Getting your stories published

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.

 

DSC_1110

 

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.)

DSC_1101

DSC_1102

DSC_1103

DSC_1104

DSC_1105

DSC_1106

DSC_1108

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!)

 

AnnMarie Kolakowski

I'm a youth services librarian currently working at the Lamanda Park Branch Library while Central Library is closed for seismic repairs. I purchase juvenile fiction for grades 2-8, and some foreign languages. I do a lot of programs with school-age kids, including 3 regular book clubs (Windows and Mirrors, Read Around the World, and Lucha Libros), as well as writing workshops and STEAM/science programs. I also Infant/Toddler Storytimes and Preschool Storytimes, and outreach to local area preschools. I love what I do, working with kids of all ages to inspire them to learn and use their curiosity and imaginations. Outside of my work at the library, I am also the author of a book on creative writing activities for kids.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *