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Minnesota: The Birth of Old Man River
A lake creates a lazy stream
That flows through pines and slips away,
Then picks up barges, logs and steam,
Becomes a mighty waterway.
Walk on rocks across this sliver,
Cross the current, slow and mild.
It will grow to Old Man River
Though for now it’s still a child.
--Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved
The headwaters of the Mississippi River are in Lake Itasca, Minnesota. At its start, the river is narrow and shallow, and you can cross the Mighty Mississippi by walking across some rather slippery rocks.
|The water is high this year, so that rock path across the beginning of the Mississippi River is a bit underwater! Photo: Laura Purdie Salas|
Here I am reading the poem:
Happy Poetry Friday! And welcome to my musings on our current topic, marketability of our manuscripts, and what we do with our unmarketable work.
Ah, this is such a touchy topic! As a poet, marketability is even MORE of a challenge than most other formats/genres. And as my career progresses, I am even more aware of this, always, because I need to make a certain income and want to earn that income by creating books I love. So, do I think about whether a project is marketable before I start it? Absolutely. If I decide it is not, what do I do? I might still write it, if it's something I feel like I just HAVE to write. But if it's not something I have to write, then I might skip it. I have way more ideas than I have time to write, so it's a matter of prioritizing. What project am I excited about writing that I think has at least a decent chance of selling to a publisher? That's what I take on.
Unfortunately, I usually don't realize a project is unmarketable until it's too late! Take my 50 state poems (please, publisher, take it!). Above is the Minnesota poem from that collection, plus a photo I took Tuesday at the headwaters. So, what's my solution? Well, I have 6 poetry collections that I want to get out there. Four of them got lovely, wonderful responses from editors--some even went to acquisitions--but were deemed too hard to sell. Another one never went out because my agent felt it wasn't strongly marketable, and the final one I wrote for my blog in April. I am having trouble moving on from these unpublished collections. So...I've decided to e-publish them. I've got wonderful educators writing some teaching activities, and I'm going to try to market them TO educators, primarily.
I am fairly certain I won't recoup the monetary cost of producing the books (I'm estimating about $2,000 for the six books together), because self-published e-books typically DON'T sell well at all. At. All. Not to mention the many hours of work it will take. But my big hope is that I will connect with more teachers and librarians, spread some poetry love, and, ultimately, share my name and work. And that I can get some closure and put all my creative energy into new projects instead of constantly looking backward at what feels like unfinished business.
P.S. Don't get me wrong. I have LOADS of unpublished, unmarketable manuscripts that I would not consider putting out there. Some manuscripts are unmarketable for good reason:>)P.P.S. Jone at Check It Out (who does the wonderful April poetry postcards!) has the Poetry Friday Roundup. Enjoy!P.P.P.S. It's almost the end of our Rafflecopter Giveaway for Joan Bransfield Graham's THE POEM THAT WILL NOT END. Just go here and click on the link at the very end of the post. Good luck!--posted by Laura Purdie Salas
By: Sherrie Petersen
Blog: Write About Now
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A Penguin Community
, Book Country
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, book giveaway winner
, Lucy Silag
, middle grade author
, middle grade novel
, Rosi Hollinbeck
, Sheri Larsen
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...one winner, that is. Without further adieu, the winner of the Grasshopper Jungle ARC is...
Congratulations, Danielle! I'll be sending your book out later today. I hope you enjoy reading it! And if anyone is looking for some more good reading, Lucy Silag from Book Country interviewed me on their blog today. This Penguin community for writers is a great place to meet critique partners and get your work read in a public forum. WISH YOU WEREN'T is an Editor's Pick this month (yay!) and I was thrilled that they wanted to profile me.
If you'd like a chance to win your very own copy of WISH YOU WEREN'T, don't forget about the other two blogs I mentioned yesterday. Sheri Larsen at Writer's Alley interviewed me and she's giving away a print book and an e-book. And the delightful Rosi Hollinbeck, a reviewer for the San Francisco Book Review, posted her review of WISH YOU WEREN'T on her blog, The Write Stuff, and she's giving away a print copy.
Oh, and one more thing! If you live in Santa Barbara County and want to learn more about writing for middle grade readers, I'm leading a workshop at the Solvang Library with three other authors: Valerie Hobbs (Sheep), Gwen Dandridge (The Stone Lions) and Kimberley Troutte (Saving Miner's Gulch). The workshop is on Saturday from 1 to 3:30 and we'll be doing a book signing from 12 to 1pm. To find out more, you can visit the library's website. I'd love to see you there!
