Friday, October 30, 2009

Children's Illustration & Funky Lunch

Julie shares links to news about children’s illustration and to unique websites. I could spend hours following the links on this blog to whereever they may lead me. Example: the sandwich shown in the screen shot above is part of a website called “Funky Lunch,” a site with a gallery showing hundreds of unusual sandwich art designs.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

C. Hope Clark

C. Hope Clark is the hard-working individual behind Fundsfor, where you’ll find the latest information about opportunities for authors. At Funds for Writers you’ll find sections on grants, contests, markets, and several newsletters to keep you updated. At her blog she shares detailed information about the features on the Funds for Writers site.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lisa Yee

Lisa Yee's Blog

We just finished reading Lisa Yee’s three-book series Millicent Min Girl Genius, Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time, and So Totally Emily Ebers in one of my writer groups during our examination of “point of view." Lisa’s books are funny, creative, and interesting. Can’t wait to read her latest: Bobby Versus Girls (Accidentally).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

OneLook Reverse Dictionary

“OneLook's reverse dictionary lets you describe a concept and get back a list of words and phrases related to that concept. Your description can be a few words, a sentence, a question, or even just a single word.”

For example, I typed in the word “ocean” and got back hundreds of words that had something to do with the ocean. You can narrow down your choices by adding more words.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Carolrhoda Books Blog

Recent articles on ebook reading devices, social networking, and the FTC Blogging rulings bring this publisher’s blog into the conversation about publishing. They are always on top of topics in the news.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

East of the Web

East of the Web offers short stories in many different genres: children’s, crime, fiction, horror, humour, nonfiction, romance, sci-fi, and interactive. You’ll never find a shortage of reading material here. All stories are connected to a reading rating system so you can see what others have thought of them.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Muse Online Writers conference

I attended my third Muse Online Writers Conference earlier this month. This is a FREE conference that lasts an entire week with forum workshops and chat sessions on all topics of writing. I've learned so much each year about characterization, dialogue, editing, short stories, personal essays, website construction, social networking, and MORE. Every detail is amazingly well organized by Lea Schizas. (And the best part is that it is all online, so you don't have to pay for transportation or lodging and can attend in your pajamas!)
Next year's conference will be held October 11 - 17, 2010. You need to register before August 1 and indicate INDIVIDUAL EMAIL so that you will get updates throughout the year about upcoming new workshops and pitch sessions Lia be hosting in 2010 before the 2010 Conference.
Do it right now so you don't miss anything.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Are you a writer? Do you procrastinate? Then, the Procrastinating Writers Blog is for you. This site offers “Advice, motivation and inspiration for writers who struggle to get started.” Recent posts have related tips and suggestions for preparing for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November, but that could be useful for writing at any time of the year.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Smithsonian's Eye Level Blog

Eye Level was the Smithsonian's first blog. It examines how American art reflects our history and culture. I visit now and then to fill up my reserves of art culture. The Smithsonian offers several blogs that are well worth checking out at the Smithsonian blog page.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Feath’s Bookcase

Feath’s Bookcase offers generators for:

• Fantasy ideas
• Genre-less ideas
• Characters
• Descriptions
• Plots
• Quotes

It also is a great place for writing prompts and ways to use Tarot cards for character development.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Nathan Bransford, Literary Agent

No, that’s not Nathan in the screenshot from his blog, that’s the character Dwight Schrute from the American version of The Office. Nathan was using Dwight to announce the finalists in “The 3rd Sort-of-Annual Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Challenge.” There were more than 2500 entries in the contest, which only shows how many people love reading Nathan’s blog. He tells it like it is with great style. One of my favorite agent blogs!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bookie Woogie

The Bookie Woogie blog, subtitled “Three Kids and Their Dad Talk about Books,” accomplishes its mission with great pizzazz. The three children, Isaac (age 11), Gracie (age 9), and Lily (age 6) not only discuss books they have read with their father in a script format, but they draw pictures to illustrate their favorite parts of the book. If you want to know what books kids like, go to real kids for honest reviews! Bookie Woogie is a great place to start.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

At the SFWA – Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America website, all writers can find something at this site to assist them. In addition to the Writers Beware page which offers “Warnings About Literary Fraud and the Schemes, Scams, and Pitfalls That Target Writers,” the Information Center section also contains:

  • Advice for New Writers – manuscript preparation, writing tips, market listings 
  • Contracts and Copyrights – sample contracts, copyright, piracy info 
  • The Craft of Writing – writing techniques, workshops and critique groups, Maintaining motivation, avoiding writers’ block 
  • The Business of Writing – agent etiquette, royalty payments, copy-editing, career management, networking and self promotion, publishing technologies like podcasting, e-books, self-publishing.

