www.Wednesday… KidLit TV

KidLitHeader

KidLit TV, which will launch in the fall, will be the online video resource for the greater KidLit Community.

So why am I telling you about this web site now? There has been a FB group created for KidLit TV. This group will be your place to post videos or links to videos! Share your book trailers, news videos, interview videos, school visits, book signings, how-to advice on everything from creating awesome picture books to making animated presentations. You can also share others that you have found helpful, even if you have not created them. This is your video group in the KidLit world. 

I spoke with Julie Gribble, the creative brains behind KidLit TV and here’s what she had to say about it:


ABOUT KIDLIT TV


Our exciting new venture, KidLit TV, will leverage our experience with other forms of media to help parents, teachers, and librarians learn more about the world of children’s literature. It will feature interviews with children’s book authors and illustrators and will be an online visual resource for the greater KidLit Community.
The KidLit TV website and YouTube channel will be launching in fall 2014!

YOU DON’T HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THIS FALL TO PARTICIPATE THOUGH!
Remember the FB Group Page I mentioned earlier. There is a ‘soft’ launch going on TONIGHT! Julie and I will be online at 8 pm est to answer your questions and take suggestions.
If you haven’t received an invite to the virtual launch, let me know you would like to be invited. We’ll have to be friends on fb. You can friend me on my page. Also here is the page for the KIDLIT TV FB GROUP PAGE.

Hope to see you all there. Now, get those videos going!
`t

 

 

DON’T FORGET…

Only three more days to sign-up for

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There’s a line up full of great advice, story sparks, and some prizes scattered throughout.

So go to this JUNE 1st POST to SIGN-UP!

***Sign-up is June 1st through June 14th.  You MUST comment on the June 1st post, complete the challenge, and comment on the last post to be eligible for prizes.***

Thinking Thursday: 8 Author Visit / Promotional Printable Needs

Instead of giving an idea on writing today, I thought I would give some ideas on what to have on hand for promotional needs and author visits that can be loaded to your website for easy printouts.

Here is a pdf on

8 Author Visit or Promotional Printable Needs

All of these I have either incorporated onto my own blog OR I’m working on them.

Why do I think this is necessary?

  1. You want your information to be available to your audience.
  2. You want the convenience of printouts to help teachers, media specials, pta members, or any other contact person be able to make the best presentation of you for you. So give it to them.
  3. By using some or all of these printable needs, you will increase your likelihood of being booked for a visit or book signing or speaking engagement.

What else do you think you could add? LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW to add to this great list and keep everyone informed! Let me know what you do.   🙂

Happy writing!

It’s AWARDS TIME!

There has been a lot of talk going around about awards this past week. This morning was full of  excitement and cheers!

Nope I’m not talking about Red Carpet walking or Super StarS performing together. I’m not even talking about a little golden bald-headed dude named Oscar. I don’t want any of that. I talking about… MEDALS!

shutterstock_102813506 [Converted]

I’m sending out HUGE congrats to all those who were NOMINATED, HONORED, and WON.
Don’t forget about the families, critique groups, agents, editors, and houses they represent either!

And now onto the AWARDS…

ALA News

American Library Association announces 2014 youth media award winners

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/27/2014

Contact:

Macey Morales
ALA Media Relations
Public Information Office (PIO)
312-280-4393

mmorales@ala.org

PHILADELPHIA — The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards – at its Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia.

A list of all the 2014 award winners follows:

** John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:

“Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures,” written by Kate DiCamillo, is the 2014 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Candlewick Press.

Four Newbery Honor Books also were named:
“Doll Bones,” written by Holly Black and published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division;
“The Year of Billy Miller,” written by Kevin Henkes and published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
“One Came Home,” written by Amy Timberlake and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
“Paperboy,” written by Vince Vawter and published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

 

** Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:

“Locomotive,” illustrated by Brian Floca, is the 2014 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was written by Brian Floca and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

Three Caldecott Honor Books also were named:
“Journey,” written and illustrated by Aaron Becker and published by Candlewick Press
“Flora and the Flamingo,” written and illustrated by Molly Idle and published by Chronicle Books LLC
“Mr. Wuffles!” written and illustrated by David Wiesner and published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

 

** Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:

“P.S. Be Eleven,” written by Rita Williams-Garcia, is the King Author Book winner. The book is published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Three King Author Honor Books were selected:
“March: Book One,” written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell, and published by Top Shelf Productions
“Darius & Twig,” written by Walter Dean Myers and published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
“Words with Wings,” written by Nikki Grimes and published by WordSong, an imprint of Highlights.

