First ‘Publication’!

After a pretty rough few months, I was thrilled to receive my first acceptance email last week. It’s just a very short piece on a non-paying book review website but it’s a start!

The story is called Yellow Brick Road and will feature in November on the Kid’s Book Review website.

Kids’ Book Review is a 100% voluntary children’s literature and book review site that supports and features authors, illustrators and publishers Australia-wide and internationally. It is run by a small team of women who have decades of experience in the children’s book industry, with roles such as author, publisher, editor, bookseller, blogger, book designer and typesetter, speech pathologist, librarian, early childhood educator, mother and book lover.

We cover news, reviews, interviews, articles, guest posts, events, specialist literacy articles and much more, attracting readers from all over the world including teachers, librarians, industry professionals, and of course – parents and kids.

It’s the story of Mindy, Dorothy’s little sister, and her own experience on the Yellow Brick Road. It was workshopped on Facebook after I asked for ideas for the site prompt: YELLOW. So I can’t really claim all the credit. I have some very creative, and weird, friends!

Here are their responses on fb:

Me: Right, I need to write a 500 word kid’s short story for a competition. The prompt is ‘YELLOW’ and my mind is blank. Any ideas?

  • maybe about a little girl who’s life has just turned yellow
  • As a mum, I see kids and yellow in the same sentence and I think diarrhoea
  • i think she just means yellow… any maybe it can be about her not wanting to be yellow but coming to accept it, only to realise that she could wash it off at any time (or maybe not realising… last scene can be just as it starts to rain and the yellow starts to wash away)
  • I think the yellow should come from a girl staring into a sunflower and being lost in the colour yellow
  • Shark infested custard!
  • Yellow coward turning it around and being bright?
  • Needs a submarine!
  • she embraces the light of the sun and sees the world anew through an intensified spectrum of colours.
  • Personification – the dirty yellow shoes (the shoes are walking around trying new things to get rid of the brown dirt! Tries stepping in water… Becomes stinky n cranky, rolling in yellow flowers smelling lovely n pretty, but still brown 😕etc.. Then finally finds a yellow paint tin n jumps in it, splashing it EVERYWHERE… smears it all over himself!!! One happy little fella!!) then the owner comes home….
  • There once was a race of custard people who lived on a custard planet…..
  • The yellow flower that wanted to be pink
  • could it be someone other than Dorothy following the ‘yellow’ brick road!!!!!!
  • and what about every time she sees a yellow flower, something good happens to her journey … it becomes a sign of good luck …
Alice laying it out to Dorothy.

Alice laying it out to Dorothy.

I’ve sent out several other stories – mostly flash fiction (1000 words or under) but also one short story (2500 words). Fingers crossed that one, or more, of them is just as successful. Onwards and upwards!

It’s rather harrowing, sending out stories that you’ve quite often spent many hours poring over. Sometimes the story just seems to flow but at other times, you have to work incredibly hard to get those words down on the paper.

I’ve always been shy about sharing my work with people, either my writing or my art, but for the next 12 months I’m going to force myself to share everything I do. I can bear it if I know there’s an end date. If I detest it and decide to never share a single thing again then so be it, but I’m not allowing myself to make that choice until the end of 2014.

About B Lee Draper

Teacher, uni student, aspiring writer.
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