Dec 13, 2010

Happy to announce. . .

I’m happy to announce that I’m now represented by the Carolyn Swayze Literary Agency.

The details:

I attended the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference in Seattle last July and first heard Carolyn speak on an agent panel.  She introduced herself and talked about the kind of writing and author she wanted to represent and I felt like she was talking to me. Kerry Schafer and I waited a long time in the hallway waiting to make appointment changes and I was delighted Carolyn had room for me. (Kerry also has a very grounding influence on me, so her presence there was more than a side note, yeah?  Looking for a secret weapon? Go to a conference with Kerry.)

The next morning I started my day with speed pitching.  I had no idea to whom I would be presenting, only that this was the young adult panel.  Speed pitching was great fun and I ended up at Carolyn’s table with three business cards (three requests) already in hand. I was having a great morning, but I really wanted her card the most.  When I ended by telling her I’d be meeting her later that day, she said, “Oh, you’re going to be tired of me by then.”  No, not likely.  And yeah, I liked her.

That afternoon at the longer session, I repeated my Claire Morgane pitch and also told her about my middle grade novel, Spillworthy.  She asked me which one I’d like to send first. Happy day.

I submitted Claire Morgane and then I was off to attend Willamette Writers Conference the next week.  I learned so much through writing workshops at PNWA and Willamette and, as we all do, I kept thinking about what I could do to improve.

My response to Claire came from Kris Rothstein, an associate agent working with Carolyn Swayze.  She said they couldn’t represent the manuscript yet, but she’d like to see a revision. Her suggestions were exactly what I needed to hear.  She invited me to call and talk about her ideas for the book and I emailed to set up a time.

And I called.

And wow.

The changes she wanted were big, but they were right.  She had the experience to isolate what I needed to do to take this book where it needed to go.

I wrote like hell for the next month.

I sent off the revision.

And then I waited.

And the more I waited, the more I started doubting myself again. The beginning of the book was all new material.  Reading it again, I couldn’t shake the feeling I’d submitted a first draft. What was I thinking?

The day I was supposed to hear back from Kris, I was sick.  I waited until the end of the business day and fell asleep early, not feeling incredibly hopeful.  A windstorm woke me at 3AM and, with my mixed-up sleeping hours, I couldn’t go back to sleep.  Might as well start writing early.

Yes. You guessed it. That’s when I heard from Kris.  Her email must have come in minutes after I turned off my computer.

She sent notes for the early chapters and I nodded as I read her thoughts. Yes. True. Absolutely right. And then she noted that this was new material and she hoped I’d smooth it out—because the rest of the book was really quite good—save a couple things I could change here and there.  She really hoped I’d consider making the changes.

I reread that section a couple times because it sounded like I was getting another chance.  And her suggestions were so good.  I had to make sure I wasn’t getting my hopes up for nothing. Yes. She wanted to see revisions.

And then I finished reading the next paragraph—the one that included talk of a contract and representation. She was going out of town, but she’d like to discuss it with me the next week.

And that’s how I found out I was on the cusp of representation.  The end of a long revision, discussion with someone who really understood what I wanted my book to be, weeks of waiting, another chance to revise, and then discussion of a contract—and there I was at 3AM, wanting to scream, wanting to tell someone, alone in the quiet of my perfect writing bubble.  If I startled everyone awake, I’d lose my writing time for the day. So, yeah.  I could tell them later.  I started revising.

Today my contract arrived and the news finally feels real enough to say out loud. And I'm driving today and have no internet connection.  Funny how these things work.  So you all will know in the morning.

Which is now *this* morning.

I'm happy to announce that I’m represented by the Carolyn Swayze Literary Agency.

Yay!

135 comments:

  1. Ezzy Guerrero-LanguzziDecember 13, 2010 at 11:46 PM

    Congratulations! You're one of the most consistent, committed writers I've had the pleasure of meeting on Twitter. Very happy for you! Well-deserved. ; D

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  2. Many congratulations and thank you for sharing your story. Very excited for you.

