Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fun for Children's Writers

This is a fun time of year for children's book writers!  There is so much going on that you might feel like some of these events are birds flocking past you before you before you get a really good look at them!  Here's a few things coming up:

1.  Picture Book Idea Month: November 2011.  PiBoIdMo: 30 picture book ideas in 30 days...sign up before November 3rd!

2.  National Novel Writing Month: November 2011.  NaNoWriMo: Write a novel in a month...get that first draft DONE!  Sign up now!

3.  Poetry or Verse Story Writing Contest for Children.  300 words or less.  Deadline: October 31st.

4.  MeeGenius Author's Challenge.  Deadline: November 1st.

5.  Halloweensie Contest hosted by children's author Susanna Leonard Hill on her blog on Halloween!  Check it out at 

What do you think?  Talk about a busy time of year!  I'm planning on all of these except NaNoWriMo...this year is simply not the time for me!  I hope you have time to check out at least one of them!  Have I missed anything else fun and exciting, especially for picture book writers? 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Different Goal Question

About a year ago, I ran across a question on Rachelle Gardner's blog.  I still find myself thinking about it, so I thought I'd throw it out here for some more perspectives!

The question is pretty simple.  Would you rather be (1) an author who publishes relatively frequently, receives mediocre reviews, and still makes a comfortable living writing or (2) an author who can only afford to write part-time but whose work receives fabulous reviews and awards?

I usually find myself leaning towards #2.  I want to produce the most amazing material that everybody loves, and if that means I can't make a living by writing...well, I'm okay with that.  But then there's this magical allure: the idea that I could possibly even make money doing something that I love.  It's hard to shake, and does it really matter whether or not everybody else loves me?

I'm trying to polish off a couple manuscripts right now, so this question keeps floating in front of my eyes while I try to focus on the computer screen.  What do you think--which would you prefer?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Picture Books, Postcards, and Pitches

I have enough to tell you that I'm beginning to feel like a volcano so full of fabulous things to share that I'll just have to let them fly out!

Picture Books
The best thing you can do if you want to write picture books is to read and study them!  Here are three excellent examples of very well-written picture books.  Children love them and adults (at least this one!) can enjoy reading them over...and over and over.  They all have a creative story line with an unexpected ending.

  1. Edwina The Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct by Mo Willems
  2. Troll Teacher by Vivan Vande Velde
  3. There Was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea by Jennifer Ward and Illustrated by Steve Gray

I am organizing a Postcard Exchange for my preschooler and still have several openings.  If you would like to be involved, please email me!  It will involve sending at least six postcards throughout the United States and to a few other countries.  If you want more details, please visit my family blog here.

Susanna Hill, a children's book author, hosts a weekly Would You Read It? meme where she posts a pitch and her readers comment on whether or not they would be interested in the book.  Today, my unpublished story, Witches Don't Dance is the pitch for the week!  I'd love to read your comments on her blog about your reaction to my pitch!

How often do you post on your blogs?  I'm considering posting more than once a week.  How often do you like to see new posts on the blogs you visit?  I love to hear from you!