 

** Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award:

“Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me,” illustrated by Bryan Collier, is the King Illustrator Book winner. The book was written by Daniel Beaty and published by Little, Brown and Company, Hachette Book Group.

One King Illustrator Honor Book was selected:
“Nelson Mandela,” illustrated and written by Kadir Nelson and published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

 

** Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award:

“When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop,” illustrated by Theodore Taylor III, is the Steptoe winner. The book is published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership.

 

** Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement:

Authors Patricia and Researcher Fredrick McKissack are the winners of the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award is presented in even years to an African American author, illustrator or author/illustrator for a body of his or her published books for children and/or young adults, and who has made a significant and lasting literary contribution.

Patricia McKissack and her late husband Fredrick McKissack, both natives of Tennessee, began their writing and research partnership in the 1980’s.Their subject matter from family-based folklore to nonfiction titles, are scholarly researched and written with accurate, authentic text, creating a cultural transmission of history. Their immense range of topics are informative, readable and enjoyable, covering accounts from slavery days to biographical studies of noted men and women in African American history past and present.

 

** Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:

“Midwinterblood,” written by Marcus Sedgwick, is the 2014 Printz Award winner. The book is published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

Four Printz Honor Books also were named:
“Eleanor & Park,” written by Rainbow Rowell and published by St. Martin’s Griffin (Macmillan)
“Kingdom of Little Wounds,” written by Susann Cokal and published by Candlewick Press
“Maggot Moon,” written by Sally Gardner, illustrated by Julian Crouch and published by Candlewick Press
“Navigating Early,” written by Clare Vanderpool and published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, Penguin Random House Company.

 

** Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:

“A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin,” written by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc. wins the award for children ages 0 to 10.

“Handbook for Dragon Slayers,” written by Merrie Haskell and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, is the winner of the middle-school (ages 11-13) award.

The teen (ages 13-18) award winner is “Rose under Fire,” written by Elizabeth Wein and published by Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

 

** Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences:

“Brewster,” written by Mark Slouka and published by W. W. Norton & Company

“The Death of Bees,” written by Lisa O’Donnell and published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

“Golden Boy: A Novel,” written by Abigail Tarttelin and published by ATRIA Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

“Help for the Haunted,” written by John Searles and published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

“Lexicon: A Novel,” written by Max Barry and published by The Penguin Group, Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

“Lives of Tao,” written by Wesley Chu and published by Angry Robot, a member of the Osprey Group

“Mother, Mother: A Novel,” written by Koren Zailckas and published by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

“Relish,” written by Lucy Knisley and published by First Second, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership

“The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel,” written by Katja Millay and published by ATRIA Paperback, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

“The Universe Versus Alex Woods,” written by Gavin Extence and published by Redhook Books, an imprint of Orbit, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

 

** Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video:

Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly Ellard of Weston Woods Studios, Inc., producers of “Bink & Gollie: Two for One,” are the Carnegie Medal winners. The video’s cast is anchored by Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome, with music by David Mansfield. Tony Fucile’s artwork is brilliantly brought to life by Chuck Gammage Animation.

 

** Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults:

Markus Zusak is the 2014 Edwards Award winner. His books include: “The Book Thief” and “I Am the Messenger,” published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, and “Getting the Girl” and “Fighting Ruben Wolfe,” published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Scholastic.

 

** May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award recognizing an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature, who then presents a lecture at a winning host site:

Brian Selznick will deliver the 2015 lecture.

Author and illustrator Brian Selznick graduated from Rhode Island School of Design intending to be a set designer for the theater, but a stint at Eeyore’s children’s bookstore in New York City changed his mind and his first book was published while working there. He left to pursue a full-time career in children’s book illustration, but he still designs theater sets and is a professional puppeteer. Among his award-winning works are illustrations for two Sibert Honor Books and a Caldecott Honor Book. His groundbreaking “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” was awarded the 2008 Caldecott Medal.

