Toot Your Horn

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TOOT HORN

SCBWI members’ publishing news is something to celebrate here at Kite Tales! Check out whose book is coming to a platform near you or around the world. Horn-tooting and digital hi-fives welcome in the comments!

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#KTWriteOn with Newbery Winner Christian McKay Heidicker: THE DESPERATE AUTHOR (Getting Good with Low Time and Resources)

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Welcome to the Kite Tales Writing Challenge: #KTWriteOn. Each writing challenge is crafted by a kid-lit publishing professional to help spark ideas, creative energy, and get your work moving out into the world.

This exercise was created by Christian McKay Heidicker, the author of the Newbery Honor-winning Scary Stories for Young Foxes, Thieves of WeirdwoodCure for the Common Universe, and Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he reads and writes and drinks tea. Between his demon-hunting cat and his fiddling, red-headed fiancée, he feels completely protected from evil spirits. He wasn’t always an award-winning author. Read on for Christian’s excellent advice and exercises:

THE DESPERATE AUTHOR (Getting Good with Low Time and Resources)

By Christian McKay Heidicker

It took me twelve years to get my first book published. So in the interest of your sanity and my conscience, I’m going to tell you how to get better at this writing thing no matter what your obstacles are. Don’t have time? Don’t have money? Blessed with the attention span of a fruit fly? I experienced that in spades, my friend. And I’ve got some workarounds. All you need is a little window of time every day, a handful of unique shortcuts, and maybe some heartbreak. (That last one certainly helped me.)

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Drawing Inspiration: The World Inside

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El_Matador

Setting is a powerful tool. When authors describe setting, they often use sensory descriptions and figurative language to bring out the story world. But when illustrators need to translate those descriptions, what do we do? We can’t draw how something smells or feels. Or can we?

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Ask an Editor: The Difference Between a Comic Book and a Graphic Novel

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“Ask an Editor” is a forum wherein SCBWI members submit questions that are answered as part of our quarterly Kite Tales blog.

Dear Christine – I’ve always loved reading comic books and have an idea I’ve been thinking about but it’s pretty long. So would that be considered a graphic then? Thanks.

—Ryan, Rancho Cucamonga

Dear Ryan – It sounds like your book would be categorized as a graphic novel. Here’s a recap.

COMIC BOOKS: The term “comic book” may remind older readers of the spinning racks where you picked up the latest issue of a favorite story. Comic books originated about 90 years ago in the United States. Today, the choices are vast—there truly is something for everyone.

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2020 Mentorship Contest Winner with Mentor Nicole Maggi

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by Nicole Maggi

MENTORSHIP1

Being a writer sometimes ruins me for being a reader. It’s a rare book these days that can supersede my hypercritical mind, so when I find myself so lulled in by a story that my picky brain stops whirring, I know I’m in for a good read.

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Why Write a Novel in Verse?

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by Sherry Shahan

While cleaning out my office I unearthed a shoebox filled with letters from a friend who served in Vietnam during the tumultuous 1960s. I spent hours poring through his astonishingly truthful accounts of this war. I knew I had to do something with his letters; after all, I’d kept them nearly 50 years.

Since letters inspired me to write Purple Daze: A Far Out Trip, 1965 (Authors Guild Back-in-Print Edition, 2020), it made sense to incorporate journal entries, notes, and letters into the narrative. I then began writing sketches about other high school friends and some of our more histrionic experiences. Once I began scribbling, memories assaulted me twenty-four-seven. Continue reading

Toot Your Horn

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TOOT HORNSCBWI members’ publishing news is something to celebrate here at Kite Tales! Check out whose book is coming to a platform near you or around the world. Horn-tooting and digital hi-fives welcome in the comments!

 

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Working From Home Tips: An Illustrated Guide

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Working from home is the new reality for many. It’s also a privilege that I am certainly grateful for. After all, even though events have been canceled or postponed and book launches are being impacted, for a lot of us in the writing and illustrating industry, we’re likely the best equipped to work from home.

Processed with VSCO with k1 presetFor the last three years, Emma Trithart, an L.A.-based illustrator, hand letterer, and graphic designer, has been with a digital agency that is primarily “work from home”. Just before the stay-at-home orders were announced in California, she posted her illustrated guide So You’re Working From Home (Very Specific Tips From One Person’s Individual Experience] on Instagram.

“Being used to office life, it was a bit of an adjustment… but now I love it,” Emma said. “I figured I could impart this little chunk of experience from my own life on others who might be struggling to get used to working from home.”

Whether you’ve gotten used to working from home or are still adjusting to the New Normal, here is Emma’s guide: Continue reading

#KT250 On Hiatus, But You Can Still Engage With Us!

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Hey SCBWI members! We LOVE celebrating your work with our Kite Tales exclusive #KT250 contest, but due to circumstances beyond our control, which we know you are all feeling right now, we need to put this one on hiatus for a bit. Look for updates on Facebook and Twitter for when the contest is running again.

In the meantime, please check out the SCBWI-L.A. region contest page for any current contests, grants, etc. You can also connect with us, and each other, on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, so join and follow. And many of our LitMingles are still meeting online.

It’s 100% okay if you aren’t up to writing right now. But if you are, don’t forget, SCBWI is offering virtual, FREE writing workshops! Keep an eye out for registration info as they go live and the recordings will be available online to all members for one month after each workshop. Regional webinars are also still ongoing.

And as always, Kite Tales posts and archives are available for your perusal!

If you have other ideas for/know of other ways to connect with the SCBWI writing community, please share them on social media or here in the comments.

Thank you for your understanding and stay safe out there, friends!

For more fantastic content, community, events, and other professional development opportunities, become an SCBWI member today! Not sure if there is a chapter in your area? Check here.

#KT250 original photo by Amador Loureiro on Unsplash.