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Writers Retreat

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 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.

 on: September 17, 2015, 11:17:29 AM 
Started by Mikki S - Last post by Mikki S
Is it a good thing to write in different genres, just to "spread your wings" kind of thing, or should you concentrate on the one genre you think you do the best in?

Each of my four books is a different genre: 1st, The Freedom Thief: Historical Fiction; 2nd, Cheers, Chocolate, and Other Disasters:Contemporary; 3rd, Lily Leticia Langford and the Book of Practical Magic: Contemporary Fantasy or whatever they call it; 4th, Night Cries: Beneath the Possum Belly, Book One: paranormal/historical mystery.

Thief came out of my last assignment from ICL in the first course, although it has changed greatly from that course; the Cheers book was based on a true incident here in my home town, but I added a lot to it; Lily Leticia came from a Nano book I wrote the first 50,000 words for in 2010; and the Possum Belly book came out of sheer imagination.

So what is the best way to go? Continue in these varied genres, or stick to one, maybe two, that these books exemplify as doing the best in sales? Most of my favorite authors to read stick with one single genre...mystery/thrillers...but is that just because they prefer those kinds of stories, or is it the best way to go?

No one is more surprised than I am that I actually wrote four books that are so completely different from one another. I have no idea how that happened,  Huh? or if I should continue to do it.

 on: September 17, 2015, 03:50:38 AM 
Started by jfields - Last post by judyr
LOVED that promotion article!

 on: September 17, 2015, 01:10:17 AM 
Started by jfields - Last post by jfields
Children's Writers eNews
September 17, 2015
"The Write Words to Read"
The Institute of Children's Literature
Editor: Jan Fields -- author@janfields.com

"Nurture yourself. Read a great book. Sit in the back yard for ten minutes and listen to all the sounds. What rests you? A rested writer can tackle any problem, including schedules!"
- Joan Broerman
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. 1st 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
Overcoming Rejection
We all get rejected and it's never pleasant. But you can get past that.
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 1st Place Winner?

The first place winner, "Somebody New is Coming," had a nice age-appropriate mystery for the very beginning reader. We received a lot of middle grade level mystery stories, and some were  well done, but this contest asked for Kindergarten mysteries -- which this piece delivered. And it gave us enough clues so that young readers could guess the answer before the main character, which delights young children. This lets the young reader be a "winner" in this mystery. The dialogue and action are short, but not choppy. And the story allows the young main character to drive the story -- she works out the mystery and does something about it (making the sign) so that the ending really does grow from the actions she has done up to that point. The cast of characters is small and not easily confused in the reader's mind. It includes action and lots of dialogue. Definitely a winner.
5. Educational Markets for Children's Writers
This market list has fresh updates. If you've never considered educational markets, check them out. There are publishers for both fiction and nonfiction writers.
6. Self-Promotion
A really interesting and entertaining piece on the problems authors face in trying to promote themselves and build "platform" and the reality that success tends to come from the same formula that always worked.
7. "Somebody New is Coming" by Robin Phillips

     “Grandma, guess what?”
     “Someone new is coming to live with us.”
     “Who is it, Kate?” asked Grandma.
     “I don't know,” said Kate.
     “But I will find out.”
     “That's a good idea, Kate,” said Grandma.
     “I'll call you back,” Kate said.
     Kate ran down the hall.
     Her mom was in a room.
     She held flowers in her hand.
     “What are you doing, Mom?” she asked.
     “I am putting flowers by the window.”
     “This will make the room look bright,” said Kate's mom.
     “Oh! Those are so pretty,” said Kate.
     “I like the yellow color.”
     “Does the someone new like yellow?” asked Kate.
     “I believe they do,” said Kate's mom.
     “Then I will get my yellow bear,” said Kate.
     “I will put it by the flowers.”
     And she did just that.
     Kate called her grandma.
     “Hello, Grandma.”
     “Hello, Kate,” said Grandma.
     “Mom put flowers in the room.”
     “They are the color we like best.”
     “The flowers are yellow.”
     “My friend Julia got a new baby brother.”
     “People sent them flowers.”
     “Maybe I'm getting a new baby brother.”
     “Maybe,” said Grandma.
     “I'll call you back,” said Kate.
     Kate jumped down the hall.
     She saw her dad.
     He was carrying a big basket.
     He carried it into the room with flowers.
     “I'll set this basket next to the chair,” said Dad.
     “Somebody can put books in it.”
     “Oh! Does the somebody new like to read?” asked Kate.
     “Yes, I am sure of it,” said Dad.
     Kate ran into her room.
     Soon she was back.
     “Then I will put some books in the basket.”
     And she did just that.
     Kate called her grandma.
     “Hello, Grandma.”
     “What have you found out, Kate?” asked Grandma.
     “Dad put a basket for books in the room.”
     “The somebody new likes to read like us.”
     “My old sitter liked to read.”
     “She moved away.”
     “Maybe it's a new sitter.”
     “Maybe,” said Grandma.
     “I'll call you back,” said Kate.
     Kate went into the kitchen.
     Her mom set a bag on the table.
     She pulled out a jar of nut butter.
     She took apples out of the bag.
     Thinking is hard work, thought Kate.
     “Mom, may I have nut butter and apples?”
     “Yes,” she said, “but do not eat too much.”
     Kate set an apple piece on a plate.
     She put nut butter on top.
     Kate popped the pieces into her mouth. Yum!
     She hoped the somebody new liked apples.
     Kate called her grandma.
     “Hello, Grandma.”
     “Any new ideas, Kate?” asked Grandma.
     “Mom got nut butter and apples.”
     “I like nut butter and apples,” said Grandma.
     “Yes,” said Kate.
     “So does my friend Jack.”
     “He puts nut butter on apple pieces.”
     “He gives the pieces to his dog.”
     “Maybe the somebody is a dog!”
     “Maybe,” said Grandma.
     “I'll call you back,” said Kate.
     Kate went into the room for somebody new.
     She looked at the yellow flowers.
     She looked at the basket of books.
     She licked nut butter off her finger.
     Kate smiled.
     “I will make a sign,” she said.
     She took her yellow crayon.
     She wrote on a big sheet of paper.
     Somebody came to the front door.
     Somebody rang the bell.
     It was Kate's grandma.
     Kate held up her sign.
     It read “Welcome Home, Grandma!”
     Grandma hugged Kate.
     “I'll show you your new room,” said Kate.
     “Then let's have nut butter and apples.”
     “I'd like that,” said Grandma.
     And they did just that.
8. Good News

Liz Tetley: My math game is in the September Guardian Angel Kids magazine.

Sheila Renfro: My story "Butterfly Swimmer" has been accepted by the ezine Bedtime Stories.

Sharonda McPhee: : Insight magazine said "Congratulations! Your article, 'From Lies to Lust' will appear in the 11/28/15 issue of Insight. I am so shocked and happy about this because I have been trying to get into this magazine for YEARS! It's a personal experience piece centered around a previous relationship I had that turned out horribly and the lessons I learned from it.

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 14, 2015, 07:09:35 PM 
Started by jfields - Last post by Londy Leigh
Wooohooooooo! This is great news! Thanks for sharing, Jan. Grin

Welcome to the boards, vtashman. Smiley I hope you have glorious and fulfilling exploring while you're here.

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