This past December, I received an email from the local library asking if I’d like to participate in an upcoming Teen Writer’s Guild meeting. Lots of thoughts flooded my head, like what other authors would be at this event and if I’d be able to hold my own on an author panel.
I excitedly accepted the invitation and then inquired about the event’s format. To my surprise, I discovered that I would be the only author there that night speaking to a room of teen writers about my writing and publishing experience.
My mind flooded with more thoughts. What the heck was I going to talk about for an hour with a room full of teen writers? What wisdom could I impart on these aspiring authors?
Fear set in. I panicked.
After I calmed myself, I realized that although I didn’t have all of the answers, I had an experience and I was more than willing to share that experience, hoping that something I would say would shorten one of the participant’s writing and publishing learning curve.
The event was held on March 27 at the Medina County District Library. I was relieved when the participants showed; I’ll admit, I feared that no one would show. The event went off without a hitch.
I told the teens about my writing journey, the difficult process of querying literary agents in the hope of landing a big publisher, and my trials and tribulations with independently publishing my debut novel. The teens were interested in what I had to say and asked a lot of good questions.
The teens really opened up at the end of the event, after I quit babbling. It was extremely rewarding to see them pick up my book and examine the cover and the inside and ask more questions. And then my night was made when one participant asked me if I would be willing to read and provide feedback on the prologue she’d written for a book she’s working. In her words, she wanted a “real author” to look at her work. A real author? I was flattered.
I had hoped by attending this event that I would inspire the teens to continue on their writing journey and that they’d learn something from all of my ramblings. But what I didn’t expect was how invigorated I’d be because of their enthusiasm. They all had a spark in their eye and a twinkle in their voice; their passion for writing was evident and made me want to go home and put pen to paper. I wish them the best of luck on their writing journey and I thank them for allowing me to be one small part of that journey.