Success Will Come By Willis T. Bird

After a couple years of no success in trying to market children’s stories, I tried writing an article for Boy’s Life magazine on the subject of photography. It was quickly rejected with the reasoning that they had recently done an article on that subject. Since I thought the article was good, I submitted it with minor changes to a Writer’s Digest contest. The article won an Honorable Mention with a placement of about 60 in a total of 700 submissions. Because of this I set the article aside in a special folder just in case.

At the time I subscribed to several writing newsletters and in one I came across an ad asking for a writer for young people on the subject of photography. I have been an avid amateur photographer with a number of published photos in national magazines so this seemed right down my alley. The article I had written for the Writer’s Digest contest seemed just perfect for this venue. I did a little polishing on it and sent it in.

If successful, I expected this to be a one or two article deal. It turned out to be hugely successful for me. took me on as their writer for young people and I have recently had my 37th article published with them. They pay timely with no hassle and it has been an excellent relationship. I get to show my photos there as well.

Prior to this, I’d had only one article published by a magazine. Since then, I have had a couple articles published by a wildlife photography newsletter and have written a self-published book (The Alaska Incident). I did not make a bundle with it but did make enough to pay for the publication, which was my goal. That one little article brought me some spending money over the past 5 years and contributed to me becoming a book author. I am a happy man.

My advice is that if someone writes a good article that he believes in and it does not meet with success initially, hold onto it as its time may come.

Willis is a 72 year old writer/photographer who has a BA degree in Psychology. He spent 4 years in the USAF as a radio operator before working as a Psychometrist at a school for delinquent boys, Claims Representative for the Social Security Administration, and a Vocational Counselor at a large mental hospital in Florida. He is currently retired. His writing publications include; Florida Game & Fish; f/8 & Being There;;; and a self-published book The Alaska Incident, which can be found only on online bookstores. His photo publications include; Florida Game & Fish; Florida Wildlife; Horse Illustrated;; f/8 & Being There; Southern Discoveries;; a hard bound coffee table book on Atlanta, Ga. and others. He is currently retired, and married, with one adopted daughter and two grandchildren, with another due in March.