December 16, 2013
Writer’s Relief has made my writing life a whole lot easier. Although I’ve had six books published (including two novels and a short story collection), I needed an agent and I didn’t have a clue how to go about looking. I found the staff at Writer’s Relief friendly, helpful, encouraging, and very thorough in matching my credentials with the right people. As a result of their selection process, about six agents asked to see my manuscript, and one of them offered representation. While all this behind-the-scenes work went on, I revised an entirely different manuscript and got to work on a new project—something I couldn’t have done if I’d had to hunt for an agent on my own. So a big thank you from a grateful writer!
November 27, 2013
For five and a half years, I’ve been a Writer’s Relief client, and during this time, I’ve made tremendous strides in getting my work published.
I started writing and publishing more than 40 years ago—in 1972. Before hooking up with Writer’s Relief, I’d published several poetry books, as well as many individual poems in literary magazines and anthologies. However, getting my creative prose out into the world had proved to be more difficult. At the time I started working with Writer’s Relief, I’d published only one short story and three personal essays.
Thanks to Writer’s Relief, all that has changed. I now have a short story collection almost ready to submit to publishers, and more than half of the stories have appeared in literary magazines. Best of all, my memoir, Married at Fourteen: A True Story, came out in 2012, and eight of the sixteen chapters had been published as personal essays in literary magazines. One of them was published twice, one won the Willow Review Award in Creative Nonfiction, and one was cited as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays.
In addition to helping me publish my prose, Writer’s Relief has helped me find many new markets for my poetry. Working with them has been both fruitful and fun. I feel that the staff members are now my friends, and I highly recommend them to all writers who need help with the business side of writing.
Lucille Lang Day
November 6, 2013
I love to write. I hate to submit. You write your heart out and then send your little golden parakeet of love or genius or hope out into the world and watch it get run over again and again. Then I found Writer’s Relief. They take care of your creations. They find them nice homes. They do all the work while you follow your dreams.
At first I got rejected, but then I got accepted and accepted. And my world changed. “The” world changed. It was less “cruel.” And now even if I get rejections, I know those little handcrafted parakeets (stories) of mine are in a nice, warm place, waiting for their perfect homes.
October 16, 2013
For about the first six months that I was actively trying to get my work published, I struggled. I tried to find journals that would be interested in what I had to say. I was unsure of myself and confused about a lot of things. Was what I had to offer something editors would be interested in? I had no clue and drove myself crazy trying to figure it all out.
Late one evening, high on coffee and strudel, I stumbled across Writer’s Relief while scouring the net for yet another journal’s submission guidelines. The angels sang.
Here were people who had years of varied industry experience. They had a system to help people, like me, power through the grueling submission process. Within two cycles, I was published. PUBLISHED!
Since signing on with Writer’s Relief, I feel more confident in my work and, best of all, I feel supported. What they provide is invaluable. Francesca, Joe, and Dan are my personal team of professionals working to get my work published. It’s like having a coach, a promoter, and a confidant at my side. I know they help others too, but when I get on the phone with them or receive correspondence from them, they make me feel like the only writer in the world.
Bleuzette La Feir
August 28, 2013
Though I love, love, love to write poems, I find the “business of poetry,” i.e., the process of sending my work out for publication, singularly enervating. There’s just nothing fun about it, from the cover letters to navigating the motley crew of requirements, to divining which journals are looking for what and when, to addressing the envelopes and licking the stamps. Writer’s Relief has liberated me from all of this administrivia and increased the time I have to write by an order of magnitude. Plus, they do their work with class, and my acceptance rate has grown significantly while I’ve had them on my team. They get it!
August 7, 2013
My writing instructor always told me to submit, and I kept not taking her seriously. Was I really ready to be published, I wondered. I submitted very irregularly for some time, but never seemed to find the time to do it.
I heard about Writer’s Relief through a fellow writer in my workshop and was happily surprised to be accepted as a client.
The best thing about working with Writer’s Relief is becoming a published writer (6 short stories over the past 14 months!), but also having someone to affirm my belief that I AM a writer, and to give me a deadline every two months, which has been incredibly helpful.
