Online student Jana McBurney-Lin heard what every author dreams of hearing from an agent: “Can I get your next title?” After spending 12 long years writing her novel My Half of the Sky, Jana is finally enjoying the book’s positive recognition. The journey to finish the novel has taken her around the globe, from Singapore to San Jose.

Jana found out about the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program while living in Singapore. A freelance writer for years, she had “no idea how to write fiction.” With very few options for on site courses, she enrolled in Gary Glickman‘s online fiction writing course through the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and found it to be an “amazing experience‚Ķto be able to chat with students from all over the globe, to exchange ideas and knowledge instantly, was like magic.” Eventually she felt confident enough to move onto Paula Cizmar‘s course in writing dramatic scenes.

KOMENAR Publishing released My Half of the Sky last July. The title is derived from something the late leader Chairman Mao said: ‘women hold up half the sky.’

The story is of a contemporary Chinese woman, Li Hui, who struggles to be modern and independent while simultaneously feeling forced to conform to the traditions of her village.

Since its release, the “My Half of the Sky” has enjoyed recognition from the American Booksellers Association and Foreword magazine, among others. It also received a Notable Mention for the Eric Hoffer Book Award in 2007.

If you have a success story, we want to hear about it! Write to writers@uclaextension.edu.

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