Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 28, 2012

A Success Story – A Tale of Hard Work and Never Giving Up

I have a very exciting story to tell you! It’s a story of hard work and never giving up – a success story. I want to share it with you, because we could all take a page out of this person’s book.

This writer did everything that we’ve talked about on my blog: She attended as many conferences, writing retreats and writing workshops as she could. She volunteered to help at SCBWI events, not only her New England SCBWI Chapter, but also for our New Jersey SCBWI Chapter.

She made friends with other authors, signed up for as many critiques as she could. She committed to reading every evening before bed. Networked with editors and agents and worked on her craft every day – getting up before sunrise and working all morning, listening to the characters inhabiting her head. She opened her heart and let her words spill onto the pages in order to tell the stories that only she can tell. Then it was off to work at her local toy store, where in addition to selling toys that encourage creativity, she hand sells children’s books. Working at The Toy Soldier gave her the wonderful opportunity to interact with children, which constantly spurred new ideas. She entered contests and as her writing grew, she won many of them.

I first met this writer when she called on the phone to ask a few questions back in February of 2007. I suggested that she join SCBWI, which she immediately did, and then I talked her into coming to a weekend Mentoring Retreat, where she was off and running – listening to the comments on her work, taking notes, revising her writing, and just plain learning. She continued this over and over during the past 5 ½ years, and I’ve had the pleasure to see her grow as a writer and as a dear friend.

Things really started to come together at the New Jersey SCBWI Conference this past June. Not varying from what she was doing, she volunteered to be part of the conference committee, which got her into the faculty dinner and allowed her more networking time with the editors and agents. Since the conference allowed for more than one critique, she signed up for as many as she could get. She revised and polished some more before she submitted and when they read her work, they were all impressed and asked to see the full manuscripts. Right away there was interest with an agent and an editor in signing her up. It was very exciting as the clamor spread to other agents and editors. Believe me that even though this was exciting, it was a nail biting experience for the author to try and come to the right career decision. In the end, she trusted that her heart, and her gut, would lead her to making the best choice for the stories she longs to share with the world.

I am thrilled to announce today that this story is about Betsy Devany. She just signed with a power house agent and wonderful person, Emily Van Beek from Folio Lit www.foliolit.com , and already there is a lot of interest from publishers. I am sure you will be hearing more good news about Betsy in the near future. I am very proud of Betsy. How she kept improving, kept revising, and how she always welcomed rejection with such graciousness, because she felt it gave her the opportunity to move her writing to the next level. And it did. She will continue in this same vein—always learning and with the desire to give her best to the world. Betsy believes that children (our readers) deserve no less.

Betsy was schedule to join our writer’s group full manuscript critique Ocean Retreat with Agent John Cusick and Dial Editor Jessica Garrison, when everything broke her way. Of course, now the need is gone. We’ll miss sharing our work and spending the time with her.

CONGRATULATIONS BETSY!  If you know betsy, then you know who that big creature is in the picture above.  It’s Betsy’s Best Friend –  Norman the Gorilla.  You can visit Betsy and Norman at: www.betsydevany.com  And Congratulations to Emily Van Beek to snatching Betsy up.  We love you here in New Jersey!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Oh, wow, wow, wow, wow, WOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!!!!! Congratulations, Betsy! This comes as no surprise—you’re an excellent writer! Emily seems so sweet, and for sure, she has an eye for talent. How wonderful!!!! I hope it’s soon when we here you have a book contract!

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    • Thank you, Donna! I owe you a note for something you sent to me. (LOVE IT!) I have so much catching up to do. Hugs,
      Betsy

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      • Betsy, you can consider that your note 🙂 Glad you liked them 🙂 I’m so happy for you with this! I (and I’m sure everyone else) knew it was only a matter of time 🙂

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  2. Thank you, Kathy, for this heartfelt post. I will continue to be there for NJ SCBWI, cheering on you and all the members.You will always be my family.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  3. Such wonderful news, Betsy, congratulations! So well deserved, and inspiring. go Betsy!

