Bring On The Write Stuff at Kidlit 411

party-hatsI’m not one to do much wild and crazy partying on my birthday, but I am all about celebrating other folks’ birthdays. And when those folks happen to be a wild and crazy bunch of kidlit writers who are giving away prizes…well, it’s bring in da noise and bring in da (writer) funk, ’cause I am down with winning prizes!

They’re having a birthday bash over there at Kidlit 411 (it started yesterday with a HUGE giveaway of all things picture book related!) and it continues through tomorrow (January 7th). If you want to win, you have to jump on the rafflecopter giveaways before January 15th.

And after you sign up for everything–and join everything Kidlit 411-related–then zip over and check out all the resources offered by this amazingly talented bunch of writers from the children’s world of literature. Many of them have their own blogs, of course, and you’ll want to catch up with them (and read their lovely books!). So even if you don’t win a party prize, you’ll still be a winner, enjoying the support of this terrific kidlit community.

(And P.S. I sorta told a fib. I kinda do par-tay on my birthday, and it gets a little noisy and a bit funky town. But I don’t give away any great prizes. Unless you count the booby prize. I pretty much win that every year.)

Tuesday Tip(s): Writing a Children’s Series and SCBWI

I don’t expect everyone loves research, but for me, it’s the thrill of the hunt on the way to the treasure. And I love to pick up gems as I go.

Here’s a post I found in my search for info on editor Diane Landolf (Random House). This little gem, with all kinds of great information on writing a series for children, is courtesy of the SCBWI in Metro New York. I love a post packed with tips and this one is brimming. I also love a succinct post, and this one nails that, too. So if you have a few minutes, you can learn a little something something about series writing and what editors look for in this area.

If you have a few more minutes, you might want to read a few of the feature articles provided by the lovely folks in the Metro New York SCBWI. You’ll find tips from agents, tips on query writing, tips about setting, tips on the digital age. All succinctly written and provided for your perusal.

And here’s my last tip. SCBWI chapters all over the country have swell websites, packed with tips. Many (including my chapter, Southern Breeze), provide an online magazine with all kinds of writing-for-children information. Some, like Metro New York, update a blog regularly for even more tips. And if you’re a member of SCBWI, you’ll have access to even MORE information and tips. Not to mention the opportunity to meet some of the finest children’s writers around.

I mean, as treasure goes, SCBWI is worth its weight in gold.

Start August With Writing Fun

I cannot believe it’s already August, but calendars don’t lie (they do, however, mock you) so we need to get down to some writing business. Happily, it’s writing funny business!

I saw where Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader is having an Inanimate Object Photo Caption Contest. How fun is that? You only need to come up with a caption. Just a couple of brilliant words. That’s easy enough for the beginning of the end of summer, right? So take a look at the examples (I laughed out loud at the drunk octopus), grab your cameras, and start clicking and captioning.

I also saw that Pockets is having their Fiction Contest once again, and that should be fun if you’re in the mood to write a children’s story. Or maybe you have a story that just needs a bit of polishing before you send it out. Or maybe you’re going to take the story that you sent to the last Pockets Fiction Contest, change the names, and try again.

Or maybe that’s just me. Anyway, take a look at their Writer’s Guidelines to get a feel of the Pockets kind of story and get ‘er done before the 15th.

And extra points (and a bronze medal, at least) if you can get those done while watching the Olympics.

Finding a Contest for Writers, 4th thru 8th Grade!

Don’t you just LOVE serendipity? Here’s what happened:

I had said to myself last night, whilst pondering my Things To Do list for tomorrow, “Self, quit fooling around and post on Finders & Keepers!”  But here is what I wrote on my Things to Do Note for Monday: “F & K:   ?  ” And I had no idea what to write about when I woke up this morning.

Time passed, and the working day was nearly done. And STILL no post for F & K. But wait! I decided to zip through Facebook one last time before calling the workday quits. And there I found a post from my buddy Margo Dill who blogs over at “Read These Books and Use Them.” (A very fine blog with lots of wonderful reviews of children’s books for all ages.) She commented about a contest for 4th to 8th grade writers!

Oh, frabjous joy! So then I zipped over to Clara Gillow Clark’s blog to find out about her wonderful contest. In a nutshell, she’s giving away a copy of Spilling Ink, a Young Writer’s Handbook. But young authors can also win cash prizes and other autographed books by a slew of wonderful writers! The contest ends on May 1st, and you must write something based on the prompts provided.

Now, dash over to Clara’s wonderful blog post here to get ALL the details, and may the best 4th to 8th grade writer win!

(P.S. You do know that you don’t have to be a young writer to appreciate this writing handbook, right? Or to enjoy the website, for that matter. And you’ll want to drop in on Clara often, too.  Oh, how I LOVE serendipity!)

Like History? A Keeper of a Contest for You!

I’ve always been kind of a history nut. Like if I’m walking along a path around Native American mounds, I might say, “Wow. Four hundred years ago (give or take a decade), a Cherokee woman might have walked this exact same path.”

When my kids were little, and accompanied me on these adventures back in time, they laughed about my “Wow” remarks. That’s okay. I’ve always been seriously awed by the people who’ve walked before us. I still am. So I just might give this latest Children’s Writer Contest a go.

It’s historical fiction for age 13, up to 1500 words, and due by October 31st. And you must have a strong bibliography of resources. That’s the sticking point for me. I don’t have any historical research hanging around.

But if you’ve written an historical novel, and have tons of interesting tidbits in your research file, you should jump on this contest! You could win FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS! And if you already subscribe to Children’s Writer, you don’t have to pay the entry fee. But even if you have to pay the $15, you’ll get an 8 month subscription with it.

Um, anyone got some great historical research they’re not using? I’ll trade you for a scathingly brilliant story idea.