 

** Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States:

“Mister Orange” is the 2014 Batchelder Award winner. Originally published in Dutch in 2011 as “Mister Orange,” the book was written by Truus Matti, translated by Laura Watkinson, and published by Enchanted Lion Books.

Three Batchelder Honor Books also were selected:
“The Bathing Costume or the Worst Vacation of My Life,” written by Charlotte Moundlic, illustrated by Olivier Tallec, translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick, and published by Enchanted Lion Books
“My Father’s Arms Are a Boat,” written by Stein Erik Lunde, illustrated by Øyvind Torseter, translated by Kari Dickson, and published by Enchanted Lion Books
“The War Within These Walls,” written by Aline Sax, illustrated by Caryl Strzelecki, translated by Laura Watkinson, and published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.

 

** Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States:

“Scowler,” produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group, is the 2014 Odyssey Award winner. The book is written by Daniel Kraus and narrated by Kirby Heyborne.

Four Odyssey Honor Recordings also were selected:
“Better Nate Than Ever,” produced by Simon and Schuster Audio, written and narrated by Tim Federle
“Creepy Carrots!” produced by Weston Woods Studios, Inc., and written by Aaron Reynolds
“Eleanor & Park,” produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group, written by Rainbow Rowell, and narrated by Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra
“Matilda,” produced by Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., written by Roald Dahl, and narrated by Kate Winslet.

 

** Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:

“Niño Wrestles the World,” illustrated by Yuyi Morales, is the Belpré Illustrator Award winner.  The book was written by Yuyi Morales and published by Roaring Brook Press.

Three Belpré Illustrator Honor Books were selected:
“Maria Had a Little Llama / María Tenía una Llamita,” illustrated and written by Angela Dominguez and published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC
“Tito Puente: Mambo King / Rey del Mambo,” illustrated by Rafael López, written by Monica Brown and published by Rayo, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
“Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale,” illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

 

** Pura Belpré (Author) Award honoring a Latino writer whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:

“Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass,” written by Meg Medina, is the Belpré Author Award winner. The book is published by Candlewick Press.

Three Belpré Author Honor Books were named:
“The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist,” written by Margarita Engle and published by Harcourt, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
“The Living,” written by Matt de la Peña and published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House CompanY
“Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale,” written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

 

** Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children:

“Parrots over Puerto Rico,” written by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore, and illustrated by Susan L. Roth, is the Sibert Award winner. The book is published by LEE & LOW BOOKS, Inc.

Four  Sibert Honor Books were named:
“A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin,” written by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
“Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard,” written and illustrated by Annette LeBlanc Cate and published by Candlewick Press
“Locomotive,” written and illustrated by Brian Floca and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
“The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius,” written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan and published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership.

 

** Stonewall Book Award – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience:

“Beautiful Music for Ugly Children,” written by Kirstin Cronn-Mills and published by Flux, an imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd; and “Fat Angie,” written by e. E. Charlton-Trujillo and published by Candlewick Press, are the winners of the 2014 Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award.

Three Honor Books were selected:
“Better Nate Than Ever,” written by Tim Federle and published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
“Branded by the Pink Triangle,” written by Ken Setterington and published by Second Story Press
“Two Boys Kissing,” written by David Levithan and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

 

** Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished book for beginning readers:

“The Watermelon Seed,” written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli, is the Geisel Award winner. The book is published by Disney Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

Three Geisel Honor Books were named:
“Ball,” written and illustrated by Mary Sullivan and published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
“A Big Guy Took My Ball!” written and illustrated by Mo Willems and published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group
“Penny and Her Marble,” written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes and published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

 

** William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens:

“Charm & Strange,” written by Stephanie Kuehn, is the 2014 Morris Award winner. The book is published by St. Martin’s Griffin, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, a division of Macmillan.

Four other books were finalists for the award:
“Sex & Violence,” written by Carrie Mesrobian and published by Carolrhoda LAB, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group
“Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets,” written by Evan Roskos and published by Houghton Mifflin, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
“Belle Epoque,” written by Elizabeth Ross and published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books
“In the Shadow of Blackbirds,” written by Cat Winters and published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS.

