Laura Smith


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Posted by lsmith335 on February 19, 2014 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (39)

How did I get over 1100 downloads on my free promotion with my second book when I only got a little over 100 downloads on my first book? I really can't say. I didn't do much different this second time around than my first. I went to all of the same websites for free advertising (though this time around I knew which sites to avoid). I was able to boost my social media accounts a little between books, adding followers on Tumblr, Twitter and Pinterest. I also received a decent amount of review responses. The more exposure, the better.

Other writers have also contacted me in a kind of review exchange. We review each other's books while they're free and post our reviews on Amazon. Writers supporting writers is always a good thing. Hopefully, I can get some children's authors to review my work in the future.

Still, I can't account for the spike in downloads. Most of those came in the last two days, jumping from 77 to 155 downloads yesterday afternoon and from 155 to over 700 a few hours later.It has me worried about spammers or some other discouraging force causing these high numbers. I don't want to get my hopes up only to be disappointed.

The next step is to see if this free promotion pays off. The last promotion did very little to increase sales on my last book. In fact, I've had no paid downloads this month. The only thing I can hope for is that my story captures enough imaginations that it will be passed on from reader to reader and that they will want to purchase hard copies for their children to read. 

In the meantime, my next step is to purchase some table space in local vendor and craft fairs. I have to reach the local, non-Internet audience. I even sent out some requests to my local libraries asking them to purchase my books. This is a long shot as they rarely buy from self-published authors, but I've also read that they will sometimes support local writers by buying their books. 

So, what have I learned? Patience. I still can't consider myself a success, but I see now that it's not something that's going to happen in a week, no matter how hard I work. I'm just going to keep on plugging away, looking for opportunities for sales and continuing to write books to add to my self-published collection. The idea of finding an agent or publisher is still not dead to me either. I have a long writing career ahead of me and more stories to tell. This is only the beginning.

Selling Hard Copy Books

Posted by lsmith335 on February 6, 2014 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I kept coming across CreateSpace as a usful tool to format books and ebooks, but there seeemed to be so much to it that I decided to format the books myself. Knowing what I know now, I should have started with CreateSpace to begin with. Now, I have my second ebook available to buy in print form on CreateSpace with an Amazon listing to come within the next week, and it didn't cost me a dime.

CreateSpace prints books as they are ordered so there's no need to purchase books ahead of time and hope that they sell online. CreateSpace also picks up all of the printing and shipping fees, which gives them a higher percentage of each book sale, but I think that's fair. The potential costs were the main reason why I avoided print books at first. 

That just leaves me to promote the book. This will be a lot easier once the Amazon page is up, but with my ebook promotions not going too well, I'm running out of options. I've read a lot about promoting with local schools and libraries so I'm looking into that slowly but surely. This is where an agent would come in handy. They seem to have better connections than an author promoting on their own. I'm also looking into promoting at local vendor fairs. Paying for a table is a gamble, but it's something I plan to try, at least in my local neighborhoods at first. I'm hoping that word of mouth will spread as well, but since I don't know many other active writers, it's hard to generate buzz.

I'm pretty sure that my Facebook and other social media friends are tired of my promotional posts, but they say that social media helps. I've gone from 12 to 49 Twitter followers in the last few months. I've also been pinning on Pinterest, started a Tumblr account and posted on LinkedIn. I have different followers on each account, and I'm trying to attain more on each site by liking other people's posts and posting regularly. It's coming along slowly but surely.

One site is helping me to promote by giving away five free ebooks of "Saving Hascal's Horrors". We'll see how effective that is. I also want to work on trying to get more reviews. My first book currently has two reviews, and my second book has three. I used a site called to find reviewers and promoters that will work for a low fee of $5. Hopefully, more reviews will help me open the door to other promotional opportunities.

I've been looking at author boards as well, but a lof these boards require an invite, and once you do get on, the posting is so constant that it's hard to keep up. Promoting is defintiely a full time job, but I just have to keep plugging away and hoping for a break. I'll post in the future about what has worked for me.

A few things that haven't worked include:

-free website promotions

-free days on Amazon

- paid promotions

I don't think there is a "best" way to promote. Some people get lucky. Some people have a lot of friends and family that can help spread the word about your book, and some people just know the right people. So far, I don't have any of these things, but I do believe in the quality of my books, and I know that I'm in a competitive age group and a nobody in the industry as well as young to the writing world, despite having been writing stories since I was five years old. Like any art form, writing is a mix of talent and luck. 

