My Published Words

Welcome to Amazing Words Wednesday, the day we enter the labyrinth of language and see what fabulous fun we can discover together.

Normally it’s something about grammar, word play, etymology, famous quotes, etc. But today I got into the maze, turned a corner, and voila, there it was! The Goblin KingThe Goblet of Fire. Okay, actually it was this:

Orange Karen Cover

If you follow my blog, you know I’ve already mentioned the Orange Karen Tribute Anthology–oh, maybe three or twenty times. But tomorrow feels rather special to me because I finally get to share my wordsmy languagemy story with readers.

Tomorrow, April 11, is the official release day for this anthology featuring short stories from various genres. My YA contemporary short, COLOR ME HAPPY, is among them.

Karen DeLabar
“Orange Karen”

I began writing over four years ago, but this is the first fiction piece I’ve had published. And the cause is such a good one–supporting our marvelous writer friend, Karen DeLabar, as she continues to battle the fallout of Toxic Shock Syndrome.

But I thought I’d share some other words of mine today as well. Because while this is my first fiction piece in print, it isn’t the first thing I’ve had published.

You see, I made an appearance in the December/January 2001 issue of Child magazine. Was I giving parenting advice? Oh no. I was asking for it. I had read all of the What to Expect books, but the pregnancy/motherhood books that most helped me gain perspective were the Girlfriend’s Guide books written by Vicki Iovine. She had an advice column in the magazine, and I submitted a question. Yep, I was Sleepless in Texas.

Child Magazine page

And then there was the 2011 DFW Writers’ Conference. Penguin Promo had a booth in the exhibit hall. Several days beforehand, they ran a contest for t-shirt slogans. The prize was simply that your slogan would be chosen, sold at the conference, and you would receive a freebie. I submitted a few slogans, and one was chosen to grace the front of a shirt.

T-shirt: I'd grovel to publish my novel.
I’d grovel to publish my novel.

So having been “published” already, should I really be that exuberant about the release of my short story?


I’m thrilled to start my fiction publications with a short story, in the YA genre, among a group of quality authors, and for the benefit of Karen. What better way to have a “debut”?!

If you would like to read my words–and/or those of the other 38 authors involved in this project–here’s where you can buy, starting Thursday, April 11.



Also be sure to mark this a “Want to Read” on Goodreads and post a review (if you do that sort of thing).

Remember that all proceeds go toward helping Karen pay her medical and rehabilitation expenses. And a massive thanks to Christina Esdon, the leader of this project, who has been gracious at every turn and a delightful person to work with.

So what were the first words you ever had published? Have you ever written in to a magazine or newspaper? Have you ever come up with a slogan? Which of your words are you particularly proud of?

33 thoughts on “My Published Words

  1. Big congrats! I probably read your Sleepless in Texas Q&A back then. I remember reading Iovine’s books, and I was sleepless in Virginia around that time. 🙂 I put Orange Karen on my to read pile at Goodreads. Yay, Julie!

    1. Thanks, Coleen! My now-teenage son still has difficulty going to sleep at times. His mind are body are just restless that way. But I did finally get some sleep. Hope you did too! 🙂

  2. So excited for you, Julie…and in my favorite genre, too! I love contemporary YA and can’t wait to read your story! Congrats, sister!

    1. Thanks so much, PJ! I love contemp YA too, although my sons seem to wish that I would write paranormal fantasy with sword-fighting or zombie-killing. LOL.

  3. My first published words were probably in my junior high school newspapre, but I have no idea what they were. Cobgratulations on your short story release! Hope it makes lots of $ for Karen.

    1. Hey, I forgot about that. I did have an article printed in the high school paper about wearing seatbelts. 🙂 Thanks for all of your support, Jennette!

  4. OMG, the dreaded sleep fight! I love knowing all these warrior mommies have walked before me (so now y’all give me great advice).

    I’m going to see if I can pre-order the book today so I don’t forget. Great cause and I can’t wait to read your story!!

  5. Super huge congratulations on the book release! I was over the moon when my first short story was published (I have 2 now). I too had been “published” previously, mostly in our local small town newspaper (I wrote theater reviews for our local theater company), but seeing my name in a book with a cover and my bio in the back with my picture was different somehow.

    I wish you and your Karen luck sales. Now I’m off to Good Reads to mark my next wanna read book.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. Thanks so much. I love that you wrote theater reviews! How marvelous. I bet you learned a lot about writing through that experience of having to hone your thoughts into a set number of words.

  6. When I was a child, my mother wrote – and printed and sold – a book called “Jean Can Read”, full of stories that young children could easily read and understand. Apparently I dictated one of those stories, and my mother claims that is my first publication. 🙂

  7. Congrats on the publication of your short story, Julie! This is a big deal, way different than asking for advice or writing a slogan (which rocks, I have to say). I hope Karen recovers soon. Toxic shock syndrome is horrible.

    Glad the advice helped and you finally got some sleep!

  8. The first thing I ever had published was in the local newsletter for the Talented and Gifted program. Though I cannot remember the exact poem, it was comparing a jumbo jet to an eagle. I remember the end being something along the lines of “And it returns home to its nest, the hangar.” I believe I was in second grade…

  9. Congratulations, Julie! So happy for you. It’s an incredible thing, especially for such a great reason.

    (Also, I don’t know what happened, but in a flurry of life I didn’t notice I wasn’t getting any updates from you. Finally smartened up and realized I must’ve gotten kicked off the mailing list. But I’m back now. Sorry about that!)

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