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  3. Many congratulations! There are a lot of lessons in there for the rest of us about perseverance and not letting your doubts overtake you. For now enjoy the glow!

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  4. That's wonderful! I admire your persistence in the process, and how well you engaged the people who liked your work. Congratulations!

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  5. i am so proud of you, you've worked so hard to get here :) now, moar edits! lol :)

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  6. Congrats! That is awesome news. Now you're so much closer to being an author with a real book and everything :D

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  7. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Johanna Harness, Johanna Harness, Liz Fielding, Tony Noland, Hadassah Fey and others. Hadassah Fey said: Congratulations! > RT @johannaharness: Happy Announcement! I have an agent. Yay! http://bit.ly/hq6Nm1 [...]

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  8. Congrats!! This is great news!! I am very happy for you!! :-) :-) :-)

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  9. Congrats!!! Can't wait to congratulate you on your first sale!

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  10. Congratulations, Johanna! I've kept up with you on Twitter through the #amwriting hashtag, and wow, this is just really exciting news!! Woo-hoo!! I hope you celebrate big time!!

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  11. Mega congratulation!!! I received an offer of representation for Christmas last year and know how exciting that is. Enjoy the thrill. Here's hoping you have more BIG news to share soon.

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  12. Fantastic tale, fantastic news!

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  13. Oh, Johanna! When I saw the news on Twitter this morning I was so excited for you! Congratulations! You just thought you were working hard before. *wink* I'm very proud of you and your perseverance. I know in my heart that Very Good Things(tm) are waiting for you.

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  14. Fabulous news! Congratulations!!!

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  15. YAY JOHANNA!!!! That's so amazing! You are a real inspiration to me, and your post came at the perfect time. I know you wrote it to share and celebrate, but it has also encouraged me to keep pushing! I hope someday soon I can announce similar news! Woo hoo for you!!!!

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  16. Many, many congratulations Johanna!! Woot! *throws confetti* Wonderful news. :-)

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  17. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!

    The work paid off - #she'swriting - oh yes, she is!

    Well, well done. This is really great news to read/hear.

    Very happy for you.

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  18. Congratulations! *happy dance happy dance* So exciting! I'm very happy for you :)

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  19. I'm so pleased for you johanna! The way you told the tale was --breathless, sit on the edge of your seat -- beginning to end. So glad it turned out the way you hoped. Much luck on the success of the finished product.
    Karen :0)

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  20. OMG! This is such awesome news! Congratulations. All your hard work and perseverance have paid off.

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  21. @johannaharness Congratulations! :-D

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  22. @johannaharness Congrats!

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  23. @johannaharness What a gift for the holidays - congrats!!

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  24. @johannaharness WOOT! Congratulations!

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  25. @johannaharness Congrats! all that hard work's paying off :)

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  26. @johannaharness Brilliant news, well done you!

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  27. @johannaharness This is fantastic news. Congrats, Johanna!!

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  28. @johannaharness Congratulations!!!

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  29. @johannaharness Yay for you! None more deserving.

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  30. @johannaharness CONGRATS! *woot*

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  31. @johannaharness Congratulations!!!!! Hooray!

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  32. @johannaharness Congratulations! You deserve it!

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  33. @johannaharness CONGRATULATIONS!!! So happy for you!

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  34. @johannaharness Congrats!

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  35. @johannaharness Congratulations! I love reading these happy announcements. Best of luck going forward.

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  36. @johannaharness many congratulations! You've worked so hard for this and absolutely deserve it!

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  37. @johannaharness Congratulations!!! Whipee for you!!! Let's celebrate!!!

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  38. @johannaharness Congratulations!

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    Replies
    1. @johannaharness Congrats on getting an agent!! That is really exciting for you!!

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    2. @johannaharness Congratulations Johanna!

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    3. @johannaharness Missed the news on the T to work. Congratulations!!!

