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Cherry Orchid Irrigating Ditches Mid Century

Six Minutes to Uncover a Memory

At the August 2019 Los Angeles SCBWI Conference for children's writers and illustrators, award-winning author Meg Medina shared a terrific writing tip she uses to draw on her history. She takes 6 minutes every morning to write about a specific childhood memory. So I set my timer and wrote. What a great way to uncover and reveal the time, feelings,…

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SCBWI LA Conference Tips!

This has to be one of the biggest gatherings of children's writers, authors, illustrators, editors, art directors, interested friends and more. Given it's size, here are a few tips from my frequent attendance: Bring your water and coffee mug - save on trash. Pick your sessions carefully based on topic for your work needs, or who is a likely that…

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Regional Writer Conferences Verses National Conferences

When examining the needs to improve your craft, the investment in conferences, intensives, retreats, and local workshops become important tools in career development. What stage are you in your work? Beginner (know nothing about the industry) Pre-published (been writing and need to deepen your knowledge of craft in characters, plot, dialogue, querying, submitting, etc.) Advanced Pre-published (had professional critiques, attended…

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Change at SCBWI and More Time to Write

After 12 years of running the San Francisco North and East Bay Region, first as Assistant Regional Advisor and then as Co-Regional Advisor, I stepped down on 9/1/18.  Our region is a tremendous success, with over 30 programs a year, and twenty enthusiastic dedicated regional team members. I look back and I've done over 200 programs, Intensives and Conferences, hosted…

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Mentoring is a gift

I just finished the 2018 Nevada Mentor program for children writers. My mentor was author Terri Farley. She was amazing. Two complete reviews of my middle grade novel, The Big Bad Book Club, with sensitive, serious direction and revision guidance. This is an incredible program. I recommend every children's writer apply to a mentor program. The outstanding feedback and advice…

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Middle Grade Craft Program, The Corte Madera Inn, June 16, 2018

Digging deeper into your craft is a critical keystone for SCBWI. So since I write middle grade, what better event than to organize a Middle Grade Masterclass! With 4 outstanding authors, 45 people will hunker down and go deeper into their work and be guided on ways to improve their craft. Not to be missed! Middle Grade Masterclass, June 16,…

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Mentoring – a gift to writing and writers

It is a gift to have someone help you along a journey to improve, such as a coach or a counselor. But in writing, a published author who takes you under their wing, gives you critical, helpful commentary on your manuscript and provides guidance on revision is invaluable. The SCBWI Nevada Mentorship program does exactly that. 12 published writers and…

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Getting Away to Write

I'm a big proponent of getting away to write. I think I do some of my best work when I can solely focus on writing and take uninterrupted time to work out snarls and inconsistencies. Perhaps you are the same way.  For several years, our SCBWI region has done a creative retreat at the Green Gulch Farm  Zen Center in…

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Invest in Your Writing – Treat it like you are an athlete

I find the investment in writing is like developing an athlete. You need to find experts, lay out a training plan, run with others, get advice and help from others, and continue to pace and develop your skills. Writing is  like running. The SCBWI conferences, intensives, meetings. and critique groups are my writing marathon training plan. There is an event…

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