Let Us Inspire You


Poets & Writers, January/February, 2014

To my mind P&W struggles to be worthwhile to the writer who has been around the block a few times. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of spending a rainy afternoon reading.

I love charts – especially when they indicate something substantial, and the mag’s “Anatomy of Awards” article indicates that almost half of 2013’s awards went to poets. (I suppose that’s okay to throw them that bone; poetry sells very little.) And fiction writers take most of the other half. So where are these writers located? Mostly in the northeast and west, although the regional split is relatively equal.

But a few highlights:

Benjamin Percy tells us in his essay, “Modulation in the Moment,” that he thinks his pieces through over a number of months before sitting down to write.

As for chatting up an agent, P&W talks in this issue to David Gernert, John Grisham’s agent, after having worked in the publishing field for Doubleday. Gernert, however, struggles along with writers in knowing how to build a platform. He’s old-school, asking readers and writers to support bookstores.

The inspiration meme: P&W offers mini essays by seven writers on how to amp up the passion – your own, writer, and that contained by what you write.

An interesting profile of poets indicates a stable of verse-writers who are mostly in their thirties. How long do they spend in writing, editing, and getting their work ready for book publication? On average, more than two years. How long to find a publisher? About a year.


The bottom line here? It’s still tough to get published, even tougher to get to the make-a-living point. But don’t let that dissuade you. Keep writing. Hang in there.



Visit my website here, and my FB Fan Page here for more on ideas and events that matter to me – and possibly to you. I’ll soon be adding podcasts of selected book reviews to my website, as well as an opportunity to buy mp3 files of my reading of Sam’s Place – Stories, so look for those.



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