 

** YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults:

“The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi,” written by Neal Bascomb, is the 2014 Excellence winner. The book is published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

Four other books were finalists for the award:
“Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design,” written by Chip Kidd and published by Workman Publishing Company
Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II,” written by Martin W. Sandler and published by Walker Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc.
“Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers,” written by Tanya Lee Stone and published by Candlewick Press
“The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy,” written by James L. Swanson and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

 

Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA awards guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by judging committees of librarians and other children’s experts, the awards encourage original and creative work.  For more information on the ALA youth media awards and notables, please visit: www.ala.org/yma .

Monday Marketing: Five Things You Should Never Do When Marketing Your Book by: Margo Dill

Hello All:

I HAVE FINALLY FOUND MY CALENDAR!!!! *golden light shines on said calendar as angelic voices sing in the background* Now, to catch up on all of the posts I have missed. A million and one apologies to my guest bloggers and all my followers. So without further ado, you all will be getting more than the usual two posts this week. YAY! So be prepared to have some great information coming your way.

Today I have Margo Dill on my blog. She is going to share some thing you SHOULD NOT DO when marketing yourself and your books. Whew! Glad to get that out there. I know #2 was (and still can be) a biggie for me. But I am learning to toot my own horn and get my name and my books out there.

Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. We always enjoy hearing what you think.

Happy Writing,

~Tracey

 

Five Things You Should Never Do When Marketing Your Book
By Margo L. Dill

Margo Dill

 

My first book, a middle-grade historical fiction book titled Finding My Place: One Girl’s Strength at Vicksburg, came out from White Mane Kids in October 2012. (By the way, you should check it out here: http://margodill.com/buy-finding-my-place/, but after you’re done reading this post first, or course.) To say I’ve learned a lot about marketing in a very short time is an understatement. Everyone talks about how quickly the world of publishing is changing; well, so is the world of marketing. Authors that marketed a book even three years ago are going to have to change their ways for future books. So, I’m here to help, thanks to Tracey!, and am going to share these five things you should NEVER do when marketing a book:

  1. Keep Your Book a Secret

If you don’t tell people you wrote a book and it’s out, no one else will. Okay, so maybe your mom and your spouse (if he/she is hoping for some royalty money)—but no one else. I understand that it’s hard as an introverted writer to shout from the rooftop that you’ve written a book, but that’s exactly what you need to do. When someone asks: “What’s new with you?” Say, “I wrote a book.” Most people will then ask you about it. Put it on your Facebook page, your website, and your Pinterest board. Practice in the mirror, “I wrote a book.”

  1. Worry You are Offending or Bothering Someone

Other writers do not worry about this at all. Every chance they get, they are sending out newsletters, handing out business cards, writing about their books on Facebook, and sharing reviews on Twitter. You have to do this, too. Listen, if someone is offended and thinking, You know, Margo is a real blow-hard. She is always talking about that Civil War book of hers, then that person can un-follow me or de-friend me. I won’t even notice; and honestly, I don’t care. I make sure that I support other writers and share a lot of information and books, too. So when I want to talk about my books, I’m going to!

  1. Buy Ads in Print Magazines

I apologize to anyone who has a print magazine. I do not think print is dead. I write for a newspaper. But as an author, you’re wasting your money if you buy an ad in a print magazine. You are better off spending money on some bookmarks you can hand out personally when you talk about your book. Really. VERY FEW people buy a book because they saw an ad about it in a magazine. VERY FEW. How many books would you have to sell to make enough royalties to cover the cost of the ad? Now, if someone wants to interview you or pay you to write an article and mention your book, say YES!

  1. Bribe Reviewers

Although I’m a reviewer and would love to be bribed (with wine), obviously you cannot do this. So many people are trying to get reviewed by big name newspapers, and this is going by the wayside. Instead, ask people to read your book and write a review on Amazon if they have time. Find bloggers who have a good following and ask them for a review. This is the new way to go. Don’t send a newspaper book reviewer your book with a box of chocolates. Really, it won’t matter.

  1. Spend All Your Time Marketing and Not Writing

Some people love marketing as much as they love researching. Actually some writers will do anything to not have to write. . . but one of the best ways to increase book sales is to have another book out there. If readers like your first book (series or not), they might just pick up your second or third book, too, because they like you as an author. So, find time to write, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day. Your first book serves as a marketing tool for the rest of your work!

