Our author’s submission service assists writers of poems, short stories, essays, and book manuscripts in getting their work published. We work very hard to promote our clients’ work. Letters from clients follow below. (Originals with signatures available upon request.)
Read third-party testimonials on LinkedIn.
April 16, 2013
Just want to thank the Writer’s Relief team for prompting me to send out the “Home Beautiful” story again. I had lost faith in that story and wouldn’t have sent it out again without your prodding. Much to my surprise, it was accepted. I can’t thank you enough for your unfailing faith in my work, even when my own faith in my work flags.
“Home Beautiful” would never have flown or landed without the fabulous WR team!
April 11, 2013
When I’m making preliminary notes or roughing in a piece, it doesn’t really feel like writing. That’s just getting something down. When I go back over it, restructuring, rewording, flipping through the thesaurus, that doesn’t feel really like writing either. That’s just retouching. It doesn’t really feel like writing either when I do the final polish. That’s only tweaking. In front of me is a piece of writing which I have written without ever actually feeling like I was writing it. When do I get to feel like I’m writing?
Silly me. While none of these actions feels like writing, all are necessary to complete a piece. Writing is a process, and Writer’s Relief has been my final step for years. It’s a most rewarding one. We undertake this process because we have something to share. The caring and careful staff of Writer’s Relief finds people who are looking for what we have to share, and who themselves share it further. This is deeply gratifying for any writer and sparks us to write even more. A gracious cycle, indeed. Thank you, Writer’s Relief.
April 3, 2013
All’s going great with Writer’s Relief. Can’t thank you enough. Scored The Baltimore Review in only a few days into the first cycle. And I’m finding that just having the service is focusing me on the kinds of writing & submissions I need to do. The team phone call was very helpful and turned into a much more constructive conference than I imagined.
March 21, 2013
A lot of writers tell you how much they love writing, how the words flow easily from pen to paper, how it’s what they were meant to do, and how much they enjoy doing it. I’m not that kind of writer. Writing is very difficult for me. First of all, the type of writing I’m good at is not really the type of writing that generates enough money to support a family. (Well, it doesn’t even generate enough money to buy paper and ink, but that’s another story.) So I have a day job, and that can be exhausting. I also believe in actually raising my kids, and that takes time and physical and emotional effort, with unexpected plot twists, and that’s more (often unexpected) time away from writing. The bottom line is: My quality writing time becomes more and more precious every day. And that’s where Writer’s Relief comes in. Writer’s Relief helps me manage my writer’s angst, my feelings of doubt, and my anxiety about being rejected. How do they do this? Well, for one thing, I hate showing my work. Showing work makes me want to throw up. Writer’s Relief has allowed me to unwind from the shame cycle of submitting my little babies to an editor for possible slaughter. It makes the entire submission process less personal and more professional. Now I receive rejections and move on without taking them personally. (Well, sometimes I do take them personally, but I don’t lose sleep over them.) I’m also able to manage my time better. Because of Writer’s Relief, I don’t need to worry about creating the perfect submission letter or what journal is perfect for my stories. They do this work for me. They have a logical plan for where to submit and when. And the system works. I began working with Writer’s Relief just over a year ago. I’ve submitted eight short stories: Six stories have been published by top journals, one story is still under consideration, and one story was just sent out today. It’s hard to argue with that level of success. On my own, I’d still be trying to figure out how to properly format the address labels.
February 21, 2013
Recently I have been obsessed with the problem of narration. I go back and forth between first- and third-person and struggle mightily with how much exposition and backstory should come from straight narration, how much should come from action and dialogue, and how much is left to the reader. It is a delicate balance.
Sometimes I will write the same paragraph ten times from different points of view, using dialogue or straight narration; sometimes it takes a whole day to rewrite a page.
I love the process of writing and rewriting, and I hate the process of trying to get my work published. However, I learned that publication is necessary, in fact essential, to the creative writing process since there is a partnership between the reader and the writer where the reader plays an active role. Readers are essential.
I am indebted to Writer’s Relief for finding me readers. And they leave me with more time to write.
