Monday, May 16, 2011

Where to go from here?

Thought I would give you a quick list update of some highlights from this past weekend at the NESCBWI conference. If you write for children, you may find some of the web addresses useful. If you read children's books you might find something new to read! As for me - my mind is spinning, trying to separate gems from clutter and figuring out which manuscript do I concentrate on now!!!!

Marketing - Susan Raab Associates, THE name in children's book marketing,

Research techniques - Loree Griffin Burns - great ideas and organizing tips, her book - Hive Detectives

Middle Grade Plotting - Whoa, slow down, can't write that fast - Whew! - Janet Fox - a goldmine of information, albeit at light speed. Her book - Faithful

Picture Book or Magazine? - Harold Underdown - good comparison list of characteristics - Did you know Cowboy Billy is really an illustrated storybook, not a picture book?

World Building -Stacy Whitman - two hour intensive with wonderful discussion and specifics for building a believable world in fantasy or science fiction. Much to do in this area!

Books to consider : for little ones - Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan A. Shea
fantasy - Matched by Allie Condie
TankBorn by Karen Dandler
adult - The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok

Monday, May 9, 2011

New England Writer's Conference

This weekend I will be attending the annual conference of the New England chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI.) This is the most well known and respected professional organization for children's writers. I became a professional member with the publication of A Campfire for Cowboy Billy. If you write for children, you really should belong to this organization - it provides huge support to writers and illustrators and some publishers will only accept submissions from members of this group.

This is the 25th anniversary of the New England chapter and I am very excited to attend, both for the workshops and the keynote speakers. The first keynote speaker is award winning Jane Yolen who has written over 300 books, Owl Moon being my favorite. The second keynote speaker is Tomie dePaola, award winning author of over 250 books - check out The Art Lesson. The third keynoter is Lin Oliver, co-founder of SCBWI, a former VP of Universal Studios and now co-author of 15 books with Henry Winkler (aka The Fonz.) Their series about Hank Zipzer is hailed as a break through for students with different learning styles. Very exciting!

Although I am published in the picture book genre, I am focusing my workshops on marketing and writing for middle grade, including research techniques, world building for fantasy writing and how to develop minor characters. I hope to come home re-energized and with enough information to create a plan of action to move forward in this crazy occupation of writing. A de-briefing to follow in the next blog. Enjoy Spring!!