July 9, 2010


"It takes twenty years to become an overnight success," Eddie Cantor said.

Since I sold my first bit of writing -- cryptogram puzzles for $1.50 a piece -- when I was twenty and sold my first novel when I was forty, I can attest to that!

It's a long journey, but a fun one if you love what you do. And it's even more fun when we help each other along the way.

Here are some excellent resources for information, inspiration and a warm, welcoming community:

For Industry News:

  • Cynthia Leitich Smith's blog CYNSATIONS. You'll learn much about what's happening in the industry as well as have opportunities to win books.
  • Nathan Bransford's BLOG gives tips and hints about successful queries as well as poses questions about all things publishing.
  • Arthur A. Levine just started a BLOG with an interesting discussion going on right now.

For Agent Info:

  • Verla Kay's MESSAGE BOARD offers a wealth of information about agents and everything else! It's a vibrant and generous community.
  • Casey L. McCormick has a series of interviews with agents as well as other links and info. Check out the Q & A she did with my agent, TINA WEXLER from ICM.

For inspiration:

  • MIKE JUNG talks about signing with an agent after much patience and persistence.
  • STEPHANIE J. BLAKE signed her first book contract after years of close calls.
  • ROBIN MELLOM, a third of the Disco Mermaids, talks about the sweet deal negotiated by her agent, JILL CORCORAN, after a long road of writing, revision and rejection.
It happened to them. It happened to me (after half a dozen rejected and UNpublished novels that are sitting in a drawer). It can happen to you!

If you know of any other resources for writers and/or illustrators, please share in the comment section. And if you have any good news, please share that, too!


Mike Jung said...

Wow, thanks, Donna! Very flattering to think people might think of my agenting experience as a source of inspiration. Your career has been a source of inspiration to me, just so you know - your involvement in SCBWI, your fabulous agent, your Fleischman award...you've got a really great success story.

Wild About Words said...

Thanks, Mike! Of course, all those things you mentioned stemmed from my involvement in the SCBWI -- even connecting with my agent. What a fantastic community Lin and Steve and a host of good folks created!

Mike Jung said...

I'm a big SCBWI fan! SCBWILA08 was my first conference, and it really changed my entire self-perception in terms of writing. I walked in feeling like a flailing twit, and I walked out feeling like a writer. I also think it's great that your agent reaches out to the SCBWI membership the way she has - that was one of the reasons why I queried her.

Karin said...

All very important information! Thanks for sharing, and helping me realize as well as others that you need to keep trying and work at it, but also there is help out there with writing friends :)

Wild About Words said...

Absolutely, Karin. If someone asks me how I've gotten published, I almost want to say these few words: "I didn't quit." (Much harder than it sounds!)
Yes, Mike, the SCBWI has made a difference in so many lives and, I dare say, has been the catalyst in many dreams coming true, including mine.