Get Smart (and Fearless)
With lots of help along the way
You, writer ...
- Want to feel like a professional writer, not an amateur. You need some proof that you're not just wasting your time with this writing thing. (But nobody has given you an official card to confirm you're a writer.)
- Would love to finish some pieces. You're having trouble with focus and motivation. You're flailing, worried you're expending energy to no purpose. You're ready to build a portfolio of your writing. Your writing time is sporadic—sometimes the words come easy, other times there's a lot of resistance and procrastination.
- Want to get get your writing out in the world. Instead, it's gathering dust in a miscellaneous writing file on your computer. You need help staying accountable to your goals and a little push to get submitting.
- Would like off the roller coaster of feeling hopeful when you submit work, then crushed when it's rejected. You want to navigate the hardships of the publishing process better, so you can enjoy the bliss and flow of writing. You're tired of these fears becoming an excuse to not submit your writing to journals.
- Want to find your audience. You're ready for more visibility in the writing community. You want to be read and you would love to have an editor who will champion your work. Perhaps even someone to help you move toward that book deal.
- Want to find a writing community that will embrace you. You know writing is done in quiet solitude, but you yearn for a community of like-minded people.
Or, maybe you've just been waiting for something to magically happen with your writing life ...
when the reality is that you're missing out on opportunities to achieve your literary dreams because of your fears (analysis paralysis) or a misunderstanding about how lit mags work.
Student Case Study: Tamara Jong
From Heartbreak to Lit Mag Love
“Before I decided to take Rachel Thompson's course, Lit Mag Love, I was heartbroken. I had applied to a competitive well-known MFA program, and had spent the year preparing my portfolio, and was getting my life in order so that I would be able to focus on writing finally. I was rejected. I took it as a big “NO!” from the universe. I would stop writing. I was not the writer I thought I was. I did stop writing for a month wrapped in a cocoon of self-doubt and wondering what my next steps should be. Even though I had the support of my writing group, friends, and family, I was going to pull the writing plug.
I decided to take Lit Mag Love with Rachel to see if I could get myself back into form. I had nothing to lose. Going through the modules was fun and I enjoyed being part of the Lit Mag Love community. The course brought me back to writing. I had new energy for pieces that I dreaded revising and I submitted more work in a few months than the year before! (Last year I submitted three pieces on my own and in the course, I submitted five separate pieces, including one piece I was never going to send out!) This gave me the courage to apply to The Writer's Studio and a writer's residency, something I hadn't really considered until I started writing again.
I got accepted by The Writer's Studio and start in September 2017! I am beyond stoked! I would not have been able to do all this if I hadn't taken the course which helped me be more intentional with my submissions, deal with rejection (because it's part of the writer's deal), make some great new supportive writer friends (who totally get the writing ups and downs) and focus on what really matters, which is writing. I am indebted to Rachel and this wonderful course and recommend any of her courses. Rachel is a writer who gets writing.”
confident and clear about exactly which journals to send your writing. You send your work out as a reflex, and don't feel like hiding in your turtle shell each time you release your words into the world.
You know exactly what you're working toward with your writing in the short and long-term, and you can zero-in on the steps that will help you achieve your writing goals.
You've found your ideal readers. You're no longer afraid to write your story, knowing it needs to be written, just as it needs to be read by people who appreciate your work.
You're so close to this ... and I know this, because ...
Like you, I'm a writer, and I used to be unsure of how to navigate submissions in a sea of literary journals and an even bigger sea of “advice” out there for writers. (Sure, some of the free advice was helpful—but most was decidedly not.) I know how it feels to flail around in your writing life, unable to finish work, let alone get it in front of editors who love and want to share your writing.
Luckily, I had great support from writing mentors, worked hard at my craft, and not only published my poetry and prose in lit mags, I went on to publish my book of poems with Anvil Press, and won the SFU First Book Competition for my writing. Now I love to share everything I've learned about writing with my students.
