“Try every door” was the closing advice from Jonathan Scott Fuqua, speaker at the May 19 MWA meeting. He is an author, fiction and nonfiction writer, historian, artist and teaches on the faculty of Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore.
Fuqua described his seventeen year writing career as a “long hard slog.” He considered his first two books to be disappointments and mostly ignored, he said. His second book was written with a bolder viewpoint and rejected 32 times. At that point he pretty much gave up writing for a while.
Suddenly out of the blue his book “The Reappearance of Sam Webber” was mentioned by an East coast talk show host, particularly talking about an obscure bullying scene in the book. This unlikely scenario brought an unexpected uplift in sales and recognition. For it he was awarded the ALA Alex Award. Fuqua expressed his admiration for librarians saying “what sustains you are librarians” and urges writers to go out of their way to talk with librarians. “If you are looking for someone to place your books, they are wonderful.”
You might want to look him up
From Maryland Institute College of Art website:
Jonathon Scott Fuqua is the award winning author of three much lauded, award-winning young adult novels,The Reappearance of Sam Webber (ALA Alex Award,School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Booklist Editor’s Choice, and more), DARBY (Oppenhiem Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, Book Sense Top 5, Mark Twain Award finalist, and more), and The Willoughby Spit Wonder (“It is the kind of novel, by turns comical, haunting, and thrilling, that comes only once in a blue moon,” The Boston Globe).