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Pen IN Hand
January, 2008

Awaken The Author Within

Steering Kids' Scribbles
... and extracting scribes from the tribes
By  Peggy Bechko

ids write too. It's a well known fact. Some quite well, others are just trying their hand at it.

Sometimes we forget this. I don't know how many of you out there began writing at an early age, but I was about 12. Managed to write an entire novella without describing hardly a thing! Quite an accomplishment that. Thank heaven for a godmother who read my work and pointed out that little failing.

When I started writing there was no Internet where I could go for mentoring, research, or anything else. My mentors were physically present. A godmother who was game. A good teacher. Finally a published writer who agreed to read some of my work. She gave me feed-back, mostly negative, but welcome nonetheless.

I wrote through my teen years, jumping right into novels. I was at home writing when most kids were out doing the social two-step. Never did do short stories or articles back then. I had my goal -- to be a published novelist.

I reached that goal when I was 21 when my first western was published by Doubleday. There are kids out there now with the same single-minded pursuit, I have no doubt of it.

Being mentored by another writer is now years away, but I had one additional mentor who set me on another path of writing as recently as 10 years ago. Funny how people and things change the direction of your life.

Having a resource such as the web at our fingertips (all our fingertips) is a pretty magical thing. Still, it can also be isolating -- yes even more so than the writer's life already is isolating.

And for kids, that can make things even more daunting. The arrival of the web has created a strange balancing act between having the world open up with almost any information you need right there at hand, and doing little but stare at a computer screen because of it.

So if you're a kid and write, kudos to you, keep it up! Work at it, enjoy it, research places to publish your work and to sell it. They do exist.

This webzine, IN, and the Freelance Writing Organization International, has mountains of resources to draw upon. And there are also places directed exclusively at young people; websites and magazines that offer opportunity to the young, new writer.

Check out Stone Soup -- the magazine by young writers and artists at Go to and scroll down to subscribe to the children's markets for young writers called Writing Kid for free. Do Google searches for research and to find sites where you might be published or sites of hard copy magazines receptive to the young writer.

That's not to say the local avenues of getting your writing out there should be passed up. Write for a school paper. See if your local newspaper has a young adult/kid's section written by kids and find out what it takes to get your work published there. Discover where writing fits into your life.

And don't forget to get out and experience life so you have something to write about!

If you're an old hand, a writer with a track record, how about mentoring a kid who's seriously writing? How about trying to get a kid who's not interested in writing interested? I've been to both places. It's rewarding, frustrating, uplifting and infuriating.

Quite the roller coaster, but worth every minute invested.

You'll be surprised at how much more swiftly the creative juices will flow.IN Icon 

Author of Doubleday western novels, Harlequin romances, Fictionworks' fantasies (Ebook format), Peggy Bechko has also optioned screenplays domestically and abroad, written for an animated series and for variety of other venues. She's working on a new novel and collaborating with a producer on a animated series.

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© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

Pen IN Hand
IN This Issue
Cha, Cha, Cha, Changes!
Writer As Juggler
Sell That Book
Writers Write
Refined Author's Guide
Writers As Complainers
Get A Clue
How Not To Query
Blown To Hell (Excerpt)
Six Editing Hints For Writers

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Bald Ego
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Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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