Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Not "Published and Listed"? You Still Rock

I hear writers complain about how elitist publishers are, and it makes me laugh, because we as writers can be too!

Last night at an SCBWI meeting I chatted with a person I'd met in a writing class a few years back. We talked about her current interest in screenwriting, and when she asked what I was working on, I responded about one of my YA novels in progress, and a completed short story I'm going to submit to a magazine. A few hours after the meeting, I realized I'd never even mentioned that I regularly get paid to write. For children!

And that got me thinking. Why am I such a snob? Why are literary and typical fiction pieces the first things that pop into my mind when talking about what I do? What's wrong with me? I get PAID to WRITE. FOR CHILDREN. It is not in typical book form, but it went through several layers of editors, involved revisions, etc.

It isn't just me. Teachers and librarians are touting graphic novels and comics as ways to get more kids engaged in reading and learning, but we don't even recognize those publishers via SCBWI (last I checked the market surveys). YALSA (The American Library Association's Young Adult Library Services Association) goes through an annual nomination process and creates a list of Great Graphic Novels for Teens, and every year a good number of those works are from traditional comics publishers. Yet, if you happen to be a writer or illustrator of a YA graphic novel by say, DC/Vertigo or Marvel, you still aren't a "published and listed" member of SCBWI.

If we can't recognize ourselves, who will?

So, if you create content or do something in a non-traditional part of the market, I'm sayin' it: you still rock.

Off my soap box, I now return you to your regularly scheduled blogposts.