by Ron Bremner
I know that many of you have been published. For those who haven’t, I would like to suggest a path to publication, at least in journals. It’s been said, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know that matters.” Sometimes that is very true in publication. I had no luck submitting to the Paterson Literary Review for the longest time. Then I started showing up at all their literary events, and reading my work. I got to be known by the editor. Shortly after, both a short story and a poem of mine were published in PLR. Now when I submit, I imagine the editor thinks, “here’s something by Ron, I know him and his work,” and she gives it fair consideration. When you realize that PLR gets thousands of submissions a year and each competes for a few moments of attention, that matters. I’ve had similar luck with other journals. Laura Boss publishes Lips. Though it has a lot of nationally known poets, Laura loves to include emerging local writers. Especially those she knows and who have read at her Montclair Library Monthly Poetry Series. And the coordinator of a poetry workshop I’ve attended for several years one day asked me “How would you like to have your poems published in the local paper?” I jumped at the chance. Now, the Red Wheelbarrow Poets publish an anthology every year…but they only publish those who’ve read at least once during the year at one of their events, so if you read at multiple RWB events, your publication chances go up dramatically. Recently I met a Montclair author at his book launch at Java Love in Montclair. We emailed a few times, and he told me “I’m editing a literary review, and I’m short on flash fiction. Would you give me two pieces?” So now I’m in his review. The point is, there’s a lot going on out there but if you don’t make yourself known, get yourself out in front of people, it’s hard to participate. Good luck!