Welcome, Kirsti Call! Thank you so much for sharing this essential part of the path to publication! Waiting is hard. So hard. And after experiencing rejections, even harder. But…patience can make all the difference.
If you’d like a chance to win a copy of COW SAYS MEOW, just leave a comment after the post to enter Kirsti’s GIVEAWAY! (US address only please)
The winner of a signed copy of MY TREE from Hope Lim is Robin Brett Wechsler! Congratulations!
How Waiting Saved My Writing Career
By Kirsti Call
I’ve always wanted to be an author. I started writing in my journal when I was 8. Then I wrote short stories. Then novels. Hey, I was ambitious. Once in a while I threw in a little poetry.
I basically stopped writing until my 5th child was 6 months old. We had just moved to the Boston area. Towers of boxes filled my new house, the cacophony of my young children echoed, and I remembered.
I love to write.
So at possibly the least convenient time of my life, I decided to pursue my career as an author of picture books (and I haven’t stopped pursuing my kidlit career for the last 10 years!)
Seven years ago I somehow finagled a contract at a small press for THE RAINDROP WHO COULDN’T FALL.
Three months later, I got an offer from another small press on the first picture book I ever wrote, WILMA AND THE BIG SCREAM. I was so excited when they asked me to paginate the story and sent me the contract. I was becoming a real bona fide author! I ordered one of their books to confirm I wanted to work with them, but was disappointed to find their books weren’t up to my standards. I did not sign the contract. I was sure I’d have another opportunity soon.
I wrote and subbed and wrote and subbed some more. Two years later, I got a call from an editor of a small press. We talked for thirty minutes about my book, COW SAYS MEOW. He said he was super interested, and he wanted me to make a few small tweaks and then I’d get the contract. Again I was ecstatic! A second book was finally going to become a reality. But something stopped me from signing that contract too.
Fast forward another 3 years. I still had no agent. No contracts. But I couldn’t give up. I wouldn’t give up. I submitted a story to Prospect Agency through 12×12, thinking nothing of it, since I was a pro at rejections.
And all of a sudden I got my agent, Emma Sector almost three years ago.
In 2019 we sold three picture books. One of them sold to HMH–Cow Says Meow which mooooves onto shelves on March 16th.
And my Wilma story? It just sold to a large publisher.
All three of the small presses I had offers from are now out of business. I’m grateful I waited.
Because success lives in the neighborhood of failure.
Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of COW SAYS MEOW! (US addresses only, please)