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There has always been a mystique around the Writer’s Market annual guide…

Writer's Market

I didn’t fully understand it until tonight, when a dear friend gave me this year’s edition as a gift. It was the first chance we’d had to see each other since I resigned from my job at the hospital and started on this new adventure at the Junior College. I explained to her that it is the perfect gift…and why.

Yes, a lot of this information is available online now, but here it is all compiled in one place. And there’s nothing like the feel of a heavy tome full of resources and, hence, possibilities. But that’s not where the mystique comes from.

Year’s ago when I was just starting out on my own, with my first apartment, and my first 9-5 job, and my first small household budget…the $29.99 it cost to buy the Writer’s Market (or whatever it was at that time) was a huge splurge, one which I was only willing to make after long hours spent at the library vainly attempting to copy as much information as I could out of their reference copy, and after agonizing over the purchase as if it were for something that cost a hundred times more. It was such a momentous purchase that I didn’t dare buy a new one every year…and even now, years later, when I spend $29.99 every week on things I can’t even remember, the latest issue of the Writer’s Market at the bookstore always strikes me as somehow unattainable, and I sheepishly retreat from the purchase. So if someone gives it to me as a gift, like tonight, I truly feel as if I’ve just been given something as valuable and coveted as a rare first-edition…or the key to my heart’s desires. Because that’s what it’s always represented to me.

Given the mystique around this book, you can be sure that there is ceremony and deference first time I sit down and open it. Debating right now when that will be…