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Writers Retreat

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 on: September 24, 2015, 09:13:34 AM 
Started by Mikki S - Last post by jfields
You can get bored. Also, if the genre fades in popularity, it can be hard to jump to a new genre when you're really known at the "horror writer" or the "historical fiction writer." But it's not horrendously hard -- plenty of folks do it. You just tend to get some push back when you first try.

 on: September 24, 2015, 03:26:12 AM 
Started by Mikki S - Last post by judyr
So, do you think there's a downside to staying in the same genre?

 on: September 24, 2015, 01:11:01 AM 
Started by jfields - Last post by jfields
Children's Writers eNews
September 24, 2015
"The Write Words to Read"
The Institute of Children's Literature
Editor: Jan Fields -- author@janfields.com

"For two years I received nothing but rejections. One magazine, Highlights for Children, sent a form letter with a list of possible reasons for rejection. "Does not win in competition with others," was always checked off on mine. I still can't look at a copy of Highlights without wincing."
-- Judy Blume
1. News: Winners of the Mystery Contest
2. Online in Rx
3. At the Writer's Retreat
4. What Made for a Winning Entry?
5. Market
6. Cool Site
7. 2nd Place Winner
8. Good News
9. Note to subscribers
1. Winners of the Early Reader Mystery Contest:
1st Place: "Somebody New is Coming," by Robin Phillips, Rochester, MN
2nd Place: "The Garden Glove Mystery," by Gail Martini-Peterson, Seattle, WA
3rd Place: "The Night Raiders," by Caren Cantrell, Scottsdale, AZ
4th Place: "The Missing Hug," by Vicki Reinhardt, Ionia, Michigan
5th Place: "A Hide and Seek Mystery," by Karen Troncale, Tombstone, AZ
2. In the Rx
Cover Letters Made S-S-Simple
Don't let a fear of cover letters keep you from submitting. Check out this look at what makes a good cover.
3. Are You On The Writer's Retreat?
September's discussion of the month is "Genre Writing" -- all through the month, we'll be talking about genre -- rules of specific genre, popularity of specific genre, mash-ups, and more. Pop in to talk about it all during September.
4. What Made for a 2nd Place Winner?

The second place winner, "The Garden Glove Mystery," the mystery is clear and simple enough for the very young reader -- a variety of single garden gloves are appearing. Where do they come from? Adults don't take part in solving the mystery. The boys handle it on their own. The story has some light humor, which young readers appreciate. And the writing is age appropriate. Some publishers would balk at the video games, chips and soda for such an early elementary audience, but the story is fun, lively, and age appropriate.
5. CICADA call for Flash Fiction
Deadline: October 26, 2015
Word Limit: 750 words. "Relevant to our interests: teens, literature, literature about teens, vikings, robots, Sherlock, feminist fairy tales, SFF, and cookies. Especially excited to hear from LGBTQUIA+ writers, writers with disabilities and writers of color. Bonus points if your story plays with form: a grocery list, a GoFundMe, a Twitter feed...."
6. Reading While White
A cool blog for "allies for racially diversity & inclusion in books for children and teens." The blog is just getting started, but I'll be watching to see where it goes.
7. "The Garden Glove Mystery"
by Gail Martini-Peterson

"Look!" Jorge said and pointed at the kitchen floor. He bent over to look.

"A green garden glove," his friend Drew said. He bent over, too.

"Is it your mother's glove?"


Jorge held up the glove. "Whose glove is it?"

"I don't know."

The boys were playing video games that night. Drew said, "I found another glove."

"Did it match the other one?" Jorge asked.

Drew shook his head. "No. It was green with pink dots."

Monday Drew said, "I found another glove."

"Where do they come from?" Jorge asked.

"Aliens. They creep around when we are sleeping. I'm afraid they'll use my toothbrush."

"I don't think it is aliens. And aliens don't have teeth, do they?" Jorge said. "When do you find the gloves?"

"In the morning."

A new glove sat on the kitchen floor each morning. Ten gloves now sat on the table.

"I have an idea. Let's have a sleep-over," Drew said to Jorge.

"To watch for the gloves to show up?"

Drew smiled. "To see the aliens."

The boys sneaked downstairs to the kitchen when it got dark. They drank soda and ate chips. They played video games.


A cat sat on the floor. "Purrrr," Pinky the cat said.

"What was that noise?" Jorge asked.

"Pinky purring," Drew said.

"No. The FLIP FLAP!"

"Pinky's cat-door," Drew said and pointed at the door.

Jorge looked at the cat-door. He looked at Pinky. Jorge had an idea.

Jorge and Drew drank more soda. They played more video games. They ate more chips. They fell asleep.


The boys woke up and looked at the cat door.

Pinky had a blue glove in his mouth.

"Oh, look! Pinky is an alien cat," Drew said.

"Pinky loves garden gloves," Jorge said. He gathered all the garden gloves, "Let's find who owns these gloves."

[Illustration: The boys string a low clothesline in the front yard with a sign: Our cat steals garden gloves. If you see your glove, take it home.]
8. Good News

Kelly Bakshi: My poem, "Snail Slime Whine," is in the Halloween issue of Stinkwaves magazine.  You can find this children's Lit magazine on Amazon.  http://www.amazon.com/Stinkwaves-Magazine-3-Issue-2/dp/1941429246/

Martha Deeringer: My new book, Orphans' Inn, is just out from Fire & Ice books.  The story follows Charity Bullock and her sister, Hope, orphaned in the 1853 yellow fever epidemic in Galveston, as they travel across the Texas frontier in a freight wagon to live with a great-uncle whom they have never met in Austin, the new capital of the Republic of Texas. The book, which features several real characters from history, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Lulu.com.

Kelly Hashway: My young adult contemporary romance Our Little Secret written under my pen name Ashelyn Drake was published by Limitless Publishing. Also, I have three new picture books out through Guardian Angel Publishing. Titles include: A Lion's Song, Pepe Maurice Pierre Poodle Extraordinaire, and Fish Detectives.

Dionna Mann: My poem, "In My Suit," appeared with a 2-page spread of delightfully fun illustrations in this month's September issue of LADYBUG!

What's Your Good News? Send to author@janfields.com -- be sure to put "good news" in the subject line since I get a lot of book announcements due to the review work I do. So I don't want your good news to slip through the cracks.
9. For All Subscribers

Many of our eNews issues are being blocked from getting to all of our subscribers. It can be difficult to convince your email provider that you truly want to receive this eNews. Therefore we've created a list of directions to make it easier for you find the exact steps to ensure the eNews always makes it to your inbox.

Please, check out this link http://institutechildrenslit.com/email_whitelist_instructions.htm for specific directions to ensure you get every issue of the Children's Writers eNews.
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 on: September 22, 2015, 03:57:13 AM 
Started by Mikki S - Last post by jfields
Readers usually don't become "attached" to an author until the 3rd or 4th book...and often they will complain if the author seems to be (1) taking too long to put out a book or (2) writing books in a genre that doesn't interest that particular reader. But, honestly, sometimes readers just complain because they're people and people complain. If you become a best seller, there will be a lot of pressure to produce exactly the same stuff that is selling like crazy -- the pressure will come from publisher, readers and possibly your agent. But before you become a big "commodity" you probably won't experience much pressure to produce unless you put the pressure on yourself.

 on: September 22, 2015, 03:16:54 AM 
Started by Mikki S - Last post by judyr
That makes sense I guess. Writing what you enjoy and taking your time to get it right produces better writing. Do you think readers feel the same way? If a reader finds a book they love and seeks out more from the same author, do you think it's disappointing to find the next book is a different genre?

 on: September 21, 2015, 10:22:38 AM 
Started by Mikki S - Last post by jfields
Generally, they just want you to keep writing and produce something good...even if it's not fast.

 on: September 21, 2015, 05:04:47 AM 
Started by Mikki S - Last post by judyr
So, agents/publishers generally don't have an opinion about this when you're starting out? If they sign you for one book, they just want the next one to follow quickly?

 on: September 18, 2015, 08:57:01 AM 
Started by Mikki S - Last post by dunlewy
For those of us who will probably never get to high-paying status, I agree.  Write what you like best, whatever it is.

 on: September 18, 2015, 06:16:31 AM 
Started by Mikki S - Last post by Mikki S
Thanks, Jan...I don't think I'll ever reach the "best seller" status, so I won't worry about that. LOL

 on: September 18, 2015, 01:20:56 AM 
Started by Mikki S - Last post by jfields
If you ever reach "best seller" status, you'll get a lot of pressure from your publisher to stay in that genre because your name will become a "brand" that way (like Stephen King, who wrote more than horror, but will always be thought of as a horror writer). Until that time, I'm of the opinion that you should write what you like. I certainly write a number of different things.

Note (not relevant for Mikki but on the same subject): I also believe it is of value for self-published authors to stay in just one high-concept/hot genre -- especially if they're doing ebooks only. Almost all the "self-publishing success stories" worked that way. They wrote in one hot/high-concept genre and let their fan base build in that one genre until they had people waiting for their new books -- then began seeing real money.

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