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 11 
 on: August 20, 2014, 07:16:44 AM 
Started by jfields - Last post by jfields
Children's Writers eNews
August 21, 2014
"The Write Words to Read"
The Institute of Children's Literature
http://www.institutechildrenslit.com
1-800-243-9645
Editor: Jan Fields -- author@janfields.com

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“There is only one plot—things are not what they seem.”
 —Jim Thompson
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CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE
1. News
2. Online in Rx
3. At the Writer's Retreat
4. What's New at Kristi's?
5. Market
6. Cool Site
7. Essay
8. Good News
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1. Kristi Holl is blogging again. Yay!
http://kristiholl.net/writers-blog/
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2. In the Rx
"Write from the Heart" with Sandy Asher
http://www.institutechildrenslit.com/rx/tr01/sandy_asher.shtml
"There are things that won't let go of me until I write about them, things that make me angry, that frighten me, that make me laugh out loud, and so on."
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3. Are You On The Writer's Retreat?
http://www.institutechildrenslit.net/index.php
The August discussion on "Goal + Motivation + Conflict + Tension" is going on now.

And for all visitors whether registered or not, you'll find plenty of helpful information: get help for student lessons. Learn to build solid plots. Share your ups and downs with fellow writers. It's all there.
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4. What's New at Kristi's?
http://kristiholl.net/writers-blog/

Friday, August 15: "No Motivation or Willpower? A Simple Solution"
Willpower is a limited resource. And motivation, based on your feelings, comes and goes. But mini habits can make writing easy!

Tuesday, August 19: "The Best YES"
Learn to discern where your help is truly needed. Then say "no" and "not now" more often so you can give your best YES to your writing.

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5. Young Adult Fiction Writing Contest
https://www.writersbookstore.com/sc/wbs_contest.htm
$500 grand prize. Extended deadline: August 29, 2014
Entry fee.
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6. 4 Tips for Writing Great Scenes
http://ingridsnotes.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/4-tips-for-writing-great-scenes/
Tips to help you write scenes that grab "readers and keep them glued to the page!"
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7. Successful Fiction for Educational Markets

Successful Educational Fiction tells a good story AND DOES ONE THING MORE.
* The story may bring in some connection to standards, making it both a good story AND a story that can be used to help teach a specific subject. For example: Tumblehome Publishing only does fiction with STEM connections.
* Fiction for reluctant readers often brings in either a hot topic (like ghosts or monsters or sports), hot genre (like mystery or action-adventure) or uses humor to engage reader interest.
* The story may illustrate character traits or deal with social issues (like bullying). And over-the-top characters are often used in series to work out common social conflicts in elementary school. Over-the-top personalities are popular where the personality of the character is the source of both the problem and the solution in each story. Publishers are looking for character growth as a core element to the story, even when you’re writing mystery, science fiction, or adventure.
* Many times books for the youngest readers take universal themes and then inject a hearty dose of creativity to make them a bit more unique. Publishers want their books to be THE SAME but TOTALLY DIFFERENT. To manage that, they’re often looking for common themes with totally different execution.
 
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8. Good News

Shelly Pollock:  My non-fiction article, "Human Towers," was published in the August '14 issue of THE SCHOOL MAGAZINE.  The best way to describe what a human tower is, and to see for yourself several of them actually being built, is to go to:  http://youtu.be/uDxADjvXknM  I would also like to thank Pat Thompson, my ICL instructor, for her feedback on this article and all her encouragement.

Liana Mahoney: My debut picture book, FOREST GREEN, was released in July 2014 with North Country Books.

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.
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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.

-------------
To Unsubscribe from the email version of Children's Writers eNews, go to
http://www.institutechildrenslit.com/rx/email_updates_unsubscribe.shtml
-------------
NOTE: I can add you, remove you, or change your address manually and will be happy to do so.
To have your address changed, email author@janfields.com and do the following:
1. TELL ME that it's a change of address for the enews. I handle a lot of things so if you don't tell me what you want me to do, I may not do it.
2. TELL ME your OLD address as well as the NEW one. I cannot search by your name. I need the old address.
3. DO NOT send me a mass mailing that you sent to everyone in your address book that just tells me your new email. I won't know what you want me to do or if it's really for me at all. And I'll probably just delete it.

 12 
 on: August 15, 2014, 12:37:40 PM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by jojocookie
Sometimes it's really fun to write a cantankerous, uptight and cranky character. I have to admit, it gives me a buzz.  Grin

 13 
 on: August 15, 2014, 11:58:22 AM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by judyr
Secondary characters with opposing goals add tension... which is always nice.

