by Megan Clark,
Grub Street Marketing & Publicity Director
Grub Street Poetry Team Member
The first time I was published, I was 12 years old. Sounds ridiculous, I know. It was my middle school's yearly literary journal that highlighted student work, chosen by teachers at the school. The fact that my seventh-grade language arts teacher chose MY short story to be printed in the magazine along with the yearbook inspired me. I felt so important and appreciated. I felt on top of the world.
It sounds so lame but it's true. I ran home from the bus stop to show my mom on the last day of school. The story was from an assignment that Mrs. Colgan gave us. Rewrite a classic nursery rhyme or fairy tale. Seems simple enough but I was stuck between ideas.
I ended up going with “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” I wrote about a boy who found a fallen star. The star didn't know how to get back up in the sky, so the boy found a new job for him; to live inside the broken traffic light on his street corner.
It was a pretty cute story, if I do say so myself.
I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up: a writer. No longer did I hope to be a veterinarian, a computer scientist, or professional basketball player. I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to tell people stories and make them feel something.
I had a poem published in the magazine as well. It was about my dog, Charlie, who had just passed away. He was the family dog and my father took it the hardest. I had written a poem as a free-write in class about Charlie’s life from beginning to end, and it made my dad cry.
I wanted to do it again. Not make my dad cry, but make someone feel something that moved them in that kind of way. Whether it was laughter, sadness, or comfort, I yearned to recreate that moment.
Since then, I’ve been published small scale a few times: The Odyssey, school literary magazines, and the local online newspaper. Each time is a rush that I never want to stop experiencing.
The image above is "Flight" by Gillian Collins.