Friday, July 19, 2013

Where Can A Young Writer Get Published? Happy Poetry Friday!

. ~
Howdy, Campers and happy 
...which is over at Check it Out today ~
thanks for hosting today, Jone!
We've returned from our blog-cation tanned and rested.  Esther kicks off this round's topic about contests with her post on Lee and Low's New Voices Contest, including several juicy tidbits (did you know that an early version of Christopher Paul Curtis's The Watsons Go to Birmingham lost a contest before it went on to win the Newbery?) 

Jeanne Marie continues the discussion, touching on Las Vegas, mowing lawns, selling one's first born, her years as a Hollywood scriptwriter, and winning Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's scholarship.

On today's TeachingAuthors menu:
  • links to contests for young writers;
  • a poem about the delicious feeling when you learn you're going to be published;
  • the secret about entering contests.
Links to contests for young writers:
Here's the page on my personal website which lists a few select contests (including a peace poetry contest), and here, on the TeachingAuthors website, Carmela has compiled a ton more.

My poem for Poetry Friday:
I vividly remember learning I'd won a writing contest when I was in second grade.  Winning came with a fancy bookmark(!) and a certificate to Martindale's Bookstore in Santa Monica for any book in the entire store!  I was intoxicated.  Any book! 

I chose Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham, much to my father's disappointment. 
(He had his heart set on The Big Book of Japanese Fairy Tales.)

Winning a contest, getting something published...the POW! of this is experience is indescribable. And no matter how many books you have published, or how many of your poems are in magazines and anthologies, most writers will tell you that an acceptance is an acceptance--the ZING! is as powerful each time.

And so, Campers: get out of your comfort zone and enter a contest or try to get something published (which is the same thing, if you think about it). 

Which brings us to today's poem. It's in my verse novel, Girl Coming in for a Landing--a novel in poems, illustrated by Elaine Clayton (Knopf, 2002).  It can be performed by one, two, or three people.  

by April Halprin Wayland

A letter in the mail!
They're going to PUBLISH my poem.
In their magazine.
In June.

My brain is exploding!  I can’t sleep!
I woke up early,
my body buzzy
like a playground ball boing-ing down a long hallway.

I won’t tell anyone. 
I’ll wait until the magazine comes out.
How can I wait that long?

I won’t tell anyone.
I’ll just casually hand them the magazine
or wait
until someone at school sees it.

What will Carlo think?
What will Frank think?
What will Yen-Mei think?
What will Leslie think?????????

I won’t tell anyone.
I won’t tell anyone
and boy,
will they be surprised.

They’re going to
publish my poem!
My poem!  My poem!
Who can I call at 5:30 in the morning?

So, teens, 'tweens, ten-year-olds, scribblers...all: go forth and enter!  

Because here's the secret:
whether or not you win, 
you've won.
poem and drawing © April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

Today's post is by April Halprin Wayland who thanks you from the bottom of her sandy toes for reading this far.


Anonymous said...

The urge to share such exciting news is the same at any age. I'm sure my brain would be exploding, too, if a poem of mine was going to be published! Thanks for the links to all the contests, by the way!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Thanks for all the great resources for young writers. I will have to share with my daughter! You're poem's enthusiasm is spot on. :) Oh, and nice feet!

Linda B said...

Thanks so much for all the links, April and for sharing your wonderful poem. I love your book and have shared that poem with students often. It's such a big deal when they enter a contest, and even bigger to win something. Life changing sometimes, right?

Anonymous said...

Great Poem and post, thanks! Michelle

Keri said...

Oh April -- yes! That first win is so memorable, and you captured it perfectly. A fun focus, and the list of links is terrific.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Dear Katherine, Michelle (x 2), and Keri--thanks for reading this and for passing on our contest info. And thanks for your kind comments about the poem!

Linda--I'm tickled that you've shared this poem with students. Consider having them read it in multiple voices. I can send readers the breakdown of lines for each voice if anyone's interested. Simply email me at:
aprilwayland [[[[at]]] a o l [[[dot]] com

(Can you tell I'm paranoid about getting junk mail?)