January 29, 2013

My First Experience with Getting Published - Ruth L. Snyder

Although I have always enjoyed writing, I never considered myself a "writer" until a few years ago. My journey to becoming a "serious" writer started with the God Uses Ink competition (now called Fresh Ink Novice Contest) sponsored by The Word Guild. I entered a piece titled, Gifts from a Loving God, the story of my journey through infertility and adoption in the competition in 2009. To my amazement and delight, I won first prize for my age category. This prompted a flurry of excitement as I made plans to claim the prize of a free conference registration for Write!Canada.

After the conference was over I began the adventure of submitting my piece for publication. One of the main tools I used was The Christian Writer's Market Guide. I realized after doing some research that memoirs are a very specific niche that does not have very many marketing opportunities. However, I discovered there is one Canadian Christian magazine which is very interested in testimonies, especially from Canadian writers. I sent a query off to Testimony Magazine and waited. The waiting seemed like it lasted forever! However, one day there was an email in my inbox from the editor, requesting that I submit my article. When I wrote the article for the contest, it was about 1200 words. The editor of Testimony asked me to cut it down to 800 words. After a few tries I was able to reach the specified word limit. I submitted the article and was excited to hear that my story was going to be published. I received notice in October that my article was accepted for publication, but the article wasn't published until January.

I will always remember the feeling of holding that first published piece in my hands, along with a cheque for $100. It was humbling, glorious, exciting, amazing - all at once. I was encouraged when people read my story and were encouraged by it, but also humbled to see what God accomplished both in me and through me.

Testimony Magazine only purchased first rights, so I was also able to have Gifts from a Loving God published in two Sunday School papers in the United States. Since that time I have had several other pieces published. The rejection letters have come too. I find myself going through different "seasons" - sometimes I'm sending multiple manuscripts out to publishers at once. At other times I'm so busy with life and squeezing time in for writing that I don't have any submissions going out. Currently my collection of completed writing projects is stacking up. I guess it's time to get that market guide out again!

(Education information)
(Ruth's writing and family life) 
(Information for caregivers of children ages 0-5)
Follow Ruth on Twitter:www.twitter.com/@wwjdr


  1. Ruth, I so enjoyed your posting. Oh my, what a wonderful start to your writing journey!

    Thank you for sharing this. I love learning how it all started for you.

  2. Congratulations Ruth! I remember meeting you at Write Canada that trip there and your joy at this new venture. Here's wishing you many more publications in the days ahead!

  3. Thanks, ladies. Violet, you were (and are) a great encouragement to me. Thanks for meeting with me and sharing what you've learned in your writing journey.

  4. This was very encouraging. Submitting is a time consuming and demanding precess in and of itself and when rejection comes it makes one wonder if its really worth it. In the end it is - as you so aptly pointed out.


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