When my son started running long distance, his coach said something pretty close to the following: “Sprinters are born, but you can be successful in long distance if you put in the miles.” (Now, of course, the elite long distance runners are probably also born, but I’m guessing that even they need to put in some serious … More Putting in the Miles
My writer friend Dori Hillestad Butler has had quite a year. First, she was nominated for the Edgar for her book, THE CASE OF THE LOST BOY, which is part of her BUDDY FILES series. Then she found herself in the middle of a censorship brouhaha when a woman from Texas complained about the specificity … More Dori Wins the Edgar!
I am in the middle of going through what I hope are the last few tweaks of Calyn’s story. Of course, the problem with tweaking one section is that I have to follow the thread all the way through the manuscript to make sure that everything still hangs together. But I know that manuscript so well … More A Robin McKinley Rant
Some writers don’t know what’s going to happen next when they sit down at their computers. Others follow their outlines religiously. Sir Terry Pratchett, author of the Disc World books, compared his process of writing novels to wood carving on his website: You find the lump of tree (the big central theme that gets you … More Writing Novels
While acceptances from children’s magazines usually come through the mail, acceptances from publishers usually come in the form of a phone call from the editor or the author’s agent. Struggling writers often wonder if they’re ever going to make it to that point. Eight writers from the Erin Murphy Literary Agency have joined together to start … More The Call
I don’t remember how I heard about the Missouri Mentorship for the first time. It could have been a mass email. Or the announcement could have just come in an article for MO SCRIBBLES, Missouri’s newsletter for the local chapter of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). But when I found out about the opportunity … More The Missouri Mentorship
Sometimes books are challenged in libraries. There might be a word, phrase, character or situation that people object to. But one parent really took objections to the next level when he paged through a book by Dan Gutman. Mr. Gutman wrote about this surprising correspondence in an article for School Library Journal. (Note: Link updated.) His experience … More Self-censorship?