The Four “P”s of Publishing from Antioch Writers’ Workshop Mini-Workshop: Finding a Venue for your Work

This weekend I attended Antioch Writers’ Workshop free mini-workshop at Books & Co in Dayton. This event was led by Sharon Short and Kate Geiselman, and they discussed how to go about finding a venue for publishing your work. This mini-workshop was really helpful, and they talked about everything from literary magazines to agents and book publishers.

The most helpful information was the four “P”s of publishing that Sharon Short discussed: Prepared, Protocol, Persistent, and Polite.

The first of these, Prepared, means that you need to take it seriously and be as prepared as you can when trying to publish a longer work. You need to figure out what category your book best fits into so that you can appropriately market your book, have the work completely finished before you start looking for an agent, and find the right agent for your work.

Protocol refers to following exactly what agents and publishers ask for when submitting to them. If you don’t follow their guidelines and make it easy for them to review your submission, you’re just giving them an easy “no.”

Being Persistent is probably the most important in my opinion. You can’t give up when you’re trying to get published. There is so much competition, but if you have what it takes, someone will accept you eventually. It is a numbers game. And Short pointed out that she hasn’t met a single author who hasn’t been rejected.

The last “P,” Polite, is important because politeness will get you far. Publishing is a small world, and people will remember you if you are rude to them. If you are rejected, simply say thank you or nothing at all and move on.

One last important thing that Short and Geiselman discussed was that a rejection is not a rejection of you, it is of that particular piece of work. And you could have been rejected simply because your work wasn’t the right fit for that publisher. Don’t give up hope.

I really enjoyed attending this mini-workshop, and look forward to the others throughout the year. Also I am so excited because I was accepted into Antioch’s Fall Retreat next month and I can’t wait to go!

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