First Stories

The ONE

Every writer knows the ONE.

The story that took you by the scruff of the neck and shook you until you sat down in a chair and wrote it down and then wouldn’t shut up until you started tracking down agents and dove headlong into the wild world of publishing.

I know my own story. My FIRST STORY. And maybe one day I will share it with the world. But for now, it is tucked safely in an “Older version manuscripts” folder on my computer. It’s peanut-butter smudged face, mismatched socks, and mussed hair need a lot of work before it is released to the public.

Writers call that “revision” or “rewrites” or “R&R.” Parents might call it tough love.

I truly can’t wait till next week when I get to reveal the first in a series of interviews with published Kidlit authors…all of them talking about their first stories. Of course, there will be some discussion of their new releases, a list of their publications, and more, but the focus will be on the ONE. It may still be tucked in a file folder. It may be cleaned up a little bit. It may be released into the world!

But every author vividly remembers that ONE. Very fondly? Maybe. With a little shame? Perhaps.

Still, I look forward to discussing how the first themes in that story shaped the published authors they are today. Do they still see some of the same themes? Can they see the first glimmers of their unique “voice” as a writer? Follow along on this fun trip down memory lane to see how different writers’ stories began.

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