Wow! It has been a long time since I posted! Ironically, my last post was September 2016. (Watch for the Irony Alert! at the end of this post.) I’ve been writing, writing, writing and nearly forgot about my blog. But…
I have SPECTACULAR NEWS so…
I am ECSTATIC to announce that I am now represented by…
Deborah Warren with East/West Literary Agency!
HURRAY! HURRAY! HURRAY!
I met Deborah two and a half years ago at the SCBWI Rocky Mountain Region Conference. I also had the opportunity to meet one of Deborah’s incredible authors, Erin Dealey, at the conference. (Check out Erin’s fantastic books at http://eastwestliteraryagency.com/ or http://erindealey.com/.)
Additionally, I met one of Deborah’s soon-to-be illustrators, Dow Phumiruk at the conference. (Dow and Jeanne Walker Harvey’s new book, Maya Lin, is exquisite!) Between the Writer’s Rap (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYqMA2mPG7I) and Erin and Deborah’s information-packed presentations, I knew I wanted Deborah in my corner.
Interestingly, the picture book I submitted to Deborah represents the best of the best decisions I’ve made thus far as an author. (It is certainly easier to recognize this in retrospect!) I wanted to share these decisions in case they are helpful to others.
#1: SCBWI: Joining SCBWI has been an enriching and terrific experience! And, as I mentioned, an SCBWI conference introduced me to Deborah! (https://www.scbwi.org/)
#2: Jodell Sadler’s KidLit College: I took a pacing course through KidLit College right out of the 2016 gate! The course was EXCELLENT and helped me grow by leaps and bounds as a writer. (http://kidlitcollege.org/)
#3: Carrie Charley Brown’s Reading for Research Month (ReFoReMo) (2016): During ReFoReMo, I read a post by Tammi Sauer entitled: How to Do the Structure Strut. This post planted the seed for trying different structures in future picture book manuscripts. (http://www.reforemo.com/)
#4: Paula Yoo’s National Picture Book Writing Week (NaPiBoWriWee) (2016): During NaPiBoWriWee, I wrote a first draft of the picture book that would ultimately morph into the manuscript I submitted to Deborah. Since I’d accepted the challenge of writing seven picture books in seven days, I decided to write this manuscript in a different format than I typically tackled. (Tammi Sauer’s post meet Paula Yoo’s challenge!) (http://napibowriwee.com/)
#5: Tara Lazar’s Storystorm (Formerly PiBoIdMo): Although this idea did not originate during Storystorm, I relied on my Storystorm templates for the NaPiBoWriWee challenge. The templates helped me flesh out my narrative arc, emotional arc and character development. (https://taralazar.com/storystorm/)
#6: Critique Groups: My manuscript toured my critique groups, again and again and again. Critique partners are INVALUABLE!
#7: Goodbye Comfort Zone: I decided to step even further outside of my comfort zone and stretch my manuscript to be as unique as possible. I “killed some darlings” and revised again.
#8: Miranda Paul’s Rate Your Story (RYS): I revised, revised, revised and submitted to a RYS free submission day. My feedback was incredibly encouraging! I received a “2” (1 is the best score) and danced a teeny, tiny celebratory dance. I was getting closer. (http://rateyourstory.blogspot.com/)
#9: Learn From Rejections: I revised AGAIN and submitted to a handful of agents. Although my manuscript was rejected, I received important feedback. This manuscript had to be even more unique. I “killed more darlings” and…YUP…
I revised again.
#10: Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Challenge: This is my fourth year in 12×12 and I’ve loved every minute of it! I was a GOLD member the first three years which allowed me to submit to an agent each month. (http://12x12challenge.com/)
You’ll never guess who I submitted to in September 2016 (Irony Alert!)…
I’ll give you a minute…
YES! You guessed it!
Deborah requested two rounds of “revise and resubmits.” Her editorial feedback was brilliant!
I revised, revised, revised.
the rest, they say, is history!
I feel incredibly grateful for the support, encouragement and opportunities available through the KidLit community. I am honored to join the talented authors and illustrators at East/West Literary Agency! I can hardly wait for the next step in my author journey!
Feel. Write. Risk.