You were probably expecting a post today announcing the winner of GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE. But since I entered the wrong date on the Rafflecopter, there's still a few hours left to enter the contest. If you haven't already signed up to win, do it now. I'll be back tomorrow to let you know who won.
In the meantime, if you've been wanting to read a copy of WISH YOU WEREN'T, there are three copies up for grabs on two different websites. Somehow I lucked out and two different bloggers featured my book for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday! Sweet!
Sheri Larsen at Writer's Alley interviewed me and she's giving away a print book and an e-book. And the delightful Rosi Hollinbeck, a reviewer for the San Francisco Book Review, posted her review of WISH YOU WEREN'T on her blog, The Write Stuff, and she's giving away a print copy.
Thanks to both of them for their generous giveaways. Now it's all up to you. Go forth and win!
Enter to win a copy of Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader for Kids Only! Collectible Edition, by Bathroom Readers' Institute.
Giveaway begins June 16, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends July 15, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
In a recent blog post, Marion Dane Bauer addressed a topic important to all writers who hope to have their work accepted for publication. “When I begin a new manuscript,” she says, “especially one that will require a major commitment of time, I pause to consider whether what I want to write will be marketable.” In the series of posts that starts today, we Teaching Authors discuss our own experiences with and thoughts about the question of marketability.
For five summers now, I’ve been gathering monarch butterfly eggs and caterpillars and raising them in our backyard, protected from predators by a mosquito net tent. Last winter, I finally—finally!—found a way to write about the process in a series of haiku. Sidebars include facts about monarchs and tips for readers who might want to raise them, too. I call the poems “butterflyku” and the collection Butterflyku and Monarch How-To
Here’s an excerpt:
Searching milkweed leaves,
I find what I’m looking for:
tiny monarch egg!
Five rejections later, I’m facing the prospect that this subject, important as it is to me, might not be acceptable in this form. Although I know that many manuscripts are sold after more than five rejections, I also understand that poetry collections are notoriously tough to sell. So I’m taking a different approach, a narrative nonfiction one that I hope will be more appealing to both editors and readers.
As I organize my thoughts in this new direction, I’m still learning. I attended a symposium last week at the Chicago Botanic Garden with brilliant speakers who elaborated on the urgent issues affecting monarchs today. I soaked up every word, took pages and pages of notes, and collected handouts to study.
To prepare for this year’s monarch project, I started three varieties of milkweed from seeds we collected last fall.
|top to bottom: common, whorled, and butterfly milkweed|
Now the monarchs are back! Eggs are hatching! Caterpillars are growing! Today's tally includes 4 eggs and 7 caterpillars. I’m heading back outside to keep an eye on the amazing creatures and their awe-inspiring transformation so I can try, try again with a topic that’s not only important but also fascinating and dear to my heart.
Wish me luck!
Don’t forget to enter our current giveaway
for a chance to win an autographed copy of Joan Bransfield Graham's new book, The Poem That Will Not End: Fun with Poetic Forms and Voices
JoAnn Early Macken
Enter to win an autographed copy of The Sandman, by Andrew McLeish.
Giveaway begins June 10, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends July 12, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
While the official start of summer is still two weeks away, writers with kids newly freed from school may already be wondering if they'll ever write again. At least that's how I felt every June about this time. I was fortunate to stay home with our kids, and there were a couple of really frustrating summers early in my writing career (and boy, am I using that term loosely). I drove myself crazy trying to follow the old "write every day" advice. Why wouldn't my kids cooperate?!
But my dad had his own advice: Enjoy your kids. They won't be little forever.
So I gave myself permission to take my own summer breaks. Play with the kids. Enjoy life. Store up memories.
Back then, I was specializing in rejected picture book manuscripts. But I also submitted lots of poetry to kids' magazines, much of which was accepted (Thank you, Carus!). Oddly enough, I wrote MORE poems during those summers than at any other time ... usually after getting the kids to bed. We'd say our nighty-nights, then I'd spend an hour or so deciphering odd snippets of rhyme from the sticky notes I'd been slapping onto my desk throughout the day.
So if you're ankle deep in Legos and Play-Doh and soap bubbles and sidewalk chalk right now, relax and enjoy. But keep your eyes and ears and hearts open. And take notes.
If you're more determined than I was to keep your writing front and center through these summer days, here are tips and advice from others who have found ways to make it work:
In the end, you have to do whatever works for YOU. Good luck!
P.S. Enter our Rafflecopter giveaway
to win a copy of Joan Bransfield Graham's The Poem That Will Not End: Fun with Poetic Forms and Voices.
