Your Success Stories: M. A. Dubbs

About:

I am a LGBT and Mexican-American poet from the Hoosier state of Indiana. I earned my B.A. in English and Psychology at Indiana University before earning my Master’s in Social Work. I began writing poetry in middle school but started seriously writing and publishing when taking creative writing classes in undergrad. I really enjoy poetry because there are few limitations to it which allows for fun play with form and look. There’s also few things more enjoyable than a poetry reading or poetry slam!

The hardest part of poetry is definitely the competition when submitting to literary magazines. There are many other poems in the slush pile so it’s a combination between standing out while also keeping the vision and form you intended.

Contact:

WordPress: https://melindadubbs.wordpress.com/

Goodreads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21107505.M_A_Dubbs

Your writing journey:

My book Aerodynamic Drag is my first poetry collection. Originally I was approached by a small literary magazine for a chapbook collection but was limited by how many copies I would receive. I then tried a few chapbook contests but just fell short after being a finalist. I then realized I would do it the old fashion poet way and create my own book.

The poetry and short stories were mostly previously published in literary magazines and I had luckily kept good records in order to recognize first serial publication rights. I organized the work into four sections based off of theme/mood. I ended up creating a few more pieces to help even out the sections more (basically there weren’t enough happy poems and I didn’t want this book to be too depressing).

After organizing, I then started the editing process. Editing poems is fairly easy outside of spacing but editing short fiction, especially dialogue is definitely not enjoyable for me. I would definitely recommend saving the edits after publication whether that is for literary magazines, news papers, or websites. The editing process took a few weeks but I do recommend editing with a printed version because I caught several errors after getting my proof copy.

Cover art was fairly straight forward as there are several places to get artwork free for commercial use and several free book cover creators. I personally used Canva due to finding KDP’s cover creator too limiting and not user-friendly. The hardest part was shrinking my image down to KDP’s pixel parameters.

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