We are thrilled to share the recent success stories of our writers and instructors!
PWN Lunchtime Writer Roux Bedrosian said: “Since I started regularly attending Project Write Now classes in 2020, I’ve written so many pieces of poetry, flash fiction, and memoir, work that I’m actually proud of! I also gained the confidence and insight I needed to start submitting my work to various mags for publication. I’m thrilled to share that I received my first THREE acceptances simultaneously through Coffin Bell, a literary journal focused on macabre and creative works of horror. Specifically, one piece of poetry and two works of short fiction will be featured in their January 2023 issue.”
Charles Chrystol, a student in Memoir Intensive, recently got an encouraging response on his short memoir “Earth to Gwen, Hello?” from a pretty impressive publication. The editor stated: “This was a strong piece with a vibrant voice, but it’s not working quite yet—there’s a bit of misdirection in the middle that needs refocusing, and I think this needs to be part of a longer story to help the subject become more human. There’s definitely something here!”
Songwriting instructor Mimi Cross is excited to share that after two years of work she finally completed a pitch deck for her YA novel Before Goodbye. She also finished three picture book texts including Little Badger’s Big Band. Little Badger’s favorite song is “One O’Clock Jump,” the theme song of the Count Basie Orchestra. Mimi said: “I’m hoping this book will provide an opportunity for me to share more about William James ‘Count’ Basie who was born in 1904 in Red Bank, New Jersey, the home base of Project Write Now.” And finally, Mimi shared that she got some more music out into the world in 2022. Take a listen to “The Alligator Waiter” on Apple or Spotify.
Jen de Richmond’s poem “Stone Egg in Aerie” has been accepted for publication in Friends Journal, a monthly Quaker magazine that combines first-person narrative, reportage, poetry, and news. “In Memoir Intensive—which is an intensely generative environment for me—I wrote a piece on my decades-long relationship with a beloved place, which has grown essential to my identity. In workshopping, Jennifer suggested adapting a section as a poem, which I did. This is the first poem that I’ve had published since my college literary journal. The original essay is currently under consideration for publication by Hidden Compass, where an editor called it intriguing.”
Eileen Farrell, a student in Memoir Intensive, shared that her short memoir “Florence On Our Own” was accepted for publication in the anthology The Road to El Dorado, which was published by Free Spirit about different road trips. Eileen said: “Everyone should apply to any of their opportunities to submit because if they accept you, you can get it in book form, which is very satisfying. This is the second of my stories they have taken and the first one, ‘My Nine Eleven Wedding,’ won an award.”
Lizzie Finn, PWN Screen Academy director said: “My own success story was having my submission ‘Sparking Midlife Joy: Releasing Baggage, Finding Hidden Treasure’ accepted for inclusion in the next Midlife on Fire anthology, edited by Karen M Bryson and CK Love. I truly support the mission of this anthology as I believe it is crucial we give voice to women’s stories in midlife. Women over 50 have been invisible for too long. My essay captures the journey of downsizing and letting go of the people, places, and things that no longer served me, which allowed me to find inner peace and joy.”
Lori Heninger, a student in Laura Cyphers’s Poetry class, said: “ I started the class during the pandemic, and throughout the years, the group has supported one another in our poetry journey. During the last year, I’ve been fortunate enough to have had three poems published, the first, “Tomatoes” in PoetryXHunger, the second in “Winter Bones” in The DillyDoun Review, and the third, “Cambodia Lessons,” in The Bangalore Review. I’m deeply grateful to PWN for the opportunity to, at age 65, explore my lifelong love of writing and reading poetry.”
Another Lunchtime Writer, Tina Hudak, shared: “While I was invited to read my work to the Takoma Park Arts Poetry series, I declined because I hate the sound of my voice! BUT, the invitation was encouraging. In the meantime, three artist’s books I had created and written prose for were juried into an online and on-site exhibition by the Philadelphia Center for the Book at the Free Library of Philadelphia. This too has been an honor. There were several rejections and “ghosting” of applications, but I feel that is just part of the lifestyle. My goal has been to apply to several written publications and art exhibitions each quarter of the year. I keep a detailed list of everything … and it gives me a smile. However, it is Friday’s Lunchtime Write-In that I truly look forward to and enjoy the most.”
Our operations & communications manager Elizabeth Jannuzzi reported her rejections as a success! In 2022, she received approximately 34 rejections from lit mags. “I’m proud of myself for 1) getting an essay in shape enough to submit and 2) putting myself out there. Rejection always stings but like the lottery says, ‘You gotta be in it, to win it!’ Plus, I received two rejections with personal notes. Hippocampus said I made the shortlist for their current issue. And CRAFT said ‘We admired your clear prose and the path of discovery you follow in the essay.’ Those are wins in my book!”