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    4. @johannaharness Congratulations Johanna :)

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    5. @johannaharness congrats!! congrats!! congrats!! the best is yet to come!

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    6. @johannaharness Congratulations! Wonderful news for a wonderful lady!

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    7. @johannaharness That's GREAT NEWS! Congrats!! Can't wait to see the first book. ;)

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    8. RT @johannaharness: Thanks so much for all the congrats today! So overwhelmed and happy. Yay! http://johannaharness.com/blog/2010/12/1...

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  39. @johannaharness Woot!!! Congratulations!!! How very exciting. *Passes glass of fizz*

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  40. @johannaharness Congratulations! Perseverence can pay off.

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  41. @johannaharness congratulations!!

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  42. @johannaharness Congratulations!!!

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  43. @johannaharness Congrats!

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  44. RT @johannaharness: Happy Announcement! I have an agent. Yay! http://johannaharness.com/blog/2010/12/1...

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  45. Congrats @johannaharness on your great news!

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  46. @johannaharness That's brilliant!

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  47. @johannaharness Wow! Congratulations!!

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  48. @johannaharness congratulations! :-)

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  49. @johannaharness Wooot! Congratulations!!!!

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  50. @johannaharness Congratulations!

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  51. @johannaharness Congrats, Johanna! Great news!

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  52. @johannaharness Congrats!! XD

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  53. @johannaharness Congratulations!!

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  54. @johannaharness CONGRATULATIONS! Such great news! #amwriting

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  55. Yippee! Awesome news! I wish u well in things to come. I love writing & anyone making the attempt is special to me! @johannaharness

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  56. @johannaharness Congratulations!!!

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  57. @johannaharness Huge congrats on finding agent. Well done - more good things will follow, I'm sure.

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  58. @johannaharness Congratulations! You are always writing, working on your craft. This is well-deserved.

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  59. @johannaharness always happy when yet another one of us succeeds! Great stimulation and inspiration! You go guuurl! lols

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  60. @johannaharness Congrats on getting an agent.

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  61. @johannaharness Terrific news!!!

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  62. @johannaharness Congrats on your happy news!! :D

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  63. @johannaharness That was an inspiring read. Congratulations!! I #amwriting. I'll get there someday :)

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  64. @johannaharness CONGRATS, Johanna! Fantastic news! #amwriting

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  65. @johannaharness congrats

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  66. @johannaharness woot woot! Congratulations!!!! #amwriting

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  67. @johannaharness Congrat!!!! I''m so excited for you! :)

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  68. @johannaharness I'm all late here, but CONGRATS!!!! :D

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  69. @johannaharness Congratulations on finding an agent!

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  70. @johannaharness Congratulations! Your good news is cathartic for the rest of us. Thanks for sharing your exciting news

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  71. @johannaharness First off CONGRATULATIONS! 2nd, your voice begins my twitter day & I can't think of a better way to begin...#amwriting. <3 u

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  72. @johannaharness Congratulations! Wow, that is great!

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  73. HEY EVERYBODY! @johannaharness GOT AN AGENT! #amwriting Grats, Johanna! ^__^

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  74. @johannaharness Yay!!! Congratulations!!!!! *happy dances and sparkles and all things awesome today*

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  75. Congratulations. What a wonderful, and intense, story. You clearly need some friends in Europe. 3am is smack dab in the middle of the day. Great work on the revisions and how wonderful to find someone who can really see the novel you intended.

    Cheers,
    Margaret

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  76. Angela Parson MyersDecember 14, 2010 at 8:39 AM

    Congratulations. When I got involved in Claire, I knew it was just a matter of time for you.

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  77. @johannaharness congrats! score!

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  78. @johannaharness Congratulations!

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  79. @johannaharness Congratulations! What awesome news!

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  80. @johannaharness a long road with a happy ending! Congrats!

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  81. @johannaharness WHAAAAAAATTTTT!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! *happeh dance for you* :D YAYAYAYAY

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  82. @johannaharness Congrats!! Sooo exciting!