Working with the wonderful staff at Writer’s Relief has allowed me to become much more disciplined about my writing and to really feel that I am a writer.
Having a deadline has also forced me to write every day. During the week, when I work, I religiously spend 15 minutes every morning editing my stories. It doesn’t sound like much, but it allows me to progress and to feel that I work on my stories regularly. When I get to the weekend, I work without any interruption and spend additional time writing new stories or adding to existing ones.
June 20, 2013
Writer’s Relief was incredibly helpful to me as I was trying to figure out the process of publishing my stories in literary magazines. They are very professional and organized, and had a great sense of which magazines would be right for my work. I was motivated to write a lot and submit a lot, because I knew someone else out there was waiting to help me! Through their services, I was able to place several stories with reputable print literary magazines. Writer’s Relief not only helped me get published, but also motivated me to become a better writer.
June 19, 2013
All writers find out that it’s one thing to write a book and something else entirely to sell it.
In order to write my book The Bone Bridge: A Brother’s Memoir, I took time off from teaching in New York City and moved to New Mexico, where the relative quiet was conducive to introspection. After eleven months, I had accomplished what I had set out to do: I breathed words into the mouths of my family members, now gone, in order to tell our story. When I finished, I thought the most difficult part of the project, surely, must be over.
That was several years ago.
I am told that my book is a good one and that it is even an important one, but because of its subject matter, it will be very difficult to sell. Searching on one’s own for an agent can feel like an endless undertaking. Now that I am working with Writer’s Relief, I feel new momentum and certainty that I am finally moving in the right direction. Meg, Christine, and others have helped me organize my approach by tightening my presentation and aiming for the most appropriate agents. In addition, at their suggestion, I successfully published three pieces of the book in literary journals as stand-alone stories, so I am more convinced than ever that this book will be published.
The great staff members at Writer’s Relief are sensitive readers, experienced organizers, and enthusiastic voices, offering smart advice and encouragement when one needs to hear it most.
May 30, 2013
Before finding Writer’s Relief, I was overwhelmed with the process and time needed to submit my work. Since I started working with Writer’s Relief a year ago, I’ve had sixteen poems accepted for publication. I’m thrilled with what they’ve helped me accomplish. I have a four-year-old son, and there just isn’t enough time in the day to write, let alone submit. I’m so grateful for their service.
April 16, 2013
Just want to thank the Writer’s Relief team for prompting me to send out the “Home Beautiful” story again. I had lost faith in that story and wouldn’t have sent it out again without your prodding. Much to my surprise, it was accepted. I can’t thank you enough for your unfailing faith in my work, even when my own faith in my work flags.
“Home Beautiful” would never have flown or landed without the fabulous WR team!
April 11, 2013
When I’m making preliminary notes or roughing in a piece, it doesn’t really feel like writing. That’s just getting something down. When I go back over it, restructuring, rewording, flipping through the thesaurus, that doesn’t feel really like writing either. That’s just retouching. It doesn’t really feel like writing either when I do the final polish. That’s only tweaking. In front of me is a piece of writing which I have written without ever actually feeling like I was writing it. When do I get to feel like I’m writing?
Silly me. While none of these actions feels like writing, all are necessary to complete a piece. Writing is a process, and Writer’s Relief has been my final step for years. It’s a most rewarding one. We undertake this process because we have something to share. The caring and careful staff of Writer’s Relief finds people who are looking for what we have to share, and who themselves share it further. This is deeply gratifying for any writer and sparks us to write even more. A gracious cycle, indeed. Thank you, Writer’s Relief.
April 3, 2013
All’s going great with Writer’s Relief. Can’t thank you enough. Scored The Baltimore Review in only a few days into the first cycle. And I’m finding that just having the service is focusing me on the kinds of writing & submissions I need to do. The team phone call was very helpful and turned into a much more constructive conference than I imagined.
