This year has been… memorable.
Ok, it’s been awful. But — and perhaps because of that fact — 2017 has also produced some great writing.
Some of that writing appeared in this magazine. I’m extremely proud of this fact. When I came on as Editor in Chief back in June, I wanted to take P.S. I Love You in a new direction — one that focused less on listicles and more on literature. My hope was to become a publication that talented writers across genres wanted to partner with — and that readers valued as a literary destination.
Combing through the thousands of excellent pieces we published this year, it’s clear we accomplished that goal.
We’ve published essays about gender dysphoria (Allison Washington), satire about Donald Trump (Allan Ishac), examinations of narcissism (ThunderPuff), all kinds of badass poetry from some of the best poets currently on the internet (Zev, Tre L. Loadholt, Anna Breslin), and short stories that are worthy of their own anthologies (Dan Belmont, Stephen M. Tomic, Jack Herlocker, Lizella Prescott, et. al).
Of these stories, and of what we’ve started to build here at P.S., I am very, very proud.
Anyway, it felt appropriate, now that the end of 2017 is upon us, to dig into the archives and revisit some of our best and most memorable pieces — to remind everyone just how awesome some of these pieces are.
So, what follows are P.S. I Love You’s top stories, essays and poems of 2017. They were chosen mostly in accordance with Medium’s mysterious algorithms — which is to say, the best performing stories all appear below — but I’ve also included some personal favorites that I thought deserved some more recognition.
Now, quickly, before diving in, I just want to say thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all the writers who have contributed this year, who continue to contribute, and who in turn make this magazine a destination for quality literature. And thank you to all the readers, as well. You are all so, so appreciated.
On the literary side of things, at least, it’s clear that this has been a great year. But we’re only just beginning, I promise. Much more to come in 2018!
Now, without further ado…
THE BEST STORIES OF 2017
That’s all for now. I’m off next week. So, until next year, #OneLove
— Dan Moore
1. KEEP THE POETRY COMING. Paint-ers paint, teachers teach, and poets poem. To excel at writing poetry, you need to flex your poetic muscles daily, even if it’s just revising an earlier work.
2. READ POETRY BY OTHERS. Too many poets worry that their voices will be influenced by the voices of other poets. Don’t fall into this trap. You need to study what you like and do not like from other poets and use that as inspiration for your own work.
3. STUDY POETIC FORMS. While you may decide against publishing sonnets, sestinas and haiku, trying various forms can only help your poetic development. After all, the form of a poem (even free verse) is the skeleton and skin that holds the content together for the reader.
4. ATTEND OPEN MICS. Performing is optional, but poets should at least listen to the spoken word occasionally. Poetry is as much an oral as a visual genre of writing. As such, it benefits a poet to understand the sounds of poetry. Plus, open mics are great for meeting other poets.
5. EXPERIMENT. Is there a poetic “rule” you just don’t like? Try breaking it. Then, look for other rules to bend. Often, the poets who are remembered and quoted are the ones who learned to do something well and then took it in a new direction.
6. REVISE. While there are exceptions, the best poems are written through the revision process. This is a great stage for experimenting. And if a crazy revision doesn’t work (removing all the adverbs just to see what happens?), simply revert to the last draft.
7. CONNECT WITH OTHER POETS. Go to readings, workshops, conferences, social media sites and anywhere else you can connect. Other poets can help keep you motivated to write and submit.
8. SHARE YOUR WORK. Give your poems to friends and family as gifts. Share good collections you’ve read. Remember: As a poet, you are an ambassador of poetry to those who are afraid to read it or think it’s something they just don’t “get.”
9. SUBMIT. Consult a resource like Poet’s Market (which I edit) and submit your poems to publications. Through the simple act of following guidelines and receiving feedback (whether through acceptance or rejection), you’ll learn to target an audience and revise appropriately.
10. PUBLISH ON YOUR OWN. Take a do-it-yourself stance to sharing your best work.
Learn the tips and tricks of writing poetry and getting it published:
The Everything Writing Poetry Book
Become a WD VIP and Save 10%:
Get a 1-year pass to WritersMarket.com, a 1-year subscription to Writer’s Digest magazine and 10% off all WritersDigestShop.com orders! Click here to join.
Also check out these Writer’s Digest’s bestsellers:
Writing Metrical Poetry
Writing The Life Poetic
Get Your Poetry Published – OnDemand Webinar
Writer’s Digest 10 Years of Writer’s Digest: 2000-2009
Writer’s Digest Magazine One-Year Subscription
You might also like:
How to Write Poetry, Writing Poetry
5 Writing Perspectives to Be Thankful For
6 Pitfalls to Avoid When Writing LGBTQI+ Characters in Teen Fiction
The Great Debate: To Prologue or Not to Prologue?
Launching Into Scenes with Action
The ABCs of Story: Plots, Subplots, and Sub-Subplots