Thursday, August 19, 2010

Markets for Young Writers

* Wet Ink Magazine

Open and happy to accept all genres of literature, visual art and multimedia from youth aged 13 to 19 residing in Canada. At present, they only accept submissions electronically; they do not want to take responsibility for your original artwork. Please send reproductions only; if your work is three dimensional, a good photograph will be fine.

Please include with your submission a cover letter with your name, age, city or town of residence and e-mail address so that editors can contact you. Please also include any information they might find interesting, such as, for example, lists of publications or exhibits or biographical material.

Wet Ink does not ask for first North American publishing rights to your work; whatever you send them can be submitted again to another publication. If you do send a piece that has already been published or exhibited elsewhere, please include the name of the venue and the date of your publication/exhibit so that they can post the appropriate credits. However, they do ask that you not send any simultaneous submissions.

* Frodo's Notebook

Editors actively seek five types of submissions from teens. Send your very best work, and read the guidelines thoroughly and completely before sending anything:

1. Poetry. They definitely prefer poems of under 36 lines, but they will always consider excellent exceptions. Address to poetry editor Julia Shields and send in the body of an email to

2. Creative/Personal Essays. Creative nonfiction, preferably narrative-driving and reflective; not journalism or opinion. Address to editor in chief Daniel Klotz and send as a .doc (Word), .rtf, or .txt attachment to

3. Fiction. Almost exclusively short-short stories of under 1200 words, though they will "gladly look at longer pieces that promise to blow us away." Editors mostly want "literary" fiction, but send your fantasy or sci-fi if it's "really good and not fan fic." Address to fiction editor Timothy Rezendes and send to

4. Articles. Reviews of current books, movies, and art, as well as cultural critique, op-ed, and original journalistic reportage, as long as it has a literary/artistic subject or slant. Usually under 1200 words. If you're interested in writing this kind of prose for them, send a writing sample or two to editor at large Ben Carr at

5. Visual art. Not yet accepting submissions of visual art.

See site for full guidelines:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Settling in at Purdue! My Tips for Embracing Changes in Your Life

Sorry I've been a bit MIA on this blog the past week. I moved cross-country from my beachside California hometown of Ventura to Lafayette, Indiana -- my new home for the next three years while I pursue my M.F.A. in Fiction Writing at Purdue.

I live in a one-bedroom apartment in an old Victorian house on a beautiful tree-lined street about ten minutes from campus. (There's even a trolley I can catch a few blocks away that runs to campus and back -- how cute is that? A trolley!) I had a fun time decorating my new place with my mom, who helped me move out here and get settled. The weather has been much warmer and more humid than I was used to in Ventura, but I am adjusting. I love the lightning bugs, sweet tea, and Midwestern tomatoes. And everyone has been very friendly and welcoming. Today was my first day of Orientation for my new program -- in addition to taking fiction-writing classes, I'll also be teaching freshman composition to Purdue undergraduates starting (gulp!) next week. I'm a bit nervous, but I've always loved teaching and I'm excited for the new challenge of teaching college students.

Despite all the excitement, a big move is full of changes, and change can be stressful! I also miss my family and friends from home a lot. Here are some tips that have helped me keep smiling and embracing the changes:

1. If you feel sad or homesick, recognize that these feelings are expected and perfectly normal. Everyone feels this way sometimes. That said, try not to wallow in sadness. Instead, do something to brighten your spirits -- bake some brownies, buy some flowers for your room, put on your favorite CD.

2. Call your friends, family and loved ones -- even for just a few minutes, even just to say hi. Hearing a familiar voice can be a huge comfort. Also, remind yourself how many people care about you and are supporting you in your new adventure.

3. Reach out to new people. Invite your neighbor over for dinner. Ask a classmate if she'd like to grab coffee after class. Smile at a stranger you pass on the street. Potential friends are everywhere!

4. Get involved. Join a club. Take a class. Find out about events -- a poetry reading, a street festival, a concert -- and go!

