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My Next Few Steps: Writer's Associations, Gripes, Grudges, and Successes

Updated: Jan 26, 2023

This feels a bit weird to post after the most recent school shooting tragedy in America, but here we are.

I've been trying to assess where I go from here, after having contacted agents for my poetry collection and having sent it off to a few places. I know I have to keep writing (duhhhh), but I also know I need to plan for what to do if I don't hear back about my manuscript.

In order to help myself, I went ahead and joined a few Writer's Associations: International Women's Writing Guild, Academy of American Poets, and Poetry Society of America. What I expected: -The ability to join online workshops and/or lectures -Potential access to writing forums

-A list of agents open to work and/or publication companies open to work -A weekly or monthly newsletter with information regarding writing opportunities and potentially even discounted rates for sending off submissions to some partnered journals or something similar

What I got: -One e-mail from IWWG with conference information and advertising opportunities (conference is not held online, which was not what I expected from an international association, and is HELLA expensive) -PSA allows me to enter certain contests for free (woo!) though it looks like this is for 2021 at the moment, so I'll have to keep an eye on that -A heads up that PSA's membership fee is tax deductible (woo!) -With AAP...I will be receiving a few things in the mail, which I'm super nervous about, as I have never been able to receive mail from abroad as of yet. I think this was the riskier choice out of all the memberships, but I'm mostly in it for the 'Listing in the annual report.' I want to know all there is to know about what that is exactly. -AAP also sent my access to their current issue online (woo!)

My membership at IWWG is still pending, despite it being a few days now, so I'll have to update you a bit later about their benefits if anything changes. I do believe I get put on their membership directory and also get access to that as well once I'm a member, so I look forward to seeing how that goes. Do I feel these memberships were worth it? Ehhhh, I'm not sure right now. If you asked my my opinion right this second, I'm leaning ever closer to.... not reaaaalllly. AAP cost me $100, IWWG was $50, and PSA was another $100. IWWG seems to potentially be the best option for your money currently, though I still need to get approval.

Now, in hopes of getting some clarification of what I should read/do/places that like first poetry collection publications/ etc.. I hit up two of my professors from Lindenwood (where I got my MFA) and one admin head and... I received two answers from my professors that they would get back to me in a few weeks due to personal issues (totally cool), and one admin head did not message me back at all. Basically, that has proven fruitless as of yet. I did bitch about this to a fellow MFA student, and she messaged a different professor and he offered to answer some of my questions, so I e-mailed him earlier today. We'll see how that goes. I also plan on following-up with those two other professors as well.

On to some better news!

My poem "At Bella Verace" got accepted at Door Is A Jar, which I love the name of. It also ranks number 57 on the Brecht De Poortere rankings, so I'm pretty excited!

In an effort to keep up my writing and finish my memoir, I've done a bit of editing. I wouldn't describe it as an ass ton of editing, but I'm pleased to say I've edited a little over 60 pages now. It can be a bit emotionally draining to recount some of my experiences, so I find that I often have to take breaks to slog through it, otherwise I'll try to skip large sections.

Now, for the 'real' writing:

I've written five poem drafts, finished up two other poems, and come up with some ideas for a few other potential written works (TBD).

To try and organize my poems a bit into potential chapbooks or collections, I filed them away in similar themed folders. Woo! Progress!

I also wrote five pages of free writing, but it only really helped me organize some thoughts than anything else.

A heads up, I'm going to be posting my written journals and such from my graduate and undergraduate sometimes, as well as discuss different things I've read recently. My goals now are: EXERCISE (for real, my job is desk sitting heavy and my abs have disintegrated into my chair), finish editing my novel, change my poem drafts into finished works and then create new poem drafts so the cycle be cyclical.

Good luck out there guys!

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