 14 
 on: August 15, 2014, 11:15:36 AM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by jfields
The secondary characters goals may support the MC, or might be in conflict, or might be some combination of both depending upon what motivates that goal. For the secondary character I mentioned, he wants ultimately to find out why his friend seems to be losing interest in being his friend and fix that. At first that goal puts him in conflict with the MC's goal of secrecy -- but once that changes, the secondary character then wants to help the MC reach his ultimate goal because that will bring them back to being best friends.

 15 
 on: August 15, 2014, 10:56:39 AM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by judyr
Thank you, Jan. I was thinking more about secondary characters supporting the main character's goal, but it makes more sense for them to have their own goals.

 16 
 on: August 15, 2014, 08:18:12 AM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by jfields
Every character should have a goal in every scene, and most will have an overall goal. For instance, let's take a scene I wrote for one of my ABDO Adventures in Extreme Reading books. In the scene, MY goals are to show growth in my main character and to fit in a smidge of exposition. My main character's goal in the scene is to keep a secret from his friend without losing the friend. The second character's goal is to get his buddy to come over and play video games -- something they used to do a lot but don't do anymore.

Everyone has a goal, always. I choose THEIR goals from a combination of what I need them to do + how I have designed the character & circumstances so far.

 17 
 on: August 15, 2014, 07:33:08 AM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by judyr
Speaking of secondary characters, how invested in the goal should an important secondary character be? Should they have their own inner goal too?

 18 
 on: August 15, 2014, 07:23:45 AM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by jfields
It can happen pretty easily when a secondary character is more fully realized than the main character, or more engaging. Often the key is to strengthen the main character, especially building up the things about the main character that are opposite strengths from the secondary character.

 19 
 on: August 15, 2014, 06:44:33 AM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by jojocookie
I put in a secondary character to push the plot forward and reveal aspects of the protag. Have you ever had them steal the show?

 20 
 on: August 14, 2014, 06:16:15 AM 
Started by jfields - Last post by jfields
Children's Writers eNews
August 14, 2014
"The Write Words to Read"
The Institute of Children's Literature
http://www.institutechildrenslit.com
1-800-243-9645
Editor: Jan Fields -- author@janfields.com

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning."
- Mr. Rogers
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE
1. News
2. Online in Rx
3. At the Writer's Retreat
4. What's New at Kristi's?
5. Market
6. Cool Site
7. Essay
8. Good News
------------------------------------------------------
1. Kristi Holl is blogging again. Yay!
http://kristiholl.net/writers-blog/
------------------------------------------------------
2. In the Rx
Educational Writing: How to Get a Go-Ahead
http://www.institutechildrenslit.com/rx/tr01/dee_stuart.shtml
Right now I'm reviewing everything I can find on educational writing, so I'm bringing this great chat to the enews.

-------------------------
3. Are You On The Writer's Retreat?
http://www.institutechildrenslit.net/index.php
The August discussion on "Goal + Motivation + Conflict + Tension" is going on now.

And for all visitors whether registered or not, you'll find plenty of helpful information: get help for student lessons. Learn to build solid plots. Share your ups and downs with fellow writers. It's all there.
------------------------
4. What's New at Kristi's?
http://kristiholl.net/writers-blog/

Kristi: "I'm glad to be back after the three-month sabbatical. It took some unexpected turns, but it was the most valuable time I've spent in years. I'm looking forward to sharing some of it with you."

Friday, August 8: "First, You Gotta Write!"
I finally had time to write. But it soon became painfully clear that I'd never recover my love for writing unless I was actually writing!

Tuesday, August 12: "Not Enough Willpower to Reach Your Goals? Make Mini Habits!"
Another lesson learned on my sabbatical was that my goals and desires outstripped my willpower. Here's an EASY long-term "habits" solution.
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5. Highlights Wish List
http://www.highlights.com/current-needs
Since I'm prepping for my Highlights workshop, I thought I'd remind y'all that Highlights keeps a link about the kinds of submissions they want to see right now.
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6. Fiction vs. Nonfiction: Must a Writer Choose?
http://groggorg.blogspot.kr/2014/08/fiction-vs-nonfiction-must-writer.html
Since ICL instructors are always trying to coax students into trying nonfiction and finding out how delightful it really is, I TOTALLY approve this essay by Pat Miller.
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7. Very Young Children Love to Learn

Writing for very young children can take us back to a time when everything was new and curiosity was her driving force. What could be a better place for writer? Because of this, many writers are interested in writing for preschool or kindergarten. Much of the writing for this young group is about introducing the reader to the world. This means giving young children accurate facts.

When presenting facts to very young children, one of two methods is normally used: informational fiction or pure nonfiction. In informational fiction, a story with a clear plot reveals interesting well researched facts. When choosing informational fiction, it is important not to overlook the plot. New writers often create stories that look like this: a fictional child character asks questions of an adult or older sibling about discoveries around the house. Then the child receives answers and the story is done. Editors normally do not buy informational stories with this structure because the information would be clearer and more interesting if simply written as nonfiction.

