April 2020

Wondering if your novel is finally ready for publication? Our April issue is here to help.


Inside you’ll also find essential national resources for writing research, the winners of our 2019 flash contest, an open letter to the last typo standing in your manuscript, and plenty of products and prompts for poets – it is National Poetry Month in April, after all!

Last typo standing

By Joni B. Cole

An open letter to the one that got away.


Crossing the finish line

By Jack Smith

It’s easy to keep tinkering with a manuscript forever, but at some point, it’s time to cut the cord. Here’s how pro authors evaluate a novel to see if it’s ready for publication – and how you can, too.

Treasure hunt

By Jennifer L. Blanck

From the Library of Congress to the Smithsonian Institution, national research resources abound for the curious writer. Here’s how to use them.

Words as medicine

By Melissa Hart

How Oakland’s OG Rev aims to make the world a better place through verse.


Announcing the winners of our flash contest

By Mindy McGinnis, Keith Carter, and Kara Donadt

We invited readers to submit work in any genre – fiction or nonfiction – as long as the final submission fell under 1,000 words. Here are the first-, second-, and third-place winners of our 2019 contest.


From the Front Lines

Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear

By Yi Shun Lai

Make blind spots work for you.

Freelance Success

The risk-free freelancer

By Pete Croatto

Becoming a successful freelance writer means mastering both emotional and financial components.

Literary Spotlight


By Melissa Hart

Conference Insider

Bouchercon World Mystery Convention

By Melissa Hart

Also in Every Issue

From the Editor

Take Note


How I Write

Richard Blanco