Friday, January 27, 2006
Writing and Publishing Workshop
I'm so excited. Michael Aquilina III, who was published at 14, is giving a kid's workshop on writing and publishing at the Pittsburgh conference. Not just on writing, but on getting published!
I love this because when I was a teen, I had two different school counselors tell me to forget about ever being a writer. The first, in 8th grade, told my parents that my dream of being an investigative reporter was just that, a dream, and they needed to get my head "out of the clouds." The second counselor, in 12th grade, was helping me decide on college degree programs. He told me to forget journalism because "there are tons of people out there with journalism degrees who never find jobs as journalists." Neither counselor ever read a single thing that I wrote. It didn't matter if my dream was backed by talent.
For this reason, I started Writers' Club three years ago. Local homeschool kids who want to make a career of writing meet once a month (part of our Teen Wednesdays). They help each other with their current writing projects. My part is to provide a little guidance and insight to the publishing world. Kids need to be given the tools to see their dreams fulfilled rather than being told to get their heads out of the clouds.
PS I gave up the dream at 18 and majored in applied mathematics with a minor in computer science, because that's what the job market commanded. I picked up the dream again in my 40's. I don't have an English or journalism degree, but I do have a Chicago Manual of Style.