Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Okay, for those of you who absolutely don't want to listen to me talk for 12 minutes (that was SO not my intention), I will summarize at the bottom. If you're going to watch it, I apologize for the length and the few times I accidentally hit the mic. And the fact that I get distracted... and ramble... and yea. Enjoy. :)


1. Lois Lowry - A lot of readers ask how she gets her ideas (and if she has a dog...which she does). Lois does something that I think is super cool and interesting: she writes plot couplets. For example, for Gossamer she wrote, "A haunting phrase - a little more - / Imagination - take wing - soar." From those ten words she crafted a book. How cool is that?

Personally, I think this just goes to show that we're all different and we all have our own processes, so don't worry about conforming or doing things a certain way. Write. Write on your terms. Write your way. Just make sure you keep writing.

2. Dan Lazar of Writers House - In short, Dan talked a lot about good and bad queries. He did say that the children's market is more competitive than ever but that there's also more room for new things too. Taboos seem to be virtually non-existent these days, and while magic and fantasy are obviously still selling it's even more important for you to have a new/fresh twist if it's something that's been done before. *cough*vampires*cough*

According to Dan, MG is 8-14 and YA is 14+. (Just fyi.)

5 things to keep in mind for submissions:
     -Age: Know your age group, because it is an important factor in labeling your book.
     -Voice: This was unquantifiable for him; you know it when you see it.
     -Situation: Contemporary, magical,... This actually comes across like setting and your world, like any rules you might have.
     -Tone: Literary, artful, commercial, contemporary...
     -"Magic:" Unexplainable love for the project.

Next time I'll start with Alessandra Balzer's breakout session, at which she gave us a handout of the top 10 things she looks for in submissions. And I have a couple of reviews coming your way soon. Oh, and Valentine's Day. Hope it was a good one or is (where ever you may be).


Jill Hathaway said...

Great info!

Looking forward to hearing Alessandra's checklist.

Jaimie said...

I like what Dan had to say about there being no taboos. I kind of suspect that. People have been giving me flack about having a romance between a 17-year-old girl and a 24-year-old (ish) guy, but really? That's so tame compared to, say, an orgy on a spaceship. At least I think so.

Thanks for posting about this!

Jaimie said...

Also: You are super awesome and I love your haircut and sometime in my life we are going to do lunch THE END.

Heather said...

I have to agree. It is amazing how we writers can expand on one small idea that we garner from the simplest of things and create a novel out of it! Thanks for sharing all your notes with us. I loved the vlog!

Amanda J. said...

Jill, Soon. I will get on that this weekend as I don't have to go in to work lol. :)

Jaimie, I get why that's bristle worthy, but there are SO many worse things, and that's totally BELIEVABLE. Also, YOU are awesome and you bet we're totally doing lunch sometime. :D And thanks! It's the first haircut I've ever had that I actually think suits me haha.

Jade said...

A few things:

You are funny.

I like your hair. (I just cut off my hair too.)

I love your rambling.

You are awesome.

The end.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recap.

The plot couplets are cool.

Have a great weekend.


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