For years and years I’ve harbored a sort of vague dream of publishing a book someday. Lots of people share that dream. Few bring it to reality.

Last summer I enrolled in a writing seminar at Millersville University. One requirement for getting an A in the course was that we submit a piece of writing for publication. I agonized over that requirement. I hadn’t realized just how high the stakes feel when you know you’re writing for a real audience. After much agonizing and editing, I submitted an article to Daughters of Promise magazine. (It was accepted!)

The experience taught me something I don’t want to lose sight of as an English teacher. Writing for publication is different than writing for your teacher or your classmates. It’s different than writing in your journal for yourself. Writing for publication raises the stakes. It causes you to write your very best and to seek counsel from others on how to bring the piece to its full potential. More than any other writing you’ll ever do, writing for publication forces you to grow as a writer.

Which means, my dear students, that you’ll be writing for publication come fall…..