February 14, 2013
One key to getting work accepted by top literary magazines is persistence. When I was submitting work on my own, I would be overcome by anxiety and paralyzed at the thought of sending to such journals as The Paris Review or American Poetry Review. Now, when Writer’s Relief sends me labels, I figure they must know what they’re doing, so I slap them on envelopes, stuff in my poems and cover letters, and off they go. I’ve published 23 poems and one short story since I signed up with Writer’s Relief in 2010. Though I haven’t had an acceptance from The Paris Review—I keep trying thanks to Writer’s Relief.
January 31, 2013
For many years, I wrote fiction and never got published. I thought of myself as someone stuck in the montage section of a martial arts movie, in the part where the hero goes from gawky youngster to muscled fighter. In the movies, all that work—thousands of push-ups, endless frustration of doing faceplants in the mud—happens in a few short minutes of inspirational music. Then our brave hero always goes out to prove his or her worth against other fighters, ending up a triumphant champion. But I felt permanently stuck in the montage section, always sending out work that I thought was good, only to have it rejected by the ninja masters at literary journals. I was beyond frustrated.
And I was busy: finishing coursework for my PhD in Comparative Literature before doing archival research in Argentina, writing a dissertation, having a baby, starting a tenure-track job as a Spanish professor, and then writing an academic book. In between all of these things, I made time to write fiction, but I couldn’t also do the work of researching and targeting my short stories. Enter Writer’s Relief.
Once I began using Writer’s Relief, I began to get published immediately. I realized later that—as in every hero’s journey—on the road to getting published, I needed a guide and mentor. The work that Writer’s Relief does is based on many years in the field. They know the journals, understand the kind of work they accept, and they remind you that rejection is part of the game, and that it takes more than a few faceplants to make a writing hero.
Over the years, I have occasionally stopped using Writer’s Relief, when I think I can’t afford it or when my job seems too overwhelming. But I always regret leaving my wise publishing masters, and I always return. And now I’ve finished my first novel, and I am delighted that Writer’s Relief will be by my side again, helping me go from gawky newbie to, I hope, published novelist ninja.
Nancy Scott Hanway
January 24, 2013
At the time I learned of Writer’s Relief, I had for the prior two years been at an impasse over submitting my poetry to journals. I first had used a couple of catalogues like Poet’s Market and targeted places that wouldn’t take simultaneous submissions. After that yielded poor results, I began sending out what I considered mass mailings to receptive outlets, which meant maybe five copies of a single packet a couple of times a year—again with little to show from typical turnarounds of between two and ten months. I had the sense it would take many decades, time I didn’t have, for me to accumulate a handful of credits.
Over the past several years, since I signed up with WR, the numbers game has changed dramatically for the better: Around 175 packets of poems sent annually to print and online journals, many of which I never would have located by myself, and a monthly acceptance average over the past two years of just under one poem (which includes several journals that took more than a single piece, and some submissions via other channels), a frequency that gives me a sense of momentum both in terms of brute numbers and the rising quality of publications taking my work. I’m still amidst my best-ever acceptance streak: The Carolina Quarterly (2 poems), Interim (1), Spork (1), Smartish Pace (3, and placed to lead off the next issue), Permafrost (3), Jung Journal (5, submitted by invitation of the Editor-in-Chief), and Existere (1).
The process has been both educational—giving me a more realistic sense of how publishing operates—and motivating: I have to keep producing poems in order to meet my submissions quota. Louis Simpson coined the term Po-Biz for this kind of essential activity, and Writer’s Relief has enabled me, against my initial instincts, to behave in a productively businesslike manner.
Couldn’t have done it without you,
January 17, 2013
Fiction writing is my second career. I left a grueling schedule in the violence against women movement because I wanted to spend more time with my young children. Finally, I had the time to pursue creative writing, a lifelong wish. I took a class at NYU and the instructor, Susie Mee, invited me into her private workshop. It was an incredible experience to explore creative writing, surrounded by a talented teacher and a group of aspiring writers.
But how was I going to find the time to try to get published?
