Madeline Sonik, a sessional instructor in UVic’s Writing Department, is set to reveal her insider view on the world of publishing on Jan. 29. Sonik has been published extensively and has won the 2012 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and other awards. Sonik writes by email that the talk will aim to explain “how new writers can get their work published.”
Having taught at UVic for four years, Sonik says she has seen plenty of publishable work not make it into the “light of day,” and she wants that to change. She is here to tell writers it’s time to dust off the cobwebs and understand the where, when and how of getting published now.
So many students shy away from even attempting to get their work published either due to lack of confidence or lack of understanding, which Sonik finds frustrating. The development of specialized writing programs has produced a “glut of good writers,” writes Sonik, “[which created] the phenomena of the ‘wunderkind’ — so youth can be a decided advantage in getting an agent as well as immediate interest from a large publishing house.” Sonik is inspired to help young writers understand the mechanics of the publishing world and insists on their voices being heard.
However, getting published doesn’t come without practice. Sonik spent a long time “reading as many [Ellery Queen’s Mystery] magazines” as possible before her first published piece was seen in its pages in 1990.
Sonik points out that even the most successful writers have to take some time to understand the business behind the writing, including her. “It took a long time to realize that making a career as a writer involves more than just writing well,” writes Sonik.
Having gone through the process of publishing her work many times within different genres of writing, Sonik has come to understand what publishers want from their writers. Yet, publishing is a changing business. “The world for writers has changed drastically in the last 20 years,” writes Sonik, “Many paying print publications and publishing houses [have] collapsed.” It has become increasingly important to understand what means of publication are available and how to access them.
Several prominent magazines and journals are supporting Sonik’s talk with donations of their own publications, including the UVic-based Malahat Review, Prism, Event, Geist, subTerrain, Broken Pencil and Boulevard. Such support can only show that publications recognize the importance of encouraging emerging young writers into the publishing world.
In a call to action, Sonik writes, “Students! Submit your work now!”
Getting published: everything you need to know to see your work in print
Jan. 29 @ 3:30 p.m.
UVic Social Sciences and Mathematics Building (SSM) Room A102