Lisa Dale Norton
Your Life As Story: Writing Narrative Nonfiction
Publishing Your Personal Stories
by Lisa Dale Norton
Authorlink is proud to welcome Lisa Dale Norton as a regular monthly columnist. She is nationally recognized as a writing instructor with a passion for story. Read more about Lisa.
|"In the real world of writing . . . and editors are more apt to publish material from people they know or have met " —Norton||
Many of you have dreams of publishing your personal stories. You have dreams of a forum in which to be heard. You have dreams of fame and fortune coming to you via your writing.|
Whatever your dreams may be, you have to first wedge your foot into the publishing door. Most books and teachers tell you to write a story and then query an editor about whether he'd like to see that story. Or, they suggest, query first before it's even written. Then wait, hopefully, for a positive reply.
But I don¹t think the publishing world works that way. '
In the real world of writing, people know people, and editors are more apt to publish material from people they know or have met–someone they’ve developed a relationship with–than a complete stranger.
". . . I suggest you identify two to four magazines or journals . . . places where you can imagine your writing appearing. "|
"Once you've chosen your publications, begin a conversation."
"When your story is rejected, write the editor a thank you note expressing gratitude for his time . . ." |
". . . you will–sooner or later–place a piece of writing with the publication. "|
"Instead slip in the back door|
like a friend would do."
But why should you put yourself through such torture? Those editors are in the business of saying “No.” If you give them any reason to say no–and asking for entree is ample reason–it¹s likely they will say no.
Instead slip in the back door like a friend would do. Sit down in front of the editor¹s desk (metaphorically), and talk to him like an equal.
Yes, you may be rejected for awhile, but in time you will know those editors, and that will put you a lot further down the road of writing and publishing, than if you send out submissions anonymously from your garret.
Lisa Dale Norton
|Lisa Dale Norton is the author of Hawk Flies Above: Journey to the Heart of the Sandhills (Picador USA/St. Martin's Press). She teaches for the UCLA Writers' Extension Program, the Gotham Writers' Workshop, and the Whidbey MFA Program. Lisa speaks nationally on her passion: the power of story to transform lives. She lives in Santa Fe. www.lisadalenorton.com|