5. It's okay to miss things from home, but focus on being present in your new surroundings. What do you like about your new place? What is there to explore around you? Get to know your neighborhood and your community. Instead of dwelling on what you miss from home, try to focus on being present in the moment and making new memories. Someday, you are going to look back on your life now and miss it!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Elizabeth Gilbert on Creativity & Success

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the international best-seller Eat, Pray, Love, speaks about how her writing life has changed since her phenomenally popular memoir rocked the book world. She is funny, insightful, refreshingly honest, and her advice speaks to all writers, artists, and creative spirits, whether your audience is one million readers, or just yourself. 

Visit Elizabeth Gilbert's website at

Read more of her wonderful thoughts on writing at

Friday, August 6, 2010

Interview with Ben Mueller: writer, teacher, runner, and triathlete

I came across Ben Mueller's story in Chicken Soup for the Runner's Soul and it was one of my favorites in the entire collection. Ben says he loves to write inspirational nonfiction stories about his past experiences with sports. He teaches math at the high school and college level and has been involved in running and triathlons since he was nine years old. Today, he has completed more than 400 races from the 2-mile to the marathon. He has a goal of running a half-marathon in every state and so far has checked off fifteen states.

Ben is selling copies of Chicken Soup for the Runner's Soul to raise money for the Healthy Kids Foundation:

Tell us about your story in Chicken Soup for the Runner's Soul. What was your motivation to write this story? How did you go about turning an event from your real life into a short essay?

As a kid, I played just about every sport imaginable -- and years later, I realized how inspirational some of the lessons were and what sports can teach you about life. My mother gave me a Chicken Soup book when I was going through a rough time about ten years ago. One particular story really inspired me and I wanted to give the same gift back to others. I did not think about making a story out of the event until about four years after it happened. I knew there were lots of Chicken Soup books and I visioned one for runners coming out eventually. I really wanted to be part of that book when it came out. As far as writing the essay goes, it was pretty straightforward: basically, I thought about how that event inspired me, outlined the major points, and then wrote each paragraph.

Tell us about your website and blog. Do you have advice for people who want to start their own blogs/websites?

My blog and web site is about bringing my experiences to life. I blog for three reasons: 

1) To keep past memories alive so in later years I can look back.
2) For my family and friends to read about my experiences.
3) So others can see how inspirational running can be. 

I used to just blog about how I felt and did during my races. Now, I am taking it much deeper and am sharing the connections -- socially and spiritually -- that I get from racing. My advice to others is just go out and do it. Capture the moments. You won't regret looking back and remembering all the cool things that happened in the past. In addition, I think including pictures with your writing makes your blog a lot more interesting.

Is there anything you have learned about writing through running? (Or vise versa?)

Yes. I have learned that running is about the journey, not the destination. It is about perseverance, meeting new people, and learning more about yourself. Exercise really engages our brains in ways that non-exercisers don't understand. Some of my best thoughts come while on a long bike ride or run.

What is your writing routine? Do you write every day? Do you have a certain time or place you write?

I always write at coffee shops. I do not have a set time and place to write, but I try to write 3-4 times per week. I also try to update my blog frequently. During the school year, I get busy with teaching so I do not write as much as I do during the summer. I am a little strange in that I do not just focus on one story at a time; I will usually be working on 2-3 short stories at a time. When I write a short story, I always outline first and then write the paragraphs, but I don't always write the paragraphs in chronological order.

What is your biggest advice for kids and teens setting out to pursue their dreams?

My advice would be for teens to just continue to do what they love. I believe that as we grow up, many people stop their passions because other things get in the way. Make time to do what you love to do and don't worry so much about what others think. I always talk about the 4 P's to success -- patience, practice, persistence, and perseverance. I believe this to be so true. You need to vision success before it can be achieved and believe in yourself.

How do you overcome a disappointing race (or, for writing, how do you deal with a rejection letter from an editor?)