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    • Thanks, Leeza!! I still remember when we first met in 2007. Both so green, yet hopeful and enthusiastic. Betsy

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  4. So proud of you Betsy!!!!!

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    • Thanks, Fawn, I may no longer be dancing by your side in class, but know that I am dancing on paper. Lots and lots of paper. Hugs!!

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  5. Congratulations, Betsy!! Couldn’t happen to a nicer person, or one more deserving!!

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    • Thanks, Susan! And thank you for all you did to help with the conference!! Hugs!!

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  6. Congratulations, Betsy! This is wonderful and well deserved! I’m so happy for you!

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    • Thank you, Marcela!! I expect you to follow suit soon!! Hugs!

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  7. Congratulations Betsy! Such wonderful news! Looking forward to more from you!

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    • Anita, you have had a hand in this, as you know. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for believing in Aubrey’s story. Hugs!

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  8. Congratulations, Betsy! Loved hearing your story. I hope a nice book offer is in your near future.

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    • Thank you, Laura! Hopefully, I will have more to share soon. Happy writing!! Hugs!

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  9. Thanks for sharing this story. It reminds me of that spinoff on the quote, “Good things come to those who wait.” Instead, it reads, “Good things come to those who work their [hineys] off and never give up.” Well done Betsy!

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    • Love this comment, Kendra!! I use that word (hiney) in one of my novels. Happy writing. Hugs!!

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  10. Congrats Betsy!! Heard your ms at the first-page session in June and was so impressed. I know how hard you worked at putting those baskets together too! All the best as you embark upon this new “chapter”!

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    • Thank you, thank you, Denise, not only for your auction contribution, but also your kind words. I look forward to crossing paths again soon. Hugs!

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  11. Congratulations Betsy, I met you at the June conference towards the end and you were very gracious and kind. Emily is a dream star agent, way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All your hard work paid off 🙂

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    • I remember you, Wafa! It was a pleasure! Emily is a rock star, clearly. Keep writing, keep believing. There is, I can now say, hope for us all. Hugs!

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  12. Congratulations, Betsy! What a terrific success story and so well-deserved. Your stick-to-it-tiveness and passion for children’s books are an inspiration to us all. Best of luck.
    Jeanne

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    • Jeanne, thank you so much. Best of luck to you, too. Hugs!

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  13. Congratulations, Betsy! Very inspiring!

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    • Thank you, Maria, for taking the time to comment. I greatly appreciate it. Hugs!

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  14. How exciting! Congratulations, Betsy!!! I love love hearing these stories!!! 🙂 Carole

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    • Thank you, Carole!! Happy writing and creating to you! Hugs!

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  15. Congrats Betsy! Happy to hear your good news!

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    • Thanks, Yvonne! And again, thank you for all you did for the auction! Hugs!

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  16. I’ve had the joy of critiquing Betsy, getting to know her over the years and watching her grow as a writer. She has done everything ‘by the book’ to ensure her success. So happy that she has landed with the ever-wonderful Emily Van Beek. Congratulations, Kudos, Much Success!

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    • Thank you so much, Dianne! This means the world to me. You are a fabulous critiquer, as well as a gifted writer. Hugs!!

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  17. Just wanted to add that I’m the lucky one! I’m beyond thrilled to welcome Betsy to Folio Jr. I couldn’t be more honored. As you all know, Betsy is a very special person, kind and generous to a fault. She is also an exquisite writer. My team and I look forward to doing everything we can to help her and her characters reach young readers. Onward!

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    • Good luck, Emily, and it’s about time someone spotted her talent. Glad it’s you! 🙂

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    • Here! Here! Love you Emily!

      Kathy

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    • I am the lucky one, Emily! Thank you for these kind words. xo

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  18. Fantastic news! Betsy is an inspiration to us all! Cat. Serio

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    • Thank you, Cat!!!!!! Love you to the moon and back!!

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  19. Exciting! And very inspiring. 🙂

    Like


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