Sunday, January 27, 2008

Innovative: A Word for the WriTeen

Innovative: A Word for the WriTeen
An E-Zine for Teens who Write and Those who Support Them
Edited by Gabrielle Linnell


The Driver's Manual to Publication, Part III of VI:
Writing and Publishing "Medium"

by Gabrielle Linnell

Please realize, dear teens and teens-at-heart and in-betweens, that this is a highly condensed way of planning your way to publication. Supplement your writing education with magazines, blogs and books. Music like Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten" helps too (anyone else have any good writing theme songs?)

So, you've published between four and ten "small clips." Good for you! Don't congratulate yourself too much! Move on (how?)! I will tell you.

Briefly re-evaluate what your targets are. Are you heading, like Joaquin Jalapeno from last week, for travel zines? Realize where you want to establish yourself. That way, you don't find yourself mindlessly submitting to Freaks on Fire when you really wanted to focus on the purist pyromaniac audience. Because the difference between small and medium markets isn't huge (haha!), the tools for researching and planning are similar and won't be explored in any more depth.

Directions. Instead of setting a finalistic goal like "I will publish five medium clips before submitting to Vogue," focus on a submission-time-constrained deadline like "I will submit ten stories in three months to X, Y, Z and more magazines." Medium markets, which are well-known online/nonpaying markets as well as small paying markets, are worth being faithful to. Never leave them.

While submitting to these "medium" markets, always remain professional, punctual and a Spellcheck god. Your potential audience will probably know what they are reading about, and therefore you must raise your own bar. While outlining your targeted markets, allow a bit more time per each submission for proofreading and editing. Then use it.


You begin to get paid in this stage of your writing career. If you have to sign a W2 (in the USA) or any kind of tax form to get paid, please notify your editor that you are underage. This clarifies any potential weirdness with signatures. Contracts are also likely to get involved-- don't be scared! Just fill in the blanks and make a photocopy for your records. You probably will never need it again.

Maps. C. Hope Clark's has a free newsletter called "Small Markets." Sign up for it, and receive a weekly listing of markets that pay under $.25 USD/word. She also has a newsletter called "Writing Kid," which features markets for young writers. Neat-o!

Kathy Henderson's defining book for young writers, The Young Writer's Guide to Getting Published, has a great market index for "medium" markets. If you haven't already bought a copy (and have never been published), get one!

Because you've moved up in the writing world, feel free to join the writing e-community. There are market indexes like that are e-searchable and incredibly useful. Start a Yahoo! group for teen writers searching for publishing markets. Read writing magazines like they are medical discoveries. These things can make or break your young writing career.

Driving on the backroads of your suburb, or on streets with no traffic signals, might not seem like much to the well-worn Nascar driver. But it's a huge accomplishmen to newbies (like me) who have a fear of anything with four wheels. So it is with writing. You still haven't written for anything your people have heard of, but somebody is listening.

Keep on drivin'.*

Gabrielle Linnell is the editor of Innovative: A Word for the WriTeen, and is still very bad at driving.

There is no Bookshelf this week, but no fear! Grab a copy of Dragon Slippers and East of the Sun, West of the Moon because the wonderful Jessica Day George will be joining us for a fantasy-filled Super Bowl Sunday.

1 comment:

Hope Clark said...

Thanks for mentioning FundsforWriters and WritingKid in your blog! I'm all about helping young people develop and promote their writing.

Hope Clark