Selling My Second Ebook

Posted by lsmith335 on January 13, 2014 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

My new ebook launched on Amazon on January 12th. This time around, I'm going to focus on getting some author interviews and trying out some inexpensive paid promotions. The first time around, I learned that free promotions are basically a lottery. You have a slim chance of getting on a site. Out of the over 50 inquiries I made with my first book, I was mentioned on about six sites and two or three tweets. Paid promotions guarantee coverage on several sites and Twitter feeds. We'll see how it goes.

Also, this time, I'm selling my book for $2.99. It's making it harder to find free promotional sites that will feature my book, but when it comes time for the free day promotions, I plan to submit to the same sites as before. I'm also going to allow more time to post my inquiries for promotions during my free days, allowing at least four weeks to get prepared this time. There's really no rush. This isn't the movie business where you have to make a killing your first week or you're dead in the water. 

This is all part of the struggle of self-promotion. It's a foreign territory for authors. We're just supposed to write and then pass it on to the marketers and whatever happens happens. Now, our promotional failure is in our own hands. 

How to Promote an Ebook

Posted by lsmith335 on November 17, 2013 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

I'm still learning as I go, but these sites have been very helpful in setting up my ebook and promoting it. One thing I've learned is to start putting in requests for reviews and promotions weeks before you publish your ebook. A lot of these sites need time to add your work to their site.

I've also had a lot of people say that they can't download my book because they don't have a Kindle reader. Below are some sites that show you how to download your ebooks onto a PC.

As of today, I'm in the middle of my free ebook promotion. Amazon allows you to choose up to five days to offer your book for free. The theory is that those who read it for free will recommend it to friends after your promotion ends and will draw buyers to download your book at your set price. I'm reading conflicting reports on whether this is effective or not. I am also reading up on the pros and cons of only selling your book for 99 cents, which I currently am. These articles show that writers make more money with fewer readers downloading your book at the higher price. In this case, though, I am promoting my very first book, and I'm hoping to build a fan base so that they will be more willing to purchase my next book based on reading the first.

My concern with this first book is to try to get it into as many hands as I can. Despite the fact that I have spent years of my time working on it, I have not put any money into it so what little money I do make is a bonus. For now, exposure is more valuable to me. My theory, though, is that different methods work for different authors. For every decision you make in publishing your book, the results are uncertain. The important thing to remember is to work hard at whatever method you choose and do not give up. 

Book Promotion Info.


List of Book Reviewers


Free Promotion Websites


How to set up KDP Select Free Promotion Dates


How to Read Ebooks without a Kindle Reader Article


How to download free Kindle Books to a PC


How to read a Kindle Book without a Kindle





Keeping Track of Submissions

Posted by lsmith335 on November 17, 2013 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Below is a sample of the spreadsheet and list that I use to keep track of my submissions. The spreadsheet lists all of the journals and pieces that I submit in the order that I send them. I also keep a list of which pieces I submit to each journal. If I decide to submit to that journal in the future, I try to make sure that I'm not sending them the same work over and over again. It's easier to look this up on the list than to try to go back through the entire spreadsheet to figure out which pieces you've submitted to that journal before. Both of these are word documents and are color coded. The green font indicates pending submissions, red font indicates rejections and blue font indicates an accepted submission. I also keep track of journals that do not respond within a year and remove journals that have gone out of business or are charging fees to submit.  Feel free to use these templates or use them as a guide to create your own way of organizing and tracking your submissions.


List of Book Publishers and Agents

Posted by lsmith335 on November 17, 2013 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Here are some publishers where I have submitted my children's book. They accept submissions from writers without agents. I have also included some agencies that are looking for new clients. If they decide to represent you, they can submit your work to a wider variety of publishers and increase the chances of your book being selected for publication. The competition is fierce (especially in the children's/middle grade/YA genres) so good luck!


Arthur A. Levine Books

Boyds Mills Press

Triangle Press

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Walker Books

Albert Whitman and Co.

Chronicle Books

Milkweed Editions

Absey and Co.

