What Next? 15 Questions to Help you Decide Your Next Writing Project


I was lucky enough to get an Advanced Reader Copy of Chip and Dan Heath’s new book, DECISIVE: How to make better choices in Life and Work. You may know the Heath brothers from their previous books, SWITCH: How to Change Things When Change is Hard and MADE TO STICK: Why Some Ideas Survive and […]

3 Ways to Write Through Summer Distractions


Summer time is inevitably full of stops and starts in our writing. There are vacations, the pull of a sunny day, kids’ activities and much more. For me, I’m teaching several professional development classes this summer; local teachers must attend 60 hours of PD/year and often focus on this requirement during the summer. Great work […]

Joelle Anthony

Joelle Anthony: Restoring Harmony

by Joelle Anthony The guest post today is by Joelle Anthony, whose first novel will debut in Summer, 2010: Restoring Harmony (Putnam) It’s always sad to me when a writer tells me that they really need to finish their novel so they can get an agent because they’ve been at this for a couple of […]

Sky challenge

Craft Challenges for the Writing Life Whatever you write – novels, poetry, picture books, nonfiction – it’s important to keep your craft growing and improving. I take this seriously and find ways to challenge myself. One way has been the Friday Ideas group, which has kept me searching for viable picture book ideas. This year, […]

3 Writing Tips from the Season

Creative writing tips, courtesy of the season: Peppermints! When you add sensory details to a story, the most common is visual details. The two most neglected are olfactory (smell) and gustatory (taste). Flavors of the season are peppermint, cinnamon and cloves. Gifts! Give your character something to hold in his/her hands. It’s one of the […]

3 Ways Writers Survive Slow Times

Yesterday’s news was sad: PW has learned that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has asked its editors to stop buying books. NOTE: News has filtered down that the buying freeze applies to adult imprints, not the children’s imprints. How Can Writers Survive in Slow Times In light of our sluggish economy, how can writers still pay bills […]

We are Writers!

For fun, I put up a poll on Friday (and finally configured it correctly): how do you refer to yourself? Here’s the result. How Do You Refer to Yourself? With 19 people voting, the results are clear: 10/17 – 53% Writer 4/17 – 21% Novelist 4/17 – 21% Author 1/17 – 5% Picturebook author 0/17 […]

Meet Me

I’ll be speaking a couple times this month. Stop by and say hello! Say Hello Weekend on the Water, Western Washington SCBWI Professional Retreat. This retreat, I’ll be teaching about Voice and Scenes. Arkansas Curriculum Conference, Little Rock, AR. Geared toward teachers, I”ll be presenting PAPER LIGHTNING: Prewriting Activities to Spark Creativity to English Language […]

3 NaNoWriMo Tips to Make Revision Easier

NaNoWriMo is in full swing! That means over 50,000 writers are slugging out 50,000 words, working on the first draft of a novel, in the 30 days of November. But I’m thinking ahead to December when that first rough draft needs revision. Here are 3 things to keep in mind as you’re writing that first […]

Writing AND Revising Your Novel

Writing and revising a novel is such a big job! It helps to break it into stages. Writing AND Revising Your Novel Nanowrimo is catching the excitement of more and more writers as they try to dash off 50,000 words during the busy, busy month of November. Getting the first draft down on paper is […]