I received a letter in the post yesterday.

On the front it said: Parent/Guardian of Mini-Me* Belfield. Across the top it read: Young Writers.

I thought What’s this, then? and without further ado, ripped open the envelope, pulled out some papers, and started reading.

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Recently, Mini-Me’s school … submitted some of their pupils’ work for Young Writers’ Mini Sagas competition. For this exciting competition, pupils were asked to write a mini saga on a theme that inspired them, with the added challenged of using 50 words or less.

Now, I remember said mini saga well. Mini-Me came home with the story to write as homework and told me he’d been set an ‘impossible’ task.

I told him ‘fiddlesticks’. Nothing is impossible in the world of writing. It’s the authors right to make anything happen that they so choose.

“But I can’t do it,” he’d said. “They want a setting, a character, and action … with FIFTY WORDS!” <<Yes, that last bit was said in full-on teenager style.

I told him to sit down. Then I told him to give me a name.

He chose ‘Jeffrey’.

I told him to give me a setting.

He chose a block of flats (apartments to the peeps across the pond).

So we stuck Jeffrey on the roof. And then we made him jump … to the next block of flats.

In fifty words, we’d created a free runner.

My son looked at me like I was kinda cool (only kinda), and he took his homework to school with pride in his eyes.

So, remembering said evening where I’d connected in a beautiful way with a fourteen year old boy (who just happens to be almost six foot tall and broad enough for me to hide behind), I read on in the received letter … and I reached a part that said:

… I am delighted to let you know that Mini-Me’s story, Leap, has been chosen for publication in Mini Sagas – Swashbuckling Stories The Midlands. A copy of the book will be sent to the British Library ……. providing a lasting record of your child’s achievement.

Ooooooooooooh, I thought.

Then I reached another part that said:

Leap has been typeset and a proof copy is enclosed. Please check the proof and mark any changes in red ink.

Just like how I work with my editor. Like a proper publication. With a date they must receive the edits back by and the signed form for copyright purposes giving them permission to publish it (an author’s version of a contract).

And then onto the last part where I read a bit that said:

Mini Sagas – Swashbuckling Stories The Midlands is scheduled for publication on 30th November 2011.


It is an awesome moment when a parent gets this kind of letter home—especially when it comes as a result of time we spent together and of him listening to me … yes, my son LISTENED to me (that’s an achievement in itself, right?).

So it is with pride swelling in my chest that I say: My son: The published author.

And here’s the certificate to prove it:

What proud Mum moments have you experienced recently?


Disclaimer: *Mini-Me is not actually my son’s name—who would be that cruel?—but I do like to protect the identity of my family and so often refer to my children in this way.



  1. That’s fantastic, congratulations to Mini-Me Belfield!

    Small world, a cousin of mine submitted a story to the same competition and his was also chosen. That’s brilliant. I honestly cannot say I’d have been able to pull off a 50-word story, let alone one good enough for publication. That takes some chops!

    As awesome as it is you can say your son is a published author, I also love where you say he “looked at me like I was kinda cool.”

    1. Hehehehe, yeah well it makes a change for teens to look at their parents in any way that doesn’t include a frown or a scowl, lol.

      So, my son, your cousin–co-authors, eh? How neat is that?

      Thanks, Paul 🙂

  2. Wow! Mega Congrats are in effect here! This story made me smile and what a great disclaimer at the end, hehe, I loved the protective name you chose for him, does he like it? ;D I think its cool, because I do the same with my family too. Excellent post, thanks for sharing Mini-me’s success with us ^_^ (I think I felt that wave of excitement clear across the pond 😉 )

  3. Looks like the creative gene runs in the family. Congrats Mini-me! And congrats, mom, for raising such an awesome kid.

    My daughter wrote a poem about me once and it was published in a legitimate anthology through her school. Said daughter wrote and illustrated a children’s book for a college class ten years later that was also published. I joke with her all the time and tell her it’s not fair she was published before me. She just smiles and says if it hadn’t been for me and my encouragement, she may have never chosen to put herself out on the limb like this. She gave me that brief second look that says ‘you rock, Mom’, and I smiled. Its in these moments when we, as parents, say to ourselves, ‘job well done.’ Good going, Mom! you keep on beaming. you deserve it.

  4. That’s Awesome, Julie. And that boost of recognition will stay with him forever. Congrats to you and Mini-Me! 😀 \O/ 😀

  5. Awww. How lovely. My youngest made up a story last week. Are you ready for this?

    A man had a peach on his arm, then he dropped it. Then he got it back.

    I was the proudest mom in the world. My husband was less impressed. ‘But it had a beginning, a middle and an end,’ said I. Still unimpressed. ‘But she’s TWO,’ said I.

    Ok, maybe not publication-worthy, but still, she is only two.

    Congratulations to mini-B!

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