APIARY Magazine, a free literary magazine with a circulation of 10,000 that publishes the best new writing by Philadelphia authors of all ages and genres has an opportunity for you!
They are currently running a (free) writing contest to find work to help us launch our new website in June of this year. The first prize winner will get a short film made from their piece. The 2nd and 3rd place winners will be published on an illustrated broadside. Other outstanding entries will be the first pieces to appear on our new site, apiarymagazine.com. Our deadline is March 13, 2015 (although we will likely extend to March 20 for all the procrastinators out there!).
You can read how to submit at www.apiarymagazine.com/submissions.
Come on! Get your stuff out there!
MONDAY, MARCH 16, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Merion Hall, Room 174
Writing Studies Alum Danielle Bullen (’12) will offers tips on editing and freelancing.
Danielle will discuss her career as a Senior Associate Editor for ADVANCE newsmagazines. She is also a web-based freelancer, most recently for SkilledUp. Learn about working in publishing as an editor or freelancer.
All students are welcome!
…with a visit from poet, professor, and punk rocker, Gerry LaFemina.
Tuesday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the Foley Center
Please support the Writing Series! It should be an entertaining evening.
Gerry LaFemina believes poetry is the highest art form; believes everyone should rock out with a guitar at least once–even if they can’t play; believes teaching is a calling; believes the New York City subways are beautiful (even if they smell badly); believes in love, bigfoot and other mythic creatures; believes in the power of a good meal, a good night’s sleep, good wine, etc; believes laughter is a type of prayer….
A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, LaFemina holds an MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University as well as an MA in Literature with an emphasis on Twentieth-century Literature from WMU. He has taught at Nazareth College, Kirtland Community College, West Virginia University, Wheeling Jesuit University and Sarah Lawrence College. He directs the Frostburg Center for Creative Writing at Frostburg State University, where he is an Associate Professor of English.
Gerry LaFemina’s fiction has appeared in Colorado Review, American Fiction, Bellevue Literary Review and other literary journals. He received the North American International Auto Show award for the story “Proofreading America” and the Renaissance City Fiction Prize for “Consolation Prize.” He’s currently at work on a new novel and a new collection of stories.
Dr. April Linder teaches writing at St. Joseph’s University and has recently published her third young adult novel, Love, Lucy. A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Sarah Lawrence College, and the University of Cincinnati, where she earned her Ph.D., she is also the author of two poetry collections, This Bed Our Bodies Shaped and Skin.
With the current popularity of young adult novels, and so many looking to make their way into its world, she was kind enough to answer the following questions on how to turn a manuscript into a published work.
How did you come to write your first young adult novel, Jane?
I’ve always enjoyed literary retellings, and I’ve long played with the idea of possibly writing one myself. In the years before I wrote Jane, there weren’t all that many retellings of my favorite novel, Jane Eyre, though now there seem to be hundreds! I’d played with the idea of writing one myself, but couldn’t come up with a way to handle the all-important barrier that stands between Jane and Mr. Rochester—the huge class difference that stands between them. Then one day it occurred to me that Mr. Rochester could be a celebrity, and Jane could be just an ordinary broke college girl. From there it was just a small step to realizing Mr. Rochester could be a rock star. At that point I knew I had to write that book—so I did.
Can you take us through the experience of getting that first young adult novel published?
For most of my career, I’ve been a poet, and getting my books of poetry into print has been an uphill battle. One very welcome thing about writing fiction is that it’s possible to get an agent to help you place your book. (There’s no money in poetry, so very few agents will represent poets.) When I’d finished polishing up my manuscript for Jane, a friend introduced me to her agent who agreed to represent my book. She submitted the manuscript to six presses and the fifth one took it. If the process sounds relatively painless, it really isn’t, considering I had to hone my craft for about twenty years to get there.
In what ways has the process of publication for each subsequent novel differed, after obtaining that original publishing deal?
My second novel, Catherine, took a lot longer to write than Jane did, and the third novel, Love, Lucy, took even longer. But by then I did already have an agent, and an editor who was willing to help me to whip those manuscripts into shape. I’ve stuck with the same press for all three of my novels and I do love having an ongoing relationship with an agent, a press, and an editor. There’s never a guarantee that a press will take the next book, but I’ve got book four in the works and I’m hoping.
Would you say young adult publishing is different from publishing other genres?
These are boom times for Young Adult books. I can’t believe the number of YA that are published every year. YA fiction has an avid readership of both teens and adults, and a really vibrant book blogging scene. Otherwise, these are tough times in the publishing world, and it seems to be a lot harder these days to get into print as a writer of adult fiction, so I’m thankful to have stumbled into the YA universe.
By the way, I didn’t set out to write YA. I thought I was writing Jane for an adult audience, but my brilliant agent recognized the book’s YA elements, so that’s the way she decided to sell it.
What is the most important thing one can do to break in to the young adult publishing world?
The most important thing any writer needs to do is read—widely and deeply—in your chosen genre/category and beyond. And the other important thing a writer needs to do is keep writing, no matter what. You have to be willing to be rejected—it happens to all writers, often repeatedly—and to keep sending your work out into the world. The more you are rejected the more likely it is that you will someday be accepted, because rejection means you are sending your work out, so you’re already ahead of people who are too afraid to take the risk. Be hard headed, keep learning and revising, and never stop trying. Or, to steal the words of Bruce Springsteen, “Keep pushing till it’s understood and these badlands start treating you good.”
John Rafferty is a Masters student in the Writing Studies program at Saint Joseph’s University. His email: firstname.lastname@example.org