Even Laurie Halse Anderson Needs Persistence

You know Laurie Halse Anderson, author of highly-acclaimed YA novel, Speak, as well as other equally moving and successful books? Apparently her historical novel, Fever 1793, didn’t have an easy road to publication even with all of her authorial success. On her Tumblr, Anderson says:

“The research and writing took seven years. Thirteen publishers rejected it…I lost track of the number of revisions. 14? 112? Whatever, it took a long time and needed a lot of work. This book was my apprentice piece.”

I think Anderson is an amazing writer, so it’s shocking to see that she would have had to work so hard and face so much rejection with Fever 1793. Fortunately, she kept at it:

“It has sold more than one million copies in the United States, won all kinds of shiny awards, is a standard part of elementary and middle school curriculum, and has been translated into Catalan, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish.”

Lesson learned? Persistence pays off, and even amazing, super successful writers face challenges. Keep going, writers!

1 thought on “Even Laurie Halse Anderson Needs Persistence

  1. I love that book! I had to read it for Reading Olympics in elementary school. Historical fiction in general, as I’ve come to understand it, is hard to get published no matter who you are. Every agent I’ve accosted who’s websites say they rep historical fiction instantly explain that they “use to” because historical fiction doesn’t sell in this market so they’re not even a little interested.

    I think this is crazy because some of the best, most popular middle-grade and YA books there are–with all those shiny awards–ARE historical fiction: Witch of Blackbird Pond, Bud Not Buddy, everything by Ann Rinaldi, Nory Ryan’s Song, the True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (I could go on forever), and hell-o the Dear America series (why did they stop publishing that!!). Dear publishing, give the readers what they want!

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