Jon Gibbs’s Ten things I wish I knew… Final Thoughts – Thanks Jon!

Here are a few quotes from Jon Gibbs that I thought were good little snippets everyone could use.

Thank you again, Jon, for your words of wisdom, and for going out of your way to help aspiring authors to Learn from your Mistakes

1.        Dealing with shyness – He is shy.  He is afraid of public appearances.  To get through it, he imagines his grandmother saying “Okay go home – you will disgrace all your ancestors but that’s fine.”  It helps him to trudge on.

2.       Figure out what works best for you and then do that a lot

3.       Write what you like, even if it seems out of date.  If you enjoy it, someone else will, too.

4.       Winning a contest (small) and putting it in your query letter makes you look like a newbie.  Major awards are okay, though.

5.       Writer’s digest may seem good, but you have to pay to submit.  Don’t pay to submit.

6.       Slush readers trash “Dark and stormy night” openers and don’t read to the next line.

7.       Jon learns more about writing listening to others critique his writing.

8.       Young Adult needs a romantic element to be marketable*

*This is what a publisher told Jon when he was selling Fur Face as YA.  However, a friend of mine was just asked by a publisher to remove the romantic element because it made them uncomfortable.  You never know.

Jon Gibbs is the author of one of my son’s favorite books:  FUR-FACE, which was nominated for a Crystal Kite Award.

Jon is an Englishman transplanted to New Jersey, USA, where he is an ‘author in residence’ at Lakehurst Elementary School.  Jon is the founding member of The New Jersey Author’s Network and

Jon blogs at



15 responses to “Jon Gibbs’s Ten things I wish I knew… Final Thoughts – Thanks Jon!

  1. As a teen and young adult, I was very shy. One of the courses I took for my education degree was called Micro-teaching, which taught us how to present material to classes without turning our backs, gave us confidence to go up in front of people and evaluated ‘bad habits’ that we should avoid in future. It was a fantastic way of boosting confidence, so now I love talking to groups of kids about my books and writing. It also helps when you love what you’re talking about! 🙂

    Trending is something my writers group and I try to avoid, although we have fun trying to predict what the next trend will be. 🙂

    When I add in romance to YA it’s always mild stuff, because that’s what it was like when I was a teen (when I can remember that far back! lol) so I don’t think it’s too objectionable to publishers. Mind you, these days, if you’ve read some of the YA stuff that’s out there, I’m not sure that’s true for all publishers.

    Thanks for sharing Jon’s great advice, Jennifer. 🙂

  2. This has been such a good series! I’m kind of sad it’s over. 😦

  3. Love the tips especially 2 and 3. I’m always afraid my writing is too simplistic for today’s kids.

  4. Thanks for sharing. It helps.

  5. “Write what you like, even if it seems out of date. If you enjoy it, someone else will, too.”

    Yep. Writing is hard work, but it should also be a joy.

  6. I hope number 4 is a good tip because I’m going to alter a query letter I’ve been composing after reading it!

    I like tip number 3 because I think people can over-worry about what the current “in thing” is to write about.

  7. Hi Jennifer,

    Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog.

    You managed to make me sound almost wisdomous, which (as anyone who knows me will tell you) is a difficult feat to pull off 😉