writing tips: What I Learned at the UCLA Writers’ Fair

Last week-ish, I went to the UCLA extension Writers’ Fair. This was the university’s attempt to sell writing courses, but it was disguised as an “event” complete with booths and free mini-courses. Though the day-long sales pitch was advertised as FREE!, you still had to pay $9 in parking. That’s LA for you. Even the university acts like a blonde trying to cash in on a date with a rich, ugly fool.

While we writers may sometimes be foolish and/or attractively non-inclined. We are not rich.

Needless to say, I will not be signing up (unless somebody wants to sponsor me). And to save you, loyal reader, from the price of next year’s parking. I present unto you, right here, right now, for FREE! all that I have learned at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Fair 2008:

1. Glimmer Train is the literary journal that ALL the agents read. Write for it and your fortune is secured.

2. The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses offers a useful directory of publication alternatives if you aren’t lucky enough to climb aboard the Glimmer Train.

3. Author and UCLA extension teacher Paul Mandelbaum offers his own list of literary journals on his website. He claims the list is organized by status of journal and fame potential, but a cursory look at his website revealed no such directory. (But don’t take my word for it. Find it for yourself!)

4. One of the speakers was Kate Gale, founder of Red Hen Press. She is awesome. If ever I am in need of a super hero, I hope she is the one to save me.

6 responses to “writing tips: What I Learned at the UCLA Writers’ Fair

  1. Psst… make sure you use “http://” before a web address or else the links won’t work (Paul’s and Kate’s, respectively).

  2. Thanks for watching my back. If you ever have spinach on your teeth, I will let you know.

  3. the list of journals is in the upper right hand corner of the classes page.
    Kate is indeed awesome.

  4. Oops, more metaphorical spinach stuck between my teeth. To make up for the confusion, I made a new blog post pointing folks in the right direction. Also, you are awesome as well. It was an enjoyable and informative panel.

  5. God will bless your sweet soul for this useful info.

  6. I too was suckered into this event, they charged $10, for a few booths, most of which were selling materials, books, shirts and caps.

    The shirts were $15 and they said “writer” on it, as if I needed the world to know what I do part time, maybe I should buy quite a few hats, one for my regular job “Tech Sales”, another for my home “Husband”, and maybe one when I’m doing chores “Taking Out the Garbage”, and let’s not forget the one thing I do most in LA “Drive my Car”.

    I didn’t like the lines for consultive advice, I don’t feel comfortable walking up in a line showing my work only to hear them rush me and say “NEXT!”, so we skipped that.

    I did like the courses, it helped me figure out what I don’t want to do with my life, (scriptwriting), and focus on my core objective (writing articles and books). And yes they did try to sell their expensive courses.

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