 

I’d love to hear your tips! What’s worked for you or hasn’t? (And don’t forget to check out FINDING MY PLACE at http://margodill.com/blog/buy-finding-my-place –I’m not annoying you now, am I?)  

Finding My Place

Tips On Tuesday – 7 Important Things To Know If You’re A Children’s Writer by: Marsha Diane Arnold

Hello everyone.

I must apologize. I have lost my calendar of all of my guest bloggers. *boo-hoo* LUCKILY Marsha Diane Arnold remembered when her date was and has graciously reminded me. 🙂

A HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY TO YOU MARSHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, I hope all of you get some great tidbits of things she is sharing. Please leave a comment or question and we will get back to you!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best wishes,

~Tracey

7 important things to know if you’re a children’s writer

by: Marsha Diane Arnold

Marsha Diane Arno

My birthday was this month, a bit of a milestone birthday. It was July 7th. 7/7. In honor of that birthday and the fact that I’m still flapping around in this big wonderful children’s lit world, I shall share 7 tips, 7 things I’ve learned or things that have been reinforced since I entered the children’s publishing fray in the early 1990’s.

#1 “Writing is a moral act. What you write has a real effect on others, often to a rather surprising extent.” So says Alexander McCall Smith, author of 60 plus books including the popular No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. No, he’s not a children’s author, but if he believes writing for adults is a moral act, then how much more must it be in the children’s writing world, a world where we’re writing for developing minds and young spirits seeking guidance. So, whatever you do, write the stories that care for the heart.

#2 Treasure your editors. I’ve had some fabulous editors in my time; I am so grateful for them. When two of my editors left publishing, I was like driftwood being tossed in a rough sea. It has taken a long time to right myself, with an agent who believes in my work and now a new editor. So when you finally get your dream editor, sing a song of thanksgiving.

#3 Treasure your writing partners. Before we went our separate ways, my first writing group was known by some editors as “that famous Sebastopol writing group.” We were each starting out in the children’s lit world. We went through rejections, successes, and learning together. Without their support, I may never have been published. I’m in two new writing groups now, one in-person and one online. When you find the right writing group for you, sing a second song of thanksgiving.

#4 Patience is a virtue. Patience is useful when waiting for answers from editors, for contracts, for checks, and for that best-selling book we all hope for. Publishing remains a relatively slow industry. Most other professions would not put up with the time lag we do. Patience is a good quality for writers to possess.

#5 Listen to your internal authority. There are so many external authorities, so many tips and blogs and advice to read. These can be a distraction; writers need focus. Yes, tips and advice can be important and helpful to your progress, but beware. You can spend every minute of your day reading and studying other’s advice and forget about what your true work is – to create wonderful stories for young readers. Beginners need guides and rules, but once you’ve graduated from school and had a bit of experience, remember that your truest authority is you. Listen to your internal authority, your inner voice, and realize that the most important question is, “Does it work?”

#6 Persevere. As I tell students when I visit schools, “It only takes one YES to be on the way to where you want to be.” I had 13 rejections for my first book, Heart of a Tiger, before I got that one wonderful “yes” from an editor who loved my story as much as I did.

Study a fast running stream. When the water hits a rock, it doesn’t stop and sulk in a puddle. It looks for a way around. You should do no less. Persevere.

7) Stop comparing. I’m still learning this one. It’s so challenging, but it’s the healthiest way to pursue your writing dream. Along with this is the understanding that no matter what type of story you write, there are bits and pieces of you in your stories. Treasure those bits and pieces. They are what make your story unique.

So, go be unique. Listen to your inner voice. Persevere, be patient, be polite, and be pure. And may the luck of the 7s be with you.

Bio:
Marsha Diane Arnold has been called a “born storyteller” by the media. She has authored eleven picture books ranging from the soulful Ridgway award winner Heart of a Tiger, to the Smithsonian Notable The Pumpkin Runner, to the uproarious starred review Roar of a Snore, which was also a Dolly Parton Imagination Library selection. Her latest picture book manuscript was just bought by Neal Porter Books. Marsha also has a digital storybook, Prancing Dancing Lily, about a spunky dancing cow who travels the world. The trailer and links are at: http://fatredcouch.com/Prancing_Dancing_Lily.