I always remember that the only way you lose is if you lack the courage to come out and try. Overcoming a disappointing race is easy because there is always another opportunity the next weekend. Remember that life goes up and down and when you're down... there is always an upswing coming!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Guest on Radio Dõv: The Accidental Guru

I'm delighted to share that I'm going to be a guest on Dõv Baron's radio show The Accidental Guru on Friday, August 6th at 11:00am Pacific time. Dõv takes callers, so feel free to call in with questions! I would absolutely love to hear from you.

Dõv Baron is a best-selling author and motivational speaker. His radio show The Accidental Guru is dedicated to giving people the answers they need to get from where they are to where they want to be. Dõv's energy and passion are contagious. His no-nonsense delivery style mixed with humor, compassion and wisdom makes him very easy to listen to and learn from. I am thrilled and honored to spend an hour talking with him, and I hope you'll join us!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Interview with Deborah Dachinger, founder & host of "Dare to Dream" radio

Deborah Dachinger has been in the entertainment field since she was a child. After graduating from USC's performing arts school, she went on to act and sing in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival. Deborah received acting nominations for Los Angeles Drama Desk Award and was in the "Follies" cast that won the Fringe First Award. Deborah was also a successful motivational speaker who led workshops on achieving "Balance and Life Goals." Her professional voice over work includes the lead in the popular children's cartoon "Life at the Pond, the Big Mouth Bass"; corporate training; animation; PSAs and film narration. Deborah's radio career has spanned several years growing and nurturing her radio program. Deborah is a member of AFTRA and SAG unions, and is a member of American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT). Her gift is her voice; she came here to live out loud. Her life's work is to utilize her voice to entertain and inspire.

Deborah was kind enough to spend some time answering my questions about her career in radio. Her "Dare to Dream" radio show received the "Editor's Pick: Featured Creators, Intriguing Creator" award and was a nom consideration for the Best Radio Interview Show/AWRT Gracie Awards. "Dare to Dream" has been written about in Yahoo News!, Singapore Star News, and Earth Times.  

Instead of doing a written interview, Deborah answered my questions in her radio studio and sent me an .MP3 file. How cool is that?! Listen to it below. I think within the first thirty seconds, you can tell she has a gift for radio.

Deborah's past notable guests include:

· Alan Watt. Screenwriter, award-winning novelist, L.A.-based writing teacher. "I did 5 interviews with Alan – he is deep, talented and amazing at his profession."

· Cirque du Soleil

· Qi Gong Grand Master Wei Ling Yi (discussed in MP3)

· Sharon Jeffers, "An internationally known life advisor, award winning author, and third-generation clairvoyant who has worked with thousands of people from around the world."

· Richard Florczak, Personal chef to Mel Gibson -- "Sorry, not a popular celebrity at this time! But Richard was amazing, where he came from the dream he had and how he followed it through to the success he has today. He was fun!"

· Areva Martin, Award-winning attorney, author, speaker and television personality. "A gorgeous, articulate, bright woman – we had a beautiful conversation and connection."

· John Lee Hooker Jr. "He is a blues genius. I got to interview him and see his concert and it was a dream come true."

· Jessica Sierra from American Idol, Kristin Cruz/KOST FM, Mike Sakellarides/1260 Retro

Connect with Deborah:

* Listen to the show live at on WEDNESDAYS Noon- 2 PM PT; Thursdays 3-4 PM, Fridays 4-5 PM PT.
* Listen to any archived shows on and on iTunes.
* Listen to the show on Toginet:  
* Deborah's website:
* You Tube videos, under DebOnTheRadio:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Interview with "The Sunny Girl," Lauren Cook, Founder of The Sunny Side Up!

Lauren Cook -- or "The Sunny Girl," as she goes by these days -- is the founder of The Sunny Side Up, a project seeking to inspire and share happiness with others. She is currently a student at UCLA where she is majoring in Psychology and Communications, and she enjoys participating in her sorority, Chi Omega, along with Colleges Against Cancer, Campus Crusade, and Toastmasters. Lauren is a former Miss Teen California and she has proudly raised more than $30,000 for the American Cancer Society. In her free time she enjoys zumba, eating gelato, and relaxing with her Siamese cat, Kiko. I am so thrilled to have Lauren join us today!

