by Sylvia Nica, jaBlog! Blogger
I still remember the first time I stumbled upon Laura Thomas Communications. I was sitting, crushed, on the carpet after finding out that one of my stories had been rejected for publication. Again.
My mom, seeing my dejected form on the floor, handed me a paper. “It’s the rules for the Junior Authors Short Story Contest. Want to enter?” she asked softly. “No,” I grunted and pushed away the paper. However, a few days later, I scribbled up a story, opened the site, and nervously entered the writing contest.
This simple event would prove to be life changing. When I found out my story was a finalist, I began screaming and running through the house. This single win motivated me to keep writing.
Not only that, but after scrolling through Laura Thomas Communications, I found a wealth of tools all dedicated to helping young writers. From insightful blog posts to competitions, LTC was a safe haven in a world that scorned creative pursuits. The best part about LTC was that anyone from anywhere could participate. There were no financial or racial restraints. People from Japan, Zimbabwe, England, Romania…were all submitting writing.
In this way, I know I’m not the only one inspired by this community. Scroll through the comments, and you’ll see hundreds of posts thanking Laura for her time and motivation. There’s one testimonial I think best puts it into words:
“Too much to say, so I’ll put it in one word: thanks.”
Unfortunately, this vibrant community is ending. The thought makes me want to cry. It’s so difficult to find footing, especially as a kid or teen, in the writing world. Your literary dragon gets out of control.
Even if sites accept submission from kids, they hardly give you feedback. In this respect, LTC is a miracle. It has high submission standards, but also helps you understand why you were rejected. It gives you the opportunity to grow as a writer. That alone is a rare commodity.
Though I could write pages more, one thing is for sure: Laura’s community will be sorely missed. I was only a team member for a brief time-span, but this site has given me years of experience working as a writer. It gave me motivation to keep creating, though the writing industry is often harsh and competitive.
Most importantly, LTC gave me hope.
Therefore, I will end this piece in two simple words: Thank you. Thank you, Laura, for what you have done to help young writers. Thank you for inspiring a future generation. Most of all, thank you for being there when we, as junior authors, needed you most. I wouldn’t be where I am, as a writer and a person, without your care and guidance for young authors.