Tag Archives: Institute of Children’s Literature

Finding My Voice

During the past year, I’ve found and joined groups, made connections, and gained insight to the process of, at least, becoming a writer. Dare I say in casual conversations I’ve even let it slip out that I AM a writer, a very bold statement of commitment. I get a little giddy every time it slips out, too. Funny, I also feel guilty if I say I’m a writer and yet, at that exact moment, am not writing. Is that weird or what? But thank goodness for the start of this year, and for resolutions and goals. And thank goodness for some amazing community heavy’s who warmly poke and prod at me every single day to get up and write something. Specifically, the women behind Start The Year Off Write, 12 x 12 and Sub Six. These groups/clubs have sparked a fire in me, and I’ve literally written something every day of this year. I realize it has only been 16 days, but it’s a start.

I also found my voice through these groups. I’ve begun speaking up and commenting, at first with a simple “I agree!” or “Great job!” but it’s something. And until now, I’ve been tremendously timid about letting anyone else read my work for fear they might burst my “I love it so much” bubble. However, after participating, and commenting on other community members’ First 250 Words and query letters, I realize it’s a good thing. In fact, it’s a GREAT thing and I cannot wait to submit my first 250. As far as I can see from other shared feedback, I only stand to learn and to make new friends and acquaintances.

So today, even in the wee, wee morning hours in Billund, Denmark, where I am visiting on business, I’m writing this latest blog post after already having mapped a brainstorm session around a chicken-centric story, and added new details to a BBQ-basted (haha) story, I’m ready for the day. Actually, I’m ready for nightfall, when I get to elaborate on my ideas and jump back into various writers’ forums where I can continue to learn this craft of writing, and speaking up.

 

Most Recent Steps:

*Submit stories to Rate Your Story for a general score – first score returned… 5. It’s a start.
*Enter seasonal and monthly writing contests through the Institute of Children’s Literature, Highlights, and RYS
*Actively participate in 12 x 12 by reading and sharing thoughts on stories and queries.
*Write, brainstorm, formulate, write, revise, get ready to share.

A Start At The Very Beginning

“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. When you read you begin with A-B-C, when you sing you begin with Do-Re-Mi,” …and when you write you begin with S-C-B-W-I. That is, if you’re writing for a youthful audience!

My first step in getting serious about writing happened about a year ago when I decided to join the Ithaca chapter of the SCBWI. Until then, I’d been writing casually for most of my adult life and creating picture books for my family through Shutterfly. When the apple dropped at midnight, ringing in 2013, “doing something” about my special interest was tops on my resolution list. So, here I am.

I’ve made new friends within SCBWI, I’ve started and completed the course at the Institute of Children’s Literature, learned how to take constructive input, and have submitted a handful of stories to various children’s magazines. This was a good start and a terrific introduction to the writing world. As far as I can tell, it was a matter of getting my feet wet.

Now 2014 has arrived and I have a new set of resolutions; dedication, involvement, effort, time, and networking. Through my peers at the Ithaca SCBWI, I have found my way into enthusiast’s groups I didn’t even think to look for and my eyes are open to the path ahead. This blog is about my journey; the steps I take, the information I learn, the books I read, the people I meet. I look forward to sharing it with you.

Most Recent Steps:
*Sign-up for (and complete) the Institute of Children’s Literature course.
*Join the local chapter for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
*Write – Write – Write