Copyright 2016. Author Phyl Campbell. All rights reserved.
See Books by Young Authors HERE
Every great book starts out with a great story. You don't always know where it's going. Sometimes it ends on a cliffhanger. If it's done well, you get the sense that the story isn't really over when you reach the last page. You imagine the characters going on about their lives, living on in a world that we can only imagine.
The story of Phyl Campbell Press, or the Young Author's Workshop, or the Creative Writing and Publishing Workshop, starts a bit like that. A third grader's mother, knowing that I was an indie author, called me about a week before school would be out for the summer. Her son liked to write, and had about 50 pages of a story. He wanted a camp that would help him learn to publish the book he was making.
I laughed, because I was still looking for that camp.
As an adult, I was writing and publishing my books as a hobby, something to keep me occupied while my child was in school. But was I doing it "right"? People WERE indie publishing, but few were sharing their experiences with me. Or the experiences they shared involved having money for special software and online advertising and marketing - all things I didn't have and didn't see having. But I was smart and I knew my strengths.
I'm a good teacher. I know what makes a book enjoyable. I know that holding a book - a book you wrote - in your hands is worth every minute, every hour, every day spent agonizing over it. I keep several projects going simultaneously - it isn't unusual for me to work on a story for three years before I feel it is ready for public consumption. Where might I be now if indie publishing was available to me when I was 8, 10, or older? The young authors I see on the national news have parents who either have money or connections to get their little darlings in print. What if I could help do that for kids who grew up like I did? What if kids sold their books instead of lemonade? What if they caught the writing bug and spent years working on their craft before they graduated high school?
I'm a product of public schools and I support public schools. However, I do not support the endless and pointless testing of children. I feel that the creative enterprise of writing a book teaches more skills than learning to bubble in sheets. Even if they only write one book - even if they don't finish - they will learn something about themselves along the way. The creative process of writing and the painstaking process of editing, together, is learning that can't be duplicated by anything standardized.
When I was in elementary school, my favorite time of year was the Young Author's Conference. Every student wrote a book that teachers and parent volunteers painstakingly edited and laminated the covers of. My first book, Weird Pie, was written when I was eight years old. It's still my favorite. But even then I was reminded that writing books was for fun. Most people never made any money at it. I knew even then that I was a better teacher than a writer, anyway.
Long story short, seven students published books that first summer. And if I can help students as young as SIX create a book of their very own, then I promise I can help you. Are you ready?