September 27, 1996
I’ve been a publishing writer for 15 years. During that time, I’ve had poems and stories and essays published in some of the best lit mags in the country (and some of the not-so-best), received fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, and had two books of poetry published; my credentials as someone who has done a lot of submitting on her own are all too well established. When it came to finding an agent for my first novel, though, I found it much more difficult. Many directory listings are outdated before the book hits the press, I found, and the packages-with sample chapters, plot synopsis, bio, publication lists-much more time-consuming to assemble.
I realized that it would probably be cost-effective to try your service. What I didn’t realize was that you would do it far better than I with more alacrity, more targeted submissions, and much more patience. I also didn’t realize, but soon found, that when I called, you would take the time to talk with me, advise, and respond to questions. As you know, during the second billing cycle that I was with you, two agents offered me representation.
I can’t thank you enough for your competence and your swift response to every request. I happily and without reservation recommend Writer’s Relief to any writer who, like myself, wants to immerse him/herself in her work and not in the work of submissions. It’s also awfully nice to feel that one has, indeed, a friend out there.
August 19, 1996
Ronnie L. Smith, President
Just wanted to write a thank you for your excellent submission service–it’s been exactly what I’ve needed!
I had been writing short stories for more than eight years before discovering Writer’s Relief last fall. In all that time I had sent only one story to one publisher. I was caught up in the creativity of writing but not in the labor of marketing–a truly bad case of “submitter’s block.”
Last December, Writer’s Relief began sending some of my stories out to publishers. Within six months one story had been published and another accepted for publication at a later date. And a number of the rejections were accompanied by personal notes from editors inviting me to send other stories. This has been a great experience for me.
I have been particularly impressed with the steady flow of my manuscripts to hundreds of publishers and have appreciated the integrity of your billing system.
August 5, 1996
Attention: Ronnie L. Smith, President
This is by way of expressing my gratitude for your service during the six months that we’ve been working together. I’d rather spend my very limited amount of free time writing poems, and I’m very thankful that you’re there to do the paperwork required to send my work out to more magazines than I ever dreamed existed, and to do it with impressive efficiency and speed and thoroughness of coverage.
Your work has brought me three letters of acceptance so far–hardly the least of the things for which I’m grateful, and a big improvement over my track record of a dozen or so in six years. Lastly, I appreciate an unexpected side benefit of your service: Rejection letters don’t have the same sting. I guess there’s less ,,ego involvement” in the submitting process when somebody else has done the sending out.
I find your service extremely valuable, and I hope you’ll be providing it for a long time to come.
July 30, 1996
Ronnie L. Smith, President
When I signed on with Writer’s Relief six months ago, I was not optimistic in spite of the very positive review I got from other clients. I was at a low point in my writing because I had not published anything for some time and was beginning to seriously consider making a bonfire of all my papers and moving on. This, even with a list of publications, an MFA in writing and years of experience teaching at the university level and administering a creative writing program.
Within six months, WR has placed two stories for me and I have received numerous encouraging notes from other periodicals. Having a competent group of professionals handling the submissions has made all the difference. I do not feel so disconnected from the rest of the enterprise and, for the first time in years, I have recovered my sense of enthusiasm. There really are people out there who like to read what I write.
July 29, 1996
Thanks for your persistence with “What I Know About The High Life.”
I certainly would have given up by now, but how glad I am that you did not.
This makes the third story to be accepted in Texas. (Grasslands, Re: Arts and Letters,and, of course, Double Entendre). So here I am, being read in a lot of states, which pleases me a lot. They may be “little” but I like to think about how you have managed to circulate my stories and poems through Texas, Ohio, Illinois, California, Connecticut, New York and North Carolina. Thanks also for promoting me to Level II submission difficulty.
Ronnie, you know how much I appreciate your organizational skills, of which I have practically none, and your encouragement. You seem to be as happy as I when something is accepted.
Keep cool and enjoy summer.
July 28, 1996
Ms. Ronnie L. Smith
Yesterday I sifted through a pile of routine mail, including the familiar SASE sporting Writer’s Relief typeface, only to find that what I assumed to be the usual rejection letter turned out instead to be a wonderful surprise. That makes five times in nine months, and each time it’s been a thrill.
As a novice poet who is new to the submission business, and as a self-employed workaholic with no time to spare, I send a bouquet of heartfelt thanks to you and your staff. Thanks for your diligence in keeping track of all those poems and letters and sending them to the right places; your prompt responses to my phone calls and faxes; your efficiency; your sensitivity; your sense of humor; your patience with my beginner’s questions; and your unfailing support–all have been a godsend.
