I can hardly contain my excitement as I sit down to write this blog entry. The words are pouring out of me, and I can't help but feel both humbled and amazed by the incredible turn of events in my writing journey. I never thought I'd be able to write about having an agent, but here I am, sharing my story with you all.
"Slogging in the slush" is a term I often use to describe the arduous process that authors go through to secure literary representation. It's a term that encapsulates the endless hours of effort, the unyielding determination, and the unwavering belief in one's work required to catch the attention of a literary agent in the highly competitive and sometimes cutthroat publishing industry.
The query trenches, as they're commonly called, can be a daunting place. Rejection letters pile up, self-doubt creeps in, and the act of sending your manuscript into the abyss of the internet can be disheartening. Some agents send form rejections, some never respond at all, and, in the rare instances when they do express interest, they may eventually say something along the lines of "I'm not the champion of your work."
I've been through it all. In 2023 alone, I sent out a staggering 109 query letters to agents, hoping to find someone who believed in my work as much as I did. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, and I sometimes wondered if I would ever find the right fit.
Then, it happened. After months of relentless effort, I received a response. But not just any response – it was from one of the top agents in the industry, working at one of the most prestigious literary agencies. I was shocked, stunned, and in complete denial that Karen Kilpatrick would want to talk to me. But after our first Zoom meeting, I could see that she did indeed believe in my writing and saw the potential in my work. Karen is a lawyer, an author, an agent, brand creator, editor, toy inventor, the list goes on... bottom line, she hustles hard and is hungry for book sales.
I am honored, excited, and completely overjoyed to announce that I'm now working with Karen at East West Literary Agency. It's a dream come true, a milestone I could hardly have imagined. I had done everything I could to promote my work, including submitting to publishing houses that allowed unagented submissions and connecting with smaller publishers and editors through conferences and pitch contests. Now, I'm excited to take things to the next level with Karen by my side.
This is such an incredible opportunity and I can't wait to see what kind of traction we can gain. I couldn't be more thrilled to have such an amazing teammate in this journey.
But let me make it clear – I'm not relaxing at this point. I don't want to. It's time to work harder than ever, to continue making connections, and to create more leads and interest in my stories. This is just the beginning, and I'm determined to make the most of this incredible opportunity. Check out the year end sales announcements by this agency here I cannot wait to have one, two, or more than a few announcements on this reel in 2023/2024 and many years to come.
This milestone is beyond exciting, and it's one of the biggest accomplishments in my life to date. It's a validation of all the hard work, a humbling experience, and an exhilarating step forward. I can't wait to see where this journey with Karen and East West Literary will take me.
It's time to celebrate and to keep pushing forward in the world of writing, and I hope you'll all be there with me every step of the way.
Happy October! I have had an incredibly creative past 4-5 months and even wrote an entire body of new work. Some of my newer stories have won PITCH contests, some of my stories have WITCHES in them... and I'm really hoping to reach another major milestone in my career as a children's author soon. STAY TUNED for lots of exciting news on the way... in the meantime...
This is my first year participating in Kaitlyn Sanchez’s Fall Writing Frenzy. (You can read all about the contest here.) The challenge is to write a 200-word or less Fall-themed #kidlit story based on one of the photographs chosen for the contest.
Right around when Kaitlyn announced the contest, I lost someone very close to me. My children and I find joy in talking to cardinals whenever we feel sad, and the feeling of loss paired with the dreary woods photo, inspired my entry, THE CARDINAL'S GIFT, complete at 188 words, in hopes of spreading JOY.
Thank you, @KaitlynLeann17 for organizing the contest as well as to the many generous prize donors:
@Ms_Holliday93, @readbystephanie, @ErDiPasquale, @IvanTaurisano, @ebonylynnmudd, @AndreaYWang, @AReynosoMorris, @amandarhill32, @HovorkaSarah, @chanastiefel, @ShannonStocker_, @AutumnLeaflet, @BrianGehrlein, and @JStremer.
Blair has travelled extensively all over the world. She and her husband enjoy taking their kids on big adventures together. Blair writes children's picture books for all ages! Most of her stories are inspired by life events. They feature kid’s curiosity, love of the environment, laughter, and fantasy.