Category Archives: Writing Resources

PiBoIdMo – Picture Book Idea Month 2015

PiBoIdMo – Picture Book Idea Month 2015
The most wonderful time of the year for picture book writers is almost here.

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PiBoIdMo or Picture Book Idea Month created by author Tara Lazar, is an annual writing challenge scheduled during the full month of November. Beginning on the first day of the month, participants will receive daily inspirational blog posts and writing exercises by picture book authors, illustrators, and editors. The only thing that would make this event more awesome would be the chance to win prizes. Wait. What? Yes, there will be prizes!

 

The goal is to generate 30 ideas to deposit into a writer’s picture book idea bank. We all know the first step in the process of writing a picture book is coming up with a story idea. And we often hear what Mark Twain said, “There is no such thing as a new idea.” If that is true, how are we supposed to come up with something original that an editor or agent will consider book worthy? One way is to spin and twist old ideas to create new intriguing combinations.

 

Here are a few great examples:

 

Fractured Fairy Tales
Little Red is a fairy tale figure skater who needs to win a paired skating competition. She needs a partner. The other characters are taken. But there’s one with big eyes, sharp teeth, and furry paws available.  Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar
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Bullying
Ginny Louise is a new addition to a class of troublemakers who is so cheerful she is unable to find fault in any of her cranky classmates. And that ultimately changes their bullying attitudes.  Ginny Louise and the School Showdown by Tammy Sauer
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Rivalry
Leftovers Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast engage in a race around other foods in the refrigerator to get to that last drop of maple syrup.  Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast by Josh Funk
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Bedtime
Little pirate Ned will do anything to avoid bedtime. He convinces Papa Pirate there are things he must do before settling in for the night.  Pirate’s Lullaby: Mutiny at Bedtime by Marcie Wessels
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Determination
Percy the Pug finds the perfect puddle but the puddle pigs who inhabit it won’t share. Puddle Pug by Kim Norman
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Each one of these books started with an idea, perhaps a random thought, or a “what if” question. Reading and listening to interviews about authors often give us the story behind their story idea. And you will be surprised how, when, where, and under what circumstances those ideas came to them. That is what PiBoIdMo is about. Finding out what works for others may just work for you too.

 

There will be days during the month when ideas just won’t show up. Like they’re playing a game of ”keep away”.

 

And you’ll feel like this.

 

Hang in there.

 

Other days you’ll be thrilled when they come.
Here’s my PiBoIdMo Pledge.
  1. I will register on Sunday October 25, 2015 by entering my name in the registration blog post.
  2. I will assemble all necessary tools to be available 24/7 for 30 days of November.
  3. I will read every post, comment daily when possible, and complete the exercises.
  4. I will record all my ideas, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  5. I will not beat my head against the computer, but I will do a jig when I think of a story idea.
Hope to see you in November, on Tara’s blog or on the PiBoIdMo Facebook page!

 

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The King Cake Baby – A Query Letter That Worked

The King Cake Baby – A Query Letter That Worked

Sub It Club featured the query letter that lead to the acquisition of my manuscript for The King Cake Baby. To see that post at the SubitClub blog, click here.

Every writer knows the importance of a query letter. A what? That’s what I asked after writing an early draft of my story. Upon learning the purpose of a query and what it entailed, I then set out to learn how to write one. Essentially, it’s a letter that accompanies your manuscript when sending it to an agent or editor and includes the following components: the hook, the book, the cook. Huh?

No worries, at Sub It Club you can learn a lot about how to write a query and more. Writers work hard on perfecting the manuscript they hope to sell. But first you must sell your story idea to an agent or editor through your query. The intent is for the person reading it to want to read your picture book manuscript or pages to your novel that’s attached.

Almost done. There’s more? Yep. To complete the submission process, you must know what agents and or publishing houses are a good fit for your manuscript. Huh?

No worries, hang around the Sub It Club  to learn all about it!

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One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award

I received the One Lovely Blog Award! 

 

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Thank you, Diana Jenkins for thinking of me! Diana unselfishly shares her time and talents with other writers.

I think the following bloggers deserve this award because they too are all huge “givers” of their time and talent to the kidlit community. Visit their blogs and you will definitely find useful information and inspiration.

