June 25, 2010

Where Are You In Your Writing Career? Freshman or Senior?

Author and professor Randy Ingermanson poses this question to (unpublished) writers of all genres, "Where are you in your writing career?". Breaking the career into four categories: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Randy explains the nuances of each level of the career path. It's a bit like high school really (and you thought you had left that a long time ago).

Freshman: wandering the halls, looking for guidance, finding their way
Sophomore: a little experience, know how to find the right class (or conference)
Junior: doing some exciting work, not afraid of revising
Senior: have all the tools, shown polished work, ready to graduate

Check out the article and the action plan that will get you ready for graduation (and publication).

June 20, 2010

High Concept: Publishers Want It, But What Is It?

Kathy Temean has posted a great article by Steve Kaire on the definition of high concept books. We hear that term bandied about at conferences, but what exactly does it mean? Steve Kaire states that five essential components must exist:

1. The premise must be original
2. The story must have mass audience appeal
3. Your pitch must be story specific
4. The potential is obvious
5. Your pitch should be one to three sentences long

Check out the article - is your manuscript high concept?

June 14, 2010

Grammar Question? Ask the Grammar Girl

I rely on my critique group for my punctuation and grammar questions, but this is a terrifc website for many of the grammar questions that pop up for writers. You can submit a question or check the archives. Happy (correct) writing! Grammar Girl

June 9, 2010

Hats Off to NJ SCBWI!

Hats off (and a big bow) to Kathy Temean and Laurie Wallmark for coordinating a fantastic conference! Kathy and Laurie are the dynamic duo that managed to have 22 publishing houses/agents represented. These fine agents/editors were available for critiques, networking, workshops and a post-conference dinner. They also generously donated full manuscript critiques for the Silent Auction (proceeds to benefit the scholarship fund). Prizes galore! The raffle had autographed books, gift certificates and book bundles. NJ SCWI presented me with a signed copy of a Richard Peck book and a gift certificate for money off another NJSCWI event -as a token of appreciation for volunteering to facilitate a First Page session. Folks - run, don't walk, to the 2011 June conference! This year about 10 authors/illustrators received contracts through the NJ workshops/conference. The conference attendees left with their heads full of new ideas, inspiration and a big dose of gratitude to Kathy and Laurie. They are tireless volunteers who have done an outstanding job!

June 4, 2010

YAY! The NJ SCBWI Conference is Here!

Off to the NJ SCBWI conference and am I excited! Folks, take a look at this fantastic line-up of editors/agents/authors:

Marshall Cavendish
Dial and Dutton
Random House
Egmont USA
Sterling Publishers
Wendy Lamb Books
Sourcebooks, Jabberwocky
Paulist Press
Little, Brown BFYR
Scott Treimel Literary Agency
Foundry Literary
Adams Literary
Sheldon Fogelman Agency
Herman Agency
Andrea Brown Agency
Fne Print Literary Agency
Viking Books
Henry Holt
Keynote speakers:

David L. Harrison - author of 80 children's books

Catherine Murdock - author of Dairy Queen and other books

Last year I was on the faculty as a member of the "First Book Panel". This year, I'm facilitating a workshop for the "First Page Session". Bring those first pages folks - this is where my manuscript "Tonight You Are My Baby" was discovered.

Hope to see many of you SCBWI friends this weekend!

June 1, 2010

Feeling Rejected? How About These Famous Authors?

Join the club! And it's an esteemed group as well - famous authors who have climbed the ladder to success, and accrued a pile of rejection slips as well. We have all heard the story of how our beloved Harry Potter was rejected at least a dozen times before Bloomsbury Publishers picked it up (and we all breathe a collective - whew!). But how about Stephen King or William Faulkner?
And the literary success of Diary of Anne Frank and Animal Farm? Almost didn't happen. Check out this article from the Examiner.com to see the 30 authors/books who rose above rejection, polished their manuscripts, and didn't give up. Each rejection is the chance to make your manuscript better and find the editor who will love your work as much as you do. A little inspiration next time you find a rejection letter in your mailbox . . .