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SanTan Sun to publish children’s writings, cartoons
Local students get five minutes of fame with Kids’ Op
Feb 23, 2008
Students in Chandler and Gilbert have the opportunity to see their articles, stories, poems, editorials and cartoons in print with the launching of the SanTan Sun Kids’ Opportunity section.
“As publishers, writers and editors, the staff at the SanTan Sun News knows the thrill one receives by having something they’ve created appear in print. It’s almost an addiction. You see your first piece show up in black and white – or color if you’re lucky – and you want it to happen again and again. The thrill makes the process of writing become self-perpetuating,” explains SanTan Sun News Editor Lynda Exley. “We are confident that if children have that same opportunity to see their hard work come to fruition, they will be motivated to continue to write and write better. So, we decided to give them that chance by dedicating space in each issue for children’s works.”
The Kids’ Op page is now accepting submissions for all types of fiction, nonfiction and cartoons, including poetry, editorials, short stories, book reviews, articles and anything else readers would find in the regular sections of a typical newspaper. Material will be printed on a space-available basis, with a variety of the best pieces being selected each issue.
“We want the printing of the piece to be a reward for the students’ efforts. To that end, we will only print the best pieces from each grade level,” explains Exley. “However, if a good piece doesn’t get printed in one issue, we will hold onto it, and may print it in a future issue, which is why students should keep checking the section to see if theirs was chosen.”
Teachers hoping to ignite a love of writing in their students are encouraged to have their classes submit work as a class project. And, parents who have recognized the spark of a future author in their children and want to fuel that flame should suggest their children submit their writings to keep them motivated to continue to write and improve their writing skills.
Published pieces will be minimally edited to preserve the writers’ voices as much as possible; however, teachers and parents should suggest that the young writers compare their printed pieces to the original ones to facilitate the learning process.
“It never fails, whenever I’m attending a book signing with my 12-year-old son, the author of ’The Student From Zombie Island: Conquering the Rumor Monster,’ parents will ask me how to get their children’s works in print,” says Exley. “And when I’m at schools presenting my ‘Kids Can Publish’ workshop, the students themselves approach me – somewhat shyly – inquiring the same. My advice is to start small and work your way up to whatever their end goal may be. An article, story or poem in a newspaper is a grand beginning. But then I realized that while those opportunities truly exist, they are far and few between, and only a select few children will have the chance to get published when so many more deserve the opportunity.
“That’s when I asked Laurie Fagen, publisher of the SanTan Sun News to come to the rescue and help me nurture children’s writing interests by providing space in the paper to print their masterpieces. Her answer was an enthusiastic ‘yes!’ She has graciously agreed to donate space for the Kids’ Op page, and for that I am thankful.”
So, kids, now’s your chance to get your five minutes of fame by submitting your masterpieces to the SanTan Sun News. To get started, visit www.SanTanSun.com, click on Youth and then Student Writer Permission Slip to download a submission/permission slip. Complete the form and have your parents sign it so that we have their permission to print your material with your byline. Then, email your submission/permission slip and writing or cartoon to Lynda@SanTanSun.com. If you don’t have access to email, you may send a hard copy via snail mail to Lynda Exley, Kids’ Op Page, SanTan Sun News, P.O. Box 23, Chandler, AZ 85244-0023.
For more information on the Kids’ Op page, or to have Exley speak at your school to rev students up about writing and publishing, email Lynda@SanTanSun.com.
Published by Little Five Star, a division of
Five Star Publications, Inc.
Published April 2007
$15.95 U.S. ($18.95 Canada), Hardcover, Fiction
Winner of the
2008 Reader Views
Annual Literary Award
for Best Children's Book
for Ages 7 and Older