Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Join Me for a Free Webinar from Children's Book Insider's Laura Bard - January 14, 2021

FROM LAURA BARD:


I understand where you are all coming from --

there's a good reason why so many people dream about writing a children's picture book.
They present the author with unlimited possibilities.  Magic happens, dreams come true and young readers are transported into realms of imagination and joy.

Picture books also offer a chance to communicate vital messages and help children make sense of the very confusing world around them.

But, to a writer who seeks to enter their special world, picture books can be challenging and seem very intimidating. That's because every word has to count.  Every syllable has to count.  Every tiny bit of action has to count.  Every character must be just right.

If you've always wanted to write a picture book, but felt unsure about how to get started, I have exactly the thing you need to get started. 

If you're a current member who is not consistently achieving 2 or 1 Ratings, this will help you. I can attest that one of the foremost struggles members seem to have is story structure. You can pave or repave your path to success with the lessons/reminders touched upon in this webinar. 

On Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 5 PM Pacific, 8 PM Eastern, my friend Laura Backes of Children's Book Insider is offering the Rate Your Story community a free online class called How to Write a Great Picture Book.

Laura will call on her 30 years of experience as a writing educator, editor, author and publisher of Children's Book Insider, the Children's Writing Monthly to teach you how to get started right now on a new or revised picture book of your own.

You'll learn:

* The specific "rules" of picture books - and how they're different from other children's books.
* What makes a memorable picture book character .

And - this is pretty amazing - you'll also:

* Actually create - step-by-step - a picture book protagonist of your own to build your manuscript around!

Laura will take you inside the breakthrough picture book creation tool she's created (Picture Book Blueprint) and lead you on a simple process to create a truly memorable protagonist.  She'll also share an inside peek at Picture Book Blueprint, and give you a special opportunity to own this remarkable program.

Reserve your spot now (if you can't make it live, go ahead and register so you can get the replay link).  Get Started Writing Picture Books is 100% free and there's no obligation of any kind.  Register here:


It's going to be a really fun and informative session.  I wouldn't miss it! I can't wait to see you there!
Lynne Marie

P.S. Many of you know I am the Editor and Agent Spotlight Feature Columnist at Children's Book Insider -- You can find some of my Interviews here:


Monday, November 30, 2020

A Festive First Pages with Callie and Lynne (December 18, 2020) 6 PM EST

 

I'm excited to announce our *second* FIRST PAGES with Callie and Lynne! Twice the Feedback from two authors / editors!

Please feel free to share with your Critique Group!

Wear your Holiday Hat and enjoy your favorite Holiday Beverage! 

   

Clickable Link Here: https://tinyurl.com/1stPageswithCandL

Submission info below...
Remember, spots are limited!


Participants will be e-mailed the link to the Zoom Room on the day of the event. 
Hope to See you There!


PLEASE NOTE: Spork and it's imprints (Spork, &MG, Blue Whale and an exciting new one, coming soon!) are closed to submissions, so this is a good way to get your work seen!

INSTRUCTIONS:

Please format your First Pages as follows --->

Top Line - Name, Title, Genre, Word Count

Following Lines: Double-spaced. Picture books should be formatted as closely to a picture book as possible. If you use a page number, keep it on the same line as the text (or you are losing submission lines).

Make payment at:


Send as a Word Document Attachment to:

RYSSpeedpass@gmail.com

NOTE: For novels with large blocks of text, we will read as much as we can -- to the point where we would stop reading in an editorial meeting because we have read enough to make a decision on the piece. For picture books, we will likely read to the end because they are much sparser. We will comment on areas of strength and areas where the writer could make improvements. We will, also note if we would like to see more, and if the writer may send the full-manuscript to Spork Books.

BONUS: Though Spork and its imprints are closed to submissions, if we say that we would like to see more, you are invited to submit to: Callie@ClearFork.media and cc: LiterallyLynneMarie@gmail.com with the following subject line:

1st PAGES SUB: [Title] by [Author]

Payment and Pages must be received by 3 PM on the date of the event, or yours will be held and read at the next month's event.

Thank you for participating!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Happy Holidays - a FREE Script for the Star in the Christmas Play for Churches and Homeschoolers!

