How I Got My Agent - Rosie's Story

How I got my agent, you ask? I fought ferocious giants, I swam icy oceans in the dark, and I climbed stony mountains to get to her . . . Well, not really, but that's how it felt through all these writerly years of trying.

It was foggy and lonely at first with so many unknowns. For me, as an immigrant and non-native English speaker, the obstacles started with improving my English, getting acquainted with the American culture, and catching up on all the reading of familiar to anyone in this country classics that I'd missed out on not growing up here.

So I began. But I was impatient at first and oh so delusional! Haha. That's actually worked in my favor because if I knew it would take this long or that it would be this hard, maybe I wouldn't have found the drive to continue with this journey. But I had no clue and thought it surely must be quite easy to write a picture book, right? There needs to be a lesson in it for the kids, rhymes, and some humor, that's all. Ouch! See how much I didn't know?

Little by little, after a few years of wandering the fields of aspiring-but-clueless-writers, my research led me to resources about the craft and the business such as Writer's Digest. I subscribed to the magazine, read their blogs regularly and began to educate myself on how this author thing worked.

In 2011 I attended a seminar with Chuck Sambucino, a Writer's Digest editor at the time. I learned a lot. At that time, I was already writing my middle grade novel so that was a big shift from picture books, too.

I also started researching agents and making a list. I realized I needed to read more so I did. Apparently, there was no shortcut. Dang it!

At one point, I remember emailing an author after reading her post on "How I got my Agent" (those are super helpful if you ask me ;)) and asking her for advice. She replied! And she told me to join my SCBWI regional chapter, which I'd never heard about before. That was a turning point for me.

Shortly after I joined, I found a critique group and met with them every week. Finally, I was getting exactly what I needed -- feedback on my work, like minded people to hang out with and talk about all things writing, and a reality check/kick in the pants.

My writing improved. I wrote more, read more, and started submitting in a much more professional manner (don't ask me about before!).

So in 2013, query number 116 got me my first agent for my middle grade novel on a one year contract for that book. It was a fantastic feeling! The agent said everything I ever wanted to hear from an agent and she was super excited for the book. But, when it didn't sell in that year's time, we amicably parted ways.

Back to square one and to submitting. More writing. More reading. A LOT more conferences and workshops where I learned from successful authors and top professionals.

In 2016 I got three offers of publication from a small publisher -- for two picture books and that same middle grade novel.

I notified all the agents who had any on my work. Marisa Corvisiero requested to see all three projects and shortly after that replied that she'd be happy to represent me!

Rosie J. Pova is a multi-published children's author, poet, and the founder of two children's writing contests―KWEST and Haiku Hype.

Her latest picture book, Cybils Awards nominated, Sarah's Song, illustrated by Emma Allen, was the Kirkus Reviews Editors' pick in February 2018. Kirkus also called it "a heartwarming book."

Sarah's Song (ages 4-8) is a story of a granddaughter coming to terms with her grandmother’s failing health and how that affects the special bond the two share through dancing and singing.

Rosie's other works include, If I Weren't with You (ages 4-8) which is on the SCBWI Official Recommended Reading List for TX/OK and a humorous sci-fi middle grade novel titled, Hailey Queen Pranking Makes Perfect: The Alien Encounter (ages 8-12).

Rosie is passionate about writing in a manner that will impact her readers. She loves visiting schools to encourage children to read, write, get in touch with their creativity, and inspire them to dream big and follow their passions.

No matter what kind of story she writes―funny, sweet or silly―Rosie hopes to move her readers and warm their hearts. Learn more about Rosie's school author visits at www.rosiejpova.com

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