Jacki Kellum

Juxtapositions: Read My Mind

Category: Publishing

How Publishing in the 21st Century Has Changed – The Importance of Social Media – Why Blog? – What Is A Business Platform?

People with Messages Have Been Taking the Stage or a Platform for Hundreds of Years

Social Media is the Way that People’s Message Are Made Public in the 21st Century

Social Media is the Way that 21st Century Writers Build a Platform

I am an older gal and until recently, I did not know what people meant when they were saying that all businesses–including writers and artists–need a platform to survive in the 21st Century. I have learned what that means, and I thought  that you might be interested in what I have learned.

Very simply, a social media platform is the stage from which people, businesses, and ideas can be discovered on the Internet. It is a marketing tool.

“Traditional publishers are leaving more and more of the responsibility for marketing books to the aurthors themselves.” – Joel Friedlander

Nina Amir adds that blogging a book is a way for an author to build his platform. In other words, blogging is a way to become recognized as an authority in the book business; and it is a way to become noticed by agents and publishers. [I would add that blogging a book is a way to collect, organize, and begin to collate the material needed for that book, too.]

The Publishing Industry Has Changed in the 21st Century

“You have to become your own public relations representative and promotion and marketing director. You have to start your own publishing company….

“Nowadays, blogs constitute one of the best ways to build the coveted author’s platform. A blog read by thousands of people each month goes a long way toward impressing upon a publisher that you are a good publishing partner with a marketable idea. It also proves that you will be able to sell your independently published book.

“Many publishers now expect aspiring authors to have blogs and to blog often because this tool is so effective for creating successful books.” Nina Amir, How to Blog a Book, pgs. 4-5

Why_is _blogging_necessary_publised_authors

Joel Friedlander outlines reasons that writers should blog in the 21st Century.

“…blogging and book publishing–have changed!…

Where bloggers in earlier days were oftend treated the the illegitimate offspring of ‘real’ media, the attractions of blogging remain strong….

“But blogging continued to morph into new forms, incorporating multimedia, penetrating other social media platforms, and claiming a seat at the table. It’s common to see bloggers sitting on panels on broadcast news, and they are quoted everywhere.

“Blogs, in fact, are now the most trusted source of information for many consumers….

“…book publishing has continued to evolve toward a future of which no one is quite certain….

“…no group of people is better situated than bloggers RIGHT NOW to take advantage of the  historic movement to digital books and the exploding populatoin of self-publising.

“Soon, Internet marketing, an activity most bloggers learn about if they survive the first few years online, started to wake up to book publishing, too. Especially the speed and ease of digital publishing.

“And slowly, bloggers started using the content they had developed to publish real honest-to-goodness books, not just PDFs formatted to look good on screen…. Joel Friedlander | January 2015 | Foreword to How to Blog a Book by Nina Amir

According to the information that I found Here, Facebook is still considered to be the best Social Media resource for building a platform.


facebook mobile

According to the previous report, 21st Century businesses must also find ways to become available via mobile devices, Blogging, that is accessible only on the computer is not even enough.

The same report also says that video marketing will become more and more important:

“Text-based ©ontent will stick around, but for marketers hoping to survive on any social platform, it’s obvious what format they need to pursue.”

In short, social media has vastly changed the formerly traditional methods for marketing and conducting all business. Writers and other artists must wake up and smell the coffee. They too are businesses and they too must learn to market themselves. Self-publishing has offered writers alternative methods for distribution of their work, but self-publishing alone is not enough. Every person in business, including writers, must adjust to the markets within which they are competing. Learning to use social media effectively is a must for the 21st Century Writer.

©Jacki Kellum July 25, 2017


Making My List and Checking It Twice – The Importance of Setting Goals

“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.
‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
“Were do you want to go?’ was his reponse.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.’ “

Image result for quote if you don't know where you're going

When I am writing, I prefer an open-ended approach, and for that reason, I resist titling my pieces until the end. I don’t want my titles to bind my wiriting, and I want to allow myself to explore and to go where my intuition leads me, as I write. I realize, however, that this type of lollygagging is not the way to approach my entire career. I understand that if I want to get my writing published, I must jump into another gear.