 Attn Christian Homeschoolers and Churches: With Love and Blessings from me and Beaming Books, here is a FREE Script to enable your little ones to perform THE STAR IN THE CHRISTMAS PLAY as a finger puppet show, a puppet show, or performance during this holiday season:


Buy the book here, on Amazon https://amzn.to/3flQTWC

If you do take advantage of this fun and festive resource,
please feel free to send pictures and any comments to me at:
LiterallyLynneMarie@gmail.com

Thanks, and Happy Holidays -- Lynne Marie



Friday, November 20, 2020

PERFECT PICTURE BOOK FRIDAY: A Crowded Farmhouse Folktale by Karen Rostoker-Gruber

 

TITLE: A Crowded Farmhouse Folktale

AUTHOR: Karen Rostoker Gruber

ILLUSTRATOR: Kristina Swarner 

PUBLISHER: Albert Whitman, 2020

JACKET COPY: 

THERE WAS NO ROOM TO SIT, NO ROOM TO PACE, NO ROOM TO REST, NO EXTRA SPACE!

Farmer Earl has had enough -- his home is too crowded. So, he visits the wise woman in town for help. She tells him to bring all his ducks in the house. And then his horses. And all his goats too! 

How will there be more room with all these animals?


Usually, with my reviews, I outline three quick reasons to read. But there are so many for this book. First of all, it is a great Mentor text in writing picture books. Karen makes wonderful use of poetic devices -- rhythm, alliteration, consonance, assonance. She employs three beats. She featured a main character who has a child-like problem (many current or former children will experience or remember their bedroom or house being too small and not appreciating it). The character undergoes a noticeable change from beginning to end, as do those around him.  It also shows a respect for and and inclination toward listening to his elders (wise woman), despite being able to clearly see the result game, just knowing that this mentor knows best and wants best for him. That's a subtle little lesson for little ones about parenting. 

But the part I love the most, apart from it being a Jewish folktale, is the truth that it speaks. Everything looks differently if we change the perspective. Knowing that is a great tool in coping in this life and one that's important to give to children. 

As to the art -- it's fun and folksy, just like it should be. 

So well done! I honestly think that this book has takeaway value for everyone, young and old, alike!

And for more fun, here's the backstory to A CROWDED FARMHOUSE FOLKTALE:

https://www.rateyourstory.org/single-post/2020/09/02/the-backstory-of-a-crowded-farmhouse-tale

# # # # # # # 

For more Book Talk, join me at my weekly TINKER AND TALK BOOK CHATS, Sundays from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM EST. Please e-mail me at LiterallyLynneMarie@gmail.com for more information or to RSVP. 






Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Our first ever, FIRST PAGES WITH CALLIE AND LYNNE for Children's Book Writers!

 I'm excited to announce our *first* FIRST PAGES with Callie and Lynne! Twice the Feedback from two authors / editors!

Please feel free to share with your Critique Group
  

Clickable Link Here: https://tinyurl.com/1stPageswithCandL

Submission info below...

Hope to See you There!


PLEASE NOTE: Spork and it's imprints (Spork, &MG, Blue Whale and a new one, coming soon!) are closed to submissions, so this is a good way to get your work seen!

INSTRUCTIONS:

Please format your First Pages as follows --->

Top Line - Name, Title, Genre, Word Count

Following Lines: Double-spaced. Picture books should be formatted as closely to a picture book as possible.

Make payment at:


Send as a Word Document Attachment to:

RYSSpeedpass@gmail.com

NOTE: For novels with large blocks of text, we will read as much as we can -- to the point where we would stop reading in an editorial meeting because we have read enough to make a decision on the piece. For picture books, we will likely read to the end because they are much sparser. We will comment on areas of strength and areas where the writer could make improvements. We will, also note if we would like to see more, and if the writer may send the full-manuscript to Spork Books.

Monday, November 9, 2020

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY: 10 Turkeys in the Road by Brenda Reeves Sturgis

TITLE: 10 Turkeys in the Road

AUTHOR: Brenda Reeves Sturgis

ILLUSTRATOR: David Slonim

PUBLISHER: Marshall Cavendish/Amazon Two Lions

I began my writing journey in 2004 when my daughter was in Kindergarten. I had attended an author visit at Baldwin Consolidated School and met author Lynn Plourde. It was at that moment that I knew I wanted to be a writer. Nobody told me how difficult it actually is, so I just threw myself into the process, writing, learning how to query, joining critique groups, and submitting. At that time, everything was submitted through postal mail, and I researched publishers in the Children's Writers and Illustrators Market Guide book.

