The Four “P”s of Publishing from Antioch Writers’ Workshop Mini-Workshop: Finding a Venue for your Work

This weekend I attended Antioch Writers’ Workshop free mini-workshop at Books & Co in Dayton. This event was led by Sharon Short and Kate Geiselman, and they discussed how to go about finding a venue for publishing your work. This mini-workshop was really helpful, and they talked about everything from literary magazines to agents and book publishers.

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Sharon Short speaking at the Antioch Writers’ Workshop free mini-workshop

The most helpful information was the four “P”s of publishing that Sharon Short discussed: Prepared, Protocol, Persistent, and Polite.

The first of these, Prepared, means that you need to take it seriously and be as prepared as you can when trying to publish a longer work. You need to figure out what category your book best fits into so that you can appropriately market your book, have the work completely finished before you start looking for an agent, and find the right agent for your work.

Protocol refers to following exactly what agents and publishers ask for when submitting to them. If you don’t follow their guidelines and make it easy for them to review your submission, you’re just giving them an easy “no.”

Being Persistent is probably the most important in my opinion. You can’t give up when you’re trying to get published. There is so much competition, but if you have what it takes, someone will accept you eventually. It is a numbers game. And Short pointed out that she hasn’t met a single author who hasn’t been rejected.

The last “P,” Polite, is important because politeness will get you far. Publishing is a small world, and people will remember you if you are rude to them. If you are rejected, simply say thank you or nothing at all and move on.

One last important thing that Short and Geiselman discussed was that a rejection is not a rejection of you, it is of that particular piece of work. And you could have been rejected simply because your work wasn’t the right fit for that publisher. Don’t give up hope.

I really enjoyed attending this mini-workshop, and look forward to the others throughout the year. Also I am so excited because I was accepted into Antioch’s Fall Retreat next month and I can’t wait to go!

Margaret Peterson Haddix at Books & Co

Last night I got the chance to see one of my favorite writers. Margaret Peterson Haddix was at Books & Co in Dayton last night to launch her new book, Children of Exile, which is the first in a new trilogy and her 38th book.

Children of Exile sounded so interesting as she described how she got the idea for it and read the first chapter. She said the idea came to her when she was at a publishing conference at a Disney property and there was a contrast between the very happy workers saying “Have a magical day!” and impatient hotel guests and a very sad book she had been reading at the time. The book is about a group of children that have been raised in an idyllic community, but not by their real parents. They are just told that it wasn’t safe for them with their parents. But now that the two oldest children have turned twelve, they’re all going back home. I can’t wait to get a chance to read this.

Haddix was my first favorite author. Her first novel, Running Out of Time, was the first book I remember truly loving and reading over and over. When I was in eighth grade, she came and spoke at my school and talked about how cool it is that she gets to tell stories for a job. And that was when I decided that that’s what I wanted to do with my life too. I walked up to her after her presentation and shyly told her that she was my favorite author and asked her to sign my books.

And last night I got to go up to her and I asked her to sign the dozen other of her books I’ve collected since then. And I got to tell her that she made me want to write, and now, ten years later, my first novel is about to come out.

Haddix is one of the friendliest authors I’ve met, and I highly recommend all of her books! Also, her advice for writers: read a lot because it’s like cheating to become a better writer, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and make time in your day just to think.

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I loved getting to see Margaret Peterson Haddix again!