Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Jacqui Robbins is not only one of the Grand Poupas of my writing village, a perennial conference roomy and a fab wife and mother, but Jacqui Robbins KNOWS SHE IS A WRITER.

In the flurry of our daily lives, many of us forget that we are writers. We forget to write. We tell ourselves we are too busy, too needed by others, too tired, frustrated, blocked, etc, etc, etc.

Perhaps you have a manuscript on your computer, a book or two on the shelves of B&N, or in Jacqui's case, 5 million copies of THE NEW GIRL AND ME distributed in Cheerios boxes throughout the country plus a copy or three sitting on bookstore shelves next to two or three copies of TWO OF A KIND. If you are writing, you are a writer and you owe it to yourself and your readers to put pen to paper and share your gift.

My advice.....follow Jacqui's lead. To do this, you must click on the following link and read Jacqui's WORKING IS IN PROGRESS.

OK, you read it? Great. Now turn off your Explorer, your Firefox, your Safari. Open up Word or Pages and get back to writing.

See you 1,000+ written words from now:)

Monday, March 29, 2010


My fab client Angela Ackerman is a guest poster on Writer's Digest Chuck Sambuchino's Guide to Literary Agents Editor blog. Creating the Breakout Blog http://bit.ly/d7GdtK

Angela has a huge and loyal blog following for her amazing blog, The Bookshelf Muse.
She has created and continual updates her truly unique and go to thesauruses:
Emotion Thesaurus
Setting Thesaurus
Color Texture and Shapes Thesaurus
Symbolism Thesaurus

As well as her much retweeted and reblogged series Seven Deadly Sins of Novel Writing


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shelley Coriell double-finals in the YA category of the 2010 RWA Golden Heart Awards

CONGRATS to my client Shelley Coriell who just got the call that she not only finalled but double finalled in the YA category of the 2010 RWA Golden Heart Awards for her manuscripts BLOOM and WELCOME CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE.

It is extremely rare for a writer to double-final, but then again, Shelley is an extremely talented writer.

From the Romance Writers of America's website:

Romance Writers of America® (RWA) is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2010 Golden Heart Awards®. RWA's Golden Heart Award honors excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts from 2009. More than 1,000 manuscripts were judged in 10 categories. Winners of the awards will be announced July 31, 2010, at the RITA and Golden Heart Awards Ceremony to be held at RWA’s 30th Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

This is not Shelley's first time winning this honor. In fact, Shelley has been a RWA Golden Heart finalist in 2009, 2008 and 2007, as well as 2008 Golden Pen winner and the 2008 Kiss Of Death Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence winner!

I predict Shelley Coriell will soon be a YA superstar!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sherry Shahan's PURPLE DAZE to Running Press!

Sold--An amazing book to an amazing editor!

From Publishers Weekly
March 19, 2010

Children's:Young Adult
Sherry Shahan's PURPLE DAZE, a provocative free verse novel set 1965 Los Angeles in which six high school students navigate war, riots, love, rock 'n' roll, school, and friendship, to Kelli Chipponeri at Running Press Kids, for publication in Spring 2011, by Jill Corcoran at Herman Agency.

Sherry Shahan is the author of 30 books for children, including books for preschoolers to middle-graders, both fiction and nonfiction. She is also a photo-illustrator. Current titles include novel Death Mountain (Peachtree), Spicy Hot Colors/ Colores Picantes and Cool Cats Counting (August House). An animated version of Spicy appeared on PBS “Between the Lions.” Her Alaskan-based adventure Frozen Stiff (Random House/ Yearling) remains in print after 10 years; it’s currently on the “Battle of the Books” list nationwide.

Sherry holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaches writing courses for UCLA Extension. She's been a featured author in the week-long Kern County Young Authors Fair in Bakersfield, as well as a presenter at professional conferences such as Colorado Council of International Reading Assn., Texas Library Assn., California Reading Assn., California School Library Assn., California Teachers of English, Santa Barbara Author-Go-Round, StoryFest in Ventura, and Eureka Author Festival .

Optical Illusion Art by Walter Anthony

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

AUCTION ENDS SATURDAY. Fire Petal Books » Agent Jill Corcoran: query + 10 page ms critique

» Bid on Agent Jill Corcoran's query + 10 page ms critique and help make Fire Petal a reality!