Darby Creek Publishing

Peachtree Publishers

Prospect Agency – agent query

Dunham Literary, Inc. – agent query

The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency – agent query

Langtons International Agency – agent query

Trident Media Group –agent query

Andrea Brown Agency – agent query

The Children’s Literary Agency

Adams Literary

Book Ends

Fine Print


Book Stop

The Karen Grencik Literary Agency

Donald Maass Literary Agency (Amy Boggs)

Writers Literary Agency

Nancy Gallt

Sheldon Fogelman Agency

Eve White

Martin Literary Management

3 Seas Literary Agency

The Knight Agency

Dunow, Carlson and Lerner Literary Agency

Irene Goodman Literary Agency

Faye Bender

Folio Literary Management

The Bright Literary Agency

Stephen Fraser, The Jennifer De Chiara Lit. Agency

Rodeen Literary Management, Paul Rodeen

Amster Literary, Betsy Amster

Full Circle Literary

Larsen Pomada, Pam van Hylckama Vlieg

Nelson Lit. Agency


Sample Submission Cover Letter

Posted by lsmith335 on November 17, 2013 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Below is a sample of the cover letter that I sent to poetry journals with my poetry submissions. The parts underlined are the places where you  would fill in your own specific information. Journals like cover letters to be no more than one page long. If a jounal has a submissions manager on their website, I post this letter in the comments section of the letter. Also, be sure to adapt this letter according to any other specific information that a journal is looking for (author bio., personal information, titles of the pieces submitted, etc.). Feel free to use this template to create your own cover letter.  

Your Name

Mailing Address



To the Poetry Editor(s) of  ____________________ :


I am a poetry and fiction writer and a _____  graduate of _____________ University in ___________. Most of my writing time is spent working on ________________.


I have written __________(include any writing you have done for blogs, newspapers or any other professional writing here). I have also been published in __________________(include any journals where you have had any previously published work accepted).  


Enclosed are _____ poems for your consideration. I would like to acknowledge that I do plan on submitting these pieces to other publications and will notify you immediately if any are accepted elsewhere. Thank you for your time and consideration.




Your name













Publication Credits

Posted by lsmith335 on November 17, 2013 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Below is a sample of my publication credits sheet. Sometimes journals ask for a list of your publication credits. I update this sheet every time I am published. 


Laura Smith Publication Credits


• Published June 17, 2013 – Torrid – Poem titled, “First Day of High School.”


• Published May 13, 2013 – James Dickey, Poem titled, “Unsold Aquarium Fish.”


• Published August 2, 2012 – Lavender Review, Issue 6 – The Muse Issue, Poem titled, “When I Used to Like Books.”


• Published May 16, 2012 – Blast Furnace Press, Poem titled, “Crossword”.



• Published March 29, 2012 – Rune Literary Journal, Poem titled, “you once rode your bike down devil’s hill”


• Published August 26, 2010 – Falling Star Magazine, Poem titled, “A Driving Lesson from My New Parents, Two Days Old.


• Published July 12, 2010 – Voices from the Garage, Poem titled, “I Met You On Your Worst Day.”


• Published March 24, 2010 – 6S Word of Mouth Contest Book, Piece titled, “My First Embarrassment.” Link to purchasing the book:


• Published March 18, 2010 – Rune Literary Journal, Poem titled, “The Closet.”


• Published, September 2009 - South Coast Seniors, September 2009 edition. Article titled “Buried Treasures Found in Oregon: Winter Storms Unveil Historical Artifacts” originally published at


• Winner, March 2008 – One Act Monologue Contest, Carlow University, performed March 24-26, 2008







Places to Submit Poetry

Posted by lsmith335 on November 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Here is a list of journals where I typically submit my poetry. All of these places are free to submit online (the last time I checked), and I have included some of their guidelines, though I always check their website to see if they have updated their submissions policy before I submit. Also, make sure you submitting within their submission time frame. 


Literary Journals



521 Magazine


Weird poems and stories. Strange, odd, bizarre, psychotic. 3-6 poems, short stories or both. Fiction under 2,000 words in a word doc. Put a letter Q in the title. Payment in copies. Feb 2-June 12.


[email protected]

Abyss and Apex

• Website:

Email: [email protected]

Copy submissions into body of email. No simultaneous or multiple submissions. Indicate type of submission in body along with title of submission.


A Clean, Well-Lighted Place


Year round. Submit on site with bio. Up to 5 poems. Year round. 10-30 days. Pay: 1 copy.



