Three Steps to Get You Closer To Publication
Most writers join professional writing organizations or other writing groups in order to learn more about writing, and that’s always a good thing. But making connections in those groups is even better.
It was a writing friend from a group I joined years ago who passed along my name. She was asked about writer/teachers who might be interested in opportunities in the Korean educational market. The publisher doesn’t post writer guidelines; they work through connections. And they’re not the only ones who follow that formula. Editors often ask for recommendations, so join up, get to know your writer friends, and maybe you’ll be recommended next!
So now you’ve joined an organization, but maybe there’s hundreds of people in the group. How do you get to know people? How do people get to know you? Volunteer!
And you don’t have to be that person in the top tier of the organization, or even the one who’s comfortable up on the stage, talking to everybody. Writers are often introverts by nature, I know, so volunteer in a capacity that suits you. For example, if you’re great with directions and love driving, volunteer to pick up an agent or editor from the airport. That’s thirty minutes to an hour of wonderful one-on-one time!
Of course, not everyone can pick up the agents or editors. But when you volunteer, perhaps you’ll get invited to a volunteer dinner at the end of a conference. That’s how our SCBWI region thanks volunteers, and so for a couple hours, we have the opportunity to chat with all the speakers at the conference. I know writers who’ve received book contracts, just because of a fortuitous conversation at dinner!
Mostly, make sure that you’ve done the work so you’re well-prepared when opportunities come along. Learn your craft. Write, write, and write some more. Know what’s going on in your chosen field. And be open to whatever may come your way.
Sure, luck has a little something to do with finding publishing success. But if you follow a couple simple steps, lucky opportunities will find you!
~Cathy C. Hall