Updated: Dec 20, 2021
Ok, so I'm actually already published (bet you didn't know that [actually you may have known that because I may have put it on my about page, I can't remember]) but yesterday I got some exciting news. I am going to be published yet again!
Let me tell you, the first time you see your own works in a published book, the feeling you get is indescribable. The first time I was published (actually the story is pretty funny I'll tell it in a second) I had to pay around $60 dollars for the copy of the anthology (actually my parents paid the money but I would have). The feeling you get from seeing your work, your name above your work, it's worth all the money in the world. For a writer, that is perhaps the best feeling.
The first time I got published it was actually an accident. I'm not kidding. I submitted my poem "What Is Imagination" to a contest, not realizing it was a contest for Canadians only. I was not allowed to participate. However, months later, I got an email from someone connected to the contest telling me that while I could not participate in the contest, they wanted to publish my poem in an anthology they were putting together. Pretty cool.
This time the story was slightly different. My teacher actually invited me to submit my poetry in a contest that had been mailed to him. I not only submitted my own work but encouraged the members of the Writer's Club I started at my school last year to do the same. Yesterday, I got a letter back from the contest (which I'd actually completely forgotten about as you often do after many months). The first four paragraphs stated that they had not decided on a winner of the contest yet but the prizes were awesome and I should be excited about the possibility of winning up to $1,500 and having my name on their site. All things I already knew. I kept laughing to myself and telling my family to be quiet as they continued to ask what the letter was about. "I haven't gotten to that yet," I told them.
But when I did, it was pretty exciting.
Though it isn't my first time having a poem published, I still get that feeling of exhilaration every time I think about it. I am going to have a second poem published in an anthology. They want my work. I suspect that feeling will never go away no matter how many works I publish throughout my life.
Though in the deepest part of my soul, I feel I will always be a novel writer (I simply have too many ideas for worlds and creatures and stories to not be), I have always been incredibly proud of my poetry. I have submitted short stories and other works to contests before. I have never won anything, never been recognized for those. But my poetry has been chosen for publication twice now.
Perhaps it's a sign. I should definitely continue to write my poetry (and I will).
EDIT: You can find both poems mentioned here in the poetry anthology entitled Imagine This: From Pain to Possibility