Thomas Receveur has just received one of the greatest thrills that any aspiring writer can experience — getting published in an international magazine.
He’s been working for years on his craft, constantly laying out his ideas on paper, complete with his own illustrations … in crayon. He may be only eight years old but he is well on his way to achieving his dream of becoming an author. The Grade 3 student at Neil M. Ross School has already compiled and collated his own books of poetry, even recipes. One of his recent poems was just accepted and printed in the December issue of Highlights for Children, a periodical that generally gets approximately 3,000 submissions for each edition.
When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, the answer is quick.
“I want to be an author, probably a story author,” he said. With several of his works spread out across the kitchen table and other works in progress on a side counter, it was obviously a rhetorical question.
Receveur’s now published poem, Colors, is evocative and playful, maintaining a relatively sophisticated but identifiable rhyme scheme, all in only eight lines. It is also reminiscent of Eric Carle’s works, such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
“I like to write about whatever I can think of. I usually get ideas from what I’m doing, like the story I’m writing. My best friend just got a new puppy and he likes to pretend he’s the chief of the puppy police so I decided to write about that. I started it yesterday.”
Clearly he was born to practise this art. His mother Michelle explained that he was an early reader and as soon as he could make letters, he was writing words. She said he would make lists of items he saw anywhere, like in flyers. This led to one embarrassing incident when he brought a liquor store ad to school one day.
She explained this comes from his focus and single-mindedness, not just with writing but with most things.
“It’s tough to pull him away with whatever he’s doing. He just has an intensity about him.”
She added that they also have to limit his video game playing time, otherwise he loses some of his creativity.
This leads to the most important question — have you ever thought of getting your books published?
“I never thought of that actually,” he said, proving that he isn’t in it for the money. He does it for the simple and satisfying love of writing. Still, he liked the suggestion.