All posts tagged Publishing

Publishers Need You!

Published December 27, 2013 by M E McMahon


If you’re a writer, a poet or a photographer, I’m sure you dream of having your work published.  Perhaps you’ve already accomplished that goal and can add the publication of your work to your list of credits when submitting your future work to publishers. But, what if there were no more markets for your hard work?  What if print magazines became a thing of the past or e-zines become extinct due to lack of support?  Where are we to go? What happens to those great short stories, those touching poems or those amazing photos?

No one will see them.  That’s what happens.  How can we prevent that? We can support the publishers that do take a chance on us…who dedicate their time and resources to helping others to get our work in front of the public.

Many of these magazines are run by people who take no salary; they make nothing. Why do they do it? Because they believe in us and they don’t want to stem the tide of creativity that flows from our words or photos. But, with hard economic times, many of these publications are closing their doors.  They need money to continue supporting new and emerging writers; gifted poets and talented photographers.

We must keep in mind that self-publishing is not an option for a short story writer or other small works.  If these publications disappear from view, we will have nowhere to send our stories.  So, how can we help?

Some publications, such as The Storyteller Magazine, offers subscriptions or per copy rates.  If you want a home for your piece, you could order a copy and see if that magazine would make a good home for your story.  Many of these magazines also offer critique services, which I have relied on to “shine up” my stories and at a very low fee, such as Alphie Dog Fiction.  Some of these publications offer you a way to “Pay it forward” by making a donation or paying a reading fee which goes to support programs for young writers.

“But, I want to make money…not spend money!” you cry. Well, unless we support the publishers there will not be a paying market for your work or a place for people to read your stories.

Regina Williams, Editor of Storyteller Magazine, told me that due to the economy, she might be forced to discontinue publishing the print editions and go to an e-zine. This is an international magazine, recognized for it’s quality literature by Harvard University, that will no longer be able to publish print editions.  That would be a huge loss to libraries, schools and writers! We can help!

Check out the Storyteller Magazine, which supports new and emerging writers like us, and order a copy of the magazine.  Or, better yet, sign up for a subscription.  You will be investing in the future of not only the magazine, but a market that is in danger of disappearing from bookshelves!

I live on a limited income, but I do order copies of magazines to see if my stories fit their themes; I pay “reading fees” which are actually donations to support the publications or their young writer programs.  I consider this money an investment in my own future.  If writers will support these publications, they can stay in business and remain an venue in which our work can be published.

So, support these magazines and we’ll all benefit!

Yours in Writing,

M E McMahon

Another Milestone Reached!

Published July 12, 2013 by M E McMahon


There is no better feeling than waking up in the morning and finding that you have a reason to do the Happy Dance!  Today, I received an acceptance e-mail from an online magazine publisher informing me that an article I had submitted was being scheduled for publication.  Oh yeah, definitely a Happy Dance moment.

I am quite honored to have my article appear in Totally For Women (T4W) as it is gaining quite a reputation for it’s contents aimed at “women who weren’t born yesterday.” It has been featured in Good Housekeeping (May 2013) so I am quite honored to be a contributor on their site.

One of my goals was to build my publishing credits and this acceptance is another milestone I have reached in my journey!  I will update you when the article is published and I hope you can take the time to visit T4W and take a look!

I have provided a link above but I also want my fellow writers to know that this site is looking for contributors and you should take a look at their content and see if you have something that would fit in with their style and content.  They don’t pay, but it’s another star on your publishing credits and who knows?  Maybe the next step will be a article of yours appearing in a National Magazine.  So, give them a visit and a try!  I’ve also put a link to the magazine in the “Sites I’ve Discovered” blog roll in the sidebar.

Once again, I have you to thank, my fellow WordPress bloggers, for the support, encouragement and comments you send my way each day.  And please, let me know anytime you get to do the Happy Dance so I can promote your work as you have done for mine.

Yours In Writing,

M E McMahon

Getting Down To Business

Published July 11, 2013 by M E McMahon


I was sitting at my writing table this morning and noticed the piles of paper scattered around.  Unfinished stories, works that are ready for submission that are crying to be released and chapters of my novel gathering dust.  I wondered how this had happened; what have I been doing with the time I should be writing, submitting and revising that novel?

It was time to sit down and figure out just what I wanted to do with my writing.  I’ve gotten some stories published; was that enough for me?  No, I thought.  I want so much more than that.  I want to finish my novel; I want to be published in some of the top magazines and I want to leave my granddaughter the memory that her grandmother had achieved success as a writer.

I am retired now, but I spent most of my life in the business world.  It wasn’t hard to realize what was happening with my writing career.  I was failing to treat it like a business. For me to succeed as a writer, I must use the skills I used in my working life.

I have to create a writing schedule and stick to it.  I have to organize my publishing resources for easy reference when I needed them.  And I have to make a commitment…the same type of commitment I would need when starting a new job.

The haphazard approach to my career I have used in the past will only delay and possibly eliminate any future success I might have.  So, it’s time to get down to business.

I am developing a workable writing schedule that I am going to keep.  No more excuses; no more procrastinating; no more dragging my heels.  I am also setting deadlines for myself (realistic ones of course) and try to meet them in a timely manner.  Having a deadline eliminates procrastination and provides motivation to get the job done!

