Showing posts from 2010

An AMAZING Opportunity for Readers and Writers in Utah!

Readers and Writers….SAVE THE DATE!

August 21, 2010
The Waterford School
1700 East 9550 South
Sandy, UT 84093

The Children’s Literature Association of Utah (CLAU)





Help us put books in the hands of underprivileged kids in Utah!

DAYTIME WRITING WORKSHOP: (Pre-register by August 15 $60/Walk-in $70)
Love writing? Spend a fabulous day with award-winning Utah authors! Get hands-on writing advice and move your manuscript closer to publication! Author panel, critiques, and book signings. Lunch provided.
(For adults and children 12 and older.)

EVENING EXTRAVAGANZA: (Pre-register by Aug. 15- $10/Walk-in $15, Family price $25) Book-Lover but not a writer? Or, just looking for a fabulous night out? Come to an evening extravaganza with entertainment by singer Nancy Hanson, The Divine Comedy troupe, a celebrity author panel, and a raffle with prizes that will astound you! (Adults and children over 12.)


Adventures in Authordom

Being an author can sometimes bring about strange adventures. For example, a week ago I found myself in Beryl, Utah.

Yep. Beryl.

I hadn’t heard of it either. But a school librarian contacted me several weeks prior and asked if I’d do a school visit there. Beryl? I looked it up. That’s FIVE hours away. Whoa.

There were a million reasons to say no. Reasons like: I’ve got seven kids and mounting laundry, gas is expensive, and ten hours on the road would be horrendous. I told the school I’d need my travel expenses covered. Fine, they said. And, I’d have to charge them additional fees for the assemblies. Fine, they said. And…I’d need a screen, microphone, and a projector wired with sound….fine, fine, fine. I clicked on a map on my laptop and showed my husband. “Should I go to Beryl?” I asked.


“Beryl, Utah.”

“Barrel like a barrel of monkeys?”

“I’m not sure. But it’s five hours away, in the middle of nowhere.”

He leaned over and squinted at the map. “Yeah, you should do it.”

“I should?”


Get Serious about your Picture Book Writing Career!

I am so happy to be part of the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Workshop in June! If you sign up for my picture book class, here’s what you’ll get:

Picture Book Extravaganza – We’ll spend some time each day reading and analyzing some of the most fabulous picture books out there.

Instruction in topics ranging from writing a great read-aloud, to creating more action in your text, to finding an agent, to working with an editor, to making your manuscript irresistible.

A souvenir binder with art from one of my picture books.

Hand-outs that cover the most important aspects of picture book writing which you can refer to again and again.

A few surprise guests from the picture book world.

A thorough list of websites, agents, publishers that accept non-agented work, and other resources to help you in your publishing quest.

An honest, careful critique of your picture book manuscript and suggestions to make it the best it can possibly be.

Break-out sessions on all kinds of writing topics, by…

Bedtime at the Swamp Video Montage

When I go to visit elementary schools, the students really love to play rhythm instruments along with the refrain in this book. Because there's a refrain, even reluctant readers, active learners, or very small children can join in by being the "echo." Kids can stomp, clap, and snap to the beat. They become active participants in the story, which can boost reading skills.

The (formerly at BYU) Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Workshop

Hello picture book writers! I wanted to invite you to register for my picture book class in the June 2010 Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Conference. This is an exciting opportunity for me, because nine years ago I came to this very conference as an unpublished writer--a housewife with a writing hobby. I had a dream of getting published but didn't know what to do about it. Because of the things I learned there and the connections I made, I have since sold manuscrips to Putnam, HarperCollins, Scholastic, and Albert Whitman. Now returning this year as a faculty member, I'm eager to pass along what I know. And let me assure you -- the conference is fabulous. You'll be blown away. It's not an exaggeration to say it changed my life. It was worth every penny I spent. So I invite you... register for my class and I'll do everything I possibly can to help you get closer to publication. If you're serious about your writing goals, or even if you just crave a we…

The Middle-Child Blues Trailer

Plan A FABULOUS Literacy Night!

Creating enthusiasm for reading is one of the greatest things a school can do for its students. Well-planned Literacy Nights, where parents attend with their children, can boost that enthusiasm enormously. As a picture book author, I’ve had the opportunity to attend numerous literacy events at elementary schools. Some were a raging success, and others fizzled. I’ve paid close attention to what I feel worked and what didn’t. Without naming any particular schools, I thought I’d share my observations.

Ideas that Worked :
1. Cheap Dinner: Serve a free dinner at the school to start off the night – such as hotdogs and chips. The most recent literacy night I attended offered this cheap hotdog dinner on a first come, first-served basis. The response was overwhelming, and the school was packed. Food, especially food based on a literacy theme (see themes below) will draw more people to the event.
2.Attendance Prizes: Prior to the evening, announce that there will be prizes awarded for the class…
Last Thursday night I had the opportunity to be the guest author for Jordan Ridge Elementary's Literacy Night. Jordan Ridge was one of 32 schools in the nation to be selected to receive a literacy grant from the National Council of PTA. So after my presentation, I was signing some books when a group of distinguished, wonderful women came my way. I was able to meet representatives from the National PTA!! They were absolutely delightful, energetic, funny, and fun. We posed for some pictures together at the signing table! I was so honored. I was also lucky to speak with members of the Utah Board of Education, who came to attend the event. There was an article about this in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Thanks to Jordan Ridge Elementary for inviting me to be part of this fabulous night! And a BIG congratulations to you all!


My agent just informed me that Albert Whitman & Company has made an offer on my manuscript, THE REALLY GROOVY STORY OF THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE. We accepted it. This was a manuscript I had mentally "shelved" and had almost entirely wiped from my mind. How exciting that I'll get to see it in print! I've heard that Albert Whitman is a fabulous publishing house to work with and that they tend to keep their books in print for a long time. GROOOOOOVY!

I'm going to have a busy year. I've got a number of school visits set-up each month. I'll also be presenting at the UVU Forum on Children's Literature in March, and am on the faculty of the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Workshop which will be held at the Waterford School this year in Sandy, Utah. This is very exciting for me, considering the fact that I came to that workshop in 2001 as an unpublished writer. Because of the advice I received and the connections I made, I was able to g…