About Me

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Hello! I'm a writer from central New York who has bipolar disorder. Among other topics, I write about mental illness and writing. I have short stories published in Lynx Eye, Lost Coast Review, The Outrider Review, Sliver of Stone Magazine, The Mondegreen, The Linnet's Wings, Cobalt Review, Breath & Shadow, The Round Up, Postscripts to Darkness, Masque & Spectacle, and several other journals. I have a poem in The Poeming Pigeon, essays about mental illness in The Ram Boutique and Amygdala Literary Magazine, and an essay in Parts Unbound: Narratives of Mental Illness & Health, a book that was published by Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective. My story "Santa Lucia" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. I've written three novels entitled Purple Loosestrife, Hoping It Might Be So, and Dark and Bright, all of which are as yet unpublished. I'm working on a memoir about my experiences with bipolar disorder. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo and an M.A. in English from SUNY College at Brockport. I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Submitting Short Works

It can be a little scary and hard to submit short works to literary journals when you're just starting to do so. But it's so worth it when you get an acceptance among all the rejections you're sure to get as well. Rejections are part of writing. Everybody gets them because, let's face it, not everything can be published everywhere, and sometimes a piece needs more work before it's ready to go off into the world. Occasionally, an editor will let you know why your work has been rejected, and you can use this as a learning experience. It's free advice from an expert, so use it! But not all rejections let you know why you've been rejected. You're sure to get a lot of form e-mails (or letters if they're doing it old school); the journal you've submitted to might just not have the time to give everyone a reason and advice.

The bottom line, in my opinion, is that you need persistence, patience, and a thick skin. You can't take rejections personally. You have to move on from them and keep submitting. A creative writing professor I had in graduate school suggested that we submit and forget it. I keep a binder of what I've submitted to where, but then after I submit, I truly put it out of my mind until I hear something one way or the other. And then, upon forgetting about it, I keep submitting. You've got to move forward. You'll never get published if you don't send anything out.

I've been trying to get members of my writers group, the CNY Creative Writers Cafe, to submit more work. We have some very good writers who should try to get their stories out there. Many of our members are submitting and getting published. It's very exciting! So take the plunge if you're a writer and you haven't submitted anything yet!


  1. When I submitted my short story "Kamalia" I got four rejections very quickly. But I got one acceptance and that's all that matters. It was a great feeling to get published. It's like a high that you just want to keep chasing :-) And so I will continue to submit.

  2. Great post Emily. I think a big hindrance to getting started, right up there with fear, is not knowing where to submit a story or piece. There are so many publications. Learning them all, what genre they accept, the specifics on guidelines, query letters......etc. can be so confusing, and daunting, to say the least.