I am making a commitment that I will work hard to achieve my goals.  No more fooling around; if I want to succeed I need to put the work in.  Just as if I’m holding a full time job, I need to apply my skills to excel at what I’m doing.

If you’re finding you’re in the same position I am, I suggest you might want to follow my lead if you want to achieve success as a writer.  New writers don’t have agents, editors and publishers to do the work for them; we have to do it ourselves.  Realizing that it takes work to get your work out there is the first step to success in any career.

So, wish me luck.  I’ll keep you updated on the progress as I open up the doors on my new business.

Yours in Writing,

M E McMahon

Cruising For Critters

Published July 2, 2013 by M E McMahon


I love my Critters!  No, not the birds outside my window, or the gator in the lake down the road, or my new puppy..I mean people who give me feedback on my work. Critiques are an invaluable tool for writers, poets, photographers and bloggers and we sometimes have to cruise around to find those people I lovingly call “Critters.”

Now, some people play it safe and just let family members or close friends take a look and let you know how they liked it.  And, that’s good!  But, are you really going to get an honest answer?  Or, are they equipped to offer a detailed critique?  Hmmm…I don’t know about you, but except for my daughter, my family and friends lack the skill to look at my story and find possible holes I missed, dialogue that doesn’t ring true, or have suggestions on how to strengthen the plot.

So, where do we find these people willing to read our work and give us their honest feedback or some really valuable constructive criticism?  I have been lucky in finding a few options that I can choose from when I want a different set of eyes to evaluate my stories or chapters from my work-in-progress novel.

What’s that you say?  Oh, yes, editors will critique your work and offer professional critiques and help you make that story shine like a brand new Caddy.  But, first, you have to submit your story and get accepted before an editor will work with you, right?  If you send in a hot mess…well, you know what happens to those manuscripts.  So, I suggest you get some feedback before rushing that work out to a publisher.

I have found it very helpful, especially with the chapters of my novel, to get critiques and evaluate what the Critters tell me.  I take it on the chin when they point out what they don’t like because they often have a valid point.  After all, our purpose in submitting work to publishers is to be read…by readers.  So, who better to ask for help then from the readers themselves?

There are many Critique forums available out there on the Internet, but the one that was suggested by a great blogging buddy, Gwen at The 4 A.M. Writer Blog has really welcomed me with open arms and been extremely helpful with my novel.  Critique Circle has a great bunch of people who really want to help you, and so far, I’ve received some really positive and constructive advice on those chapters I have had reviewed.

Now, be prepared to work for those critiques.  Critique Circle requires you to critique other writers before you can submit your work.  There is also a time delay before your piece goes up for review.  But, the wait is well worth it to get that oh so valuable feedback.

We have another great option here in the wonderful world of WordPress.  I have used the “Feedback” option and selected a few of my followers to read and critique chapters of my novel, and it has been a wonderful experience.  They know who they are and they will be included in the Acknowledgement section of my book…count on it, my friends.

I have used paid critique services for very short stories, as they are expensive to use and I don’t use them often.  Most times, I turn to them when a deadline is involved for submission and I’m under the gun.  I consider it an investment, but not one I want to make everyday.

So, if you’re cruising for Critters, check out Critique Circle or try out the Feedback option. Or, go out there in Cyberspace and find one that fits your needs.  Because, I feel that everyone needs a Critter or two before sending those stories to a Publisher.  At least, I know I do!

Yours in Writing,


A New Page In My Life

Published June 30, 2013 by M E McMahon


Yes, today is a big day for me.  This is my debut as a Published Writer.  Wow, it’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that a Publisher accepted one of my stories and it is now published on ALFIE DOG FICTION.  My short story “The Confession” was released today and two more stories are scheduled to be published in July.

This is also the debut for my new blog site, “A Dream Come True” which I have created to take readers along on my journey of becoming a successful published writer and (dare I say it) a published novelist.

So, all in all, a really exciting day.  This is the first post I’ve written on this new site and I hope that you will feel free to look around and learn a little about me and my journey.  If you read the pages posted on the blog site, you’ll discover the reasons for a second blog and a little about what I hope to accomplish with it.

Some of you have already honored me by following my personal blog “Grandma Says” and for that, I can’t express how much it has meant to me to be welcomed into your blogs and all the wonderful comments you have shared with me.  I hope you will find this site helpful and motivating in your own personal journey of being a successful writer, poet, photographer or blogger.  A lot of people helped me when I first started “Grandma Says” and now it’s time to return the favor.

So, my first post is to point all of your emerging writers and poets to check out the site of the Publisher, Alphie Dog Fiction.  I had never submitted a story to be published before to an actual publisher, and let me tell you, these old knees were knocking.  But, Alphie Dog Fiction made the submission process so simple and easy to follow.

Alphie Dog does offer payment for each download of your story, so check out their site.  I’m not planning on getting rich from them, but if people start to look for your name, your a successful author!  So, polish up those stories and if you think you have some that fit into this venue, get them submitted.  When published, they are available online, on Kindle or download them to your iPhone.  Neat, right?

Well, that’s all for now, it’s time for me to celebrate!  I hope you’ll check out my new site and for those of you who have been faithful followers of “Grandma Says”, don’t think I’m going to be any less vocal than usual there.

If you would like to check out Alphie Dog Fiction just click here and enjoy their site.

Your friend in Writing,

M E McMahon (aka Cranky Caregiver or just plain old Cranky)

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