Welcome to the Winner’s Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Today we are celebrating published author Lauren Abbey Greenberg!
What is the name of your book? Who is the publisher?
THE BATTLE OF JUNK MOUNTAIN (Running
Tell us a bit about your path to publishing, from idea to submission to published book.
THE BATTLE OF JUNK MOUNTAIN began as an idea for an ICL assignment. I loved having a mentor guide me through the creation of the first draft. Having deadlines kept me focused and forced me to finish, which can be a huge hurdle for any writer. After the class ended, though, the work was far from over. I spent several years revising and sharing my manuscript with various writing partners and SCBWI conference critiques. I experienced a rollercoaster of emotions and often wondered what I had gotten myself into! But I kept at it, and with each revision my story got better and better. Finally, when I felt the manuscript was in solid shape, I began submitting to agents. It took about six months to land an agent, and that moment when I “got the call” was an amazing thrill, almost equal to receiving the next “call” months later when my book had sold to a publisher.
How long have you been writing?
20 years. I was a documentary scriptwriter for ten years before I tried my hand at writing fiction.
What’s your favorite genre to write and why?
Middle Grade Contemporary. Realistic fiction has always been my favorite genre. Middle grade appeals to me because I find that period in one’s life so turbulent, the emotional ping-pong — it’s all very fascinating to me.
What ICL courses have your taken?
Writing for Children and Teenagers
Writing and Selling Children’s Books
How has taking our course helped your writing and/or career?
I was a total newbie when I took the first course and it made me aware of all the things I didn’t know.
Have any of your class assignments been published? If so, where and when?
Besides BATTLE OF JUNK MOUNTAIN, I also wrote a short story called OH, BROTHER! published in Highlights for Children.
Do you have a favorite writing tip you’d like to share?
Writing is a lot like going to the gym. The more you do it, the faster you will see results!
If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of writing advice, how far back would you go, and what would you tell yourself?
I wish I was the journaling type. If I could do it over again, I would take copious notes during middle school and high school. What a help that would be!
Please tell us the best or most valuable thing you learned from your experience with ICL.
I think it’s important to know that taking a course will definitely advance your writing goals, but it’s just the beginning. I’m currently drafting a second novel and you should see the stack of craft books I have beside me. I’m always learning, always trying to find ways to improve.
Lauren Abbey Greenberg is an award-winning writer/producer and children’s book author. When she’s not writing, she’s a bookkeeper, which helps exercise the other half of her brain. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two children, and a fluffy dog named Sally.