Monday, November 23, 2015

The Sweet Sixteens and Gratitude

This week is Thanksgiving (if you're American!) and I'm happily jumping in on gratitude-themed blogging for the month. And, I get to announce I'm now part of the Sweet Sixteens Debut Author Collective!
The Sweet Sixteens is a group of Young Adult and Middle Grade authors debuting in 2016.  We have come together to  share this publishing journey and promote one another’s books. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Only a week into the group, and I'm already so appreciative of the support from other debut authors. Thinking back over the year, and I can point to many moments where I've experienced the support of other writers. This whole journey to publication can be lonely and anxious. While my family is totally behind me in my creative pursuits, they don't always know the details of the struggle. Having writer friends is by far the best thing to come out of my publishing journey so far.

Here are a few highlights:

Romance Writers conference in New York!

Brenda Drake and myself RWA 2015
I officially met contest queen Brenda Drake (and we shared a bathroom early mornings!). Her dedication to helping writers through Pitch Madness, Pitch Wars, #PitMad is constant and ongoing. She brainstormed new ideas and organized meet-ups with two different groups of writers while we were there. AND she thought up the Pitch Wars Roadshow pitch workshop for the RT Convention in Las Vegas next year and asked me to be a part of it. 

Speaking of Pitch Wars, the writer I had the privilege to help received five requests from the agent round. I'm so proud of her and her wonderful story!

My critique group put together our second retreat weekend on the (cold, fall) shores of Lake Michigan. Each of these ladies is either on the board or running a committee through my local Romance Writers Chapter. We talk through plot issues, brainstorm character tragedies, and help each other toward our goals.

2015 critique group retreat

This next one is a little bit of a throwback (2 years ago--note the hair!). On the left is Summer Heacock who I met at Midwest Writers Workshop (standing with our shared agent at the time). This month, the collective online writing community came together to support Summer and her family through a tough time. The #FriendsofFizzy fundraiser raised almost $10,000 (!) to go toward medical bills, and a separate auction was set up with agent and author items up for bid. I am so incredibly touched by seeing so many people pull together to help Summer, who consistently cheers everyone else on.  

I'm thankful for all these wonderful women who make this business easier to manage. 

What are you thankful for? What stories inspire you?

1 comment:

  1. I joined Chrys Fey in the 21 Days of Gratitude Challenge, so gratitude has definitely been on my mind lately. Like you, I am so grateful for my fellow writers. I couldn't do this without them - not even close.

    Congrats on forming such a wonderful community, and Happy Thanksgiving!


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