The Long and Winding Path to Publication

I started writing for children in 2007; now, ten years later, I’m anticipating the publication of three picture books, all of which received contracts in early 2017. During this journey, I always read with great interest other authors’ stories about their path to publication; I paid close attention to those authors for whom it had taken a looooong time to get published. Those authors were my role models, beacons of hope that encouraged me to continue in spite of many setbacks. And when I read that it was necessary to receive over 100 rejections before I might be close to publication, I chose to look at each rejection as a stepping stone that was bringing me closer to the goal. (After first feeling dismayed and sad, of course). The rejection and ultimate decision to move on from my first novel (now hidden deep in my computer files) was particularly difficult for me; nevertheless, I persisted, continuing to write and submit.

In the end, the writing keeps me going. Telling tales and playing with words calls to me, even in the face of rejection and self-doubt. I can’t seem to stay away from it, even after pledging to stop writing after I encountered a major, devastating rejection in 2016. (Oddly enough, that rejection turned out to be for the best, but I didn’t know that until many months later). My critique partners keep me going as well . . . they are on the same path, at various stages of the journey, and so their wisdom and encouragement continues to lift me up and out of the doldrums. My family has supported me throughout, taking great interest in the stories I write and comforting me and cheering me on.

I’ve written three novels and dozens of fiction picture books, several nonfiction picture books, and a chapter book. In the midst of it all, while working and taking care of my children, and helping my mother who died in 2011, I obtained my MFA in Writing for Young People from Lesley University. In December of 2016, I started working with Alyssa Eisner Henkin, of the Trident Media Group, an enthusiastic champion of my work and a talented, energetic and savvy agent.

I’m looking forward to writing and submitting and seeing where this journey takes me . . .