Who doesn’t want to attend a workshop with this title? This was a great session led by Gloria Kimpton, a former magazine editor who now provides one-on-one coaching to writers. She opened with a good question: Why do you want to get published? Is it about telling stories? Are you passionate about writing and getting published? Figure that out and it will help drive you forward.
In reference to editors, Kimpton said they can really only use 5-10% of what they receive. The good news is that is if you’re a confident writer and you write well, you’re not competing with that many people. When you query, an editor wants to know: who you are, what you’re writing and if you can write. Boiled down in those terms, query letters don’t seem as daunting.
So, what are the five keys (or traits) that writers possess which are essential to getting published, according to Kimpton?
- Ability and willingness to hustle
- Patience and determination
- An original and unique voice/subject
Her personal story was inspiring, too. She grew up in a large family and her mother was a writer. She said she always figured getting published was just something people did. So, when Kimpton’s marriage ended and she found herself as a young mother raising five kids on food stamps and on her own, she began to write. Given what must have been a very hectic and perhaps difficult time in her life , I imagine the five keys she highlighted were those she used in order to succeed.