One of the students in Susie’s workshop mentioned Writer’s Relief. I looked into it and knew it was exactly what I needed. I could squeeze the time out of my family life to go to Susie’s workshop and produce some writing, but Writer’s Relief was the answer to where the time would come from to get published.
I became a client in 2010 and since then I have had four short stories accepted for publication. With the help of Writer’s Relief, I have also been able to make the time to write a novel, which I plan to submit early next year.
Thank you, Writer’s Relief! With your help, I am a published author with credits and confidence.
January 10, 2013
The Sister loves getting published. But she hates the business side of the writer’s life. She has no interest in copy editing or choosing where to send work among thousands of lit mags. Submission guidelines make her cranky. This is where Writer’s Relief comes in. Don’t let Her go running off to hang out with some other writer who has real time for Her. Keep the Muse with you by hiring Writer’s Relief to handle your “poetry biz.” She’ll thank you for it with blazes of inspiration.
Naomi Ruth Lowinsky
January 3, 2013
Poetry is one of my primary means of self-expression. It’s a fundamental way of exploring what it is I feel, and helps me figure out the things I think I know and the things I feel.
Writing poetry offers potentialities for discovery and creativity that rarely, if ever, present themselves in the ways we use language in our day-to-day lives. The process is filled with paradox: I want and need my own voice to be left intact within each piece of work, but I want input, reactions, revisions. I want the work to be technically sound and to fall within certain agreed-upon conventions, but I don’t want to change a thing. I want an audience, and I want privacy.
With all of these complexities and more, I can’t manage the pragmatic daily grind of submitting my poetry in a public arena—like many us, I work to extremes, have family obligations, and still convince myself that I’ve achieved some balance between work and play. I rely on Writer’s Relief to get my written work out, and since we’ve started our collaboration, I have been published in more journals that I could have ever accomplished on my own. And it’s all just beginning.
December 27, 2012
Three of my short stories are seeing the publishing light this year. Obviously I could never have gotten here without Writer’s Relief.
And then I can keep writing.
They make me submit more…and write more.
Until I can call myself a writer.
December 18, 2012
Writer’s Relief has been a much-needed support to my creative process. Prior to my association with WR, post-writing submission trauma made sending out work excruciatingly difficult, due to the doubt and aversion that would plague me, and led to a very erratic submission history. The cheery communications from my submission strategists and a good acceptance rate have helped minimize my fears and encouraged me to keep generating and sending out both prose and poetry.
December 13, 2012
I have a secret life.
I’ve had a secret life ever since reading Charlotte’s Web when I was very young, through Jane Eyre, through the poetry of the Johns, Donne, and Berryman, through Emily Dickinson, and on to the short stories of Alice Munro, Antonya Nelson, Edward P. Jones, and Wells Tower, to name a few.
It took me a long time to dare even try what they were doing. But eventually I went to an MFA program and started writing. The process was slow and painful. After I finished the MFA, I wrote—and sent out—only piecemeal, not feeling as though I was getting much done. Finally, on my own, I published three stories. I thought I had it made. But another lull followed. Then a friend told me that through Writer’s Relief, she’d published seventeen poems.
For the first Writer’s Relief cycle I participated in, I hauled out a story I’d written at the outset of the MFA program, three decades before. People in the program had liked the story, and it had won a school prize. Over the years I’d sent it out twenty-seven times. Twenty-seven times it’d been rejected. I’d gotten a number of notes from editors, and comments from people I was periodically in writing groups with, all to the same effect: “This just needs a little something more at the end.” I wasn’t sure that it did, and I’d never been able to get enough into the mood and voice of the story to fix it. But before sending it in to Writer’s Relief for that first cycle, I had one more go at it. I put a little more into the ending. The story was accepted for publication right away.
When you tell people you write, the inevitable question is, “Have you published?” It’s good to be able to say, “Yes, eleven stories.”
Writing is no less difficult now, but it is more fun. And Writer’s Relief has taken care of getting published. Because Writer’s Relief has managed to get my work in print, I feel as though I’ve knocked on the door of that secret society, the society of writers. Because Writer’s Relief has managed to get my work in print, I’ve made a contribution to the secret life. You can read about it in my stories.
