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Get Your Poetry Published!

Melanie Faith

Poetry for Publication: An Insider’s View by Melanie Faith

START DATE: Friday, May 3, 2019

END DATE: Thursday, May 30, 2019

DURATION: 4 weeks

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Ever wonder how to go from scratching drafts in a notebook to sending poems to literary magazines that will get chosen for publication? Ever pondered what editors look for in literary journal submissions? How should we keep track of poetry submissions, and should we do that odd thing: “simultaneously submit?” Ever started a manuscript only to find it all a bit daunting to know what poems to include and which to omit? Want to prepare a chapbook or full-length collection but not sure where to start? How do we get past stalled drafts or stalled manuscripts to persevere and find our writing and reading community? If you've wondered any of these questions, then this is your workshop! Learn real-world, first-hand advice and tips from a poet who has judged poetry contests, published chapbooks and a full-length collection, and regularly submits poetry to literary magazines. Just because it’s chockfull of practical information, doesn’t mean it won’t be fun.

In this four-week workshop, we’ll explore what literary magazines look for in submissions, how the instructor as well as several other poets put together chapbooks and/or larger collections of poems, and insider advice for editing work with an eye towards publication. Students will read Ordering the Storm: How to Put Together a Book of Poems edited by Susan Grimm as well as excerpts from Poetry Power by Melanie Faith. There will be a private group for students to discuss the literary life, ask specific questions related to putting together a submission and/or manuscript, and for sharing of literary resources, such as markets and quotations about the poetry writing and submission process.

Topics covered will include: Best Foot Forward: Arranging a Poetry Manuscript; Journey without a Map; Finding, Unifying, and Revising the Body of Our Work; Throwing Poems at an Editor to See If They Stick; Keeping Company: Thoughts on Arranging Poems; Write Opportunity, Wrong Timing; Wild Cards: 8 Tips for Choosing Poems for Submission; The Art of Offering Feedback; The Plandid and Other Splendid Editing Options; Lavender Disappointment: on Adjustment of Expectation and Stalled Drafts; 76 Rabbits out of a Hat: or: The Quirky Tale of How One Poem became a Whole Book; 21-Century Publishing & Guidelines for Finding Your Ideal Audience; Spring out of a Writing Rut! 8 Tips for Getting back to Business, and more.

Melanie has always shown great insight into my work. Often times, she is able to pull out deeper meanings, that even I wasn't consciously aware of while writing. Her constructive criticism has moved my writing into new directions. I find that I feel more confident and prepared as a writer by having her constant editing eye. I respect that she critiques my poetry honestly, letting me know areas that are weak as well as strong points. I wouldn't be able to grow as a writer if she always told me my poems were great. It's from her perspective of my work that I grow. I enjoy learning through her and appreciate her sharing tricks of the trade that she learned in her masters program. I'm thankful to know Melanie and hope we remain friends and a poetry support system for the rest of our lives. She's the type of person and writer that anyone would feel lucky to know. She is a great mentor and holds a wealth of knowledge in the written language. Her achievements and constant pursuit as a writer inspire so many. Her determination and skill will go very far and I suspect she'll leave a lasting imprint in the written world. She already has. ~ Courtney Burger

Melanie has been a total joy as a teacher and guide. I found her feedback, critiques, and comments to be extraordinarily helpful and insightful. And the daily prompts and positive reinforcement made this writing class a wonderful experience! ~ Mary Purdy

Melanie’s class taught me economy of words by using strong verbs and nouns, implying and showing rather than telling, and exploring topics outside of my comfort zone. Her feedback is prompt, detailed and constructive. ~ Rajni Gupta

Melanie knows how to offer on-the-mark suggestions for writing improvement while also being extremely encouraging (and a joy to work with). I've taken many classes with her, including the flash class, and I plan on taking many more. ~ Marilyn Fahey

The course was great. I did not want it to end. I have taken several college level creative writing courses, as well as, attended many writer’s workshops, but I have enjoyed this course the most. I really appreciated that Melanie would also critique our re-writes which was very, very helpful. This course has really helped to motivate me creatively. ~ Barb Cramer