Marsha travels nationally and internationally as a speaker and writing workshop leader for schools and conferences. She has taught aspiring authors privately, with the Institute of Children’s Literature, online with Mediabistro.com and the Picture Book Academy, and on faculty for writing workshops. Her e-course, Writing Wonderful Character-Driven Picture Books can be found at the Picture Book Academy at http://www.picturebookacademy.com/writing-character-driven-stories.html.

A Few of Marsha’s Books:

Dancing Prancing Lilly

The Pumpkin Runner

Heart Of A Tiger

Links for Marsha:

  1. Marsha’s website – www.marshadianearnold.com
  2. Like Marsha on Facebook: MarshaDianeArnoldAuthor http://on.fb.me/17Su4kn
  3. Follow Marsha on Twitter: @MarshaDArnold
  4. Marsha’s blog: Storymagician Blog at http://bit.ly/RCjmFO
  5. Marsha’s Prancing Dancing Lily app: http://fatredcouch.com/Prancing_Dancing_Lilly
  6. Want to do more with The Pumpkin Runner? Here’s what one elementary school did – StoryMagician
  7. Writing Wonderful Character Driven Picture Books with Marsha Diane Arnold – Picture Book Academy
  8. Audio/Video Interview about Prancing Dancing LilyProgressive Dairyman

Thinking Thursday

Brain storming for new concepts can be hard! Let’s face it. So how did I come up with a few of my ideas?

Shaping Up the Year
Shaping Up The Year book

I was taking an online class and we had to think of something we come across everyday and how we can incorporate it into a learning experience. Well, it was around a holiday and I kept seeing shapes (basic and not-so-basic). You know squares, circles, rectangles… And then I got the idea of looking at the holidays we have through out the year and BLAM-O! Shaping Up The Year came into focus. I took the shapes and thought how they help us think of either that holiday or something pertaining to it…

New Years’s Eve… The ball that drops and we count down the moment… circle = ball
St. Patrick’s Day… Four-Leaf Clovers… four hearts = clover
Christmas… Presents… Squares = wrapped presents

Now for another one I would like to share, the idea came looking at a publishers book catalog. You use a book catalog to see what the publisher was currently selling and it’s mid and back lists. You would either pick these up at conferences or order them through the mail. Now publishers have them on their web site’s. YAY for the digital age!!!!
I was looking through a catalog of someone I was interested in submitting to and trying to get a feel for what they liked. They had four pages of Alphabet Books. I KID YOU NOT! (Mind you, I think alphabet book have been done and done and redone and done some more. Haha.) While flipping through the pages I saw firemen, butterflies, bikes, cloud jumpers, insects. For some reason I thought, “Hmm, don’t have one on spiders.” WHY, OH WHY, WOULD I THINK OF THAT?!? (Note to readers: I DONOT like spiders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Well, the idea would not go away. So for the next nine months what did I do? I researched SPIDERS. UGH! Talk about a labor of love. hahahha. You have got to love the mind of a writer. :0) I found my material and spent another six months writing and revising, working with my critique group and with someone in the field of study and finally came up with… (and to be release later this year)

Arachnabet

Arachnabet

See how crazy ideas can form? From a simple writing exercise to flipping through a catalog to LIFE!

So put on your thinking caps today and make it happen!

Til next time,
~t

Snoopy Dancing again!

Yippee! I got an acceptance from Imagination Cafe yesterday for a recipe. So here I am doing my Snoopy Dance.

This was a nice surprise after a crazy couple of weeks. Been busy at the flower shops with the wedding rehearsal, actual wedding, and reception. You wouldn’t BELIEVE the flowers! But it turned out beautiful. Then last Monday AC -my middle child- had a helmet-to-helmet collision with a teammate and wound up spending the night in the hospital. He has a mild concussion. Took him to the dr. yesterday and he is still a no go for PE or football, but he is getting better.

And a BIG shout out to Cam-Cam!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

I am rejoicing Cam-Cam’s birthday, AC getting better, and my acceptance. So you’ll have to excuse the personal info here and letting me do a triple snoopy dance. haha!

Best wishes all,
~~~Tracey