Posted tagged ‘Kathi Appelt’

Tidbits from a Writing Conference

October 25, 2012

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.

Suggested Reading:

Dear Genius The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom written by Leonard S. Marcus and illustrated by Maurice Sendak

Summer Reading

June 12, 2012

Summer vacation is here. It’s time to get down to serious reading business. The first book I’ve chosen is Keeper  written by Kathi Appelt and illustrated by August Hall. I can see those lovers of children’s books shaking their heads, wondering why I haven’t read this book before now.

In my pile of reading material, books get shuffled around. Some books that were on top end up at the bottom of the pile. Alas, that’s what happened to Keeper. Never fear. It has been rescued and is beside me this very minute, waiting patiently for me to open its magical pages.

Keeper will be a keeper as I begin my summer reading adventures.

A few other books I’ll be reading this summer are:

Dead End in Norvelt written by Jack Gantos (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2011)

The True Meaning of Smekday written by Adam Rex (Hyperion, 2007)

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny – Detectives Extraordinaire! written by Polly Hovarth and illustrated by Sophie Blackall (Schwartz & Wade, 2012)

Do you have a favorite middle-grade book to recommend?

This Book Is A Keeper

July 22, 2011

Chillin’ with a good book!


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