My novel is finished – now what?

I had every intention of submitting my finished novel to a small press I heard about a few years ago that publishes American Jewish Experience fiction. I kept checking back and kept checking back to see if they were still around over the years. But when I pulled up their website again yesterday, I found a new note pertaining to their guidelines – they will only look a fiction works that are represented by an agent. That of course stopped me dead.

Now I am on the lookout for a small press that will be interested in coming of age/immigration/feminist themes and maybe willing to go with the American Jewish Experience theme as well. Looks like a very tall order to me. I’ll also make friends with the agents I’ve met through the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society, whom I’ve heard on panels many times. Maybe I can persuade one of them to represent me.

In the meantime I want to thank all of the people who helped me with the book along the way. The following  is what I wrote for the book’s acknowledgement page. And if I missed anyone, please let me know. I want to thank you too.



Many years and many people contributed to the creation of Papa’s Shoes, starting with my aunt, my father’s sister. When Aunt Anne was in her eighties she wrote about growing up in Sokolow, Poland, Danville Illinois, and Chicago, Illinois. I read through her writing and found a whole page about a young teacher who took her out when she was a senior at Danville High School. That she wrote about him in such glowing terms and even remembered his name and what he looked like, said to me that she must have very much liked (or even loved) this man. Her writing gave me the idea for my book.

I also want to thank my novel writing instructors at the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program. Jessica Barksdale Inclan was helpful and encouraging when I told her my idea in her “How to Write Your First Novel” workshop. She, along with my fellow students, generously provided meaningful and honest comments in a later class I took from her, the Novel III online class. As my work got further along I took Mark Sarvas’ “Novel Revision Techniques,” class, also at UCLA extension. As a result, and maybe a little overkill, I revised Papa’s Shoes a total of ten times.

And from my many writing friends and contacts I was able to recruit three rounds of Beta readers who worked at three different points in my book process.

  • Round one consisted of Heather Friedman Rivera, Madison Poulter, Jason Matthews, and Tony Chavira.
  • Round two consisted of: Erica Jamieson, Jerry Isenberg, Jack Doyle, Heather Baumgarten, Larry Ziman.
  • Round three, occurring when my book was almost ready to go, consisted of: Robert Sharples and Elizabeth Isenberg.

I thank you all for your hard work, dedication, and valuable comments that I assure you were mostly incorporated into my book.

I also want to thank my two editors. Michael Robinson did a content edit. He provided ten pages single-spaced of ways to make my book better with such detail that his comments caused me to rewrite the book almost entirely. Thank you, Michael. It was worth it. And at the bitter end, I hired Pat Zylius to do a last copy edit. Her meticulous attention to detail was so important to how my book turned out; I couldn’t have finished this book project without her.

Thank you all. Hopefully you’ll like the result of your hard work.



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