Writing Advice

Nuts and Bolts and Chocolate

Picture book author Tony Johnston has over 125 books for children in her repertoire! She was kind enough to speak at the 2011 Southern California SCBWI Writer’s Day and share her immense knowledge and insight. This was one of the most heartfelt talks I’ve ever been too. Johnston is passionate and moved by her responsibility…

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Finding the Heart to Unlock Your Story

Newbery Award winning author Susan Patron spoke at the 2011 Southern California Writer’s Day. A former librarian and lover of children’s books, she had a lot of heartfelt insight on writing for children. Her talk ranged from finding the courage to write to insights from childhood. The following are my notes taken from her presentation:…

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Dig In!

Author Margaret Peterson Haddix spoke at the 2008 SCBWI LA conference. The following bits of wisdom were mentioned in her keynote speech: Dig In! “Dig In” – Focus on this now. What makes your character’s dig in? “Why” why are your characters doing what they are doing? A Bit about Voice… Character’s Voice – see…

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Why Do You Write?

The following notes and bits of wisdom come from author Bruce Coville and were jotted down during his 2008  SCBWI LA Keynote Speech: Ask Yourself… “Why do you write?” After you’ve asked yourself why you write, push the “why” as far as you can! (i.e. I like to tell stories. WHY? Stories help us to…

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Your Manuscript is Ready. Are you?

Author Jill Alexander and her agent Michael Bourret spoke at the 2010 SCBWI LA conference about what happens in the time between selling your first book and getting it published. Why We Created this Breakout Session: For Alexander the transition between un-published and published felt like it happened in a whirlwind and overnight. So she…

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Climbing the Publishing Mountain

You’ve got a long climb ahead of you, so wear a comfy bra! Young adult author of novels in verse, Ellen Hopkins, began her keynote speech at the SCBWI 2009 LA Conference with this phrase. The following is her advice on how to persevere and get published! Climbing the Mountain: It takes a long hard…

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