Poets & Writers Launches Publicity Incubator for Debut Authors

Lauren Cerand to Lead Inaugural Cohort

New York, NY—September 22, 2022—Poets & Writers, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization serving creative writers, today announced the launch of Get the Word Out, a publicity incubator for debut authors. This unique professional development program will provide expert advice and peer support to a select group of early-career authors. Under the mentorship of an accomplished book publicist, participants will develop and execute a strategic marketing plan for their forthcoming book. The program’s goal is to help debut authors maximize the exposure of their books and propel their literary careers. Up to six debut fiction writers will be selected for the inaugural cohort this fall, and up to six debut poets in spring 2023. There is no application fee and no cost to those invited to participate.

“An author’s introduction to the reading public is a major career milestone. Get the Word Out will help writers take full advantage of the moment and build publicity skills that will stand them in good stead throughout their careers,” said Melissa Ford Gradel, executive director of Poets & Writers.

Lauren Cerand will serve as the lead mentor for the inaugural cohort of fiction writers. Cerand brings decades of experience as a book publicist. Through her thriving global communications consultancy, she helps creative professionals connect with audiences and inspire community, often through the lens of media. Throughout her career she has advised writers, artists, publishers, and media and cultural organizations that are household names, and guided many more that are still finding their path. Cerand’s guidance will be complemented by a series of seminars presented by other literary professionals.

Writers who have a debut novel or story collection slated for publication between December 2022 and December 2023 are now eligible to apply. In keeping with the organization’s vision to empower writers nationwide, especially those from historically marginalized communities, Poets & Writers will prioritize applications from writers who identify as BIPOC, writers with disabilities, LGBTQ+ writers, and writers from outside of New York City, as well as writers who do not have an MFA or equivalent degree and those whose books are to be published by independent presses. The application deadline is October 14; selected writers will be announced in mid-November. Applications for the first poetry cohort will open in January 2023.

Get the Word Out is supported, in part, by generous gifts from Leonard & Louise Riggio and Macmillan Publishers.

More information about Get the Word Out, including application guidelines, is available here.

Writers, publishers, agents, editors, and book publicists who wish to learn more about Get the Word Out are invited to contact Thierry Kehou, Poets & Writers’ director of programs and partnerships, at tkehou@pw.org.


Poets & Writers is the primary source of information, support, and guidance for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers in the United States. Our mission is to foster the professional development of poets and writers, to promote communication throughout the literary community, and to help create an environment in which literature can be appreciated by the widest possible public.

Poets & Writers Magazine is the leading publication of its kind, reaching a readership of 125,000. Our website offers extensive free resources to help writers navigate the literary marketplace and a lively online community. Our programs include Readings & Workshops, which pays writers for giving readings and leading writing workshops in small towns and big cities across the country; Mapping the Maze, an online workshop that demystifies the publishing process and helps writers chart a path to publication; and Get the Word Out, a publicity incubator for debut authors. We sponsor the Jackson Poetry Prize and Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. We are guided by our core values of service, inclusivity, integrity, and excellence and are committed to becoming an antiracist organization. Learn more at pw.org.