Author to Share Success Story at Westport Writers' Workshop

Oct 23, 2012, 16:44 ET from Westport Writers' Workshop

WESTPORT, Conn., Oct. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Anyone who still doubts that self-published authors can achieve mainstream publishing success will change their minds after hearing a galvanizing talk by Judy Mandel, author of Replacement Child (Seal Press/March, 2013) at the Westport Writers' Workshop on Monday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m. In a story guaranteed to inspire unknown authors, Mandel will demonstrate the value of publishing one's eBook even after all the agents have said "no." She will also read excerpts from her memoir, a Barnes and Noble e-Book sensation.

Previously unknown to the publishing world, Judy Mandel pursued a career in public relations and corporate marketing before publishing Replacement Child. She now freelances through her own writing firm, Mandel Associates, in the greater Hartford area. 

Judy Mandel's memoir recounts the story of being conceived by her parents to fill the void left after her seven-year-old sister, Donna, perished in a fire. But Donna's was a legacy Judy could neither escape nor live up to. Besides recounting Judy's personal story of her struggle to live up to that legacy, Replacement Child offers a poignant look at the nature of grief and how a family collectively copes with loss. "In writing Replacement Child, I came to understand how my birth helped my parents heal. Something I had never considered before writing the book," said Mandel.

After countless rejections by agents, Mandel decided to self-publish her memoir. "It was a story I just wanted to be told," said Mandel. As an eBook, Replacement Child caught on with readers and became a bona fide success. Literary agent, Rita Rosenkranz, and publishers took notice. A major contract with Seal Press, an imprint and division of Perseus Books was the result. Replacement Child is now slated for a March, 2013 paperback release and can be pre-ordered via

The reviews have been outstanding. Wendy Thomas of raved, "Mandel's memoir is as riveting and gut wrenching as any piece of thriller fiction I've read." In addition, Replacement Child received a Self-Published Book Award from Writer's Digest and the National Indie Excellence Award (NIEA). 

"We're thrilled to have Judy speak at the Westport Writers' Workshop about her self-publishing success. Writers will be both encouraged by her perseverance and inspired by the success she achieved by believing in herself and her own work. It promises to be a special evening," said Jessica Bram, Westport Writers' Workshop's Founder and Director.

Admission for the Author Talk is $15 or free for Westport Writers' Workshop members, and attendance is limited; pre-registration is required. Attendees should register online at or by calling (203) 227-3250.

Established in 2004, the Westport Writers' Workshop offers creative writing workshops in fiction, nonfiction, memoir, writing for children, and screenwriting, designed to nurture creativity, inspire imagination and develop the writing craft. In addition to its workshops and programs, the Westport Writers' Workshop offers an optional annual membership which includes free admission to events, workshop discounts, and other benefits. The Westport Writers' Workshop is located at 3 Sylvan Road South, Westport. More information is available at or (203) 227-3250.

SOURCE Westport Writers' Workshop