Dear Indie Presses: Claire Lawrence’s Book Will Knock Your Socks Off!

Who, you may be asking, is Claire Lawrence? For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her or taking one of her (spoiler alert!) fabulously inspiring creative writing classes, Claire Lawrence is a Creative Writing professor at my alma mater, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (and, I should mention, one of my favorite people in the entire world). A Utah native who got her PhD in fiction from the University of Houston and has been published widely in journals such as Terra NovaGulf Coast, Puerto del SolTerrain, and The New Earth Reader, among others. Claire maintains a lovely blog, Wish You Were Here, all about writing, mothering, partnering, running, professing, and mindfulness. With all these activities and responsibilities–not to mention several bouts of flu that have been making their repetitive rounds at her home this winter–she obviously has a lot on her plate so even though she loves to write, she doesn’t have a huge amount of time to submit her work. Namely, this means that the novel she wrote over seven years ago–which was successfully picked up by an agent, but less successfully picked up by a major publisher–spends a lot of time on the To-Do list.

Enter me.

Acting as her Official Book Submitter, I am researching smaller publishers. These are perfectly respectable presses–ranging from university presses to independent presses–with awesome book lists who accept query letters from the authors themselves and don’t require literary agents as the go-between. My goal is to find her book, Rooted in the Sky, a happy published home.

With her permission already in hand, I will be blogging about independent presses, generally, and Claire Lawrence’s Grand Journey to Becoming a Published Book Author, specifically.

I’m super excited because, honestly, submitting writing is my favorite part of the process. I love researching potential publishers–looking at comparable titles, checking out their cover designs and general marketing strategies, writing and rewriting the query letter, sealing the envelopes with a lick, stamp, and prayer, waiting with bated breath and loads of hope–and this opportunity gives me the chance to do all that fun stuff without having to wait to have my own novel-in-progress polished and ready!

I hope you’re all as excited as I am!

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11 thoughts on “Dear Indie Presses: Claire Lawrence’s Book Will Knock Your Socks Off!

  1. emma says:

    Oh my gosh. I got stuck on this line: I’m super excited because, honestly, submitting writing is my favorite part of the process. I’ve never known anyone who liked this task! Good luck with the project.

    Look forward to some of posts on this topic. I’m go check out Ms. Lawrence’s blog.

    • hannahkarena says:

      I’m so surprised that writer’s don’t enjoy submitting their work! The waiting part does stink–I’m so impatient, I drive everyone around me crazy when I count down the days, waiting for a response (and drive them even crazier when the expected response time passes, with no word, so I have to wait even LONGER)–but the reading research and getting an email about an acceptance and/or reward is, like, the biggest present to get in your inbox. Love it!

      Glad to hear you’ll be stopping by for more :]

  2. sisyphus1789 says:

    That sounds exciting. I must admit, it can be hard to find writers excited by the submission process–I know I’m not–but it’s definitely something I’d really like to learn more about.

    • hannahkarena says:

      Really? I was a history major in college, too, so I get giddy when it’s time to do some in-depth research. I guess the researching part is what tickles my fancy. Also, reading a half dozen literary journals–full of awesome short stories–or a few books from specific publishers is a total treat, so researching the markets is so much fun! Hope you stop by again to find out more :]

      • sisyphus1789 says:

        I will definitely stop by. I suppose I never looked at researching lit. mags that way, but you do make it sound interesting, ha. Have fun and good luck!

    • hannahkarena says:

      Thanks Simon! I’ve already learned so much–enough to say that a well-written book never need be self-published (and thus put the author needlessly into debt for the publishing and marketing costs) because there are so many AWESOME small presses who want to give less mainstream books a good home!

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