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  83. @johannaharness That's awesome and inspiring!!! Congratulations, Johanna!!!!

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  84. @johannaharness Can't follow chain back far enough so see what everyone is congratulating you for. SHARE AGAIN, whatever it is!

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  85. @johannaharness Congratulations, dude!

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  86. @johannaharness oh YAY YAY! No one deserves it more than you and I'm thrilled for you! Congratulations!!

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  87. @johannaharness Ooh, I missed that. Let me add my congratulations!

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  88. @johannaharness Congratulations! That's big news!

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  89. @johannaharness oh sorry for the delay! congrats xx

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  90. @johannaharness Congrats -- and best of luck for a quick sale.

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  91. @johannaharness Excellent! Could I borrow...?

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  92. @johannaharness yay! Congrats!

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  93. @johannaharness and let me add my congratulations. Your tweets have been inspiring.

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  94. @johannaharness Congratulations, I just read the good news, you full heatedly deserve this, the best of luck with everything!

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  95. @johannaharness Congartulations! *happy dance happy dance* :)

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  96. @johannaharness Whoo hoo you go girl. Huge congrats to you.

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  97. @johannaharness Congratulations!

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  98. @johannaharness YEYEYEYEEYEYEYEYEYEYEYEY!

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  99. @johannaharness It's finally time to squeeee? Yes? Whoooppeeeeeee!!!!!!

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  100. @johannaharness SQUEEEE!! I am so so so happy for you! Congratulations and I cannot wait to see your stuff on shelves!

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  101. Fantabulous news! @johannaharness has an agent. Congrats! http://johannaharness.com/blog/2010/12/1...

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  102. @johannaharness OMG YAYA!! *kermit flail*

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  103. Thanks so much for all the congrats today! So overwhelmed and happy. Yay! http://johannaharness.com/blog/2010/12/1...

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  104. @johannaharness Congrats on your big news! That is wonderful. :-)

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  105. @johannaharness You deserve it!!! I watch you tweet every day, you never quit, everything you get you will have earned! Congratulations!

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  106. @johannaharness Congrats! What a way to start off the holidays!

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  107. @johannaharness Congrats - great news and great story. you worked hard for this - enjoy this time.

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  108. @johannaharness Congrats, Johanna!! Your hard work has paid off.

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  109. @johannaharness love your authenticity in sharing. Thrilled for you!

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  110. @johannaharness Just read that post- So exciting! congrats! :) :) *confetti*

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  111. @johannaharness Many Congratulations! It sounds well earned!

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  112. I never had a doubt! Congratulations! Looking forward to the published work!

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  113. Many congratulations! You've worked so hard and it is fully deserved.

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  114. Congratulations! Your post is so wonderful -- not only because it showcases hard work and real emotion, but also because it has a happy ending! Love! And yay!

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  115. Congratulations, Johanna. So happy for you!

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  116. Congrats! Wow. A great experience. It was meant to be. Many blessings to you :)

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  117. Wow, what a great story. Congratulations!

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  118. [...] #amwriting hashtag. Although I’m not as active on Twitter as I used to be, I followed founder Johanna Harness and kept my eye on the happenings. Not only does she have great news to share today [...]

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  119. @johannaharness That's such great news! You deserve it!

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  120. @johannaharness My pleasure! I'm really happy to hear of your success - for your own sake, and because it gives me hope.

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  121. @johannaharness congratulations, BTW! I saw your good news, but Twitter wouldn't let me reply ;)

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  122. I'm so happily overwhelmed by the well-wishes flowing from all of you. I think I've connected with everyone on twitter but, if I missed you there, thank you. You're amazing.

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  123. Sooooo stoked for you, Johanna! Congratulations!

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  124. That is great news. Sorry it took so long to comment here. I think I have on twitter.
    Certainly no one is more deserving.

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  125. Congratulations on your representation!! All your great work is paying off. We are all so happy for you!

    Cheers!

    Teia

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