Posted for Sam Brooks by Joe Harris
It was difficult looking for a website to publish a “Sam Brooks” essay on. I say this because I never imagined I would ever even consider publishing something that I have written. After looking across the web for a while I found Slice Magazine. I decided I liked this website the best because it seemed to have a younger persons feel, as well as a section for specific issue areas that would be perfect for what I want to turn my writing from this class in to. I wrote two pieces about my love for the west, specifically the great state of Wyoming. I also made my class pick an essay that gets the reader in touch with the wild world through national parks. I decided that if I was going to publish a piece it was going to make a difference. So I want to combine my experiences in Wyoming and their meaning to me, in addition to the fact that the national parks and other protected lands make this joy possible. I want people who don’t know anything about it to yearn for a trip to Yellowstone or Yosemite. And Slice magazine seems to be the perfect platform to reach out to people to inspire them to protect these wild places. There are lands that are still at threat of human harm. But the more people write about it the more hope there is.
The second website I would use would be figment. I decided I would also like to publish my piece “Rink Think” about the time I spent thinking and feeling different emotion during my brothers hockey game. This piece starts to get into my view on growing up and moving through the different stages of your life. I believe the message is that everything comes back together and you grow in different ways as you experience things in different ways. I chose figment because I researched good places to publish to teens since this piece is about my growth through the stage of lives these kids are about to experience.
As I googled places to publish freelance essays I found that The Boston Globe publishes 650-word personal essays about relationships. I would submit my piece, The Sitting Room, about my relationship with my mom and step-dad for the publication. My essay is about 3 times this length so I would have to revise it in order to fit the word count. I would have to work on finding the most important information while also making it powerful without all the backstory I have. I think that could be an exercise that would help my growth as a writer.
I also looked into publishing on CreativeNonFiction.org. They look for personal essays between 5,000-10,000 words. I would also rework The Sitting Room to fit within this criteria but instead I would have to add a lot more to my essay, which would most likely change focus, all though it would be on the same topic.
I’m choosing to consider publishing my first essay, Choices. The two places I would potentially publish them are to Narratively (http://narrative.ly/contribute/) and Luna Luna (http://www.lunalunamagazine.com/join-the-coven/). Narratively is a place for personal stories and has no requirements for publishing. Luna Luna seems more like a site geared towards women with a Feminist vibe – they accept poetry, creative non fiction, personal essays and much more. Luna Luna doesn’t have many requirements with only “WE DO NOT SUPPORT anything racist, sexist, xenophobic, body-shaming, ageist or homophobic. We will tell you to fuck off, and then we’ll hex your ass.” as a suggestion of what not to submit. Neither of these sites pay for publishing. If I were to publish to either of them I would definitely want to go through my piece again and possibly make some additions or changes to enhance the story.
Out of everything I’ve written this semester, I would for sure publish my piece What True Regret Sounds Like. This piece is an analysis of the Foo Fighters deep track “I Should Have Known.” It is both an examination of the song’s meanings, as well as a thorough discussion of the nature of regret. Even right after writing the first draft, I knew this piece was meant to be online, based on it’s structure around the song lyrics and overall language and tone.
I would love to get this piece published on Noisey or Pitchfork – both fairly popular sites focusing on the current events of music. First off, there is still more information I believe should be added to the piece before publishing. The paper as a whole also needs to be trimmed down a bit to better fit online. Packing more information into less space is going to be difficult, however it can be done! Lastly, I think the overall demeanor of my voice in the piece varies between casual to formal. Depending on the site I try to publish it to, I need to pick the most fitting voice and stick with it.
The piece I am interested in publishing is “We Can’t Control Our Trauma, But We Can Control Our Recovery”, and I think I would like to publish it (ideally) in the ‘Lives’ Section of the New York Times. I would also be interested in submitting to Salon Magazine in the Life Stories section.
In order to make my piece ready for publication for a place like ‘Lives’, I would have to trim it down as submissions there run about 800 words. I’d definitely need to readjust the beginning to focus it more on what happened or take my reader straight into the action because they suggest that you start with the action instead of a drawn out introduction. For Salon Magazine, the submission guidelines are much more vague, but the pieces in the Life Stories section there focus more on what people have learned from their life so I’d redirect my piece to be more about my recovery than my actual trauma.
