How many times do you think famous authors were rejected before literary agents considered their work? How many query letters do writers have to send before landing a book deal? What is the best way to handle and overcome these rejections?

Want to know the answers to these questions? Then stick around until the end of this episode!

Today on the show we have the impressive, multi-award-winning author Jennifer Givhan.
Jenn is a Mexican-American poet and novelist who has published more than 300 poems, stories, and creative nonfiction pieces and whose work has appeared in several media organizations around the United States.

Despite her success, Jenn’s journey to becoming a famous author was everything but traditional.
Coming from humble beginnings, she recalls being poorly prepared to write in the first years of her career. However, her passion for poetry and self-actualization made her realize writing was not only her calling but the one thing she couldn’t live without.
Writing shaped her life in many ways as it helped her through her struggles with mental illness, allowed her to feel supported as a creative person, and understood as a human being.

This amazing poet is a warrior. Despite being rejected over and over again, she knows she is worthy enough to keep submitting, to keep putting her voice and story out into the world, to keep sitting down to write even when she feels the world wants to silence her.

In this episode, we’ll get into how Jenn has hustled her way as a writer, how her writing has evolved over the years, the negative stigma around being a writer, and much more!

Things you will learn in this episode:
-How to deal with writer’s rejection
-How to see rejection as an encouragement
-How to know when your book is ready to be published
-Why Jenn chose the traditional publishing path vs. self-publishing

About Jenn Givhan

Jenn Givhan, a National Endowment for the Arts and PEN/Rosenthal Emerging Voices fellow, is a Mexican-American writer and activist from the Southwestern desert. She is the author of four full-length collections, Landscape with Headless Mama (Pleiades Editors’ Prize), Protection Spell (Miller Williams Poetry Prize Series), Girl with Death Mask (Blue Light Books Prize chosen by Ross Gay), and Rosa’s Einstein (Camino Del Sol Poetry Series), and two novels, Trinity Sight and Jubilee (Blackstone Press). Her honors include the Frost Place Latinx Scholarship, a National Latinx Writers’ Conference Scholarship, the Lascaux Review Poetry Prize, New Ohio Review’s Poetry Prize chosen by Tyehimba Jess, Phoebe Journal’s Greg Grummer Poetry Prize chosen by Monica Youn, the Pinch Poetry Prize chosen by Ada Limón, the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize 2nd place chosen by Patricia Spears Jones, and over fifteen Pushcart nominations.

Givhan has published more than 300 poems, stories, and creative nonfiction pieces. Her work has appeared in Best of the Net, Best New Poets, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Ploughshares, POETRY, Salon, The Rumpus, The Nation, The New Republic, TriQuarterly, Boston Review, AGNI, Crazyhorse, Witness, Southern Humanities Review, Witness, Missouri Review, Adroit, and The Kenyon Review.

She holds a Master’s degree in English from California State University Fullerton and an MFA from Warren Wilson College, and can be found discussing feminist motherhood at as well as Facebook & Twitter @JennGivhan & Instagram @thebrujapoeta.

Connect with Jenn:
Website –
Facebook – @JennGivhan
Instagram – @thebrujapoeta
Twitter – @JennGivhan
Buy Jennifer’s book HERE!

If you haven’t listened to episode 5 where we talk about how to make sure your book is ready to be published, then go back and check it out!

I want to know who you are and where you’ve been! Come hang out with me in the Writers Squad Facebook group and over on Instagram @laurenmariefleming. I can’t wait to chat with you there!
You can also stay tuned for new weekly episodes @businessschoolforwriters, and if you want to spread the love even further, consider subscribing, rating, and reviewing!

Resources mentioned in this episode:
Headless Mama by Jenn Givhan
Want to learn the three secrets to guaranteed publishing success? Go to and watch the FREE educational series I prepared for you.

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