• Website:

Online submission manager. Response: 2-4 months Pay: 6 copies and small monetary payment.

Fiction/poetry/essays/reviews/interview. No word limits.

Fiction: 1 story ($10/page). Send as attachments. Double space.

Poetry: 5 poems ($20/page). Submit in body of email.

September 1- May 31

Email: lsmi[email protected]

pw: lms943




Single file attachment: [email protected]

No prev. published. 6 poems or 2000 words of prose. Simultaneous accepted.

Contact info and 3-4 line bio. 4-8 weeks response. Check online for submission dates.

Pay: 1 copy


Amethyst Arsenic


Jan 1-Dec. 31

Less than 3 mos response (30 days or less usually). Check site for reading pds. Submit on site. $5/poem $50 if nominated for Pushcart Prize. Prev. published okay. No bio until accepted. Just put name in CL section. 3-5 poems in single word doc. See site for submission periods.


Bellingham Review

• Website:

Poems/stories/essays. Online submission manager. Titled with the name of the work. Simultaneous accepted. Notify on acceptance somewhere else. Use Submishmash online via their website.

username: [email protected]

password: wayne1047

Prose: under 6,000 words, word count.

Poetry: 3 max.

Pay: 1 copy and gift subscription for a friend. Small honorarium - unknown amount.

Response: 1-6 months

September 15 – December 15


Better: Culture and Lit.


Simultaneous accepted


Black Warrior Review


submit every 6 months. 3-5 months response. No prev. published. Payment in copies + nominal fee. Submit on site: 5 poems in 1 doc with the titles separated by commas in “submission title” field. Pw: wayne1047


Blast Furnace



Blue Lake Review


Use submittable on site.


Pw: wayne1047

Short bio in CL. 5 poems.


The Boiler


submit on site. 3-5 poems. Lyrical. CL with 3-5 sentence bio.


• Bone Bouquet

Submit on site:

5 pages poetry

pw: wayne1047


Boxcar Poetry Review


3-5 poems. Simultaneous okay. No pay. Submit on site. See site for submission periods.




check site for submission dates. 12 weeks response. Poetry: 50 lines or fewer. 5 entries/issue. PDF or Word Document. See site for submission dates (Jan-December).

[email protected]




Oct. 1-December 31

Poetry: 6 poems, Prose: 5,000 words

Use submissions manager on site.

Simultaneous accepted.

Pay: copies + 1 volume subscription following that issue.

Will take book reviews – choose from list on site.








Submit on site. Year Round. Word attachment. 4,000 words of poetry. 3 copies/pay. Images too.

[email protected]

Pw: wayne1


Chagrin River Review


1-5 poems in single file. Submit on site. Brief bio.


Cerise Press

• Website:

Email: [email protected]

Poetry: 3-5 poems

Stories: 1 story (up to 15 pages)

Cover letter with brief bio. Recent publications. Open year round. More than twice/year.

Response: 2-3 months

Payment: none


Cleaver Magazine


See site for submission dates (year round). 2-4 weeks. Bio. Submit on site (up to 5 poems).




5 pages. March 1-Oct. 31. Submit online. Payment in copies.

Common Ground Review


[email protected] Email one attachment. Poetry under 61 lines. UP to 3 poems. See site for submission dates. Pay: 1 copy.


Conclave: A Journal of Character


free e-copies. Submit on site. Poems 1,000 words or less.

un: lsmith335

pw: wayne1047



• Website:

Submit on site. Use submission form. Poetry/Fiction/Commentary/other. Include word count. Last name in file name. Accepts year round.

Pay: $20 via check or Paypal.



• Website:

Prose, poetry, essays. SASE for reply. Simultaneous accepted. Online manager. Submit only twice per year.

Login info:

Username: [email protected]

Password: wayne1047

Essays or fiction: 25 pages

Poetry: 3-5 poems.

September 1 – May 31.

Pay: $20-35 per page.


Critique Circle

• un: lsmith335

pw: esm890


• Damselfly Press

Submit online with genre in email header. 3 poems.

[email protected]


Danforth Review

• Website:

Online submission manager.

Fiction: 6-8 short stories/6 months. 5,000 words max. ($100/story)

Response: 1 month

Pay: None.







The Doctor T.J. Eckleberg Review

• Website:

Fiction: 4,000 words (closer to 1,500).