After looking into the subjects that could fall between high-brow philosophy and low-brow video games, I decided that the two publications to consider submitting my piece, Pre-Programmed Dreams (the Essay developed from X4 on the video game Skyrim) would be Polygon or The Pinch.
Polygon is a website primarily focussed on news within the video game and movie communities with featured articles using those media as frameworks for more sophisticated ideas. In regards to formatting, they tend to be varied, letting the pieces breath as they need to, ranging from borderline long form essays to quick video reviews. In order to pursue publishing, I believe that the biggest hurdle would be the continued development of the philosophy in the context of the game so that it would feel more at home within the publication regardless of a desired spot in the featured section.
The Pinch is much less specific. The Pinch is a literary journal that takes submissions over a nine month period via a competion format. Within the Creative Nonfiction setting, stories range from political to personal narrative. If anything, I think the introduction of my piece reading more like fiction could help it stand out. For its continued development, I would look to putting more emphasis on the philosophy itself. While the game acts as the vehicle for me to go into the ideas of Zen, the core still wants to be Zen which in this current iteration, I feel as though the piece is lacking.
Posted in Uncategorized
The piece that I would want to be published is (you guessed it) my piece about Joey Bada$$. I’ve really grown attached to this piece, and I feel like publishing it through Medium brought a whole new life to it that excites me. I’d like to have it out there professionally after doing some more refining. There are two places I’ve found that I think would be cool to have it published on.
The first is Slate Magazine. What attracted me to Slate is its diversity. There is tons of content on the site—there’s something for everyone on it. Because there’s so much content, it’s divided up into very specific categories. There is a category set aside for the Arts, and another category within that for Music. Their Music section is not very congested, so I feel like I might have a decent chance of getting some views on the story. Slate is also very modern, so I hope that my piece could resonate with Slate’s general audience.
The second is a little bit less likely, but Noisey, which is VICE’s music publication, occasionally accepts submissions and will publish them for “Open Submission Wednesdays.” Obviously, Noisey’s audience would be my ideal target audience for a piece like this. VICE is known as a “hip” news source and their audience is known to be fairly young, which again bodes well for the topic of rap music. It would be a long shot I’m sure, because VICE is such a large organization and probably gets hundreds of submissions every day, but it would be really cool if I could somehow make it happen.
If I was to submit a piece for publication, I would pick “Finding Common Ground at the Kitchen Table.” This is the essay that I wrote about my trip to Nicaragua with the organization buildOn. One of the places that I would submit my piece to is the buildOn website. They publish pieces written by people who have either gone on a Trek with the organization or have done community service events with the organization. The website did not specify any specific guidelines, but through looking at some of the published pieces I think that my piece would fit their expectations. One thing that I would change to my piece in order to submit it to buildOn, would be to mention more about the organization and the specific work I did with them in the village, such as my days on the worksite of the school we were building.
The second place that I would submit my piece to is AFAR Wayfare, which is an online version of AFAR Magazine. AFAR is a travel magazine focused on sharing stories that inspire people to travel and experience different cultures. My piece focuses on my connection with my host family and the sharing of our cultures, so I think that content my piece would work for this publication. They ask that pieces are 500-1000 words, so I would need to cut down my piece or just focus on one part of my piece. Many of the pieces on the website include short paragraphs and sentences, so I would work on my piece so that it is structured similarly to pieces that have already been published on their site. They also ask that you do not include cliches, so I would make sure to go through my piece and get rid of any cliches that I have included.
If I were to publish a piece, it would probably be “Playlist,” the essay I wrote about my trip to Texas with my father. I found two online publications where I think my piece might fit in, Hippocampus Magazine, and The Sun Magazine. They both publish a lot of personal pieces, and are open to many different styles and topics. I like that they are fairly care-free, while taking submissions seriously.
To get the piece ready for publishing, I think I would tweak it to make it more about the music, and how my dad and I relate to it. I would focus more on what the music means to us and how it defines our relationship, instead of spending so much time talking about the trip itself. I might also try to fine-tune the humor, because right now, I’m not sure that most readers would appreciate the jokes, and I want it to appeal to a broad range of people.