Friday, March 21, 2014

Things I've Never Tried Before

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Honestly, I'm terrified to share my paper thesis with a stranger. I've never approached another human being about any paper I've written for school, unless that person has been a friend in the class and we are complaining about it. The idea of approaching a complete stranger and presenting something as personal as my novice efforts is disconcerting... but perhaps it has its upside after all.

I decided to look up The Phantom Tollbooth on Goodreads to find someone who had written a review that might echo my thesis. I found a couple people: one compared the book to L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz, which reminded me of my comparison to Through the Looking-Glass; another mentioned that she had recently read the Tollbooth in preparation for her own research paper. Even though I was speaking to strangers and I had only a little information to go on, I took a deep breath and commented on their posts.
The latter, a woman named Aviva Gittle, responded and told me that she was working on writing a children's novel, and was struggling to make it feel more unique. She re-read The Phantom Tollbooth because it was such an original story. She even shared some elements of her own novel that had to do with the Hero's Journey and sent me a link to her website, which was very helpful!

The former got back to me, but he had to apologize for not having done any specific research (although he did send me a link to an interesting documentary on the 50th anniversary of the Tollbooth). He did say that the reason that such books have such staying power is because they are always fresh and challenge the mind. Unfortunately, the other user hasn't had time to respond to me yet.

I was shocked at how easy it was to get a response from these people, and how willing they were to share what they knew.

Then there's another new and scary thing I must do: submit my finished paper to a conference, archive or publication. But I guess it's not as hard as it looks: I just have to find somewhere to submit my paper, then polish it up and send it in.

I found a few possible venues. The first is at, an online scholarly journal that accepts undergraduate work on a variety of topics. I even saw a paper on that site that had been written about Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market," which reminded me of the research paper I did on that same poem not too long ago, and it gave me confidence that my current paper can make it as well. A place where I think it would be fun to be guest-blogged would be (which seems like a welcoming site for what I'm trying to say in my thesis).

Honestly, I'm still looking around for more places which fit my thesis... or should I change my thesis to fit the venue? It's kind of a chicken/egg argument. If anyone has any suggestions for where to submit a paper on "The Hero's Journey" in children's literature, let me know!

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