This past weekend I attended a writing conference at what I call “The Nunnery.”
The room and food — not so good. The speakers and attendees — fantastic!
With editors like Melissa Manlove from Chronicle Books, Kristen Nobels from Candlewick Press, and Michelle Poploff from Delacorte Press Children’s Books and authors like Kathi Appelt, Sara Zarr, and George Shannon, who wouldn’t be excited? The weekend was filled with camaraderie, laughs, encouragement, and valuable information.
Alas, I cannot share everything I learned, but I can let you in on some tidbits of information from the faculty.
Find your voice and unique style.
There is magic in words. Use them to your advantage.
Word choice should have patterns of sound, rhythm, a sense of urgency, and pitch that provide emotional impact.
Surprise your reader.
Put personality and place in your writing.
Actively engage your readers.
The number one job of an author is to worry the reader. That will keep the reader turning the pages.
Up the ante to create tension.
Every word counts.
Perfect your craft.
Good writing plus good pacing equals a good book.
If you have a passion for writing, no matter what, stay in touch with what you love.
Dear Genius The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom written by Leonard S. Marcus and illustrated by Maurice Sendak