Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

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Dedication, determination pay off for Sylvia Gray

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Sylvania Campus history instructor Sylvia Gray book has been published after working and waiting for more than 15 years. After completing her master’s degree in history, with a focus on the western classical period, Gray had the idea of using classical writers’ advice for modern day problems.

“Writing the book was the easy part compared to going through the publishing process,” Gray laughed.

Author and instructor Sylvia Gray.

Author and instructor Sylvia Gray.

Originally, Gray approached a niche publisher, Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, about her book and worked with an editor for more than a year before they decided to pass on publishing. After that, she put the book on hold while she continued with other pursuits. Then in 2008 she found a way to self-publish her book, “Ask the Ancients.” Gray noted it was mostly for herself that she wanted the book in print.

“Not getting published after all that work was really disappointing,” admitted Gray. “I believed in my idea.”

After self-publishing and receiving additional feedback, Gray gathered the information and resubmitted the book to Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers.  It was accepted and published in December of 2013, after 15 years since first submitted. Although she admits the timing was difficult because she had moved on to many other things in her life, she did not want to let the opportunity pass.

“Having a publisher gives a book a specific kind of credibility,” she added.

Gray is currently working with the publisher and others to set up book reading and signings. The first reading and party is from 5-7 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 23 at Vie de Boheme, 1530 S.E. 7th Ave.. This event is open to the public.

For more information, or to order the book, please visit the book’s website.

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x by Preston Tracey 1 year ago

As a former history student of yours, I will definitely put this on my to-read list. My mother has been considering publishing for several years, but the process seems daunting; congratulations on making it work!

x by Linda Browning 1 year ago

Congratulations, Sylvia! What a nice affirmation of all your hard work.


x by Erin Edwards 1 year ago


x by Max Macias 1 year ago

Congratulations Sylvia!

I can’t wait to read this.

x by Kathleen Kuba 1 year ago

History proves time and again that persistence pays!

However, my nitpicky, proofreading background rears its head. Is the reading on Saturday, Feb. 22nd or Sunday, Feb. 23rd???

x by Deb Crawford 1 year ago

So sorry! The party is on SUNDAY, February 23rd – http://asktheancients.com/