Apr 16

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“Young writers dazzle publisher (Mom and Dad)”

On this continent, things used to be more difficult. Letters used to move around by horseback or on boats, Google didn’t exist to answer our every question, and getting published used to be only for the best of the best ADULT authors. But not anymore.

According to an article on the New York Times website, children are now publishing their own works of fiction, and while most parents are proud of their kids, not everyone is happy about this trend. In  journalism and in life there is always room for a different point of view.

Kids reading books

This article, written by Elissa Gootman, shows both sides of the argument in a way that turns a seemingly simple story into a questionable session about our future as a country.

“The television news feature about Ben Heckmann, an eighth grader from Farmington, Minn., was breathless in its praise. ‘At 14 years old, he has accomplished something many adults can’t achieve,’ the reporter said. ‘Ben is a twice-published author.’”

Here we can see the joy being a published author brings Ben. However, he was published the way most, if not all, children are published nowadays: Mom and Dad. The kids, although I’m sure have creative minds, are still nowhere near as experienced as authors such as Nicholas Sparks, Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, etc. These authors are ADULTS, not children and Gootman shows us just that by showing one author’s frustration.

“What’s next?” asked the novelist Tom Robbins. “Kiddie architects, juvenile dentists, 11-year-old rocket scientists? Any parent who thinks that the crafting of engrossing, meaningful, publishable fiction requires less talent and experience than designing a house, extracting a wisdom tooth, or supervising a lunar probe is, frankly, delusional.” She includes other quotes from other authors/publishers in the article in order to show that every adult doesn’t have the same attitude as Robbins does.

“Today a 14-year-old author has as good a chance of creating a following as a 50-year-old author,” Mr. Weiss said. “And maybe a better chance because they understand the nuances of social media.”

When I began reading this article, I wasn’t entirely sure on how exactly there would be two sides to this story. I thought it was merely going to be a “Hey, that’s pretty neat” kind of story. From this story, I’ve learned that no matter what, there will always be two sides to every story. For every one angle to look at a story, there is a thousand different ways to look at it.

Permanent link to this article: http://thewashingtonjournalismcenter.com/?p=4274

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