Of course you can also find a lot of information about writing science fiction and fantasy, authors of science fiction and fantasy, and reading science fiction and fantasy!


Okay, can I pick them or what??? The very first author I featured in my blog back in September was Laini Taylor, a Portland, Oregon, author. I LOVE her Dreamdark series -- it's fresh and original and just plain fun. And then, this week her book Lips Touch: Three Times was named a Young People's National Book Award Finalist.

Congratulations, Laini! Freckles and I are rooting for you!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Writer's First Aid

Kristi Holl blogs about ways “to ease the pains of the writing life” on her Writer’s First Aid blog at The Institute of Children’s Literature. The last few days she has been blogging about keeping your focus when bad things happen in your life that are beyond your control – a lesson I need to memorize. She blogs about assorted ways that life and your thoughts can intrude on your ability to write. You’ll always find something interesting to read at Writer’s First Aid.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Joan Bauer

Joan Bauer has written some great books for kids: Best Foot Forward, Backwater, Rules of the Road, Thwonk, Squashed, and one of my all time favorites Hope Was Here. So, it is not surprising that I find her blog full of wise words and interesting advice. Just read her October 12th post "Dancing with Words" to see what I mean!

You can explore Joan Bauer’s writing life from essays to information about her books on her website.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fiction Writing Rubric

This site offers a downloadable rubric for assessing whether your novel has everything necessary for a well-written novel. There's lots of other great information, but the list of questions on plot, setting, characters, and structure will help you find weaknesses in your story.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Very Short Novels

Don’t have time to read a long novel? Then David B. Dale’s Very Short Novels is the blog for you. Each novel is less than 299 words. As the caption says “Anything more is a waste.”

Saturday, October 10, 2009


SCBWI – Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I’m a member! You’ll find a lot of great information about writing for children at this site. Members can access areas of the site that are closed to the public. You can also find links to the regional chapters.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Monday Artday

No, today is not Monday, but it’s always Monday at Monday Artday. This is a blog with over 400 members. Every other Monday word or phrase is given and the members post their illustrations on the blog. The latest prompt was “vampire.” A fun site!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Writing for Children & Teens by Cynthea Liu

Cynthea Liu writes about all areas of writing for children and also includes interviews with authors, submission information, and occasional ‘free-tiques” in which she critiques a full picture book or partial longer manuscript.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ellen Hopkins

Ellen Hopkins writes young adult “problem” novels. They’re pretty edgy and don’t pull any punches. If you know anything about Ellen’s own story, you understand why, after tough times dealing with her daughter’s drug use, she felt the need to write a novel about teens and drugs.

It is an unfortunate fact of life in the United States that if you are truthful with teens and tell them about the not-so-pretty side of real life, someone is going to try to stop teens from reading about it. And of course, they don’t want to just block their own children from reading it, they want to control what everyone else’s kids read as well.

Ellen has fought many of these battles and is in the middle of a couple right now in Oklahoma. She talks about it frankly on her blog.

You can learn more about Ellen and her books at her website:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Author MBA

Author MBA offers a number of resources at their website for assisting writers with the business side of writing. They do offer courses through their career guides, but they also offer previews of those career guides with a great deal of information in them. Other resources include: 

Insider Interviews with agents

Guest Blog Posts (from their blog which ran from 2006-2008)

Monday, October 5, 2009

All About Kids Publishing

I love the brightly-colored website and interesting book trailers at the listings for many of their books. They are a smaller press and not currently accepting submissions, but visit anyway. You’ll enjoy the music!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Cliché Slayer

Freckles and I have been having fun with clichés over at The Adventures of Freckles and Deb. The Cliché Slayer website has a huge mission: “To slay unnecessary and meaningless clichés everywhere.” Each post looks at a different cliché – gives an example, explains what it really means, and offers a reason (or reasons) why you should slay it.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO)

It's time to get ready for National Novel Writing Month or “Thirty days and nights of literary abandon,” according to the official website. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I succeeded in this goal year before last. That novel is still set aside awaiting revision, but I had a lot of fun writing it.

You sign up at the website and visit daily to record the number of words you’ve written, check up on your friends’ progress, and read the message boards. There are regional events (like write-ins at local coffee shops where you don’t have to be lonely writing every day!) This one is certainly worth checking out.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mo Willems Doodles

If you love the Mo Willems' Pigeon books (or any of his books), you'll love his blog. Recently, he's been showing costumes that some of his fans have constructed for Halloween. Lots of fun!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Alice’s CWIM Blog

Alice Pope, editor of the Writer’s Digest Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market, offers updates and information from the land of children’s publishing – agents, editors, publishers, events, etc. Even if you don’t have a copy of the latest Market (and you should…at the very least to read the articles within), you will find something of interest at this blog.