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Highlights Email

Posted on: September 28, 2009

Publishing Insights from YA Author Rich Wallace‏
From: Highlights Foundation (
Sent: Mon 9/28/09 12:13 PM

Here at the Highlights Foundation (HF), we’re always interested in getting into the heads of published authors and sharing their insights with other writers. We decided to ask YA novelist Rich Wallace a few questions to ferret out some insider info that can help you reach your writing goals.

HF: These days, what do you think it takes to get a first YA novel published?

Rich: Above all, perseverance. In this economy, things are tight, but great novels are still getting published. With even more competition for those few spots on publishers’ lists, it’s more important than ever to really hook the editor with interest, surprise, and emotion right up front.

HF: If you could share only one snippet of hard-earned knowledge with YA writers, what would it be?

Rich: Don’t ever talk down to your reader.

HF: What do you see as the benefits for writers in taking workshops with published authors?

Rich: In a small-group setting, you get to ask those perplexing questions in a relaxed atmosphere and get a personal response. The real key is that supportive attention from an author as well as the others in the group. I find that a lot of the learning comes from group discussions.

HF: Thanks, Rich! We really appreciate that an author with more than twenty books to his credit would share tips with other writers.

Award-winning author Rich Wallace has been nurturing writers to define their voices while carving out a strong list of works himself. Since penning Wrestling Sturbridge, voted a top 100 best sports book of the twentieth century, Wallace has gone on to write more than twenty novels, all of which are still in print. Heralded as an important voice in literature for boys, Wallace’s range spans from chapter books to YA novels. His middle-grade series, The Winning Season, is a perennial best seller.

If you’d like to learn more from Rich, he will be teaching WRITING NOVELS FOR YOUNG ADULTS for the Highlights Foundation from November 12-15, 2009. The workshop takes place near Honesdale, Pennsylvania, at the homeplace of the Founders of Highlights for Children. Founders workshops pamper writers with airport chauffer service, cozy cabins, a top-notch chef, and an intimate teaching setting in the living room of the Founders of Highlights for Children!

For more information, visit Please feel free to share this e-mail with others who might find it of interest.

Highlights Foundation, Inc.
814 Court Street
Honesdale, PA 18431
Phone: (570) 251-4500


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I am an aspiring picturebook writer with some magazine credits just no picture book contract yet. I know it is coming and I am more than willing to work for it.

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I love the children's movies Wizard of Oz and the Neverending Story. Both movies make me feel the lesson that hope is alive and well. After seeing UP this past week, it just might have a chance at being added to this list.

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• ShelfTalker: A Children’s Bookseller’s Blog
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