Carla Ulbrich

Carla Ulbrich

Dear Gotham,

I'm writing to share my good news: I am a published author! I was offered a book deal two and a half years ago with a small press (Tell Me Press), and now my book is a reality.

I was a little surprised how easily the book deal came to me, but I had a story to tell, I have a voice (as I am a songwriter and humorist), and I had a platform (my existing fan base from 10-plus years as a touring humorous singer-songwriter). All these things, as I have learned, are what publishers are looking for.

I knew exactly what I wanted to do: write a collection of funny, helpful essays about dealing with chronic illness. I'll help people, make them laugh, collect all my thoughts in one place. It'll be great! But wait... Um, I don't know how to write a book.

The first draft of my book came from the blog I had been writing for two years. I compiled all the entries and cleaned them up a bit, then wrote a few more chapters and submitted my first draft.

Then I promptly signed up for some writing classes at Gotham so I could learn to be a writer while I was waiting for the manuscript to come back to me with suggested edits. I took the 6-week Creative Writing 101 course, the 10-week Humor Writing course (online), and the one-day Personal Essay writing course. The classes were all great. And, when my manuscript came back from the editors, I had a dozen new essays to add to the book, and a lot of improvements to make on my existing material from the first draft.

End result: after three drafts and much rewriting, I now have a book I'm really proud of: How Can You *Not* Laugh at a Time Like This?

Thanks so much for the high standard you set for both your teachers and your students. I am already signed up to take another Gotham class-“never stop getting betterâ€? is my motto.

Carla Ulbrich