Inspiration from Prairie Writer’s Day

If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend the SCBWI-IL Prairie Writer’s Day, you are missing out on a fun-filled, information-packed day. From 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM you are on the go. A fantastic group of professionals is on hand, offering writing tips and industry information.

Here are just a few of the tidbits I took away with me from the editors who were there.

Andrea Welch, editor from Beach Lane Books, reminded us how important emotions are in your manuscript and to remember to “speak to the heart of the reader.”

Katherine Jacobs, associate editor from Roaring Book Press, spoke on pacing in your manuscript. Control the pacing of your story though the structure of your manuscript.

Marilyn Brigham, editor from Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books, talked about choosing the right words to create powerful sentences and to find your voice because “voice is most important.”

Tamra Tuller, editor from Philomel Books, discussed writer’s block suggesting different ways of unblocking yourself and concluded by saying, “only you can control whether or not you write.”

Janice M. Del Negro, PhD, an author, storyteller, and Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University in River Forest, IL, said something that really hit home. “Words are the raw stuff authors work with. Mastery of language is what makes art.”

It was a perfect day. I have a treasure trove of notes and handouts to pore over and to keep me inspired. I’m looking forward to next year’s Prairie Writer’s Day, but for now, it’s time to get to work!

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