Welcome to the seventh Writing Festival Friday. This week I’m thrilled to interview an up-and-coming children’s writer, Jennifer Gladen. She’s made a great start at getting her short stories and articles published and making a name for herself on the web, and is one of those people I believe will be much better known as the years go by. She’s working on a novel now too!
Before I get to her interview, here’s a reminder about how Writing Festival Friday works. Each week you’re welcome to leave a comment under the Writing Festival Friday article on this blog. At the end of the week I’ll choose one of the comment writers to interview for an upcoming Writing Festival Friday. Please keep in mind that at this point I’m about a week behind in my interview writing, so if you are chosen for an interview you might not be notified for a week, at least. However you can come back here the following weekend to see who got the interview.
All writers, of all genres, are welcome to participate in Writing Festival Friday. You do not need to be a published writer. You just need to leave a comment. And when you leave that comment, feel free to include your blog, book, and site links. Tell us all about yourself and your writing. The purpose is for us to get to know one another better.
The winner from last week’s Writing Festival Friday is Beverly Stowe McClure.
And for today, the spotlight is on . . .
Linda: Jennifer, what inspires you to write for children?
Jennifer: I’ve always loved to read and write. When I was younger, I read through our entire book case of children’s books (which was a lot) in one summer. Even now, I enjoy the children’s genre more than the adult. It only made sense to me that I write for children, too.
Linda: You’ve been gathering quite a few writing credits lately with online magazine publications. Please tell us about them. And to what do you credit your success in getting your stories published?
Jennifer: Stories For Children is one of my favorite e-zines to write for. I love how they have a variety of stories, articles and poems for children of all ages. They have published a number of stories and articles of mine since June 2007 including Shivering Sally and the Scary Sounds, Fulfilling a Destiny, and More Than a Pretty Picture. Coming in February 2008 is “Mrs. Martin’s Marigolds” and in December of 2007 my first poem for SFC, “In From the Snow.” I also have “The Writing Enemy,” “Going Out,” and “Through the Ashes” scheduled to appear in future issues of the writer’s magazine Once Upon a Time.
And my latest good news: I just signed a contract with Guardian Angel Publishing. They will be publishing my first online picture book next year.
I credit my successes so far to persistence. I don’t believe in giving up. If a manuscript is rejected, I pick it up, dust it off and send it off again.
Linda: You’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo this year. What can you tell us about your project and your feelings about the NaNoWriMo writing marathon at this point?
Jennifer: To tell you the truth, I was nervous about NaNo at first. My comfort zone is picture books, short stories and articles. But So far I’ve been keeping up (Although it is only the first few days.) You can follow my progress at NaNo.Org.
Linda: What advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Jennifer: The most important thing I can advise other aspiring authors is to keep submitting. Get those manuscripts out there. I could wallpaper my office with all the rejection slips I’ve collected. However, if I stopped there, I never would have become published and the dream of writing a picture book would still be a dream – not the reality in progress that it is today.
I also am on my third course at the Institute of Children’s Literature. I’ve always had an aptitude for writing, but ICL taught me the business side of it also and how to market my work.
Linda: What are your writing goals for the future?
Jennifer: My largest future goal is to write and have published a book about a child who needs an organ transplant. My family had the unfortunate reality of experiencing such a situation and we longed for a book that could validate the child’s experience. You can read more about this current project here.
Linda: Thank you, Jennifer, for this look inside the life of a children’s writer. I loved reading your short story, Shivering Sally and the Scary Sounds. You did a great job of building suspense and putting us into the action.
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