General writing

Real Books Better Than E-books

Sometimes I think real books are better than e-books. I’m not anti-e-book, because I love to read and e-books make it so easy to read. I love using my library’s app to find an e-book, check it out, and start reading. It saves me the time and gas of driving to my library! I’m not… Read more »

Would Stuart Little be Published Today?

Based on an idea I call the Stuart Little Experiment, I think it’s harder to be published today in children’s literature. I’m reading Stuart Little with my kids right now. At first they were reluctant to start it. I don’t give in to complaints easily, and they can’t resist me reading to them while we… Read more »

2018 SCBWI Western Pennsylvania Fall Conference

Registration is open for the 2018 SCBWI Western Pennsylvania Fall Conference!  The conference will be November 9 and 10 at the Hyatt Pittsburgh Airport. Our faculty this year includes Samantha Gentry, Charlotte Wenger, Susan Graham and Stephanie Fretwell-Hill. Linda Camacho will also be providing critiques. We’ll have new PAL-led sessions and a pitch party on… Read more »

Improve Your Writing: Senses

Writing conferences offer a lot of great tips on how to improve your writing. One tip that’s always stayed with me is to use at least three different sensory descriptions in a scene. Using at least three senses helps readers visualize the scene better and it makes the scene more real. Here’s a snapshot of… Read more »

Looking for Writing Help

Can’t wait to dive in! Are you looking for writing help? My writing friend gave me a stack of Writer’s Digest magazines on Thursday, bringing my total to 14. 14 glossy collections of insightful advice, commentary and exercises from experienced writers who for the most part, know their art and the industry pretty well. These magazines… Read more »

How to Organize Writing Ideas

I’m always looking for ways to organize writing ideas. I have a lot of them and yes, not all the ideas are great. But I do a variety of writing, from magazine articles to crafts, educational market fiction and non-fiction, and I hope to produce books for the trade market, too. That’s why it’s important… Read more »

Middle Grade Summer Reading List

This summer, my critique group is working through a middle grade summer reading list. We’re trying to read a book a week, and we are answering questions about the book when we’re done. Here’s our summer reading list. The questions we answer for each book are below the list. Middle Grade Summer Reading List The… Read more »

How to Be a Published Writer

The secret to being a published writer isn’t just writing – it’s writing and submitted. Recently, I received an email from someone asking for advice on how to be a published writer, and the first thing I suggested was that they should write every day. Every Day. The second step on the path to publication… Read more »

Can You Debate the Meaning of Words?

While a lot of things are uncertain and fluid in our world, I wonder if we can debate the meaning of words. My oldest son has a pretty decent vocabulary, but in seventh grade, he missed several words on a recent vocabulary quiz. I looked over the list. His grade surprised me grade, because I saw… Read more »

Tools for Writing a Novel

I’ve been to many conferences were successful writers share their tools for writing a novel, and I now have my own set to share. I am working hard to get my current manuscript done – and basic proofreading corrections made – before February 26. The novel is called DNF (Did Not Finish) and it’s middle… Read more »