As you may know, we’re adding some new bloggers to Sub It Club to bring more perspectives and submission information to help you on your journeys to publication. Today I’m so pleased to be introducing another new member of he Sub It Club team. Katherine Maria is full of enthusiasm and she has insights into some elements I’ve been very much been wanting to have covered here in the Club. I’m excited to be adding someone who can speak from personal experience about contests and Own Voices. I know that Katherine is going to bring a lot to the group! Today Katherine is here to answer a few questions so we can get to know her. Let’s give her a warm welcome!
Katherine, I am so thrilled that you are joining the team! Please, tell us a little bit about yourself.
As a kid, I frequently got in trouble for reading in math class or past my bedtime. It turned out that all of that reading ending up helping me develop my writing skills. I still love reading and writing, and now I write middle grade fiction and other kidlit. I’m originally from San Antonio, and my background is in social work. I started writing because I had stories in my head I couldn’t keep track of, so I wrote them down. That turned into finishing the manuscript, querying, writing and querying more books, and now here we are.
Of course at Sub It Club we are all about submissions. Tell us, how do you feel about the submission process?
Like many Sub It Clubbers, I am currently in the querying trenches. How I feel about it really changes on the day! I think getting feedback, whether from agents, other writers, or both, is really helpful because you don’t feel like you’re sending your work into a void. And for me, having these professional conversations with others is very validating — like, YES, I am doing this, this is a thing that is happening.
How do you think #OwnVoices and We Need Diverse Books is changing the submission landscape?
It’s interesting when I think about the books I liked growing up. I did see Latinas characters, but it was typically just one girl as part of a larger friend group. Also, they were typically written by white authors and fit a certain set of stereotypes. I’m glad that so many people in publishing are pushing for more creators of color, as well as finding ways to increase representation within the industry — it’s important to have gatekeepers and decision makers from diverse backgrounds too!
Publishing is a slow industry all around, and the numbers are definitely not changing rapidly. It can certainly get discouraging. But there are successes happening, and I hope that eventually changes the landscape. People are talking about it more than they use to.
I’ve also found so many underrepresented authors are super supportive of writers a few steps behind them in the process. Some of this support is in official ways, like contests and mentoring programs, but there’s also a ton of support happening in unofficial ways, and personally I am very grateful from all the support I’ve gotten from other writers of color during the querying process.
What do you think about entering contests?
I haven’t gotten an agent from entering a contest, which is one of the main reasons people enter them. However, I have definitely benefited from entering contests. I’ve made a good portion of my writing buddies that way, plus all of my critique partners right now are people I’ve met through contests. I’ve also learned a lot from agent feedback that I can take with me as I revise old manuscripts and write new ones. Contests might not be for everyone, but I certainly enjoy them!
What do you hope to add to the information we share at Sub It Club?
I hope to share information that Sub It Clubbers will find useful while querying! And for the Sub It Club Facebook group, I want to continuing sharing opportunities and resources that people in the group may be able to use.
Thank you so much for letting us get to know you Katherine!
I hope you’re all as excited as I am to read Katherine’s posts! Her first one will be up this Thursday. Hooray!
Want to know more about Katherine? You can find her on Twitter @kmariawrites.