November 23rd, 2007

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Stay Out of the Bin! E-book Now Available

My booklet, Stay Out of the Bin! An Editor's Guide to Getting Published in Lit Mags, is now available at, both as a PDF file and as a Microsoft Word document.

This 25-page guide will walk you through the submission process, from writing to publication. I was inspired to write this book after five years of wading through submissions for my online literary quarterly, Wild Violet.

In some cases, writers seem to be clueless about how to prepare a proper manuscript and cover letter, while in others, they simply haven't done their homework. For example, today I looked at the salutation on a prospective contributor's cover letter, "Alyce Walker," and shook my head grimly. Normally, such mistakes are merely rewarded with a form rejection letter, but I was feeling the holiday spirit and, therefore, bothered to set the writer straight.

After circling the offending name, I wrote, "While I would like to have written The Color Purple, I am a different Alyce." I might have added, "And by the way, it's Alice Walker," but I was feeling magnanimous.

Stay Out of the Bin! contains plenty of practical advice that, if followed, can greatly increase the chances of someone getting published in a literary magazine (or, quite frankly, any periodical). And hopefully, it will also decrease the number of times I'm forced to hit my head against the desk.

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