Friday, June 25, 2010

How Did the Journey Get to This Point?

I entered the door to writing because of my love of books. Reading a great story was an escape for me as a kid and still is. I played with writing in college but didn't pick it back up till about fifteen years ago when I wrote a NF short story about a possum who got in our house and tripped the burglar alarm in the middle of the night. I submitted it to a regional magazine and it was rejected but the editor did publish another article of mine about the strength of the Stockton, Missouri community after a tornado almost wiped their town from the face of the earth.
The catalyst that triggered my desire to write for children came when an author named, Vicki Grove, spoke to my students in Missouri. Some of her middle grade novels are, Fastest Friend in the West, Crystal Garden, Reaching Dustin, and Starplace. She shared how she takes memories from her childhood to make her stories live. I was hooked.
When we moved to Oklahoma, I knew I needed advice from other writers. My husband heard about an organization called, Fellowship of Christian Writers, and encouraged me to go to a meeting. The members were wonderful encouraging people but no children's writers. I then attended a workshop called, Children's Authors' Boot Camp . That weekend was a turning point in my writing. They said, "If you are serious about writing for children, you need to join The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). I took their advice and seven years later, I have written three novels and am the Schmooze Coordinator for the Tulsa chapter of SCBWI-Oklahoma. I am honored to call Anna Myers, our SCBWI-Regional Advisor, my friend, and I have countless other friends in the organization. I've been to the New York and Los Angeles conferences and I was awarded a scholarship to attend the Highlights Foundation Chautauqua Conference in upper New York state. I've had fellow writers as well as editors, agents, critique my manuscripts and I've LISTENED.
Today, I am sending out my novel, HOPE, to editors I have heard speak and agents I have researched. So what will I do while I am waiting to hear from these submissions? I am starting a fourth book, of course.


  1. Good stuff, Helen. You might want to look at how your blog is laid out. It's hard to read the part that is across the shelf of books, although I love the idea.

    My fingers and toes are crossed for HOPE. It's a great story and your voice is terrific.

  2. I am so proud of you for getting this started and for sending HOPE out. I wish her well on her journey. Congratulations.

  3. Thank you, Valerie. I told someone today that I think this Blog is going to keep me writing so I have something to write about "writing". :-)

  4. Thank you, Stephanie. I thought about changing my format but haven't found anything I like better. I think it is memorable and I'm hoping the unclear words at the top will not be a problem. Thanks for your thoughts.