I created the swirl and spark website just over eight months ago. I can remember sitting on the deck in my backyard writing my very first blog post. The sunshine had exploded that August afternoon, but the oak and maple trees towered over me, providing just enough cover for me to write. And just like the sun, I was exploding – with ideas for the site for kids who like to write.
I envisioned a website where kids could hang out, in a virtual place, with other kids who loved books and writing as much as they did. I pictured a bunch of kids submitting the beginnings of their stories for other kids to critique. I pictured kids stopping by the site to check out the latest book recommendations and writing tips. And then more recently, I pictured lots of kids sending in their short stories to be showcased on the blog!
The problem is this. I’ve noticed that my posts get a lot of traffic…except when I put out a call for kids to submit their stories. And on top of that, I haven’t gotten many stories from kids. Hmm. So I’m thinking that either kids ARE reading the blog and checking out the site often, but they’re just not ready or interested in sending in their work…or its mostly adults who are reading the blog!
Either way, I’m okay with that. I mean we’re all writers, right?
So here’s the thing…I think it’s time for me to expand my focus a little bit. I’m still going to focus on kids, but I’m going to focus on adults who write too. I’ve changed the subtitle of the site to the site for kids and kids at heart who like to write. The way I see it, if you write for kids, then you’re basically a kid deep down anyway!
I’m going to be changing a few more things about the site too. I’m now going to open up Critique Corner to adults too. I‘ll hold critique rounds specifically for them and at other times I’ll hold critique rounds specifically for kids or teens.
I’ll keep the Book Nook the same and the reason is simple. Adults who write for kids need to be reading children’s books. I have many more books to post so stay tuned.
If you’ve been following the blog, you know that Short Story Showcase opens today! I’ve had a few kids contact me and tell me they have a story to submit, but it’s not ready quite yet. (We all can relate to that, right?) So here’s what I’ve done to kick it off… I’ve posted a story that I wrote several years ago when I first started writing. It’s not a perfect story. It’s not a published story. But it is a story that’s meant to be shared, and so I’m sharing it! I hope you like it. 🙂
As I receive short stories from kids, I’ll post them, without warning, so keep checking back. I will however mention it on my weekly post when we have a new one showcased.
I want this site to be helpful for writers, whatever their age. It would really help me if I knew if anyone was interested in having another critique round- either for kids or adults. So…if you’d like to see one, leave a comment below or you can email me at swirlandspark.com. I’d love to hear from you. This information would really help me to know where to focus my efforts!
And so today ends April. That means that May flowers should be arriving soon. I really hope it’s soon, don’t you? The colors of spring always bring me inspiration, and I can use some now. I’m juggling many writing projects! I’m busy working on final revisions for my middle grade novel. I’m really anxious to send this out to agents and see what they think. I’m also working on a short story for a sweet little girl who’s battling leukemia. I’m not able to do much to help her but I’m hoping my story can bring her some hope and a smile. I mean that’s why we write, isn’t it? To bring happiness to someone else.
So with the change in season, I’m looking forward to the changes to swirl and spark. I hope you are too. Again, feel free to comment and let me know what you think!