The firmest foundation

At a table at a writers’ conference, I presented to the other participants an idea for a story about my immigrant father’s challenges in his new land. Although I had not written a book before, I wanted to make the story into a book and share it with others. Another person at the table looked at the early draft and said: “This is only a novella—you won’t get any interest. Besides, what’s your platform?”

“What?” I said. I had no idea what he was talking about.

We all know some common definitions of a platform—the area where we stand and wait for the train or subway, or a flat, raised surface that people stand on when performing or speaking. But that is not what the critic at the table was talking about. He was talking about a “writer’s platform,” the branding at the core of a writer’s work, something I quickly realized I had to learn about. But what ended up developing as I pursued this was something grander and more significant than simply my writer’s platform.

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2016 per capita tax message
February 15, 2016

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