I feel like I’m starting over this morning. In December 1998 I was just beginning to come to grips with the fact that I had actually retired. We had moved to Brookings, Oregon, 700 miles away from “home” … and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. What I did know was that I still loved teaching and wanted to stay involved with education … so I began to write.
The story I tell in “Are You Listening?” bubbled up one morning and I was a bit surprised that almost 1000 words seemed to just tumbled out. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it … so I shared it with some friends, imagined how my ideas could change the world for children, and filed it away in my computer.
Flash forward to 2003. I had met Anne Meek, an executive editor at Educational Leadership at the ASCD Convention in San Francisco in 1999. Anne became my writing mentor over the next few years and encouraged me to submit something to Ed Leadership. I found my original version of “Are You Listening” and Anne helped me edit it to fit their “Voices” feature guidelines. The rejection letter I received from Marge Scherer at that time was very nice – and encouraging – but nonetheless, “Are You Listening” has been sitting in the same file now for over a decade.
Flash forward once again … and in a way I feel like technology has caught up with me. I may not be the writer who is going to change the world for children … but now that a quick google search for submission guidelines will produce hundreds of places to publish on-line … I figured that I may as well start over and once again “jump on the moving train” like I did when i started Meanderings in 2009. (See the “About” page above.)
This morning I once again edited “Are You Listening?” and submitted it to ASCD Express – a bi-weekly on-line Newsletter.
I want to save the original notes that Anne sent me in 2003 because they are a great example of the kind of feedback that really helps a novice writer. They are friendly, but specific and helpful. I had asked Anne to tell me about her process and how a professional editor keeps track of time: