Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Online support for children's writers

So, I was talking to an online friend of mine today about the lack of support for children's writing, especially online. Think about it for a sec-- there are online support and critique groups for poets, fiction writers, and every genre from Erotica to fantasy. . . so why aren't there any for children's writers? Neither one of us could name a single one. We children's writers are perhaps the most secluded, misunderstood, and least supported of all writers.

I took a quick look at the work listed as "children's writing" on, and I was disappointed at what I saw. Most people have no idea what's popular in children's literature, don't realize that kids shouldn't be talked down to OR treated like adults, and are totally clueless about things like the importance of rhythm and rhyme. While I don't pretend to know everything there is to know about writing for children, I don't allow myself to work inside a bubble that prevents me from learning, either.

I guess I'm really lucky that I have great teachers who have published everything from picture books to YA novels and are willing to share their secrets and support their students. I'm also lucky that I have such close interaction with children that I know their language, what they like, and how to engage them. Those two things, I truly believe, put me ahead of a lot of others.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Kathy Ayres' wonderful picture book Up, Down and Around has been chosen as Pennsylvania's One Book for Every Young Child! Kathy is currently touring the state reading her book to children is daycares and libraries. I encourage everyone to check out this book from one of my favorite professors/children's writers. :-)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Love's Chance?

Anyone know how I can get some recent copies of Love's Chance magazine? Apparently, they're so small that they can't afford to pay for publication in copies. I feel kind of dumb not knowing what kind of quality the magazine is, even after I've been published in it. Especially because it seems like they published me so quickly. I'm going to write a letter, but if anyone knows anything about the publication, could you please let me know? Thanks.

Getting my manuscript ready...

I'm planning on submitting my non-fiction article about the invention of the Ferris Wheel to Cobblestone Magazine. They're having an upcoming issue on great inventors, so I figured it would be a great fit! Yesterday, I sat down and wrote the cover letter and a fresh bibliography. Now, I need to write a detailed outline with all the info included in the article and send the whole package off. While I'm waiting for a response, I'll be attempting to cut the article down from over 1,000 words to a mere 800. . . what fun. :-P

Also, my new website (my children's writer-related one) has gone live. It's been up for awhile but I've been self-concious about letting a lot of people see it because I pretty much did the entire thing myself, and I know there are lots of mistakes. I should be proud of it, though. I needed very little help in its creation. You can find it at :-)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Writing is Not For Wimps

Why must I constantly be reminded of this?

They need to sell kits to new writers. Hearts of steel and skin of leather. Must be taken in for maintance yearly for the rest of your life.

In other news, The Giver is still the most haunting book I have ever read.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Today in the mail I received my two copies of the Rectangle as payment for publication! For those of you who don't know, the Rectangle is the literary journal of Sigma Tau Delta, the English Major Honor Society. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was among a great group of poets, including Cameron Conaway, former PSU-A classmate, Chatham MFA grad Nimi Finnegan, and current Chatham MFA student Meghan Tutolo. Congratulations to all of you! I'm honored to be listed among your talent. :-)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

It's been awhile. . .

I have a gmail e-mail address that I use exlusively for this blog and writing-related projects. I haven't received an e-mail in it since March 2nd. My point? Nothing has been going on in my writing life. I've been stagnant, stuck, unmoving, for over a month. Not that I haven't been writing, because I have. It's just that when it comes to submitting my work, setting up my website, and generally promoting all things literacy, I've been lazy. Most of that is due to the fact that I've been getting things done for America and working my butt off. When I think about it, ALL I have been doing is promoting literacy. :-P And, in fact, I've been the total opposite of lazy. I just have too much on my plate to think about submissions right now. Putting in 50 hour weeks on a storymobile and doing service projects all over the city can take a lot out of you. I'm even a little behind on my thesis. Ack ack ack!

Ok, all calm now. Let's talk about what I've been writing-- The Thesis (as I will refer to it until it has at least a working title) is going well, if not a little slow. I'm also currently working on a short story about a mother and daughter traveling on the Titanic. Kathy listened to me read it and said "This feels like a novel." I almost died, because I know it does. And maybe it will be at some point. But not right now. I already have one started from over a year ago that I doubt I'm ever going to have the patience to finish, plus I have to concentrate on my thesis right now. The last thing I need is another novel coming my way. . .