Monday, March 30, 2009

Reading Rock Stars

I'm back from the Reading Rock Stars school visits in the Rio Grande Valley. It was a great experience sponsored by the Texas Book Festival, Region One, and the University of Texas Pan Am (UTPA). The children enjoyed the story about The Woodcutter's Gift and asked really good questions at the end. They always want to know where a writer gets the idea for the book, how the process works, how long does it take for a book to be published, etc.

I tell my audience that a writer is a storyteller. Everyone has a story. A writer just writes it down so that others may enjoy it. During my Power Point presentation, I showed them where I got the idea for the book, the writing process from idea to final product (publication), and what I used to do before I became a writer. Events such as these rejuvenate my spirit and make me glad I am a writer. I not only enjoyed the children and the school visits, but I met other writers as well. One came from as far away as Puerto Rico.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Writing Contests

My hard copy of the Children's Book Insider newsletter mentions the author, Jay Asher, and how he "entered his manuscript in as many contests" as he could. He's now written a very successful YA novel, Thirteen Reasons Why.

If you want to test the waters like I did a few years ago, entering writing contests is a good way to start. You learn about guidelines, word count, deadlines, theme, etc., while you're polishing your story for entry. Google or browse through some of your favorite magazines for writing contests. Writing contests are a wonderful opportunity for aspiring writers. Go ahead. Do it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blogger Tips

If you're a new blogger like me, you might be interested in an article published by blogger Alice Pope, Children's Writer & Illustrator Market. It's an interview with Children's Author Donna McDine. The title of the article is "Write What Inspires You."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Write with passion. Immerse yourself in the writing process and all that it entails. Believe in yourself and never give up. A while back, I did an interview with author and blogger Cynthia Leitich Smith. You might find it interesting.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Author of Children's Books

I consider myself a late bloomer. Before my second career as a writer, I was an aerospace engineering technician. I loved my job; however, the only writing I did then was technical writing. Now I belong to a writer's critique group, which is an excellent way to receive constructive feedback on your writing. These sessions can help in honing one's writing skills. If a writer can find excellent critique partners like mine, thank your lucky stars. Joining writers' clubs and attending writers' conferences also opens up a whole new world for writers. Not only can you network, but you find lasting friends that share your passion for writing.

I live in Texas, and in a couple of weeks, I am going down to the Rio Grande Valley, which is close to the Mexican border to promote literacy through an annual event sponsored by the Festival of International Books & Arts (FESTIBA). My school visits are part of the Reading Rock Stars program sponsored by Texas Book Festival, which is an aspect of the FESTIBA literary event. I will keep you posted.