Creativity is the key to making your writing business flourish. Don’t tumble into a writing rut and become discouraged when you aren’t published immediately. As you are honing your craft, be open to various genres of writing. You may find you will get published sooner rather than later when you are a well-rounded writer.
The first pieces I had published were plays, skits, and recitations. I submitted the Christmas and Easter programs I had written for the children and young people of our church. The publishers accepted almost every piece I sent and the pay was very fair.
So if you really want to be published, don’t overlook ministry resources for churches, Christian schools, and homeschoolers. They are always looking for programs for special occasions.
Be sure to follow the writer’s guidelines before submitting. Great first impressions can open doors for you.
Below is one of my skits. Notice the names of characters are in bold font and stage directions are in italic parenthesis. This was the publisher’s request.
Striking it Rich
Polly Pureheart – Circuit Rider’s beautiful daughter
Circuit-Rider – Parson on the western frontier
Old Timer – On older Wild Bill Hiccups
Huffalo Bill – Greedy cowpoke with an attitude
two stick horses, canteens, Bible, and saddlebags
Huffalo Bill: All these years you’ve been panning and mining for gold, Old Timer, and you’ve never struck gold. Don’t you ever get tired of breaking your back and working so hard?
Old Timer: Horse feathers! I’ve got me more determination than ever to find gold. My mammy and pappy always told me that there was a land where the streets are paved with gold and I plan to find that there land or my name ain’t Wild Bill Hiccup. [hiccups]
Huffalo Bill: Oh, there you go again, Old Timer. You know you can’t say your name or you’ll get the hiccups.
Old Timer: Now don’t you go getting all “huffy” with me, ya little whipper-snapper! And don’t just stand there criticizing your elders. Help me find them there golden streets. I want to die a rich man.
Huffalo Bill: Well, if you ever did strike gold, you’d have the best rags to riches story ever.
Old Timer: Looks like we’ve got company a-heading our way. Word must have leaked out about all the gold in this here stream. People become a bunch of “Greedy Guses” when they hear about gold.
Huffalo Bill: Well, one of them is the most beautiful Greedy Gus I’ve ever laid my eyes on.
Old Timer: Guard your wallet! I mean guard your heart! Women will deplete all yer savings in no time.
[Polly and Circuit-Rider enter riding their stick horses.]
Circuit-Rider: Howdy, good neighbors!
Huffalo Bill: Howdy right back at cha! [pause] What are you doing in our neck of the woods?
Curcuit-Rider: I’m the new parson in this hear territory and this is my lovely daughter – Polly Pureheart.
Polly: Well, hello boyzz!
Old Timer: Boyzz? I ain’t been a boy for years.
Huffalo Bill: Why, that was a mighty sweet introduction from one of the prettiest thing I’ve seen in Californey! My name is Huffalo Bill and this is my good friend Wild Bill Hicupps!
Old Timer: [hiccup] Beg your pardon, Miss.
Circuit-Rider: What are you doing out here at this stream? You’re so far from civilization.
Huffalo Bill: Well, we are on what you might call a treasure hunt.
Old Timer: That’s right. Me and Huffalo Bill is on a treasure hunt.
Polly: Oh, I just love treasure hunts. Can we help you?
Huffalo: You sure can…
Old Timer: What do you mean…. You sure can????? I’d like to bust a CANteen over that thick skull of yer-ins!
Huffalo Bill: [put his arm around Old Timer] Now don’t you worry your pretty head off, ma’am about Old Timer here. He’s just a been out in the hot sun a little too long and is a little delirious right now.
Old Timer: Delirious????? I’ve never been more serious!
Huffalo: Yes, Old Timer is quite serious about having you help us out. You see his mammy and pappy told him there was a City where the streets are paved with pure gold. We figure if we find gold in a mine or stream, we’d be close to where the real treasure is.
Polly: Well, Daddy is always talking about the land where the streets are paved with gold.
Old Timer: Parson, you know how to get to that there land with golden streets?
Circuit-Rider: I even have a roadmap!
Old Timer: Well, I’ll be blessed. Did you hear that Huffalo, he’s even got a roadmap?
Circuit-Rider: The Lord will provide!
Polly: The Lord will provide!
Old Timer: Well, can we take a gander at that there roadmap?
Circuit-Rider: Sure can. It’s right here in my saddlebag.
Old Timer: This is my lucky day!
Huffalo: I knew it was my lucky day when I saw that “purdy” girl a-galloping up to me on them horses.
Polly: [clasps hands together] Oh Huffalo, you’re so sweet!
Old Timer: Now that’s enough of all this mushy mush…. I want to see that roadmap.
Circuit-Rider: [waves Bible in air] Here it is!
Old Timer: That there ain’t no roadmap. That’s the Good Book!
Polly: Yes, the Good Book as you call it, is our roadmap to Heaven, where the streets are paved with gold.
Old Timer: That must be what Pappy and Mammy was talking about, but my greed got me searching for gold down here.
Huffalo: What do we have to do to get to heaven?
Polly: We must confess our sins to the good Lord and tell Him how sorry we are. And when we do that He promises us a home in heaven when we die.
Old Timer: Well, parson, get down off of yer horse and pray with me so I can one day walk on them golden streets.
Huffalo: Me, too. But if it would be alright with you, Parson, I’d like your daughter to pray with me.
Polly: Isn’t he so sweet, Daddy?
Circuit-Rider: Polly, you better pray with Old Timer. I’ll pray with Huffalo. He’s got a lot of repenting to do.
Old Timer: Before we pray, Parson, I’d like you to shake hands with poor boy who has everything since you told me about Jesus and how to get to them golden streets. Wild Bill Hiccups [hiccup] is going to die a rich man after all.
by Dixie Phillips, CES Editor, Writing Coach, Award-Winning Children’s Author and Songwriter
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