P.P.S. Two books I've written are part of a new series from National Geographic especially for 3-6 year olds. Hitting shelves June 25th are Explore My World: Penguins, and Explore My World: Snow Leopards. Watch for them! :)
The 2014 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards for Excellence in Children’s Literature were recently announced. And the winner in the fiction category? Grasshopper Jungle
by Andrew Smith.
I was lucky enough to get an advanced reader copy of this YA back in early February before the novel was released and I have to say, it was one of the strangest books I've ever read. Parts made me laugh out loud, and parts made me wonder what Andrew Smith was smoking when he came up with this plot. Six-foot-tall grasshoppers taking over the world? Yeah. Like I said...
But the backbone of the story – the relationship between Austin, his girlfriend and his best friend – make it a worthwhile read. Even if you do have to suspend your disbelief as an enormous grasshopper makes a meal out of the chemistry teacher. Or when you happen upon chapter titles like, "Never Look for Ice Cream in a Sperm Freezer."
You can read The Horn Book review here
. But if you'd like to read this YA novel for yourself, I'm giving away my ARC. Fill out the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win!a Rafflecopter giveaway
By: Carmela Martino and 5 other authors
Blog: Teaching Authors
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April Halprin Wayland
, Book Giveaway
, Children's Authors Network
, Janet S.Wong
, Joan Bransfield Graham
, Krysten Brooker
, Myra Cohn Livingston
, Poetry Friday
, shape poems
, Wednesday Writing Workout
, Add a tag
Before we get to Poetry Friday, before you enter our newest book giveaway to win a new spanking-new poetry book, I'm thrilled to announce the winner of an autographed copy of Debbie Dadey's Treasure in Trident City (Aladdin).
(Here's Carmela's guest TeachingAuthor Interview with the Debbie.)
And the winner is...drum roll, please...Catherine A!
And now onto Poetry Friday, which is hosted by Carol, of,
interestingly enough, Carol's Corner
. Thanks for hosting, Carol!
And today, we're lucky ducks. Why? Because my dear friend, poetJoan Bransfield Graham
, is stopping by for a glass of iced tea! Here she comes now ~ um...looks like I'd better bring a trough of tea...
The effervescent, inventive and truly original author and poet,
Joan Bransfield Graham.
In January, when her latest book of poetry--The Poem That Will Not End: Fun with Poetic Forms and Voices
, illustrated by Krysten Brooker
--was published, TeachingAuthors
was proud to be part of Joan's blog tour. At our stop of her tour she offered a Wednesday Writing Workout
called the Olympic Writing Challenge.
has agreed to be tied to a spit and grilled with our tough TeachingAuthor
interview questions. She has also
been kind enough to offer an autographed copy of The Poem That Will Not End: Fun with Poetic Forms and Voices
to one of our lucky readers. (Here's Miss Rumphius' fabulous interview with Joan
to whet your appetite for this book.)
This book giveaway runs from midnight, June 6 to the end of the day on June 21, 2014. See below for entry details.
As I reported in January, Joan is an award-winning poet who can't STOP writing poetry. She has files and piles of poems, which have been featured in anthologies, magazines, textbooks, and on CDs. She likes to think "outside the page" because poetry is "everywhere." Her books SPLISH SPLASH and FLICKER FLASH--shape poems about water and light--were both chosen as School Library Journal Best Books of the Year and NCTE Notables, among many other honors, and have been described as "ingenious," "wonderfully evocative," and "stunningly delicious." She loves photography, art, traveling and lives not-too-far from me in Los Angeles, CA.
Celebrating its 20th Birthday!
Celebrating its 15th Birthday!
So, Joan, how did you officially become a TeachingAuthor?
I officially became a TeachingAuthor when my teacher brain and my writer brain merged! My favorite part about teaching was helping students leap beyond knowledge into creativity, to use their imaginations to see the world in new ways. What's a common problem/question that your students have and how do you address it?
"Does a poem have to rhyme?" Of course not. I tell students rhyme can be like a wild horse that wants to take you in the wrong direction. You have to be in charge of your poem and guide it; don't throw in any word just to make it rhyme. Expressing what you want to say is the most important thing--use the form that works best.
Lately, I've been surprised when students haven't been able to tell me what a poetry "anthology" is. The word anthology comes from the Greek word "anthologia," a "flower gathering." Isn't that a great way to think of it . . . a bouquet of voices rather than poems from only one writer.
|Bouquets at the Davis, CA Farmer's Market|Recently in an assembly, before we were going to do a poem together in sign language, I asked, "What is sign language?" A kindergarten child said, "Using your hands to communicate." Wow. What one piece of advice do you have for teachers? Share and enjoy poetry with your students across the curriculum--it fits everywhere! Do poems in "call and response" so that everyone can participate, be part of the poem. Tell us about one particular school visit which stays with you.
Spending a day in the life of a school is an honor and a joy. Each school has its own personality. Between assemblies at one school, a teacher came up to me with a little boy and told me he had come to the school speaking no English and also had developmental problems. After my presentation, he went back to the classroom, picked up my book, and was singing the words he was so excited. He wanted to give me a hug to thank me. That's why we write, isn't it? To open the world for ourselves . . . and others.
And what's next on the horizon for you?
I've just had an incredibly busy May in California, which took me down to San Ysidro, up to Bakersfield for their amazing week-long Young Author Fair, down to San Clemente, and, on May 16, to my daughter Aimee's graduation from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
June 28 - 30 I'm headed to ALA in Las Vegas, where I'll be reading in the Poetry Blast. I have lots of poems due to come out in anthologies--April and I have been "flowers" in many of the same anthologies--at various times and many projects in the works. On Oct. 25 I'll be doing a Spotlight presentation at the SCBWI CenCal Writers' Day at California Lutheran University. March 7, 2015 you'll find me in Teaching Author mode conducting a workshop--REV YOUR POETRY POWER: Poetic Forms, Voices, and Choices.
And finally, since it's Poetry Friday in the Kidlitosphere, do you have a poem you'd like to share with our readers? I'm torn about which poem to share. I've been having so much fun with my "Conductor" poem from THE POEM THAT WILL NOT END. I pass out my ocean drum, rain sticks, wooden frogs, thunder stick, and we have an environmental symphony. Those who don't have an instrument are part of the "wind chorus." I direct all this--"Conductor" is an Italian sonnet--with my large pencil baton as I read the poem.
But I think I'll share my haiku:
Smooth patch of white snow,
stretched out before watchful eyes--
I say to students, "The next time you look at a blank sheet of white paper, think of it as a freshly-fallen field of snow, just waiting for the footprints that only you can make."
|from morguefile.com|My character Ryan O'Brian writes because he has to, he has a "Fever" (Can you hear Peggy Lee singing?). Thanks, April, for this opportunity to connect with kindred "fevered" spirits. Thank YOU, Joan--and g'bye! (Readers, be sure to enter below for a chance to win Joan's newest book!)
Joan with her trusty camera. Behind her is one of her many fans.Now it's time for you to enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of Joan's The Poem That Will Not End: Fun with Poetic Forms and Voices. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter via 1, 2, or all 3 options specified. If you choose the "comment" option, share a comment to TODAY'S blog post telling us what you'll do with the book should you win: save it for yourself or give it away? And please include your name in your comment, if it's not obvious from your comment "identity." (If you prefer, you may submit your comment via email to: teachingauthors [at] gmail [dot] com. )The giveaway ends on June 21st. P.S. If you've never entered a Rafflecopter giveaway, here's info on how to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway and the difference between signing in with Facebook vs. with an email address. Email subscribers: if you received this post via email, you can click on the Rafflecopter link at the end of this message to access the entry form.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Enter to win a copy of MOUSEHEART by Lisa Fiedler, Illustrated by Vivienne; plus The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi, and Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs.
Giveaway begins June 6, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends July 5, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
I've been somewhat of a slacker recently on Goodreads, actually with reviews in general. I used to write reviews for books whether or not I liked them, but that took a lot of time. So I started only writing reviews for the books I loved. Then after hearing about the rise of fake reviews
, I stopped reviewing all together.
But the thing is – fake review or real – I read reviews before I buy a book. And having my own book out there makes me realize how important it is to have those reviews from real readers. (I'm so grateful to every person that has ever written a review of my book, even if it wasn't a glowing review. I just appreciate their time first in reading, and second in writing the review.)
So the question remains: how do you get legitimate reviews for a book without begging, bribing or otherwise paying for them? And where do people look for reviews? Goodreads? Amazon? Barnes & Noble? Or old-fashioned word of mouth?
I love reading the reviews that come through my Goodreads feed, telling me what books my friends have read. (And if we aren't already friends over there, send me a friend request!
) I have definitely read someone's review and then gone online to buy the book. But otherwise, I tend to just look at the reviews at whatever online portal I'm buying the book from.
What about you? Do you generally review books that you read? How much do reader reviews inform your purchases? And where do you go to find reviews?
