I have to admit, even after receiving the acceptance letter and author’s contract, I was wondering if the story would actually end up in the magazine. I’d ordered several copies of the issue, so I’d have felt pretty silly if it hadn’t.

It turns out that Faces magazine, part of Cobblestone Publishing (which also includes Cobblestone, Cricket, Odyssey and Muse) still liked my story enough to print it – and it’s IN the April 2008 issue! You can get a copy here – just use the link on the right. (It’s the issue called “Go Green!”, shown at the bottom.)

The story is a retelling of “Old Man Winter” after the advent of global warming. The most unexpected feeling came when I opened the story to find three beautiful illustrations. The illustrations were made specifically for the story, showing three scenes that I had written. I can’t even describe it. But I can express my pride in this story’s potential to help kids make more conscious, earth-friendly choices.

I had written the query for the story as part of an assignment for a class called “Writing for Children and Teens” at the Institute of Children’s Literature. It’s a class that you can take more or less at your own pace. My pace has been slow, because I’m working full-time and sporadically nurturing other hobbies. How slow, you ask? I started the class in fall 2005, and I just sent my second-to-last assignment two weeks ago. At the beginning of the class, I was paired with my instructor Constance, who has extensive experience in the field (she was an editor at Highlights magazine). I send each assignment to her, through snail-mail (whoa), and she sends comments and suggestions within the next several weeks. Throughout the class, I also learn more and more about the submission process, so that I can market my work as well as write it.

My most recent assignment was a chapter outline for a novel-length project for teens. The next is three complete chapters from the outline. From there, I’ll have what I need to submit query packages to a few book publishers that I feel are good fits for the project. I can’t wait!