Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed . ~ 2 Timothy 2:15

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


She penned her first poem in first grade. In high school, she wrote for the school paper and edited the school’s literary journal. In college her love for writing blossomed in English Comp and she decided that one day she’d write a book.

“The next thing I knew,” says Vonda Skelton, “I was 40. My life was half over, and I had never written that book—or anything else!”

So, once again, she put pen to paper, this time writing her first book in a couple of months.

“I never edited it, never proofed it,” she recalls. “I sent it out to 10 publishers. The submissions were back before the stamps were dry! Yes, that was a while back, before the days of self-adhesive stamps.”

Seven years and 63 rejections later, Vonda finally saw her byline—on an article she sold to the editor of Focus on Your Child at a Christian writers’ conference “over bacon, eggs, and grits.”

“I believed I had something of worth that God wanted me to share,” she says, “and I was hardheaded enough to believe it when others might have quit.”

Since then Vonda’s writing credits have bloomed: four books (one nonfiction book for women and three children’s fiction), and numerous articles for national publications. She’s even interviewed Kirk Cameron and Bob Carlisle.

“Published writers aren’t always the best writers out there,” she says. “They’re sometimes simply the writers who don’t quit. I know there are manuscripts tucked away in desk drawers or computer files that are much better than anything I could ever produce. But those manuscripts will never get published because the writers got a handful of rejections and quit.”

Vonda’s current project is a nonfiction book for baby boomers, which she works on while fulfilling a demanding speaking ministry and babysitting grandchildren. She also would like to try her hand at adult fiction.

“God has gifted us with exactly what we need to complete the calling He has placed on our lives,” she says. “We all have to learn to fulfill that calling. He places in each of us the passions and gifts necessary to do it.

 “I often think: What if I had stopped sending out queries after Rejection number 63?”


NOTE:  Vonda will be one of three speakers for the Seasons of Life Christian Women’s Conference in Punxsutawney on Oct. 16. For more information about the conference, visit the conference blog page. Visit Vonda's Website, where you can also access her blog, “The Christian Writer’s Den.”

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing my story, Michele. I hope it encourages somebody out there to keep trying. :-)