Showing posts from March, 2011

Tulips, Stories, and Hope

Last fall, I planted tulip bulbs. 100 of them. Purple, pink, and white, randomly along the borders of my front porch. And as the cold days of winter have moved across the calendar—slowly, like clouds in the wind, I’ve waited for spring.

And I’ve decided that planting the bulbs was an exercise in hope.

There is hope in planting tulip bulbs, just as there is hope in writing a story. You put in the effort knowing there will be no recompense for a long time.

The hope in a story is that someone will understand it, connect with it, embrace it. Maybe a soul will be enlightened by it, have an emotional response, an epiphany, or even just a few good laughs while reading it. The hope is that someone will admire it and find it beautiful—and share it with the world. The hope is that the hard work will eventually be rewarded.

But manuscripts must first survive a cold winter. A winter of silence, doubt, and discouragement. A period of rejection and waiting.

As long as the bulbs are in the ground, there …

So You Want to Get a Picture Book Manuscript Published?

What you’ll get if you sign up for my picture book class this June in Sandy, Utah:

1. A whole bunch of handouts with helpful writing and marketing information.

2. A list of more than 50 literary agents acquiring picture book manuscripts, and their contact information.

3. A cool souvenir binder to keep your materials together.

4. Hands-on analysis of picture books (I’ll provide them) – including the classics, best-sellers, books with gimmicks, etc., and why they work. (Or don’t.)

5. Critique sessions for your manuscripts, including a “critique sheet” filled out by class members, to help you find trends in the feedback.

6. The opportunity to analyze your manuscript from the perspective of an editor who must “pitch” your story in an acquisitions meeting.

7. A friendly classroom atmosphere in a beautiful setting with mountain views. Plus, a break from the routine of your life, and the opportunity to devote a solid week to your craft!

8. Breakout sessions with bestselling authors such as Ally C…

Serious Questions Kids Ask Kristyn Crow

That’s an excellent question. You see, Ace’s mama sews the necks of his shirts with ultra-stretch fabric around the collar. He refuses to wear button-up shirts because they’re so itchy. Picky kid, that Ace. But oh, what undiscovered talent!

They decided to go green. Three-wheeled cars use less energy than four-wheeled cars. What? Your family still drives a four -wheeled car?

Heavens, no. Hare has a mild stutter whenever he gets nervous. So the narrator is just imitating his speech patterns, for dramatic effect.

The monster was created using the DNA of a frog, an alligator, a t-rex, and a pinch of Barney the dinosaur. Somebody also threw in the DNA of a monkey, which enables him to scale trees.

How does he play them? Ultra smoothly with a cooooooool jazzy beat.

Stand up to a mirror and squish your nose against it. Look yourself in the eye while you’re doing it. That’s exactly how somebody who’s “a little snuffled” feels.

He already came out, when lightning struck his grave. It was a very st…