November 15, 2012
Before I signed up for Writer’s Relief in September 2006, I was shy about sending out my work and often too busy with my various jobs and raising a family, like most writers. Vastly impressed with the poetry I read in literary journals and book after book, I also felt my work just wasn’t up to par. Then I remembered some sage advice given by William Stafford at one of his last workshops in May 1993. “The world needs your poems. Send them out, and give them a good title!” I had almost immediate success, having two poems published in Prairie Schooner in the summer of 1995, but it took years and a friend’s advice to follow through. She convinced me Writer’s Relief might be my ticket. As rejections poured in, so did some acceptances. Writer’s Relief has helped me focus on those, and some rejections which say, “Not this time, but do send more. We are impressed with your writing.” Writer’s Relief continues to encourage me to write and submit, for which I am very grateful. When journals arrive with my name in the Table of Contents, it is a wonderful feeling, and I love connecting to other poets around the country. I am deeply thankful to Writer’s Relief for enhancing and enriching my poetic life.
October 29, 2012
My first submission to the Review Board was rejected, which turned out to be a good thing because it forced me to confront the weak points in my writing instead of playing to my strengths. And after a few months of honing my craft, I came back with some much better work, and they accepted me. Less than a year later, my first story was published and, of the three I’ve submitted since that time, two more have been accepted for publication. Having Writer’s Relief on my side feels a bit like I’m cheating. I can only imagine how frustrating it would be for somebody to try to do all of this without help. Whether they know it or not, Writer’s Relief offers more than the services that they advertise because, yes, they take the drudgery and the frustration out of getting published, but they aren’t just going through the motions. They honestly love the stories they read—the stories their clients submit through them—and they strive for us to succeed. That enthusiasm shines back on us, it gives us encouragement, it gives us momentum, it challenges us to develop our voices. From the very beginning, they’ve done much more than what I’m paying them for; it feels like I have a fan club already. If you’re dedicated to having your work published, Writer’s Relief is worth every penny.
October 19, 2012
When I made the decision to write full-time, I had no idea how consuming the submission process would be. I struggled for several years trying to find the balance between writing, submitting, and living an already full life. An acquaintance of my stepdaughter’s mentioned she had started writing and had had great success with Writer’s Relief. I was pleased and relieved to discover such a first-class operation. I’ve been with Writer’s Relief for about three years.
My Writer’s Relief team keeps me motivated and on target. For me, knowing I’ll have an opportunity to send a story out every two months helps me focus on the work at hand and provides a reassuring sense of structure. The quality of my Writer’s Relief team’s editing services, coupled with their uncanny ability to locate just the right journal for my stories, never ceases to amaze.
Writer’s Relief is a gift I give to myself and my writing. A gift that never disappoints. Thank you, Writer’s Relief.
Mary Bess Dunn
October 11, 2012
Writer’s Relief has been, well, a relief. I first tried researching the markets myself online and with Writer’s Digest. I was spending more time sorting out publishers than writing, and though the research was necessary, it was not what I wanted to be doing. Additionally I could never spell, thus Timm with 2 m’s, and though I can still diagram a sentence, my grammar can be inconsistent. Writer’s Relief takes away all of that hassle and lets me write.
September 13, 2012
I am alone. When I write, I am stuck inside the dark, twisted corners of my own mind, following my protagonist down a dark alley, into a lover’s arms, or simply into his own coffin. It is a lonely journey, but every writer has to make the journey alone, finally stepping over the finish line when he types those two last words: The End.
But the end is merely the beginning. Which of the thousands of markets to send my work? Which agent will see my vision and believe in my work? Was that third comma in my second to last paragraph actually supposed to be a semicolon?
Every writer needs help, and Writer’s Relief is my writing team. I am alone as I write this now, but I can rest assured that, before anyone reads my words, Writer’s Relief will proofread and make sure every comma, conjunction, or independent clause is exactly where it is supposed to be. Thank you, Writer’s Relief, for never making me feel alone.
