Sunday, January 6, 2008

Innovative: A Word for the WriTeen

January 6th, 2008
An E-zine for Teens Who Write and Those who Support Them
Edited by Gabrielle Linnell


Fire In Your Belly:
Getting Published in 2008

by Gabrielle Linnell

If you want to write and get published... what's stopping you?

I hope you are unhappy with your publication record. I'm dissatisfied with mine. I'm grateful for where I've been published before, of course... but satisfied? no way.

I hope for a career of dissatisfaction. It means I will constantly expand my limits. Experiment. Be the longshot. Win as the longshot.

As J.A. Konrath wrote this week,

"Satisfaction and contentment are great for your personal life. In your professional life, once you start accepting the way things are, you stop trying. No one is going to hand you anything in this business. You have to be smart, be good, work hard, and get lucky." (

Ambition unbridled can make you into a disillusioned, unhappy brat. Ambition controlled can push you into the stars. Pick your constellation.

So, how are you going to get published this year?

Innovative will be holding a six-part series, talking about how to make your own publishing plan, complete with goals, tips and *action.*

1: Research and Plan. Starting small, planning out markets, realizing what you want to write.

2: Writing and Publishing "Small." The nonpaying and online-only markets, and how to break into them.

3: Writing and Publishing "Medium." Well-known nonpaying markets, small paying markets, etc.

4: Research and Plan. Reevaluate what you like writing for, figure out where you're going next.

5: Writing and Publishing "Big." The big guns, how to aim for them, and tips on getting in.

6: The Book. Every teenager is writing one, is there any chance of publication?

I'll be talking about goals for each step of your plan, how to deal with rejection, time guidelines to give yourself and how to have a well-balanced publication record. Very few of us are going to be published in $1/word magazines, but if you want to be part of that few, you're going to have to work.

Maybe you just want to publish poems for preschoolers. Maybe you want to raise awareness about a social problem. Maybe you're dying to share your characters with the world. You're all definitely in love with writing.

What's stopping you?*


Interview with Melissa Walker, author of Violet on the Runway

Melissa Walker is a writer who has worked as ELLEgirl Features Editor and Seventeen Prom Editor. All in the name of journalism, she has spent 24 hours with male models and attended an elite finishing school for girls in New Zealand, among other hardships. Melissa grew up in Chapel Hill, NC, and has a BA in English from Vassar College. She really believes in the motto "write what you know." Well, except for the whole supermodel thing. Swear!

INN: Where did you get your inspiration for Violet on the Runway?

MW: As soon as I started peeking behind the scenes of modeling and fashion as a magazine editor, I knew that I wanted to put a "real girl" in the middle of this crazy world, a girl who would see it from the outside and be like, "Holy crap!" It's an insane environment, so there's lots of fodder for adventure, humor and drama, especially from the point of view of a small town girl who's not yet jaded.

INN: What's your favorite part (so far) of the Violet adventure?

MW: My favorite part is getting emails or myspace/facebook messages from girls who've read the book. I'm really into the interaction, their questions, etc. It is a blast, and I'm so glad for the back-and-forth. I feel like it'll make me a better writer.

INN: Who do you identify most with in the books?

MW: Honestly, many of Violet's likes and dislikes are my own, so I'd say it's Violet (though I was never a supermodel, of course!). But there's probably a little of me in each and every character.

INN: Who's your favorite contemporary author (or authors)?

MW: In the YA dept, I really like Sarah Dessen, Carolyn Mackler, E.Lockhart, Adrienne Vrettos, Elizabeth Scott... they are all amazing writers.

INN: What project are you working on now?

MW: I am finishing up book 3 in the Violet series, Violet in Private. Book two, Violet by Design, is almost ready--it comes out in March.

INN: Any advice for teen writers?

MW: Yes! I actually wrote a post for with some advice, and you can find it here:

Thanks, Melissa!

You can buy Violet on the Runway through Amazon by clicking and don't forget to visit Melissa's blog at*


Notes from the Teenage Underground by VOYA

VOYA is a respected journal that, among other things, reviews young adult books. They have an occasional column that publishes essays by teenagers. They pay $50 per essay along with a copy of the. This is great if you like writing about problems or situations from a teen's point of view. Read their guidelines by clicking on

innovative housekeeping

We are open to submissions from writers and WriTeens alike. Please email Gabrielle at for guidelines.

If you have been published, let us know and we can post the details on the blog! Your success deserves to be celebrated.

Innovative is looking for a guy reviewer and interviewer, aged 15-19. If you're interested, email Gabrielle at the address above.

Thanks to Melissa Walker for interviewing!

Logo designed by Katie Beth Groover.

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