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.Continue reading
by Rieko Mendez
Editor’s Note: This is the second of three installments on What to Take on Your Writer’s Journey. Look for the third installment next month that will explore deeper revision.
I’ve been writing YA fiction seriously for the last five years. Like many of you, I’ve immersed myself in books on the writing craft and consumed every minute of workshops I could afford. Early in the pandemic, I lived for those free SCBWI digital workshops. In these blog posts, I want to share something different — the less obvious, yet crucial insights that upped the game in my writing journey.Continue reading
By Ann Rousseau Smith, SCBWI CenCal News Liaison
Need a boost to your creative juices? Join us for a weekend of writing and revising beside the sea on January 21 to January 23, 2022.
Our get-away-to-write retreat will be held at the Cavalier Oceanfront Resort in San Simeon, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.Continue reading
by Edward Underhill
Editor’s update (6/1/21): The deadline for the SCBWI-L.A. 2021 Mentorship Contest has been extended to June 18, 2021! Get your entries in ASAP!
In March 2020, my partner had just moved her work home for the foreseeable future, my day job was suddenly paused while everyone scrambled to set up remote work, and Los Angeles was entering lockdown. With the roads suddenly quiet outside and more time on my hands, I decided to take a risk and submit my newly finished YA novel for the SCBWI-L.A. Mentorship Contest with mentor Nicole Maggi.
by Amy Rubinate
Audiobooks are an increasingly important part of the literary marketplace, and there is a high likelihood that every book will become an audiobook sooner or later. In light of this shift in the market, authors may wonder if they need to keep the audio version in mind when writing, and adjust their writing style to accommodate this medium. I would suggest that the answer is yes, even if the changes are subtle or few. But let’s start with the easiest adjustment: using audiobook techniques to your advantage as part of the writing process.
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 Weirdwood, Cure 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.)Continue reading
CHRISTINE VAN ZANDT: Welcome to Kite Tales! I’m currently enrolled in your online ten-week Lyrical Language Lab. Your instruction (from Italy!) during the pandemic has been seamless. How has teaching this course been different?
Complete Idiots Guide to Publishing Children's Books, editing, Eileen Robinson, Harold Underdown, Highlights Foundation, Kid's Book Revision, process, publishing, revising, revision grid, The Purple Crayon, WD2020, writing
Harold Underdown is an independent editor and publishing consultant, with over 30 years of experience in children’s publishing. He’s the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Children’s Book Publishing and has worked as an in-house editor for Macmillan, Orchard, and Charlesbridge. The collegiate atmosphere of publishing is what drew him to editing and developed his passion for helping writers bring out their vision.
He will be sharing his expertise at Writers Day on March 28 and leading a pre-conference revision workshop for those lucky enough to have grabbed a spot. (You can sign up for the waitlist here.) He’s also been generous enough to share some tips with us at Kite Tales.
Books Festivals, business, ComicCon, Conventions, Critique Day, Down The Rabbit Hole, LA Comic Con, LitFest, marketing, news, OC Book Fair, PAL events, SCBWI events, Working Writer's Retreat, Writers Day, writing
Need a creative pick me up? How about a new avenue for book promotion? Or maybe you just need some quality time with like-minded writers and illustrators working on their craft. SCBWI has you covered on the craft of kidlit and our region’s list of local book festivals and conventions is sure to broaden your creative perspectives!
SCBWI Sponsored Events for 2020
Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles
Dive into craft and “Discover the Words Worth Keeping” with a full day of keynotes, critiques and agent pitch sessions. A special pre-event intensive with Harold Underdown will also give a new perspective on approaching revision to polish your work in progress. Contests, manuscript reviews and scholarships will also be available. Need more insight? Read author Charlotte Offsay’s recap of last year here.
A week into 2020, are you still working on your goals for the year? If your goals include things like sharing your work/personal successes, being more active in the SCBWI community, increasing your online presence, or helping fellow writers/illustrators by sharing your expertise – then you should consider submitting to Kite Tales!
Here are some of the key ways you can be featured on Kite Tales. Continue reading