Publishing Your Writing Study Guide
Publishing Your Writing
You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success—but only if you persist. - ISAAC ASIMOV (1920–1992) AMERICAN NOVELIST AND ESSAYIST
Have you ever thought of publishing your writing? Perhaps not, but this lesson encourages you to reconsider. It's fun to see your name in print, and your teachers and parents will be so proud!
The advice that Isaac Asimov offers here to writers seeking to publish their work may not seem advice you want to take at this point in your writing life, but in fact it is excellent advice, even for a writer with modest ambitions. Asimov, who is most famous as a science fiction novelist, published more than 500 books. While you may not have dreams of building a writing career as extensive as Asimov's, publishing your work, right now, is a very real possibility, and one that you should seriously consider.
For most of Asimov's writing life, publishing meant having his writings appear printed on paper—in newspapers, magazines, and books. And of course we usually think of published works as those appearing on paper. However, the actual definition of to publish provides a much wider meaning of the term. Take a look at the dictionary definition:
|1.||to make information available and distribute it to the public|
|2.||to send forth, as a book, newspaper, musical piece, or other printed work, either for sale or for general distribution; to print, and issue from the press|
Publishing, then, is the sending forth of ideas. And that's something you do practically every day of your life. Think about your own use of text messaging, e-mail, and blogs. Every time you use one of those media, you are in fact publishing your ideas, often in very informal ways of course. The ready availability of various electronic media, most notably the Internet, has created amazing new opportunities for writers (and artists) seeking to make their ideas available to others.
Have You Ever Thought of Publishing Your Writing?
The answer is probably No, never! (Showing your essays to your parents doesn't exactly count as publishing.) Like you, most students think of writing as something they do only for class assignments. Do you think this way? Do you consider that once your essay is written and graded by the teacher, its life is over? Well, think again. You might want to take a bit of Isaac Asimov's advice and try to get something you've written published. Here are some publication ideas to consider.
Local Print Media
|1. Submit your best essay (or write a new one) to your school newspaper or to your local community newspaper.|
|2. Contribute a short story, essay, or poem to a school magazine or to your school's website. If there isn't already a school magazine of student writing, maybe you should start one.|
|3. Establish a bulletin board in your school hallway where you and other students can post samples of your work.|
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