March 21, 2013
A lot of writers tell you how much they love writing, how the words flow easily from pen to paper, how it’s what they were meant to do, and how much they enjoy doing it. I’m not that kind of writer. Writing is very difficult for me. First of all, the type of writing I’m good at is not really the type of writing that generates enough money to support a family. (Well, it doesn’t even generate enough money to buy paper and ink, but that’s another story.) So I have a day job, and that can be exhausting. I also believe in actually raising my kids, and that takes time and physical and emotional effort, with unexpected plot twists, and that’s more (often unexpected) time away from writing. The bottom line is: My quality writing time becomes more and more precious every day. And that’s where Writer’s Relief comes in. Writer’s Relief helps me manage my writer’s angst, my feelings of doubt, and my anxiety about being rejected. How do they do this? Well, for one thing, I hate showing my work. Showing work makes me want to throw up. Writer’s Relief has allowed me to unwind from the shame cycle of submitting my little babies to an editor for possible slaughter. It makes the entire submission process less personal and more professional. Now I receive rejections and move on without taking them personally. (Well, sometimes I do take them personally, but I don’t lose sleep over them.) I’m also able to manage my time better. Because of Writer’s Relief, I don’t need to worry about creating the perfect submission letter or what journal is perfect for my stories. They do this work for me. They have a logical plan for where to submit and when. And the system works. I began working with Writer’s Relief just over a year ago. I’ve submitted eight short stories: Six stories have been published by top journals, one story is still under consideration, and one story was just sent out today. It’s hard to argue with that level of success. On my own, I’d still be trying to figure out how to properly format the address labels.
February 21, 2013
Recently I have been obsessed with the problem of narration. I go back and forth between first- and third-person and struggle mightily with how much exposition and backstory should come from straight narration, how much should come from action and dialogue, and how much is left to the reader. It is a delicate balance.
Sometimes I will write the same paragraph ten times from different points of view, using dialogue or straight narration; sometimes it takes a whole day to rewrite a page.
I love the process of writing and rewriting, and I hate the process of trying to get my work published. However, I learned that publication is necessary, in fact essential, to the creative writing process since there is a partnership between the reader and the writer where the reader plays an active role. Readers are essential.
I am indebted to Writer’s Relief for finding me readers. And they leave me with more time to write.
February 14, 2013
One key to getting work accepted by top literary magazines is persistence. When I was submitting work on my own, I would be overcome by anxiety and paralyzed at the thought of sending to such journals as The Paris Review or American Poetry Review. Now, when Writer’s Relief sends me labels, I figure they must know what they’re doing, so I slap them on envelopes, stuff in my poems and cover letters, and off they go. I’ve published 23 poems and one short story since I signed up with Writer’s Relief in 2010. Though I haven’t had an acceptance from The Paris Review—I keep trying thanks to Writer’s Relief.
January 31, 2013
For many years, I wrote fiction and never got published. I thought of myself as someone stuck in the montage section of a martial arts movie, in the part where the hero goes from gawky youngster to muscled fighter. In the movies, all that work—thousands of push-ups, endless frustration of doing faceplants in the mud—happens in a few short minutes of inspirational music. Then our brave hero always goes out to prove his or her worth against other fighters, ending up a triumphant champion. But I felt permanently stuck in the montage section, always sending out work that I thought was good, only to have it rejected by the ninja masters at literary journals. I was beyond frustrated.
And I was busy: finishing coursework for my PhD in Comparative Literature before doing archival research in Argentina, writing a dissertation, having a baby, starting a tenure-track job as a Spanish professor, and then writing an academic book. In between all of these things, I made time to write fiction, but I couldn’t also do the work of researching and targeting my short stories. Enter Writer’s Relief.
Once I began using Writer’s Relief, I began to get published immediately. I realized later that—as in every hero’s journey—on the road to getting published, I needed a guide and mentor. The work that Writer’s Relief does is based on many years in the field. They know the journals, understand the kind of work they accept, and they remind you that rejection is part of the game, and that it takes more than a few faceplants to make a writing hero.
