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I’d been in a serious relationship with writing for six years before I attended my first big conference. It was the Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC. I went alone and came away feeling lonelier still. I was too afraid to connect for fear of being exposed as an imposter.

The following year, I attended The Surrey International Writer’s Conference. The submission process wasn’t going well. The only way to improve the situation was to get hard core feedback.

Registration for SIWC included one pitch to an agent or editor and one Blue Pencil session with an author or editor. I was eager to hear what author Sarah Lovett would say about my opening pages. But as soon as she asked, “how can I help you?” I broke down and confessed to being a failure. Sarah held my hand, listened, and encouraged me not to abandon hope— thirty rejections wasn’t a reason to quit. What mattered was my presence at the conference. It was proof of my commitment to the process and how invested I was in getting my stories out into the world.

Our time ran out before Sarah could provide feedback, but what she offered was exactly what I needed. She held the space for me to get the negative gunk out, so I could get out of my own way in order to absorb the material I needed to move forward.

I created this space to pay Sarah Lovett’s kindness forward because every writer is a work-in-progress, and every writer needs a champion. I’d like to be yours.

80% of Success is Showing Up— Woody Allen

Whether you’re only thinking about taking on a writing life, or you’re quaking over how to navigate a novel, or having trouble telling your inner critic to scram, I’m here for you. I’m here to help you commit to the 80% and uncover the 20% you need to move forward and write on.