Author and story coach Lisa Cron writes books for writers, but she doesn’t teach writing.
In her books Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence and its follow up Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere), Cron maintains that it’s not beautiful prose that captures readers, but the emotions driven by story.
Throughout her speech, she gave attendees a snapshot into the science behind storytelling that will help craft a work of fiction that is more than “a perfectly-penned ‘who cares?’”
“Writing is the handmaiden of story,” she said.
And what exactly is story?
Author/illustrator Brian Won was one of SCBWI’s 2016 Crystal Kite Award recipients and faculty for this year’s Los Angeles Writers & Illustrators Day, where he was a judge for the illustration contests and critiqued illustrator portfolios. He wore many hats–busboy, shoe salesman, library shelver, art director, and designer before making the leap to children’s books. Brian graduated from California’s Art Center College of Design with an honorary ninth term before co-founding National Television, a design and animation company. Read on for his insights and advice to author/illustrators and thoughts on illustrating for others as well as news about his current and upcoming projects!
CODY, Doll Bones, Eliza Wheeler, Jen Rofe, John Ronald's Dragons: The Story of J.R.R. Tolkien, Miss Maple's Seeds, Sendak Fellow, Tell Me A Tattoo Story, The Encyclopedia of Writing and, The Encyclopedia of Writing and Illustrating Children's Books, Wherever You Go, Writing with Pictures
Eliza Wheeler is the author and illustrator of Miss Maple’s Seeds, which debuted on the New York Times’ bestseller list. She also is the illustrator of several books, including Alison McGhee’s Tell Me A Tattoo Story, Pat Zietlow Miller’s Wherever You Go, and Holly Black’s Newbery Honor-winning Doll Bones.
Wheeler will be an illustration contest judge at SCBWI’s Writers & Illustrators Day on Feb. 25.
Erlina Vasconcellos: Congratulations on being named a 2017 Sendak Fellow! What will you work on during the retreat?
Eliza Wheeler: Thank you so much. I’ll be working solely on developing my own projects; a mixture of illustrating and writing. My second book will probably be my main focus, which is about my grandma’s childhood. But I’m also going to bring all the other littler story ideas I have on the shelf just in case inspiration strikes in a way that’s different than what I expect. I’m leaving it as open as I can. Continue reading
100th Anniversary, 100th Birthday, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Chloe Dahl, Fantastic Mr. Fox, James and the Giant Peach, Knuckle and Claw, Lucy Dahl, Matilda, Roald Dahl, snozzcumber, The BFG, The Twits, Voodoo Doughnuts
On September 18, 2016, I attended a celebration of Roald Dahl’s 100thbirthday at his granddaughter Chloe’s restaurant, Knuckle and Claw, in Santa Monica. Lucy Dahl, Roald’s daughter, was in attendance, reading from The Twits and entertaining the crowd with anecdotal stories about her father. The kids in the audience were obviously fans of Dahl’s work, eagerly citing their favorite books and characters—even having some lines from the books memorized. Why do Dahl’s books resonate with children today? Lucy Dahl provides some insight. Continue reading
I’ve never written a book proposal and I don’t have an agent, but I’m the author of more than a dozen non-fiction books for kids. How did I do it? I’m a writer for hire!
Many publishers create certain series, concepts, or titles “in house,” but they often need help doing the dirty work – you know, the writing part of it. So they’ll bring in freelancers who can bring their ideas to life. I’m one of those freelancers. Continue reading
Today we’re talking with SCBWI member and former Angelino, Booki Vivat. Her illustrated middle-grade novel, Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom (HarperCollins Children’s Books), became available on September 27, 2016.
CHRISTINE VAN ZANDT: Welcome! In this debut novel Abbie Wu, the middle child in her family, is about to enter middle school. What was your process as author-illustrator from idea to publication?
BOOKI VIVAT: Frazzled has a pretty unconventional origin story. It didn’t start with a traditional pitch or a query or a manuscript. It started with a doodle—or rather, a whole bunch of them. I kept a planner a few years ago to try and get my life in order, but it ended up becoming more of a creative outlet to channel all my feelings. Doodles literally took over the pages of my life! Continue reading
New York Times best-selling author Shannon Hale (and SCBWI member) has published more than 20 children’s books. Her third Princess in Black book was released earlier this month; this middle-grade chapter book is part of Hale’s latest series.
CHRISTINE VAN ZANDT: Welcome! How long have you been writing books? Continue reading
Did you know there is an entire convention dedicated to books? Book Con is the public part of Book Expo of America, or BEA. Professional authors, publishers, book sellers, book buyers, etc. come together to share must-read books, delve into upcoming market trends, and build relationships with other literary professionals. There are panels with authors from all genres and a showroom full of major, indie, and niche publishers who sell or give away their books. (FREE BOOKS!) I went for the first time this year and came home with some amazing advice and insights from bestselling authors, including Naomi Novik, Pierce Brown, and Sarah J. Maas. And I’ll share them with you below! (My paraphrased versions unless specifically quoted.)
agents, authors, conferences, critiques, Debbie Ohi, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, how-to, illustrator tips, illustrators, Inky Girl, InkyGirl, middle grade, picture book, SCBWI events, SCBWI members, writing tips
Debbie Ridpath Ohi writes and illustrates books for young people in Toronto, Canada. Her first solo picture book, Where Are My Books?, debuted from Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers in 2015. Her illustrations appear in picture books by Michael Ian Black and in Judy Blume chapter books and middle grade reissues, as well as many others. She gave a challenging and insightful keynote at this year’s SCBWI Los Angeles Writer’s Day as well as a “master class” on social media for authors. She was kind enough to do a follow-up interview with Kite Tales to share her perspective on being an introverted author, networking, and how to attract that magical publishing lightning.