This month, I have been taking a Publishing Class with the amazing Diane Zinna via Zoom. I learned about Dianna through my 7:00 a.m. Writing Prompts Group, Rules Schmoolz. Our leader, Connie, took it last year. I think there are five of us from the group taking it this year, including Connie for a second time. It’s phenomenal! The cost was $200. For 20 days. We meet at 9 a.m. each weekday morning in February. Each day, at least one editor joins us to talk about some aspect of publishing at his/her/their lit mag/journal/zine, and to share personal/professional tips and tricks with us. I can’t believe how much I have learned. And the camaraderie of the forty or so people in the class is inspiring – all of us at various stages in the publishing parts of our own writing. From all over the world. (Seriously, one lady is in Paris!)

We are currently on Day 12. We have heard from so many great editors and magazines – Smokelong (Christopher Allen); Craft Literary (Courtney Harler); The Rumpus (Elizabeth Gonzalez James); Bellevue Literary Review (4 different editors); Ekphrastic Review (Lorette C. Luzajic), Hippocampus Magazine (Writing Life Editor, Kristen Paulson-Nguyen); The Sun (Derek Askey); Okay Donkey (Steven Chang); Boulevard Magazine (Janee Baugher); Fractured Lit/Uncharted – 2 magazines(Tommy Dean); Literary Mama (Amanda Fields); and Atticus Review (Michael Meyerhofer).

In addition to hearing from a wide variety of editors from a plethora of magazines, we’ve covered some basics like creating cover letters – what to include and what to leave out; how to craft a short third-person bio; rejection letters – so many things about rejection letters, including the fact that not all rejection letters are bad (there are tiered rejection letters, not all are “auto-generated); creating an inventory list of pieces ready to submit and affiliated information to help you keep track of where you’re submitting it (and even why).

The editors have been amazingly candid. They have been really forthcoming about what they’re looking for and what they’re not looking for, in most cases. Another thing that has impressed me is how many of these editors are also writers, just like we are, and have shared their personal successes, rejections, and challenges with us. One editor shared that he has been rejected by his favorite magazine forty-six times. But he keeps trying. Because he believes in his work and that it is a fit for that magazine – it’s just a matter of the right piece at the right time. He really inspired me to keep going with some of the places I dream of being published.

The biggest takeaway I have encountered thus far, and nearly every editor has said this, read the magazine before you submit to it! I am so guilty of not doing this. So this is something I am going to be far more intentional about doing as I go forward in my submissions.

Not only is the class an amazing DEAL at $200 for 20 days of editors and tips and tricks from Diane, but we have also gained personal access to several editors after their visits. Additionally, we all have the option to receive a digital subscription to The Sun, courtesy of the editor, Derek Askey. And, one of the editors for Brevity, one of my dream pubs, has agreed to take a look at up to five pages from each student in the class, fiction or nonfiction (even though Brevity only publishes nonfiction), to give some feedback on our work one day next week. I’m thrilled and terrified, all rolled up into one big anxiety ball, lol!

Since the class is only about halfway over, I will do a follow-up post next month to let you know how it ends up – we are talking about some book publishing before it ends, too. If you are interested in writing to be published, I strongly suggest that you mark your calendars for next February – Diane does this class once a year. It is more than worth the money. IT is more than worth the time. I actually hope to take it again next year, just because it is so fascinating to hear from so many editors and because Diane is so knowledgeable and pleasant to learn from. Her website is