Over the years, I have occasionally stopped using Writer’s Relief, when I think I can’t afford it or when my job seems too overwhelming. But I always regret leaving my wise publishing masters, and I always return. And now I’ve finished my first novel, and I am delighted that Writer’s Relief will be by my side again, helping me go from gawky newbie to, I hope, published novelist ninja.
Nancy Scott Hanway
January 24, 2013
At the time I learned of Writer’s Relief, I had for the prior two years been at an impasse over submitting my poetry to journals. I first had used a couple of catalogues like Poet’s Market and targeted places that wouldn’t take simultaneous submissions. After that yielded poor results, I began sending out what I considered mass mailings to receptive outlets, which meant maybe five copies of a single packet a couple of times a year—again with little to show from typical turnarounds of between two and ten months. I had the sense it would take many decades, time I didn’t have, for me to accumulate a handful of credits.
Over the past several years, since I signed up with WR, the numbers game has changed dramatically for the better: Around 175 packets of poems sent annually to print and online journals, many of which I never would have located by myself, and a monthly acceptance average over the past two years of just under one poem (which includes several journals that took more than a single piece, and some submissions via other channels), a frequency that gives me a sense of momentum both in terms of brute numbers and the rising quality of publications taking my work. I’m still amidst my best-ever acceptance streak: The Carolina Quarterly (2 poems), Interim (1), Spork (1), Smartish Pace (3, and placed to lead off the next issue), Permafrost (3), Jung Journal (5, submitted by invitation of the Editor-in-Chief), and Existere (1).
The process has been both educational—giving me a more realistic sense of how publishing operates—and motivating: I have to keep producing poems in order to meet my submissions quota. Louis Simpson coined the term Po-Biz for this kind of essential activity, and Writer’s Relief has enabled me, against my initial instincts, to behave in a productively businesslike manner.
Couldn’t have done it without you,
January 17, 2013
Fiction writing is my second career. I left a grueling schedule in the violence against women movement because I wanted to spend more time with my young children. Finally, I had the time to pursue creative writing, a lifelong wish. I took a class at NYU and the instructor, Susie Mee, invited me into her private workshop. It was an incredible experience to explore creative writing, surrounded by a talented teacher and a group of aspiring writers.
But how was I going to find the time to try to get published?
One of the students in Susie’s workshop mentioned Writer’s Relief. I looked into it and knew it was exactly what I needed. I could squeeze the time out of my family life to go to Susie’s workshop and produce some writing, but Writer’s Relief was the answer to where the time would come from to get published.
I became a client in 2010 and since then I have had four short stories accepted for publication. With the help of Writer’s Relief, I have also been able to make the time to write a novel, which I plan to submit early next year.
Thank you, Writer’s Relief! With your help, I am a published author with credits and confidence.
January 10, 2013
The Sister loves getting published. But she hates the business side of the writer’s life. She has no interest in copy editing or choosing where to send work among thousands of lit mags. Submission guidelines make her cranky. This is where Writer’s Relief comes in. Don’t let Her go running off to hang out with some other writer who has real time for Her. Keep the Muse with you by hiring Writer’s Relief to handle your “poetry biz.” She’ll thank you for it with blazes of inspiration.
Naomi Ruth Lowinsky
January 3, 2013
Poetry is one of my primary means of self-expression. It’s a fundamental way of exploring what it is I feel, and helps me figure out the things I think I know and the things I feel.
Writing poetry offers potentialities for discovery and creativity that rarely, if ever, present themselves in the ways we use language in our day-to-day lives. The process is filled with paradox: I want and need my own voice to be left intact within each piece of work, but I want input, reactions, revisions. I want the work to be technically sound and to fall within certain agreed-upon conventions, but I don’t want to change a thing. I want an audience, and I want privacy.
With all of these complexities and more, I can’t manage the pragmatic daily grind of submitting my poetry in a public arena—like many us, I work to extremes, have family obligations, and still convince myself that I’ve achieved some balance between work and play. I rely on Writer’s Relief to get my written work out, and since we’ve started our collaboration, I have been published in more journals that I could have ever accomplished on my own. And it’s all just beginning.