I got into writing early in my elementary education. I can’t remember what sparked it. I do remember my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Johnson, wrote ‘She shows promise in writing’ on my report card. Since then, it became a hobby. I didn’t take it too seriously until I was a senior in high school. When I discovered I could major in it while in college, I was set. It was a sign from God. I was meant to write.
Literary Agents appealed to be during my freshman writing course. I had been rooting around on some publishing websites to see if they would be interested in my manuscripts (I had finished a 200 pg novel by the time I was seventeen). Every site told me that I would need an agent before they would look at my work.
Upon more research, I began to LOVE the idea of a literary agent. They worked with authors, provided editing services, solicited their works to publishing houses, and recieved a commision based on the sales of that book. Oh, it sounded so lovely! I enjoy a one on one interaction with a person, especially in regards to business. Heck, this was something I could do.
Experience. I needed some before I could even think of becoming an agent. I talked to my professor, and to others in my major. It was then I discovered literary magazines. Bemidji State University has four of them based right on campus! I began with Rivers Meeting, an anthology that is pieced together completely by students. Here, I gained experience in working on an editorial board.
I quickly realized how tough this was. The pieces I wished to accept were often put on the chopping block, and eventually cut away from what the others deemed ‘good.’ What is wrong with me? I kept asking myself. Am I just dense or something?
Of course, I was only a sophomore at this time.
My college career continued, and I fell into such classes as “British and World Drama” and “The Short Story Cycle.” These classes helped me out SO MUCH! Ever since I took critical analysis classes, my eye is growing sharper to better understanding literature, both on a historical and local basis.
I took these skills into my editing career as I continued with Rivers Meeting and as I started Dust and Fire and New Voices. It turned out that editing was my calling after all.
A piece of me still wants to write the Next Great American Novel, or something of equal value. Hah. I continue with writing in my spare time, and within my workshop classes. After my graduation, it is still my hope that I will find the time to write as passionately as I do now.