(The Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop is teaming with prolific author Allia Zobel Nolan on a proposed humorous anthology on aging. The book, tentatively titled When Life Hands You Age Spots, Play Connect the Dots, will be offered through an agent to traditional publishers. Here’s Allia’s update on the project.)
“The time has come, the Walrus said, “to talk of many things: of shoes, and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and. . .Age Spots submissions.
First off, we want to thank each and every one of you (and there was a bigly amount, rest assured) who took the time and effort to write and submit their pieces. We enjoyed reading them and wish we could use them all.
Some essays didn’t make the running because they were previously published several times, didn’t hit the length requirement or duplicated a theme of another, stronger entry. We purposely chose pieces that were very different from one another. The selection process included readings by several people who came to a consensus about the ones selected for the book proposal.
Still, at this stage of the project, we only needed a sampling to accompany the proposal. So we chose six pieces, with the caveat that if — scratch that — when we get a publisher, the publisher will have final say about everything that goes into the book. So nothing is carved in stone at this point.
Now, (sorry to prolong the agony), but please know that we will need more material for the “real” book. So when we do find a publisher, we’ll consider other pieces, including new, original material. We may also be able to consider previously published material, depending on the house we snag. So if you are not one of the six below, there is still a chance. As we said, at this stage, we were just looking for a “sampling.” We understand your work is precious to you, so those who want to use their submission elsewhere and prefer not to wait, please feel free to do so.
Here are the writers who made the initial cut:
Barbara L. Smith
Amy MacVay Abbott
Anne Elise O’Connor
What’s next? We will properly format the essays, contact the six authors for short bios, finish the proposal and send it out before Easter and Passover. Even then, the project may not be looked at immediately by publishers because of the holidays. So, we will wait patiently.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you all for your efforts. We will keep you posted as the project progresses.
— Allia Zobel Nolan
Author Allia Zobel Nolan has published close to 200 books, some for children, others for cat lovers, some humorous, some devotional. A former senior editor at Reader’s Digest, she attended her first Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop in 2016.