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Reshaping Your Story Part 1 | Writing for Children 167

RESHAPING YOUR STORY PART 1 You’ve finished a draft (or several drafts) of a story you’re excited about. You set it aside to cool for several days, then reread it. While you’re still pleased with the story, you have to admit it needs more work—not just polishing, but re-engineering for better pace, suspense, and focus. If you’re like most writers, you may also find it’s run considerably over the word length you were aiming for, an important consideration if you’re planning to submit the...


Revision: Don't Go It Alone | Writing for Children 166

DON'T REVISE BY YOURSELF When you’re about to begin revising a piece of writing, it can seem so daunting you may be tempted to bury the darn thing at the bottom of your sweater drawer, then go hide somewhere (say, at the beach) for a few weeks. But, you’re listening to this podcast, so you’re in luck! Author and IFW Guest Blogger Rita Reali is also a freelance editor and today we bring you her advice on why you should get fresh eyes on your manuscript once you’re ready to revise. Get a...


Interview with Renee LaTulippe | Writing for Children 165

INTERVIEW WITH RENEE LATULIPPE Renée M. LaTulippe has poems published in many anthologies including School People (ed. Lee Bennett Hopkins), and National Geographic's The Poetry of US and Book of Nature Poetry (both ed. J. Patrick Lewis) to name a few. Renée developed and teaches the online course The Lyrical Language Lab: Punching Up Prose with Poetry and blogs on children’s poetry at NoWaterRiver.com. We talk about: • What are common mistakes new writers make? • How do you eliminate...


Guest Expert Pascale Duguay | Writing for Children 164

GUEST EXPERT PASCALE DUGUAY Pascale Duguay is a freelance writer, French/English translator, and high school librarian. Her freelance writing includes articles on books, writing, personal essays, children's short stories, games, activities, and more. We talk about: The biggest differences between writing for magazines and writing for booksHow much research you need to do before querying a magazineHow to take advantage of editorial calendarsAnd more! Get a FREE peek into Writers' Block...


What to Expect From a Writing Conference Pt 2 | Writing for Children 163

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING TO GO TO A WRITING CONFERENCE PART 2 In last week's episode, we talked about how to choose the conference you want to go to. This week, we'll touch on what to expect when you get there, what to wear, what to take, and what not to do. Get a FREE peek into Writers' Block here: http://instituteforwriters.com/freewritersblock


What to Expect When You're Expecting to Go to a Writing Conference Pt 1 | Writing for Children 162

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A WRITING CONFERENCE PART 1 Many people sign up for writing conferences hoping they’ll send a manuscript home with an editor, or even better, be offered a contract right there at the conference. Has that ever happened at a conference? Probably. But you’re much more likely to come home with a cold than a contract. Does this mean writing conferences aren’t worth your time and money? Not at all. It does mean that you need to know what you can expect to gain from a...


Protecting Your Reputation on Social Media | Writing for Children 161

PROTECTING YOUR REPUTATION Whether we like it or not, social media is a part of our current culture. Just like most things in life, social media can have amazing benefits for writers. There are authors whose books were first pitched on Twitter and liked by an editor which led to a book deal. Who knows how many critique groups have formed in writing groups on Facebook. And, of course, let’s not leave out the ability to market your book yourself through your social media channels. The world...


Interview with David Katz | Writing for Children 160

GUEST EXPERT DAVID KATZ The producer of the Kauai Writers Conference gives tips for attending conferences and the benefits writers get by involved in face-to-face sessions with authors, agents, and editors. Get a FREE peek into Writers' Block here: http://instituteforwriters.com/freewritersblock


34 Things Your Website Needs Part 2 | Writing for Children 159

34 THINGS YOU NEED FOR YOUR WEBSITE PART 2 In last week's episode, we talked about the first 17 things you need for your author websites. Part 2 brings us the next 17 things including social media, your about page, SEO, and more! Get a FREE peek into Writers' Block here: http://instituteforwriters.com/freewritersblock


34 Things Your Website Needs Part 1 | Writing for Children 158

34 THINGS YOU NEED FOR YOUR WEBSITE PART 1 Author websites are important in 21st century publishing. Consider your website your business card to the world. So, what should be on your website? Listen to the podcast to get started. Get a FREE peek into Writers' Block here: http://instituteforwriters.com/freewritersblock


Create Your Author Platform | Writing for Children 157

CREATE YOUR AUTHOR PLATFORM What IS a platform? It’s your visibility. The wider your reach, the more books you can sell. What you do with your platform is try to reach (in an authentic way) your target audience. It’s all about connecting—with people on a real level and because of your reach, you are able to sell books. It’s not about being in people’s faces and hollering about buying your book. So, who needs a platform and where do you begin? Let's talk about it in this episode. Get a...


