Janet Wylie

Janet Wylie

Dear Gotham,

Gotham’s magic is its being there, alive and pulsating, in situ or online, a haven, a rallying cry.  It is shouting from its website—let your inner writer emerge!

My odyssey started, as for so many others, with Fiction Writing I, the class of February 2015. My writing flame burned through Novel Critique and Poetry classes, but flickered and died as my one adult novel attempt found its way into a filing cabinet drawer. My confidence was quite dimmed by the time I signed up for the Children’s Book writing course in February 2019.  I wrote in my introductory assignment,

I am not focused on a goal of publication. My main aim is to learn about the whole range of young people’s literature, so getting a chance to dabble in all the formats would be great. 

And yet here I am, three years later, able to tell you that I AM a published author of a middle grade environmental mystery/adventure story! How could this be?

The answer is, of course, that very 2019 Children’s Book writing class and specifically Margaret Meacham, its teacher. She gave me the inspiration and instruction on how to write, who to write for, what’s important, what is vital and what needs fixing.

The assignment for Week 5: Description became the opening pages of my novel Menace in the Mist, now published by Tumblehome Books. This could not have happened without Maggie’s assistance. Every lecture was important, every critique was spot-on and her influence and help guided me through the process of completion and revision.

Even the final lecture on Publishing was required reading for me. I did exactly as suggested, and I bought Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market and underlined possible publishers. I weeded out any that required hard copy (how could they ask for printed pages in this day and age?) and any that required an agent. Then luck was on my side, since in the list of the first ten target sites I picked, was Tumblehome Books, whose genre—science-interest books for kids—coincided with my story’s theme.

That is my story. Thank you, Gotham. Stay magical. Your writers need you!


Janet Wylie


You can learn more about Janet and her writing at wyliewords.com