My latest published article is "Tell Tales For a Living: Children's Book Author" by Cynthia Leitich Smith from the April/May 2005 issue of Career World magazine 33:6. See pg. 26.
It's part of a series of articles called a "Career Map" that ask: "Where do I go with creative writing?" Interviews with a newspaper columnist and advertising copywriter also are featured.
I don't think teens should feel like they have to have everything figured out by the time they graduate high school, but it is important to have some kind of a plan. They can always change their minds, but having a goal offers focus and a reason to move forward. Once they're in motion, exploring their interests, the misty path should begin to clear.
"Children and Television" (nicknamed "KidTV") was my favorite class in college outside of the journalism school. It was fun, fascinating, encouraged critical thinking, and reminded me of the importance of youth as an audience. It was an early flag, pointing me in the direction of doing what I'd most love.
People always talk about life as a journey, and it is. We focus on its moments of hardship because they demand our attention. But it's also important to reflect on moments of illumination. That class illuminated me.
I hope my Career World article is illuminating for at least one future children's/YA writer.
Cynsational News and Links
Battling Rejection Depression by Christina Majaski-Holoman from the Institute of Children's Literature. See also Conflict: Taking it Out of Second Gear by Lori Mortensen from ICL.
Point of View chat transcript from the YA Authors Cafe from Feb. 15, 2005. Featured authors were Catherine Atkins, Libba Bray, A.M.Jenkins, and Mary E. Pearson.