Tell us about The Sunny Side Up. What was your inspiration/motivation to start this project? How has it grown already?

The Sunny Side Up! is a project studying how, when, and why teens are happy and what we can do to increase, recognize, and appreciate our happiness even more. I am currently writing a book based on this project; but rather than just sharing my thoughts on happiness, I am incorporating the opinions and experiences of more than 250 other teens because happiness is such a personalized topic.

While I have learned that many teens are happy with their lives, I still hear on a daily basis: "I can't wait for the weekend", "I can't wait for finals to be over", or "I can't wait to graduate." How can one be happy when they are wishing their life away? It is my goal to help teens appreciate life's daily offerings of happiness -- from time spent with friends and family to a cup of frozen yogurt. Happiness takes practice; we have to make an effort to notice and appreciate what brings us joy.

The Sunny Side Up! has been very successful already -- and it's only been a month! I have already signed a contract with iUniverse for the book to be published and hundreds of teens have expressed an interest to participate in the project. I am very hopeful for the future, but more than anything, I love hearing how The Sunny Side Up! has made people happier in their everyday lives.

Tell us about "The Sunny Set."

I began writing "The Sunny Set" about two years ago and I have been adding to it ever since; I currently have 261 goals! It is similar to a "Bucket List" but instead of seeing these aspirations as something to do before I die, I see them as something to achieve during my lifetime. Some are colossal, like selling a million copies of my upcoming book, The Sunny Side Up! or seeing the Titanic. And many are much smaller, like hatching a chick (this has actually been quite hard -- I've had two hatch-less batches!) and donating blood. Yet, no matter what the goal is, I have found happiness in every aspect of the process by setting, striving, and accomplishing these dreams. 

What have you learned through The Sunny Side Up?

I have learned that everyone has a story. Teens, myself included, often take things personally when someone doesn't say hello or smile back. But in truth, everyone has something that they may be struggling with, whether it is family problems, a disease, or any other personal challenge. While it is not right to be rude, at the same time, everyone is doing the best that they can with their circumstances and we should try to love and accept them for who they are. Through this project, I have learned to never judge others. I have also learned that happiness is contagious so I always try to share a smile with someone that may be going a tough time.

What is your writing routine? Do you write every day? Do you have a certain time or place you write?

I have always loved to write but it is a struggle for me to get started. Writing requires all of your time, focus, and energy -- which is not something many of us are used to as hectic multi-taskers. But writing on my blog has given me the perfect excuse to make the time to write daily. Every morning I make a blog post with my cat laying (and snoring) beside me while the sun shines through my window. I'm always happier after I write and I love the sense of achievement I feel after letting my creativity out of my brain and onto paper (or laptop in this century). 

In your opinion, why is writing important, in particular in the lives of young people?

Writing is the best gift that we can give to ourselves; it is a time for self-reflection, creativity, and clarity. Writing has the power to heal and inspire, and it is our opportunity to leave a legacy in written form. I highly recommend that young people make an effort to write -- whether they feel thankful, happy, sad, or mad -- whatever emotion they may feel at the time. I believe that you discover who you are through writing.

What is your biggest advice for kids and teens just starting out?

Find many mentors! It can be scary starting out; I will be the first to admit that as a young writer, I have so much to learn. But never be too proud or intimidated to ask questions; there are so many talented authors, teachers, family, and friends who are willing to share their wisdom with you. An infinite amount of knowledge is available to you if you only have the courage to ask.

What steps can people take TODAY to become happier?

I have always been adamant about gratitude. I believe that if we are consciously aware of the blessings in our life -- both the big and the small -- we will be exponentially happier people. Every day before I go to bed, I write down my "5 Daily Gratitudes." I find myself noticing so much more beauty and joy in my life, whether it be the butterfly fluttering outside my window or a family dinner. I suggest you try it today and see how much happier you feel!

Connect with Lauren:

Subscribe to The Sunny Side Up! blog:

You can contact The Sunny Girl at: