Saturday, November 25th, 2017

The #1 Best Resource for Picture Book Authors

If you’re a working or aspiring picture book writer, this post is for YOU. The single best resource that I know of for picture book writers is – for a VERY limited time – accepting new registrations. My friend and colleague Julie’ Hedlund’s 12 x 12 picture book writing challenge is a powerful and inspiring writing […]

Are You Ready to Crack the Picture Book Query?

For writers seeking representation, the query has to do a lot of heavy lifting: It’s your first impression to an agent or editor. It has to make the agent feel like you’ve done your homework. It has to be intriguing enough to get someone to read your manuscript without giving away the whole plot. It has to show […]

Free Video Series Answering Your Picture Book Submission Questions

For those of you who write picture books, here’s some great news! My friend and colleague Julie Hedlund and I recently ran a survey asking for questions about picture book submissions. We received SO MANY great questions – literally, hundreds – and we were amazed by how many people asked the same questions. Julie and I are both dedicated to […]

Secondary Characters

Whether your manuscript is a picture book or novel, it can be tempting to create a wide variety of supporting characters to help tell your story.  But too many characters can be hard for young readers to keep track of, and can dilute the focus.  So how do you decide which secondary characters to keep? […]

Support Your New Year’s Writing Resolutions!

Here’s a fabulous way to jumpstart your writing goals for 2013! My friend and colleague Julie Hedlund launched the first 12×12 initiative in 2012. Members were challenged to write a picture book draft a month, so as to conclude the year with 12 completed manuscripts. The idea took off like wildfire, with hundreds of members […]

The Series Series, Part 2: Starting a Series

It took us thirteen drafts to figure out the best way to start the Very Fairy Princess series: with a “day in the life of…” establishing story.  Once we had introduced the character and  her world, other story ideas seemed to flow more easily.  The first book in the Dumpy the Dump Truck tells the story of […]

The Series Series, Part 1: Planning a Series

I’ve been on a series of deadlines and taking a bit of a break from blogging, but as I promised last week, I’m picking it up again with a series of posts about… writing a series. My mother and I have developed three series to date: The Dumpy the Dump Truck picture book series; the […]

Blog-hopping

I’ve been taking a break from blogging for the past month in order to focus on writing and editing deadlines, as well as other professional obligations… but I’m proud to have popped up on one or two other people’s blogs this month in interviews! Please check out Julie Hedlund’s Blog where I am proud to […]

Beach Writes – The Southampton Childrens Literature Conference

“If you’re dreaming of becoming the next J. K. Rowling, we’ve got the perfect place for you—the Southampton Children’s Literature Conference!” So said School Library Journal last year after Rocco Staino paid a visit to the Stony Brook Southampton campus to observe the Conference in action. As Director of the Conference, I am delighted to […]

A Lesson in Showing Versus Telling

Last week I started teaching the spring course in Childrens Literature for grad students in the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature at Stony Brook Southampton. We spent the first class discussing the many formats of children’s lit, and began our picture book study (we’ll move on to chapter books, middle grade and YA fiction […]

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