Maurice Broaddus didn’t know what he stumbled into the week after Mo*Con.
He sent me an e-mail asking if I could help with the layout of a special anthology… from where he was encouraging school children to write their own stories. The kids had all written something and he’d collected it together, and wanted to get print copies for the kids. Originally, he was just asking for some assistance setting up a document for him to figure out with Lulu or …
At which I point I cut him off by doing this:
Luckily, it was e-mail, so I could pretend to be cool and suave and stuff and finish the e-mail before telling him that I WANTED TO DO ALL THE THINGS.
The result is this little gem:
He assures me that it’s a pretty thing. I went to great lengths to try to make it look good, for it to be something that each kid would look at and be impressed by.
Let me clarify.
That the kids would be impressed that they were so important, that their writing was so important, that it deserved that kind of effort.
Because it does.
My official bio says “His first venture into writing and publishing was while in second grade using a mimeograph machine.” Those little magazines were a wonderful opportunity that a few teachers did their best to give me.
And I had found them less than a week before.
I remember those teachers encouraging me. Their influence is part of why writing has always been part of my life. They helped me realize it was important. And here was Maurice, doing the same thing for entire classrooms of children. Of course I would do anything I could to help.
So to the kids whose first published work is in Fueled by Takis, excellent job.
I am proud to be your publisher. I am humbled to be a part of your journey. You shared your stories with each other and with me. Encourage each other. Because you can do it.
And if you’re curious what those mimeographed magazines from my childhood looked like… well, they’re right below (plus bonus material!)