Our Kids’ Writing Workshop met today and learned all about the publishing process. To make things really easy and visual for them, I put together a packet of samples. A lot of beginning writers (especially kids) don’t understand what a good submission packet looks like and may get undue rejections for that reason.
The packet included a sample Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope, a sample cover letter, a sample story, a sample email (for magazines who do accept email submissions), a sample submissions log (basically to keep track of what you’ve sent and where you’ve sent it to) and copies of the submissions guidelines from various magazines that accept stories, poetry and artwork from kids.
After we talked about how to put your submission together, we read quotes from writers who have been successful but who are not strangers to rejection. We discussed the advice these writers had about being resilient and persistent. We learned that getting published is often just a matter of luck, persistence, and reaching the eyes of the right editor.
Then we talked about how painful it can still feel to be rejected, and how writers can cope with that. All writers get rejected! So it was really important to me that the kids leave today’s workshop with some practical ideas for what to do when it happens to them. The kids wrote letters to a friend who has been rejected, encouraging them to keep on trying. (Well… first I said it was a letter to a friend, but they caught on pretty quick that the letters were really for them! They’re too smart for me.)
I hope that the kids will keep these letters in their submissions kits, and pull them out and reflect on the advice they had for themselves today! Writing is tough, and it takes a lot of resilience and courage, but these kids have a great understanding of that and they will go far. Maybe we’ll even see one of them in Stone Soup someday!
(Click here to see our copy of the best published friendship stories from Stone Soup magazine, all written by kids!)