Writing is easy for me, and I suspect that the open-endedness of my approach helps. Editing, however, is the kiss of death for me. I detest it. I do not like projects that require a harsh focus and that prevent my skipping about. I also detest the business of writing–the submitting of my work to an editor. I don’t want to be rejected, and I realize that this is one of the reasons that I resist submitting. My greater problem, however, is that I simply don’t want to shift from the creating part of my work to the noncreative business end of the process. But if I want to be published, I must learn to swallow the bitter pill of the business part of things, and I must edit my work and I must submit it. In order to be published, creating is not enough.

Setting goals helps me to take care of all of the chores necessary to write, edit, and publish my writing.

Deadlines help writers and artists set goals.

There are several places to find writing contests and other funds for writers. The magazine Poets and Writers has a great list of opportunities Here: http://www.pw.org/grants 

I have searched through the opportunities available, and I have created my own chronological list, and I have highlighted the deadline date Here.

Actual deadline dates are a way that I force myself to shift to the business part of getting myself published, but the dates themselves are not enough. I also need to establish some sort of contract with myself. I need to do something more to encourage myself to acknowledge the deadlines that I have established.

It doesn’t sound like much, but a promise to myself goes a long way toward encouraging me to stick with my goals.

On New Year’s Day, I made a resolution to write every day of the coming year. I became sick part of the year, and I was not able to do what I had promised, but several times throughout the year, something within myself has whispered that I had made a resolution. Something nudges me and tells me that I need to do what I had said that I would do. While I have not written everyday  in 2016, on several days, I wrote more than one article. I feel that I have averaged writing something everyday.

Another New Year is coming, and my resolution for the coming year will be to edit something for at least one hour every day. Yuck! It’s a dirty job, but if I want to get published, it’s something that I have to do.

The other part of my resolution is that I will submit at least 52 things for publication during 2017. That will be an average of submitting something once each week.

These are my promises for 2017, and I have already begun whipping myself into shape. At the very least, we, as writers, must always look ahead, and we must have some idea of where we want to go–and then, we must walk in that direction.

“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.
‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
“Were do you want to go?’ was his reponse.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.’ “

©Jacki Kellum October 12, 2016


Magazines that Pay Writers – Where To Submit Magazine Articles?

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Simultaneous is ok
No Query
$100 per page
Most 1-page articles 400-500 words long

To submit your story and photo, email us at submissions@country-magazine.com. For stories we publish in the magazine, we’ll make a one-time payment of $100 for a full published page or more of your submitted content. Contributors whose jokes and stories are published in Country Chuckles will receive a free subscription to Country Extra.

We are not able to return mail or photos—even if you send an SASE—so please make a copy before you send and keep the original! Most stores with a photo department can help you scan a photo and create a good quality reprint for very minimal cost. To email photos, attach them as high-resolution JPG files (at least 1800 X 1200 pixels or 1 MB file size). Please provide caption information for your photo. Consider what other Country readers would like to know about your photo, such as names, places and why this photo is special to you.

Emailed stories should be sent either in the body of an email or in an attached .doc, .docx, .rtf or .odt file. Word count is not critical, as our professionals will edit your story to fit the magazine. Generally, a published one-page story runs 400-500 words in length. Please submit your stories to submissions@country-magazine.com.

All material is considered on speculation, which means there is no need to send a query first, simply submit your story for review. Our staff cannot acknowledge receipt of submissions, but we’ll let you know if they’re published.

Read more: http://www.country-magazine.com/contributor-guidelines/#ixzz4MbNTFwJc

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your work for publication:


We work as much as one year in advance. We like to key our issues to the season, so if it’s winter, think about writing a story and taking pictures for next winter.

We believe there are gifted writers and photographers and, rarely, someone truly skilled at both. In other words, if you can write a truly excellent story, don’t worry about photography. We will find a photographer who can match the tone and content of your story. And if you’re a photographer, we will match your talents with a wordsmith who can turn a photo-essay into a masterpiece (or so we hope).


We cover a diversity of topics, all centered around America from its founding through the mid-1800s:

History. For Life in Early America, we seek an interesting presentation of historic life, an unusual event, or a different look at a well-known topic (usually keyed to the publication date). We are sticklers for accuracy, as our magazine circulates among many museums and historical societies, so you should have some expertise in your subject. (While we do not use footnotes, we welcome a source list for readers interested in pursuing the subject in depth.)