August 23, 2012
Submitting to the Writer’s Relief Review Board took a leap of faith. I wanted to get a short story published and I believed that if Writer’s Relief liked my story enough to take me on as a client, someone else might like it too. At the time, I had no intention of writing full-time or publishing more than that one story. But when Writer’s Relief became my partner, I had professional people I could talk to about my work plus deadlines to meet. What seemed like a dream, someone else’s life, became my own. I thought my first publication was a lucky break. But my second publication meant something more. It meant I could get three. And little by little I started to believe I was a writer. What a gift.
August 9, 2012
After years of giving my energy to others’ creative projects, I reclaimed it for myself. Inspired by William Stafford, I practiced writing a poem a day. I kept a notebook at hand for thoughts, dreams, poems, and prompts. I heard Allen Ginsberg speak and started to “notice what I noticed.” I heard Lucille Clifton talk about negative capability and felt she’d named me as a poet. I attended the Squaw Valley Writers Conference and had the great pleasure of writing with my “tribe.”
I was sending out my work, but I found the whole submission process overwhelming and discouraging. Writer’s Relief gave me structure and support in every aspect, from putting together a great cover letter, proofing my poems, organizing mailings and electronic submissions to following the history of each poem. Thanks to Writer’s Relief, my poetry has been introduced to a wider audience. In the six years that I have been associated with Ronnie and her fabulous staff, I have had over 50 acceptances. Their organizational support has streamlined the process of preparing, submitting, and tracking my poems. They find appropriate markets, and document the history of my submissions as well as proofing and creating clean copies of my work. What was a stressful process became inspiring.
Submitting new work every two months gave me the incentive to keep writing and polishing on a regular basis. Being able to resubmit work that wasn’t immediately picked up gave me the space to keep polishing new work that was not quite ready for that cycle, and if I need help or have a question, they are only a phone call or email away.
June 25, 2012
Your help allowed me to get a number of poems published—publications acknowledged in the manuscript I’m sending out to numerous editors. I’m hoping the number of publications are making me more believable to these editors. I would never have had as many successes on my own.
June 20, 2012
Dear Ronnie and the staff of Writer’s Relief,
I would like to again thank you, Writer’s Relief, and the Hixson family for all your wonderful work on my behalf. Four of the five poems you submitted for me were published, one of which received a Willow Review Award of $100. Also, by an odd confluence of events, the three journals arrived in the mail last Friday, Saturday, and Monday.
Lauren Yaffe (Peter K. Hixson Award Winner)
June 4, 2012
Wow, you and your team really have pushed my manuscript forward. I am in awe of your proofreading department and am so pleased with the excellent work done on it. I’ve been told you shouldn’t use the same word too frequently, but the word “grateful” is the only one that says what I feel. I sure am grateful. Thank you.
May 30, 2012
Dear Friends at Writer’s Relief,
I just counted the number of poems on my WR Acceptances Report. Counting the last one accepted by Lullwater Review, you have helped me have fifty publications of various poems of mine. Thank you! Thank you!
May 22, 2012
Dear Writer’s Relief:
I’m so grateful for Writer’s Relief. The bimonthly deadline inspires me, and you get my work out to so many places. I would never be able to do this alone.
May 20, 2012
Ronnie and her team are top-notch administrators of this submission service for writers. They keep you on track, provide excellent proofreading services and are available to strategize your submissions.
Tracy D. (as posted on LinkedIn)
May 15, 2012
I am very happy with my association with your organization, and will continue to recommend it to friends. When I started, I was not considered a “published writer,” despite twenty-six years as a journalist. Thanks to the breadth, volume, and discipline of Writer’s Relief, I have seen eight of my essays published. I call this success. I would never have had the perseverance to accomplish this on my own.
May 11, 2012
Dear Writer’s Relief,
Considering how many other writers you must be working with, it is hugely empowering to hear your feedback. I never expected to receive the quantity and quality of personal encouragement that I’ve been getting from you all. I never expected somebody who reads work from a half-dozen different writers each day to shoot me a personal email just to tell me they enjoyed my latest piece. That tells me something.
