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A Scholarship and A New Writing Journey

My girlfriend tends to send me along any and all writing-related opportunities and articles she finds (she finds many, being a writer/editor herself). A few weeks ago, she sent me a link to apply for a directed scholarship for taking an online course on writing middle grade literature. The link came with one word: “apply!”

I texted her back, biting the inside of my cheek as I do when new things crop up. “Thanks babe, this looks cool, but I do YA, not MG.”

An iphone-style ellipsis in a speech bubble, showing that the person you're texting is currently typing. Image from telegraph.co.uk

An iphone-style ellipsis in a speech bubble, showing that the person you’re texting is currently typing. Image from telegraph.co.uk

“Apply anyway.”

So I did, and I’ve just received an Andrea Davis Pinkney Merit Scholarship from the Children’s Book Academy. The scholarship enables me to take their 4-week online intensive on writing middle grade lit.

So, for the next few weeks (before the course begins), I will be ceaselessly editing and re-writing bits of my YA manuscript; during the course month, I will continue editing YA, while writing a new MG novel.

Because I agree wholeheartedly with the beautiful words and wondrously radical sentiments of Daniel José Older that we (especially those of us who are not straight white cis non-dis/abled middle class men) do not need to write every day, and that we certainly need to endeavor not to shame ourselves for living our lives.

But sometimes — sometimes, when the proverbial wind is right and I’m feeling very healthy — I’m going to apply anyway, and see what I can create from it.

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