Manga? What’s that? Japanese comic books? A few years ago, when I first encountered Manga through my niece’s obsession with it, I viewed it with amazement and curiosity. What was this new-to-adults writing form? Now, some people advise to never expand into other writing areas, for fear of jack-of-all trades, master-of-none syndrome. But, by being curious, and pursuing my questions, this short story writer opened up whole new areas for lucrative writing success.
First, in order to discover what it was, I started reading Manga series. In the back of a book of one enjoyable series there was a contest listed for a short story using the world and characters of the trilogy. This contest, with no entry fee, had a first prize of $500, plus a signed book, plus original signed artwork. The other prizes were also generous. Immediately, a story idea and plot popped into my head. Why not give it a try? While writing the story (which only took a couple of hours), I learned even more about this form of storytelling. Enough that I realized it would be an excellent way to teach teens about writing.
After I won first prize, I queried a local family magazine about writing an article from what I’d learned. The editor was well known for hesitating to take on new writers, but with my success with the contest, she agreed to the article. Not only was it published, but it was the lead in the issue. Now I’m a member of the editor’s stable with three article assignments this year.
The success continues. Every year, there’s a Fantasy convention in a nearby town. I was invited to present a workshop on “Storyboarding Manga.” Then, because I now have “cred”, I presented in June another workshop for a writing conference. I’m invited back next year.
And on it goes, a simple curiosity expanding into writing success.
Conda Douglas has published numerous short stories and articles. In July, a short story of hers will be published in NECROTIC TISSUE and her articles will be released soon in FATE MAGAZINE and TREASURE VALLEY FAMILY MAGAZINE . In addition, She teaches workshops in writing and writing-related subjects. For more information, and fun and easy secrets, hints and tips, visit her blog at http://condascreativecenter.blogspot.com.
Writing for Trade Magazines
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