I wrote my first “book” in the second grade. It was a stack of stapled-together sheets of construction paper filled with a handwritten story called Life With Sam, The Great Ape. My best friend and I were obsessed with all things primate and each dreamed of being the next Jane Goodall. Just about everything we did, every game we played, was in some way monkey-related.
After my grandparents bought me a mimeograph machine, I explored the world of journalism with my own local newspaper, The Downey Sun, which ran for perhaps six or eight editions before my neighborhood ran out of interesting stories and hard-hitting exposès to cover. Next was a magazine called WOW that had a tragically short life after my middle school decided it was an acronym for Women of the World and too advanced for sale to my sixth-grade class. True story.
I wrote another book called Grandma Was Right that paralleled a falling out I had with my monkey-loving pal and a third friend, and it wasn’t half bad. That was followed by The Islanders, which, I can only imagine, was the result of me trying to emulate some Harold Robbins or Jacqueline Susann book I’d gotten my hands on. It was both hysterical and mortifying.
In between were poems (mostly bad), short stories, journals, stints on school papers and yearbooks and even a story in a real newspaper after I wrangled a ride-along with a local reporter for a day. But whatever the form, I was always writing. I changed career goals, from journalist to novelist to essayist and back again numerous times. Currently, as evidenced by this website and blog, I’m a children’s book author.
But I’ve always written. And I know I’m not alone. I know there are others out there who are driven to put words on paper … even if they can’t always decide if it will be in long form or short form, pattern or post.
What I’m looking for now are the young writers. I remember having all of these words and just wanting someone to read them, and often being thwarted by overly cautious school administrators who didn’t know what to make of me showing up with my homemade magazines and newspapers. Or just being unwilling to take the risk of approaching people and asking them to read what I’d written.
Storytellers was created to give kids (preschool through high school) a place that will accept their writing submissions and post them to share with friends, family and the folks on the interwebs lucky enough to come across them. It’s a place free of judgment, it’s not a contest and it doesn’t cost anything. So if you are a kid, or you know a kid, whose artistic medium is words, please send in your best work … fiction, non-fiction, poetry, lyrics, etc. I’m itching to get Storytellers off the ground and I can’t do it without you!