Poets & Writers Magazine welcomes letters from its readers. Please post a comment on select articles at www.pw.org/magazine, e-mail editor@pw.org, or write to Editor, Poets & Writers Magazine, 90 Broad Street, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10004. Letters accepted for publication may be edited for clarity and length.

The Gift of Time
Grant Faulkner’s comprehensive article “Applying to a Writers Residency: An Expert Breakdown of the Requirements” (March/April 2012) debunked a lot of the myths I’d been harboring about these programs. I too have a novel that for years has been about 85 percent completed, and two young boys, four and five years old. Am I allowed a few selfish, cherished weeks to finish my manuscript? Ah, the fantasy… Thanks to Faulkner, I’m inspired.
Excerpted from a comment posted on pw.org by melanie11

A Universal Monster
I very much enjoyed Maura Kelly’s article “Writer Envy: Slaying the Green-Eyed Monster” (March/April 2012). There are many writers less successful than Kelly, and more even less successful than they, and a few more tiers down is where I find myself. Regardless of success, it seems we’re all susceptible to envy as a result of persistent desire: We always want to write a better poem, create a better work of art. Thanks for the encouraging article. I’ll bear it in mind as I press onward with my writing.
Robert Coté
Crystal Lake, Illinois

Digital Independence
I find the publishing revolution that Adrian Versteegh writes about in “Digital Digest: New Tools Transform Self-Publishing” (March/April 2012) incredibly exciting. Having watched good writers suffer through years of rejection by traditional publishing outlets, I believe the new digital self-publishing options will benefit both writers and readers, despite some challenges. For readers, when everyone thinks he or she is a writer, the task of navigating a catalogue of badly written books grows ever more daunting. For writers, some presses prey on the uninitiated, and it’s more important than ever to do one’s research to avoid scams. But excellent writers ultimately will rise to the top and get much more exposure than they would have in years past.
Excerpted from a comment posted on pw.org by purpleplumpress

Why We Write
Just seeing Poets & Writers Magazine for the first time in my mailbox instantly shot waves of intimidation through me, and I rolled up the March/April 2012 issue to hide its cover. The two mail carriers would be the only ones privy to my closet dream of writing, with the exception of my wonderful daughter, who gifted me with your publication. But my angst totally subsided when I read Jennifer Wisner Kelly’s “Why We Write: The Tax Man Cometh.” I found myself imagining having coffee and a conversation with her, as a fellow writer. What a great read!
Kathie Harris
Cape Cod, Massachusetts

To Retreat Or To Battle
I find it ironic that Hemingway’s image was used on the cover of the March/April 2012 issue to frame writers retreats and conferences as “adventures.” I think Hemingway would have scoffed at such literary get-togethers. If you want real adveture, do something truly daring, like covering a war or teaching in the inner city.
Ruth A. Rouff
Collingswood, New Jersey

Inspired Reading
“You Are What You Read: The Art of Inspired Reading Lists” (January/February 2012) by Joshua Bodwell was enlightening, entertaining, and inspired. I too find myself barely scratching the surface of the astounding number of books I would like to read. I appreciate the suggestions, as I might now at least have a starting point when it comes to approaching the vast array of great literature out there.
Erica Buchko
Sacramento, California