I really feel like I’m starting to find my voice as a writer, I’ve got my first piece coming out in a couple of days and a couple of others that I’m getting nibbles on, and I’m also starting to build personal contacts with editors. It feels like a lot is happening at once, though I’m not letting it build false hope. I’m looking to breed success from success.
Thank you all for the support, both that which I am paying for and the sincere personal support which I have no reason to expect from you professionally. I love it. I feel like I already have a fan club.
April 18, 2012
I left a business career and, among other things, decided to attend divinity school, and later to write a book. In an effort to gain some credibility for future publishers, Writer’s Relief came highly recommended to me as a firm that could assist me in publishing some of my essays prior to promoting myself to prospective publishers.
That strategy has worked well as Writer’s Relief did, in fact, enable me to publish seven of my essays over a two-year period. Their systematic submission process and their research of potential periodicals and online markets made the process quite simple for me, at a reasonable cost, and produced very good results.
Fred S. (as posted on LinkedIn)
April 15, 2012
As a professional musician who took to writing poetry later in life, I had no idea how to go about submitting my work for publication. Late one day I called Writer’s Relief for information and by chance Ronnie Smith answered the phone. Her clear dedication and enthusiasm convinced me that Writer’s Relief was worth trying. Having been a client now since 2005, I’ve long since known that my first impression was right: Ronnie and the staff at Writer’s Relief are smart, trustworthy, personable, and, above all, effective.
March 24, 2012
Dear Ronnie Smith,
I have been a client of Writer’s Relief for many years. I appreciate that this service takes the toil out of finding proper places to submit my work. I’d much rather be writing. Working with WR also gives me a schedule for polishing stories and getting them out into the world. Their editing assures that my work meets current standards regarding punctuation, which is always tricky for me (to comma or not to comma?). And, happily, I have had many stories published during my time with WR.
Kathleen G. (as posted on LinkedIn)
March 23, 2012
Ronnie Smith, as President of Writer’s Relief, helped open the doors of publication for me. I boldly sent her three stories, my first stories ever written, and through her service and recommendations, all three stories were accepted for publication in literary magazines. Later, through her service, a story published in The MacGuffin literary magazine brought me to the attention of the literary agent Nat Sobel. Without Writer’s Relief and Ronnie’s attention to detail, I would never have had such early success.
I recommend Ronnie and her staff at Writer’s Relief to writers, old and new, and to those retirees who take my adult education classes at Brevard College in North Carolina.
Nancy P. (as posted on LinkedIn)
March 12, 2012
Writer’s Relief has been my writing coach, agent, and conscience. Without deadlines and expert advice, I would not have attained the success I have achieved in a short period of time. For anyone who seriously wants to get published, Writer’s Relief is the only way to go without suffering defeat, frustration, and confusion. Thank you, Writer’s Relief.
March 2, 2012
Dear Writer’s Relief,
Without your advice and guidance, I would not be able to have all these acceptances and, therefore, have such a stimulus to write more!
February 29, 2012
Dear Writer’s Relief,
I just received my second short story acceptance today. You should know that this whole concept of writing a short story began when it was suggested to me in a conference session that I take my novel, Reunion, and search it for possible leads for submitting a short story for publication. Frankly, that idea would never have occurred to me. Both “The Cowboy” and “The Closer” came directly from that novel, and in slightly less than a year, both stories have been accepted for publication. I love you guys!
January 30, 2012
I write. I devote my creative energy to producing publishable work. Writer’s Relief, in partnership with me, deals with the business of publishing my poetry and essays in appropriate journals. This is an active partnership, requiring equal energy on both sides. It works for me because I see it as a partnership—I produce high-quality work, I know the caliber of the journals and publications I want to publish in, and we work together to make that happen. I’m in continuing dialogue with my specific contacts, who respond to my needs and inclinations and gauge the appropriateness of my work for specific publications. The result has been an ever-increasing number of publication credits in noteworthy journals—and with every acceptance comes a fresh surge of creative energy.
January 9, 2012
Thanks so much for all your help. Working with Writer’s Relief has been a real treat, and I hope our paths will cross again in the future!
With all best wishes,
Christina Kapp (Peter K. Hixson Award Winner)