Poetry: up to 5 poems

Will consider previously published. Submit on site.

Response: 1 month

Pay: 5 cents/word and 1 copy in annual issue. Not monthly.



• Email: [email protected]


Pasted into the email. No simultaneous or published submissions.

Poetry: 1-6 poems twice/year

Payment: two copies

Response: 1 month


Fail Better


4-6 poems. 8-12 weeks response. Put “submission” in subject line of email. No attachments.

[email protected]


Falling Star

• Website:

Up to 5 pieces per issue.

Poetry: 5-30 lines of poetry preferred about people, places, moments in time we’ve all experienced or hope we never have to. 7-10 pieces/ published issue. Fill out submissions page on website.

Pay: 2 copies and nominal pay.


Fix it Broken

• Website:

Email: [email protected]

Short shorts: up to 1,500 words. One piece at a time.

Broken Blurbs: Stumbled upon phrases. Up to 3. Write “Broken Blurb Submission” in subject.

Include name, location where you heard (6 Sentences). Go online for submission dates.

Pay: extensive bio. and t-shirt.


Florida Review

• Website:

Reads year round. SASE, prose, poetry, visual art (paper photos or CD)

Poetry: 5 poems.

Fiction: 1 story/essay (double spaced). Up to 15 pages.

August – May

Include cover letter with name, address, phone, email, titles. Simultaneous accepted. Submit on site.



• Website:

September 1- May 1

SASE for reply. Environment-based themes preferred. Online submission manager.

Fiction: 1 story to 5,000 words

Short Short stories: 3 short shorts

Poetry: Up to 5 poems.

Non-fiction: up to 7,000 words.

Response: up to four months

Payment: in copies


Four Way Review


5 poems in doc file, CL. Year round. 60 days response. Submit on site.

un: [email protected]

pw: wayne1047




Sept 1-May 31

[email protected]

Put NAME + SUBMISSION in subject line. No attachments. 4 poems. Any length. CL and bio. Indicate general submission or theme. 4-6 months response.


Glimmer Train Stories

Email: [email protected]


Editor: Linda Burmeister Davie. Stories: 1,200-8,000 words ($500/story) January, April, July, October. Up to three stories per reading month.Response: 12 weeks.

Username: lsmith

Password: wayne1047


Gulf Coast

• Website:

Typed, double spaced. Paginated. Name, address, phone on page 1. Title on other pages. Indicate editor (poetry, fiction, etc.). Use online manager. Check online for submission periods.

Login info.

Username: [email protected]

Password: wayne1047

Fiction – double spaced. Up to 7,000 words. Name, address, phone and email on first page. Title on subsequent pages.

Poetry: 3-5 poems. Name, address, phone, email each page.

Pay: $30/poem. $20/page of prose up to $150.




Online manager. See site for submission dates. 3-6 poems.


James Dickey Review


Word attachment to [email protected] 5 poems. Pay: 1 copy.



Sept 1-April 1. Use online manager. 3-4 poems.




Use submittable or email (include bio, contact info, title of your work in body of email. “Submission,” “Title,” by “Your Name.” Year round. Up to 10 poems. Any length/form.


The Kenyon Review

• Email: [email protected]


September 15th- January 15th

Editor: David H. LynnNo simultaneous submissions. Online manager.

Fiction and essays: to 7,500 words ($10/page)

Poetry: 6 poems Response: up to 4 months

Username: [email protected]

Password: wayne1047




3-5 poems. Year round. Pay: 1 copy. All in one file. 100 submissions will cause them to temporarily close. See site for submission pds.


Lavender Review


6 unpublished poems or 6 images (.jpg)

email: [email protected]


The MacGuffin

• Website:

Email: [email protected]

Poetry: up to 400 lines. Up to 5 poems.

Fiction: 5,000 words. Include word count. Double spaced. 1 story.

Payment: two copies.

No previously published. Titles and bio. On cover. No staples. Name/email/address on each page. Word count. Simultaneous accepted. Email submissions.

Response: 8-12 weeks.


Main Street Rag


Word attachment to: [email protected]

Name and shipping address in file. Genre in subject line.

Poetry: 6 pages 3-6 weeks response

No prev. published or simultaneous submissions

Fiction: 6,000 words max. 6-8 weeks response.