Architecture and Decorating. We are always looking for people who are able to integrate early American homes, furnishings, and style with modern living. Our readers gain structural know-how and creative ideas for their own homes, inside and out, through lavishly illustrated features on both restored period structures and those newly constructed to resemble the past. If you know about a home (and decorator) worthy of coverage, let us know.

Antiques. Stories written for the Eye on Antiques department should include a knowledgeable discussion of the origins and development of the item or class of items covered, how they were made and used, how they have survived through the years, and a hint at current availability and value.

Studio Crafts. We are interested in the people as well as the history of studio crafts. In our annual Directory of Traditional American Crafts, we focus on artisans who use period methods and/or materials to re-create the work of our ancestors–the master craftsmen of their time. Side By Side, a department in the magazine as well as a show exhibit, compares objects made by modern craftsmen with their antique counterparts.

Travel. In conjunction with a house feature, we often include a travel piece on the geographic region, focusing on its history and the modern events that celebrate it, other period architecture, places to see, stay, shop, and eat.

Be aware that Early American Life is one of the most treasured and retained magazines in the world. Many readers collect issues and hold on to them for years. They know what we’ve already written about, so please query us before you begin work.


Although we cover academic topics, we don’t want academic writing. The best sign of a writer’s skill is to be able to present solid information in a readable, entertaining manner. We appreciate a deft touch with a bit of humor or word play to keep things interesting. Our average reader is about 55 years old, knowledgeable, well-educated, often experts in the fields you will be writing about. But they see as a Early American Life as a friend, so the tone can be conversational.

>The best way to familiarize yourself with our style and content is by reading the magazine. Then write something livelier and better. Our aim is to continually improve the quality of Early American Life.

Accuracy is the most important thing you deliver to us. We can guarantee that your work will be scrutinized by experts in the topic about which your write, so please be sure every date is accurate, every name spelled correctly, every address and telephone number verified.

Be specific. Don’t say, “The current value is about ten bucks,”….

Do not send us recipes that you have not tried yourself. (We’ll try them, too, but we need at least some hope of succeeding.)


Stories for Early American Life should be just long enough to get from the beginning to the end–that is, content should dictate length. Don’t add words to make a story seem more meaningful. On the other hand, don’t give short shrift to a story that demands in-depth coverage.

A one-page story in Early American Life, such as Worth Seeing, runs about 750 words. A typical feature may run 2,500 words. Note that it’s always easier for an editor to make a story shorter, so if anything, err on the long side. Never, however, go more than 10 percent beyond the length an editor assigns.


We have high photographic standards because one of the greatest strengths of Early American Life is its visual appeal. Most of our photography is assigned to professionals, but we are always on the lookout for excellent work. We do not use snapshots and we rarely use “art” photography, that is, photos where style dominates content. We expect the photo to be part of the story and to tell part of the story. Every photo should have a center of interest that illustrates why it is included.


Our experience is that writers and photographers want to be paid for their work, and if you work for us you will be paid. We pay when we accept your article for publication and you have invoiced us for your work. If we assign you a story but we do not accept the piece you submit to us, we will pay you a kill fee.

Our rates depend on your skill and our relationship. To be honest, this is not the New Yorker. Our rates are not the highest in the industry, but we will try to reward you fairly for your work. Payment for unsolicited manuscripts will be negotiated upon acceptance. We would estimate $500 for a first feature from a new writer, more if you are an experienced, skillful writer. If we assign a story to you, we will negotiate the rate before you begin work.


We buy all rights exclusively for the six-month period in which an issue of Early American Life remains on sale. We don’t want your story appearing someplace else while we’re still trying to sell our magazine. After six months, our rights become non-exclusive, so you can re-sell your work to another publication (magazine, book, or whatever you choose).


If you have an idea for a story or would like to suggest a home to be featured in Early American Life, please contact the editors at queries@firelandsmedia.com. You may also write to us at Early American Life, Post Office Box 221228, Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122-0996, but please plainly mark “Editorial Query” on your envelope.