And speaking of Goodreads, author friend Dawn Malone is giving away 10 copies
of her new novel, Bingo Summer. Pop on over to enter for your chance to win!
Happy Poetry Friday! I finally just had a chance to read Pug and Other Animal Poems
, by Valerie Worth, illustrated by Steve Jenkins. The poems are, of course, wonderful. I was trying to choose between several fabulous ones to share. The cries of Canada geese flying above in Minnesota in autumn and spring are one of my very favorite sounds, so I decided to go with this one. Since this has been a long winter with a late spring, I've been hearing this spring music a lot this past month.GeeseThen, they
Down the cold
Sky, with cries
Like grieving;Now, we
Hear in those
Same high voices
Returning, a noisy
Rejoining!--Valerie Worth, all rights reserved
I adore that cold sky and repeated sounds in here (sky/cries; voices/noisy/rejoicing). It reminds me of the sound diagramming exercise/post I did several years ago
. I'm revising a project for an editor right now, and I think I'll put this technique to use as I work on this. Have you ever tried anything like that?
The Poetry Friday Roundup
is being hosted by the smart and prolific Diane Mayr at Random Noodling--go check it out!
And today, Friday, is your very last chance to enter our current giveaway
for Debbie Dadey's Mermaid Tales: Treasure in Trident City
--Laura Purdie Salas
Enter to win a copy of The Meaning of Maggie, by Megan Jean Sovern, + a set of buttons.
Giveaway begins May 19, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends June 18, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
Today I'm thrilled to share a guest TeachingAuthor interview with the prolific and talented Debbie Dadey. We're honored to help Debbie celebrate the release of her latest chapter book, Treasure in Trident City (Aladdin), book eight in the Mermaid Tales series for ages 6-9. Here's a little about the story:
Pearl can't believe it! There is a pirate's treasure near Trident City. If she can find it, she'll be the richest, most famous mermaid ever. Tales of pirate ghosts don't scare Pearl off, but something much bigger just might.
See the end of this post for details on how to enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of this fun title! I also share the name of the winner of our last giveaway.
I'm guessing most of our TeachingAuthors'
readers are familiar with Debbie's work. She is the award-winning author/co-author of 158 books
for children! She is perhaps most known for the best-selling Adventures of the Bailey School Kids
series (Scholastic) , which she wrote with Marcia Thornton Jones. Debbie and Marcia also co-wrote a writing book for adults, Story Sparkers : A Creativity Guide for Children's Writers
(Writer's Digest). A former elementary school teacher and school librarian, Debbie enjoys working with writers of all ages through school visits and writing conferences. She currently divides her time between Bucks County, PA and Sevierville, TN. She has three children, two dogs, and one very smart husband. You can learn more about Debbie through her website
and follow her via Twitter
I first connected with Debbie Dadey years ago, when a member of my critique group invited her to join
us. My son was in second grade at the time, and a HUGE
fan of the Bailey School Kids
. When I told him that Debbie had joined our group, he could hardly believe it. He said, "Wow, Mom, now you're going to be famous!" Well, knowing Debbie didn't make me "famous," but having her in our group definitely made me a "tighter" writer. Our group called Debbie "the slasher" because she was so great at helping us cut extraneous material. We were all disappointed when she moved away. All these years later, I'm happy to be able to still call her my friend.
And now, for the interview:
Debbie, would you tell our readers how you became a TeachingAuthor?
When I was an elementary school teacher, I taught writing to my students. When I was a PK-12th grade librarian, I taught writing to my students. As an author, it was only natural to continue teaching writing through continuing education classes at universities, school visits, and writing conferences. My website has a writing section
that I hope is helpful to writers of all ages.
Can you tell us a bit about your Mermaid Tales series and how you came to write it? What was the inspiration behind the newest book in the series, Treasure in Trident City? Are there more Mermaid Tales books in the works? a Rafflecopter giveaway
Yes, there are more Mermaid Tales
books in the works. Treasure in Trident City
(think sunken pirate ship, pirate ghosts, and treasure!) is #8 and I have written 12 so far. It is a series about a school at the bottom of the ocean. The merboys and mermaids have normal school adventures, but also get the opportunity to have exciting interactions with ocean animals. In Treasure in Trident City
, Pearl becomes friends with a giant octopus! I was lucky enough that Simon and Schuster approached me about writing it.I’m intrigued that Simon and Schuster approached you. Did they provide the general premise for the series and ask you to come up with the stories? Did they dictate number of books, plot ideas, etc.? Did you already have other series with them?
