Announcing Pitch Week XVIII Winner: Maria Price!

Dedicated to Julia Rachel Price. October 11, 2016, 7lbs, 15 oz, 20 inches

 

How does a mother say goodbye to her baby before she can even say a proper hello?

In the memoir Love You Still, after years of infertility, when Maria Price learned she was carrying her second child, Julia, a healthy baby girl, she felt like she was living a dream life . . . until one day, without warning, at the end of a textbook pregnancy, Maria and her husband, Joe, sat staring at an ultrasound screen that was now, heartbreakingly, still.

After birthing and then burying their daughter, Maria and Joe needed to navigate their separate grief journeys without losing each other. Despite Joe’s seemingly unconditional love and endless patience, Maria still had to find a way to live in a world without her daughter through the depression, crisis of faith, and unplanned pregnancy that followed Julia’s death.

Had God failed Maria? Had she failed Him? Had she failed as a mother? Could she still parent her son, while grieving her daughter? Was there enough room in her heart for another baby? Could she survive another loss? Could she learn to live with the constant pain of Julia’s absence? Was she willing to try?

This is a path of inexplicable heartbreak, unexpected healing, and, through it all, unfailing love.

2.6 million babies are born still around the world each year, making stillbirth the 5th leading cause of death worldwide. It is too painful, too unspeakable a tragedy to mention, creating lack of awareness and medical research, and leaving bereaved families to suffer alone in silence and stigmatization. Love You Still is an effort to tell our story and to offer solidarity and hope to grieving families that they are not alone, it is not their fault, and that love can, and does, exist still.

Maria Price makes her home in Iowa, right on the Mighty Mississippi, where the river runs east to west.  While she makes a living as a teacher of the Deaf and hard of hearing, Maria makes a life as a wife, and a mom to three beautiful children: Joey and Benjamin on Earth, and Julia in Heaven.  Maria is passionately involved in supporting bereaved parents on social media, in support groups, and in quiet local coffee shops.

“When I made the trip to Vermont, I had no intention of writing a book. I planned to hide away in the breathtaking mountains and historical WWC Retreat to write for my own healing after the loss of my daughter. CEO Steve Eisner patiently listened to my story and encouraged me to write, so that our story might also help inspire healing for others. I knew nothing of writing books or publishing, but the WWC team was phenomenal! I expected their professionalism, but was impressed by their remarkable talent, and overwhelmed by their compassion and patience with this novice writer! From editing to cover art to marketing to reminders to breathe, I could not be more grateful for the WWC team—Peg, Asha, Amber, Sally, Athen, and Steve will forever be a part of our story! Without WWC, I never would have imagined having the incredible honor to collaborate with the amazing panel of A-list judges: Woodhall Press publishers David LeGere and Colin Hosten, literary manager Marilyn Atlas, and publicist Steve Rohr on this project and to compete with an incredibly talented cohort of fellow authors. I thank God for leading me to Steve and a team who is passionate about telling people’s stories. Thank you for helping me to tell my story—it must be told.”

Meet our other Pitch Week XVIII finalists here.