Helping Minorities Find
Their Voices in the Media
By Sarah Van Blaricum
Everyone has something to say. Unfortunately,
in our society everyone has not had the same opportunity
to be heard. Many ethnic and multicultural writers become
frustrated when they fail to find appropriate vehicles for
their work. One has to wonder how many great writers are
being stifled because they are not the right race, religion,
ethnic group or sexual orientation.
Enter Writer's Relief, a unique business that caters to
these frustrated authors. "We spend an enormous amount
of time researching and targeting appropriate markets for
our clients' work, freeing up their time to write. In addition,
we work with our clients to prepare their manuscripts to
meet industry standards," says Ronnie L. Smith, president
and founder of Writer's Relief. "We help fill in the
blanks so that writers have more time to write."
For most writers, it is a very difficult task to place their
work in appropriate markets. If you are a member of a minority
group, the difficulty is compounded. Many writers who had
previously had trouble finding their "fit" in
print media have been published through their service. "We
help writers find their markets," says Smith. "We
offer our clients the opportunity to have their words shared
on a variety of topics dealing with the current administration
and its policies, world leaders, religious tolerances and
abuses, and the violation of rights of the underprivileged
and traditionally oppressed classes of people around the
Smith's team prepares and submits manuscripts for writers
of all kinds. "Most writers are not good at promoting
their own work," says Smith. "They're good at
creating; we're great at marketing." In addition to
helping writers prepare book proposals so they can query
agents, Writer's Relief proofreads and submits poetry or
short stories/essays to literary journals.
Writer's Relief does extensive journal research to find
the perfect fit for each client so good writers of every
race and creed have a chance to be heard. "We help
writers find their markets," Smith says. Their extensive
database is able to match each writer with magazines who
give voice to often-voiceless writers through familiarity
with markets specific to these often-neglected topics.
Literary journals have a 99 percent rejection rate, but
Writer's Relief's track record defies the odds. "You
often have to make 100 submissions before you get one 'yes,'"
says Smith. "Each rejection brings you closer to acceptance."
Out of their 300 current writer clients, Writer's Relief
has gotten 268 of them published.
Writer's Relief was founded eleven years ago by Ronnie L.
Smith, who created the business after a crippling bout with
vertigo. As she slowly recovered through physical and occupational
therapy, a friend asked her to submit the friend's poetry
to magazines. "I'd literally crawl to the computer,"
Smith says. Much to her friend's delight, the poems were
published in highly-respected journals.
Other clients followed, and a business was born. Soon, Smith
moved from her mother's garage to larger offices. Today
she has hundreds of clients and ten employees, ranging in
age from 20 to 82. "Our business is unusual in that
we all still like to come to work every day and so do our
dogs," Smith says.
In addition to maintaining a worker-friendly job environment,
Smith is proud of the work they do. "It makes me happy
to give media voices to people who have none," says
Smith, who is fearless when choosing to take on clients.
"Their work has a very particular voice," she
says. Writers who have a lot to say but have not been able
to find an outlet for a creative voice have a friend and
mentor in Writer's Relief.
For more information or to set up an interview with Ronnie
L. Smith, please contact Sarah Van Blaricum at 727-443-7115,
ext. 207 or at email@example.com
To learn more visit www.wrelief.com.