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 on: September 26, 2014, 10:00:19 AM 
Started by judyr - Last post by jfields
Sounds interesting...any other suggestions?

 on: September 26, 2014, 07:32:10 AM 
Started by judyr - Last post by judyr
I don't remember which topics were in the poll, but I have a suggestion. (Please nobody yell at me. I could really use some help here.)

Diverse characters

 on: September 25, 2014, 04:02:12 PM 
Started by RMHSmith - Last post by Beth Consugar
Thanks Jan for the book recommendation!

 on: September 25, 2014, 02:31:17 PM 
Started by judyr - Last post by jfields
Kicking this back to the top so I can hear from anyone who might remember which topics were scoring high in the poll last month.

 on: September 25, 2014, 01:27:59 PM 
Started by RMHSmith - Last post by jfields
If wasn't AT ALL amateurish to ask them about the publication -- especially in light of them sending out author copies to you. Why send author copies if your piece isn't in it. Basically the whole "digital edition" thing is so new for these magazines that they're still working the bugs out of the system. In light of them sending you print copies, I'd say you weren't the only one confused.

As for contracts, contract wording can vary so really it's hard to do a definitive guide on them. I believe Harold Underdown's book (Idiot's Guide to Children's Book Publishing) has some stuff in it about contracts that would be worth reading. Your public library should either have his book or be able to get it for you via interlibrary loan. (Though I do think it's a worthwhile book to own because it's so helpful for understanding how publishing works overall).

 on: September 25, 2014, 01:22:00 PM 
Started by judyr - Last post by jfields
We can go either way. I can't remember which topic came in second on the poll.

 on: September 25, 2014, 12:20:16 PM 
Started by judyr - Last post by judyr
Not to rush ahead, but will the topic for October be from last month's poll, or will we be suggesting new topics?

 on: September 25, 2014, 05:47:20 AM 
Started by jfields - Last post by Delicia
Thanks Jan, i can't cease from writing. Even if its accepted by me and rejected by a publisher. I love it anyway.  Delicia

 on: September 25, 2014, 05:20:22 AM 
Started by jfields - Last post by jfields
Children's Writers eNews
September 25, 2014
"The Write Words to Read"
The Institute of Children's Literature
Editor: Jan Fields -- author@janfields.com

"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night."
 -- Edgar Allan Poe
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. ICL has a new writing contest: for Kindergarten Stories
Chedk out this chat on historical and biographical picture books
2. In the Rx
"Picturing History in Picture Books" with Pegi Deitz Shea
history isn't just for the big kids -- check out this great chat for more.
3. Are You On The Writer's Retreat?
The September discussion on "Discouragement" 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?

Friday, Sept. 19: “Building Writing Muscle”
Building writing muscle is much like trying to build body muscle. Start small. Give yourself doable short goals where you can succeed.

Tuesday, Sept. 23: “Beware! Burnout Ahead!”
We work hard to achieve the writing dream, but we can be blind to the signs that we're headed for burnout where our dream can become a nightmare.

5. Kaeden
Educational publisher accepting manuscripts. From their guidelines:
"At this time, we have a particular need for beginning chapter books, unique non-fiction manuscripts, and manuscripts with strong characters that have potential to become a series."
6. Author Website Series
Check out this amazing series on the what and why of author websites from Darcy Pattison.
7. Where Do I Get My Plot?
Check Your Character.

Many writers who struggle with plot tend to see plot and character as totally different things. You construct a plot and populate it with characters. The end. But in reality, your main character is your best possible source of plot and many times is a good starting place for story creation. So how might that work?

Suppose I begin with a character. Say I'm thinking I'll construct a story with an animal character because I love the characterization potential. I decide to go with an unusual animal. Say...a spider. What kinds of character traits might I brainstorm to go with my spider? She'd be patient, since spiders have to wait on their lunch to come to them. She'd be clever since spiders can make interesting things. She'd be quiet (anyone ever meet a noisy spider?) I imagine here being a bit of a homebody.

And I'd give her friends who are very different. She could have a friend who is fluttery and very aware of her own beauty -- a butterfly. In fact, I might like all her friends to be quite vain to contrast with my main character. So I'll give her a chickadee (with her lovely cap) and a chipmunk (who is quite proud of his cheek pouches.) I give her three friends, because I know readers love stories with elements in three. Also all of her friends are physically quick. In many ways, they're creatures you might imagine a homely spider would envy.

So quiet little spider is spinning and making something from silk. Her friends come by to visit and they're all curious about what she's making, but they all assume that what they have (lovely feather cap, beautiful wings, clever cheek pouches) will be better. Spider calmly responds to each question -- not being mean to her friends but also keeping the mystery of exactly what she is making. Her quiet nature and patience in sticking to the task of what she is making, even with all the distractions come into play.

Then at the end of the story, what spider has been quietly making is revealed, and all her friends agree that it's pretty amazing. This plot, which grew out of how I imagined the personality of my spider character, turned into a story, SPIDER'S RIDDLE, which eventually appeared in LADYBUG magazine. The entire story grew out of the main character.

I've heard editors mention how much they like a plot where both the story problem and the story solution grow out of character traits of the main character. So come up with some characters and list everything you can think of about them. Then see what plot pops up. You just might surprise yourself.

8. Good News

Trudee Law: I am pleased to announce that my short story, "Brave in Real Life", will be published in the October issue of Spaceports & Spidersilk magazine.

Rene Diane Aube: Just wanted to share with you (in case you didn't see my multitudes of posts on face book lol) that I received my FIRST Cheesy check from a magazine, THE KIDS ARK. They purchased a story I wrote called "Jesus Changes Everything".

Donna Simard : I have just released the first book to my children picture book series Shhh! It's a Surprise. Dad and Michael at the Zoo. After publishing my first book "Donna's dozen" I am extremely excited. Both books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, McNally Robinson and many bookstores.

Mikki Sadil: I've just signed a contract for my third novel for children, age 9-12, LILY LETICIA LANGFORD AND THE BOOK OF PRACTICAL MAGIC. It will be released in the spring of 2015 by Muse It Up Publishing.

Raven Howell: My poem, Days of Fall, is in the September 2014 issue of Spider magazine. 

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
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.

 on: September 25, 2014, 05:19:15 AM 
Started by jfields - Last post by jfields
It's great to have a positive outlook, Delicia!

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