These past weeks, I’ve added lots of links to my Writers’ Resources page. I’ve found some fantastic posts about submissions, craft, the literary marketplace, etc., so I thought I’d highlight a few.
My Writers’ Resource page wouldn’t be complete without the yearly Pushcart Prize Rankings by Clifford Garstang. His 2015 rankings just came out, and they include, as usual, a careful recounting of his methodology, along with his Pushcart Prize lit mag rankings for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. As I discussed in a previous submissions tips post, I’m a firm believer in taking a tiered approach to submissions, an approach that Clifford Garstang does a great job of explaining in his methodology section:
By tiering, I mean that I wanted to submit to magazines that were roughly equal in reputation and quality, so that if one accepted a piece (Tin House, say) it wouldn’t rip my heart out to withdraw it from other magazines in the same tier (One Story, say). If on the other hand I had received an acceptance from an unknown magazine, it would kill me to have to withdraw from Ploughshares if I had made the mistake of submitting to both at the same time.
These rankings are indispensable to the tiering process. If you haven’t already, check them out. They’re listed under the category Publishing Tools on the Writers’ Resources page, along with numerous other tools that will help you determine where to send your work.
I’ve been exploring essay writing lately, and in doing so, I came across a wonderful post about craft by Christina Thompson, who is a writer as well as the editor of the prestigious literary magazine, Harvard Review. In her post “Prose Matters,” Christina discusses what she believes makes a good essay and in the process muses on what makes a good story in general. She says: ”
I believe, for example, that nothing should terrify a writer more than the prospect of being boring; that writers should aim for something bigger than an essay about themselves; that obscurity is not a virtue; that simplicity is; that emotional honesty is important but that confession is distasteful; that the single most important thing about a piece of writing is the quality of the prose.
She makes certain to note that it’s not that she doesn’t care about the content of a story, but rather that subject matter doesn’t matter as much to her: “I am not looking for pieces that make certain points or take certain positions or express certain views. I am not, essentially, interested in the political angle. What I am interested in is artistry, that is, an author’s demonstration of mastery of his craft.”
So if you’re looking for a masterful writer and editor’s view of what makes good prose, be sure to read this piece, which appears under the category Advice: Craft Advice on the Writers’ Resources page.
We’re deep into the submission season, so I’ve been researching magazines and markets. This has led me to a plethora of posts regarding all kinds of literary magazines. Here’s a quick roundup of the newest ones I’ve added to the category Advice: Submission and Publishing Advice on the Writers’ Resources page:
Also under the category Advice: Submission and Publishing Advice on the Writers’ Resources page, I’ve added some links to advice about submitting to mags as well as writing query letters to agents, including these links:
If you’ve got suggestions about articles you’d like me to add, or topics you’d like me to research and report back on, please feel free to add a comment below or to contact me through my Contact page.
Remember, I’m here to help!
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Many thanks for linking to my literary magazine rankings! (Also, I love the photo you’ve used above, which I recognize as being of the New Dominion Bookstore in Charlottesville, VA, where I’ve spent a lot of time–and money.)