Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Shaw Guide to Writers Conferences & Workshops

At this website you can search for conferences, schools, workshops, camps, and retreats held all over the world. Do you want to get away from home and concentrate on your writing? You’re bound to find a place during your search here.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Buried in the Slush Pile

Buried in the Slush Pile is an editor's blog with lots of great information about how a small press works. Now the editor of CBAY Books and the writer of this blog is in the beginning stages of a banned book discussion that is bound to get bigger. David Michael Slater's The Book of Knowledge has been raising the hackles of those people who love to ban books that don’t offer their own religious viewpoint. Go to this blog to find out more.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Day the Saucers Came

Neil Gaiman’s The Day the Saucers Came is a picture e-book offered through Microsoft Live Labs. Illustrated by Jouni Koponen, this is an experimental picture book that flows from one page directly into the next. Impossible to explain, you have to experience this book. Check it out!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The CBI Clubhouse

I confess – I’m a Fightin’ Bookworm. We Bookworms hang out at The CBI Clubhouse. Yes, it costs money to join. I’ve actually subscribed to the CBI Newsletter for a number of years, so when Jon and Laura started the CBI Clubhouse, I became an automatic member. The newsletter and the Clubhouse website both offer lots of information and motivation for writing for children. In addition to articles on writing, the Clubhouse also offers videos and a message board. Highly recommended!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Writing Exercises & Prompts

The Internet is an excellent source of writing exercises and prompts. Just find a picture on any site and write about it. Or google "writing exercises" or "writing prompts" to see what great sites pop up. Here are three sites to get your started:

Run your cursor over the numbers to see the beginning of the prompt.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Publisher Catalogs

One of the writing tasks that modern technology has greatly improved is the delivery of publisher catalogs. In the old days authors had to send a request with a large self-addressed, stamped envelope to each publisher. The publisher would have to stuff the printed catalog into the envelope provided by the author and mail it. All of this effort took time and money.
Today you can visit most publisher websites and download a PDF version of their most recent catalog. It only takes a few minutes to have a copy of the catalog in your hands. Great improvement, I’d say.

Here are some examples from Raven Tree Press.


Friday, December 4, 2009

CBIG – The Children’s Book Illustrators Group

I love visiting the Children’s Book Illustrators Group’s website and blog to gaze upon the wonderful pictures. The blog states that it is a “BLOGZINE: A showcase for member illustrations and their industry related good news.” The group members post illustrations of children’s book art related to a monthly theme. As well as a fascinating variety of illustrations you’ll also find a list of member websites and blogs.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Clear Writing with Mr. Clarity

Wondering whether your writing is clear to readers? Mr. Clarity uses examples to demonstrate how to make your writing better understood. Whether he's explaining the usages of hedging words or misplaced modifiers, Mr. Clarity will help clarify your writing.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gail Carson Levine

Gail Carson Levine writes wonderful fantasy stories. Her first published children's book, Ella Enchanted, was a 1998 Newbery Honor Book. Her blog is filled with advice for writers written in a friendly, conversational style. You can find more information about Gail Carson Levine and her books at her website.

Gail Carson Levine's Website

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mythic Imagination Institute

On the “Who We Are” page the owners of this site state, “Mythic Imagination Institute offers conferences, performance festivals, and lectures as part of its larger purpose: the encouragment of creative response to life, our own individual lives, and our lives as families, tribes, communities, nations and as a world.”

Here you will find archived issues of Mythic Passages: The Magazine of Imagination, “a free monthly e-magazine with articles, essays, poetry, fiction, podcasts, news, updates, events, and reviews written by some of the greatest minds in the international mythic community!”

There are podcasts of radio programs and amazing links to information related to myth. The exploring never ends.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Chip MacGregor, Agent

Sharing information about writing and the publishing industry from an agent’s point of view is the specialty here. Recent posts have included rants and raves on assorted topics and a post from Mr. MacGregor’s assistant, Amanda, sharing three things that are currently annoying her about queries received at the agency.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


What will you find at Readergirlz? Information about books: reviews, author interviews, book discussions, live chats, playlists, service projects, and book prizes. This website and blog is a community for young adult writers and readers organized by authors Justina Chen, Dia Calhoun, Lorie Ann Grover, holly Cupala, and Melissa Walker.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Flogging the Quill