We do read unsolicited manuscripts but prefer that you query us first. If you wish us to return an unsolicited manuscript, please enclose a self-addressed envelope bearing sufficient postage for its return.

Letters to the editor should be sent to us directly at letters@firelandsmedia.com

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1) The best, personal (important word, that) garden writing I can get. Expressive, thoughtful, humorous, angry, contrite, flippant, searching, witty, observant, sad, inviting— whatever. We focus on the human, not how-to side of gardening. On the people as well as the plants. After all, gardening is a relationship, not a recipe. GreenPrints explores that relationship, not by instructing, preaching, or lecturing about it. Instead, we celebrate it . . . by sharing the stories and experiences we all have trying (and sometimes failing) to get along with plants.

b) E-Mail: I do accept emailed submissions. Please put “Story Submission” in the Subject Line. Warning: It may be a while before you hear back from me. And please do include your actual mailing address with your submission so that if I do accept it, I can pay you.

Mail your garden writing manuscripts to:
Pat Stone, Ed.
P.O. Box 1355
Fairview, NC 28730

Email your garden writing submissions to: pat@greenprints.com

8) In your cover letter, please tell me something clever/witty/appropriate about yourself that I can use for our “Contributor’s Page” if we use your piece of garden writing.

9) Poetry: Well, we run about 1 poem per issue. That’s 4 per year, so let’s admit there’s not much chance I can accept your poem. The ones I do take tend to be a) hands-on, dirt-under-the-nails, gardening poems b) not too saccharine, and c) rarely in rhyme, but most of all d) clever. Innovative. Offering well-expressed, detail-dressed new twists on this magazine’s very old topic: garden writing. Payment: $20.

Fillers: 100-300 words

10) One last thing: Are you a SUBSCRIBER? If not, please—oh, please—become one: $19.97 a year; $22.97 U.S. to Canada. Not only does it get you a wonderful little magazine and the best possible feel for the type of garden writing we run, it also helps us survive so we can run your (and other people’s) writing! Thanks again. (Hint: Do you know anyone who loves gardening? What a great gift GreenPrints makes.)

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GRIT is a nationally distributed bi-monthly magazine with a circulation of approximately 150,000 through subscriptions and newsstand distribution. GRIT celebrates the intergenerational bonds among those who live on the land with spirit and style – a legacy of self-sufficiency, audacious ingenuity and pragmatic problem solving that gave this country its backbone and continues to shape its unique character.

DO NOT try to write for GRIT if you know nothing about rural life, gardening or urban farming. We intend to be an authoritative and sometimes playful voice for rural lifestyle farmers and country or small-town dwellers, and we require our writers to be informed about that way of life.

NO unsolicited manuscripts will be accepted; authors must query first. We only accept e-mail queries, which must include “Query” and the subject of your query in the subject line. Include full name, address and phone number. If a query is accepted, the author will be contacted regarding the article assignment. Send queries to Kellsey Trimble, at ktrimble@grit.com.

Articles are assigned; no editorial calendar is published. An excellent way to have a first article published in GRIT is to become a member of the GRIT blogging team. Contact Haley Fisher via e-mail, hfisher@ogdenpubs.com.

GRIT purchases shared rights, which grants the publisher the right to publish or republish the work in any form in any country, at any time. The author agrees not to publish the work in any other media for a period ending one year after the date of the issue in which the work initially appears. After this period, the author retains the right to republish the work in any form in any country at any time, as well.


GRIT publishes feature-length articles on topics of interest to those living in rural areas, on farms or ranches, or those interested in the rural lifestyle. Articles will be from 800 to 1,500 words.

Samples of feature articles:

• Become an Heirloom Seed Sleuth – Seven strategies to save plants on the edge of extinction.
• Farmer John, or the Real Dirt on Vegetables – Interview with John Peterson, one of the country’s leading advocates of Community Supported Agriculture. A lifelong Illinois farmer, Peterson was on the verge of losing his family farm during the farm crises of the 1980s. He made the switch to organic farming, and began offering subscriptions to his farm, creating community and some really great food.
Born in a Barn – Some great houses got their start in very humble beginnings: a barn. Interviews with three homeowners tell how. Sidebar focuses on other structures that have become offices, studios or homes, with practical info on how to know if a renovation is feasible or foolish.


