My short story “The Impromptu Birthday” was published in the anthology The Ultimate Mom, by HCI Books in March 2009. It is hard to imagine how I can feel so proud and grateful and downright excited that someone published my funny little story, but I am. Let me be clear here — my published story is about potty training, a most prestigious literary topic. It is in the section of the book called “Merriment and Mishaps”. This reality provides excellent incentive to work hard at my new writing career, lest my sole published clip could be about poo. And lying to my kid.
I should also mention, at least in passing, that the title of the anthology is somewhat ironic.
I enjoy writing essays and anecdotes about motherhood, writing and life. I try to make them humorous, mostly; but momhood has a darker side too, that sometimes leaks through. Blogging serves as an idea incubator for my projects. And, it just feels good. And, I like being able to drop nonchalantly in conversation, “I am a blogger”, because it sounds way more hip than I actually am.
I also write for children, and am working on a middle grade novel, started for NaNoWriMo in 2009. The story is still in RevisionoWriMo.
Most currently (and concurrently), I am pursuing freelance writing work.
I have received a great deal of excellent writing advice to date, and I find so much encouragement in the writing community. For that I am grateful, and inspired. I am excited to see what happens next.
Recommended Writing Workshops, or, A List of Experiences I have found enormously helpful in this quest for publication and self-fulfillment and potential income:
The Write By the Lake Writing Retreat at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, 2008. In retrospect, I will always see my decision to attend this workshop as one of those forks in the road that took my life in a new direction. Michelle Medlock Adams taught a joy of a class called Writing for Children. The class could have been called “How to Get Published Within a Year.” I followed her advice, and I did just that.
Writer’s Digest Editor’s Intensive, 2008. This experience was very powerful. Jane Friedman and crew shared invaluable information, and the relationships developed after this conference are a treasured support network. By following the advice given at this conference, I took my writing career in new directions.
Writing and Publishing the Short Stuff with Christina Katz, 2010. Christina teaches many writing courses, and this one was just what I needed to launch my freelance writing work. I am looking forward to taking more of her classes as my career progresses.
The Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, 2010. This humor writing conference was filled with newspaper columnists, bloggers and authors that were, well, really funny. The sessions were packed with great information and advice. I will be back at the next conference date in 2012!
Christie Schmidt said:
I am a friend of Joan (Hyams) and she told me about your blog! I love it! Now that the kids are back in school I finally have the time to check some of these blogs out!
You are very talented!
Jane Bretl said:
Thanks, Christie! I was an avid reader of your weekly columns! (Happy back-to-school)
Patti Albaugh said:
Jane…congratulations! You deserve a second congrats for being a guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog. You are on your way!
Thank you, Patti!
Danielle Carbonell said:
Congrats Jane! I had no idea! This is wonderful!
“lest my sole published clip could be about poo.”
too funny. Nice Jane, congrats on the story being published!
Kelly Myers said: