Happy 2020 and welcome to the future.
Before the year progresses too far, Submittable’s Discover blog editors are taking a look back. In 2019, we published over 100 posts for creatives, with emphasis on writing, film, photography, creativity, rejection, and humor. More than 43,000 of you were kind enough to visit, 90% of you doing so for the first time. Thank you.
In case you missed some of 2019’s best guest blogs, here’s a roundup. It’s never easy to narrow down a list with so many fabulous writers contributing on a regular basis (want to contribute? You can!).
Nevertheless, the following pieces, arranged chronologically, were some of our best-visited and most-loved. Please enjoy—and share them if the spirit moves you. Special thanks to Josh Quick, Submittable blog illustrator extraordinaire.
Paying Markets, Free Sci-Fi
Resource lists are a blessing for busy writers and submitters, especially where money is concerned. In this piece, E.J. LeRoy shares thirteen markets for the sci-fi- and fantasy-inclined that are free to submit to and that compensate writers. This guest author, who writes in all genres, has also penned lists for submitters seeking to make simultaneous sci-fi submissions or write for children and teens, as well as a blog on the benefits of publishing in anthologies.
It’s Time for My Weekly Writing Newsletter and I Have Nearly Given Up
If you receive any writerly newsletters, you know they’re often brimming with positivity and productivity, tending to privilege accomplishments, insight, and action. Here, comedien Adrienne Teeley offers an alternative take—the sort of honest missive one might send when their writing life is actually pretty lousy. Because lousy is actually really funny.
6 Tips for Successful Poetry Readings
Bad readings are one of life’s more unpleasant experiences—and no writer wants to inflict that harm onto others if they can help it. John Sibley Williams, an editor and poet with two full-length collections, comes to the rescue with thorough, actionable ideas for making every poetry event a success. From planning tips to event-day suggestions, this blog will help your reading be less of a bummer.
History and Horror Noire: An Interview with Director Xavier Burgin
Xavier Burgin is the director of Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, which traces the horror genre and its tropes through time, acknowledging early in the film that “black history is black horror.” In this conversation with David Licata, Burgin discusses the film’s origins and inspiration, as well as his own goals for both this project and the future of the industry.
How to Write When Life is Sad and Wretched
Life happens and when it’s hard, writing can seem impossible. How do you soldier on in the midst of crisis, whether because you need to or want to? Freelance writer and children’s book author Vicki Wilson shares insights gleaned from her experience writing in the midst of grief, a time that she believes made her writing that much better.
7 Ways to Mine Your Neighborhood for Photography Opportunities
Could inspiration be just outside your front door? Writer and photographer Kelsey Zimmerman thinks so. Here, she offers seven great ideas for pursuing photographic projects in your own neck of the woods. Even if you know your neighborhood inside out (or think you do), there are always possibilities to see (and capture) it anew.
How to Write a Compelling Novel Synopsis
To successfully pitch a novel, you shouldn’t write a novel about it. An effective synopsis can do wonders for your career, provided you’re able to hone in on the appropriate details and share them persuasively. Editor and fiction writer Andrea Johnson has distilled powerful advice for writers in this regard. She also writers great guest blogs for Submittable regularly on a range of writerly topics, from book reviews to research and critiques.
On Dragonflies, Poetry, and Playwriting
One of Submittable’s 2019 Eliza So Fellows, Alan Pelaez Lopez, shares their experience in Montana, working on the book Libélulas, a choreopoem tracing the spiritual and emotional life of an unnamed Zapotec toddler.
“The shape-shifting of my work is in part informed by the mountains and waterscapes of Missoula,” Lopez writes.
Stay tuned for details on this year’s Eliza So Fellowship—applications open January 15, 2020.
Researchstorming: How to Research Before You Write
Stephanie Loomis Pappas brings insight to the Discover blog on the regular, drawn from experience as a parenting blogger and PhD in Rhetoric and Composition. This piece is the first in a four part series on research, focused on research as fruitful brainstorming. For more from this author, check out articles on blogging for beginners and research for parent bloggers.
7 Tips for Dealing with Rejection
Among many great guest blogs, the ultimate adieu to 2019: an illustrated humor piece on facing rejection. Cartoonist Emily Flake’s keen wit makes lollygagging in self-loathing (really digging into failure with food, anger, drama, and even masturbation) a little more palatable. If you’re not experiencing enough disappointment at present, consider taking part in #Rejection100, the ultimate feel-good-about-feeling-bad Facebook group for rejects.
Other Notable Work
Because ten posts just isn’t enough.
- How to Elevate Your Photography Without Buying Any Gear
- Critique Partners: Four Tips to Finding That Someone Special
- 8 Tips for Marketing Your Film Production
- Flash Novella Recipe
- Lessons I Learned in Writing My #Metoo Story
- A Case for Working a Job You Don’t Love
- 5 Tips for Getting the Book Cover You Love (Or at Least Can Get Behind)
- How Accepting Mediocrity Helped Me Become a Better Writer
- How to Publish a Book of Despairing Poems
- Less Famous Second Lines from Great Works of Literature
Enjoy more great guest blogs year round on Submittable’s Discover site for creatives.