July 17, 2012

Formatting a Picture Book

Ever see a slush pile in an editor's office?  We hear the horror stories - so how does one get their manuscript to stand out?  With so many manuscripts waiting to be read, it doesn't take much of a reason for an editor to reject a manuscript.  The wrong manuscript formatting shows a lack of professionalism and an editor will be quick to set it aside.  So if you're new to the field, how do you know the proper format?  Kathy Temean has this post on her blog that gives us the expert's knowledge from Simone Kaplan of The Picture Book People.    Check out the post and set your worries aside!

July 9, 2012

April Showers, May Flowers, and June Writing!

Wow - June is normally filled with graduations, end-of-school parties, report cards, track and getting ready for the beach.  But this year, in addition to all those happy events, June was filled with two fantastic writing events.  I had the pleasure of attending the Highlights Foundation "Concentrated Course in Nonfiction".  Peter Jacobi led a terrific workshop packed with information on how to interview your subject, bibliographies, writing magazine articles and much more.  The three days were filled with wonderful meals, meeting the Highlights staff, discussing ideas, country living, and long walks through the woods.  We each had our own cabin surrounding the "Barn".  This is country living at its best!  Everyone I know who has attended on of the various Highlights workshops has all good things to say about the experience.  And I can't say enough about the Highlights folks - every one of them is gracious, professional and down-to-earth.  Kent Brown has built a great new facility to encourage and develop aspiring authors and those perfecting their craft.  Check out the Highlights writing workshops and put it on your bucket list for this year. 

The next weekend I jumped right into the SCBWI-NJ conference in Princeton, NJ.  Kathy Temean, Regional Advisor, really knocked herself out this time!  Over 300 attendees, 30 editors/agents, numerous publishing houses and literary agencies and scores of workshops.  Keynote speaker was Kate DiCamillo, author of Because of Winn-Dixie.  Workshops ranged from the basic "How to Write a Query Letter" to "Developing Your Book Into an App". I followed the nonfiction track and participated in workshops on What is a Book Packager?,  Making a Living as a Freelance Writer, Creating Apps for Your Book, and Meeting Academic Standards.  Check out Kathy Temean's blog for interviews with the editors/agents who attended the conference and a summary of the workshops.  We all left feeling inspired and spent the rest of June writing!