Sometimes the journey to becoming a published author feels a lot like a board game. Complete a manuscript, head straight to Goody Gumdrop Mountain near the end of the board. Join SCBWI, advance one space. Go to a conference, double space move and draw an agent card. Sometimes the feedback makes it feel like King Candy is just around the corner, close enough to touch. Other times the professional critique sends the manuscript to revision pass again, way back near the start.
But unlike Candy Land’s luck-of-the-draw momentum, getting published largely depends on perspiration. And much of the luck that does come into play (i.e., right place or right agent at the right time) can be author made. Read our genre. Study craft. Finish the manuscript. Join a critique group. Revise. Revise. Revise. Get the manuscript seen. Research agents. Make face time at writing events—all the common advice.
Moving ahead on the publishing board can at times feel overwhelming. But grab a licorice whip, write through the marshmallow-bog-in-the-middle and all the way to King Candy’s castle. It’s the only way to win the game.
About Kristen C. Strocchia: Growing up with five siblings and now having seven children of her own, Candy Land has been a staple pastime in life. It’s even found its way into the occasional middle school French, Spanish, and ESL lesson. Kristen has a rhyme forthcoming in Highlights: High Five (July 2019) and is currently querying other children’s verse and a Middle Grade Sci-Fi novel. When not writing and revising, she can be followed around the country on family road trips, trying to reach the ever-elusive states of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Hawaii.