Online | Nonfiction | Seminar

1-Day Online Nonfiction Seminar: Submitting to Literary Journals

"Does my cover letter actually matter?"

"How do I know when I'm ready to submit?"

"Does anyone actually read my work before it gets rejected?"

"Who gets those $3??!?!"

In this one-day seminar, we will investigate these questions and develop plans for submitting nonfiction to literary journals. We will look at several websites that compile magazine information to make the process less overwhelming and discuss how the mysterious back-end of Submittable works and looks. In addition to the lecture material, a portion of the time will be reserved for writers' Q&A, so come curious and ready to ask the things you've always wanted to know.

This course is best suited for students who have never submitted but have at least one or two polished pieces that are ready-ish to be sent out and/or students who have already been submitting their work but would like to do so in a more systematic fashion. 

Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from your private class page. While you can use Zoom from your browser, we recommend downloading the desktop client so you have access to all platform features.


- How to figure out when you're ready to submit

- How to plan and target submissions (one-offs vs. building a collection)

- How to write a cover letter and manage multiple/simultaneous submissions

- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes


Students will do writing exercises and generative work in the classroom, but there is no outside homework and students will not receive feedback from the instructor or their peers.


Hour 1: Where to submit?

Hour 2: When to submit?

Hour 3: How to submit?

Alysia Sawchyn

Alysia Sawchyn is a senior features editor for The Rumpus and a fellow at the Sewanee Writers' Conference. Her essay collection, A Fish Growing Lungs, was a finalist for the Believer Awards, and her writing has also appeared in Fourth Genre, Brevity, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere.


"This class was amazing, I learned how to write better and discovered new techniques that I wasn't even aware of. Alysia is an overall great professor, she's always answered the classes questions and worked with each of us to be successful in her class. I would love to take a future class with her. "

former student

"Alysia is an amazing instructor and I would excitedly take one of her classes again and recommend her to my friends. She's passionate about the class and incredibly helpful at answering for what works well, but never made me feel like one way of doing things was the "right way" in a creative sense, which is difficult to do. "

former student

"In this probing and emotionally intelligent book, Alysia Sawchyn uses all the tools in an essayist’s belt to reject the easy binaries we see in many personal narratives: wellness/disorder, injury/ recovery, or past/future. A FISH GROWING LUNGS works instead to show how the majority of living occurs in grayer spaces where multiple modes of being are not just possible; they are inevitable."

Elena Passarello

"The essays in A FISH GROWING LUNGS offer an intimate, vulnerable, and entirely spellbinding exploration of addiction, identity, and one writer’s struggle to become whole. This debut collection is searingly honest, beautifully written, and Alysia Sawchyn is a fresh new voice."

Dinty Moore

"Professor Sawchyn is an excellent teacher who challenged me as a writer and a student. Through her class, I had rekindled a passion for writing that I had lost many years prior. She was not only an encouraging teacher but an effective one. I will always remember this course."

former student

"In this essay collection, [Alysia Sawchyn] questions what constitutes normal behavior, and how our definitions of “normal” shift according to whom we’re evaluating. She doesn’t ever reach concrete answers, but this seems to be partly the point: concrete, unyielding explanations have, for her, seemed to do more harm than good. Sawchyn prods at these subjects—health, illness, and things that don’t qualify as either—in sharp yet haunting prose. The collection is an interwoven whole, with each subsequent essay shifting readers’ perceptions of what came before. This, too, seems to get at the heart of Sawchyn’s work, provoking us to consider how mental (in)stability is perceived and constructed. "