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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

On Having Literary Merit

As a writer, I do a lot of research, especially in regards to writer’s guidelines. This week I read a writer’s guideline that said something to the effect that they only accept pieces that are of literary merit. They then added that if you didn’t know what that meant you should look it up.

I decided to do just that and here are some of the explanations that I discovered from Random House Dictionary and Collins English Dictionary. Like many of our words, this one is from the Latin, litterārius, which translates as"concerning reading and writing." This is an explanation that is simple and to the point.

Other definitions include "pertaining to, or of the nature of books and writings, especially those classed as literature;" or "concerned with, or characteristic of literature or scholarly writing." These definitions sound like the writings of a doctoral dissertation or discussions engaged in by those with a long list of degrees.

Other explanations included, “engaged in or having the profession of literature or writing.” I can easily accept this definition. All writing is a form of literature some stellar, some mediocre, and some just for fun.

There are two other definitions that I believe fit the publication’s style. They are as follows, “characterized by an excessive or affected display of learning; stilted; pedantic” and “preferring books to actual experience; bookish.” Yes, I definitely got the impression from the publication that they did not want to review just anyone’s submissions. You would need the proper credentials and affiliations that would appeal to the elitist crowd.

In this regard, I also ran across another publication whose guidelines stipulated that you had to be an author of great regard to be considered for their e-publication for which they paid $10. I can just see tons of famous writers jumping on that option.

I will continue to write and consider my writing of literary merit. I write to add laughter, smiles and good memories to my readers. I do not write to solve the world’s problems. Besides those with the big brains are not doing too well on solving them either.

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