Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Make sure in your travels today you make note of the physical features, dialogue and actions of all the ghosts and goblins - you never know when you can use it in your writing.

Happy Halloween - Have a festive day!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

4th Annual Muse Online Writers Conference

4th Annual Muse Online Writers Conference

This is the area to register for the 4th annual Muse Online Writers Conference:

October 12 - 18, 2009

Place your membership in INDIVIDUAL EMAIL only.

Updates only by Lea Schizas for the conference.

No email exchange between members.

You are responsible to update and reregister if you change your email address.

Updates and Info emails will go out once so you need to go into the Messages and find them to update yourselves on news about the 2009 Conference.

Tell your friends to register early because this year the cut off date for registrations is August 1st. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Thank you.

Lea Schizas

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mayra Calvani ~ Virtual Book Tour ~ November 4, 2008

Mayra Calvani, co-author of The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, to visit Donna McDine's blog - Write What Inspires You! - on:

Tuesday, November 4th

An excerpt...
"Are you passionate about books? Do you have a talent for easily capturing the essence of a book after having read it? Do you often feel the desire to share your thoughts about a book with readers? If you answered "Yes" to these questions, then book reviewing can be one of the most satisfying, rewarding activities you'll ever undertake. In fact, book reviewing can become addictive."

To learn more about Mayra and her latest book, visit on November 4th to read more of Mayra's guest post. Mayra is happy to answer any questions you may have.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Publishing Wheels Roll Slowly

At least they roll slowly for me. An SASE returned home today with a form letter, no name, no ms. title, so I looked up that publisher to see what I sent, couldn't remember. Well, no wonder. In July, 2007, I sent this editor a query. Heh, heh. The stamp on the envelope should have been a clue. It wasn't the latest stamp. I'm surprised the post office even delivered it. Not to worry though. This particular manuscript sold this summer. I filed the "not interested" letter with the others.

So it's Friday again. Short week. It will be a short weekend too. Tonight I'm working at a fund raiser for our local Friends of the Library. We've just started it and this is our first attempt to raise money. We'll see how it goes. I'm not sure what we're doing. Will find out when I get there. (Can you tell I'm not in charge?)

Saturday, I'm signing copies of Listen to the Ghost at a Paranormal Conference. Speakers from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and I'm not sure where else will be there. It should be fun. Who knows? I might even meet a ghost or two, not counting the one in my story. They're also collecting cans of food for families of soldiers deployed to Iraq and giving away prizes, like an overnight stay at a haunted hotel in nearby Archer City.

Have a great weekend.

Happy reading and writing.

2009 SCBWI Winter Conference - New York City

Registration for the 10th annual SCBWI Winter Conference in New York City opens November 5!
The conference takes place January 30-February 1.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Debut Free Newsletter – “Write What Inspires You!” by Donna M. McDine

Debut Free Newsletter – “Write What Inspires You!” by Donna M. McDine

Coming off the inspiration of The 2008 Muse Online Conference, I am embarking on the maiden voyage of my debut FREE newsletter, “Write What Inspires You!” to be published December 2008 and monthly thereafter.

Each issue will contain:

Welcome Message
Author, Editor and Illustrator Interviews
Book Review(s)
Proclaim Your Successes
Reflections or Dreams

Additional categories may be added.

The December 2008 issue is booked with exciting submissions, except for the category Proclaim Your Successes. Go ahead and submit your news to be included in the debut issue.

If you would like to contribute or be an interview subject for future issues please contact Donna McDine at and pitch your idea. Please note this is a Non-paying market, but exposure is already building even before the first issue has been released.

To subscribe to the FREE “Write What Inspires You!” Newsletter, send an email to Donna McDine at: and indicate Free Newsletter in the subject line


Visit Donna at opt-in at the top of her home page.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Here’s to your inspiration!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Highlights Foundation

In conjunction with the Highlights Foundation, longtime editor and publisher Stephen Roxburgh launches a new program of practicums for writers and artists. Roxburgh's first two offerings will be Editing for Writers, February 12—15, 2009, and Classic Models for Writers and Artists, April 16—19, 2009.

For each practicum, Roxburgh will select six applicants to work within an intimate setting at the homeplace of the Founders of Highlights for Children. These intensive practicums have been designed for writers and artists serious about their craft who want to identify problems in their work, develop strategies for improvement, and put those strategies into practice with the supervision and guidance of a highly experienced editor and publisher.

Classic Models for Writers and Artists will provide concrete models from classic children's literature targeted toward improving each participant's writing, thereby contributing to a deeper understanding of genre and craft. Group discussions will focus on general aspects of writing. One-on-one meetings will focus on each participant's work. Throughout, the emphasis will be on the craft of writing. Each participant will be given a customized reading list for further study.

Editing for Writers will show writers how to see objectively in order to edit their own work. The practicum will focus on the participants' work and developing skills critical to evaluating the work, from word selection to sentence structure, from paragraph building to character development to plot structure. Group discussions will focus on common aspects of writing embodied in all the participants' work. One-on-one meetings will focus on each participant's writing. Throughout, the emphasis will be on the craft of reading critically and writing.

Stephen Roxburgh has been involved with children's books and publishing for more than thirty-five years, first as an academic, then as senior vice president and publisher, Books for Young Readers, at Farrar, Straus, and Giroux; and as the president and publisher of Front Street Books, a small, independent press he founded on April 1, 1994. In 2004 Front Street was acquired by Boyds Mills Press, where Stephen was publisher until September 2008.

