebook at hand for thoughts, dreams, poems, and prompts. I heard Allen Ginsberg speak and started to “notice what I noticed.” I heard Lucille Clifton talk about negative capability and felt she’d named me as a poet. I attended the Squaw Valley Writers Conference and had the great pleasure of writing with my “tribe.”

I was sending out my work, but I found the whole submission process overwhelming and discouraging. Writer’s Relief gave me structure and support in every aspect, from putting together a great cover letter, proofing my poems, organizing mailings and electronic submissions to following the history of each poem. Thanks to Writer’s Relief, my poetry has been introduced to a wider audience. In the six years that I have been associated with Ronnie and her fabulous staff, I have had over 50 acceptances. Their organizational support has streamlined the process of preparing, submitting, and tracking my poems. They find appropriate markets, and document the history of my submissions as well as proofing and creating clean copies of my work. What was a stressful process became inspiring.

Submitting new work every two months gave me the incentive to keep writing and polishing on a regular basis. Being able to resubmit work that wasn’t immediately picked up gave me the space to keep polishing new work that was not quite ready for that cycle, and if I need help or have a question, they are only a phone call or email away.

Marilyn Ringer

June 29, 2012

Thank you, Writer’s Relief and Peter K. Hixson! So far, I’ve had three poems published in good journals due to your excellent service. You’ve also opened my eyes to what it takes to be successful with my submissions. I’ll definitely be calling you again soon.

Jackleen Holton (a 2012 Peter K. Hixson winner)

June 25, 2012

Your help allowed me to get a number of poems published—publications acknowledged in the manuscript I’m sending out to numerous editors. I’m hoping the number of publications are making me more believable to these editors. I would never have had as many successes on my own.

Madelyn C.

June 20, 2012

Dear Ronnie and the staff of Writer’s Relief,

I would like to again thank you, Writer’s Relief, and the Hixson family for all your wonderful work on my behalf. Four of the five poems you submitted for me were published, one of which received a Willow Review Award of $100. Also, by an odd confluence of events, the three journals arrived in the mail last Friday, Saturday, and Monday.


Lauren Yaffe (a 2012 Peter K. Hixson winner)

June 4, 2012

Wow, you and your team really have pushed my manuscript forward. I am in awe of your proofreading department and am so pleased with the excellent work done on it. I’ve been told you shouldn’t use the same word too frequently, but the word “grateful” is the only one that says what I feel. I sure am grateful. Thank you.


May 30, 2012

Dear Friends at Writer’s Relief,

I just counted the number of poems on my WR Acceptances Report. Counting the last one accepted by Lullwater Review, you have helped me have fifty publications of various poems of mine. Thank you! Thank you!


Dorothy S.

May 22, 2012

Dear Writer’s Relief:

I’m so grateful for Writer’s Relief. The bimonthly deadline inspires me, and you get my work out to so many places. I would never be able to do this alone.

Susan C.

May 20, 2012

Ronnie and her team are top-notch administrators of this submission service for writers. They keep you on track, provide excellent proofreading services and are available to strategize your submissions.

Tracy D. (as posted on LinkedIn)

May 15, 2012

I am very happy with my association with your organization, and will continue to recommend it to friends. When I started, I was not considered a “published writer,” despite twenty-six years as a journalist. Thanks to the breadth, volume, and discipline of Writer’s Relief, I have seen eight of my essays published. I call this success. I would never have had the perseverance to accomplish this on my own.

Karl T.

May 11, 2012

Dear Writer’s Relief,

Considering how many other writers you must be working with, it is hugely empowering to hear your feedback. I never expected to receive the quantity and quality of personal encouragement that I’ve been getting from you all. I never expected somebody who reads work from a half-dozen different writers each day to shoot me a personal email just to tell me they enjoyed my latest piece. That tells me something.

I really feel like I’m starting to find my voice as a writer, I’ve got my first piece coming out in a couple of days and a couple of others that I’m getting nibbles on, and I’m also starting to build personal contacts with editors. It feels like a lot is happening at once, though I’m not letting it build false hope. I’m looking to breed success from success.

Thank you all for the support, both that which I am paying for and the sincere personal support which I have no reason to expect from you professionally. I love it. I feel like I already have a fan club.

