[ Small Chirps ] Writers, if you won’t speak up for your writing, who will?

When 11-year-old Kahlo Smith saw that the rules of NPR’s Three Minute Fiction contest excluded minors, she had two options. One, and the one of least resistance, was to let out a deep breath of disappointment and close the browser. Instead, she sent the contest organizers a letter to them know about her interest, ask why they had the 18-and-over-only rule, and tell them about her 600-word story.

Today, All Things Considered featured her question and her short piece of fiction on their program. The age rule stays, but Smith will be receiving an autographed copy of Luis Alberto Urrea’s most recent historic novel, Queen of America, and some NPR-related items for her story. You can read her entry and the full story at the NPR article, Minor Details: Three-Minute Fiction’s Age Rules.

For every thousands of young (and adult) writers who look at the rules (or at the impenetrable design of a publisher site, or the distracted and busy life of an agent), there are one or two individuals who will be willing to put themselves out there and write that letter or ask that question. And in the end, that will set them apart.

So this Saint Patrick’s Day, make the resolution to make your own luck.


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7 thoughts on “[ Small Chirps ] Writers, if you won’t speak up for your writing, who will?

  1. This is so true. Writing is about putting yourself out there as much as you possibly can. It requires a lot of courage, a lot of determination and you can’t be afraid of asking the “stupid” questions.

      • Exactly. People always see writers as the anti-social type that sit in corners and don’t talk to anybody. That may have been somewhat true in the past, but now it’s a job that’s all about selling yourself and your work.

        • And even in the past, many of the writers who became famous did so because they went to the popular salons, sent out their work, or actively latched on to writing retreats. The rare writers who were “discovered” were only discovered because someone (sister, friend, etc) sent their work out for them!

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