Friday, January 3, 2014
Tonight, I was going through my numerous files and came across my certificate from a writing course I took in the fall of 2006. It was conducted by Francine Poppo Rich at the OWL Teachers' Center in Lindenhurst. Francine is a talented writer and instructor. I learned so much from her about writing for children. Actually, that's where I wrote my first draft of Sofia's Stoop Story or should I say, Uncle Frankie's 18th Street Stoop Story, the original title. After that class, I wrote, rewrote, and revised it countless times. Then I gained the courage to send it out to publishers. I received numerous rejection letters. My best was from an editor at Viking...on a form rejection letter she handwrote these encouraging words "Since I just edited a pic book on Roy Campanella, I'm not interested, but this does sound like a good story. So no doubt another editor will like it." Needless to say, that was hanging on my fridge for a while. But, after receiving many other rejection letters, I gave up. Then one day, years later, I ran into Francine. She asked me about my manuscript and I told her that I was at a dead end. She asked to read it....and as they say, the rest is history. You see, Francine and her husband run Blue Marlin Publications. So tonight, I sent Francine and Jennifer Bova (the director of the OWL Teachers' Center) a copy of my original certificate. If it weren't for both of these amazing ladies, I would not have achieved my dream of becoming a published author. I am so grateful to both of them, to the OWL Center, to Blue Marlin Publications, and to the talented illustrators Francine hired to illustrate Sofia's Stoop Story!