Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful Thoughts

Truly, this year, there is SO MUCH to be thankful for:



INTERNET ACCESS (without which I could never have created this blog and met all of you, my writer friends)

Thank you all for following . . . see you next week!

Have a great THANKSGIVING DAY (& weekend)! :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A little writing Inspiration . . .

Hi all!

I came across a few posts/articles over the last couple of weeks that I thought were SO INSPIRING, that I just had to share them with you, my writer friends.

1) From the Writers First Aid blog author Kristi Holl asks,"How Does Your Talent Grow?" Choose an attribute (one per week, she says) and watch your talent grow in the coming months! Love her list, don't you?

2) Novelist Alexander Chee, a graduate of my alma mater, wrote this inspiring essay for The Morning News, recounting his studies with Annie Dillard. After I read this, I could have kicked myself for not having signed up for her class (especially being an English major)! Ah, well . . . I am grateful still that he took the time to write of his experience in her class. I especially like the part where she told his class, "If you're doing your job, the reader feels what you felt. You don't have to tell the reader how to feel. No one likes to be told how to feel about something." And that's just one of the nuggets of writing wisdom she shared with the class . . . imagine a whole semester's worth! Like I said, I could kick myself . . .

3) Lastly I just wanted to share (and many of you have probably seen this already), posts from two newly agented writers on a timeline of their writing journey thus far:

From Shelli at Market My Words: What a difference a Year makes


From Caroline Starr Rose at Caroline by line: My agent: Michelle Humphrey of Sterling Lord Literistic

ALSO--I'm going back a few months here--just thought about the writing journey of Tess Hilmo, one of my first blogging friends, and wanted to include it here as well. It's wonderfully inspiring! (Tess is repped by Steven Chudney of The Chudney Agency.)

I so love reading about a writer's journey . . . it gives me so much hope to think that if they can do it, I can, too!

So here's to all of us on the writing journey . . . be INSPIRED!

Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wonderfully Wednesday :)

Hi all!

Okay, I know this was supposed to be Monday's post, but since Monday and Tuesday have both come and gone, I'm posting it today on this wonderful Wednesday, or "hump day" as most of us working-class folks call it.
It’s so funny how addictive blogging is! When I often stop for a few days or a week or so and I get a little more writing done, I soon get antsy & start really missing the interaction with other like-minded writers/bloggers like yourselves. I think maybe it’s because having this blog (and also just plain perusing the blogosphere!) kind of fills the need to talk to, commiserate with, and rejoice with other writers—a need that is basically not fulfilled at home or work. Anyone else feel this way?

Okay, now that I’ve jabbered on long enough, here’s a couple of links that you may, or may not have seen around the blogosphere. At any rate, I hope they can be of some help on your writing journey! Enjoy! :)

1) First up, some agent info:

Last Thursday, for those who missed it, aspiring author Casey McCormick shone the Agent Spotlight on Barry Goldblatt of Barry Goldblatt Literary.

Going back a little further, on October 22, the Agent Spotlight shone on Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary Agency, LLC. These spotlights are so helpful and informative . . . Thanks, Casey!

ALSO!! Click here to find out Casey’s very latest agent news!

2) I came across this article the other day at School Library Journal. I'm sure many of you are already aware of these blogs, but librarian Elizabeth Bird drew up this list of ten of the best blogs for folks (like us!) who are interested in kids' lit. She also shares how she came to start her own blog, A Fuse #8 Production.

3) Anyone interested about querying with a series? Check out this post by Mary Kole, Associate Agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Wonderful advice!

And also while you're at her blog, if you're considering writing in multiple genres (I know I am!), click here to see what encouraging things she has to say on that issue.

4) Newly-contracted (Yay!!) historical fiction author, Jody Hedlund touched on this issue of multiple genres yesterday in her post, "Does Platform Really Help an Unpublished Writer?"
This thought-provoking post and the multitude of comments that followed will benefit ALL
writers, I believe. Check it out! :)

And while you're there, be sure to check out this post by Jody on the elements of her manuscript that really landed her her book contract. It's so inspiring, as well as informative! Thanks, Jody!

5) Next up, Jody's agent, Rachelle Gardner of WordServe Literary shares all you ever wanted to know about BACKSTORY--what it is, what it is NOT, & when to use it. As always, this is another great post by Rachelle that was both timely & enlightening . . . and it made me want to immediately take a fine-tooth comb through my manuscript!
Rachelle's blog is such a treasure trove of writing and publishing information, and not just for those who write for the inspirational/Christian market, but for ALL writers . . . so go check it out, if you haven't already!

6) Back on the children's editorial front, new kidlit blogger & aspiring author Sheri Rosen shares what she learned from Jessica Garrison, an editor at Dial Books for Young Readers, at a recent Editor's Day conference. As always, Sheri took fabulous notes, sharing Jessica's editorial insights as well as what Jessica's looking for now.
And guess what, folks? Sheri says she has SIX more pages to post! Whoo-Hoo! Thanks, Sheri! :)


Aspiring author Colleen Rowan Rosinski of the Writer Girl blog has graciously posted bio information and genre preferences of a multitude of editors & agents (over 50, at least!) that attended last month's Rutgers One-on-One Conference in New Brunswick, NJ.

Talk about a wealth of information! Folks, having attended this conference myself last year, I would get right on this & print it out ASAP, or at least bookmark it. I've only posted the link for her first post (there are TEN posts altogether) because I figure you all can go on from there.

If you haven't gone to this conference, and live in the Northeast (or are just plain curious), I think you (children's writers only, that is) should give it a try at least once. You're accepted based on a short synopsis & writing sample of 3 pages (for a MG or YA) or whole manuscript for picture book. Granted it's kind of competitive--only 70-75 "mentees" are chosen out of @200-300 applicants--I think it's still worth a shot because not only do you get to hear a mixed panel of editors, agents, or industry professionals, and 2 guest speakers, you're matched up for approximately 45 minutes for a one-on-one consultation with either an editor, agent, or published author.

I was paired with Shauna Fay, now an assistant editor at G.P. Putnam's Books for Young Readers. She was a tremendous help, suggesting a few different directions my manuscript could take plot-wise. She invited me to submit a couple of chapters when I was ready but, *sigh*, me being ever the procrastinator, have yet to send it on. I wonder if I'll ever stop revising . . . it seems like there's always something new to add or delete! Anyone else have this problem? Maybe I better go reread Jody Hedlund's post . . . :)

8) And on an endnote, Publishers Weekly has posted their Best Children's Books of 2009 . . . I'm currently reading When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead but it seems like there could have been a couple more middle grade titles added to this list . . . what do you think?

Well, as Porky Pig (believe it or not, my kids do NOT know who this is! Of course, they grew up on "Barney" . . .) would say: "Th-th-th-that's all folks!"

Till next time . . .

Happy Writing!