Click on the following link and bid now!
Fire Petal Books » Blog Archive » MG/YA agent Jill Corcoran

Publisher's Weekly wrote an article about the launch of Fire Petal Books HERE


Abrams to Publish Deluxe Hardcover of Archie Marries - 2010-03-15 23:21:30 | Publishers Weekly

I was a huge Archie fan as a kid. I don't know how I missed the seven-part mini-series on the Archie, Betty and Veronica love-triangle published between August 2009 and February 2010 in commemoration of the 600th issue of Archie Comics, but I have to search them out and buy ARCHIE MARRIES.

So who do you think Archie will give the rose, oh I mean ring, to---Betty or Veronica? The cover is showing Veronica, but i wonder if you turn the book over would you find a cover with Archie kissing Betty?

This is a toughie---I am going to go with Betty since I always like substance over style but Archie is a teenagerish man now so who knows what part of him he is choosing with.

Hey, where is Reggie in all this? Jughead?

Wait a minute---these guys do not look the same as I remember them, especially Reggie, Betty and Veronica. Here, you click and see for yourself: http://www.archiecomics.com/

Monday, March 15, 2010

Poetry for Children: New Poet Autobiographies

Poetry for Children: New Poet Autobiographies

I loved reading Sylvia Vardell's poet post last Friday. As you may know from reading my blog, I, like Sylvia, "find it fascinating to learn how [poets] came to a writing career, how they approach the process of writing, and how their lives seep into their works". Two of my favorite books in this genre are SPEAKING OF POETS 1 & 2.

In Sylvia's post she speaks of two Speaking of Poets-type series for kids: the “Meet the Author” collection published by Richard C. Owen for 2-5th graders. And the newest generation of these books, the “Author at Work” collection for 5-8th graders. Four writers are featured thus far: Nikki Grimes, Jane Yolen, Ralph Fletcher, and Margaret Mooney. These are 64 page paperbacks with many of the same elements as the series for younger readers: autobiographical information, writing commentary, and abundant photos. As the publisher has noted, “… the authors discuss their life as a writer and explore some of the books they have written for young people. They provide wonderful insights for students into ways in which they have organized their time, selected material to write about, and solved some of the challenges of writing.” 

How fun for me to see 2 of my clients involved in the first 4 books in this series. First, the amazing Ralph Fletcher who is the subject of one of the AUTHOR AT WORK books, and Sherry Shahan who shot the cover photo of Nikki Grimes' book.

Poet on!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Intern: The Ten Best Things You Can Do For Your Manuscript

INTERN is feeling extremely wonderful and happy today and wanted to fill the world with yes's instead of no's, do's instead of don'ts. Here, then, are the ten most wonderful and useful things you can do you for your manuscript to give it the best possible chance of growing up big and strong.

Great list---go forth and click on the link!


And the shake-up and shake-out in the book biz continues....

Barnes & Noble: A besieged giant - latimes.com
By Andrea Chang March 12, 2010

The world's largest bookseller faces an unwelcome stock fight while trying to deal with radical market shifts.

Barnes & Noble

Although Barnes & Noble faces few rivals in the brick-and-mortar bookstore business, analysts say consumers today have more book-buying avenues than ever, with online sellers, general merchandisers, discounters and wholesale clubs offering growing selections at low prices. The company was also late to enter the digital e-reader realm with its Nook device, which now must play catch-up to Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle.

"Whether it's television, Internet, Wal-Mart, Amazon or an e-reader, there's always, it seems, a new attack on traditional book reading and buying in bookstores," said David Schick, an analyst at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. "It's just one thing after another."

...[the] fundamental shift in reading and book-buying habits has some analysts doubtful that an increased Burkle presence would mean a turnaround for the company.

"Barnes & Noble is swimming against a very strong current," said Matthew Fassler, managing director at Goldman Sachs. "I'm not sure what his, or anyone else's, gaining additional control would remedy for the business. I think that the essence of the problem is a bit beyond management's control."

