Professor Beth Mead, the program director for the Master of Fine Arts in Writing program, signed a contract with Adelaide Books to publish her book, Dancing Madly, in 2019.
Mead, who has worked at Lindenwood since 2004 and directed the MFA in Writing program since 2009, signed with Adelaide after they published her story “Mothers” in the Adelaide Literary Journal.
Mead said that “Mothers” was “a bit of catharsis as I went through a difficult time with my son. It was one of those painfully honest pieces that makes it difficult to know if it should be submitted for publication, to be out in the world, or if it’s too personal.”
She decided to submit the story to the journal, and Adelaide published the piece in July 2018, both in their print and online mediums. Soon after, an editor from Adelaide contacted Mead and asked if she had a manuscript to submit for their books division.
Dancing Madly is not just one story, but a collection of stories.
“The stories in this collection explore how we keep trying to survive in our flawed ways as life breaks us down, sends us spinning—that mad dance that gets us through each day,” she said.
Signing a contract with a publisher is the dream of most authors, and Mead is now living that dream. What is her advice to writers?
“The best advice for new writers working toward book publication is to start by getting individual pieces published in literary journals. After about 15 or so pieces have been accepted by strong journals, then you can send query letters to reputable presses that accept unsolicited manuscripts. It’s a traditional pathway to publication, but I think it’s the best way to go, to ensure that your work gets in the hands of a respectable publisher who will work with you and market your book well.”
Dancing Madly will be available between June and October 2019. The release date will be announced at the end of August. Dancing Madly will be available at traditional and online booksellers such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
For more information about Dancing Madly or the Lindenwood Master of Fine Arts in Writing program, contact Mead at BMead@lindenwood.edu.