SPAWN Market Update – September, 2006
By Patricia L. Fry
Going, Going, Gone – 3 Magazines and a Publisher
Here’s Whats New – 8 New Mags and a Publisher
Opportunities For Freelance Writers – 20 in all—8 of them HIGH PAYING
Opportunities for Authors – 10 opportunities for writers of YA, Graphic Novels, Romance and MORE.
Opportunities for Book Promotion – 11 of them! Sell more books. We tell you how.
Opportunities for Photographers and Artists – 5 good opportunities
Opportunities for Screenwriters – A whopping 7 this month.
Resources for Writers and Authors – 2 useful newsletters
Bonus Item – Interview with Dallas Woodburn, an 18-year-old ward-winning writer, author, motivational speaker and creator of Write On.
Rebecca Saletan, former editor-in-chief for Harcourt, will step up to the plate to take Andre Bernard’s place as publisher.
Bookpublisher.com, originally known as ipublisher.com is now Wheatmark, Inc. President/founder, Sam G. Henrie, considers his business a self-publishing company. If you’ve followed Patricia Fry’s books, blog and articles, you know that she suggests proceeding with extreme caution and armed with an enormous amount of industry savvy before signing with a fee-based publishing service. http://www.wheatmark.com.
NOTE: As you will notice, the submission information for some of our newly listed magazines is sketchy or missing. For some reason, the first thing on these new editors’ minds does not seem to be soliciting articles and other content for their magazines. And many new magazines can pay little or nothing at first—although this is not true of all new launches. While I will keep diligently seeking information from new magazines to pass along, I urge you to contact the editors yourself and ask for a copy of their Submission Guidelines. Or email the editor with your resume and your subject interests. Get in on the ground floor of magazines of your interest and you may be able to work a sweet regular gig or become a columnist, for example.
To locate Submission Guidelines for magazines, go to their Web site. Look for a link to “Submission Guidelines” or “Writer’s Guidelines” or “Write for us” or “Editorial Guidelines.” If you don’t see this link, click on “Contact.” Some sites place their guidelines on the contact page. If you don’t see it there, try the “About Us” page. If you still don’t see a sign of the Submission Guidelines, email the editor and ask for a copy.
I introduced Smithfield Magazine last month, but I couldn’t find their contact information. Well, they have a Web site now, but it is still in the bare bones stage. In fact, they have their magazine name misspelled in their Web address. Now that’s a first! When I did a Google search, I was led to http://www.smithfeildmagazine.com. When, of course, the correct address is http://www.smithfieldmagazine.com. You can reach editor Laurence Sasso at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-231-1402.
What’s Next Magazine
Christian Professional Magazine
Watch for a new fashion/celeb magazine coming soon. It is tentatively called, Fashion Rocks. is coming out with a new magazine AGAIN. It’s called, quite appropriately, Hallmark, again. Lisa Bennenson is the new editor-in-chief. Contact her with your story ideas on relationships, shopping, cooking, beauty or lifestyle at email@example.com. http://www.hallmarkmagazine.com
According to the Magazine Publishers of America, there were 42 new magazines launched during the 2nd quarter of 2006. Twenty-one of them are lifestyle magazines, 15 of the new magazines are for women and 10 of them are for the wealthier readers. Three new magazines this year are for and about the Atlanta, Georgia region.
I wanted to bring you some higher paying magazines this month. Here are a few that you might not have thought about. Get creative—do some research, find someone to interview, submit a query to these high-paying mags and report back to me how much money you made from this effort.
Lake Superior Magazine
Hiatus Travel Magazine
Digestive Health and Nutrition
One Dollar Markets
Do you like to write about pets? SPAWN member, Saint Louis Sandy, is really good at keeping us apprised of opportunities for pet writers. Here’s a series of magazines that she found recently. Tails, Inc., produces 5 regional pet magazines including Chicagoland Tails, Capital Tails (Washington DC area), Sonoran Tails (for the Phoenix region), Indy Tails, St. Louie Tails, Ohio Valley Tails and Michigan Tails. These magazines cover just about any and all aspects of the world of pets. Pays $150-$200 for features. They also publish book and product reviews of around 50 words and will pay $10 each for those. Contact Jason Heidemann at Jason@stlouietails.com. Visit the Web site: http://www.tailsinc.com.
Fido Friendly Magazine
I finally received submission information from The World and I Magazine. This used to be a great print magazine. Now, it seems, they are The World and I Online. They used to pay $500 to $800 for an article. Now payment is around $100 for 2,000 words. Here’s what they want; articles primarily for a thoughtful, educated audience comprised of middle school, high school and university students. They want articles reflecting current issues throughout the world, the arts, natural sciences, life (personalities, food, travel, health, sports, humor), culture and modern thought (expert views on education, philosophy, history, economics, etc.) Submit a one to two paragraph proposal via email to Stephanie Wilson, Managing Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Web site at http://www.worldandi.com. It took them weeks and weeks to get this information back to me, so don’t expect a quick response from the editors of The World and I Online.
The creators of MoonTown Café Poetry Website are seeking help. They are soliciting writers and poets who can make their site better. In other words, they want quality poetry and other writing to publish on their site. In exchange, they will offer a free 3-month Premium Membership. Learn more at http://www.moontowncafe.com.
Do you want to know why your great article ideas are turned down? According to an article in Meg Weaver’s Wooden Horse July Newsletter, Melissa Walker, ElleGirl editor, says that most pitches just aren’t targeted enough or not well enough thought out. She advises freelancers to do the work for the editors. I concur. They’ll love you for it.
If you’ve been submitting queries and articles to Colorado Review only to have them returned, take heed. This magazine accepts submissions only during certain months out of the year. And the magic time is here. From September 1 through April 30 you can submit your personal essays, creative nonfiction and short fiction pieces now. They buy from 6-9 nonfiction articles and as many as 15-20 fiction manuscripts each year. They also buy 60-100 poems each year. But keep your manuscript to less than 30 pages. They pay $5 page. http://www.coloradoreview.com. Contact Stephanie G’Schwind. email@example.com.
The producers of Travelers’ Tales publish anthologies and accept submissions for a variety of titles. Here are a few with deadlines looming. The Best Travel Writing 2007 and The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2007. Both have a deadline of October 1, 2006. For these anthologies, they want stories about travel throughout the world. They’re seeking a full range of experiences including adventure, mystical, funny, poignant, food related, cultural and transformational. Stick to just 3,000 words. Submissions go to: Submit@travelerstales.com. See other contests at their Web site http://www.travlerstales.com.
Are you stymied about what to write next? From what I hear, graphic novels are getting a lot of attention from publishers as are Young Adult (YA) books. What is a graphic novel? It’s a full-length comic book. And any book that involves teens as main characters could be a YA book.
So who publishes graphic novels and YA books? Here are a few:
Graphic Novel Publishers
NBM Publishing (founded as Flying Buttress). Terry Nantier considers his publishing company one of the highest quality graphic novel publishing houses in America. They launch 1 or 2 new artists each year. Recent ones include, Patrick Atangan, Shane White and Richard Moore. Nantier suggests that potential graphic novelists study their catalog and Web site. They are interested in almost everything from fantasy to humor. But don’t send them anything featuring super heroes. They are not interested. Here’s what they want—a one-page synopsis of your story and copies of your art (no originals and no completed stories). You can submit either by mail or electronically. NBM, Terry Nantier, 40 Exchange Pl., Ste. 1308, New York, NY 10005. firstname.lastname@example.org Visit their Web site at http://www.nbmpub.com.
Cellar Door Publishing specializes in high-quality illustrated books and graphic novels. And they’re seeking all genres and age groups. Please include cover letter, one-page synopsis, character bios, two chapters (10-15 pages for graphic novel submission) and, if applicable, artwork. Send to Cellar Door Publishing, Submissions Department, 3439 NE Sandy Blvd, Ste. 309, Portland, OR 97232. http://www.cellardoorpublishing.com
Young Adult Book Publishers
Peachtree Publishers in Atlanta, Georgia (where else, with a name like that?) publishes young adult and juvenile fiction. They like mysteries and historical fiction, in particular. Contact Helen Harriss at email@example.com. http://www.peachtree-online.com
Holiday House publishes both nonfiction and fiction books for young adults and children. They are currently interested in literary middle-grade novels. They do not accept submissions by email or fax. Submit your query letter first to Editorial Department, Holiday House, 435 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10017. http://www.holidayhouse.com
Flux is a new imprint of Llewellyn and they are seeking submissions for teen fiction manuscripts. They will accept complete manuscripts. Here’s what they want to receive: cover letter, outline and synopsis, summary of author’s background, complete manuscript, total word count and your contact information. For more detailed Submission Guidelines go to: http://www.fluxnow.com/submission_guidelines.php.
Many of you are like me: Do-It-Yourself authors. Did you know that there is an organization for us and they are organizing a convention. The DIY Convention will be held in New York City this year on October 7. For more information go to: http://www.diyconvention.com or call: 323-665-8080.
Stardust Press has issued a call for submissions. They want erotic romance manuscripts and they’ll pay royalties of 40% of cover price. Contact Vivienne Long at: Vivienne.firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit their Web site: http://www.stardustpress.com.
Blue Rhino Publishing is seeking new manuscripts. They want mysteries and adventure stories for all ages. Evidently, their market needs are constantly changing, so keep an eye on their Web site: http://www.bluerhinopublishing.com. Be aware, however, that they charge a reading fee of $45.
I came across a report recently reflecting book sales for 2004. Here’s what I learned: Romance is still hot, hot, hot with 2,285 titles released in 2004. Over half of all paperback sales in 2004 were romance fiction. Here are some interesting facts about romance readers: 78% of them are women, but male romance readers are on the rise. Half of those who read romance novels are married. The majority of romance readers are between the ages of 35-44. Additionally, nearly half of all romance readers have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Here’s a mind-boggling number: 64.6 million Americans read at least one romance novel in the past year. The largest number of romance readers reside in the south, closely followed by those living in the west and the midwest. There are few romance readers in the Northeast. Now you know where to market your romance and to whom.
And where is the best place to promote or sell your romance novel? The majority of readers bought books new, but 25 percent checked books out of their local library. Sixteen percent borrowed books and 13 percent received the books as gifts. Thirty-one percent of all new romance novels were purchased from mass merchandiser such as Target and Wal-Mart. Twenty-two percent of readers bought their books in mall bookstores. Here’s a surprise: Only 2 percent of readers bought their romance novels in airport bookstores. I guess all of those people I see reading books while waiting for a plane, bought the book at the mall before arriving at the airport.
Just in case you are not sure what type of romance novel to write, here are the most popular subgenres. Forty-eight percent of those purchased were mystery, thriller or action stories. Twenty-five percent were set in the American West, 24 percent were in historical England, 21 percent had a Medieval flavor and 18 percent had a paranormal element.
Irene Watson of Reader Views announces an annual literary awards program for self-published books in several categories. The first place winner will receive $150 and an internationally distributed press release. The entry fee is $30 per title and entries must be postmarked before October 30, 2006. Go to http://www.readerviews.com/Awards.html for a downloadable entry form.
Those of you who have your books with Quality Books for distribution are typically asked to send 30 covers of your title for promotional purposes. As you may know, Quality Books promotes selected books and distributes them to the North American library market. I received a letter from Quality Books last week stating that they would soon be relying on digital covers of your book rather than asking you to send hard covers. This will be convenient for the publisher/author and probably a more effective way for Quality Books to promote our books. If you are not promoting to libraries and you feel your book is appropriate for this market, contact Quality Books http://www.quality-books.com or 800-323-4241.