Departments include GRIT Gazette (news and quirky briefs of interest to lifestyle farmers); Country Tech (looking at equipment necessary for the farm life); Looking Back (nostalgic look at life on the farm); and In The Shop (how-to for those specialty farm items). Other departments are Comfort Foods, Recipe Box, Wild GRIT and Sow Hoe (gardening topics).

Departments and columns are generally 500 to 1,500 words. GRIT Gazette items are 350 to 700 words.

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Pennsylvania Heritage strives to convey a sense of Pennsylvania and connect its past with what the Keystone State is today or what it is likely to become. The magazine seeks articles relating to the commonwealth’s history and culture that are intended for intelligent lay readers. Articles on such varied topics as archaeology, architecture, decorative arts, fine arts, heritage foods, historic sites, industry and technology, military history, natural history, oral history, paleontology, political history, popular culture, and social history are suitable.

Submissions must be written with an eye toward illustration and should be accompanied by photographs, maps and drawings or a list of suggestions for illustrations (with identification of the repositories that hold them) or images to be photographed. Photographic or pictorial essays are also welcomed.


Writing style should be popular, readable and entertaining, but without fictionalization and extensive quotation (except in the case of oral history). Manuscripts must be concise, thoroughly researched and documented, well organized, and accurate. Articles accepted will be edited according to guidelines recommended by the current edition of The Associated Press Stylebook. Submissions to Pennsylvania Heritage should follow those guidelines.

Manuscript Requirement

Manuscripts range from 2,000 to 3,500 words maximum. They must be submitted in Microsoft Word either on disc or as an e-mail attachment. Manuscripts should be accompanied by a suggested title, captions for the illustrations, credits or acknowledgments, and a brief biographical sketch of the author. Footnotes are not required, but a list of sources for fact-checking is requested.

Although queries, proposals and outlines will be evaluated, the editorial staff prefers to review completed manuscripts.

Photographs and/or other illustrative material (as described above) should be submitted with manuscripts for review.

Payment and Rights

PHF, in concert with PHMC, will pay authors upon publication of an article. Payments range between $250 and $500, depending on the complexity and amount of research and interpretation necessary to make the article engaging, entertaining and, most important, educational and informative. The author will also receive six to ten complimentary copies upon publication.

Pennsylvania Heritage purchases all print and all electronic rights for publishing articles, in whole or in part, on its website, as well as any and all websites administered by PHMC, its historic sites and museums, and PHF, their heirs or assignees.

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General Overview

Unlike many magazines, Creative Nonfiction draws heavily from unsolicited submissions. Our editors believe that providing a platform for emerging writers and helping them find readers is an essential role of literary magazines, and it’s been our privilege to work with many fine writers early in their careers. A typical issue of CNF contains at least one essay by a previously unpublished writer.

We’re open to all types of creative nonfiction, from immersion reportage to personal essay to memoir. Our editors tend to gravitate toward submissions structured around narratives, but we’re always happy to be pleasantly surprised by work that breaks outside this general mold. Above all, we’re most interested in writing that blends style with substance, and reaches beyond the personal to tell us something new about the world. We firmly believe that great writing can make any subject interesting to a general audience.


We’re looking for original narratives illustrating and exploring the relationships, tensions, and harmonies between science and religion—the ways these two forces productively challenge each other as well as the ways in which they can work together and strengthen one another. $10,000 for best essay, $5,000 for runner-up. Deadline: December 12, 2016. Complete guidelines »


Creative Nonfiction magazine is seeking submissions for a special issue devoted to the theme of “adaptation”—original essays illuminating the ways in which the need to keep up with a rapidly-changing world drives the work of scientists, designers, thinkers, innovators, farmers, soldiers, medical professionals, teachers, and others and affects the lives of prisoners, patients, refugees, students, travelers, and other citizens. Deadline: January 9, 2017. Complete guidelines »


We’re looking for true stories that explore humans’ efforts to control and redirect nature, the evolving relationships between humanity and science/technology, and contemporary interpretations of monstrosity. $10,000 and publication for Best Essay and two $2,500 prizes and publication for runners-up. Deadline: March 20, 2017. Complete guidelines »