A. Benson

April 18, 2012

I left a business career and, among other things, decided to attend divinity school, and later to write a book. In an effort to gain some credibility for future publishers, Writer’s Relief came highly recommended to me as a firm that could assist me in publishing some of my essays prior to promoting myself to prospective publishers.

That strategy has worked well as Writer’s Relief did, in fact, enable me to publish seven of my essays over a two-year period. Their systematic submission process and their research of potential periodicals and online markets made the process quite simple for me, at a reasonable cost, and produced very good results.

Fred S. (as posted on LinkedIn)

April 15, 2012

As a professional musician who took to writing poetry later in life, I had no idea how to go about submitting my work for publication. Late one day I called Writer’s Relief for information and by chance Ronnie Smith answered the phone. Her clear dedication and enthusiasm convinced me that Writer’s Relief was worth trying. Having been a client now since 2005, I’ve long since known that my first impression was right: Ronnie and the staff at Writer’s Relief are smart, trustworthy, personable, and, above all, effective.

Mark Belair

March 24, 2012

Dear Ronnie Smith,

I have been a client of Writer’s Relief for many years. I appreciate that this service takes the toil out of finding proper places to submit my work. I’d much rather be writing. Working with WR also gives me a schedule for polishing stories and getting them out into the world. Their editing assures that my work meets current standards regarding punctuation, which is always tricky for me (to comma or not to comma?). And, happily, I have had many stories published during my time with WR.

Kathleen G. (as posted on LinkedIn)

March 23, 2012

Ronnie Smith, as President of Writer’s Relief, helped open the doors of publication for me. I boldly sent her three stories, my first stories ever written, and through her service and recommendations, all three stories were accepted for publication in literary magazines. Later, through her service, a story published in The MacGuffin literary magazine brought me to the attention of the literary agent Nat Sobel. Without Writer’s Relief and Ronnie’s attention to detail, I would never have had such early success.

I recommend Ronnie and her staff at Writer’s Relief to writers, old and new, and to those retirees who take my adult education classes at Brevard College in North Carolina.

Nancy P. (as posted on LinkedIn)

March 12, 2012

Writer’s Relief has been my writing coach, agent, and conscience. Without deadlines and expert advice, I would not have attained the success I have achieved in a short period of time. For anyone who seriously wants to get published, Writer’s Relief is the only way to go without suffering defeat, frustration, and confusion. Thank you, Writer’s Relief.

Loren Stephens

March 2, 2012

Dear Writer’s Relief,

Without your advice and guidance, I would not be able to have all these acceptances and, therefore, have such a stimulus to write more!

Andrey G.

February 29, 2012

Dear Writer’s Relief,

I just received my second short story acceptance today. You should know that this whole concept of writing a short story began when it was suggested to me in a conference session that I take my novel, Reunion, and search it for possible leads for submitting a short story for publication. Frankly, that idea would never have occurred to me. Both “The Cowboy” and “The Closer” came directly from that novel, and in slightly less than a year, both stories have been accepted for publication. I love you guys!

Dan H.

January 30, 2012

I write. I devote my creative energy to producing publishable work. Writer’s Relief, in partnership with me, deals with the business of publishing my poetry and essays in appropriate journals. This is an active partnership, requiring equal energy on both sides. It works for me because I see it as a partnership—I produce high-quality work, I know the caliber of the journals and publications I want to publish in, and we work together to make that happen. I’m in continuing dialogue with my specific contacts, who respond to my needs and inclinations and gauge the appropriateness of my work for specific publications. The result has been an ever-increasing number of publication credits in noteworthy journals—and with every acceptance comes a fresh surge of creative energy.

Paula B

January 9, 2012

Thanks so much for all your help. Working with Writer’s Relief has been a real treat, and I hope our paths will cross again in the future!

With all best wishes,

Christina Kapp (Peter K. Hixson Award Winner)





“Getting that first poem published was the hardest threshold to cross. My team at Writer’s Relief kept encouraging me…then came the acceptance! We celebrated…then I continued writing, and Writer’s Relief continued doing the wonderful work they do!”

—King Grossman, Writer
(Watch King’s video testimonial here!)

“Every piece I have sent out with their help has been accepted for publication! I am looking forward to working with the team on getting my new novel out into the world.”

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WHY? Because our insider
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writers get over 18,000 acceptances.

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  • BEST (and proven) submission tips
  • Hot publishing leads
  • Calls to submit
  • Contest alerts
  • Notification of industry changes
  • And much more!

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