WEEKS AT A GLANCE:

Duration: (4 weeks) Friday, May 3, 2019 - Thursday, May 30, 2019

Friday, May 10, 17, and 24, 2019 (student exercises due for instructor feedback)

Week One: 8 Tips for Choosing Poems for Submission; 21st century Publishing and Guidelines for Finding Your Ideal Audience; Best Foot Forward: Arranging a Poetry Manuscript; Throwing Poems at an Editor to See if They Stick; Top-Ten Tips for a Sustained, Inspired Poetic Life

Ordering the Storm Text Reading:

  • Introduction
  • “Best Foot Forward: Arranging a Poetry Manuscript”
  • “Throwing Poems at an Editor to See if They Stick”

Poetry Power! Text Reading:

  • Introductory Note from Your Author: Why write poetry?
  • “Wild Cards: 8 Tips for Choosing Poems for Submission”
  • “21st century Publishing and Guidelines for Finding Your Ideal Audience”
  • “Top-Ten Tips for a Sustained, Inspired Poetic Life”

Assignment: Write one or two paragraphs, describing your writing goals—whether publication in literary journals, learning how to submit work more effectively, entering chapbook or full-length collection contests, etc. Note anything you think is keeping you from your poetic publication goals. What would you most like to learn about publishing poetry and finding a readership?

Week Two: 76 Rabbits out of a Hat: or: The Quirky Tale of How One Poem became a Whole Book; Finding, Unifying, and Revising the Body of Our Work; Write Opportunity, Wrong Timing; on Adjustment of Expectation and Stalled Drafts

Ordering the Storm Text Reading:

  • “Journey without a Map”
  • “Finding, Unifying, and Revising the Body of Our Work”
  • “A Reply to Storms: On How Some Collections Were Ordered (Or Disordered)”

Poetry Power! Text Reading:

  • “Write Opportunity, Wrong Timing”
  • “76 Rabbits out of a Hat: or: The Quirky Tale of How One Poem Became a Whole Book”
  • “Lavender Disappointment: On Adjustment of Expectation and Stalled Drafts”

Assignment: Pull up at least eight or ten, if not more, poems that you’ve written and reread them. Describe (in a paragraph or two) the kinds of poetry you write (what themes and motifs you explore most frequently and styles of poetry, from sonnets to free-verse) and begin to imagine your ideal reader. Who is that reader? What appeals to them about your poetic style? What patterns emerge from some of the poems that might make them ideal to be paired as a poetry submission to a magazine or in a larger chapbook or collection?

Week Three: The Plandid & Other Splendid Editing Options; Keeping Company: Thoughts on Arranging Poems; Order and Mojo: Informal Notes on Getting Dressed; The Art of Offering Feedback

Ordering the Storm Text Reading:

  • “Order and Mojo: Informal Notes on Getting Dressed”
  • “Keeping Company: Thoughts on Arranging Poems”
  • “It’s Simple Really: Just Sit Down at the Desk”

Poetry Power! Text Reading:

  • “The Art of Offering Feedback: Real-World Tips for Helpful Poetry Critiques” (Note: Offering suggestions on another poet’s work is an excellent way to begin to think anew about the possibilities for your own poems as you create submissions and collections)
  • “The Plandid and Other Splendid Editing Options”

Assignment: What two or three practical tips have you learned so far (whether from the reading, the class Fleep discussion, or from studying your own poems in greater depth, as we did last week, looking for emerging patterns) can you apply as you move forward and submit individual poems and putting together collections of poems? What excites you to know about submitting poetry? What challenges do you now feel capable to face as you submit your work?

