When the Writing (or Drawing) Gets Tough: How to Plow Through the Block

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You may have heard about writer’s block, or have gotten stuck mid-way through a story or a sketch. Maybe you’ve redrawn the same scene multiple times only to have to throw away the paper after you’ve erased right through it. These times can be tough, and it’s hard to pick up that pencil and keep going. But that’s what you’ve got to do.

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Publicity & Marketing: A Case Study – Part 5

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by R.S. Mellette

Me and Dad

This blog-umentary started out as an analysis of hiring a PR firm for a small-press book, and I promise we’ll get back to that, but to assess that value for the month of April I have to fill you in on some personal backstory. 

You might want to get a tissue.

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Toot Your Horn!

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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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#KTChat with Amy Duchene and Elisa Parhad: Collab x Fab – 7 Tips on Collaborative Creation

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by Amy Duchene and Elisa Parhad

Editor’s Note: On Twitter this Friday (5/6/22) from 12-1PM PST, Amy and Elisa will take your questions and discuss why our stories matter, even when we think they don’t. Log into your Twitter account during our chat hour and use the hashtag #KTChat or @mention @amydishes and @SCBWISOCALLA to join the discussion! If you aren’t on Twitter, leave questions in the blog comments before the chat! 

We (Amy and Elisa) are long-time friends and co-authors of Pool Party. Luckily, we had a stellar experience working together on this project, but we know that not every collaboration ends with hugs and a publication. Collaborating together for nearly nine months on this project, we learned a lot about what works and what to watch out for so that you can find success too. Here are seven tips.

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Interview with YA Author Britta Lundin

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Southern California-based author Britta Lundin’s YA novel, Like Other Girls (2021, Hyperion) has been on several “Best of 2021” lists. Her debut YA was the popular Ship It. She’s also a TV writer for Riverdale, Betty, and The Big Leap.

CHRISTINE VAN ZANDT: Welcome to Kite Tales! In Like Other Girls, Mara’s angry outburst gets her kicked off the high school basketball team. When she’s (briefly) on the girls’ volleyball team, it’s not a good fit so she joins the football team. At first, being the only girl isn’t really a big deal, but it turns into a larger movement when four other girls join too. In your first YA book, Ship It, (about fandom) you said you wrote what you knew; because of your experiences, you’ve been on the inside “seeing how the sausage is made.” (Love that quote!) Your bio says you were a multi-sport athlete so is Girls another “sausage” story?

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Publicity & Marketing: A Case Study – Part 4

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by R.S. Mellette

Jennifer Vance of Books Forward, you saved the book! Or, you know, at least kept the release date from being pushed back to oblivion.

Spoiler Alert—At the end of this story, we finally get our cover.

Now that we have the cover wrapped up, here are some details of the issues we were having. 

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Ask an Editor: Revision and Voice

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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.

Hi Christine – My grammar and mechanics skills helped me get good grades in school but they often cause me trouble when I’m revising fiction. How do I keep from editing the voice out of my manuscript?

—Jade, Los Angeles

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How Attending SCBWI-L.A. Writer’s Day Led to a Book Deal

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by Charlotte Offsay

Unpublished and unagented, I attended SCBWI-L.A. Writer’s Day 2019 full of hope but never expecting that the events of the day would ultimately lead to a big five publishing contract. 

For the second year in a row, I attended as an aspiring picture book author, and this time around I knew what to expect. I arrived eager to soak in the wisdom of the day’s fabulous lineup of speakers and had submitted a picture book manuscript for critique by one of the event day faculty. The manuscript that I submitted was one that I had been working on for months, Gram’s Got the Magic Touch. Here is the pitch:

Gram’s leaving, and she’s taking her magic with her. Without it Rose’s baby brother Henry wails and life as Rose knows it is dooooomed. There’s only one solution, Rose needs magic powers too.

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Interview with YA Authors Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren

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Los Angeles writers Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren are an award-winning coauthor duo. In their YA, Horror Hotel, the YouTube-famous Ghost Gang—Chrissy, Chase, Emma, and Kiki—visit a haunted LA hotel notorious for tragedy to secretly film after dark. They expect it to be just like their previous paranormal huntings (spooky, but harmless) yet soon wonder if they will survive the night.

CHRISTINE VAN ZANDT: Welcome to Kite Tales! I couldn’t put down your new YA, Horror Hotel. What inspired you to write a scary book for a YA audience as opposed to an adult one?

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Publicity & Marketing: A Case Study – Part 3

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by R.S. Mellette

January 17th was my 60th birthday. All I wanted as a gift was a cover for my book.

I didn’t get it.

But I did get the reviews from Kirkus and Foreword.

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