Hey friends, I apologize about posting once every two weeks instead the weekly publishing schedule I had originally set up. The majority of the problem has been energy. Since the school year started, I have been waking at 4:30, getting dressed, getting my son ready (since I take him to daycare each morning), and driving an hour to work.
Once there, I teach English to a bunch of 6th and 7th graders and by the end of trying to control twenty 11-year-olds, I am exhausted. I still have to drive home, go exercise for an hour and a half, lesson prep for the next day, and hopefully hit my goal of 1,000 words per day (which has been more like 500 recently). Oh, and I just started my Master’s degree.
In truth, I haven’t been able to successfully complete all of these things as it is, and it is has been a struggle to get the one post for the blog written every two weeks. This isn’t to say I’m giving up, in fact, this is my declaration that I am going to return to my weekly posts.
Collaborative Creative Writing Class
Just this last week, I started teaching an after-school, creative writing class. It should be noted that all of the students are in the 6th to the 8th grade, so much of the focus is to just get them excited about writing. My goal with the class is to cover the basics of creative writing and help light that spark that all of us writers have. For the foreseeable future, my posts are going to be half recounting what happened for the week and half discussion of the concepts we discussed. For our first class, I introduced them to the Writers of the Future contest.
Writers of the Future
In case you are not aware, Writers of the Future is arguably the best way for a new, unpublished writer to break into the industry. This isn’t to say it is easy—they get over a thousand entries every quarter and only select three winners—but it offers the best pay-rate ($1000 for first, $750 for second, and $500 for third) and largest visibility.
The contest is judged by massively successfully writers like Orson Scott Card and Brandon Sanderson. Once a year, Writers of the Future flys all the winners out to L.A. for a writing conference where they get to meet judges, artists, editors, and agents. In addition, they are honored for their achievement at a ceremony where the best short story of the year is selected and its author is given an additional $5000.
The reason why I introduced this contest to my students is because it was made specifically for new, undiscovered writers. Only people who have never professionally published (defined as being paid at least $0.06/word) more than 3 short stories or 1 novel can enter. The competition is still incredibly tough, but it means that my students won’t be competing against people who have been publishing for twenty years.
Overall, I don’t expect any to win, but I think it will be a great thing to work for. This week I plan on helping them brainstorm story ideas and characters, so I will be sure to let you know how it goes. I hope you are having a great day, and I am looking forward to seeing you again!