I have been writing for twelve years with the majority of those years being rewriting and submitting my first juvenile fiction/young adult novel, Freedom. With over eighty rejections, I think I am a good example of perseverance, or just plain stubbornness.
During those years, a number of publishers asked to read my novel and I received some good comments, but no takers. After each heartbreaking rejection, I would rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. In many ways, I can say I learned to write by rewriting my first novel.
Then, three years ago, I was fortunate to send a query to a certain agent. This agent informed me that she was not accepting any additional clients, but would represent me one time with a submission to a publisher she thought might be interested. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity. That publisher, in Norway, accepted my manuscript and Freedom was translated and published in Norway, Germany, Sweden, Finland and Holland for a total of almost 100,000 copies!
Since that time, things have snowballed. Freedom came out in a book club in the USA in January 2004 and will soon be out in bookstores in Canada. My second book, Hunted, has been published in Europe and I’ve been fortunate enough to have four additional juvenile fiction novels accepted for publication both in Europe and the US, with three of the four novels being part of an open ended series! Add a contract for three more books to be written in the series over the next year and I definitely feel like someone who can say to newer writers, stick with it! Be stubborn! Don’t quit! Put in the work and ‘pay your dues’ even if it takes ten years and eighty rejections. In the end, it’s worth it.
Angela Dorsey is a full-time writer working in British Columbia, Canada. Her juvenile fiction books have been published in Europe and North America. Her current publication credits include six juvenile fiction/young adult novels (Freedom, Hunted, Dark Fire, Desert Song, Condor Mountain, and Abandoned) and a number of shorter pieces including magazine articles, short stories and poems.