At Flogging the Quill you can take the Flogometer challenge by writing and submitting a first page (that is, the first 16 lines of text) that compels the author/editor, Ray Rhamey, to turn the page. There are lots of submissions for you to read, vote on whether you’d turn the page, see how others voted, and then examine Ray’s comments on the piece.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Drawing a Fine Line

Whether sharing her own art, looking at the art of other illustrators, or discussing the art of knitting, artist Paula Pertile’s blog always offers something interesting.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Paper Wait

What they say about their blog: “We are an SCBWI critique group based in Madison, New Jersey. Established in 1997, our group includes both published and pre-published authors. We write magazine pieces and children's books in many genres including picture books, easy readers, chapter books, middle grade, young adult, nonfiction and poetry.”

Contributors to The Paper Wait are: Meg Wiviott, J. L. Finnell, Eileen Cameron, J. A. Palermo, Valerie Thomas, Melinda Meister, Gale Sypher Jacob, Brianna Caplan Sayres, and Robin Constantine.

I can always count on a good author interview or an interesting article or essay to fuel my motivation and knowledge. With the variety of authors writing for this blog, you’ll always find something that sparks a connection for you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Children's Picture Book Database

The Children’s Picture Book Database at Miami University offers:

  • abstracts of over 5000 children's picture books;
  • search capabilities for over 950 keywords, including topics, concepts, and skills which describe each book;
  • weblinks for keywords so you can integrate your up-to-date content knowledge with our picture book resources.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Editorial Anonymous

This is the blog of an editor who remains anonymous but shares lots of opinions on all aspects of publishing. Got a question? You’re going to get an honest answer here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Story is Promise

Here’s what Bill Johnson says on his Story is Promise website:

"This site offers writers of all levels and genres new ideas on the essential elements of storytelling:
creating dynamic characters...
identifying what's at stake in a story...
and ensuring that both the plot and story lines converge into an emotionally fulfilling resolution.

Reviews of popular novels, plays, and screenplays highlight those aspects of storytelling essential for fulfilling a writer's promise to the reader.

The essays on this web site are part of my exploration of what it is to both tell and enjoy a story. I welcome everyone who shares that journey.--Bill Johnson"

Story is a Promise also offers a page called Oregon Writers Speak with videos of writers sharing valuable information on their topics of expertise.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Watercolor Wednesdays

At Watercolor Wednesdays you’ll find a new challenge to illustrate each week. It’s fun to see what members of the blog have done with the challenge. For November illustrators had to:

Nov 1-7 Create your own "wild thing"

Nov 8-14 Create a child or animal character

Nov 15-21 Show your character in an adventure

Nov 22-30 Thanksgiving thoughts

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fuel Your Writing

At Fuel Your Writing you’ll find a number of viewpoints, inspirations, motivations, and informative posts. Tips, publishing news, and tools for your writing are all offered here. It will take a bit of time to explore it all, so prepare to stay awhile.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

P. J. Hoover - Roots in Myth

Roots in Myth, the blog of fantasy writer P. J. Hoover, offers information about writing and the author's life. Recent posts: Feeling the Fear, Loving and Hating your work in progress, the Red Dirt Festival in Shawnee, OK, and homemade Halloween gravestones. You just never know what you’ll find. An interesting author with an interesting blog.

For more information about P. J. Hoover and her books, visit her website:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Graphic Organizers

Sometimes a simple chart or cluster map is exactly what you need to organize your mind and your story. There are numerous websites on the web offering story maps, charts, diagrams, and time lines for use of the educational market. If you just need something to jumpstart your writing, you are sure to find a tool that fits the bill. You can do a search of "graphic organizers" to find lots of sites or click on the sites listed below and under the Writing Resources List on the left.

Monday, November 16, 2009

David R. Godine's Website & Blog

I love to visit publisher’s blogs but wish more publishers had them. Sure they are promotional tools for promoting their books, but you learn about the books and authors published by that house in an informal setting (versus the sometimes stiff and formal website content.)

David R. Godine Publisher offers a unique blog. It’s worth checking out.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Long Long Time Ago

Started in 2002 by Rohini Chowdhury, the Long Long Time Ago website offers her stories for children in the categories of fables, folktales, fairytales, myths, festival stories, tales from history, classics retold, stories behind great discoveries, and tales of today. You will also find Pomegranate Pips: stories for younger children, puzzles, book reviews, biographies of writers, and a link to her blog where she describes her travels (with lots of pictures!)