They suggested a series about mermaids and let me run with it, but first they wanted me to create a world for them to live in, so I created a Travel Guide to Trident City which outlined the world. Of course, the one I gave to my editor had character sketches, a map (which the artist redrew for the books), and ideas for books. They did not say how many books they wanted to start with, but I thought four was a great number (since I had four main character) to try and they went for it. This was the first work I've done for Simon and Schuster. I thought it was interesting that they contacted me through my website and I was glad that I had a way on there for them to contact me! It doesn't have my email listed, but it comes directly to my email.Your website highlights you as an author for “reluctant readers.” What is it about your books that appeals to reluctant readers? Do you have any tips for other writers who want to reach this audience?
I hope my books are full of action, which I think draws in reluctant readers. I think books for any young reader needs to be kid-oriented and avoid overdosing on description.You also list specific suggestions for parents and teachers to help motivate reluctant readers on your website. Which of these ideas to you think are most effective?
There is nothing a parent or teacher can to do encourage reading more than modeling that behavior. Reading aloud to them and turning off the TV to read when your child can see speaks volumes!You’re such a prolific author. Would you share a little about your writing schedule/routine? Do you set writing quotas/goals? Do you have any tricks for generating story/character ideas?
I write every day, except Sunday. I begin my day by updating my website, Facebook fan page, and answering email. Then I dive into writing and strive for 3-4 pages per day and most of that is done in the morning. My website, debbiedadey.com, has a writing section
that has ‘worksheets’ that I use to help me learn about my character and my stories. I think they are helpful. My friend Marcia Jones and I created them for a book about writing called Story Sparkers
, which we are currently turning into an eBook.You do so many school and library visits. Can you share a funny (or interesting) story about one?
I’ll never forget the little boy who was crying in the hallway when I visited his school. Why was he crying? It was because he had thought the characters in the Bailey School Kids
books (my first series with Marcia Jones) were visiting. When he found out it was just me, he was devastated. To him, the characters were real and he really wanted to meet them!Well, I can't think of a better compliment to your writing than that, Debbie! Thank you so much for taking time out from your busy schedule to visit with us.
I hope all the teachers in our audience will visit the Teacher's Page of Debbie's website
for book-related activities and other resources. And I hope all our readers check back here on Wednesday, when Debbie shares a favorite writing exercise for our Wednesday Writing Workout
Now it's time for you to enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of Treasure in Trident City
(Aladdin). Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter via 1, 2, or all 3 options specified. If you choose the "comment" option, share a comment to TODAY'S blog post telling us what you'll do with the book should you win: save it for yourself or give it away? And please include your name in your comment, if it's not obvious from your comment "identity."
(If you prefer, you may submit your comment via email to: teachingauthors [at] gmail [dot] com
The giveaway ends on May 30.
And congratulations to our most recent winner, Elaine Kaplan
, who follows us via email. Thanks for being a TeachingAuthors
Good luck and happy writing!
P.S. If you've never entered a Rafflecopter giveaway, here's info on how to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway
and the difference between signing in with Facebook vs. with an email address. Email subscribers
: if you received this post via email, you can click on the Rafflecopter link at the end of this message to access the entry form.
Enter to win an autographed copy of Orion Poe and the Lost Explorer, by Will Summerhouse.
Giveaway begins May 19, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends June 18, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
We love A God In Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie so much we want to give copies of the book away.
1914 and a soldier is returning from Ypres to his home in Pakistan. His loyalty to Britain is about to be challenged. Also in 1914 a young English woman is following an interest in archaeology and travelling in Peshawar. She too is about to have her views challenged, Both of these people, in their own way question the very different societies they live in. Where do your loyalties lie? To your own country rather than another? To your family? To God? To yourself?
The first 15 people who purchase a copy of Kamila Shamsie’s A God In Every Stone we will get a 2nd copy for free to give to a friend, family member, neighbour or whoever they want!
We know you are going to love this book just as much as we did and we want you to help us share the joy of such a great read.
Buy the book here…
By: Carmela Martino and 5 other authors
Blog: Teaching Authors
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, April Halprin Wayland
, Association of Jewish Libraries
, Barbara Krasner
, Book Giveaway
, Children's Book Week
, Jama Rattigan
, Mother's Day
, Out and About
, Poetry Friday
, Tony Lee
, Add a tag
Note the four exciting announcements at the bottom of this post (including this: today's the last day to enter our current book giveaway.)
I had a wonderful poetry teacher, Tony Lee
, who taught us about voice.
Describing something, as a journalist does, Tony said, is the reporting voice. That voice comes from the lips, the mouth, the throat.
