My Professional Writing Career in 250 Words or Less

My mom says that my writing career began at two when I took off my diaper and scrawled my name on the wall.

In fifth grade winning a poetry contest convinced me that I wanted to write professionally. After all, what other careers were as lucrative?

At the University of Michigan I won two Hopwood Awards and was editor of The Barbaric Yawp. My two accomplishments as an editor were: 1) I published the work of Megan Abbott, and 2) I shortened the magazine’s title to The Yawp.

In 2008, I placed a poem in Jewish Currents.

In 2009, when my daughter turned eight, I began to write her a novel. I worked on it for hours every day, polishing each page like a poem. At the end of two years I had a beautifully written book that made no sense at all. The story didn’t work.

I changed the way I wrote. Two weeks later I had Duncan and the Case of the Killer Cake. It was the best thing I had written. I spent a year polishing it.

I sent it out. I received rejections and encouragement. I joined a critique group. I revised it again and again.

At the NYSCBWI15 conference, I read the first five hundred words. An editor suggested I change an exclamation mark to a period.

Now I’m looking for an agent who wants a book about a timid boy whose life is about to resemble the thrillers he loves. It’s pretty much autobiographical except for the flamethrowers.

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