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The Call June 9, 2009

Posted by Ronica Stromberg in Uncategorized.
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I received a call last week.

For writers, the words the call are almost magical. Every writer waits for the call at sometime or another. The call is from an editor, offering to buy a book manuscript.

That isn’t the sort of call I received last week. In fact, even though I have two published books, three books under contract, and stories in 17 anthologies, I have yet to receive the call. Editors have always e-mailed me or written me when they wanted to purchase my writing. This is clearly understandable for my British publisher; the editor would have had to call in the middle of the night otherwise.

Even though my call last week wasn’t from an editor, it still brought me to my feet with excitement. On the other end was Jill Barnett, author of 17 million books in print. She called to let me know that a group of romance writers had awarded me with a scholarship to go to the Romance Writers of America National Conference in Washington, D.C., this summer!

I usually write for children, but this last year I wrote an inspirational romance, entered and placed in an RWA writing contest, and submitted the manuscript to one publisher. I’m thrilled to have the chance to go to a national conference where I can network and learn more about the genre. In today’s publishing world, a writer has four main routes to finding a publisher to purchase work:

1.  secure an agent

2. go through the slush pile (submit directly to editors or publishers who are open to unagented submissions)

3. attend conferences and connect with agents or editors

4. enter contests that lead to publication

I’ve sold all my books through the slush pile but look forward to meeting face-to-face with others. I’ve already booked my flight!

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Comments»

1. Nathan H. - June 9, 2009

Congratulations on the scholarship….I am wondering what house you submitted too…(I work at one of the largest inspirational fiction houses in the US). It would seem that the award would carry a lot of weight in the acquisitions process

Ronica Stromberg - June 10, 2009

Thanks, Nathan! My manuscript is at Barbour, intended for the Heartsong Presents line. It runs 50,000 words, so it’s short for other lines.

What house are you at? Does it mainly attend AFCW conferences? I noticed the RWA conference has only a couple of inspirational publishers attending and have since been told by other Faith-Hope-Love writers that more inspirational publishers attend AFCW.

2. Nathan H. - June 10, 2009

Barbour is good. Good people over there.

I work on the sales side, so I am not extremely versed with all the conferences that our editors go to, but I do know they go to ACFW.

I work with Baker Publishing Group which owns Bethany House Press.

Ronica Stromberg - June 10, 2009

I submitted a children’s book series proposal to Baker years ago. Gloria Jasperse took it to committee, but then she moved to Adams Media.

I met Bill Petersen from Baker/Revell also. Fun guy. He realized I was of Scandinavian descent (like him) because of my last name and told me I needed to send lutefisk (Scandinavian fish) with any proposal. (Some editors like chocolate, but he apparently prefers lutefisk.) I sent him my recipe for Danish meatballs, which, as a Swede, I am embarrassed to admit are better than Swedish meatballs, but Bill is Danish, so . . . He passed the recipe along to his son who’s a chef and referred me to Bethany House (Baker wasn’t doing much with children’s books at the time). Long story short, I ended up selling the books to a small, secular press that does a lot with homeschoolers.

We’ll see what happens with the inspirational romance. I’m hopeful.

3. Nathan H. - June 10, 2009

yeah, we’ve never done a good job with children’s books. Just not our expertise.

Good luck on the romance. I’m sure we’ll see it on the shelves very soon.

Ronica Stromberg - June 10, 2009

That’d be nice. (Actually, more than nice. Guess I should pull out my thesaurus.) Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Nathan!


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