In the “Writers Do It Best” feature, writers and writing students will discuss how their education and/or experiences as a writer have prepared them for the jobs, hobbies, and other activities they pursue outside the writing world. (For an example, see Daniel Morales’s December 2013 essay, “MFAs Do It Best.”)
Entrants must be currently be enrolled in or teaching in an MFA or MA program, undergraduate writing program, summer conference, residency, or any other writing-focused program, or have been enrolled in or teaching in one of these programs in the past 6 months. (Authors with major national publications who are not affiliated with a teaching program are also welcome to submit.) Please submit up to 500 words about how your education and/or experiences as a writer have left you uniquely prepared for a specific job or other activity.
Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis, and will be considered for publication in the month after they are received (so if you submit June 1-30, you will be considered for publication in July). In some cases, if we receive a great submission that we want to publish, but can’t find room for it, we may publish it in the following month.
Similar to “Letters to the Editor,” we want “Writers Do It Best” essays to be fresh and timely, so we ask that you not resubmit the same essay more than once. However, you are welcome to submit different essays in subsequent months.
The authors of published entries will receive a one-year subscription to Ploughshares literary journal and a surprise in the mail. The perks of being a subscriber include free online submissions.
Please email your previously unpublished essay of no more than 500 words to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “Writers Do It Best.” Include in the email your name, your mailing address, a professional-looking color headshot, at least 600×600 pixels, your Twitter handle (if you have one), the MFA program/summer conference/residency where you were most recently enrolled or teaching, and (if applicable) the year you attended or are projected to complete this program.
Essays selected for publication will be published on Wednesdays. Submitters will not be notified if their essay is published, so check back every week to see if yours is next! By submitting your piece to the series you are giving Ploughshares permission to post it on the Ploughshares blog indefinitely, and to edit it for length or content. Copyright remains the property of the author. We ask that you not re-publish the piece within 6 months of publication on our blog.