Our new magazine, featuring one exceptional essay every month, debuts this fall. Submissions should be between 3,500 and 7,000 words long, on any subject, in any style. Surprise us! The only rules are that all work submitted must be nonfiction and original to the author, and we will not consider previously published work.  Now Reading  Complete guidelines »


Have an idea for a literary timeline? An opinion on essential texts for readers and/or writers? An in-depth, working knowledge of a specific type of nonfiction? Pitch us your ideas; Creative Nonfiction is now accepting query letters for the following sections of the magazine. Accepted Year-Round. Complete guidelines »


Can you tell a true story in 140 characters (or fewer)? Think you could write one hundred CNF-worthy micro essays a day? Go for it. We dare you. There’s no limit. Simply follow Creative Nonfiction on Twitter (@cnfonline) and tag your tiny truths with the trending topic #cnftweet. That’s it. We re-tweet winners daily and republish ~20 winning tweets in every issue of Creative Nonfiction. Not sure what we’re looking for? Check out this roundtable discussion about the art of micro-essaying with some of the more prolific #cnftweet-ers.

Maybe a tweet isn’t quite enough space for you to realize your tiny truth vision. What if you could include a picture worth a thousand words and 2,000 additional characters? Ready to try your hand at writing mixed media micro essays?  Follow Creative Nonfiction on Instagram (@creativenonfiction), tag your photos (and caption-length prose) with #cnfgram and #tinytruth, and we’ll do the rest. We “heart” our favorites regularly, and every week we’ll repost our favorite to our Instagram feed. Plus, we’ll share one in our newsletter monthly, and one on our website every third month. Check out some early examples here


 Gateway – Missouri History Museum

2,000 – 5,000 Words

For almost 30 years, Gateway has given the members of the Missouri History Museum a forum for the historical, cultural, and social issues affecting St. Louis and Missouri. With beautifully illustrated articles on preservation and architecture, folk culture and oral history, music and theater traditions, and civil rights and African American history, Gateway revels in the diversity of our region. Essays on individual Missourians and the origins of communities, organizations, and movements in St. Louis illuminate the known and unknown, while interviews and photo essays contribute personal viewpoints.

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The Almanac for Farmers & City Folk


Annual almanac

Needs Essays –  animals, farming, gardening, general interest, historical, homemaking,  how-to, humor
“No fiction or controversial topics. Please, no first-person pieces!” No queries. Send complete manuscript by mail. Pays $45 per page.

Needs Fillers [Up to 125 Words]


Issue #159 cover


Length 500 Words
No Simultaneous

Magazine content:

Backwoods Home Magazine is a country- and self-reliance-oriented “how to” magazine that specializes in showing people how to build their own home, produce independent energy, grow their own food, and how to make a living without being tied to a city. We also cover related subjects such as health, raising animals, food preservation, country skills, home schooling, arts and crafts, recipes, and book reviews.


Photos, drawings, or diagrams should accompany a manuscript whenever possible. Your article is more likely to be used and will command higher payment if accompanied by high quality illustrations and/or graphics. High quality digital photos and drawings in TIFF, JPG, PNG, or GIF format may be attached to emailed articles.

DO NOT send the only copy of a rare or irreplaceable photo, drawing, manuscript, etc. Accidents happen. Mail gets lost. Have copies made to send us. Better yet, scan them at 300 dpi and send them on disk. Backwoods Home Magazine is not and will not be responsible for any loss of or damage to submitted materials.


Finding the Courage to Submit My Writing to a Publisher Was A Breakthrough

On Friday, I shared that had reached the point in my writing that I felt it was necessary for me to take the next step. It was time for me to Submit my work to a publisher. My deadline to submit my writing  was midnight on Saturday night. 18 minutes before the Deadline, I submitted my first piece to a publisher, and I already feel more powerful, after having done so.


For the past year, I have blogged something almost daily. I have begun writing several first drafts for one piece or another. I realized that it was time to take my first test. I searched through as many upcoming writing competitions as I could find, and I selected one for my goal. The deadline for midnight on October 1, Unfortunately, I didn’t begin fine-tuning my piece early enough, and I waited until about two days before the deadline to begin assembling several memoir vignettes that I had written. Clearly, I procrastinated too long.

