Wow! Sometimes my intention to take a short hiatus from blogging stretches a lot longer than anticipated. So, just a brief recap of what's happening in my writing world:
1) My picture book story "Lion Dancer" has still not found a publishing home. Grr...It has, however, been revised again for the umpteenth time. It's had one professional edit and has been submitted for another. In the meantime, my agent has submitted it to Charlesbridge Publishing and Scholastic but we have not heard back from either. Publishing can be such an excruciatingly slow process.
2) Speaking of excruciatingly slow processes, a picture book manuscript I wrote about 12 years ago, "The Rock Maiden", has just received an offer from Wisdom Tales Press. It's a re-envisioning of an old Chinese folk tale from Hong Kong, and over the years, I've been told that folk tales are a hard sell, editors are only interested in them for anthologies etc., etc. Sometimes, one has to wait for the right publisher to appear. I found Wisdom Tales Press through the Multicultural Children's Book Day website which I had participated in for the last two years and Wisdom Tales was a sponsor. Exploring their website, I discovered they focused on world cultures and published mainly multicultural stories. It was a perfect fit! They had an online submission process so on a whim, I submitted "The Rock Maiden" and didn't hear back from anyone for almost a year! Imagine my surprise when the President of the publishing house contacted me. The moral of the story is: Never Leave Any Rock (no pun intended) Unturned.
3) I am teaching a basic Scrivener workshop on June 6 for the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) at the Book Passage in Corte Madera, CA. from 1 - 3 pm. The workshop has sold out! I love this program so am looking forward to introducing other writers to it. Even if you're not registered for the workshop but want to come by for a chat or get a book signed, I'll be hanging out on the patio outside of the cafe from 3 - 4 pm.
4) I attended the SCBWI Novel Intensive on May 16. Very informative and enjoyed the sessions on dialogue and voice, although I found the dialogue session with author Bill Konigsberg more helpful and better structured with participant involvement. In addition to learning about the craft of writing, these workshops also give me the opportunity to study other writers' presentation styles and consider what works well and what doesn't so I can incorporate new approaches to my own presentations and workshops.
If you're a writer of children's books and haven't joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, do so now! You will get support, resources, craft-based workshops, retreats, not to mention camaraderie with your fellow writers. Check out some of their upcoming events in your area here.