September 26, 2010

SCBWI Fall Philly Fantastic

If you missed the SCBWI Fall Philly conference this year, be sure to sign up next year. The 2011 event will be a three-day extravaganza combined with Western PA. I was fortunate to be part of yesterday's speakers. My presentation included YA author Jennifer Hubbard and MG author Nan Marino. The Fall Philly theme was Harvest. Jennifer, Nan and I spoke about our journey as a debut author, the Garden Tools for publication, Soil and Nutrients, Weather, and Selling the Crop. Wendy Mass, also a KidLit Author Club member, did a great job on providing inspiration for all. Theu audience loved her, and we were delighted to hear that one of her (11) books, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, was recently made into a movie. Congrats Wendy! Harold Underdown also spoke of the current state of publishing. He has a huge online presence and it was definitely interesting to hear him speak. Kudos to Fall Philly coordinator Tara Cahill for a wonderful event!

September 23, 2010

7 Habits of Effective Writing

Kristi Holl has an excellent article on the 7 Essential Habits of a Working Writer. It's difficult to say which is my favorite, but I do love #6 Finish and Submit. Manuscripts don't sell unless they are sent to publishers, yet many writers are reluctant to let it go. Perhaps it's the fear of rejection or "just one more revision". All manuscripts must go through multiple revisions, but at some point it's time to send your baby out in the world. My gut usually tells me when it's time - call it mother's intuition (?) - but I also rely on my critique group. How about you? Isn't it time?

September 22, 2010

Get Your Writing Noticed: Enter a Contest!

This Writer's Digest article lists seven writing contests that are sure to get you noticed - and perhaps a contract too. These contests are all free - what do you have to lose?

September 21, 2010

What Picture Book Editors Are Really Looking For

Less words? More illustrative possibilities? A clear market? A special hook? Character development? What exactly do editors want in a picture book? Melanie Hope Greenburg's article Diamond in the Slush: What Picture Book Editors Are Really Looking For has some great nuggets of information from two editors at top publishing houses.

Just a few:
Can you read the story 10 or more times and not tire of it?

Why is your story different?

Can you identify your audience?

Allow white space for the illustrator to create.

Kid appeal but sophisticated enough for adult readers.

Check out the other tips in the article. Thanks to my critique friend Joanne for sending the link my way :)

September 17, 2010

Announcing Tonight You Are My Baby board book edition!

The board book edition of Tonight You Are My Baby will be released on September 28th! This is fantastic news for any author. The board book edition will reach the youngest readers - just their size. Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer, new baby gift or Christmas book for the little ones on your list? The board book will be available at Amazon and bookstores everywhere. Share the miracle!

September 15, 2010

Word Count For Children's Books

Are you wondering if your 1,000 word picture book is too long? Most likely - yes. Check out this article on word length for all categories of children's books - board books through YA.
How can you ever delete that fantastic scene? Or the character who has so much depth? Well, you might have to do it, if you want to give your manuscript a chance with an editor or agent.