Saturday, January 24, 2015

So this happened . . . a.k.a.. SQUEEEE!

Last May, on my (now largely ignored) photography/creativity blog, I spread the word about Lee & Low Books' New Voices Award.

I also blogged about my New Learning in writing a picture book.

And then on this blog, I wrote about my Sender's Remorse for sending in my manuscript to the Lee & Low New Voices Award.

So here's what happened: I won their Honor Award. Yep. I did. That manuscript that I doubted so much? Won their Honor Award, their second place. Out of 180 manuscripts they received, mine won second place.

I was, I'm pretty sure, screaming into the phone when I got the call. Pretty sure I was not professional at all. Pretty sure it was completely surreal and still is.

I feel validated. This definitely served to spur me to continue on this writing journey when I was feeling a little soggy about it. But I'm not losing my head. I do realize that my manuscript fit a certain niche at a certain time for a certain publisher and that I am very lucky to  have been chosen. Sure, I did a lot of hard work on that story, but I had a great beta reader (Alison DeLuca) and will need to do a lot more work on it so that it is publishable.

But my biggest take away? Finish your shit!* This was my first manuscript that I finished. (Don't read this, Lee & Low people. I'm really very professional and finish everything I start. Ahem.)  I have several unfinished starts, but yep, this was the first one I finished. BIG lesson. Finish your shit.*


*from Chuck Wendig's terribleminds blog and book, The Kick-Ass Writer.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Building Character(s)?

Last summer, I took an online course (LOVE them for flexibility) about building characters at KidLit Summer School from the nerdy chicks at KidLit Writing School. It was awesome. The blog posts, tasks, webinars, and guest bloggers were very helpful in creating new ways to think about character more deeply.

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen is now preparing to run an in-depth course: Character Building in Picture Books. If you've ever thought about writing for children, this would be a great course to take. Sudipta has 18 picture books either in print or scheduled (Tyrannosaurus Wrecks, Hampire, Duck, Duck, Moose, to name a few) and is very personable and helpful.

Get over to KidLit Writing School quick and register! Classes begin January 26.