Want to get published? Get to know this word: Persistence


I’ve just gotten back from a wonderful children’s writers conference on Mackinac Island in Michigan. It’s magical there…my friend got her first glimpse of it after we walked onto Main Street from the ferry, and she said, “It’s just like downtown Disneyland.” And I said, “Except it’s real.” There are no cars on the streets. You travel by foot, or by bicycle, or by some kind of horse transportation. (Although in winter, I hear they use snowmobiles.) It’s a step back in time.

Mackinac Island shuttle

Mackinac Island shuttle

The conference was also a step back in time as I realized I was once again learning my craft and back to the wishing-and-waiting time of getting published. It’s been over three years since I had a book accepted for publication, and not for lack of submitting. I have two novels going the rounds, along with numerous picture books. It feels like an impossible road to travel with no idea what will come next. With no idea whether publication is once again an impossible dream.

Road along Mackinac Island shoreline

Road along Mackinac Island shoreline

But I didn’t get where I am for lack of trying. It took about 25 years of submissions before I finally broke into the world of fiction publishing. Not a drop in the bucket. So I’m well-versed in how to do this wishing-and-waiting thing. Fortunately, I have a longer lifespan than a butterfly’s.

In the Butterfly House on Mackinac Island

In the Butterfly House on Mackinac Island

Hopefully, I still have enough time to wait. And it’s not going to break me to keep trying. Not like some thiings might.



About Judith L. Roth

When I was about ten, it occurred to me that books are written by people and I was a person. I could create my favorite things–I could write books! I got a B.A. in English. My first poem was accepted for publication before I graduated. I had some success with poetry, but my real dream was to write fiction for children. My first fiction piece was accepted about 25 years after the first submission. Things you might want to know about me: I know how to persevere. I’m a third-generation California native, living in Indiana. I have two remarkable sons who are now young men,and a husband who’s supported my writing for over three decades. I love cats and currently have three of them. I love being near water–oceans, lakes, rivers all work for me. Chocolate is probably my biggest downfall. I’m exceptionally curious. (Or nosy, as my family calls it.)

4 responses »

  1. Nice post, Judy. You truly have been persistent and I admire your ability to keep writing and submitting and getting rejections and revising and resubmitting and not giving up! You have what it takes and it will pay off. Keep hanging in there!!

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