Writing quote

Sure, it's simple writing for kids...Just as simple as raising them.
— Ursula K. LeGuin

Friday, August 19, 2016


With Robyn Murphy infront of our house
rental on the Mendocino Coast.
   I attended the Mendocino Coast Writer's Conference during the first week of August—and came back inspired and refreshed, ready to tackle my writing. Editor Laura Atkins' Young Adult and Middle Grade workshop was fantastic. We had a lovely group of participants who gave specific, constructive yet gentle feedback on each other's manuscripts; I met another Ukiah writer who is interested in joining the SCBWI Mendocino County Meet and Greet; and, as always, I had fun hanging out with my writing buds, Amanda Conran (author of The Lost Celt) and Robyn Murphy.
   Conferences are such a great way to meet people and network with industry professionals, as well as learn more craft techniques (I learned about the "scaffolding" process for outlining your book, and that my novel should be middle grade, not young adult—a huge vision shift). In spite of receiving a partial scholarship to attend this conference, the total costs, including accommodations, can be quite pricey.
At the Hill House with Robyn Murphy and
Amanda Conran
   If time or money doesn't allow you to attend a writing conference right now, there are some good online options. Currently, I'm taking a Novel Master Class with James Patterson. Yes, that James Patterson. At $90, this 36 session webinar is reasonably-priced. You can watch the videos at your own pace, in the comfort of your own home. Of course, what you get out of the webinar depends on what you put into it. I highly recommend doing the "homework" assignments (don't worry, they're not very time consuming) and watching some additional links such as Mr. Patterson critiquing novel loglines submitted by former students. There are different webinars with a "Master": screenwriting with Aaron Sorkin, singing with Christina Aguilar, acting with Dustin Hoffman. Access these webinars at www.masterclass.com, and learn from a Master of the craft!
   And if you write for children, Mira Reisberg and the Children's Book Academy offers a series of wonderful webinars on all aspects of creating children's books, http://www.childrensbookacademy.com.
   Till next time, happy learning—and writing!