Friday, December 30, 2011

Women Warriors...Past, Present, and Future

So you think you are just one little ol' writer...just you and your pen (or computer keyboard) against the world?  Think again...

You follow a path created by other women before you.  Women warriors who documented or spoke out against the issues of their times because they were driven to do so.  Just like you...


Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (1788-1879)

Sarah was the editor of Ladies' Magazine from 1828 to 1877.  Through her leadership she encouraged female writers to submit articles to her magazine and helped promote women as professional writers.  And Sara did not stop there.  Persuasive letters to President Abe Lincoln eventually convinced him to declare Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863...despite being in the middle of the Civil War.

Martha Finley (1828-1909)

You may be tempted to say, Martha, who?  I did.  Until I discovered that her idea for a female character named Elsie Dinsmore spawned 28 volumes of literature that "attained more widespread interest and affection" than any other character in fiction during her time except Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn.  And that's saying a lot!

Kate Chopin (1851-1904)

I remember her.  Or rather I remember her story, The Awakening, because I had to read it during a college class years ago.  Kate became famous when she wrote a collection of stories about life in Lousiana.  But then people turned against her when she felt driven to write a story about a suicidal female heroine who leaves her family behind in an attempt to discover her personal freedom.


Jan Brett (1949-)

I have always admired Jan's work.  With over 37 million books currently in print, who doesn't like this author and illustrator?  I spend just as much time carefully studying her beautiful sketches as I do being drawn into her stories.

J K Rowling (1965-)

This one female author has probably done more for the fantasy novel in recent years than anyone else before her.  Who doesn't know about Harry Potter and his friends at Hogwarts?  It took her five years to write the first in the series and over a year (and some rejection letters) before she received an offer for publication.  The rest, they say, is history.

Kathryn Stockett

I saw the movie, The Help,  a few months ago and was impressed with the story line.  This movie was based on the book by the same name and is a first novel for new author Kathryn Stockett.  It took her five years to write it and this novel was rejected by sixty agents before it was picked up.  Now, five millions copies later,  I'm sure Kathryn is chuckling over the fact that she believed in her book more than those 60 other people did.



Some of you are laughing right about now.  Some of you may think you could never be the next  _____ (fill in the blank).  But that's just it.  You don't have to be!  Women Warriors are just that because they dare to be different.  They dare to be strong enough in spirit to keep their eyes on the prize when others are whispering in their ears to quit.  They dare to embrace those things that make them unique because THAT is what will allow them to get their own message out into the world.  Those ladies of the past and present may have gone before, but it is still up to the Women Warriors of the future to carry on the tradition of blazing the trail to publication.  To all those women ready to join the ranks of Warrior, I salute you!


  1. Whoa! Impressive post Donna! You never seem to dissapoint. I choked on my coffee when I read Kathryn still ploughed on even after "60 Agents!" turned her down...Oh My! Just goes to show her determination and pure faith and belief in her work, I should have that faith.
    mmm.... yep that's me at the

  2. Good morning Donna. Good morning New Year. Good morning world-ready or not, here we are!

  3. Powerful post, Donna! Thank you! I'm envisioning all your posts some day collected into a book of essays, because they're so motivating and inspiring.

    In the closing keynote address to SCBWI LA last year (LAST year... hey, it's a new year!) Laurie Halse Anderson said "Dare to disturb the universe" -- I'm ready! I can tell you are, too!

    Happy New Year. It's going to be an incredible one.

  4. Diane, I think all of us have that same faith in our own work. I didn't read whether Kathryn submitted her manuscript on her own or if an agent had a hand in placing The Help in the hands of those 60 people who couldn't see what they did. But no matter, if Kathryn hadn't have produced a strong story and had the strong belied that this message needed to be heard, I...and many others...wouldn't have had a chance to hear her story. Thanks for stopping by! Perseverance pays off!

  5. Good morning, Mona, and thanks for the shout out about my contest! I added your name to the drawing! Happy New Year to you!

  6. Thanks Beth! That's kinda funny because I can see these blog posts tied up into a nice little "gift" book to not only inspire new writers, but to help uplift and motivate people in general. Maybe one day an agent or publisher will come across my blog and think the same thing! ;0)

  7. Very inspiring post to begin the year Donna!

  8. Such an amazing collection of women writers - all so talented! And it's true, they faced rejection before they became well-known. J.K. Rowling also got turned down by a number of editors... I bet they're wishing they'd made a different decision now! :) Thanks for an inspiring post to kick off the new year!

  9. You're welcome Susanna! I think I would rather face a lot of rejection letters than least THAT way I know I am fighting for my stories...getting them out there...and as long as I believe in them, I will eventually find someone else who believes in them too!