Another common mistake is the informational story where a child becomes interested in something he observes, then researches (usually with the help of a parent.) The reader is then informed about the subject through the child's research. This is also a format that is rarely bought, because -- again -- straightforward nonfiction would be more direct and more interesting.

A third common mistake is the creation of a story where inanimate objects or animals tell the reader about themselves. Most publishers try to avoid this kind of mix of fantasy and fact. The main reason these weak choices are made is because writers erroneously believe children do not like nonfiction. This is simply wrong. Young children often seek out nonfiction titles specifically to learn about new things. They do not need a thin fictionalized sugar-coating to make the nonfiction palatable.

However, editors are interested in actual, well-plotted stories that also happens to share interesting information. An interesting, lively story that also gives us a look at a fire station or lets us visit a bakery offers the fun of a real story with the extra tasty treat of new experience. In informational fiction, that sense of story as is important as the facts presented.

Although preschoolers are fascinated by many subjects, they also have short attention spans. This is one reason why straight nonfiction is usually more successful than nonfiction with a weak fictional coating. Children would rather just have the interesting information. The presentation of material needs to be lively and fun. Children want to see, hear, and smell the topic if possible. Specifics are more interesting than generalities. Word choice should be evocative and animated. Nonfiction for the pre-reader is normally read to the child, so don't try to write for the beginning reader. Words like "dashed" or "raced" are livelier than a generic choice like "moved swiftly."

Sometimes writers confuse lively writing with chipper writing. Lively nonfiction presents information in an interesting manner. Chipper nonfiction sounds artificial and often addresses the reader directly in overly cheery tones with remarks like, "okay, boys and girls" or "I know you're hoping I'll tell you what to do next and I will!" If you feel the need to slip in quotation marks or ask rhetorical questions, you're probably heading toward chipper.

The tone should be respectful. Editors are sensitive to any hint that writers are talking down. An editor would prefer a writer instruct a child to "peer into bushes and under rocks," rather than "ask your mommy to help you find good places to look." Avoid using baby talk like "tummy" or "blankie." Preschoolers don't think of themselves as little or cute, so take care not to say things like "hold your little hand up against your mommy's big hand."

Some complex concepts are difficult to explain in simple terms without losing accuracy. Accuracy is essential. For example, although some birds can run very fast, something kick hard enough to kill predator, some can swim under water at high speed, and some can hover in midair, the following sentence is an accurate: "birds can store, run, kick, swim -- even hover in midair!" Not all birds can do all of these things. But to a young child, the sentence seems to say that they can. Consider implications carefully when choosing your words.

Editors prefer writers who entertain and inform and let the parents admonish and correct. An article on animal fingernails might be welcome, but an article chiding children for biting their nails would not be as well received. It is also important to recognize that a young child may be very interested in the day-to-day life of his own parents or grandparents, but he is unlikely to care about the experiences of other adults -- especially adults he does not know. That's why It is best to keep your own adult experience out of an article unless you're narrating a specific incident that is interesting and unusual. Even then, the focus should be on the incident or event, not on you.

Editors demand accurae research for nonfiction for the very young. Writers must not rely on memory for facts; memories can be faulty and scientists may have made new discoveries to contradict what we learned in school as children. Go beyond Internet sources. Editors prefer primary sources and a highly reliable secondary sources.

Though writing informational material for the preschool child can be challenging, it is also a rewarding chance to feed the curiosity and imaginations of a new generation -- what could be better than that?
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8. Good News

Susan Rose Simms: My good news is I have 11 eBooks published with meegenius.com and two more coming out. If you put "Simms" in author search, they should pop up (but for some reason not with my full name )

Rick Starkey: My children’s game appears in the September issue of HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN! It’s on page 29 titled "Sum It Up!"

Mary Vela: My children’s picture book, THE FEARLESS GRANDPA, was recently published and is now on Amazon. Another book, YOU CAN'T TAKE THE DINOSAUR HOME, won two awards and is currently a finalist for a national award.

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.

-------------
To Unsubscribe from the email version of Children's Writers eNews, go to
http://www.institutechildrenslit.com/rx/email_updates_unsubscribe.shtml
-------------
NOTE: I can add you, remove you, or change your address manually and will be happy to do so.
To have your address changed, email author@janfields.com and do the following:
1. TELL ME that it's a change of address for the enews. I handle a lot of things so if you don't tell me what you want me to do, I may not do it.
2. TELL ME your OLD address as well as the NEW one. I cannot search by your name. I need the old address.
3. DO NOT send me a mass mailing that you sent to everyone in your address book that just tells me your new email. I won't know what you want me to do or if it's really for me at all. And I'll probably just delete it.

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