My creative well is feeling a little empty. Maybe yours is, too. Here’s a peaceful waterfall to help you refill.
Take a look at the income survey results from Authors Guild.
Authors don’t make a lot of money writing books. We usually juggle lots of different types of work. At the same time I was writing my seven recent projects I was teaching two different writing classes.
I was also doing marketing for school visits and other public events, hoping to boost book sales.
I turned down at least one request for a unpaid school visit in the past month.
Authors, we need to value our work, so others value it, too. Please don’t do school visits for free.
And schools, community events – please don’t ask authors to speak for free.
I’m so excited to share my new story in Highlights for Children! (March 2020)
I joined Nonfiction Fest this month, and I’m already learning a lot.
Nonfiction Fest is organized by a great group of nonfiction writers that call themselves the Nonfiction Chicks.
Basically, I read a post a day to learn something incredible. There’s also an activity grid with helpful tasks to keep us nonfiction writers working.
Here’s a post from author Beth Anderson about how she organizes her research before she writes. I’m excited to say I do a lot of the same thing – only I use Scrivener.
If you’re into Nonfiction, get int Nonfiction Fest!
Does your young reader love non-fiction? Are they an inventor? A doctor? A kid with big ideas? Looking for books that encourage a growth mindset? The “Learning from Bad Ideas” series is for anyone who wants to know what worked, what didn’t, and why.
Medical Mishaps: Learning from Bad Ideas.
See some of the world’s most messed-up medical mishaps at a microscopic level. Find out how each procedure, tool, or surgery failed, the basic science that was missed, and what doctors learned from their mistakes.
Please consider buying from your local bookstore first!
Gadget Disasters: Learning from Bad Ideas.
See some of the world’s greatest gadget disasters from the palm of your hand. Find out how each gadget failed, what went wrong with its design or manufacture, and what programmers learned from their mistakes.
Please consider buying from your local bookstore first!
I’m so excited to share that I’ve joined STEAM Team 2020! This is a group of writers who have STEAM books for kids coming out in 2020. STEAM is science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.
Also, use the hashtag #steamteam2020 to find out about all of the books and events.
Many authors will be sharing reviews of books and announcing book birthdays on their blogs. I will add more blogs soon! Check out:
I have two STEAM books for kids out right now. They are Medical Mishaps and Gadget Disasters. Both of these books are published by Captsone. Medical Mishaps covers old and incorrect ideas about medicine and medical treatments. Gadget Disasters is perfect for young inventors who want to hear about failed inventions.
Later this year, my book The Science and Technology of Leonardo da Vinci will be released. I worked with Nomad Press to publish this book. I can’t wait to celebrate!
What are some of your favorite STEAM books for kids?
This past summer, I had a great time hosting a Pittsburgh creative writing camp for kids ages 5-12. I didn’t plan to have such a wide age range, but lots of things in life happen different than we plan!
Before the class started, I had a pretty decent curriculum planned for kids ages 9-12. I was prepared for this age group, because I also host an after school writing club at our elementary school. But when I saw I had young kids in this camp, I had to REVISE the entire thing that first afternoon.
Luckily writers are familiar with revision.
I feel pretty proud of the new version of the camp. It’s perfect for pre-literate kids who want to write books. We review mentor texts – many books with little or no words! – then create our own. It’s a little bit of STEM, a little bit ELA, a little bit ART, and a lot of fun.
I’m planning to host a camp at a local bookstore this summer, so stay tuned!
In a previous post on submissions, rejections, and acceptances, I discovered I had a yearly average just above 10% as an acceptance rate. Also, I noticed my submissions aren’t consistent throughout the year. I’m OK with that! Everything ebbs and flows. I’m really happy with the past year (2017) in terms of WHAT I submitted and how much I earned, especially for fiction writing. One acceptance isn’t quite the same as every other. In 2017, for instance I had my first fiction story appear in Highlights!
But I still love tracking this data. I’m eager to see what I can accomplish in 2018.
February is Black History Month.
But wait. It’s November. Why am I writing about reading books about black history?
Because black history is American history. And I love reading and writing about American history. I especially love learning the stories in history.
Have you read Lift Every Voice? This beautiful book is by Pittsburgh author Kelly Starling Lyons. She’s a contribute to The Brown Bookshelf, a blog where you can find even more information about black voices, especially those creating for young readers.
ALL young readers.
I first learned about Kelly’s books thanks to my local bookstore, Riverstone Books. Local bookstores are the heart and soul of the story-telling world.
No online book seller hosts meet the author events.
No online book seller brings authors and illustrators to your town to meet children.
Only local bookstores help children see someone who looks like them, telling stories about them.
Support your local bookstore. Visit The Brown Bookshelf and find a new book to love.