Would your book be of interest to seniors? The folks at Seniornet.com are seeking books to discuss through their online book club. Contact them at http://www.seniornet.org.
Amy Hoffman at Women’s Review of Books is looking for traditionally published books by women to review. She wants books of fiction, poetry, women’s studies and memoirs by women. Hoffman’s staff reviewed 100 books of poetry and 130 books in other categories during the months of March and April. If your book is self-published, they probably won’t be interested. http://www.wcwonline.org/womensreview. To contact Hoffman, email@example.com.
Is your book new? Write an announcement for Writing Road Newsletter. Contact, Managing Editor, Charlene Austin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you made news, lately? Those of you who have read Patricia Fry’s book, The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book, know that she urges authors to make news related to your book. Do this so that you have a reason to send out press releases and so that your press releases will attract more attention. How does one make news? Run a contest, mentor a child, launch a workshop, come out with a product related to your book, travel to an exotic city to speak on the topic of your book, start a charity related to your book topic, create an art project that supports your book, donate some of the proceeds of your book to a cause for a year, come out with a sequel or companion book. Use your imagination to make news and then write a dynamite press release. You’ll find access to newspapers throughout the U.S. here: http://www.newspapers.com, http://www.newspaperlinks.com, http://www.onlinenewspapers.com and http://www.thepaperboy.com. Also see an earlier SPAWN article, “You Can Write and Distribute Your Own Publicity Releases Online” at http://www.spawn.org/internet/publicityreleasesonline.htm.
Are you getting out and speaking to promote your book? Start in familiar territory. Maybe you belong to an organization or two. Ask the program chairman to schedule you to speak. Civic organization members often meet weekly. They are always seeking good programs. Contact them and offer to fill a slot. Seek out organizations and clubs related to your book topic—business, military, parenting, real estate, education, grief, eldercare, writing and so forth. To learn more about the process of preparing and delivering a speech, read The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book and visit Patricia Fry’s publishing blog. http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog
Fido Friendly Magazine
Blue Ridge Country
ARTChic Magazine accepts submissions from artists. Learn more at http://www.artchicmagazine.com or email@example.com. (Note: ARTChic has accepted Patricia Fry’s piece on how to promote your art for publication in an upcoming edition. If you missed this extremely informative, motivational article, you’ll find it in the January 2006 edition of the SPAWN Market Update, http://www.spawn.org/private/marketupdate/mu_01_06.htm#article%20for%20artists.)
Are you local to Seattle? You might get a gig with Seattle Magazine. http://www.seattlemag.com
Movie Maker Magazine
Cinequest Film Festival is seeking submissions for films and screenplays through November 10, 2006. The festival will take place in February/March 2007. Learn more at http://www.cinequest.org.
Consider attending the FTX West Film and Television Expo trade show and conference in Vancouver, October 12-15, 2006. http://www.ftxwest.com
Win as much as $100,000 and a distribution deal for your feature through the FYLMZ Festival event. There was no deadline published. http://www.fylmz.com for more information.
The George Lindsey UNA Film Festival will award $3,000 to the Best of Show and their deadline is November 15, 2006. Do you have an idea for a film shot at least partly in Alabama? You could win $2,000 for top prize in the “Sweet Home Alabama” contest. http://www.withoutabox.com or http://www.lindseyfilmfest.com
Southern California writers, here’s one for you. The 9th annual Method Fest Independent Film Festival will be held March 30 – April 6, 2007 in Calabasas, CA. They are looking for character and story-driven films featuring strong acting performances. The deadline for film submissions is December 15 (early) and January 31 (late). The early entry fee is $40 for features. http://www.methodfest.com
Scriptshark produces a newsletter that may provide you with the information and tools you need in order to succeed as a screenwriter. Visit their Web site at http://www.scriptshark.com.
