Ask Mary: Mary Sojourner answers questions about your writing


[Feature image: Derek Bridges]

I’ve been in the writing business for thirty years, as a writer, editor, and teacher. I left Rochester, New York December 28, 1984, driving a 1983 Firebird and towing the smallest UHaul. I pulled up in front of a little malpais house in Flagstaff, Arizona January 4, 1985. Three months later, I began writing my first novel, Sisters of the Dream. Six months later, I sent out my first short story, Delicate. In the last twenty-nine years, I’ve written two other novels, two memoirs, maybe a hundred short stories, even more columns and commentaries.

I’ve seen the publishing industry go from mailing hard copies and making phone calls to zapping submissions back and forth on the internet; from hard copy ads to social networking; from unwieldy, yet personal communication to formula texts. But no matter how much the internet and big publishing have altered the way a writer builds a career, good writing still matters.

Once a month I’ll answers your questions about anything related to writing and publishing. You may be just beginning, moving from journal/blog to submitting for publication, blocked, and/or wanting to hone your craft. Any question you ask – about improving your writing, getting past blocks, submitting work, building your writing career – I’ll either be able to answer or find a source/person that will.

If you have any questions about writing or the writing industry, leave them in the comments below. I’ll answer any that are left before December 22, 2014. Feel free to also leave your blog/website address.

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