Peg366's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘On Being a Writer

« on: August 28, 2010, 01:11 PM »

Whenever I am feeling like I should just stop writing, I come across something like this that renews my desire to write. It is nice to know that even the great writers have those times when it didn’t come easy. This appeared on Verlakay’s site and was posted by Stephanie Theban. Thanks Stephanie for sharing this.

I heard Phyllis Reynolds Naylor speak today.  She said that she used to say she had received a thousand rejections, and then she felt bad about it because she didn’t know if it was true.  She had her secretary go back and count them.  there were actually over 10,000. 

Ten thousand rejections.  She read a series from one editor who said things like, you don’t understand how to construct a story, I hate to see you spend so much energy on stories that won’t work, you can keep sending stories to me, but I won’t publish any of them until you learn something about story.

And as she said, a lot of acceptances.

It was a great reminder to perservere.


Stephanie Theban aka Leeth

Great newsletter from Darcy Pattison that arrives in my email box Check it out and subscribe.
8 Ways to Enrich Your Character: FICTION NOTES‏
From: Darcy Pattison ( on behalf of Darcy Pattison (
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8 Ways to Enrich Your Character

Character Revision: 8 Ways to Jumpstart a Make Over

You have a first draft, but you realize that your character needs work. How do you retrofit a character when you revise?

I don’t think of a personality transplant. Instead, I try to add to and enrich a character. Here are 8 suggestions on how to revise your novel’s character.

Institute for Children’s Literature newsletter that can be subscribed to:

  Rx for Writers

Writer’s Support Room – Work Habits

Sally Phillips lives in rural southern Illinois with her husband, two teenaged children, a collection of farm cats and a dog. She currently substitutes for Pre-K through 6th grades and is working on a picture book. Sally has had poems, articles, stories, fillers and activities pieces published by Wee Ones, Celebrate!, Dragonfly Spirit, Kid’s Ark, Stories for Children, Kidmagwriters and Reader’s Digest. She created two Pre-K lesson plans for the teacher resource books from Gryphon Publishing.


by Sally Phillips

No, this isn’t about recycling those rejected manuscripts. But submitting to publishers can seriously separate you from your hard earned green. There are the costs of stamps, ink, paper, envelopes and the Internet plus the amount of time and energy spent putting together submission packages. Whether or not you’re just starting out, your acceptance checks (or lack of them) may not cover all those costs. Here are a few tips to help you over this green gap.

Since I have not yet had the pleasure of getting a pb book contract, there are some areas that I have little to no experience in. I’m looking for comments on how to do a book launch for an article I’m writing. Would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

As most of my regular readers know, I love it when I read something that speaks to me as a writer. I love to point others to articles/blog posts, etc. that I think will be beneficial.

This one is from Rachelle Gardner’s site  @  Be sure to go to there and read all of her blog entries.

Rachelle’s blog post for June 2, 2010.

Today we’re going to talk about the one-sentence summary, also known as a logline, a hook, or a one-sentence pitch. (It is not a tagline, however.)

What: About 25 words that capture your novel, memoir, or non-fiction book.

Why: To get someone interested in reading your book.

When to use it: The start of a query, or anytime someone asks you, “What’s your book about?”

What it does: A one-sentence summary takes your complex book with multiple characters and plotlines and boils it down into a simple statement that can be quickly conveyed and understood, and generates interest in the book.

5 Tips on Maximizing a Writers’ Conference‏
From: Writer’s Digest (
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Planning to attend a writing conference? Read these five tips to ensure an experience you’ll savor long after you’ve left the hotel lobby. 

1. Choose sessions you find interesting
It’s no secret you need to know how to write a sparkling query, but you’re intrigued to find out how journaling can release your creative muse. Go for the muse. Hundreds of websites will be waiting at home to tell you how to write a query letter. Whenever you attend a lecture or reading, you never know what you’ll take away. That’s the beauty of being open to whatever information the speaker decides to bring.

2. Resist taking copious notes.
You’ll retain more when you are focused on listening, not rushing to take down every word leaving the speaker’s mouth. If your type-A personality insists, jot down inspiring bullet points you can hang above your desk. If you waste time taking a ton of notes, more likely you’ll miss the most important things being said and lose an opportunity to engage in the moment.

3. Mingle.
Walk around and talk with people between sessions. Find out what other writers are working on and get inspired by their imagination. During meals, sit at a table where you don’t know anyone or, if obligation demands you sit with your friends, invite someone you don’t know to sit at your table too. This is your chance to exchange ideas with other artists, so don’t be shy.

4. Talk less, listen more, and ask concise questions.
Don’t be “that guy” at the conference who is always in the midst of a 20-minute story outline. Don’t worry about impressing people. You’re here to ingest expert knowledge, not disseminate yours.

