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Creative Writing: Getting Published

A guide to research by Pratima Ghale at Mt. Holyoke College. Used with permission for students at Hollins University, using Wyndham Robertson Library.

Publishing Directories and Guides

Establishing a web presence

Online Literary Journals

An ever increasing number of literary journals are moving online or being started online.  Some of these may offer new writers a lower threshold for getting published.  There doesn't seem to be any single, comprehensive directory of this type of journal, but here are a couple of sources:

Blogs

This is a relatively new phenomenon, but some writers have gotten their work published in print by first getting noticed for their work on a blog (a famous example: Julie Powell's Julie and Julia which began life as the Julie/Julia Project blog).  There are lots of free blog tools available on the web.  Some examples:

Already published authors also use Blogs as a means of promoting their careers.  On that note . . .

Web Sites

Many authors also have their own web sites in addition to or instead of blogs.  All you need to create a web page is space on a web server and access to a web page editor.  There are any number of hosting services that offer web server space for a fee, some, like Google Sites, offer a limited amount of space for free (though in some cases the free sites come with ads).  Web page editors don't necessarily require that you know HTML code, though it does help to know at least some of this markup language because you can more easily customize your web page or blog if you understand what's going on underneath. For more information:

  • Hosting Services
    • Use a search engine like Google to search the terms "web hosting services reviews" to find sites that rate web hosting services
  • Web Editors (selective list - there are lots out there!)
    • Kompozer - A free, cross-platform (available for PC and Mac!) web editing program that you can download and install on your personal computer.  Note: this application is not supported by LITS,  but they do have online support forums and user guides on their Community page.
    • Google Sites - A free, web-based editor.  Google Sites also offers limited space for hosting your web pages.
  • Learn HTML
    • W3Schools offers free, online web building tutorials

Social Media

There are so many blogs and web pages out there that it's no longer enough to have a blog or a web site to get noticed.  Social media tools like Facebook and Twitter can be used to direct traffic to your blog or web site.  Tell your Facebook friends to vist or "like" your blog, Tweet your web site's URL asking followers to visit.  Hopefully not only they will visit, but their "friends" or "followers" will come along.  Some potentially helpful articles on this topic: