Love this post by Meg Whalen Turner about how Diana Wynne Jones helped get her published. When Meg was still writing and trying to figure out if she was any good (nice to know she had those thoughts, too!), her husband suggested she send her work to someone whose writing she admired. Diana Wynne Jones came to mind:
“So two of the stories were mailed out and we got distracted by the arrival of a new family member and then one day a blue airmail envelope arrived at the door. It was a lovely letter. It is almost twenty years later and in my mind’s eye, I can still picture the font from an old-school typewriter. Diana liked my stories. That was all that mattered to me and that’s really all I took in the first time I read it. Not until my husband read the whole thing out loud did I realize that Diana Wynne Jones had given me the name of her editor in the United States, Susan Hirschman at Greenwillow Books, and recommended I send my stories to her.”
So I’m sure Meg’s stories were very good and worthy of being passed along. But even so, I think it’s highly unusual and admirable for an established writer to help make that connection for an unpublished stranger. It shows that Diana Wynne Jones really cared about the next generation of MG/YA writers and wanted to open a door for someone with a lot of talent. This story just warmed my heart!
Read the whole post for more on this interaction and how much Diana Wynne Jones meant to Meg Whalen Turner.