As you celebrate Independence Day, why not free yourself from the agony of the query letter with the third installment of the Kite Tales Writing Prompt: #KTWriteOn? Each writing challenge is crafted by a kid-lit publishing professional to help spark ideas and creative energy. This prompt was created by Bridget Smith, an agent at Dunham Literary, Inc., where she represents middle grade, YA, and adult novels, including contemporary fiction, historical fiction, and science fiction & fantasy. She is also the co-host of the podcast Shipping & Handling, and you can follow her on Twitter @bredalot.
By Bridget Smith
As an agent, I very often hear complaints from writers about how hard it is to write a good query. And I sympathize! I have written many pitches myself, after all. But unfortunately, it’s a necessary skill – and it doesn’t stop once you get an agent, either.
Luckily, with all the pitches I’ve written, I’ve figured out a formula that can give me a workable draft quickly. This isn’t necessarily the form your final pitch needs to take: I’m always delighted to see a pitch that breaks out in interesting ways, whether it’s hauntingly minimal or a clever inversion. And, of course, there is LOTS of room here for adding flavor: voice! Jokes your characters would make! Emotion! Tension!
But if you have absolutely no idea where to start, here’s a handy map:
Welcome to the second installment of the Kite Tales Writing Prompt: #KTWriteOn. Each writing challenge is crafted by a kid-lit publishing professional to help spark ideas and creative energy. This prompt was created by author and SCBWI volunteer Marilyn Cram Donahue whose latest middle grade novel, When Crickets Stopped Singing (Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek), will be published on March 20.
By Marilyn Cram Donahue
Are you looking for a boost of creativity? All you need is a pile of old magazines, some tape, and a sheet of 11”x17” paper. This is the ideal size, but you can also tape two sheets of regular typing paper together.
Step 1: Open the magazines and choose pictures that speak to you. Don’t analyze. Just think “AHA! I like that.”
Step 2: Rip out the pages you like and use your fingers to tear around the edges of whatever part of the picture speaks to you. Why are you tearing?
Just in time to help power your new year’s writing resolution, we’re introducing the Kite Tales Writing Prompt: #KTWriteOn. Each quarter, we’ll feature a writing challenge crafted by a kid-lit publishing professional. To kick things off, here’s a writing prompt created by Chronicle Books Senior Editor Melissa Manlove. As a bonus, Melissa is inviting submissions related to this exercise. Read on for details.
By Melissa Manlove
This writing prompt is for storytellers. Even those of you not interested in nonfiction—keep reading! We need you!¹