Donna L. Martin, The Story Catcher

Tracey M. Cox

Juliana Lee – Crafting Stories

Jennifer Sommer

7 things people might not know about me: 

  1. I can wiggle my ears, one at a time, but can only cross one eye.
  2. I took ballet lessons as a child.
  3. A French Quarter artist painted an oil of  me in my first communion outfit in his studio.
  4. A witch doctor in the Philippines prayed over my badly injured leg on an isolated island.
  5. My husband broke my nose dancing at a Texas rodeo when teaching me the two-step.
  6. While hiking in Bahariha, a desert in western Egypt, I found a mummy.
  7. Visiting graveyards in New Orleans is always on my to-do list when back home.

Pay it forward! Here are the rules for accepting this award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Nominate up to 15 bloggers you admire and inform the nominees by commenting on their blog.

Well done fellow bloggers! Pass it on!

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KIDLIT411, A Writer’s Hub

KIDLIT411, A Writer’s Hub

KIDLIT411 is a writer’s hub that provides the connections you need to get to your dream destination, finding a place for your words. The founder, Elaine Kiely Kearns created a one stop information shop for all things related to writing for children. The site launched in January 2014. Elaine’s co-pilot is Sylvia Liu. Sylvia recently won the 2013 Lee and Low New Voices Award and her picture book, A MORNING WITH GONG, is scheduled for publication in Fall 2015.

If you are thinking about writing a children’s book, learning about the industry, and looking to meet others that share your passion for children’s literature, stop by http://www.kidlit411.com/ .  You will be very happy you did.

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Oh My Goodness…Sub It Club One Year Anniversary

Oh My Goodness…Sub It Club One Year Anniversary

Although I am still very new at this writing gig, I have learned something that is obviously not new. And that’s the outpouring of support and opportunity out there for writers.

I recently participated in ReviMO hosted by author Meg Miller just this weekend and completed my last writing prompt for Start the Year Out Write 2014 hosted by author Shannon Abercrombie. I will begin 12X12 with author Julie Hedlund soon and today I found Sub It Club created by Heather Ayris Burnell, Dana Carey and Lisha Cauthen when pursuing the SCBWI (Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) boards. WOWZA.

I think I’ve come full circle! Writing tips, revision tips, and submission tips covers a huge chunk of the creative process. I want to participate in Sub It Club because although I like to write, and really do not mind spending the time to revise, I need to learn when to stop and submit. After all the hard work of writing and revising, my goal is to learn to pitch and query to sub it.

For the club’s first anniversary they have a great one year anniversary giveaways. Writer’s can enter to win a submission opportunity to Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency, Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary, or Mira Reisberg of Hummingbird Literary or a first 15 pages plus query letter critique from agent Sean McCarthy, a Query Package Critique from author Kristine Asselin, or a First Five Pages critique from author Veronica Bartles.

Let’s do this!

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ReviMo 2014 with Meg Miller, Children’s Author/Illustrator

ReviMo 2014 with Meg Miller, Children’s Author/Illustrator

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Participating in ReviMo definitely conjured my creative ”muse” these past seven days. Butt in Chair, writing, revising, thinking, repeat. Chop, cut, remove, substitute. At one point I did not even recognize one of my manuscripts anymore, and another suddenly had the clarity I desired. I admit to feeling overwhelmed by mid-week, and had to find my rhythm. So I backed off a bit, continued to push and am better off in the end. I truly feel one manuscript is complete and others are on their way.

For me, revision is like that thing on my ”to do” list that I desperately need to do but put off. However, once I set my mind to it, I can’t stop until I’m satisfied with the progress I’ve made toward completion. ReviMo helped me set my mind to get my writing ”to do” list in order. Will do it again.

Note to self: Buy softer chair cushions.

Thanks Meg Miller!

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Taking the Challenge: Start the Year off Write

Taking the Challenge: Start the Year off Write

Shannon Abercrombie is offering a writing challenge this month, ”Start the Year off Write 2014”. On January 5th, for 21 days, participants will receive a daily writing prompt/exercise to complete. An impressive list of authors and illustrators will share their talents with participants. And there are prizes! With every completed challenge participants earn an entry to win one of many amazing prizes. Grand prizes include agent critiques, editor critiques, and proofreading services.

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Challenges like these are not the same as writing contests or competitions, this is a challenge to beat your personal best. At the start of a new year some people join a gym and set goals to lose weight or increase muscle. Writer’s write. Writing exercises help develop mental muscle. For some, the challenge will be to lose that negative perception that may have resulted from rejections.

I’m taking this challenge because I want to flex my creative muscles throughout 2014. And before we’ve started I’ve already come up with my own personal challenge. My goal is to turn my first picture book projected for publication in 2015 into a series!

Write on.

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