As you probably know, the host David Barr Kirtley is my boyfriend and all, but, I mean, he’s got some pretty tough podcast guest standards to meet.
One of the standards for Geek’s Guide’s writer guests is that they be actively publishing and/or building significantly toward their writing careers. And this past year, I guess I did just that. On top of writing new stuff, revising old stuff, submitting to literary magazines, and getting a piece accepted by Joyland, I also applied to 20 (yes, 20) creative writing MFA programs across the country. And because of this intense experience of eating, sleeping, and breathing MFA program research and applications for all of October 2018 through March 2019, he thought we should share all that knowledge with his listeners—especially concerning the current reception of speculative fiction in MFA programs.
Since I’ve been so MIA lately, I’ve sort of racked up a few things to brag about (luckily!). The first one to report is my publication with Paste Magazine back in June. It’s called “Why I Spent My Summer Vacation Dressed Like Hermione Granger,” and it’s an essay about my experience at a Harry Potter LARP I attended last summer.
Thanks to the talents of Madison Square Garden graphic designer and up-and-coming musician Brian Chin (who is also my good friend and former roommate), I now have a new banner for my website! He literally sent it to me yesterday, just in time for the beginning of 2017.
The new banner combines everything I love—the printed word, the handwritten word, sketches, and water color. If you look closely, you’ll see that Brian hand-drew the font and sketched not only books, but also a laptop, a spiral notebook, a coffee cup, and even a pencil. And that text in the background? Yeah it’s the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, one of my all-time favorite books.
You’ll also see a new image on the right side of this page that lets you sign up for my newsletter. As one of my goals in 2017, I’m going to start using MailChimp to update my subscribers whenever I have a new post on my site or any news to report (which means you’ll get an email maybe once a month, tops, since I’m pretty lazy). If you’re interested, please sign up for my mailing list by clicking that shiny new image! (Or just click here.)
And as is customary for a new year’s blog post, I suppose I should comment on 2016. I have a lot of friends who had the worst year of their lives. I have a lot of friends who had the best year of their lives. And I have a lot of friends who, despite their shock at what has become of the U.S. political scene, their sorrow over the loss of so many childhood heroes, and their horror at the many calamities happening around the world, still somehow managed to have a pretty good year both personally and professionally. This gives me hope that there’s always a spectrum, that a year can’t necessarily be summed up by one feeling or one event.
I was among those who had a pretty good year both personally and professionally. The biggest things, of course, involved getting back on the horse and saying “giddy up” to my writing productivity. I’m still working on sticking with good habits, but luckily I’m at the point where if I go for more than two weeks without doing any form of writing I start getting really uncomfortable and existential, and I start to berate myself. That’s healthy, right?
In summary, here is my 2016 year in review by the numbers:
60 submissions to literary and mainstream magazines and contests, which resulted in:
Kinda, sorta. Not full time. I came across an opportunity two months ago to start doing some online marketing and publicity in my spare time for Permuted Press and Post Hill Press. That’s pretty much why I’ve been MIA from the Anxiety of Authorship lately.
Permuted Press is a zombie fiction, science fiction/fantasy and horror fiction publisher. Post Hill Press focuses on nonfiction and mainstream/literary fiction. On top of making some extra money, I’ve been having a great time reaching out to blogs, websites, and podcasts to schedule author interviews and book reviews.
In order to keep track of all of the books I’ve been working on, I decided to create a website: www.grossmanmarketingpublicity.com. There, I will showcase the books and highlight some author interviews and book reviews that I’ve put in motion. Any feedback/comments are welcome, as I am still building the new site.
So what does this mean for the Anxiety of Authorship? Well, I’m still going to try to get at least one post up per month on here. I know that’s not much, and that I haven’t been doing that great of a job with posting to begin with, but it’s something. As much as I care about having a professional website to display my book marketing work, I also care about having an outlet for my raw thoughts and feelings about being a reader and a writer. So I plan to continue updating this blog as much as I can!
Any suggestions, including book marketing/publicity tips, would be greatly appreciated. I’m open to many ideas.