As a writer, I write about many subjects and across many genres. For the past few years I have been concentrating my efforts on writing for children. Though I love it and feel it is a natural fit for me, especially since I am an elementary school reading teacher, it has also been the most difficult of genres to break through. The competition is vast, and it appears to be quite selective. That said, I am determined to succeed through hard work and perseverance.
I go to writing conferences, read everything I can get my hands on, and of course write. I have a website, as well as a presence on Twitter where I follow all the publishing giants and agents. I belong to a critique group that helps ground me and keeps me from submitting before many revisions later. And through it all, representation and/or a book contract remain elusive. In many ways I liken the submission process to dating and especially dating websites.
After serious review of the available agent/editors, I determine whom I will query. It is a painstaking process looking through manuscript wish lists, which in many ways is similar to reading profile matches online about liking long walks on the beach, sushi and cuddling on cold nights. Determining if agents are still open to subs or, as in the dating world: are they really available and not married? Who the agent represents, and trying to decipher if we would make a good fit? Again, do they really like long walks on the beach or is it a come-on line?
After the send button is pressed, the query is off with a prayer and a hope to the agent/editor, or the ‘match’. The waiting is the hardest. Will they like my story enough to pursue, hence will they like me enough to ask out? Waiting and hoping is the daily mantra, wanting desperately to hear back with positive news, or a date. Because after all, writing, like dating is subjective. Agents don’t know if they like something until they read the story and it sparks something for them. Sort of like sparks flying over a shared bottle of wine.
But the thing is in my world today … I would rather score the contract over the date.
Leave a Reply.
I write Picture Books, Chapter Books and YA.