Week Four: Spring out of a Writing Rut! 8 Tips for Getting back to business; The Shapes a Bright Container Can Contain; An Invitation to ‘Invisible Guests’; Poetic Dynamics & the Meta-Lingo of the Manuscript; Repeat after Me: I am a Writer: Beyond Playing Identity Dress-up

Ordering the Storm Text Reading:

  • “The Shapes a Bright Container Can Contain”
  • “Poetic Dynamics and the Meta-Lingo of the Manuscript”
  • “An Invitation to ‘Invisible Guests’: The Poetry Collection as Existential Project”

Poetry Power! Text Reading:

  • “Spring Out of a Writing Rut! 8 Tips for Getting Back to Business”
  • “Writer in Progress: The Writer’s Idea Book, Submission Notebook, and You”
  • “Repeat After Me: I am a Writer: Beyond Playing Identity Dress-Up”

Optional Final Assignment: Email the instructor one or two lingering questions about the submission or manuscript processes OR write a note about your plans/goals now that you have taken the workshop. Do you hope to write more poems soon? Will you begin a new collection or work with a theme that you’ve already found has excited you? What action steps can you take to accomplish these poetry-publication goals? Where would you like to submit your work—to literary magazines, contests, begin your own website or blog, share them on a poetry podcast? The sky’s the limit! Dream but also set concrete dates and details to really get the submission process moving!

Materials needed: Students will need a copy of both: Ordering the Storm: How to Put Together a Book of Poems edited by Susan Grimm (Cleveland State U Poetry Center 2006), and Poetry Power by Melanie Faith (Vine Leaves Press 2018). Both texts are currently available in print and e-book copies online at Amazon. Also, signed copies are available from the instructor—please contact writer[at]pa[dot]net if interested.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Melanie Faith holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte, NC. Her writing has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. Her full-length, historical poetry collection set in the 1918 flu epidemic, This Passing Fever, was published by Future Cycle Press in October 2017. Vine Leaves Press published her craft books about writing and editing flash fiction and nonfiction and her craft book about writing poetry, Poetry Power! (both 2018). Her short stories are forthcoming from Red Coyote (fall 2018), and her poetry will appear in Up North Lit (October 2018). In her free time, she loves crossword puzzles, photography, and visiting her darling nieces. She's a monthly flash fiction judge at Sweek. In addition to numerous photography publications, her art made the cover of both OVS Magazine and Chantwood Review in 2017. Her instructional articles about creative writing techniques have appeared in The Writer and Writers’ Journal, among others. To learn more about Melanie’s writing, teaching, and photography, please visit: www.melaniedfaith.com.

COST:  $155, which includes e-mail critique and positive feedback on student writing, and access to a private group for student interactions.

BUY NOW:  Poetry for Publication: An Insider’s View by Melanie Faith (4 weeks, starting 5/3/2019) Limit: 10 students. Early registration is recommended.

This class is now closed. Please check here for our current schedule.

Notes: Upon successful completion of payment, your name, email address, and contact info will be submitted to your instructor. She will contact you via email so you can get started.

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Additional Testimonials for Melanie Faith:

I took the nature writing class a few weeks ago and it was one of the best courses I've even taken. Melanie Faith is an excellent instructor. ~ Jean Forsythe

Your course has jump-started me back into writing. I have missed it. Thank you. ~ Melissa Healy

Melanie Faith’s “Spark and Sizzle Flash Fiction Class” lives up to its title. The sample stories provided were examples of good writing and served as models. Melanie’s prompts came at a rapid pace and kept my pen on the page every day. Her critique comments were sharp and encouraging and challenged me to be the best writer I could be. She is easily available for questions or discussions during and after her classes via her personal email. This is the third class I’ve taken with Melanie and I am looking forward to taking many more in the future. ~ Renee Cassese

Melanie knows how to offer on-the-mark suggestions for writing improvement while also being extremely encouraging (and a joy to work with). I've taken many classes with her, including the flash class, and I plan on taking many more. ~ Marilyn Fahey

Melanie has always shown great insight into my work. Often times, she is able to pull out deeper meanings, that even I wasn't consciously aware of while writing. Her constructive criticism has moved my writing into new directions. I find that I feel more confident and prepared as a writer by having her constant editing eye. I respect that she critiques my poetry honestly, letting me know areas that are weak as well as strong points. I wouldn't be able to grow as a writer if she always told me my poems were great. It's from her perspective of my work that I grow. I enjoy learning through her and appreciate her sharing tricks of the trade that she learned in her masters program.

