Tuesday, September 20, 2011

For Writers - Follow Your Passion... and the Market

Happy Tuesday!

Given the turn of events since I returned from the Most Excellent SCBWI Conference in LA last month, I'm behind in sharing some of the nuggets of wisdom I picked up from the indescribable line-up of children's book industry luminaries who were there. Here's a wise bit of counsel from Jon Sceiszka:

Combine your passion with the market.

As writers, we are told time and time again not to chase the market, but this was a good reminder that we should at least be aware of it. For example, Jon loves history, but he found it was difficult to get boys to read chapter books. They tend to gravitate toward thinner books with fun covers. So, he wrote THE TIME WARP TRIO to appeal to boy readers while giving him the avenue to write what he wanted to write.

So, follow your passion. Write what moves you. But also have an idea how your work will fit into the marketplace.


This Weekend I'll be at the Northern Ohio SCBWI conference in Cleveland. Ohio SCBWI friends, I hope to see you there!

Next month I'll be presenting at the Emerald City Writers' Conference with Jen McAndrews. RWA followers, I'll look for you there!

We'll also be offering a month-long online class, digging into the mythic structure in YA fiction. You can register through Carolina Romance Writers.

Finally, check out the cover reveal for my next series, LIGHTS, CAMERA, CASSIDY (in post below). I'm lucky to have had all my book covers so far designed by the lovely and talented Theresa Evangelista, who has done it again with this new MG series (coming in March 2012.)


"There are no new ideas" Ha. (Face the Page)

Children's Authors Who Broke the Rules (New York Times)

Simple Habits for Writers that Make a big difference (Change The World With Words)

Universal Story - Test Your Story (Plot Whisper for Writers and Readers)

Playing to Win (Kristine Rusch)

Best Advice I Ever Got (Anna Staniszewski)

When the Going Gets Tough (Writer Unboxed)

What Writers Can Learn From the Bestseller Lists (Alan Rinzler)

Up The Stakes (Genreality)

How I Learned To Read My Work Out Loud (Beyond the Margins)

Reading Fiction Improves Empathy (The Guardian)

A Writer's Main Objective (KidLit.Com)

The Deadly Sin of Writing #7 - Treating the reader like a Moron (Kristin Lamb)

14 Do's and Dont's for Introducing Characters (Anne R. Allen)

9 Essentials for Writing Your Climactic Scene (Publetariat)

7 Ways to Develop Dazzling Dialog (Jody Hedlund)

5 Writing Secrets from William Shakespeare (Tips and Tricks)

5 W's of Writing (Genreality)

5 Writing Tips Learned From a 2-Year-Old (Buried in the Slush Pile)

To Plot or Not to Plot #2 (Ingrid's Notes) (Part #1 from last week here)

Headhopping Gives Readers Whiplash (The Editor's Blog)

Why Writers Write and Readers Read (Writer Unboxed) Looking for a hero

How Do You Know When To Stop Tweaking Your MS? (Deadline Dames)

Sidekicks: Who is the Robin to Your Batman? (Plot to Punctuation)

First Novels - When to Hold and When to Fold (Project Mayhem)

Why I Pushed My Heroine off a Cliff (Almost) (Writer Unboxed)

Making Your Hero Sympathetic (Word Play) Why he absolutely must pet a dog

Curiosity Killed the Cat... (Harry Potter for Writers) ...But Captured the Reader

How to Avoid Dated Writing (The Literary Lab)

Voice Matters - Does Yours Fit Your Genre? (Fiction Groupie)

Word Choices Affect Voice (Writers' Notes)

Voice is Not Everything, (but it is vitally important) (The Sharp Angle)

Monologue on Dialogue (Fiction Muses)

Backstory - How Much and When (Paranormal Point of View)

I Said, He Said, She Said POV (The Other Side of the Story)

If You Can't Describe Your Story, There Probably Isn't a Story (Scott Egan)

Misconceptions About Outlining (Wordplay)

Now go. Write!