Fairy Tales can come true . . .

Once upon a time there was a story, and I was in love with it. It came to me in one fell swoop and got a lot of positive feedback. I revised it and received a scholarship with the Highlights Foundation Chautauqua conference using it as my manuscript sample. At Chautauqua, Patricia McKissack read it aloud to me and I cried to hear someone put a voice to words I had written.

I subbed it once or twice and received a couple of personal rejections. And then a year after Chautauqua, it was one of the picture book manuscripts that landed me an agent — a smart, savvy agent who soon sold three of my picture books.

But not this one. We got personal responses on it, along with "please send us more of this author’s work" to the few places we’d sent it, and also two revision requests that both pointed to the same problem. You may remember my lamentations as I began to revise it. And then slowly, I gained my footing, and began to love the new version. We submitted the revision to one of the editors who had asked for it.

I crossed my fingers.

I held my breath.

She asked for more detail.

I added a bit more context and sent it to her again.

I waited. A. Long. Time. (Okay, so not that long. But it crept by. Interminably.)

And then yesterday, out of the blue (as if I’d forgotten about it), an offer.

Big Happy Sigh. This one feels like the long-coming culmination of a lot of hard work and believing and dreaming.

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95 thoughts on “Fairy Tales can come true . . .

    1. Thank you! I feel like I did when I was seven and taking gymnastics and I tried and tried and tried to learn that back handspring and when I finally got it, I was so happy, I burst into tears. This isn’t my first sale, but I really, really wanted to see this one become a book. πŸ™‚

      1. Getting there. It looks like we have a lot of things that we should never have put into storage, and now we’ve got to find a new home for them. But we’re mostly down to just one room of boxes, which is progress.

    1. Okay, I totally overdosed on chocolate last night because it was my husband’s 40th birthday party and everything I made was chocolate-chocolate with more chocolate. But bring on the champagne!

    1. I don’t know. My first sale had a lot of false starts. Several, in fact. So by the time it sold, I was still thrilled but had a little feeling of “well, FINALLY!” That sounds snotty now when I share it, but after the months of build up/letdown-flowing-to-immediate-build-up-again/bumps in the road, at the time I was just relieved to finally have some finality.

    1. This is the second book I’ve sold to this publisher. The first book took a year and a half with no word at all until a month or two before the offer (and then only an inquiry as to whether it was still available or not; I didn’t know the offer was coming).

      This second book was first subbed in August 2007. The revision request came in October 2007. We resubbed it in March 2008. In May 2008, the editor asked me to add more detail. I sent it back to her in late June. And then she came back with the offer this week, the beginning of September.

  1. Yay Kristy — I’m so glad for you. It’s tough when you love a book and it comes so squeaky close so many times and you just know you don’t want to abandon it. And I’m so happy to hear of one such story finding a good home…yay!! and double yay!

  2. Hey There, My Friend,
    I’m so happy for you!!!!!! I have a story like that, one so close to my heart. I haven’t subbed it in ages, not sure it has what it takes anymore, but there’s something about it I can’t let go of. Maybe it’s time for a second look. Thanks for the inspiration.xo

  3. Anonymous

    (I am plot challenged also, and I love the Ansen Dibell book – I’ve underlined it everywhere and have used it for years.)
    Deborah Wiles

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