If you’ve liked my Facebook page, you’ve already heard the news. My author’s copies of Highlights arrived in the mail!
This is definitely one of those childhood dreams come true. My parents ordered Highlights for my brothers and me when we were young. My favorite part was the Hidden Pictures, but I enjoyed reading the stories and (occasionally) the articles, too.
Toward the back of every Highlights issue is a section called “Your Own Pages,” which features drawings and poems submitted by children. When I was a kid, I secretly wanted to submit a poem but never had the courage to do so.
When I started writing for children’s magazines about six years ago, I knew I wanted to be published in Highlights. However, I also knew they only took the best work. I tried a few other magazines first, but nothing seemed to work out. Then I wrote an article on the history of women’s marathons. Highlights passed, but that article was later picked up by Hopscotch for Girls. It wasn’t until the spring of 2011 that I decided to give Highlights a try again. I’d already had short stories published in Pockets, as well as an online article. My writing credentials were building, and I figured I was ready.
I checked out the Highlights website to see what their current needs were. They wanted articles on kids involved in science, and I immediately thought of Brandon, one of my students who’d just had a science experiment put on the space shuttle Endeavour. I was crazy if I didn’t try submitting!
I wrote the article that summer after Brandon had presented his findings at the Smithsonian. I submitted it to the magazine in August of 2011. They accepted the article in early November. The official contract arrived in January 2012. So between my submission and its publication nearly a year and half passed. That’s actually much faster than some other children’s magazines that have published my work (The women’s marathon article took five years to publish in Hopscotch for Girls).
In the end, I can finally say I’ve been published in Highlights.
Childhood dream: accomplished.
So if you have any children who receive Highlights or if you happen to be hanging out in a dentist’s office, check out my article on pages 18 and 19.
P.S. Anyone notice the irony in all this? Teachers are supposed to help their students’ dreams come true, but it was one of my own students who helped my childhood dream come true!