Screenwriting Expo 5 will be held October 19-22, 2006 at Pixar Animation Studios in Los Angeles, CA. http://www.screenwritingexpo.com
Just when I think I’ve seen all of the writers’ newsletters and magazines out there, another one crops up. Check out Writers on the Rise. Christina Katz, also known as the Writer Mama, produces this newsletter. Learn more at http://www.writersontherise.com.
Do you write comics? You might be interested in PW Comics Week. Subscribe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month I am pleased to share this candid interview with 19-year-old Dallas Woodburn. Dallas is a student, a writer, an author, a volunteer, a speaker, a newsletter editor, a workshop leader and the creator of an organization called, Write On! She has also appeared on prestigious TV shows, in prominant magazines, and she wrote a column for Family Circle for a while. Dallas has been awarded the impressive national Jackie Kennedy-Onassis/Jefferson Award and a Congressional Award Gold Medal for working to increase literacy awareness through her “Write On!” foundation.
Q: Dallas, tell us a little about yourself and your passion for writing.
A: I am a sophomore at the University of Southern California, majoring in Creative Writing because I want to make a career as an author. I am also minoring in Business, because I hope to start up my own publishing company one day, with the special aim of discovering—and helping—new, young writers. I have loved to write for as long as I can remember. My dad, Woody, is a sports columnist, so I grew up with writing as a part of life. He would sometimes let me type out stories on his computer once he had filed his column for the day—and, to me as a young girl, that was very special. I am incredibly blessed that my parents and teachers were so encouraging of my love of writing from a very young age. I remember that in first grade, I wrote a short story titled “The Magic Eye” (a revised version appears in my book, There’s a Huge Pimple on My Nose) and I shared it with my teacher, Mrs. Diane Sather. She asked me to read it to the class, and my classmates really liked it. Talk about positive encouragement! I was hooked. I realized that writing stories and sharing them with the world was what I truly wanted to do.
Q: You are the founder of a writing-related organization called, Write On. Would you describe the organization and your reason for establishing it?
A: Write On is an organization I created in 2000 to encourage kids to discover the joys of writing and reading. My love of literature has opened so many doors for me, given me so much self-esteem, and has brought me such a sense of fulfillment and connection with mankind that I want to inspire this love in others as well. I often give talks at schools and youth groups, and at the beginning I always ask, “How many of you like to write?” Usually, only a few hands raise. After my talk, I ask the same question, and nearly always more than twice the number of hands raise. Kids tell me, “I always wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t know someone my age could.” Hearing my story, they realize you can be a writer—an AUTHOR—at any age.
I have a website for my Write On foundation, http://www.zest.net/writeon that features essay contests, book reviews, writing prompts, opportunities for young writers to publish their work, and more. I also hold an annual Holiday Book Drive. In the past five years, I’ve collected and donated 7,390 new books to underprivileged kids—many of whom, I am told, otherwise might not receive anything for Christmas. My goal this year is to surpass 10,000 books total! I also publish a *free* monthly Write On e-newsletter. To sign up, simply send your e-mail address to me at email@example.com.
Q: You’ve had many things to celebrate as a writer. You’ve published 2 books, appeared in 4 Chicken Soup for the Soul books, have numerous magazine credits, were chosen Girl of the Month by Cosmo Girl Magazine, and you won a Congressional Gold Medal and a Jefferson Award for some of your contributions. What do you consider your proudest writing-related moments?
A: Great question! It’s funny, because I feel like I’ve had so many “proudest moments” throughout my writing career, each building upon the last … When I was in third grade and a poem I wrote was published in the local paper, when I published my first book, when Dear Abby wrote me a personal letter of encouragement, when I published my first article in a national magazine and then landed my column with Family Circle, when I wrote the feature-length play my high school produced, when I was a guest on The Early Show on CBS to discuss my writing with Hannah Storm, when 3 a.m. was released and I was the youngest guest to ever be interviewed on the nationally syndicated PBS book talk show “Between the Lines” … All of these moments have felt like my “proudest” at the time, but then a “prouder” moment comes along as I keep trying to climb higher and higher on the ladder of writing success. However—it sounds like a cliché, but it’s true—greater than all of these moments is the pride I receive from my Write On foundation and volunteering to help others. My Holiday Book Drive brings me special joy—giving the boxes of new books to the kids and watching their eyes light up as they crowd around the books reminds me why I love to write in the first place.
Q: I have been a fan of yours for quite a while because, not only are you talented, but you are frequently reaching out to help others. I’m really impressed to learn that you worked with young writers at the prestigious Santa Barbara Writers Conference this year. Would you tell us about the experience—how did you get involved, what was your assignment and how did it go?
A: Thanks, Patricia! It was such an honor to be involved with the 2006 Santa Barbara Writers Conference. I attended as a student in 2002, when I was in high school, and I was the youngest attendee ever, so the workshop leaders that year kept a special eye on me. Everyone was very nice and encouraging, and I kept in touch with the conference coordinators and every few months would let them know what I was up to. Then, last summer, assistant director Marla Miller e-mailed me that they were planning to start a Young Writers Program for 14-18-year-olds as part of the conference, and since she knew of my Write On endeavors and love of encouraging young people to write, she asked if I wanted to be a workshop leader for the Young Writers Program. I jumped at the chance, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! I taught a two-day short story course for the kids, and the rest of the time I was free to go to the adult workshops and listen to guest speakers, including John Grogan and T.C. Boyle. I felt like I got the best of both worlds! Young adult author John Ritter was teaching a workshop, and he really took me under his wing—he’s become my mentor of sorts. And, of course, I loved getting to know the kids—we went out to lunch as a group every day—and while many of them were a bit shy at first, it was so inspiring to see how they stepped out of their shells by the end of the week. What promising young writers! They amaze me. I’m already looking forward to next year. I’m going to take over as coordinator of the Young Writers Program, as well as teach a workshop again.
Q: What inspired your two books–There’s a Huge Pimple on my Nose, and 3 a.m.?
A: There’s a Huge Pimple on my Nose began when I was in fifth grade. Pimple is proof that with a lot of hard work, a lot of perseverance and, yes, a lot of support, too, a small idea can snowball into something bigger than you ever dreamed. My snowball began as a snowflake when I applied for and received a $50 grant from my elementary school to write, publish and sell a collection of my short stories and poems—but I think here’s what set my proposal apart: I would use the profits to repay my grant, so the school could offer an extra one the following year. My first printing, done at a Kinkos copy shop, was modest: twenty-five staple-bound forty-page books. Actually, they were more like thick pamphlets, but no matter. To me, they were books, my books, the most beautiful books I had ever laid eyes upon. J.K. Rowling wasn’t more proud of her first Harry Potter hardcover edition.
My fellow students and teachers, bless them, acted as if Pimple was at the top of the New York Times Best-Seller List. The first twenty-five copies promptly sold in a couple of days. Can you imagine what a turbo-boost this was to a fifth-grader’s self-esteem? To anyone’s self-esteem, for that matter? I was pursuing my dream, but I wasn’t pursuing it alone. My family and friends and teachers were right there with me.
So, I went back to Kinkos, ordered twenty-five more books and soon sold all those as well. After three more trips to Kinkos, where the workers now knew me by name, I searched out a publishing business and ordered 700 glossy-covered, glue-bound, professional-looking Pimples. My little forty-page dream evolved from a snowball into a blizzard, with reviews in the national magazines CosmoGIRL! and Girls’ Life; book signings, radio interviews; even a “Dallas Woodburn Day” at the Santa Barbara Book Fair. The Los Angeles Times raved, “If you simply want to enjoy some remarkable writing, it would be hard to find a book more satisfying than Dallas Woodburn’s.” I still have to pinch myself, but Pimple eventually sold more than 900 copies (to me, it seemed like 900,000!) and I repaid two school grants.
