Monday, March 07, 2011

A Woman's Guide to Success in the Writing World --


Good Morning, Friends of Kells~

Jeannine Hall Gailey has a great post on her blog called "Girls in a Boy's Club: Tips for Poets"

Here's a few of the ideas she offers:

--When you buy a book of poetry, try one by a female! When you review a book of poetry, try a book of poetry by a female.

--When you review said book of poetry by a female, try to eliminate any references to Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, or Elizabeth Bishop. I’m so tired of reading comparisons to those three women poets, as if male reviewers haven’t read any other female poets besides those two or three. It just looks lazy, fellas.


--When you have an opportunity to pay readers, have a woman out. Remember, we’re making less money over our whole life span, so cut a sister some slack. Try to remember to invite a woman poet who is not already rolling in dough and awards - that would be extra nice.


--Female poets: start reviewing books.

~

*** And I have a few tips & ideas I'd like to add as well.

Dear Women Poets, Writers & Artists--

1)  Don't be afraid to:

a) be rejected
b) have someone not like your work
c) speak up for yourself and your rights as a poet, writer, or artist
d) submit to a magazine, prize, or professional position even if you feel you are not fully qualified (always give it a shot)
e) do something because you are afraid you might get your feelings hurt.

2)  Start your own press

3)  Become an editor

4)  Promote yourself.

5)  Ask for the things you want.  (These include such as being a guest lecturer, teaching a class at a conference, being a featured reader... no, it's not braggy or pushy to think you deserve good things.)

6) Submit your work to a journal *more than once* in a year (see my Submit like a Man post)

7)  If you worry about what others think of you, stop (right now) and do what is best for your work/art/creative life.

8)  Start a blog and find ways to support your fellow woman writer/artist.

9)  Promote other women poets and artists in your classes, workshops, community, opportunities.

10)  Don't subscribe to journals who you feel don't represent women. (And on the positive - subscribe to journals that support other women writers.)

11)  Thank the people (men & women) in your creative life who support you and give you opportunities, and support them as well.

~
It's about supporting the people who are aware & trying to change the fact that women are still under-represented in publication in major journals, magazines, art galleries, presses, and in the prizes and awards department of the writing world.

But it's also about doing the work--

as women we have to submit more and to the bigger journals and magazines.  This is our job. If we're not doing the work, we cannot blame others for not publishing us.

So go forth, take risks, submit more, and don't work harder, but work better.




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11 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for an inspiring post, Kelli, and for being someone whose actions match her words.

Kathleen said...

Helpful, bold, and strong! Thank YOU, Kelli!

Jeannine said...

Yes, taking the idea even further!

Maureen said...

Great post, Kelli!

I've just finished the last in my state PLs series and after next week (a post on states w/ no PLs) I've decided I'm focusing Monday Muse posts on poets who are women.

Collin Kelley said...

This post prompted me to go over and look at my shelves and the majority of my collections (hundreds of them) are by women. Sorry, men. lol

batteredhive said...

After organizing monthly poetry readings for the past three years, I have been happy to find that there are plenty of good female poets to go around.

On another note, my name often makes editors assume that I am a woman, so I get a lot of acceptance/rejection letters addressed to Ms. or Mrs. (admittedly, way more in the rejection category). Now, I can console myself that it might not have been a reflection of the quality of my writing...I was probably just getting shut out of the old boys network, along with some of you!

Shannon said...

I make a point of buying at least one copy of whatever a poet is offering at any reading I attend. Sometimes I buy two and send one to my sister. It's a great way to build the library, to learn from others, and to see what people are publishing these days.

Michael B. said...

I counted all of the poetry books that read (not including unread) and realize that 162 are by women, and 82 are by men. But I've never selected a book based on the gender of the poet, only on the content; whether it moves me. It just seems that there is more poetry by women out there that moves me than by men.

Jennifer G said...

Wow. Thank you for this simple yet profound post. As a young women, working hard to get over the insecurities that come with the duality of writing for private and writing for public, your post has inspired my beyond words.

Chef E said...

Thank you Kells, I needed to read this!

Kells said...

Thank you all for adding to the conversation.

Jennifer--I'm happy I inspired you.

Michael-- That is wonderful and so good to hear. Thank you for sharing that.

Collin-- Yay you!

Shannon-- I like that buying 2. There will always be a birthday of someone coming up and what's a nicer gift than a book signed by the author (and inscribed?!)
And I loved this from BatteredHive--

On another note, my name often makes editors assume that I am a woman, so I get a lot of acceptance/rejection letters addressed to Ms. or Mrs. (admittedly, way more in the rejection category). Now, I can console myself that it might not have been a reflection of the quality of my writing...I was probably just getting shut out of the old boys network, along with some of you!

****Ah, the gift of non-gender specific names that lean toward feminine. The gift that keeps giving.

;-)

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