Although Burkle has not spelled out his broader strategy for Barnes & Noble and declined to comment, industry watchers speculate that his intention is to buy big and reap the rewards when the company's outlook improves, especially if there are further closures and consolidation in the bookstore industry. Barnes & Noble operates 719 stores in 50 states as well as college bookstores and online and publishing divisions.

Burkle's strategy is "when the assets are in the down part of a cycle, to get involved," said BB&T Capital Markets analyst Andrew Wolf. "He invests and then gets out."

Indeed, Burkle has said that his general philosophy is to buy reputable-but-troubled companies for cheap. Some of his best-known deals involved supermarket chains Ralphs and Food4Less.

...Despite Burkle's criticism of company management, Barnes & Noble executives defended the company's business model and said the rise of e-readers doesn't preclude the success of traditional bookstores.

"Physical books and bookstores will continue to be a very important part of this big industry," said William Lynch, president of Barnes & Noble.com. "Anyone that says the physical book business is going away is just not paying attention or just doesn't know much about the industry."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Don't miss my amazing client Marileta Robinson plus Kim Griswell and special guest KL Going at their upcoming THE HERO'S JOURNEY workshop.

Your story is only as strong as the adversary your hero faces. The Shadow knows—and often represents—the weakest, most vulnerable parts of your hero’s character. Facing the Shadow reveals your hero’s strengths and weaknesses. Defeating the Shadow leads your hero to mastery, and your story to a satisfying conclusion.

From Marileta's blog: THE VIEW FROM MY PORCH

Heroes and Shadows

Kim Griswell and I are going to talk about our favorite subject, the Hero's Journey, at a Highlights Foundation Founders Workshop soon. The date is April 16-18 and the place is Boyds Mills, PA. This is a little more in-depth look at the stages and archetypes of the classical hero's journey described by Joseph Campbell and Christopher Vogler. We will be focusing on the Shadow, your hero's ultimate test of the quest. We'll show how the ideas apply no matter what kind of children's novel you're working on. If you love this stuff, too, and would like find out how to use it to strengthen your manuscript, come join us. KL Going, author of KING OF THE SCREWUPS, will be our special guest. Here is the link.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


From Publishers Weekly--The Bologna Book Fair starts in two weeks; see the trends that some industry veterans are predicting. http://bit.ly/cV7cJl

Andrew Karre launches the new Lerner/Carolrhoda YA imprint Carolrhoda Lab
Carolrhoda Lab is dedicated to distinctive, provocative, boundary-pushing fiction for teens and their sympathizers. Carolrhoda Lab probes and examines the young-adult condition one novel at a time, affording YA authors and readers an opportunity to explore and experiment with thoughts, ideas, and paradigms in the human condition. Adolescence is an experience we share and a condition from which some of us never quite recover. All of us at Carolrhoda Lab are proud to proclaim our lifelong adolescence and our commitment to publishing exceptional fiction about the teenage experience. http://www.lernerbooks.com/carolrhodalab/

Stacy Whitman's Tu Publishing is now Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books.
LEE & LOW BOOKS, the respected independent children's book publisher specializing in diversity, has acquired Tu Publishing, an independent press focusing on multicultural fantasy and science fiction for middle grade and young adult readers. http://blog.leeandlow.com/2010/03/09/announcing-tu-books/

Sunday, March 7, 2010


One of the reasons I love the children's writing community is the generosity of writers & editors, both debut and seasoned veterans. I have done a number of writing advice posts before, 39 to be exact. And today's is #40.

So link me up, Spock...
  1. Ralph Fletcher's Tips for Young Writers...and for us old writers too:)

  2. Nancy Lamb's 6 Ways to Make Your Book a Page-Turner

  3. Darcy Pattison's amazing blog chock full of so much advice I can't pick just one so here is the archive and be careful, you can spend a whole week here. Read, take a break and write following Darcy's spot-on advice, and then go read some more.

  4. Kim Blank's Wordiness, Wordiness, Wordiness List

  5. Harold Underdown's Getting Out of the Slush Pile and other fab Articles for Writer's

  6. Editor Molly O'Neill's What Do You Know to be True?

  7. Editorial Anonymous' 26 and counting posts on How to Tell You're Never Going to Get Published

And I finish this post with Robin Mellom's Finish Line.


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