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09/08/2019

Do publishers take people seriously who haven’t graduated majored in English?

QUESTION
Do publishers take people seriously who haven’t graduated majored in English?
I have always been naturally good at writing whether it’s an essay or a creative piece. I want to write a novel, and I have the basic story mapped out in my head. But I am nervous that if I finish a book that it will be for nothing, because I’m afraid no published will give me the time of day without a BS/BA or PhD in English or something. Is it possible to get a book published if it is well written even if you are a nobody?

ANSWER
I had the same fears at one point. Then I talked to writers and editors and submitted some of my own work, and let me assure you, there is nothing to worry about. Publishers don’t care at all about that. They don’t even ask that sort of information. They need your name and your contact information – in fact, the less info they have, the better. All they care about, and I’m paraphrasing an editor here, are the words. If the story is good and well-written, it doesn’t matter what your degree’s in. In fact, none of the published authors I know have majored in English. One worked in marketing, one was a nurse, and the other a software tester.

In fact, I’ve read a very good article (by a prolific science fiction and fantasy author) on why getting a degree in English can actually HURT your writing career: http://hollylisle.com/index.php/Feature-… This article helped me quite a lot when I was struggling with the same question, and I hope it helps you.