Roxburgh has worked with such authors and artists as Felicia Bond, Nancy Eckholm Burkert, Brock Cole, Carolyn Coman, Roald Dahl, Donna Diamond, Madeleine L'Engle, Martine Leavitt, Patricia McCormick, An Na, Marilyn Nelson, Adam Rapp, Alvin Schwartz, George Selden, Uri Shulevitz, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Garth Williams, and Margot Zemach.

Stephen lectures and publishes widely on children's literature and children's publishing. He is on the faculty of the Highlights Foundation. For many years he was on the faculty of the Radcliffe Publishing Program, the Stanford Publishing Program, and the Columbia Publishing Program.

For more information and an application, 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

Friday, October 10, 2008

77th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition - WINNER!

77TH Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition

I am thrilled to announce that I received notification today

that my entry entitled, "The Golden Pathway,"

has placed in the top 100 of the 77th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition

in the category: Children's/Young Adult Fiction

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Stories for Children Magazine

Come Take an Adventrue in the World of Ink!

Come take an adventure in the World of Ink with Stories for Children Magazine, a monthly Ezine for children ages 3 to 12 years old.

Did you know that the love of reading is often times triggered by an adult reading good children's stories to very young children? Some expectant parents read to their babies while they're still in the womb and continue every day after they're born. Stories for Children Magazine was designed to unlock your children's imagination and take them on an exciting adventure into the World of Ink with Stanley Bookman from Storyville as their guide on the magical monthly trips.

Each monthly issue is loaded with fun stories and articles based on age-appropriate reading levels. There are also puzzles, games, children's book reviews, crafts, and poems to inspire the imagination. Children's authors or illustrators are also known to stop by, hoping to make new friends along their journey into the World of Ink.

Stories for Children Magazine is not just for adult writers. One thing that sets Stories for Children Magazine apart is that we also publish stories written and illustrated by children and teens. While submitting stories to children's magazines, editor VS Grenier was shocked to discover that few magazines allowed underage writers. She vowed to change this and has done so with Stories for Children Magazine. SFC magazine encourages readers who are our future writers and illustrators to submit to all areas of the magazine so that our readers can become a real part of the adventure that's found in the World of Ink.

There has always been an enchantment about reading a good children's story. Children take pleasure in having a story read to them anytime or anywhere - whether it be around a campfire, under a starry night, in their beds wrapped up tight in snuggly blankets, beneath a shady tree on a hot summer's day, or in front of a roaring fireplace on a cold winter's day. Children love to listen to a story being read and this can go as far as adolescence. So sit back and let the authors and illustrators at Stories for Children Magazine take you and your child along with Stanley on a magical journey into the World of Ink!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Third Annual Cybils Awards

Nominations for the third annual Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards (the Cybils) are open now through Wednesday, October 15th. The goal of the Cybils team (some 100 bloggers) is to highlight books that are high in both literary quality and kid appeal.

This year, awards will be given in nine categories (Easy Readers, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fiction Picture Books, Graphic Novels, Middle Grade Novels, Non-Fiction Middle Grade/Young Adult Books, Non-Fiction Picture Books, Poetry, Young Adult Novels). Anyone can nominate books in these categories(one nomination per person per category). Nominated titles must be published between January 1st and October 15th of this year, and the books must be in English (or bilingual, where one of the languages is English). To nominate titles, visit the Cybils blog ( between now and 15th. A separate post is available for each category - simply nominate by commenting on those individual posts. If you are not sure which category to choose for a particular book, a questions thread will also be available.

Between October 16th and January 1st, Cybils panelists (children's and young adult bloggers) will winnow the nominations down to a 5-7 book short list for each category. A second set of panelists will then select the winning titles for the different categories. The winners will be announced on February 14th, 2009.

The Cybils lists, from long lists to short lists ( to the lists of winners (, offer a wonderful resource to anyone looking for high-quality, kid-friendly books. The Cybils team has worked hard to balance democracy (anyone can nominate titles) with quality control (two rounds of panel judging by people who focus on children's books every day). They do this work because they consider it vital to get great books into the hands of children and young adults.

Please spread the word on your own blog (if you have one) and good luck if your book is nominated!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Lurie Heads to Hyperion

Lurie Heads to Hyperion
Stephanie Owens Lurie has been named editorial director of Disney Book Group’s Disney-Hyperion Books imprint, beginning October 20.
She will oversee the publishing programs for both Disney-Hyperion and the Disney-Jump at the Sun imprint. “Stephanie is a seasoned leader with a phenomenal history of building strong editorial teams and nurturing both established and emerging authors and illustrators,” said Jonathan Yaged, v-p and U.S. publisher of Disney Book Group, in announcing Lurie’s hire.
Lurie comes to Disney from Dutton Children’s Books, a Penguin imprint, where she was president and publisher, working with authors including Judy Blume, Brad Barkley, Heather Hepler and Eva Ibbotson; her nine-year tenure also saw the launch of Judy Schachner’s SkippyJon Jones series as well as the career of Printz Award-winner John Green. Lurie replaces Donna Bray, who, along with Alessandra Balzer, left Disney-Hyperion this past spring to start an eponymous imprint at HarperCollins. read more

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Book Review ~ The Secret of Yahweh!

Hello on over to The National Writing for Children Center - and read my book review of "The Secret of Yahweh!" by LeFerna Arnold-Walch and be sure to leave a comment.

Also, take the time out to read all the other valuable posts at NWFCC.