Now we're a few years on, and I am so pleased that every one of these writers has either found an agent, a book deal, a publisher, or beautifully bound copies of their books in bookstores.
Jamie Guiney's short story collection The Wooden Hill will be coming out later this year (époque press). Rebecca Fisseha will be celebrating the publication of her novel Daughters of Silence next fall (Goose Lane Editions). Last March I went to Christine Higdon's book launch in Toronto and picked up a bound copy of The Very Marrow of Our Bones (ECW Press). In December 2017, Cormorant Books published Read This Before You Diet by Kirsten Bédard. And this summer, Heidi Reimer found a New York agent for her novel Truth Landing.
Big congratulations to all!
These stories are reminders of the perseverance and time that writing takes. I'd recommend checking out Heidi's post on How to Write a Novel in 10 Years, based on a great talk she gave at Glad Day Bookshop last fall. A survey by Curtis Brown Creative confirms that Heidi and the rest of the Pre-authorized authors are right on track. Eli Keren from Curtis Brown says, "What is indisputably clear... is that most writers do an awful lot of writing before they see any success." Ten years or more, in fact.
But with perseverance, writers do succeed. Here is Seamus Heaney's translation of Rilke's "Apple Orchard" for some inspiration:
Come just after the sun has gone down, watch
This deepening of green in the evening sward:
Is it not as if we’d long since garnered
And stored within ourselves a something which
From feeling and from feeling recollected,
From new hope and half-forgotten joys
And from an inner dark infused with these,
Issues in thoughts as ripe as windfalls scattered
Here under trees like trees in a Dürer woodcut –
Pendent, pruned, the husbandry of years
Gravid in them until the fruit appears –
Ready to serve, replete with patience, rooted
In the knowledge that no matter how above
Measure or expectation, all must be
Harvested and yielded, when a long life willingly
Cleaves to what’s willed and grows in mute