Dear wonderful readers,
I want to start by thanking you for subscribing to my blog. I have such a wonderful time reading your comments and your awesome shares on social media. Thank you for helping support such wonderful creators, and I hope you enjoy learning from those I get the pleasure of interviewing as much as I do.
Today’s post is all about wrapping up the year, sharing some advice, and supporting each other.
As a writer, agent, contest host, and blogger, I get to see the Kidlit publishing industry from very interesting perspectives. There’s definitely some wonderful highs and lows to it all. As in life, everything is about balance.
To begin, wow, this has been a wild couple of years that all started with statements like, “You’ll be home for just a few weeks” and has warped into “unprecedented times” and “collective grief” and one thing after another. These times have been incredibly tough in so many ways, but there have been many wonderful results as well. From people coming together in unexpected ways to beautiful creations inspired by each other to proof of our tenacity and endurance to technological advances in all areas do our lives.
I officially began agenting in February of 2020, so my entire agent career has been through this pandemic, and I have been incredibly lucky to get the chance to work with stunning writers, agents, and editors who are not just talented but who are the hardest workers and have just the most kind, generous, and beautiful souls. This is the happiness that drives me.
Now please don’t think for a second that just because I get the chance to focus on the beauty and the positives that there isn’t negatives. There have been disappointments where we learned that going to acquisitions doesn’t always mean the book will get picked up, where we learned that revise and resubmits don’t always work out, that sometimes, as much as an editor loves a creator’s work, that editor isn’t always able to give a yes, and of course, there are many many many passes in this industry. But, the beautiful thing is a rejection is, more often than not, a good thing. Now, don’t stop reading and hear me out. This is not something I say lightly as I’m in the submission trenches with my work as well and have had, oh I don’t know, at least three calls with my agent this year where she has had to reassure me that I am a writer and I shouldn’t give up, because let’s face it, rejections are hard no matter who you are, and writing is very personal. But, when an agent or editor passes it’s because they know it’s not perfect for them which can be hard to hear, but as Danny (Rick Moranis) said in one of my favorite movies, Little Giants, a pass allows you to be open for something different or better. The right editor/publisher is out there for your work; the difficult part is finding that match, but I’m hopeful that we will all find that match. And, luckily, when I lose that hope in myself, I have wonderful critique partners, friends, family, and my agent that remind me of that hope, and I hope you have those people, too.
For Team Sanchez, I am incredibly proud to say that we have 18 books in the works – 9 are announced, and the other 9 are in various stages from working out the deal terms to finishing the contract to finding the perfect illustrator. These things can take weeks to months and even up to a year, but when creators get to share with the world that they have a book coming out, all that time slips away, and we all get to rejoice. I can’t wait for the day when all of us get to be there.
This week, I had the joy of re-reading my clients’ work. It was something that happened by accident, and it just floored me. I am so in awe of their amazing talent and the beautiful books they’re bringing into the world. So now, this happy accident is a practice I’m going to start doing annually, and I hope you decide to do this, too. Take all the stories you’ve created – published and pre-published alike – and read them all at once. Not to search for ways to improve, but to enjoy your work and remind yourself why you’re doing this – to create beautiful books for children (and adults) that will inspire and bring hope and joy to our world.
For my own writing this year, I edited a picture book to become the best story I’ve ever written, and it’s now out in submission. I received many passes and had one time (apparently Mercury was in retrograde? I found that info out afterwards) where I legit wanted to give up on writing and when I told my CPs and agent, they all helped me through. I can’t thank you all enough for believing in me. And there were a few other times, as mentioned above, where I wasn’t sure about being able to get published and my agent, friends, and family reminded me I can do this. I also started a new story that’s morphing and growing with the help of my CPs and my agent, and I hope to continue to dig deep into myself and find more stories of my heart as well as come back to other stories I’ve written and continue to improve them.
For the contests, we’ve had many success stories from each contest, hundreds of entries, and best of all, the most amazing communities – I am so honored to host contests where people support each other in the beautiful the way you all do.
For the blog, you all have been amazing! According to WordPress stats, there were over 37,000 website views this year and over 2,000 comments from you wonderful readers! Thank you for taking the time to support these wonderful creators and learn and grow with us via these posts!
For those of you who are creators, thank you for sharing your talent with the world, for believing in yourself and your peers, and for knowing that together we can help make this world a better place.
I can’t wait to hold your books in my hands someday, and for those of you whose books I already have, thank you for bringing them into this world!
I’m wishing you all a lovely winter break and an amazing 2022! If you haven’t subscribed, I hope you do today, and if you’re already subscribed to my blog, I hope you’ll enjoy our wonderful interview line-up next year, too (and maybe even a surprise one next week ;)). I know I’m super stoked!
As always, thank you for supporting such wonderful creators. Stay safe and well, and here’s to a happy new year!
Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez
PS. You all know I pretty much can’t do a post without a giveaway, so in celebration of me finally getting through my query box (WOOHOO!) (and yes, if you haven’t heard from me, you’re still under consideration), I’m doing an ABOVE THE SLUSHPILE giveaway where the winner can submit to me any BB, PB, CB, MG, YA, GN, or art portfolio for my consideration.
To be entered, go to Twitter and comment on the post with your favorite thing about either the kidlit community or one of the contests I cohost and then tag some of your friends. Once you’re done, come back here and comment on this blog post that you did those things. And BONUS if you pre-order (or have already pre-ordered) a Team Sanchez book, add that into your comment here and you’ll receive and extra entry!