We love hearing from our students no matter what they have to say, but when we hear of a student being published, we just want to shout it from the rooftops! We’re a little scared of heights, so we’ll go with a blog post instead.
For the past few years, our little boy has really been through the wringer (as have we!) in terms of a gluten-related illness and the required medical testing. I thought it was a story worth telling, and having seen so many Australian Writers' Centre graduates appear on EssentialKids.com.au I thought it worth a try.
I emailed a pitch to the editor, included a catchy first sentence, and she said she was interested in seeing it on spec. I wrote it over a couple of weeks, then sent it with a heads up that Coeliac Week was about to start, hoping that might give me an edge.
I got a three word reply, which I'll cut and paste…
“Perfect, thank you!”
Even though it was at the high end of Essential Kids' word count range (1100 words, versus 800-900 normally) it was published with very few cuts or changes, so that was a great confidence booster. My piece generated some great comments and social media shares, and since then I've written two more pieces for Essential Kids: a celebrity interview and a gallery/advice piece '20 terrific kids books you didn't grow up with'.