Showing posts from September, 2007

Advice for Young Authors on Getting Published

Suggestions for Getting Published
Getting published depends on finding a publisher who is looking for what you are presenting. Publishers have publishing plans that determine exactly what books they need for each new season—mysteries, adventure stories, travel books, cook books, etc. They also have target markets in mind—adults, young adults, middle-grade readers, or very young readers. An excellent resource for finding publishers that might be interested in your work is The Writer's Market, a book available in the reference section of most libraries.
The following is a partial list of book and magazine publishers that are particularly interested in publishing the work of young authors.
Cicada Magazine
Carus Publishing Co.
315 Fifth Street
Peru, IL 61354
Editor: Marianne Carus
This monthly literary magazine for young adults accepts young author submissions. See the Submissions page in the magazine for details.
Cicada also has an online forum for a…

Experts in China

My daily travails on the Internet today--on Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica--led me to find the notable Ban Zhao. Born in AD 45, Anling, Gufang [now Xianyang, Shaanxi province], China (according to the Encyclopedia Britannica), Ban Zhao was China's first female historian (according to Wikipedia). This was very unique in a country that, at the time, treasured boys over girls in most situations. Married at age fourteen, Ban Zhao was known as the Venerable Madame Cow. Cow? Fine, Cao.

While there is no definite information on Ban Zhao’s humble beginnings, I would assume that Ban Zhao first became interested in history for practical reasons. History seemed to be in Ban Zhao's blood. Her father, Ban Biao, had begun a history of the Han Dynasty (the Book of Han). The emperor commissioned Biao's son (and Ban Zhao's brother), Ban Gu, to complete the work, after their father's death. Ban Zhao helped her brother and took up the task after her brothe…

Becoming an Expert: Part 2

Continuing my quest to become an expert, today I read about the profitable smuggling trade of Chinese antiques. According to the Economic Times at, powered by India Times, Hong Kong "has become the legitimate outlet for ill-gotten treasures of Chinese history, a legal market for legally obtained objects that can and do command large sums."

This event made me remember learning about Napoleon's soldiers invading Egypt and breaking off a Sphinx's nose. While the acts of breaking off a Sphinx's nose and trading valuable artifacts have considerable differences, the latter does seem reminiscent of the former.

While I am solidly against the illegal trade of Chinese artifacts and angry at the smugglers, I think that the Chinese government should take more measures with the policing of artifact smuggling, as well as more effort in programs to find artifacts before smugglers discover them.

Some new questions: What efforts…

A Trip to Whole Foods

The familiarly large "Whole Foods Market" sign in green loomed ahead of us. How an unobtrusive, material green sign could remind me of an hour's worth of delicious samples and galloping wild through the aisles of delicious everything! We walked less-than-demurely inside to be greeted by large bouquets of flowers. My sister Adrianna and I snooped about the samples. There was something rather sneaky about eating samples. Eating ice cream from Whole Foods seemed somehow more justified than from some other store. Perhaps it was because most were boldly emblazoned with "Organic." Perhaps it was because of Whole Foods' reputation as a healthy store gave ice cream this reputation as well. Perhaps it was because Whole Foods ice cream was most often very good. Simply looking at ice cream made me giddy with anticipation, thinking of mouthfuls of chocolate chocolate-chip...being in the ice cream section melted away all the day's worries, temporarily at least. Afte…

Becoming an Expert: Part 1

Today my topic is Ancient Chinese history. As part of my quest to become an expert on Ancient Chinese history, today I looked at

This website is the History Channel's look at Ancient China. Usually each section (i.e., the T'ang Dynasty) is brief and summarized, but it still gives well-rounded information about different time periods in Chinese history. This is a quote that raised some new questions for me:

"The Han emperors followed the Confucian principle of appointing men on the basis of merit rather than birth. Written examinations were adopted as a means of determining the best qualified people. In the late 2d century BC an imperial university was established, in which prospective bureaucrats were trained in the five classics of the Confucian school." What were the five classics? How long did you have to prepare for the written examinations? Who made the examinations? How long we…

Focus of Expertise: Chinese History

Imagine yourself in a land of red-tiled buildings with sweeping roofs and gardens at every turn, your footsteps pressing the ground where the Emperor might have walked. Who could resist entering the Forbidden City of Chinese history? As my new "Focus of Expertise," I will be studying Chinese history and posting updates on my blog.

My topic will span some of the country's development through the years. I chose Chinese history because I (most ashamedly) know little about it, because China is a large and growing world power today, and because, of course, I am half-Chinese.

From various biographical and historical fiction readings, I have some understanding of Chairman Mao and the Cultural Revolution, as well as (less so, however) Ancient China.

The following questions are some that I hope to answer and that I hope possibly that some of my readers will be able to answer.

How and when was China settled by humans? How did the first emperor come to be the first emperor, and who was…

Third-person perspective of my day

It was a day much like any other, except that it was a weekend day and Adora and Adrianna were anxious to line up in the kitchen, should they just barely miss the introduction to 60 Minutes. Adora ate very little but did cram a grape leaf most rudely into her mouth. She also took a fearsome swig of cranberry-raspberry juice before departing to lounge on the carpet.

Before this, the morning was bright and cheery and fresh. Sunlight streamed through the two windows in the bathroom/bedroom. Adora had slept here for the last two nights. The bed was of dark and creaky wood that gathered dust with its infrequent use. It groaned and squeaked as she rose sluggishly off of it to dress and put her hairpins in order atop her much mussed hair.

The family sat down to a large Sunday breakfast of waffles with sugar-powdered raspberries. Despite the splendor of the day outside, the house remained an inferno of papers and pants strewn all about, sharpener-shavings embedded in the carpet, pine cones lit…