• pw: lms943


Mid-American Review

• Website:

Fiction: 1 story to 6,000 words

Poetry: 6 poems max, no length limit

Submit via online manager.

Simultaneous accepted year round.




• Website:

Email: [email protected]

University of North Florida/Department of English

4567 St. Johns Bluff Road.

South Jacksonville, FL 32224-2645

Editor: William Slaughter

Online journal of poetry and non-fiction essays on poetry. Electronic journal.

Response: 1-30 days

Poems with news in them. Prefer no mult. Submissions.


The Newtowner


Year round. 3 poems. 35 lines total. Submit on site.




Email attachment: [email protected] Bio and contact info. Poetry no longer than 150 lines.




3 poems in 1 doc. Online manager.


One Story

• Website:

Fiction: 3,000-8,000 words. 1 short story.

Submit online. .rtf files no more than 500 kb. No previously published in North America.

Payment: $100 and 15 copies

Response: 4-12 weeks

September 1-May 31

Un: [email protected]

Pw: lms943


Pacifica and Meridian


$15-$30.Year round. Original, unpublished.

Simultaneous accepted. Header: name, title, date, page #’s. 3 poems.


Pear Noir

• Website:

Email: [email protected]

Fiction, nonfiction, poetry up to 7,500 words.

February 1st-May 31st

August 1st – November 30th

Simultaneous accepted. No previously published. Name and title in subject line.

Address, short bio and publication history in the body.

Pay: $5.00 and a postcard and 1 copy.

Response: 2-3 months.


Pedestal Magazine

• Website:

Email: [email protected]

Poetry: up to 6 poems ($40/poem)

Fiction: up to 6,000 words (5 cents/word)

Go online for submission dates.

Response: 1-2 months


Prime Mincer


3 poems in 1 document. Online manager.


Prime Number


Submit on site. Payment: 1 copy. 3 poems.



• Website:

Use submission manager. Simultaneous accepted.

Poetry: 4-5 poems. Name and address on each. Cover letter.

Flash fiction: up to 1,200 words.

Art: PDF file.

Pay: $10/accepted title.

Poems already published: [email protected] In the subject heading of your email, please include the following:[Last Name - Fortnightly Poem] If the poem was published previously, please indicate both the place as well as the issue number and/or the date in the body of your email.

Year round.

[email protected]



• Website:

Email: [email protected]

Year round. Simultaneous accepted. No previously published. Online reviews. Paste submission in the body. Title of email “Laura Smith-submission.” Bio. – who you are and why you love poetry. Indicate simultaneous.

Poetry: unlimited.

Payment: 2 copies.

Response: 4-8 weeks




No prev. published. Simutaneous accepted.

Submit online:

CL – prev. published/awards/programs/contact info/word count.

Poetry: 5 poems. Fiction: 3,500 words.


• Seeding The Snow

[email protected] in attachment.

Women and the Environment


Smartish Pace

• Website:

Email: [email protected]

Name, address, email, phone in upper corner of each poem.

Only first and last name in the subject line. Body includes name, address, email, poem titles, bio. Poems attached in word document. Contact info. At the top and bio. At the bottom.

Poetry – up to 6 poems. Any line length.

Bio – publication credits, occupation, born/live, awards, grants, edu.

Simultaneous accepted. Send email if accepted. SASE for reply.

1 submission per year. Year round submissions.

Response: 8 months

Pay: 1 copy


Spinning Jenny


6 poems. 4 months response. [email protected]

un: lsmith335 pw: wayne1047




Use submittable on website. 3-5 poems, CL, bio. 1 copy. See site for reading periods.


Tampa Review

• Website:

Submit online. No simultaneous. Name, address, email, phone on first page. Name and title on top of others. Numbered pages. Direct submission to appropriate editor (poery, fiction or nonfiction).

Poetry: 3-6 poems.

Prose: up to 5,000 words. Word count, paginated, name and title on top of other pages. Phone and email included ($10/page and 1 copy)

Pay: $10/page of poetry or prose.

September 1st – December 31st

Response: 12-16 weeks.


Tar River Poetry

• Website:

Email: [email protected]

Email submissions only. Pasted into the email or .doc attachment. Subject line: “Laura Smith-submission”. Go online for submission dates.

