• Picture Books That Soar – With Leslie Helakoski

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    For the past few summers, I've co-taught a picture book workshop with author/illustrator, Leslie Helakoski at the Highlights Foundation. HOOT AND HONK, Leslie’s newest picture book, follows an owlet and a gosling, who have trouble adjusting to sleep patterns when they end up in each other’s nest. The spare text in this beautifully illustrated bedtime ...

  • 3 Ways to Show Don’t Tell

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    Classic advice to beginning fiction writers: Show, Don't Tell. I taught several sessions to teachers last week and they all nodded. Great advice. But how do you DO that in practical terms? How do you teach students to Show, Don't Tell? Show, Don't Tell: Why? In the old days of storytelling, it was fine to just say ...

  • Pen Names: Do You Need One?

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    When, if ever, do you need a pen name? Why would you want one? Do pen names give you privacy and are they worth the bother? Privacy One main reason that people want to use a pen name is privacy. They don't want to be recognized in person or online as an author. You might think that's ...

  • Are You Being a Lazy Writer? Stop it!

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    I've been reading a lot of manuscripts lately and finding some common problems. Matching up writing and audience One problem is matching up the story with the audience. For example, ABC stories are perfect for kindergarten and first graders. An ABC book for sixth graders would be rather pointless. On the other end of the scale, ...

  • Building a Writing Career

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    Are you in this business for the long haul? Then you should think hard about the next book you choose to write. Will it help you in building a writing career? Maybe, maybe not. Here are some thing to think about. What's the Next Logical Book for your Audience to Read from You? The biggest question is ...

  • 5 Ramblings for 2017

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    Today is a series of rambles, comments on a variety of things. Why do we keep on writing? I ask myself this at least monthly, if not weekly and daily. Why? And there are many answers. Because there's a story to finish. Because there are readers to please. Because I can't NOT write. Putting words into print seems to ...

  • Pitch Wars: The Inside Scoop

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    Guest blog by Elle Evans (Twitter: @ElleEvansWrites) It's Intense! It’s pretty much impossible to tackle any huge undertaking without help. Landing on the moon, running a country, or—writing a good book. Sometimes it takes an online village, as the saying should go. As an aspiring children’s book author, this year I went looking for some serious help ...