Interview with Josh Funk | Writing for Children 156

INTERVIEW WITH JOSH FUNK Josh Funk writes silly stories and somehow tricks people into publishing them as books—such as the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series and How to Code a Sandcastle. Josh is also known for his expertise in social media, building an author platform before he was published, and connecting with the writing (and reading) community. We discuss: where to find Josh online.how he built his author platform.what he finds most effective.why you need a platform before you...


Is it a Memoir or Autobiography? | Writing for Children 155

MEMOIR OR BIOGRAPHY? One of the most common ways to take real life experiences and turn them into stories or books is to tell the stories of our own life. In this episode, we talk about the difference between a memoir and an autobiography and how to decide which one might be best for telling the story you want to tell. Get a FREE peek into Writers' Block here: http://instituteforwriters.com/freewritersblock


Being Inspired by Everyday Objects | Writing for Children 154

BEING INSPIRED BY EVERYDAY OBJECTS It's human nature to become attached to things. We connect specific memories to objects: when we received it, who we received it from, how we've used it. Also, objects are wonderfully concrete and specific, we feel the weight of them in our hands and see the effects of age on the object. As a result, objects can also make wonderful story and poetry starters. Get a FREE peek into Writers' Block here: http://instituteforwriters.com/freewritersblock


Creating Charaters Inspired by Real Life | Writing for Children 153

CREATING CHARACTERS INSPIRED BY REAL LIFE One way to find great characters is to look in the world around you. This seems relatively simple but may actually be harder than it sounds. Why? Because the key to creating vivid characters is writing them objectively and letting the reader draw their own conclusions. What does it mean to be objective when writing about your characters? In this episode, we work through an ICL exercise to help you see the world, and the characters in it, more...


An Interview with Jerry Craft | Writing for Children 152

AN INTERVIEW WITH JERRY CRAFT JERRY CRAFT is an author and illustrator who has worked on numerous picture books, graphic novels, and middle grade novels. His newest book, New Kid, is a middle grade graphic novel that has earned four starred reviews, including one from Booklist Magazine that called it "Possibly one of the most important graphic novels of the year." We talk about: How turning your real life experiences into fiction is different than writing straight to fiction.How to take...


Sophisticated Show & Tell Part 2 | Writing for Children 151

POINT OF VIEW AS A TOOL This and last week’s podcast is based on an article written by author and former ICL instructor Chris Eboch which touches on engaging your reader and gives some strong examples. In our episode 150, we talked about using vivid nouns and verbs instead of vague description to engage your reader in your story. In part two, we’re delving into using point of view for the purposes of showing. Get a FREE peek into Writers' Block here:...


Sophisticated Show & Tell Part 1 | Writing for Children 150

CONVEY THE WORLD OF YOUR STORY An important part of setting the stage for your story is to convey the world of your story in a way that engages the reader and doesn’t just dump a bunch of facts in their lap. I recently read an article written by author and former ICL instructor Chris Eboch that touches on this point with some strong examples. It’s so good, we’ll be talking about it for two weeks. Let’s get started with part one. Get a FREE peek into Writers' Block here:...


Set Up Your Plot | Writing for Children 149

GIVE YOUR CHARACTERS SOMETHING TO DO Summed up to its essential core, a plot is the result of applying pressure to a character to the degree that the character must act in reaction to the pressure. The pressure you apply and the reaction to it will be directly tied to the character you’ve created. An impulsive, brave, active child will take very little pressure to be pushed into an adventure, but an “easy” plot like that is rarely very satisfying for the reader. Let's talk about ways to up...


What Goes Into Effective Description | Writing for Children 148

HOW TO EVOKE DETAIL IN YOUR WRITING Today we’re talking about the art of description. This episode is inspired by Assignment 3 in the Writing for Children and Teens course. We’re going to focus on evoking in detail a particular place you remember from your childhood. That word “detail” is important, because, if you think about it, specifics are what bring a subject to life on the page—and the elements that make for interesting reading. Get a FREE peek into Writers' Block here:...