Writing about feelings
comes from the gut, a lower, truer, sometimes scarier place, he said.
This is the deep voice. The deep voice attracts readers. It connects them to your story. Be brave, he told us. Find the feelings. Go there.
So why do some blog and FaceBook posts get nine kazillion comments (not mine!) and some get zip?
12,341,889 likes ~ 58,962 talking about this
Putting aside JoAnn's terrific post about social media
and the perfect lengths for poems, posts, headings, etc. in various online media...
it seems to me that getting your work read (or, more to the point, getting your work read and passed on) is about superficial vs. deep.
Just like a book in which the author rips off her shirt and shows us her scars (as Anne Lamott
does), FaceBook and blog posts that come from the gut are the ones that resonate.
I was at a meeting the other day; each of us had three minutes to talk about anything we wanted. The first two minutes and 30 seconds I talked about some success I had had. In the last 30 seconds, my mouth opened and an embarrassing truth popped out. I said that Robyn Hood Black
had very kindly gifted me homemade granola. It was especially touching because Robyn knows I can't eat sugar, so she made it with sugar-free maple syrup. I could actually have
it. Delighted, I sat down for lunch, thinking I'd taste just a spoonful
, just to see what it was like.
Good granola is dense, so you don't need much. And you and I know that you're supposed to eat two cups of granola over a period of several days--with fresh blueberries and your pinky finger raised, right?
Not me... immediately my mouth opened, a vacuum turned on, my brain turned off, and nearly two cups of absolutely delicious granola were gone. Gone!
|This isn't Robyn's granola. |
Hers had yummy bits of coconut in it.
But...um...I didn't have time to take a picture of hers.
So this is from morguefile.com
As we went around the room sharing, do you think others in the group commented on the nicely packaged pithy wisdom in my first two minutes and thirty seconds? Nope. Nearly ALL of them talked about my granola adventure. It hit a familiar nerve. We've all been there.
It was no longer mine...it was all of ours.
During Poetry Month this year, I had what I called a metaphoraffair--I practiced finding metaphors, posting one each day, both on my website
(where, it turned out, the comment mechanism was broken) and on FaceBook and Twitter.
The metaphor which drew the most interest was my final post
for Poetry Month 2014, written with and about my mother, who is 91 and not doing great. It was hard for me to post; it was true. It was from my gut.
I drew this in November, 2010, after Mom and I walked around a park in Malibu…suddenly I was the parent
And, last but not least, happy Children's Book Week
! Be brave. Go forth and share the very thing that hard to share.
posted with love by April Halprin Wayland...but you knew that, right?
Happy Monday! My clippings all have to do with this being the start of Children's Book Week.
It's not too late to make it a big deal for your kids/students. How? Check out these websites:
What is Children's Book Week? http://www.bookweekonline.com
From the Pennsylvania School Library Association – Top 10 Ideas for Celebrating Children's Book Week: http://www.psla.org/assets/Documents/Advocacy/Top-Ten-List/Childrens-Book-Week.pdf
Fabulous ways to celebrate CBW from Smore.com: https://www.smore.com/ef611-children-s-book-week
My favorite from the site above? Take a pic of yourself with your favorite children's book, then share it on Twitter using the hashtags #plaea #cbw14. Fun!
From Colorado Parent
, 5 ways to celebrate CBW: http://coloradoparent.com/article/5-ways-to-celebrate-childrens-book-week.html
And all the way from Australia, here are easy book-related costumes:http://www.kidspot.com.au/kids-activities-and-games/book-week+47.htm
Also, if you happen to be in a bookstore this week, my newest picture book debuts Thursday (we'll have a book giveaway sometime this fall). Keep your eyes peeled for I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo!
Or the Australia/New Zealand edition:
Blog: The Children's Book Review
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Enter to win an autographed copy of Mighty Dads, story by award-winning author Joan Holub and illustrations by James Dean, creator of the bestselling "Pete the Cat" books.
Giveaway begins April 15, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends May 14, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
Enter to win a copy of Burn Out, by Kristi Helvig.
Giveaway begins April 19, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends May 18, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
Enter to win an autographed copy of Goddess Girls #13: Athena the Proud, by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams.
Giveaway begins April 24, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends May 23, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
Since I didn’t get to post about our 5 year blogiversary, I’ll jumping in here to say a quick THANK YOU to friends who have been with the blog since the beginning or found us somewhere along the way. I love knowing that 5-book bundles are even now winging (wheeling?) their way to 5 of you who entered our contest. Woot!
