ARCHIVE FOR Alexandra Grabbe

The How, the Why, and the Wherefore of Publishing My Dad’s Memoir

Coming up for air on the bumpy self-publishing road.  Bumpy and dusty.  I can finally see emerald towers glistening in the distance.  I hold Émigré in my hands and think back over the journey, which started when my ninety-seven-year-old father passed away, entrusting me with his unpublished memoir.  From 2000 to 2005, I contacted agents and publishing houses. My power query included a first paragraph indicating endorsement from none other than Dwight Macdonald’s wife Nancy, who financed politics, a lit mag popular in the 1940s:

January 27, 2015 | Alexandra Grabbe

Inspiration Self-Publishing

Literary Magazines: They Matter.

By Alexandra Grabbe

Let me share something brilliant that recently occurred to me: literary magazines matter in the effort to publish a first book.  Why?  Literary agents prefer them to slush.  I’m not sure when this realization hit, but it happened during the spring, perhaps at the conclusion of Masters Fiction, hearing the most gracious Ladette Randolph describe her role as editor of Ploughshares or during Becky Tuch’s a la carte session at the Muse and particularly after her statement that nine literary agents had contacted the author of one short story in Crab Orchard (!) or recently ...

May 28, 2014 | Alexandra Grabbe

Craft Advice Literary Magazines

Five Stars: Shaping the Short Story Collection

Four books arrived in the mail last week.  I need new books because I’m going to spend Thanksgiving with my grandkids in California. Since I hate airplane travel, I never look forward to this biannual trip, although it does oblige me to sit still for five hours straight, the perfect opportunity to catch up on reading.  I slit the cellophane wrap with a kitchen knife and lift out the precious volumes chosen for Los Angeles, 2013.

November 18, 2013 | Alexandra Grabbe

Success Stories

The Digital Age Is Now!

By Alexandra Grabbe

In March I attended a Grub Street event at the YMCA in Cambridge.  The room was packed with published authors, as well as eager, unpublished writers like myself. Grubbies all, we had come to glean bits of wisdom from a young literary agent who was ahead of the pack.  I knew this because Jason Ashlock immediately praised our favorite writing center

June 29, 2012 | Alexandra Grabbe

The Magic of "Finding Your Book"

By Alexandra Grabbe

When I sat down with ten strangers for a first session of Joanne Wyckoff’s Finding Your Book, I had no idea the eight-week course would prove so memorable.  A year later, every time I passed our empty classroom during break, pangs of nostalgia would shoot through me

March 20, 2012 | Alexandra Grabbe

Inspiration Success Stories