Submit your stories and poems to children's magazines.
Don't get discouraged if a magazine rejects your story. Just sent it to a different magazine. Keep trying!
Keep a journal--this will make you a good observer and that's who authors are--observers of life.
Keep a file of all your stories and poems. If tempted to give one to a friend or relative, give them a copy, never your original.
When you see something you like, try to describe it in words. Then write down those words in your journal. Such as, "The setting sun looks like an orange and pink swirl." Or "My baby brother's face looks like a purple prune!"
Keep a "Word List" and fill it on a daily basis with words that you love. Separate your list into columns such as: pretty words, words that create feelings, soft words, delicious words, hard words, sweet words, yucky words, sound words, fun words, etc. Then when you are ready to write, you already have a list of wonderful words ready to use.
When you hear or read a new word, add it to your word list and try to use it in a story or poem.
If writing stories or poems sounds scary, just write sentences. Keep a journal of all the neat sentences you write. I still remember a sentence I wrote in 4th grade: "The leaves fell from the trees making a golden carpet."
Not bad, eh?
Helpful Hints to Getting Published
Print your story or poem on a computer or use your best handwriting. (Print--not cursive!) Be sure you include
Make a copy. Never send your original because you may not get it back.
Put your story or poem into a business size envelope along with a SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope - your librarian can help you with this!)
Address the envelope to the magazine of your choice, be sure you have enough postage on your envelope, then mail.
If you can't find a magazine's address, ask your librarian.
While you are waiting for a response from a publisher, write something else!
Go to your public library and ask to see "The Children's Writer's Market." This is a wonderful reference book filled with the names and addresses of publishers who publish student writing. In the back of this book is a section just for student writers. This section lists all the awards, contests, and college scholarships available to students your age.
Remember, publishers are also on the lookout for your book, movie, and CD reviews; illustrations; photographs; interviews with students who have overcome obstacles or are doing great things; and essays. Magazines are always looking for editorials and opinions.