Publishing Archive

Betting on First Books

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I thought it had been about three years since I sent my first novel out to agents.  Turns out it was six.  Like the rest of the world, publishing has changed since 2007. A lot. Fewer publishing houses, less money, more e-books, more blogs, more noise to cut through.

REDACTED: Experiences with Digital Americana’s Interactive Literary Magazine

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This post was written by John Rodzvilla, Emerson College’s Electronic Publisher-in-Residence. There has always been somewhat of an unrealized promise of interactivity with digital literature. It should be more than an enhanced experience of the print original, but still reflect the intentions of the artists. The Electronic Literature movement

Myths About Lit Mags — With Becky Tuch, Founding Editor of The Review Review

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This week, I asked Becky Tuch to respond to some common misconceptions about literary magazines. Here are her responses. 1. No one reads them. Literary magazines may not have a mainstream audience. But they do have a very specific and enthusiastic audience. Their readers are poets, lovers of the

Bridging the Generation Gap: Grub Street Teens Visit Ploughshares

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This past summer, during Grub Street’s Young Adult Writers Teen Fellowship (, one of my students wrote a ghazal that left me speechless with awe and envy. She is fifteen. Most days during the three-week program, she wore flannel shirts, jean shorts, and black Gladiator sandals. Her shoulder-length brown

Hearing Voices: Women Versing Life presents Liz Kay & Jen Lambert, founding editors of burntdistrict & Spark Wheel Press

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When Versedaily posted Benjamin Sutton’s, “three poems from Refutations by Memory,” originally published at burntdistrict, founding editors Jen Lambert and Liz Kay saw a marketing opportunity— one that also created conversation around Sutton’s poems— and offered a lottery for a free subscription to anyone who posted a comment about

My Last Post on Small Presses: Your Favorites

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This will be my last post for Ploughshares on small presses. It’s been fun and I’ve learned a lot in the process myself.  I thought this would be a great opportunity to post about other small presses that readers have suggested. Since I’m an egalitarian type, I always wonder,

Q&A: Literary Agent Anna Stein O’Sullivan

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Q: First things first: how did you become an agent? A: I resisted initially, spent five years trying to find a different calling, and finally realized that being an agent was exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I worked for an agent (the

Interview with Mary Biddinger, Series Editor for the Akron Series in Poetry

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In truth, I had never put much thought into the Akron Series in Poetry in the past, partially due to my own ignorance, and partially due to aesthetics.  However, lately, I’ve been more interested in the Series, edited by Mary Biddinger relatively recently beginning in 2008.  I love what Mary

Hearing Voices: Women Versing Life presents Tarfia Faizullah and the Unpublished Manuscript

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The work of getting a manuscript published, that rejection and frustration, begins to feel at times like self abuse. Writing is a lonely adventure, but most of us feel driven to it; quitting is inconceivable. Submitting work, though, is more like managing a business, and most poets I know

Books by Their Covers: best poetry presses, by design

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Here’s some Not-News-To-Anyone: poetry doesn’t sell itself. Successful first books, in particular, depend on a poet’s overall visibility online, a real-world group of friends and friends-of-friends to assist in writing and publishing reviews, the poet’s willingness to go on a thankless monetary sinkhole of a cross-country “tour” with several