Hi, I'm Rachel,
In addition to being a published literary author, I was a managing editor, and am currently a lit mag editor who reads, accepts, and—sorry—rejects writing submissions. This course is part of the community I'm building called We Are Lit Writers, based on the idea that just because we write alone, doesn't mean our writing lives have to be lonely.
Offline, I have had the pleasure of being connected to a writing community that has supported me and my writing over decades. I wish this support for all writers. After spending years of mentoring writers and editors, I decided to take this mission to a bigger audience in the form of this course.
“This course can help new and established writers alike gain tips for navigating the lit mag landscape, submitting your work, and learning how to best cut through the clutter of the literary world to focus on your specific goals.”
Lit Mag Love Student Case Studies
IF YOU’RE A WRITER WITH NO FORMAL TRAINING AND INSTITUTIONAL CONNECTIONS, HOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR CAREER MOVE FORWARD?
Rowan McCandless’s self-taught approach to the craft helped her garner some success, including award wins in prestigious journals.
“I had had some success with pieces that I’d submitted to contests, but I didn’t really know how to develop my network of where I would submit from there,” Rowan says.
She joined Lit Mag Love because she lacked a network and connections to editors.
For her, the guest editors who answered her questions in the course helped her do the networking she needed. “Those experiences were so informative,” she says. “They were just like little gifts, little writerly gifts.”
For Rowan, the gifts continued throughout the entire course.
She also credits Lit Mag Love with providing the mentoring she needed for her writing career.
“Rachel is a wonderful mentor. She was there for me from the get-go,” Rowan says. “She created this awesome cohort, this online community of writers where we can meet and talk about our submissions successes and struggles and questions and comments.”
The Lit Mag Love course helped Rowan not only get a knowledge base about lit mag, but helped her start to make the connections she needed to further her fledgling writing career.
“Rachel, thank you so much for helping me target what
I'm really looking to do with my work and with literary magazines,
and for making this world that is at first extremely intimidating
more accessible and fun. ”
“I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to publish in literary magazines, but really any writer who is interested in joining a community and honing their craft.”
"Before Lit Mag Love, I felt overwhelmed and disorganized. I’m a writer. I was born to write. But how do I get from writing my stories to reading my stories in lit mags? Daunting.
Rachel Thompson’s Lit Mag Love course was the solution. A few of the invaluable tools I learned through the course – proofreading and revision techniques, what editors want (and don’t want), how to define my goals, research and target markets, create a submissions system.
I now have a tailored, workable plan: a schedule, a fabulous spreadsheet – lit mags at a glance, peer support, endless resources. I am committed. I am organized. I feel prepared and super excited going forward!
Rachel’s love and knowledge of the lit mag scene is undeniable; her genuine desire to see her students succeed is inspiring and admirable. I highly recommend this course. An invaluable investment in my writing career."
Heading into Lit Mag Love, I had been lucky enough to have some publications to my credit as well as my fair share of rejections. The course helped me to see what encouragement I could take from decoding those rejections and to keep reaching for my dream journals, particularly when they say they'd like to see other work. This gained insight will help me focus my fall submission strategy.
“What a wonderful experience meeting everyone, connecting, and spending the last month talking writing and submissions! I'm so glad we got to share this course, and, Rachel, thank you for all your hard work, your patience, and your passion for writing. They come through loud and clear, and they've rubbed off on all of us.”
“Lit Mag Love was the impetus I needed to get serious and motivated about my submissions. Rachel was a luminous guide offering equal parts gentle prompts and discerning truths. The key takeaway was being accountable to myself for creating a system and in that process I got to connect with other amazing writers.”
Module 1: Create a tailored list of publications to submit your work
- Get Clear About Why You Want to Publish in Journals
- Explore the Lit Mag Landscape
- Pairing Journals to Fit Your Writing Goals
Module 2: Prepare Your Submission
- What Do Editors Want?
- Ready Your Writing
- Preparing Your Submission
Module 3: Build Your Submissions System
- Goals and Systems
- Fine-Tune Your Lit Mag List
- The Cover Letter
Module 4: Hit Submit & Prepare for Feedback
- Rejection and Hyper-Critical Feedback
- Types of rejection
- The Art of Acceptance