Hackensack, NJ (PRWEB) March 19, 2010
In a year when charitable giving is down, one writer has proven that caring and generosity remain strong in the writing community. The late Peter K. Hixson, who recently lost his battle with cancer, left behind an unprecedented gift: an unusual "scholarship" that offers struggling writers the assistance they need to get published.
"I think his idea for a writing scholarship grew from his understanding of how difficult it is to get published and not lose hope," said Peter's twin brother, Doug Hixson. "Had a scholarship like this been available to him, I believe he would have jumped at the opportunity."
The donation stipulated in Hixson's will is an extraordinary one: Rather than bequeathing funds for an educational scholarship at a college or university, Hixson wanted to support writers who struggle with the business aspects of the writing life. For that reason, Hixson left a portion of his estate to Writer's Relief, a New Jersey-based writers' submission service that assists writers with the process of submitting work to literary agents and editors.
According to Hixson's wife, Lois Benedict, "Peter felt fortunate in his ability to avail himself of Writer's Relief services, and he wanted to share that valuable experience—even if it meant helping only one other struggling writer."
Described by friends as a "Renaissance Man," Hixson became increasingly focused on submitting his poems, short stories, essays, and novels later in life—after he had earned multiple degrees and established himself as a speech-language pathologist.
In 2002, Hixson submitted samples of his short stories to the Writer's Relief Review Board and was immediately offered a place on their invitation-only client list. During his partnership with Writer's Relief, Hixson saw his work published in established literary journals such as Concho River Review, The MacGuffin, North Atlantic Review, RE:AL, The Texas Review, Whiskey Island Magazine, and more.
"Peter's bequest of this scholarship was an act of exceptional kindness and generosity," said Ronnie L. Smith, president of Writer's Relief. "We were honored to have been a part of his writing life, and we feel privileged to join forces with him again to help talented writers in need."
Like many writers, Hixson faced his share of rejection letters before connecting with an editor who could appreciate his work. When he finally did receive his first acceptance, he reportedly quipped that he was disappointed because the publication botched his unbroken string of nearly 100 rejections.
But Hixson never gave up. According to his brother: "Peter could usually be found in a coffee shop typing at the speed of light when the ideas were flowing, or pondering his fingernails when they were not."
Hixson’s bequest coincides with Writer’s Relief’s 16th anniversary—an especially busy time of year. Recently, a widely read Barnes & Noble blog featured Writer’s Relief. The company also just launched a YouTube series, beginning with a video tutorial that teaches writers how to submit their writing online.
"In a way we feel as if Peter is still here, celebrating our 16th anniversary with us," Smith said. "In his numerous publications, and now in his scholarship, Peter’s generous nature will continue to benefit the literary community.”
Writer's Relief will be offering three scholarships in Hixson's name this year, with one winner in each
category: novels, short stories/essays, and poetry. Scholarship applications will be accepted from April 1 to April 23, 2010. For more information, or to apply, visit Writer’s Relief Peter K. Hixson Memorial Scholarship.
About Writer's Relief : Writer's Relief is a specialized service that manages the submission process for writers seeking publication. The Writer's Relief process includes cover and query letter writing, targeting manuscripts to the best-suited literary agents or editors, proofreading, formatting, submission packet preparation, and tracking responses. Writers are encouraged to apply to the Writer's Relief Review Board for admission into the invitation-only Full Service program. For more information please visit WritersRelief.com or call (866) 405-3003.
Writer's Relief, Inc.
409 South River Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601
info (at) wrelief (dot) com