Writing, Community & Government

The Business of Writing

Roxane Gay

Lesson time 08:04 min

Find out how to get your work into the world, step by step.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Getting Your Work Into the World · Do I Need an MFA? · Workshops


[MUSIC PLAYING] - Engaging in the business of writing can be incredibly overwhelming, but you cannot let that overwhelm keep you from learning how to advocate for yourself, learning what the business of writing is, and learning how the business of writing can actually serve your best interests. We're artists as writers. And as artists, we're not really terribly interested in legalese and contracts and the business of writing. And unfortunately, very few writers talk about the business of writing because they're so invested in the art of writing. And in some ways, they're right. Just focus on the art. Write the book. Write the essay collection because that's what matters most. But eventually, something has to happen next. And art is not going to make whatever you need next happen. Business is. And that's why at least a small part of your writing mind does need to devote itself to negotiating the business of being an artist. Because as an artist, what's going to be most important to you is owning your art and being compensated fairly and making sure that you're being treated fairly. [MUSIC PLAYING] As a newer writer, I'm sure you have a lot of questions about how do you even get started as a writer. And it's incredibly overwhelming. A lot has changed, of course, since I first started out as a writer, and now the internet has risen and provided us with a great many resources. And so there are all kinds of websites and databases that you can go to online where you can find out information about publications that might be a good home for your work. And so Duotrope is a great resource. It's an online database that has some features available for free and the rest available for a very small fee. And it includes pretty much every major publication and minor publication as well. It has information on their submission guidelines and the address for their website, how long they take to respond to submissions, what kinds of responses they give writers. And it is an invaluable tool for every beginning writer. It certainly was an invaluable tool for me at the beginning of my career. There are also other resources like NewPages. And NewPages is free and lists pretty much every publication as well. And so you want to start to browse around and just click on links and go visit these websites. The most important thing to remember is that you can really submit your work anywhere, but you're going to have a better chance of having that work accepted for publication when you submit work to magazines that might be a good fit for your work. And that's why it's really important to do your research not only during the writing process, but during the submission process. Take the time and go to the website. Look at what's being offered there. Read some of the content. Ideally, subscribe to a few of these publications if they have print versions because subscriptions really sustain a lot of these publications. And decide, maybe my work i...

About the Instructor

Bestselling author, professor, and New York Times columnist Roxane Gay has connected to readers around the world with her unyielding truth-telling and highly personal feminism. In her MasterClass, she teaches you how to own your identity, hone your voice, write about trauma with care and courage, and navigate the publishing industry. Learn how to document and narrate the world as you see it—and then demand change.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

Roxane Gay

Bestselling author and cultural critic Roxane Gay teaches writing for social change and arms you with the skills needed to make an impact.

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