Friday, August 21, 2015

POETRY FRIDAY: A Haiku for Back to School

Thanks to Catherine at Reading to the Core for hosting Poetry Friday today
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This summer brought a whirlwind of travel and fun for our family—we camped at the mountains and the lake, spent time with family and friends, and finished our “summer tour” with a quick trip to Charleston last week.
One of the sweet turtles at the SC Aquarium's sea turtle rescue

But on Monday, our summer officially ended and my boys went back to school. Although it is hard for me to believe, they are now in the seventh grade! 

My boys on the first day of school

To celebrate back to school, I am sharing a haiku for Poetry Friday today. Wherever you are, enjoy your last few weeks of summer, and Happy Writing!

Lazy summer days
Collide with early mornings
No more sleeping in

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Great Websites for Children’s Writers

I get super excited when I come across helpful websites to use during the writing, editing, and marketing process, so I am sharing a list of my favorite online resources today. Please include any of your favorite sites that are not here in the comments below—I am sure I have missed some, and would love to have as comprehensive a list as possible!

General Writing Resources:

SCBWI (the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) is a wonderful resource, with local groups in many states:  www.scbwi.org

The SCBWI Blueboards (formerly the Verla Kay Blueboards) are a wonderful resource, and access to most of the information does not require membership in SCBWI. Lots of published authors, illustrators, and agents post regularly, and it is such a great support group for the children's/young adult writing community: https://www.scbwi.org/boards

Absolute Write is another great (free!) site for writers of all genres. Check out the forums:  http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums

Rhyme Zone is one of my favorite writing sites! You can look up rhymes, definitions, famous quotes, synonyms, antonyms, etc. for any word. I use it ALL the time! www.rhymezone.com

Visual Thesaurus is also a great tool. There is a small yearly fee, but it has been worth every penny to me!  http://www.visualthesaurus.com

Harold Underdown is an experienced children’s editor who freely shares his knowledge about writing for kids:  www.underdown.org

“Grammar Girl” Mignon Fogarty is a go-to resource for questions about grammar:  http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is observed every November by writers brave enough to tackle a first draft of their novel in 30 days. The whole concept is very inspiring, and the NaNoWriMo community is so encouraging: www.nanowrimo.org

The Poetry Foundation is an excellent resource for poetry lovers: http://www.poetryfoundation.org

The Academy of American Poets also has a fantastic poetry website:  http://www.poets.org

The American Library Association is a great resource for anyone interested in children's books: http://www.ala.org

The Children's Book Council has a fabulous site, as well, and is a handy resource for finding children's books: http://www.cbcbooks.org


Agent and Editor-Related Sites:

AgentQuery is a good agent-hunting site. Click on "Blog Roll" in the left-hand column for a good list of agent and editor blogs:  www.agentquery.com

Query Tracker is a great site for tracking submissions to agents and editors. A basic membership is free, but you can pay $25 for a premium membership:  http://www.querytracker.net

Publishers Marketplace costs $25/month, but is worth it while agent hunting. It has great information on what is getting published these days:  www.publishersmarketplace.com

Publishers Marketplace also has a free weekly children's publishing newsletter called PW Children's Bookshelf. Go to: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/index.html and click "subscribe" if you are interested. 

Writer's Digest editor Chuck Sambuchino's Guide to Literary Agents Blog has super information:  http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents 

The Predators and Editors website lists agents and editors, and has tons of other information:  www.pred-ed.com

Literary Rambles is a website that has a huge list of literary agents specializing in children's literature. Every agent is not listed, but Casey and Natalie add new agent profiles regularly:  http://www.literaryrambles.com