September 14th, 2013 / 3:43 pm
Behind the Scenes & Craft Notes

Tips For Getting Published

Rauan — boils it down


[ …touched and overwhelmed by all the letters I get bemoaning the travails of getting published I spent the last few days locked up in my laboratory boiling my thoughts and advice down to the basics. The essentials.

Stick to my program and you’ll likely be a Bestseller before the cows come singing on down through their skulls full of rice (results not typical)…  ]


1) “It’s all about the writing”—well, you know, that’s absolute crap.


If your nose
Aint brown, this book’s
Going down

(like the Titanic, fire & Ice, blah, blah)

These sorts of mantras and reminders are vital. Tape this one on the wall over your desk. Engrave it on your sad, desperate brain.

cold blooded titanic

publishing’s a cold-blooded beast

3) Lie, beg, borrow, steal, squeal, bribe, flatter, romance, fuck, suck, massage old filthy Gargoyle’s feet:

Nothing should be off the table. Find out who you are. Make this a Vision Quest. Do anything. Be focused. Do everything. (& anyone!) And remember, again, that nothing, absolutely nothing should be off the table. (under the table, sure, of course, definitely)

Jorie Graham and the Harvard Poetry Project

Jorie Graham — Winner of “Forward Prize” — (For Real)

4) If Jorie Graham invites you over to do some “pesky yardwork”—Go for it! And, then, if Jorie invites you on to the porch for a glass of “Aged but Perky” Lemonade—Go for it! And then if Jorie & her award-winning hair invite you, deep inside, for some private, bedroom gardening—Go for it! Go for it! Go for it! (and if you’ve got a green thumb at all, and lots of stamina, you’ll probably end up winning the Walt Whitman award, or something like that)


“busy” at AWP

5) at AWP make sure your mouth and genitals stay really busy. It’s a jungle, really. Survival of the Absolute Fittest. So, again, keep that mouth and those genitals really, really busy. Like 24/7. (You’ll have weeks after to recuperate.)


who wouldn’t buy this guy’s story??

6) Write a memoir filled with abuse and shit.
(no further explanation needed).

7) Fuck all morality.

do what you have to

eat the children. whatever. ABSOLUTELY whatever.
rake in the deals. become famous.
blah, blah, blah

glad I could help
blah, blah

and good luck to ya
blah, blah


  1. Rauan Klassnik
  2. Tracy Dimond

      So I should purchase kneepads.

  3. Rauan Klassnik

      several pairs !!

  4. Greg B

      You forgot “be beautiful.” If you’re not beautiful (and many of us aren’t) in the eyes of the beholder of the word, all you’re going to get is a filthy street and a bottle of problems.

  5. Greg B

      Also, IGGY.

  6. Jeremy Hopkins

      I feel like you “mean” it.

  7. Amy King

      Go gay

  8. Rauan Klassnik

      i mean everything :)

  9. Rauan Klassnik

      i think i covered that with the sad puppy :)

  10. DJ Sweeney
  11. Rauan Klassnik

      thanks!! … and, yes, that advice springs from the same beautiful well called truth-truth-truth:

      “Whatever your method, every day you should wake up feeling as though you just have to fuck a publisher.”

  12. deadgod

      I bet a million pasties that Oates’s ‘number’ is <5. The Onion is a bunch of liars.

  13. Richard Grayson

      Also, not publishing blog posts like this would probably help.

  14. Rauan Klassnik

      not possible. Onions do not lie. they just layer and blossom.

  15. Rauan Klassnik

      close 10 doors, open one

  16. enshan