Saturday, August 13, 2011

Focus on a small press: Pilgrimage

If you're a writer seriously attempting to get your stories or articles an audience, you can easily get drowned by the requirements of the publishing world.

Keeping a log of every story and where, when and how it was received (rejected), or comments an editor or agent might have sent. There are deadlines, submission requirements and heavy questions like: do they want Spanish words italicized or underlined? Or not?

This last week I was even given specs of a novel I should write if I wanted to get published. (None of my five completed MSS fit this person's expectations.) Of course, there are few guarantees in the world of publishing, so even if I were to write such a speced novel, it might only become the sixth to populate my files.

Anyway, in all the mayhem of publishing activities, one can forget what one is doing, what one is part of, and what the whole purpose of this hobby, business or passion is about. It's about writing. Creating. A story or poem that wants to see the light of the printed page. Characters or verse that have a need to let themselves be known, watched, read and maybe even liked.

A small press like Pilgrimage can help set you back on track. It's been around for years doing its thing. It's not a very complicated, deadline-driven, heavily textually demanding thing. It's a print magazine. With stories. Here's the website description.

"Pilgrimage is:

• a small magazine living the big questions

• a community-in-print serving an eclectic fellowship of readers, writers, artists, naturalists, contemplatives, activists, seekers, adventurers, and other kindred spirits

• a place to tell the stories that matter

• an invitation to inward and outward exploration

• and an appreciation of the way home"

"Pilgrimage, founded in 1976, is published three times a year in Pueblo, Colorado. We feature the work of writers and artists in and beyond the Greater Southwest. Help sustain a good thing."

And just because it's a small press, doesn't mean it's of small stature. The editor-publisher Maria Melendez has credentials: Latino Poetry Review and Momotombo Press editorship; Utah State University and Saint Mary's College teacher; community outreach poet-teacher and two anthologies with California Poets in the Schools; writer-in-residence UC Davis Arboretum; founding editor Swan Scythe Press; poetry collection How Long She'll Last in This World (University of Arizona Press, 2006), Honorable Mention 2007 International Latino Book Awards; finalist 2007 PEN Center USA Literary Awards; poetry collection Flexible Bones from University of Arizona Press (2010); her works in Altar, Orion Afield and Isotope, NPR's American Democracy Project, Barrow Street, International Quarterly and Ecological Restoration. You get the picture.

You can click here to visit the website and order current or past issues. The website is as uncomplicated as the magazine: black type on white page, all that writing amounts to, in the end, at least until a reader transforms it. About the only thing I wish is that there were more examples available of poetry and fiction they've published. If you've "lost your way home" or want to "help sustain a god thing," here's the link to their guidelines.

Now I'm going to go back to writing. Something. And take my time.

Es todo, hoy



Melinda Palacio said...

A good thing indeed. Pilgrimage is a wonderful magazine, run by a talented poet, editor, and publisher.

C.M. Mayo said...

Thanks for alerting me (us) to Pilmgrimage. Bravo, Maria M!

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