revision circles

Tending the Work starts on September 20. Join us online, from anywhere in the world.

Tending the Work

An online workshop on submitting your work while feeding your creative spirit. Learn the ins and outs of the submissions journey: practices to prepare your writing, ways to find a good home for your voice, essential submission tools, ways to decode responses, and more.

As we go deeper into the writing journey, many of us reach a point where we feel a mix of curiosity and anxiety about publishing our work. You may know that you want to publish but aren't sure where to begin. You may wonder whether your words are ready to submit or whether you're ready for your voice to be out in the world. 

Tending the Work is devoted to this unique part of the creative process. After a sold-out workshop this spring and many requests for another, Tending the Work is now a five-part online workshop with videos, discussions, and more resources. Through a series of interactive modules, you'll get guidance, tools, and practices that break down the big ideas and helps you try them out right away.

Five Modules with Tools and Exercises for Submitting Your Writing


Where do I start? How can I find magazines that are meaningful to me?
Demystifying the literary community, speaking the language of submissions, and making sense of the vast world of magazines to discover new reads and potential publishing opportunities

How do I know a piece is ready? How can I prioritize and choose where to submit?
Tuning in to your own reasons for publishing, how to find a good home for your work, and seven kinds of questions to ask when deciding if your writing is ready to submit 

What's the step-by-step of submitting? 
The essentials of guidelines, formatting (the pesky cover letter! the bio when you have no bylines!), and pressing the "Submit" button... with a video walkthrough of one of my submissions, and an invitation to try preparing your own submission

How do I manage submissions? What response should I expect?
Tools for tracking your submissions, what I've learned from over five years of tracking (with data that I'll share), decoding responses from editors, and facing rejection... with a video walkthrough of my tracking process

But what about...? And what if...? And how do I...?
Special scenarios that may come up for you, answers to questions from workshop participants, and extra field notes that I've gathered from 20 years of sending out poetry, fiction, and nonfiction writing submissions


Learn how to submit your work while feeding your creative spirit.

Register now! Our submissions journey begins September 20, when you'll receive a private invitation to the online workshop area.

What the Workshop Includes

Modules will include written content, videos, downloadable tools, prompts for reflection, hands-on practices to try, and links for further reading. While this is an online course with optional discussion opportunities, there are no live sessions. Participate as your schedule allows, in any time zone. 


Refunds are not available. Tending the Work starts on September 20, when you'll receive a private invitation to the online workshop area.

Your Guide for Tending the Work

Emily Stoddard is an affiliate of Amherst Writers & Artists, the founder of Voice & Vessel, and a writer with 20 years of practice in making the submissions journey... from listening for opportunities and celebrating publication to learning how to embrace rejection along the way. 

Tending the Work is rooted in my own practice of preparing my writing to go into the world. Much of my early confidence with publishing came from hearing other writers speak candidly about their process, so I want to offer the same kind of honest and down-to-earth guidance in this workshop.

I’ve written for publication for 20 years, moving through the different seasons we often face as writers: from uncertainty and fear of submitting to active submission and celebration of completed pieces. To me, publishing is not just about getting exposure for the work or getting a byline. It’s about finding a good home for the writing and honoring our craft. At its best, I believe publishing helps our writing find kindred spirits and create new connections.

My journey as a published writer began as a correspondent for blue jean magazine, with some of that writing later being syndicated by Knight-Ridder Tribune. Since then, my prose and poetry have appeared in New Poetry from the Midwest, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, An Alphabet of Embers, Rust+Moth, Menacing Hedge, The Manifest-Station, and elsewhere. I'm also at work on what I hope will be my first book, which received an honorable mention in the 2017 Homebound Publications Poetry Prize. 

I hope you'll join me for Tending the Work!

Questions you might have...

Are there live sessions for the online workshop? Does my time zone matter?

Tending the Work is a mix of lessons and hands-on learning about the submissions process. While it is an interactive course with optional discussion questions to answer, there are no live sessions. You can participate as your schedule allows, regardless of time zone. 

How long will I have access to the workshop materials?

You will be able to access the materials after the workshop is completed. So if you need more time to complete the journey, no worries. This also means that all the resources, downloadable tools and templates, videos, and more will work like your own submissions learning library. In the future, when you need a reminder of the process, need to work on a new cover letter, or have questions, you can return to the materials for guidance.

However, the interactive parts of Tending the Work, including discussion prompts and interaction with me (such as Q&A), will be closed at the end of our last week together (the fifth module).

What kind of publishing does this workshop cover? What styles of writing are covered? 

We'll mainly explore publishing in literary magazines, which is where many writers publish individual pieces on the road to their first book. All voices and forms of writing (e.g., poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, hybrids of those) are invited. Folks of any experience level with publishing are also invited, from those who are curious about how to publish to those who are actively submitting work.

Tending the Work does not include generative writing time, reviews of work-in-progress, or one-on-one coaching. 

What kinds of questions or submission challenges will be discussed in Tending the Work?

In addition to questions that participants may have along the way, this workshop will help answer:  

  • How is publishing part of honoring our creative work?

  • Where and how can you find a good home for your writing?

  • How do you know when a piece of writing is ready to submit?

  • How does the process really work? What does it actually look like to hit "submit"?

  • What's "normal" in terms of responses, rejections, waiting for replies from publishers, and so on?

In keeping with the spirit of Voice & Vessel and the Amherst Writers & Artists Method, Tending the Work is not just about the rules or technicalities of publishing. My hope is that it will be an encouraging space to connect to your writing practice and prepare to share your voice more publicly. You’ll be invited to:

  • Embrace the submissions process and publishing as a catalyst in the creative process, rather than a challenge.

  • Learn what to expect at each step in the journey, from researching good homes to the initial submission to celebrating acceptance and understanding rejection.

  • Prepare your work for publication, with tools and guidance to get started.

  • Try out tools to research places to send for your writing, submit your work, and track the submissions process in a way that nurtures your creative practice.

Learn how to submit your work while feeding your creative spirit.
Our submissions journey begins September 20!

Refunds are not available. Please be sure you're ready to join us when you register! Tending the Work starts on September 20, 2018, when you'll receive a private invitation to the online workshop area.