Another of my National Geographic books was released a couple of weeks ago, so it’s time for a book giveaway. If you have any kiddos in your life who like the Angry Birds or might enjoy a lively book about the Amazon rain forest and its animals, please enter. I’d love to send you a copy of Angry Birds Playground: Rain Forest.
This fourth book in the series (the third written by me) was my favorite to research. I quickly compiled a lonnng list of the amazing creatures that live in the Amazon. Narrowing it down was actually the toughest part of writing this book. Reading about some of them made my jaw drop.
-Like Hoatzin chicks. Those are born with temporary claws on the front edges of their wings. When a hawk or other predatory bird attacks a nest (which are built hanging over the water), the chicks can ploop to the water below, then swim underwater to the bank until the threat is over. Then they use those wee claws to climb back up the tree to their nest. (I couldn’t get photo permission in time for this post, but check out this quirky, chicken-sized bird!
-Like the wide-mouthed Amazon Horned Frog. This bugger will attack and try to swallow anything that crosses its path – including human ankles. They're so aggressive that they're often found dead with some poor, too-big-to-swallow beastie halfway in.
Photo by George Grall
-Like the Golden Lion Tamarin, a photo of which you can see here
. This fiery, red-orange (and endangered) species always looks so big in photos. Did you know they’re really only the size of a 5-year-old child’s foot?
Readers will learn about the four layers of the Amazon, the river itself, and the basin in general. Add cool lizards and turtles and insects and snakes, a few animals that consume their own … um, droppings, 5 primate species, and a frightening assortment of animals trying their darnedest to eat each other, and you’ve got one fascinating, four-layered place to discover.
Want to win a copy? Just enter via Rafflecopter below. I’ll send one winner their very own book. Contest runs through May 16th.
Side note #1: Farewell, Poetry Month. But if you're into rhyming picture books, I’m the guest blogger today over at Angie Karcher’s RhyPiBoMo
Side note #2: If you’re a picture book writer and are looking for a summer writing workshop, consider joining my author friend Linda Skeers and me at our Whispering Woods Picture Book Workshop
. Follow link for more details.a Rafflecopter giveaway
What a Poetry Month we've celebrated! Now I hope to backtrack and read the many intriguing posts I've bookmarked for later enjoyment. In case you missed any of ours, here's a recap:
We each read one of our favorite poems aloud. (Of course, it was a difficult choice!) You can hear:
I had tons of fun writing Wednesday Writing Workouts
about different poetry forms. I gave myself a weekly writing assignment and wrote a new poem (or several) to accompany each one:
For our Fifth Anniversary Blogiversary Book Bundle Giveaway
, we gave bundles of 5 books each to 5 winners. We are thrilled with our readers and tickled to read all of your smart, funny, thoughtful comments. Thank you for inspiring us!
If you haven't yet, you can still enter for a chance to win a copy of Jill's Angry Birds Playground: Rain Forest
And now it's May, which so far looks a lot like April . . .
. . . except in my neighbor's yard!
May is Get Caught Reading
Be sure to check out the We Need Diverse Books Campaign
. Use the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks on Twitter and/or find it on Facebook
Katya hosts today's Poetry Friday Roundup at Write. Sketch. Repeat.
JoAnn Early Macken
Enter to win a copy of The Very Fairy Princess: Graduation Girl, by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton, illustrated by Christine Davenier.
Giveaway begins May 6, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends June 5, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
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I'm so excited to be part of the Children's Book Week Kid Lit Giveaway Hop. Reading books with my kids has always been a special part of our time spent together. I hope WISH YOU WEREN'T will become one of those books that parents and kids enjoy reading together, that kids enjoy reading under the covers and that people enjoy enough to share with each other. Want to check it out for yourself? You can enter to win a copy below!
Marten doesn't believe in the power of wishes. None of his have ever come true. His parents ignore him, his little brother is a pain and his family is talking about moving to Texas. Not cool. So when he makes an impulsive wish during a meteor shower, he doesn't expect it to make any difference.
Until his annoying brother disappears.
With the present uncertain and his brother’s future in limbo, Marten finds himself stuck in his past. And if he runs out of time, even wishes might not be enough to save the ones he loves.a Rafflecopter giveawayKID LIT GIVEAWAY HOP EVENT DETAILS
Are you a children's book or teen literature blogger, an author, a publisher, or a publicist looking to share copies of a fabulous book? Mother Daughter Book Reviews
and Youth Literature Reviews
are joining forces to provide you with the opportunity to take part in the Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop 2014, featuring links to giveaways for fabulous children/teen's books, gift cards, cash, or other prizes. What better way to celebrate Children's Book Week?