I'm thankful to know Melanie and hope we remain friends and a poetry support system for the rest of our lives. She's the type of person and writer that anyone would feel lucky to know. She is a great mentor and holds a wealth of knowledge in the written language. Her achievements and constant pursuit as a writer inspire so many. Her determination and skill will go very far and I suspect she'll leave a lasting imprint in the written world. She already has. ~ Courtney Burger

The course was great. I did not want it to end. I have taken several college level creative writing courses, as well as, attended many writer’s workshops, but I have enjoyed this course the most. I really appreciated that Melanie would also critique our re-writes which was very, very helpful. This course has really helped to motivate me creatively. ~ Barb Cramer

Melanie demonstrates particular qualities in a writing teacher/coach that I would recommend for anyone looking for focused attention to help move their writing forward.

I had not taken an on-line course previously, and didn't know what to expect, but Melanie melted the distance, was always accessible, and never missed a beat with out on-line communication. I always felt like I had Melanie right here around my writing table, or knocking on my door saying—“I had a few thoughts..." She provided a wealth of resources and provided us with course materials that were tuned to our course level.

Her insight into my work, in terms of critique, were extremely thoughtful, thorough, and eye-opening. I feel that working with Melanie has allowed me to be braver with my writing and editing—as she was supportive of experimentation and taking chances with style, vocabulary, and theme. She provides serious critique in an atmosphere that, well, just makes me want to keep on writing!” ~ Mary Ellen Sanger

I have taken three courses from Melanie and in each course I grow tremendously as a writer. The texts she uses as well as the handouts and daily writing prompts all contribute to what she refers to as “the writing life” and in her courses that’s exactly what it becomes. Her comments on the pieces go way beyond grammar and punctuation. She delves into the content and clarifies what is good and what can be adjusted to make the piece stronger. I can tell she spends time reading what I write and is prompt in returning the assignments so I always have plenty of time for revision. She treats me, and everyone in the class, like a writer. Her classes are a joy. If there is a course offered by Melanie and I can fit it in, I always take it. ~ Holly Helscher

I have the normal anxiousness of sharing my work while so excited to have Melanie Faith’s critical eye read my writing. It is always reviewed with an eye to improvement and an eye to the thoughts the words contain. This is the first computer class I have ever taken and want to take many more. I also look forward to many more classes with Melanie Faith. ~ Benita Cervantes

Because I love memoir writing, I have taken two memoir/personal essay classes from Melanie. I can’t believe this, but because I enjoy the teacher herself and her method of teaching so much, I’ve even taken a poetry-writing class. I’ve always steered away from writing poetry of any kind ever since I wrote a poem in college (an assignment, not a by-choice piece) and the class laughed because I wrote about a controversial topic and was so naïve that I didn’t even know it was controversial. Every time I’d mention to Melanie that I’d never write a poem, she’d encourage me to take her class, assuring me that I’d be successful. I took the class, and sure enough, I was successful, thanks to Melanie’s velvet critiquing, encouraging comments, and thoughtful suggestions, many times seeing in my writing what I couldn’t see for myself.

I have to rein myself in every time I see in the WOW classes list that Melanie is teaching another essay class. And why is this? In all of my education (B.A. in English and M.A. in English), I never took a writing class. When I was in college, writing was taught only in Freshman English; after that class, we were just expected to know how to write. I learned to teach writing myself by reading books about writing. How refreshing and educational to find a teacher/mentor who exhibits the characteristics that I know an excellent writing teacher has: the creativity to come up with topics that students want to write about, the ability to critique without finding fault, the desire to encourage students to keep on writing even when the juices aren’t flowing. Believe me . . . she’s an excellent teacher. In addition, she became my friend through being my teacher. To be a friend AND a teacher takes real talent. ~ Sandy Young

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Questions? Email Marcia & Angela at:
classroom[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com


 

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