Click on the video above to hear about Stephen’s experience with Writer’s Relief!
A surgeon for more than twenty years, Dr. Stephen Weiss enjoys putting down the scalpel and picking up a pen. Yet, even after getting his MFA and attending several writing workshops and conferences, Stephen still didn’t feel confident enough to submit his writing. It was time for Writer’s Relief, STAT! Now, less than a year later, Stephen’s writing has been accepted for publication in Dash Literary Journal, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Off the Coast, The Opiate, and Streetlight Magazine.
Read on and watch the video to hear how Writer’s Relief helped Stephen gain confidence in his writing and make the best submissions to effectively boost his odds of getting published.
In Stephen’s Own Words
Have you kept a pilot light burning in the back of your mind? A tiny reminder of a youthful ambition to someday become a writer? Perhaps you harbor secret fantasies of sitting on Oprah’s couch to talk about your best-selling novel and the upcoming movie debut. For most of us, just getting a single poem or short story published is a daunting, unreachable goal. The difficulty of learning the craft of fiction writing, developing a compelling story with an authentic voice, and then getting an agent or editor to scrutinize the pages of an unknown wannabe can be overwhelming––especially if you’ve got a demanding day job.
I’m Dr. Stephen Weiss and I’ve been a practicing urologic surgeon for over twenty years, but I’m also S.W. Gordon, a fledgling writer. I’ve dreamed of someday putting down my knife and picking up the pen. Could my writing be a passport to a new life––one without ER call duty, malpractice threats, and governmental intrusion? Why not?
Yet after years of attending writing conferences and workshops, I was afraid to submit my work for publication. I devoured books on writing, immersed myself in the literary community on Goodreads, and completed a low residency MFA in creative writing. Still, the fear of rejection kept me paralyzed. I had no confidence in the process or my knowledge of the market.
As a surgeon, you wouldn’t expect me to suffer from a lack of confidence, but writing is so intensely personal that I just couldn’t pull the trigger. There were never enough hours in the day to get around to querying agents, getting my work edited, figuring out the maze of submission guidelines, and sending out my little darlings into a cold, uncaring universe. I thought the inevitable rejections would kill my creative impulse.
Enter Writer’s Relief. They were exactly what I was looking for––a way to help me navigate the submission process and enhance my chances of success. I signed up for their elite service, and every two months their team of experts help me make perfect, professional submissions, edited to industry standards. A few months after signing up, I placed my first story in Streetlight Magazine, and a year later, I had a total of three short stories and two poems accepted for publication.
Finally I got a taste of that mythical validation we all long for as writers. It may not be enough to quit my day job, but at least I’m on my way!
More About Stephen
Stephen has a BA in English from the University of Iowa and an MFA in creative writing from Stetson University, as well as an MD. Under the pen name S.W. Gordon, Stephen has had short stories and poems published in several journals, including Off the Coast. He is a practicing urologic surgeon in Florida, where he lives with his wife and daughter. For more information and links to these publications, visit his Facebook page.