Welcome to Behind the Story -- a ‘behind the scenes’ series of blog posts that give you the inside scoop on the stories I've had published, working from earliest to most recent.
Castles at Night, originally published by Manawaker Studios in February 2018
This is another story of mine that was written for a prompt from a literary magazine that ultimately was not published in that magazine, but found a home somewhere else. The prompt was the theme “castles” for a children’s magazine -- Cricket media, if memory serves.
This story was written with child main characters and with the intention of being a children’s story. While tweaks may have happened since it was initially rejected from the magazine it was written for, I did not ‘age it up’ to make it appeal to other, older audiences.
As a children’s librarian, as a reader who grew up finding a lot of meaning and inspiration in children’s and YA lit, as a reader who still reads children and YA lit with my adult lit, as a writer with interest in writing in all three age genres, I do not believe in writing down to children. Yes, writing for children is different than writing for teens or adults. You have to acknowledge that they are at different reading levels, developmental levels, and often need for more context for socio historical elements, for allusions, or for heavy themes or topics. But writing differently for children is different than writing down to children. I believe children can be clever and intelligent and want to learn, if we just give them fun and engaging material to work with.
All that being said to make the point that good materials written for children can be interesting for adult readers. Telling a good story well is the core to all storytelling. I think recent decades of pop culture prove that books for children and teens can be mainstream popular, with adults as well as with their intended audience. From Harry Potter to Hunger Games to The Fault in Our Stars… with many, many others as well…
So, with little further ado, I present Castles at Night. It is a short story written initially for a children’s magazine but accepted by a magazine intended for adults, ultimately published in audio. Pretty cool, right?
Insights from the life of an aspiring, struggling writer; a passionate reader, and a working librarian.
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