In the spirit of technological innovation I am going to try mobile blogging—from my iPhone. Limited HTML knowledge don’t fail me now.
So, this week at Ball State is the annual In-Print Festival celebrating and probing three authors who have recently published their first books.
This year we had the pleasure of meeting T Fleischmann, Mario Alberto Zambrano, and Natalie Shapero to talk about their respective books and experiences.
We were also able to hear from someone on the other side of publishing, editor of Booth literary magazine out of Butler University, Robert Stapleton.
So, how do you go about getting yourself published?
If you’re T Fleischmann, author of Syzygy, Beauty you have a lot of voices in your head and need a place for them to go. After graduate school Fleischmann hitchhiked across the continental U.S. and admits that he would write even if being published wasn’t in the cards. For him, writing, speaking for the transgendered community is gratifying enough.
Mario Alberto Zambrano always knew he wanted to be a dancer and he was until age twenty-seven. After fifteen years he didn’t feel as passionate about a career in dance, so he went back to school where he found a passion for creative writing. It was while on tour performing Wicked in Osaka to pay for his tuition to The New School where he found his muse. A childhood game honoring his Mexican-American background—lotería. Lotería, 53 vignettes for the 53 lotería cards. The rest, as they say, is history.
Natalie Shapero is my hero. Could go on a bumper sticker right? Her candor and awesome prose inspires me to be better and at the same time feel better about not knowing exactly what to do. After completing her MFA and what she calls an unpublishable thesis, Natalie went to law school where she was able to overcome her hang-up on never writing too personally blaming her creative awakening on the environment of law school. After two years of sending around a manuscript we have No Object—a fascinating and frankly hilarious book of poetry that isn’t afraid to delve into real-life feels.
TF: Find time to read and write things that you want to read and write.
Natalie Shapero exchanges poems with a friend every two weeks. “It just helps to keep writing.”
Getting published is hard, but we can increase our chances by writing every day and submitting our work. According to Robert Stapleton and affirmed by the writers, doing extensive research on literary magazines and finding which one is the best fit for your work is the best way to increase your odds.
The In-Print Festival is a great opportunity to meet some great people and hear writers speak candidly about the publishing biz. (It also happened to be a great place to score some free reads this year.)
I encourage everyone to participate in In-Print (back in 2015) and events like In-Print and tweet advice and information via #litcitizen and check out the Literary Citizenship blog.
If you would like to read a sampling of these authors’ works and the works of some other great writers and artists pick up a copy of The Broken Plate literary magazine at thebrokenplate.com.
Thanks for reading!