I published 3 a.m. with iUniverse the summer after my senior year of high school. I had done a lot in the writing world since Pimple debuted—I wrote the play my high school produced and I broke out into the freelance magazine world—but I was itching to share another collection of fiction. In addition, I feel my growth and development as a person can be traced through the growth and development of my writing: from Pimple’s childhood poems about peanut butter sandwiches and magical stuffed animals coming to life; to 3 a.m.’s more complex themes dealing with love, grief, self-discovery and internal awakening. I was excited to share my writing with the teenage and adult audiences, expanding upon the audience of children Pimple was primarily geared towards.
Q: So many would-be writers tell me that they just don’t have the time to write. Yet, you have been writing while attending college (and presumably getting good grades), maintaining a Web site, running an organization, traveling abroad and volunteering. How do you find time to write amidst such a busy schedule?
A: This is a great question, Patricia, and one that people frequently ask me. And it’s funny, but writing is such a release for me that often when I am most busy or stressed is when I most want to write! I think that if you really love to do something, you will make time for it, no matter how busy and hectic life gets. My trick is to incorporate writing into my daily routine—no different from brushing my teeth, eating lunch, taking a shower. I mean, can you imagine not finding time to take a shower? I write every single day, even if only for ten minutes. You can always find ten minutes in your day to write—whether than means waking up ten minutes earlier, going to bed ten minutes later, taking ten minutes out of television time to write, etc. Often, if I don’t feel like writing when I first begin, after the first ten minutes I’ll get into it and the next thing I know, I’ll look at the clock and a couple of hours will have passed. But even ten minutes of writing each day can really add up to pages and pages of writing, if you are dedicated and persistent. Ten minutes a day adds up to more than an hour a week, which adds up to five hours a month, and sixty hours over the course of a year. Can you imagine how many words you could write in sixty hours?
Q: What is on the writing/publishing horizon for you?
A: I have completed my first novel manuscript and am currently shopping for an agent; in the meantime, I have started to write a sequel. I’m also writing a monthly comic strip and advice column for Listen Magazine, a publication that encourages kids to make smart choices and stay away from drugs and alcohol. I am writing a regular column called “Tips from a Teen” for Writing Magazine, which is published by the Weekly Reader Corporation and is distributed through schools nationwide. In addition, I’m writing various freelance pieces and sending out queries to magazines. I’m also having fun working on a play script to hopefully be produced as part of my school’s One Act Play Festival in the fall. Another one of my major goals for the year is to expand my Write On foundation; I am starting a chapter at USC, and I am also printing up “tips and troubleshooting” brochures to send to interested volunteers who would like to start up a chapter in their hometown. My ultimate goal is to have a chapter of Write On in all fifty states!
Q: What advice do you have for hopeful writers/authors who would like to accomplish some of the things that you have?
A: My biggest advice for hopeful writers—actually, for anyone who is following his or her dreams—is to find your passion and run with it. Do it every single day, every chance you get. Never let anyone stop you from pursuing what you love. Remember that every “no” is one step closer to a “yes”; every failure is a new beginning that could lead to success. Fall down six times, get up a seventh time! I could paper my wall—all four walls!—with the rejection letters I have received, but I keep persevering and eventually that acceptance letter comes. I feel so blessed to have discovered my passion for writing at such a young age, and to know that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Writing, for me, is the best job ever, because I enjoy it so it doesn’t feel like “work”! For those who are passionate about writing, write every day, read voraciously, and send your work out into the world—you’re never too young or too old to be a writer. As Barbara Kingsolver, one of my favorite authors, said, “There is no perfect time to write. There’s only now.”
I *love* to get e-mail, especially from writers!
Dallas Nicole Woodburn