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Story Board

The Story Board is an artist’s blog by Adrienne who is also a wife, mother, children’s writer and illustrator. The blog is as much about her family as her art. She shares their lives and their art in a unique way. I love visiting her gallery of fun children’s illustrations. I always find something to smile about.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Children's Lit Project

Here's a quote from their About page: "This is the production blog of The Library of the Early Mind, a feature-length documentary film about children’s literature directed by Edward J. Delaney and produced by Edward J. Delaney and Steven Withrow. We’ll be working through this year interviewing authors, illustrators and critics on the topic. The film is intended for festival release in 2010. "

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Neil Gaiman’s Journal

Neil Gaiman’s Journal

Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods, Coraline, The Graveyard Book, Neverwhere, and Stardust writes an interesting journal as well as original and exciting books.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Character Building Workshop

At Writer's University's Character Building Workshop, you will find online character questionnaires. Submit your answers to the multiple choice questions about your character and it will tell you what “type” your character fits into. You can read more about your character’s type. A fun way to better understand your protagonist.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Agent Savant

Laurie McLean, an agent with the Larsen Pomada Agency, offers advice and information about the publishing industry on her weblog, Agent Savant. Recent posts have included a search for the next trend in YA literature, thoughts on Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and the FTC ruling regarding bloggers and free review books.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Nancy Pearl - Book Lust Forever

The blog of Nancy Pearl, author of the books Book Lust, More Book Lust, and Book Crush and the model for the Librarian Action figure, provides Nancy’s reviews of hundreds of books. Looking for something great to read? This is the place to find it. You can find out more about Nancy at her website.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

AutoCrit Editing Wizard

AutoCrit Editing Wizard

At AutoCrit Editing Wizard you can receive a free analysis of up to 800 words of your manuscript. All you do is paste a scene or chapter of your manuscript into the Wizard and submit. Your free analysis includes a report of your choice of overused words, repeated phrases, or sentence length variation. Submit it 3 times for all three reports. For a yearly membership fee you can have more of your manuscript analyzed for multiple problems.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I always find something interesting about authors or books at AuthorCulture. Whether it’s a fascinating look at how three authors strategized a plan for writing their book to a list of author resources, this blog never fails to offer enlightenment.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

American Library Association

You don’t have to be a librarian to find great information at the American Library Association website. ALA is the organization that presents some of the most respected awards in children’s literature (Descriptions taken from the ALA site):
· Carnegie Medal Information about the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Video, administered by the Association for Library Service to Children.
· Geisel Award Information about the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, to select from the books published the preceding year within the terms, definitions and criteria governing the awards, the most distinguished American book for beginning readers.
· Wilder Medal Current Winner The current winner of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, administered by the Association for Library Service to Children, and honoring an author or illustrator whose books, published inthe United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.
· Children's Notable Lists Links to current and past ALSC Children's Notable Lists, including books, recordings, videos and computer software.
· Newbery Medal Information about the current ALSC Newbery Medal winners and links to past winners and award criteria. Administered by the Association for Library Service to Children.
· YALSA's Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature The Michael L. Printz Award honors the best book written for young adults each year. Find more information on Printz, including past winners, biographical information on Michael L. Printz, policies and procedures, and how to nominate a title.
· YALSA's Margaret A. Edwards Award The Margaret A. Edwards Award, sponsored by School Library Journal, honors an author and specific works by that author for lifetime contribution to young adult literature. Find more information on the Edwards Award, including previous winners, biographical information on Margaret A. Edwards, policies and procedures, and how to nominate an author and title.
· YALSA's Alex Awards The Alex Awards are given to 10 adult books with special appeal to young adults. Find more information on the award, including past winners, policies and procedures and how to nominate a title.
· The Coretta Scott King Book Awards
And many, many more!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Author Magazine Editor's Blog

The blog of Bill Kenower, Editor-in-Chief of Author Magazine, offers editorials on a wide variety of topics relating to writing. You can even listen the the blog posts in an audio version.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Walk in the WoRds

This blog is subtitled “A linguistic tour for people who love having fun with words and language.” You’ll find wordplay in cartoons, advertising, and musings of the author.