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Barb's Blogs

A Funny Thing Happened On My Way to a Master's

My agent rejected my third novel the other day. This may seem like bad news, and it was, after working on this novel for two years. But something had been inkling at me for a while now, and my dear agent put it into words: "Your true calling is narrative nonfiction."

A few years ago, I decided to get a Master's degree in Children's Writing. I'd written and illustrated a nonfiction picture book, but I wanted to learn how to write novels. I entered Hamline University's MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program and proceeded to work on my goal. I started two novels in that amazing program. But a funny thing happened toward the end of my degree. I needed to write a thesis, and my adviser happened to be the incredible Jackie Briggs Martin, author of Snowflake Bentley and many more beautiful nonfiction books. I decided to write my thesis on picture book biographies. And I decided to try to write one, too.

Well, I fell in love with this genre. And it looks like fate is pointing me in that direction. My agent now has two of my picture book biographies. And she wants more. It seems that behind every closed door, there is another open one, even though you might fumble in the dark for awhile. Look for that sliver of light. You'll find it.
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