How do you get published in Young Blood?
This is a question that a certain number of my friends have asked me back in the past. Just like any other self-respecting writer out there, I would have told them to just search on Google using the term “how to get published in Young Blood” and a ton of blogs would explain it already.
But then, the world doesn’t work that way. So, here’s a quick guide on how to get published in one of the Philippines’ largest newspapers.
First, what is Young Blood? It is a column that caters to everyone below the age of 30. It is an outlet where the youth can express their views, ideas, and feelings about the world around them. In addition, a good amount of aspiring writers consider Young Blood to be their baptism of fire – their first-ever byline in the world of Philippine writing.
Second, what’s the deal in getting published there? It means that you can contribute effectively to the larger conversation of issues and topics. Personally, it was my dream to get published in Young Blood since I have finished high school in 2010. It took me three years, but hey, at least the deal is sealed!
Third, here is the reality about writing for Young Blood: What you’re submitting to Young Blood falls usually under the category of the personal essay (or the column). This means that you should tell your story – preferably a story that you know well and you are familiar with. This may also mean that you have to know what a column is.
Be familiar with the form. Read examples from the Young Blood column and identify their strong points. Also, gain a habit of reading essays and columns in general – there’s just too many to mention and recommend!
Usually, it can be anything under the sun – or a commentary on current events (9/9/13 was basically my diary entry on the first day of the 2013 Zamboanga siege, while Eerie in Marawi was, once again, a diary entry that talks about the Marawi siege in 2017). It can also be a reflection on your profession or life (Children can change – both a reflective essay and a commentary on lowering the age of criminal liability) and it can be a tribute, a romance essay; heck, it can be anything under the sun, as long as it looks like a proper essay!
Fourth, you should know that you have a solid understanding of mechanics – this means grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, and spelling are important in this endeavor. Take the road to Young Blood as an opportunity to read, learn, and improve your craft. While I will not be a hypocrite and say that being published is not important, the process that you undergo in crafting your piece is just as vital to the overall development of your writing.
Remember that writing is not a sprint; it’s a marathon – or a journey, depending on how you view it. Doing the “how do you get published in Young Blood?” thing is a part of that road.
If you need to have a live spell checker, use Grammarly for that purpose. The free version only requires either a Facebook or Google account to use.
In addition, make sure that you have a catchy title, as well as a strong first few paragraphs…and a satisfying or engaging conclusion. In short, send your best essay and treat Young Blood as how you would treat a literary journal (or an essay in a book that you would want to publish).
Fifth, you have to unite your ideas into one coherent essay. That means your thoughts should be organized in one way or another (linear, circular, list, chronological, etc.) and that the structure should contribute to the overall strength of your piece.
Furthermore, be yourself. You have to show your voice; the clarity of your ideas and your convictions will be the key to having your essay published. It’s a given fact that hundreds of young people like you submit their works for consideration. You have to convince the editor that your voice matters – and this means solid writing.
This goes back again to giving the art of writing the respect that it deserves: Read a lot. Read anything that you can get your hands on. Read authors; read books on how to write, read their works. In this way, you get to develop your own style, consciously or unconsciously. Berfrois, LitHub, and The New Yorker are all great ways to start.
Sixth, once you’re done writing the first draft, go away from it for a few hours. If you’re able to find a beta reader (preferably someone who can point out inconsistencies in your writing), then do it.
Once they’re done (or you don’t have anyone to talk to; after all, writing is a lonely business for the most part), then start editing.
Then edit, and edit more, and edit until you are sure that it’s the best version of your essay.
Ideally, your work should be within 800-1200 words (4,000-5,000 characters); however, PDI also posts relatively small pieces together (two at a time) when they’re noted to be worthy of publishing.
Finally, here is how you submit to the publication itself:
1. Send your article to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
2. When you’re submitting, the written rule is to copy and paste your article on the email body. There are times though when the editors of Young Blood accept Word attachments, but to be safe, just paste it on the email body (or do both of them)!
3. Here is how you format your email subject: Young Blood Submissions – Topic (Title)
EXAMPLE: Young Blood Submissions – Topic: Children (Children can change)
4. You should not be older than 29 years old. After all, the column is supposed to be for the youth, right?
5. Provide your name, age, address, and a short bionote in the third-person.
Earl Carlo Guevarra, 26, San Juan City
He is a teacher of English at a private school in San Juan City. When he’s not teaching writing or grammar, he likes to dabble in poetry and fruit shakes.
How long do I have to wait?
Usually, they publish within one week to one month (though there are reports that say that the acceptance range even extends to three months).
As for my case, all of my essays have been published days after I sent them. All of my rejections have never been published – and yes, the rejections are many too. However, it was okay for me. I have learned a lot from them!
Reflections on Young Blood
While it’s true that none of my essays have made to the book version of Young Blood just yet, I think I can happily look back and say that my time doing it has been fruitful.
I went on to writing essays for a wide variety of publications, magazines, and literary journals, including Rappler, Young STAR, ALPAS Journal, and other publications, both here and abroad.
If there’s one thing that the “how to get published in Young Blood” process gave me, it’s the confidence of knowing that I can write…and write something that is meaningful and thought-provoking.