Alison's Writing Portfolio · Daybook · On Creativity - Art, Jewelry, Writing · On Places & Travel

Daybook: My First Travel Query+Story–at Age 8!

Since today is my birthday, I thought I'd share something I came across a few years ago. I'm pretty sure that this is not only my first travel query letter, but also my very first effort at professional publication. 

 I imagine I sat at the little red plastic table in my bedroom,  gripping a Bic liberated from the cup my mother kept near the kitchen phone. I'm pretty sure that this was my first draft, and that I copied it over again (without the spelling errors, hopefully!) before I popped it into an envelope with a SASE.  Note the strategic compliment I inserted.


I have also found the story that I
was hawking. It was fiction, although very much ripped-from-the-headlines, as I was just back from my first trip on an airplane to Florida, to visit my stepfather's mother in Hollywood and then the just-opened Epcot Center. (Surely I planned a separate piece on that!)  I am not sure why I named my female protagonist "Ken", but I'm sure you can spot the influences of my writer- heroes, Louisa May Alcott and Laura Ingalls Wilder:


Well, I don't have a record of a response from "Dear Sir or Madame", but since I know that I was not published in Highlights Magazine, in due course, I must have received my first rejection letter.

I don't remember that part at all.  Which means that is true: the sting of rejection fades away. But the pride that any writer, of any age, should feel about writing a story, an essay, an article, polishing it and taking a shot at getting it published? Apparently, that endures.

By Alison Stein [Wellner]
Age 34


4 thoughts on “Daybook: My First Travel Query+Story–at Age 8!

  1. Happy Birthday. This is so encouraging. I should have that same mindset as your 8-year-old self, that “give-it-your-best-shot” confidence.

    What a neat thing to think about on your birthday. You rock.

  2. That was so you. You were adorable! Our trip is very clear in my mind. I still have the picture of you standing in front of Space Mountain, popping with excitement.

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