writing

Rejections and Acceptances in Writing 2018

I like to keep track of my writing rejections and acceptances by year. Sometimes when I’m feeling frustrated, just knowing I have submitted ideas, stories, and projects gives me a boost. I use Numbers to track my submissions, but I also use an old-fashioned paper notebook. The paper notebook might be my good luck charm,… Read more »

Exciting SCBWI Announcement for 2019!

I’m so excited to announce that starting January 15, 2019, I am the SCBWI Regional Advisor of Pennsylvania: West! It’s a true honor and I’m really eager to build a new leadership team and to work to support the creative members of our region. We have some great events planned for 2019 already and we’re… 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 »

Twelve Days of Writing or Keep Writing Over the Holidays

It’s so busy right now. You might let your writing take a back seat to the demands of the season, but I encourage you to stay strong and find some time to work on your craft. Here’s a little something I whipped up for the young writer that I am coaching. The Twelve Days of… Read more »

Girls Write Pittsburgh

Remember when we were in school and we had to write essays or copy lines as punishment? Why do some people make writing a punishment when it’s so redemptive? It’s like running laps when you messed up in phys ed or on another sports team. Running doesn’t punish me. It saves me. Girls Write Pittsburgh… Read more »

Highlights Foundation Workshop: Novel Beginnings

In March 2017, I returned to the Highlights Foundation for my second workshop, Novel Beginnings. Our amazing instructors were Clara Gillow Clark and Kelly Going (who writes as K.L. Going). This year I was in the Lodge, which I enjoyed just as much as the cabin. Another difference from my October 2015 visit: snow.  … Read more »

Six Word Stories Part 2

Who doesn’t love good six word stories? They are short and sweet. I am so lucky to be able to visit classrooms and hang out with kids. As a writer, there’s nothing more valuable than learning from and listening to your target audience. So when I had a chance to go into my son’s sixth… Read more »

How a Book Smells

I love how a book smells. I love that slightly dusty, dry papery smell mingled with the chemical odor of ink. Unfortunately that smell can often fade, but it’s in my memory. Writers are encouraged to use smells in their books because when our brains read the description of the smells, our sensory areas light… Read more »

Pen Parentis Fellowship Now Open

This is a photo of me in New York City with antlers, not horns. That’s significant, if you’ve had a chance to read┬ámy story “Cernunnos and Me.” The story is about being a hunter, about going after what you want. The day I took this photo was the day I attended my first Pen Parentis… Read more »

Submissions Rates for 2016

I keep track of my submission, acceptances and rejections monthly and annually. I like to see what parts of the year I am slow and prepare for that. I also like to see if I’m getting better at sending the right submissions to the right publications or if I’m still sending stuff wildly into the… Read more »