A couple of weeks ago I had one of my brilliant ideas when trying to think of ways to liven up my website. The site is centered around a series of children’s books I’m writing, so really the only time anything would change would be when a new book was released. Not the most dynamic stuff out there. What I decided to do was feature writing from young people (high school and under), because what better way to mix things up on a site dedicated to writing for children than writing from children. I called that part of the site Storytellers and have been spreading the word about it, waiting for submissions to roll in.
As my mother would say, it’s gone over like a lead banana.
Never before have I been ignored for so long by so many. And frankly, I’m a little surprised. I’ve been reaching out to schools and libraries and writing groups for young people, telling them about my free, non-contest, no strings attached opportunity for kids to get some eyeballs on their poems and stories, and basically, all I’ve heard is crickets. And the occasional dry, rustling of a lonely tumbleweed a’tumblin’ down the dusty, desolate road to Storytellers.
Now, I can see kids looking at me like I just walked in from 1983 and saying, “Look lady, if we want our stuff posted, we’ll post it on our own blog. So if it’s not a contest and there’s no prize, what’s the point?” And I completely understand what these imaginary kids are saying. But I don’t know if any real kids are smiling indulgently at my quaint, old-fashioned ways because exactly two adults bothered to respond and acknowledge my message.
So again, as my mother would say, “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.”
I haven’t given up on Storytellers though. I believe that once a couple of kids send me something, it’ll get the momentum going and Storytellers will take off. So it’s out there, patiently waiting for someone to submit a story or poem. But in the meantime, I’ve started a new segment that’s faring much better. It’s called Raspberry Reads and on it, I’m featuring children’s books from Raspberry Sassafras’s reading list.
How, you may be wondering, does a cow have a reading list? I’m glad you asked. First, she has a library card, because she has no money with which to buy books. But most of her reading material comes from the good people of the internet. People like you … provided, of course, that you’re a writer, and you write for children, and you’ve published (self or otherwise) a book. Then all you need to do is let me know you’re interested and bingo! you’re on the list!
Perhaps, like the aforementioned imaginary children, heads are shaking everywhere at my naivety. Maybe like me, everyone has their own site to promote their own book. But I’m guessing there might be a few authors who’d like to take advantage of an opportunity for some additional free promotion.
So please, take a look at Raspberry Reads (the list is very short right now because I only started posting books a few days ago), and if you like what you see and want to be added to the list … you also get a blog post dedicated to you and your book … just let me know.
PS: If you know any young writers who might like to be featured on Storytellers, I wouldn’t hate it if you sent them my way.