After I had assembled the parts of my essay, I began combing through my writing. The maximum word count for my finished piece was 8500 words, and I had not yet tried to manage an essay of that length. It was more difficult than I expected to edit that many words. It seemed that I would edit and re-edit the first two pages, but I had difficulty being satisfied enough to move farther. The deadline was drawing nearer and nearer, and I still hadn’t edited the bulk of the essay.

Initially, I did what I believed all along that I would do. I decided to simply back out of the race. I began looking for the next important competition, and I decided to wait until then to submit. Besides, I had to work the day of the submission deadline. The miracle is that I worked with an editor that day, and when I told her my plight, she gouged me until I decided to just do it. Whether the thing was perfect or not, I decided to jump from one cliff to another. I decided to simply submit. And I am glad that I did.

After I had pushed the button “submit,” I realized that it didn’t matter whether I won the competition or not. My breakthrough lay in having pulled a quantity of writing together and to have gathered enough courage to try to move forward.

On October 2, I began making a long and detailed calendar of upcoming writing competitions. I am ready to face the next dragon, but next time, I’ll begin editing sooner, and I’ll truly be ready. Next time, I might allow myself a chance to win.

©Jacki Kellum October 3, 2016


It’s Time for the Test – Submitting Work for Publication


 Tomorrow Is October 1 – The Day that I Launch the Free Jacki Kellum Writing Class

It is also the day that I am submitting my first writing for publication.

About the Free Jacki Kellum Writing Class Blog to Memoir:

For several weeks, I have been saying that because I began seriously writing  on October 1, 2015, I decided to celebrate that anniversary by offering a free writing class for anyone who wants to participate.

I’ll run the free writing class through my blog site jackikellum.com Here
& through the site that I specifically created for the class: blogtomemoir.com. Here

Each day,  I’ll post the daily assignment by 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time USA. I believe that early morning is the best time to write and for that reason, your writing assignment will be ready for you first thing each day.

Why Blog to Memoir?

  1. When we write about the actual experiences of our lives, our writing is fresher, more alive, and more authentic. For that reason, excavating your memories is an invaluable exercise–a way to create vivid writing samples for any of your other writing.
  2. It is not necessary for you to actually blog your writing. You may simply check out the daily writing exercises and explore them on your own. Throughout the course, however, I’ll share several ways that blogging daily has improved both my writing and my outlook on life. I heartily recommend writing daily, and for several reasons, I am convinced that blogging is the best way to store your writing. Blogging regularly is also a good way to build your brand and to share your writing with others. Note: You do not have to make your blog public.
  3. Several people have successfully completed books by blogging the parts of their books one by one and then, by assembling the parts of the book at the end. This practice has been labeled Blog to Book. For the past year, I have been blogging my memoir [and several other books] one step at a time. Soon, I plan to assemble my memoir pieces together and to submit my own memoir book for publication. Hence: I Am Blogging to Memoir  Book

For the past year, I have blogged something almost daily. I have written several first drafts, and now, it is time to take my first test. Tomorrow, on October 1, I am submitting a section of my own memoir for publication. As I said before, October 1, 2016, is a very big day. It is the day that I am launching my free writing class through which I’ll share what I have learned about writing. It is also the day that I’ll test myself by daring to submit something for publication.


Writing is simple for me. I love to talk, and when I write, I simply talk. Submitting my writing for publication is something different. When I submit what I have written to a panel of official judges, I am giving those judges the permission to say that what I have written is not good enough. I am allowing this band of impartial readers to say, “You are not a writer. You are simply playing at writing.” I am giving other people the opportunity to either approve me or to reject me. For me, this is scary business, but I have passed all of the steps leading up to the next one. It is time.


It is time for me to step out of the pool of pretenders and to begin swimming toward the shore.

Tomorrow, I am submitting my first piece for publication. I am daring to take the test. This time next year, I’ll whistle for everyone else to joing me, “Come on out. The water is fine.”

©Jacki Kellum September 30, 2016


© 2017 Jacki Kellum

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