Tending the Work

Prepare your writing (and yourself) for the submissions journey.
Get guidance and tools to publish with confidence.

Join the waiting list for the next session!

Tending the Work is currently underway. I'll offer this workshop one more time in 2021. Save a spot on the waiting list, and I'll let you know when registration opens.

It's common to feel a mix of curiosity and anxiety about publishing our work. You may want to publish but aren't sure where to start. You might wonder if your writing is ready to share. Or maybe you've been submitting, but you're not sure how to decode replies from editors or find new opportunities.

I created Tending the Work to help you face the big questions while making the submissions journey your own. In this online workshop, you'll learn how to submit your writing while feeding your creative spirit. 

In-Depth, Honest Guidance

We'll go beyond the basics of how to use submissions software. I'll help you connect with publishing as part of your creative process: knowing if a piece is ready, discovering your personal reasons for publishing, and deciding where, when, and how to submit in a way that honors your voice.

Essential Submissions Toolkit

Everything you need to prepare a strong submission. Designed to save you time and uncertainty, especially around common roadblocks like cover letters and author bios. You'll find tools and customizable templates for each step.

Hands-On Practices

You'll receive thoughtful exercises that build over four weeks, leading to a submission of your own. I'll guide you to focus on one piece of writing throughout the workshop. Instead of feeling like you have to learn all the tools and techniques at once, you'll listen to the needs of your piece, adjust as you go, and try the tools in easy-to-manage doses. 

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flexible learning and encouragement

"Every time I go to Tending the Work, I am impressed with the quality and caliber of your teaching: sequencing, examples, offering flexible learning tasks, encouragement, appropriate sharing of your experience, and more. I worked for a long time both for and with Global Learning Partners, and I have not had the pleasure of anyone’s workshops that were more reflective of excellent designing for adults. I am immensely grateful to have found you, your work and be in your class."

Darlene Goetzman
Author, Dialogue Education Step by Step: A Guide for Designing Exceptional Learning Events

Four weeks of hands-on guidance. From the nuts and bolts of sending out your writing, to the hows and whys of a healthy submissions practice.


Where do you start? How can you find publishing opportunities that are meaningful to you?
Demystifying the language of submissions and the world of literary magazines. Simplifying the work of discovering new magazines and literary outlets. Claiming your spot as a citizen in this diverse and evolving community, so you can find places where your voice and creative energy belong.


How do you know if a piece is ready to submit? How do you decide where to submit?
Connecting with your personal reasons for writing, so you can more easily find opportunities that match your intentions. How to tell if a publisher is reputable and can be trusted with your work. And the big question: Is your writing ready? Break it down with my seven-question practice. I'll guide you in a conversation with your piece, so you can move forward with confidence.


What's the step-by-step process of submitting? What are common roadblocks, and how can you avoid them?
The essentials of guidelines, formatting your submission (the pesky cover letter! writing a bio when you have no publishing credits!), and the moment of pressing the submit button... with a full walkthrough of one of my own submissions and customizable tools and templates to prepare your submissions with ease.


How do you manage and track submissions? What response should you expect? And what if...? And why...?
Tracking your submissions as a part of your creative practice, tools for making it easier, insights you can get from editor replies, guidance for facing rejection, and more. Plus field notes and data (e.g., typical waiting times, rejection rates) from my own journey of going from zero submissions to a steady practice. 


fulfilling a promise to my creative self

"As a professional writer who is accustomed to working on deadline, on assignment, for assured pay, I have long found it hard to submit fiction and poetry to publications with no assurance that it will be accepted or even read carefully. Yet that is the system; that is reality. Emily Stoddard’s online course gave me the tools and the encouragement to begin systematically submitting my creative work to appropriate outlets, with the understanding that it will be judged on its merits along with thousands of other submissions, that much of it will be rejected, but that in doing so I am fulfilling a promise to my creative self, acting with the knowledge that this is the only honest, honorable way to seek recognition as a serious artist in the realm of fiction and poetry."

Cary Tennis

About the Workshop Format

How You'll Access the Workshop

When new modules are released, you'll receive an email from me. Materials are shared on a private website, with the option of using Voice & Vessel's mobile app as well. Modules include written content, hands-on videos and audio recordings, downloadable templates and tip sheets, prompts for reflection, practices to try, and links for further reading. Closed captions are included for all videos.

Your Own Pace & Schedule

Plan on about two to three hours per week on average of learning and practice. There are no required live sessions. This is an online course with interactive opportunities via email with me. Participate as your schedule allows, in any time zone. I’ll be actively engaged to respond to your questions and support you.

Open to All Creative Writers

All forms of creative writing are supported, including fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and in-between/hybrid forms.

Accessibility & Different Learning Needs

I'm always learning about and trying to improve the accessibility of workshops at Voice & Vessel. I design with different learning styles, disabilities, and skill levels in mind. Tending the Work is more visual in some modules, because of two walkthroughs of on-screen submission activities. These videos have closed captions and are paced for ease of listening. If you have concerns or if a certain kind of support would help you participate more fully, please send me a note.

Image of private workshop area, with Emily at a microphone holding a piece of paper and talking about how to know if your writing is ready to submit

Your Guide for Tending the Work

I'm Emily Stoddard, a writer, workshop leader, and writing coach. I opened Voice & Vessel in 2016, and since then it's been an honor to support hundreds of writers as they meet their voice on the page. I'm a certified leader of the Amherst Writers & Artists Method, and my writing appears in Radar, Tupelo Quarterly, The Baltimore ReviewRuminateGravelTinderbox Poetry Journal, Cold Mountain Review, Whitefish Review, Dark Mountain, and elsewhere.

Emily Stoddard
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