Writers help other writers—well, sometimes they do. A long time ago, when I had the opportunity to volunteer at literary magazines and read slush, that’s what I loved the most: the chance at finding a good story by an unknown and being the one to bring it to the board for consideration.

It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to champion someone else. Sometimes an opportunity comes up, though, such as some months ago an editor at a trade house asked if I could recommend a writer for a project—she even asked if I might be interested myself. But I thought of the project and a new writer I know, an assistant where I work, came to mind. I never really talk to her much at work—and I could have recommended any number of other people who are actively looking, but I just saw a talent in this girl. She’s a good writer, and I don’t think she gets credit for it. So I told the editor about her, and that was that… I thought.

Then this week I came into my office to find a card on my desk. The writer had left me a sweet thank-you note—it seemed that the editor ended up choosing her for the book and she’s writing away. She seemed so excited. Her note was so sweet, touching. I love the fact that something came of this—maybe it will be the start of something big for her, who knows. And I’ll get to sit back and know I maybe had a little thing to do with it. Pretty cool.


5 thoughts on “Helper

  1. Susan February 3, 2007 / 3:25 pm

    It warms my heart to hear of writers helping writers. I think it’s what ought to happen all the time, but doesn’t always.

  2. jadepark February 3, 2007 / 4:02 pm

    you are a generous soul, nova! as you know i have written about this and wonder why it doesn’t happen more often. but when it does happen, it is AMAZING and so you are. 🙂

  3. thedictionaryofoscarmacsweeny February 3, 2007 / 5:11 pm

    do you ever look at a published book, a book by an established, well known author and thknk… if i saw this typed up on a submission and on top of a pile of the same old stuff that i’d probably not have noticed it… that it’s nothing special. is it possible to see published work and “hopeful” work in the same light?

  4. mel February 4, 2007 / 12:37 am

    Ditto Susan and Jade. You are good people.

  5. courtney February 5, 2007 / 7:21 am

    That was so awesome of you. Definitely good karma coming you’re way, I’d think! I’ve come across a lot of stories about the less attractive/not-nice side of the writing world and while they can be hard to stomach, I will admit they at least make stories like THIS all the more great to read. Rock on.

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