Posted in Literary agents, Writing, tagged Arts, books, New York, Shopping, The Girl Of My Best Friend, Web conferencing, Writers Digest, Writers Resources on July 11, 2013|
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Learning by internet is so fun! Not only do you get to come as you are but you can do whatever else too. I have taken college courses online and now I attended a webinar online. It was hosted by Writers Digest and featured agent Jennifer Laughran. She gave great advice about what is hot now in Middle Grade children’s books. Lots of facts about what is selling and what is not. Also we were told what to expect from agents in general to query letters.
I have lots of new websites to check out like Queryshark and Preditors & Editors.
Jennifer Laughran also will be giving those that attended a critique on the first 500 words of their middle grade manuscripts. That’s exciting!
Now I am off to a library to check out some middle grade books like “When You Reach Me” and “Penderwicks”.
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Posted in Writing, Writing Samples, tagged Arts, children writing, Dell Publishing, editing, Illustrators, Missouri, SCBWI, Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Word count, Writers Resources, writing on May 10, 2013|
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The Missouri region Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators just announced that the winner of the Fall 2013 writing contest is……Jessica Wilson (me)! The prompt given was “Follow Your Dreams” and the required word count was 500 words. I entered my fictional work after editing and revising. Later on I received a call from the regional advisor and she told me that I had won. The prize is a free registration to the fall conference that SCBWI in Missouri holds every year. My choice of break-out sessions. Along with this I will be submitting work to be critiqued by Executive Editor Krista Marino from Delacorte Press. Very exciting!
Last month I had the privilege to speak with Editor Emma Dryden by phone for a consultation. She gave sound advice about sticking to one genre and writing about what matters to me. Ms. Dryden told me that the important thing was too keep writing new material so that if an agent asks what else I have written that I could show my other works. If not I would be stuck way down the road with old manuscripts and no prospects. Emma Dryden is on the advising board of SCBWI and is a freelance editor at http://drydenbks.com . She was at a conference at St. Charles last year and is where I first met her.
It was great to receive recognition for my writing. Here is the winning piece:
Today is the day. No more will I have another chance. Spring has come at last and with it an open door and window. The sky and trees looked so inviting through the glass. As the air wafts through the house I smell the sweet scent of lilacs blossoming. The trees have tender green shoots on their limbs adding more color to the pale blue sky. Clouds drift by slowly on the sweetened air. Mother Nature is putting on an inviting show just for me, tempting me with visions I only dream about, seducing me with smells I hardly ever detected before. I watch with nervous tension as the people come in and out of the house. They carry brown paper bags and other containers. Cleaning and sweeping making their tiny nest ready for the new season. One proceeds to the flower garden and selects a few tulips to place in a vase on a table. I watch, breathing in the intoxicating smell of the newly cut flowers. I take a drink to calm my nerves. The cool water does nothing but sit at the bottom of my quivering stomach.
The lady of the house pulls the rug out of the room and moves some of the furniture. She does not even come near me. They both know I am here. They just choose to ignore me at times. I do not mind and even welcome the solitude. But I also grow lonely. I need companionship. I need someone to talk to. The people do not allow me to sing when I feel a song bubbling up inside of me. The song I sing is an old tune I heard over and over again when I first became aware of sounds. The people like to hear the deadening silence in the middle of the day. The silence feels as if I am wrapped tightly with thorns. Days have gone by like this and I become tired of eating and drinking. The food is just sustenance to keep my torture prolonged. I have glimpsed the outside world before when I have had a bad day and they put me near the window to let the sunshine brighten me, like an awakening flower my head slowly rose from it’s resting place to peek out at the light.
As the people proceed with their cleaning I know my time will come when they will focus on me. They will need to care for me and I must be brave. She approaches me and gathers my dishes leaving the door open. Here is my opportunity. My shaking legs spasm as I hop down after she leaves. They do not suspect what I am doing. Before they know it I am flying above their heads and out the window. I have escaped my prison and ventured out into the world. I have followed the bright temptress and made my dreams a reality. My wings expand as I soar into the boundless blue full of possibilities.
Thanks to Emma Dryden and Prof. Henderson in believing in me.
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Posted in Editing, Writing, tagged Arts, critique, editing, Editors, HarperCollins, Jostein Gaarder, literature, manuscript, Picture book, reading, Writers Resources on December 8, 2012|
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At the last writer’s conference I had received some feedback on a manuscript from an editor from HarperCollins. She gave me more than a page of great insight to help me write the best picture book out there. As I sat in the conference reading her notes the lady next to me said, “Did you get any critiques back?” I answered ‘yes’. She then wanted to know if the critique I received was nice also. So I let her read mine and she said, “This is really good.” We talked about where we were in our careers and where we wanted to be in the future. I found that I could talk to her like a comrade in arms. We both loved the conference and felt it was empowering and had a lot of great information.
When I went to my critque group the others in the group read the critique and there were words said like “this is golden” and “oh my gosh” and so on. I knew that the critique was good but I thought everyone at the conference was just being nice. But now I know that these words of encouragement from the editor were more than just words.
So I took the advice of the editor and tweaked just a few parts in the picture book manuscript. Now it is so polished it could be the sword “Sting”. I just knew that I could send it somewhere and get it published.
Well I sent it to HarperCollins and recieved a very useful rejection letter from an editor there. It hurt a little more than the form or generic rejections I have received in the past. But I see now that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Instead of getting upset I have deceided to put all my energy into finding the right avenue to have my picture book published. Whether that be traditional or independent.
The world is changing and we are not seperated by countries or bodies of water. Technology has made the world we “live in a planetary civilization”. (p. 459, Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder) Becoming published is easier than it has ever been before and the time is right for anyone to get their work out there. People all over the world can buy e-books a lot easier than print.
So I am taking my writing to the next phase, and like someone told me recently to “just publish it.” So keep an eye out for a children’s book with my name on it.
Tell me what you think of the publishing industry?
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Posted in Literary works, Reading, Writing, tagged Arts, Book, entertaining, Henry David Thoreau, Into The Wild, Jon Krakauer, literature, reading, Thoreau, Walden, writing on November 4, 2011|
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How have we become a society where we relish entertaining novels instead of novels with depth and character? Where have the Jack Londons, Thoreaus, and Mark Twains gone?
Cover of Walden
“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”- Henry David Thoreau
I read the novel “Into The Wild” by Jon Krakauer and loved it. He uses Thoreau’s Walden, Or Life In The Woods quotes throughout and brings more depth and understanding to the Romantic.
I have read chapters from Thoreau’s writings of the “Pond” and “Solitude”. We have a kinship for the love of nature.
Books today do not give a voice to nature or to the wild. Authors look to entertain and to make themselves immortal on paper. But what about nourishing the mind with spellbinding writing? Am I wrong to want more than entertainment?
I have fully engrossed myself in books, these last months, that will not only feed my mind but help me understand what “good” writing is.
Someone once said, “Writing is an art. It can be interpreted in many different ways. What may seem right to the author may look like gibberish to you.” I am sure there were people who thought Picasso’s work was of a deranged man too. My writing may not make sense to some, but to others who find it acceptable, I thank you.
I thank all the authors, who are gone or are still around, that contributed to inspiring all the great authors in the world today.
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