Archive for October, 2009

All you need is a bit of Magic

Writing Magic, that is!

writingmagic_coverPublisher Comments:

Do you want to write stories that catch your readers and never let go? Have you ever wondered how to create a book as magical as Ella Enchanted, as touching as Dave at Night, as captivating as Fairest?Well, now you can find out! In Writing Magic, Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine shares her secrets of great writing. She shows how you, too, can get terrific ideas for stories, invent great beginnings and endings, write sparkling dialogue, develop memorable characters—and much, much more. She advises you about what to do when you feel stuck—and how to use helpful criticism. Best of all, she offers writing exercises that will set your imagination on fire.

With humor, honesty, and wisdom, Gail Carson Levine shows you that you, too, can make magic with your writing.

Check out this fantastic book written for young writers and read my review on Powell’s!


October 29, 2009 at 12:08 am

Ready, Set, NaNo!

OK, I’ll make this brief, I’m saving up all my words for NaNo, ya know!

TheSecretoftheSacredScarab_coverOn Tuesday, November 10, stop in and talk to published author, Fiona Ingram. Fiona will give you writing tips and use examples from her newest novel: The Secret of the Sacred Scarab. And if you like Egyptian themes, you’re in for a treat! Fiona will also provide a long list of sites and books to check out to feed that Sphinx craze!

Then come back here throughout the month of November for some rockin’ novel prompts.

I’ll have quick, intriguing ideas on how to take your novel in a new direction. Some prompts will be silly, some scary, some just absurd. It will depend on my coffee level that day : )

Feel free to add your own prompts – you may help another NaNo’er push past a block.

Bring your friends! Bring your Teacher! Bring your Teacher’s Friends! And let’s NaNo!

October 29, 2009 at 12:04 am

Inspiration from other Young Writers

Are you a young writer who wishes to be published? Maybe even win a writing contest?

So many young writers don’t think there’s a place for them. But that’s not true. Do your research! Opportunites are out there!

Check out this young writer and read her inspiring interview. This could be YOU!

What inspires you to write and submit your work?

October 27, 2009 at 12:02 am

Markets for Monday!

It’s Monday, so how about some writing markets to pursue?

Guidelines for Young Authors

A Fly in Amber invites submissions by young authors and artists under the age of 18. Make sure you have parental permission to submit works to our website — we will need to work with them as well as you in the event your piece is accepted. Please indicate that you are a young author by checking the appropriate box on the submission form.

Response Time, Rights Selling and Payment Rates

  • A Fly in Amber buys First Exclusive Electronic Rights to all works we accept for a period of six months. After that, any and all rights revert to the author. We ask, though we do not require, that you allow us to maintain a copy of your piece in our archives. However, you may request that we remove your work from our site at any time after our initial six month period expires.
  • We pay a flat rate of $10 per piece. Artwork pays $20 per piece. Works selected as our features receive an additional $10 “prize payment.” Payment method, as well as any additional per-submission considerations, will be negotiated at the time of acceptance.
  • Make sure to provide current contact information with your submission, as this is our only means of getting in touch with you should we accept your piece for publication.
  • We strive to give every submission a response within 60 days of receipt. If it’s been more than 60 days since you submitted your piece and you have not heard back from us, please send us a query at In all probability, the absence of a response indicates that something went wrong with our response email — perhaps we filed the wrong address or otherwise could not deliver to the address you provided.

Bookworm Magazine publishes the stories, poems, essays and artwork of kids ages six through fifteen.  It is edited by Sophie McKibben, who founded the magazine in 2004 when she was in sixth grade and noticed that there weren’t a lot of places for kids to get their work into print.

Bookworm comes out four times a year and has featured the writing and art of kids from all over the United States and, so far, five foreign countries.

Bookworm is always on the lookout for writers and artists.  You can submit your work electronically to You can also send submissions by mail using the address on our Be a Contributor page.

October 26, 2009 at 12:02 am

Are you ready to NaNo?

ywp nano logoNaNoWriMo is not some texting lingo, guys, it’s only the COOLEST, CRAZIEST, LARGEST project of writing across the globe.

Excited yet?

You should be! National Novel Writing Month begins at the stroke of midnight on November 1 (after all the candy-munching goblins have scampered off to bed) and goes through midnight November 30: 1 month, 30 days, 50,000 words.

A Novel. In one month. Write it. Don’t edit it. Get it down on paper or computer. Upload it to the YWPNaNo site to be showered with riches and glory. OK, you’ll receive a cool certificate to print out and a rockin’ badge for your site, blog Facebook page, what-have-you, plus the bragging rights you’ll have that you wanted to write a novel and you did it!

I know you’re thinkin’ I’m crazy and you can’t do this.

Yes, I am and yes you can!

What’s neat for young writers, is the flexible word count limit you can select. On their site, they list your grade in school and how many words you should shoot for (for your goal.) There are character and plot discussion rooms, forums on settings and word war games. Wanna know more?

You have to sign up! It’s free. it’s fast, it’s FANtabulous.

You’re going to join me, aren’t you?

Be my buddy: register yourself then come back and click this link to get to my page and see what I’m working on!

Check back here later and I’ll be posting survival tips for NaNo. Cause it’s jungle out there…

October 21, 2009 at 12:01 am 1 comment

Terrifying Tuesday

Illustration by Robert P. Hernandez

Illustration by Robert P. Hernandez

Alright, young writers, let’s get the ghouls to come out and scamper on our pages.

Your Terrifying Tuesday prompt:

While babysitting your 2-year-old nephew in the park, he runs back to you covered in mud and carrying a severed finger. Someone else’s severed finger. Write!

October 20, 2009 at 12:02 am

5 Prompt Friday

girlonlaptopNo excuses! Now get writing!

Play the 5 W’s game: on 5 post it notes (or torn slips of paper) write at least 3 of each:

Who: (can be as basic as “girl” or as detailed as “5th grade teacher – male”)

What: write out 3 different scenarios unrelated to your “whos” like: Running in a 5 k; tasting sushi for first time; just lost best friend

When: this could be a time of day, month, year or historical period

Why: this would be based on the struggle or villain or an emotion: because she was selfish; to get revenge; always the underdog; greatest fear is public speaking

Where: could be a basement, outerspace, a closet, on  hiking trail – use your imagination: create a place!

Now, toss all these W’s in a bowl, hat, bag, what have you – and select as many or as little as needed to get an idea flowing. Try it – and report back here! That’s an order, soldiers!

October 2, 2009 at 12:02 am 2 comments

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Young Writers Program: NANOWRIMO

Young Writers Program NANOWRIMO
October 2009
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