Under The Skylight: Maintaining Persistence During Revision

by Erin Dionne

Last month, I blogged about cultivating objectivity during the revision process. Another crucial element to effectively revising any piece of writing is persistence.

Finishing a novel or short story or poem requires persistence, so you already have that quality. But revising one…well, that is a whole new level of commitment. Taking a closer look at our work, finding flaws and fixing them, can be discouraging. Continue reading

Jacqueline Davies Dives Into the Creative Process

by Lisa Rogers

THE WRITERS’ LOFT WILL WELCOME award-winning author Jacqueline Davies on July 18 at 7:30 p.m. to chat about her creative process and tips for fellow writers. Lofter Lisa Rogers recently interviewed Ms. Davies for a sneak preview.

LR: As the author of several novels and nonfiction and fiction picture books, you must be very familiar with the mysteries of the creative process. How have you been able to unlock the key to some of those mysteries? Continue reading

Kendra Levin: Be The Hero Of Your Own Writing Process

by Lisa Rogers

WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW. Every writer has heard that. But what does it really mean?

Our job as writers, Kendra Levin pointed out at her June Writers’ Loft workshop, involves a bigger challenge—it’s to “write what you emotionally know.”

Levin, an executive editor at Penguin Random House and a certified life coach for writers and other creative artists, presented the workshop “Be the Hero of Your Own Writing Process” to a Loft packed to its rafters. The workshop combined visualization, instruction, and free writes designed to help participants view their characters from different perspectives; try a genre, tense, or setting contrary to their typical habits; and solidify the purpose for telling the story. Continue reading

Press Kit: What It Is, And Why You Need One

by Allison Pottern Hoch

WHETHER YOU’RE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR or planning to be, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for the day when someone wants to feature you: at an event, on a blog, in a newspaper, etc. That’s where a press kit comes in.

A press kit is a collection of documents and images that contain promotional material about you and your projects. It is used in conjunction with a promotional pitch to media and event outlets. You can have these documents collected in a folder on your hard drive or have them downloadable on your website. Having a well-organized press kit is a double win: it makes your life easier and shows that you’re professional and invested in your own self-promotion. Continue reading

“The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas: A Discussion Guide For Writers

discussion questions prepared by Kelly Carey

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Angie Thomas’s YA novel The Hate U Give is a stark and raw platform for discussions on racism, prejudice, and the Black Lives Matter movement. It is also, just as simply, a wonderfully crafted novel rich in character, setting, and excellent story telling. Through Starr, Thomas offers a voice to readers living the reality of violence, drugs, and racism while simultaneously offering a window into that life for readers whose experiences are very different. Thomas blends the harshest moments of her main character’s reality—the police shooting of her friend, intimidation by a local drug lord, and gang violence—seamlessly with the universal teenage experiences of friendship drama, first loves, and the push/pull of independence from home and parents. This juxtaposition paints a picture often not represented, or sometimes misrepresented, on book shelves. Continue reading

Under The Skylight: Cultivating Objectivity In Revision

by Erin Dionne

MY FIRST BLOG POST (you can find it here) detailed the three major elements I feel are crucial for approaching a successful revision. The first one I want to discuss in more depth is objectivity.

Being able to see our work with fresh eyes is a necessary part of the writing process. In a perfect world, we’d take time away from every draft and let it simmer until reading it felt like reading the work of someone else. But what if you’re on a deadline, or planning to submit to a contest, or there’s some other reason why you need to rush through that revision process? Here are a few ways to artificially cultivate the objectivity that occurs when we leave our manuscript alone: Continue reading

Post-Conference Musings

by Cathy Stenquist

Cathy StenquistBe proud of your place in the journey. You are not an impostor; you are the real thing. Welcome.” —Josh Funk, NESCBWI coordinator

JOSH’S WORDS JUMPSTARTED MY LEARNING for the weekend.

Lesson #1—Find a buddy.

I arrived early to park and check in. At the registration desk, I spied one of The Loft’s light blue lanyards, worn by Alice Fulgione, who greeted me with a hug. I felt like the new kid at school, latching onto a friend to feel at ease. After lunch at the MVP Lounge, we used our maps to find our classes. Continue reading