How to Make a Million Bucks

I discovered my passion for writing by accident. I didn’t have a passion for writing right away, but I had the confidence to be the best. Writing was a huge part of my life during high school. In high school I won a poetry contest celebrating Oklahoma’s centennial celebration, which culminated in earning a college scholarship for creative writing. With my scholarship secured, I decided to pursue a church music degree at a Christian university instead of a writing degree.

If you’re wondering, I’m not a worship leader now. As an undergrad, I left the Christian school, and I went to the University of Central Oklahoma where eventually I dropped out. I partied too much, and I didn’t attend class. I started at UCO with a 3.5 and I left with a 0.08. I was determined to fail. What I needed now was a career change.

My career of choice was a maintenance man at my local church denomination. I spent my days fixing light bulbs, changing toilets, and fetching tools for my boss like an obedient dog. Eventually, this direction bored and it offered no purpose to my life. Cleaning toilets, helping old women move light stands, and stealing snacks from department break rooms didn’t suffice anymore. At the time I needed change, and I needed it fast. This epiphany hit me one summer day. 

This summer day was hot—one hundred degrees with one hundred percent humidity. Cleaning windows forty feet above the ground, for the umpteenth day in a row, is enough to make any man rethink his decisions. I said to myself, “I hate this. I don’t want to do it anymore.” Then, I concocted a plan to attend school again. Hot, hard labor made this man want that cushioned desk job. This epiphany wasn’t the only factor in deciding to be a writer; listening to sports radio was inspirational too.

One day I drove down 36th toward a postal office located on the service road. I was listening to The Sports Animal, waiting for recaps about the previous night’s Thunder game. A commercial came on before the recap. It was narrated by a Methodist preacher, and he told a story about how a woman discovered pie making. She made pies out of necessity to support her family, and she started selling them to the public. Eventually, the business was sold to a large corporation for nearly a hundred million dollars.


The preacher asked her, “How’d you make so much money?”

She replied, “I found something I was good at and did it.”

“That’s it!” I shouted, thinking back to how I received a college scholarship for writing in high school. After that, I decided on to go back to school. I started my journey as a writer and finally obtained my bachelors in English.

I’ve now worked several jobs as a writer or pertaining to writing. I’ve been a photojournalist, writing tutor, editorial intern, freelance writer, freelance editor, script editor, copywriter, copy editor, social media manager and marketing intern—where I discovered a passion for graphic design. Each position has challenged me as a writer and challenged my creativity. Currently, I am a grad assistant for the New Plains Review, which is a literary journal at the University of Central Oklahoma. This is my grandest achievement out of all my attempts at being paid as a writer.

That damn radio commercial has influenced my decisions for the past decade. Don’t ask me how to make a million bucks just yet. So far, I’ve only made a couple hundred. But I guarantee, I’ll let you know when it happens!

5 Tips To Get Published in a Journal

We know you want to be published, and we know it can be daunting. So we, New Plains Review, present to you a brief list of precautionary measures you should take before submitting your work to anywhere. (But primarily to us, right?)

1. Research the journal itself
Every journal has a specific form and style. You want to make sure you’re submitting to the right kind of journal for your work.

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2. Read the Directions
READ THE DIRECTIONS. I can’t say it enough. It seems so simple, yet people fail to do it every year. Every journal has a specific set of guidelines for submitted work. If they require a 3-poem limit and you submit 10 poems, you run the risk of your submission being thrown out just for not following the rules.

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3. Read past issues
Reading past issues will better help you understand what they are looking for. While every piece is unique, you will notice an overall cohesive style in each journal.

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4. Make sure the grammar and formatting is flawless
This is SO important! Before submitting your work, double-check that every single comma is in place before you click submit. It’s easy to overlook small errors as the writer, so make sure to have someone else look over it. Once you feel like it is perfect, read it one more time. If you want your submission to be taken seriously, take your work seriously.

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5. Don’t be discouraged if your work is not selected
Again, every journal has a specific style. Your work may just not be what they’re looking for this year. Just because your submission wasn’t selected by one publication, doesn’t mean it’s not perfect for something else. Try, try again!

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We hope that these tips are a big help for your publishing adventures!

UCO Reveals New Gender and Sexuality Journal

New Plains is really excited to reveal its third peer-reviewed interdisciplinary academic journal, The Central Dissent: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality, and is set to debut in September 2017!

Based out of the University’s of Central Oklahoma Liberal Arts College, and sponsored by the Women’s Research Center and the LGBTQ+ Student Center, this is Oklahoma’s first academic journal the will specifically publish work within the Gender and Sexuality studies field.

“Our mission is to gather and disseminate quality research, poetry, and academic reviews that explore gender theory, gender identity, as well as how race, class, and ethnicity shape society’s expectations of the individual both currently and historically,” according to Central Dissent’s Editor-in-Chief, Luke Provenzano.

The journal will give graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to be published, which is a great chance for students to improve their resume or CV.

The Central Dissent is accepting scholarly reviews, research papers, poetry, prose, and art.

As a UCO student, I am extremely proud of the University for its progressive strides in the field of Gender and Sexuality. The new Women’s Research Center and the LGBTQ+ Center are both impressive additions, and many students are excited to see the Gender and Sexuality minor added to the curriculum. And now we have a Gender and Sexuality academic journal.

For more information, like The Central Dissent on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/TheCentralDissent

To submit work for the inaugural issue, email thecenteratuco@gmail.com!