5. Bring at least one piece of your work.
Most conferences have open mic during the evening hours. Choose short pieces—shoot for 1,000 words in length or something that can be read comfortably in less than five minutes. It should be polished enough for public presentation, but be sure to bring something even if you write it specifically for the conference. Reading your work out loud builds self-confidence and helps transcend the fear of exposure common to so many of us writers.
Above all, remember the conference is the easy part. Writing is the real work that will be waiting when you return home. So enjoy yourself and let the conference energize your creative spirit; it will follow through in your writing.

This guest column was written by Jessica Monday, freelancer and aspiring novelist for the Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents blog. For more conference tips and news, click here. @
If you have an unpublished children’s story, you can submit it here.
We are offering US$1,500 worth of prize money for the 5 best stories submitted each month.
The current competition closes 30 April 2010.
You can submit from anywhere in the world.
Submission is free.


A shortlist of the 50 stories we like best will be announced on 05 May.
These 50 stories will then get narrated by kids, which we film.
The 50 films will then appear on on 01 June.
To remove bias, film positioning on the channel will be randomised every time the page is opened.
Viewers will be able to rate the stories .
After a month, 5 winners will be announced based on a combination of number of views and average ratings.
This cycle will be repeated every month. Yay!


First Prize: US$500
Second Prize: US$400
Third Prize: US$300
Fourth Prize: US$200
Fifth Prize: US$100

We are receiving submissions from all over the world.
If you are a winner outside the US, the prize money will be converted into your local currency.


Not be longer than 750 (seven hundred and fifty) words.
Text only, in English.
Must be fiction for children from 3 to 8 years old.
Poetry & rhyming stories may also be submitted.
You must be the writer or owner of the copyright.
A maximum of two stories per writer per month can be submitted.
Typos, syntax and grammatical errors will prejudice your chances of selection.
No redrafts accepted. Final versions only.


05 May 2010: Shortlist of the 50 stories announced.
01 June 2010: The completed films will simultaneously appear on the smories online channel.
30 June 2010: The 5 stories receiving the highest traffic & ratings over the preceding 30 days will win the prizes.


Stories will appear online on the smories channel only (
Full credit and copyright will be attributed to the writer.
All rights will remain with the writer.
Stories can be removed from the smories channel at any time at the behest of the writer. will hold no claim to the story in any form.

See our FAQ page (accessed via the menu bar above) for more detailed explanation of Rights.


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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July 2009

July 2018
« Dec    

My Favorites:

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.

I love the cool colors of blues and purples.Those colors are peaceful for me.

I love The Velveteen Rabbit. Even as an adult, I still feel the urge to cry when he becomes real. I know, silly, but a good book can make me laugh and cry as it takes me on a magical journey.

Authors and Illustrators:

Authors, Author/Illustrator, Illustrators that I know and/or Like.


C= Children

MG= Mid Grade

T= Teen

YA= Young Adult

A= Adult


Bonnie Adamson *

Kathi Appelt *

Tedd Arnold


Natalie Babbit

Molly Bang

Bonnie Becker

Jan and Stan Berenstain

Judy Blume

Tracey M. Cox

Linda Crotta Brennan *

Jan Brett

Janie Bynum *

Eric Carle

Pam Calvert

Nancy Carlson

Beverly Cleary

Kevin Scott Collier

Sharon Creech

Doreen Cronnin

Tomie dePaulo

Kate DiCamillo

Kathleen Duey *

Dotti Enderle

Jan Fields *

Denise Fleming

Mem Fox

Kelley Milner Hall

Amy Heist

Kevin Henkes

Ellen Jackson *

Jeff Kinney

Jackie French Koller

Ursula K. LeGuin

Leo Lionni

Lois Lowry

Mercer Mayer

Robert Munsch

Laura Numeroff

Linda Sue Parks

Dav Pilkey

Patricia Polacco

Peggy Rathmann

Bethany Roberts

David Shannon

Aaron Shepard

Donna J. Shepherd *

Cynthia Leitich Smith

Jerry Spinelli

Diane Stanley

Chris Van Allsburg

Rick Walton *

Lisa Wheeler

Mo Willems

Karma Wilson *

Audrey Woods

Jane Yolen *

Favorite Websites:

Favorite Blogs:

• ShelfTalker: A Children’s Bookseller’s Blog
• Alice’s CWIM Blog
• A Fuse #8 Production
• Cynsations
• Nathan Bransford – Literary Agent
• Editorial Anonymous
• Miss Snark’s First Victim
• Writing for children and teens

Favorite Quotes.

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