Poetry: up to 5 ($25/page and 2 copies)

September 1 – May 1


The First Line – Blue Cubicle Press

• PO Box 250382

Plano, TX 75025-0382

Email: [email protected]; [email protected]

Website: (quarterly)

Editors: David LaBounty and Jeff Adams

Celebrates the first line.

Fiction: all stories must stem from the same first line: 300-3,000 words

Nonfiction: essays about a first line from a book or story: $300/1,000 words

Payment: $10/story and one copy

Contact: Robin LaBounty, manuscript coordinator





Third Coast

• Website:

Online submission manager:

Password: lms943

Simultaneous accepted.

Poetry and prose separate. Author’s name, addres, email, phone on page 1. Page numbers, author’s name/title on all pages.

Response: 4 months

Prose: 7,500 words or 25 pages

Short short stories: 5 short shorts.

Poetry: typed, single spaced. Up to 5 poems. Max. 15 pages. Garamond 12 pt. font.

Pay: 2 copies and subscription

un: [email protected]


Toasted Cheese

• Website:

Email: [email protected]

Fiction, flash fiction, creative nonfiction poetry. Paste into email body. Include cover letter with short bio. Go online for submission dates. No simultaneous submissions. Subject line: (genre) submission (name)

Flash: 500 max

Poetry: up to 5.




3 poems + brief bio. Submit on site. 8 weeks response.


Vine Leaves


See site for submission dates. Submit on site. 3 poems under 40 lines. $5 acceptance.


Weave Magazine – Facebook

• Website:


Simultaneous accepted. Poetry: 3-5 poems. No line limit. Fiction: 6,000 words (no genre) Creative Nonfiction: 6,000 words

Flash fiction – 3 pieces Visual: b&w photo, pen and ink. Pay: 2 copies. Name on all pages.



West Branch

• Website:

Unpublished only. Typed, paginated, name on each page. Mark simultaneous submissions. SASE. Name on each page. Online submission manager. Limit three submissions at a time.

Login info:

Email: [email protected]

Password: wayne1047

Prose: double spaced, word count. Up to 30 pages.

Poetry: up to 6.

Response: 10 weeks. Email after 5 months if no response.

Email: [email protected]u; [email protected]

Pay: $10/page. $20 minimum. $100 max. 2 copies. 1 year subscription. $200/assigned book review.

August 15- April 15


Willow Springs


Closed June 1-Aug. 31

8 weeks response. Pay: 2 copies. Submit online. 3-5 poems. 1 PDF.



• Website:

Fiction: 1,000-10,000 words. 1 story. ($25/1,500 words)

Poetry: 5 poems. Stanza breaks double spaced. ($25/poem) Contact info on page 1. No previously published. Simultaneous accepted. Online manager.

Login info: Username: [email protected] Password: wayne1047

Response: 2 weeks.


Workers Write


$5-$50. 500-5,000 words. See site for themes and email addresses.


The Writing Disorder


[email protected]

5-8 poems. Email submission. CL with publication credits. Word attachment 3 months response.


Action Versus Description

Posted by lsmith335 on September 9, 2012 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Action and description are competing factors in story telling. I've noticed that writers often lean towards one over another. I'm an action writer myself. My first drafts are focused on getting the actions down on paper and filling it in with description later. If I start with a description, the story usually goes nowhere. I need to build that frame first before I can fill in the meat of the story. A good story cannot neglect either in my opinion.

We are told as writers to show, not tell, and my fear of making this error causes me to stray from description. I try to tell as much in the action as possible to make sure I am showing and not telling in terms of setting, tone and characterization.

I appreciate a good description, of course. They are needed to paint a clear picture of a scene to establish characterization, tone, etc., but they can be distracting and overkill in some situations. There needs to be open spaces in a story for a reader to fill in the blanks with their own imaginative interpretations and going into too much detail leaves little room for this.

I also don't like when the story goes on about a character's imperfections, bad habits or negative attitudes or emotions. While a super-cheerful character can fall flat, going on about a cranky or angry character can take me off of their side.

There is also the danger of using too much action. Too much of this, especially with the absence of dialogue, can become confusing, especially when many steps are involved. I tend to lose my place in the middle of the action and just try to use the next section of the scene or chapter to figure out what happened. This may have to do with poor reading comprehension on my part

In saying this, I could use a better understanding of when a description works as showing and not telling. I would like to hear more opinions on this so please share them in the comments section of this blog.