I think of the Writer’s Relief team as my agent, mentor, administrative staff par excellence and personal cheering section, all in one. Working with you has not only taught me how to take rejection in stride, it has brought me a gift that I could not have acquired without your help–the unparalleled, unexpected joy of opening an acceptance letter.
July 26, 1996
I wanted to send a note thanking you for the diligence with which you pursued a market for my work. Although I had published 2 novels and many articles prior to using your service I was never able to find a source or an agent who was willing to work with shorter pieces. Writer’s Relief proved to be the relief I needed.
What I now have the opportunity to do, which I haven’t had for about a decade, is review short stories which had been rejected once or twice (and which I translated as meaning they were unpublishable) and have you submit them for me. The rejections weren’t fun but they rebuilt the callous I needed to get into the submission race again.
I hope “Jewtown” is just a beginning and all of the stories I’ve sent you find their way into print.
I thank you again.
July 24, 1996
I am writing to thank you and the staff of Writer’s Relief for the services rendered on my behalf during the past year. With your help a number of my poems have found their way out of the bowels of drawers and computer files into more visible homes. Thanks to your efforts they will appear in a variety of journals including Cape Rock, College English, The Distillery, and Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies.
Writer’s Relief was recommended to me by a friend. She had used your services and found you to be efficient, reliable and supportive. I am so happy that I followed her suggestion and got in touch with you.
It is hard for any writer to entrust someone else with his or her work but with you and your staff I feel very comfortable. Each time I send poems to you for submission I know they are in caring hands. Whenever I ask questions about the submission or publishing process I get a quick and sensitive response. In short, I feel you not only respect and care about my work but me as a person.
I also appreciate the fact that you are up front about expenses and let the clients have a say in the number of hours they need your services each month. I know you try hard to keep the cost down, and I have found your billing system to be very fair.
Many thanks and congratulations on your fine organization! It is a pleasure to work with you.
May 8, 1996
Ronnie Smith, President
You already know how grateful I am to have had your agency take my work and process it with such expertise. Three of my short stories published within five months–I have never had such spectacular success! I knew something was right when I submitted the first one in October and you sent it out to thirty magazines—25 days later it was accepted by Berkeley Fiction Review. In addition, Fugue, The University of Idaho Literary Digest, and Lynx Eye out of Los Angeles are publishing my other two short stories.
In the last thirty years, I have published about a dozen pieces—in The Malahat Literary Review (British Columbia), Menagerie (Chicago), and Overtures (Chicago). I have never had a sense that I would ever be widely published. Now getting both novels published is more than a possibility—it’s a looming reality.
My main obstacles have always been trying to get the work out, and the other self-doubt and depression after receiving rejections. The wonder of what you have done has been that with you, I have got two birds with one stone: I am able to get my work out and keep writing new stuff.
Thanks for a new way of being…
March 15, 1996
I am writing to thank you and the entire staff in Ridgefield Park for all the excellent work you’ve done on my behalf. It is clear to me now that before I signed up with Writer’s Relief, I had no real conception of how the “market” for poetry worked. Though I had tried to keep sending out my work, the acceptance letters that came back were only few and very far between. Now, because of your help, I’ve published a whole slew of poems all over the country in just the past three months, some of them in highly selective journals, including Tampa Review, Re:AL, and Cafe Eighties. Other quality journals, such as Black Buzzard Review, Atom Mind, and Wind have also accepted work. I have also received positive feedback, requests, and advice from an array of publishers that I would never have had the time, resources, or know-how to contact on my own. Some have advised me to send more work. Others have expressed interest but requested that I address specific themes. In short, I’m no longer baffled by the research, the paperwork, the record-keeping, the mailings, the waiting, and the constant fear of rejection. Now that you have been presenting my work in the most professional light, I know that whenever there is a home for it, it will find that home. In fact, my latest predicament has me asking what to do when three publishers want the same poem. I never thought I would find myself in this position.
I would also like to thank you for your many letters of advice and thorough responses to my questions, as well as the correspondence you’ve sent to publishers for me. The longer I stay with Writer’s Relief, the more I publish, and the more I learn about what to expect from the market, how to target submissions, how to get my work printed in the best possible places. I can expect to receive quite a few complementary journals with my work in them in the course of the next year. Finally, I also have the time to focus on my writing and my career, and you and your hard-working staff are to thank for all of this.
Wishing you the very best in the coming spring.