Kelly DiPucchio, New York Times best selling author and talented author of many books was featured. I reached out to her, as she offered a critique service at that time. I sent her six stories to be critiqued. I was incredibly nervous waiting for her thoughts but she sent great feedback and told me that I had a natural ability to hear and write rhyme. Up until that point, I had zero belief in myself but KNEW deep in my heart that I wanted to be a children's published author. Throughout the years, her kind words have stuck with me and spurred me on in times of great adversity and rejections.  

We lived down a long dirt road, at Silver Lake in Shapleigh, Maine. One day, as I was taking my daughter to school, there was a rafter or turkeys blocking the road. We were late, I needed to get her to school, and I sat in the car impatiently waiting for them to move. I wanted in the worst way to honk my car horn at them to move them along, but instead...I sat and watched them and their funny antics. They would strut, then fly up into the trees, and at that moment a seed was embedded. 

I woke up at 3:00 a.m. (which is my normal writing time) with the story in my head. It unfolded fairly quickly, and presented itself to me with the refrain, "One Turkey flew away." I wrote it, and submitted it to my critique group, and got some encouraging feedback. I submitted the story to my friend Shari Dash Greenspan, the editor of Flashlight Press. She liked it but it wasn't right for her publishing house but she offered some good and valid advice about the scenes. At first, it was just about 10 Turkeys doing funny things in the road, and blocking a driver. Around this time, I submitted 10 Turkeys in the Road to Roxyanne Young's Smart Writer's contest, along with another story entitled Touchdown! (This story was about a little girl football player). Touchdown won first place in the contest, and 10 Turkeys in the Road took an honorable mention as well. 

This contest win helped me to sign with my first agent, the amazing Josh Adams of Adams 
Literary. He began submitting this story, along with Touchdown, which eventually won the MeeGenius Author Challenge and was released in e-book form.

I attended RUCCL (Rutgers University Council of Children's Literature.) This is a conference where authors are matched one on one with editors, and also have a five on five as well. I was matched with Margery Cuyler of Marshall Cavendish, now Two Lions Publishing, and owned by Amazon. 

Margery liked 10 Turkeys in the Road but asked me to rewrite it about something else. She liked the concept, she liked that it was a countdown book, from 10-1 but wanted it written about Turkeys in a circus. I was up for the challenge and went home and rewrote the manuscript, and it was submitted to her. 

She acquired the story in 2008, and it was released in 2011. This story is illustrated by famed artist, David Slonim, and the illustrations are painted in acrylic oils. Shortly after its release, it was acquired by Scholastic Book Clubs and released in softcover and in audio, it did very well and earned out the advance in its first three months. It has continued to do well over the years, and it is so fun to read to children, as they flap and gobble and fly away one at a time, always with a lot of laughter. In September it was released in softcover. 

I have found that everything in life is cumulative with one thing leading to another. It was at one of my first conferences that I met Lynne Marie, and we became fast and furious friends, who now collaborate together with several stories that we are submitting to editors. My advice to new writers is this...NEVER give up. Don't let anyone tell you it can't be done. Find a way to write something different. Overturn stones, meet friends, write, rewrite, revise, rinse, and repeat. 

Brenda Sturgis is the author of
10 Turkeys in the Road - illustrated by David Slonim (Marshall Cavendish/Amazon/Scholastic 2011), The Lake Where Loon Lives – illustrated by Brooke Carleton (Islandport Press 2014) and Touchdown - illustrated by Trey Chavez (MeeGenius 2014). Her latest picture book, Still A Family, came out in 2017 published by Albert Whitman and illustrated by Jo Shin Lee and was named a top 100 book from the New York Public Library and a top 20 book from Mighty Girl. It was recently chosen as a selection for the DOE'S (Department of Education) NYC booklist and will be featured on the PBS NYC Thirteen show, Let's Learn. You can visit her at http://www.brendareevessturgis.com/home.html,and friend her on Facebook at Brenda Sturgis.
  





Sunday, November 8, 2020

Rate Your Story News, Contest Opportunity and Re-Subscribe Request


First -- Exciting News from Rate Your Story!


 Next, we our having some problem with the Constant Contact on my website, so I have created a new mailing list. Unfortunately, my web person has not updated the website site yet doing to being slammed with work. So please send me an e-mail 
with your name and preferred subscription e-mail address to:
LiterallyLynneMarie@gmail.com 
and I can add you manually.

I look forward to keeping in touch with lots of good things in the new year!

And be sure to copy/share the above graphic on facebook and twitter and tag me for a chance to win those wonderful prizes!

Stay safe and well, Lynne Marie