Publishing Mini-Workshop: How to Submit to Literary Journals


Publishing Mini-Workshop: How to Submit to Literary Journals


Level: All

Instructor: Kelly Shire

Location: Online
Duration: 2 Days
Begins: Sat., October 26, 2019
Ends: Sun., October 27, 2019


This is a two-day online workshop.

Do you have a finished short story or essay sitting in your computer waiting to be published? Are you unsure what to do next? Do you find the submission process beyond overwhelming?

Pen & Paper nonfiction instructor, Kelly Shire is here to help.

Submitting your creative work to literary journals, contests and festivals can feel equally daunting and confusing. How to start? Is my work ready to go out into the world? What journal should I submit to first? Can I handle rejection? In this two-day workshop, those questions and more will be answered. Ms. Shire will explain her writing process (how she writes a short story or essay, and how she decides if and when it’s ready for publication). She’ll discuss first readers, paying a copy editor, the intricacies of what literary journals and magazines expect in a submission, and what their editors look for in a story or essay.

She’ll also cover getting work ready for submission, how and where to submit, how to write a cover letter and an author biography, how to track your submissions, submissions do’s and don’ts, rejection and how to deal with it, and finally, what happens once you receive that glorious acceptance. You will complete the workshop with a finished biography, a template for a cover letter, and a usable sample submissions tracker. By the end of the workshop, you will have the tools and information you need to take that leap and submit!

Day 1

Submitting Your Work – A Brief Discussion on What & How

My Story – Instructor’s Submission History & Process

Lesson - Rules for Submitting (The Dos and Don’ts)

Instructor Chat

Lesson – How to Write a Cover Letter

Writing Exercise – Write Your Cover Letter

Lesson - Is Your Work Ready to Submit?

Homework – Create a List of 5 Journals to Which You Might Submit Your Work

Day 2

Discussion & Comments – Your List of Literary Journals

Instructor Chat

Discussion – Rejection & How to Handle It

Lesson – How to Write a Bio

Writing Exercise – Write Your Bio

Lesson – How to Track Your Submissions

Exercise – Let’s Submit! An Hour for You to Try Submitting

Instructor – Online Availability for Questions

Lesson – An Acceptance? Congratulations & Now What?

Instructor Bio

Kelly Shire holds an MFA in Fiction from California State University, Long Beach, but these days primarily writes nonfiction and personal essays. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous online and print journals, including Brevity Magazine, Under the Gum Tree, Entropy, The Coachella Review, Full Grown People,  Hippocampus, and The Museum of Americana.  Many of her essays engage with pop culture, especially music, and she has contributed essays to Memoir Mixtapes, The RS 500 online project, and March Vladness, an annual music genre tourney curated by editor Ander Monson.

 In 2016, she was the winner of the inaugural merit scholarship to attend the HippoCamp Nonfiction conference in Lancaster, PA and has also attended workshops sponsored by Tin House and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Her essay “I Dream of Department Stores” appears in the anthology SPENT: Exposing Our Complicated Relationship with Shopping, published by Seal Press.

 Kelly is a third-generation native of Southern California and continues to live in the region with her husband and two teenagers. She has previously taught composition and creative writing classes at CSU Long Beach, Chapman University, and Mt. San Jacinto College Extension. Currently, she is a library assistant at a public high school and is completing a memoir about family, music, and road trips.





“I recently took a non-fiction memoir writing class with Kelly Shire and it was fabulous! Kelly was very engaging, encouraging, and super accepting of everyone in the class. Always prepared, always fun.”

Tiffany  Weis, Murrieta, CA