To Rhyme…or Not to Rhyme: An Event with Josh Funk

by Lisa Rogers

My great-niece just had her third birthday, and as she’s a huge Josh Funk fan, no doubt her birthday book package had to include his latest Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast intrigue, The Case of the Stinky Stench.

Of course, she loved it, not just because Josh kindly wrote a personal inscription on the title page, and not just because the book has an amazing fold-out page that provides her with hours of entertainment. She has an entire routine about how to navigate that page that her parents ignore at their peril.

The main reason she’s crazy about Josh’s books?

She loves the rhyme. And so does her mom.

“Those books have become my go-to gift,” my niece Angela told me. “They are perfect because they can be read over and over (and over!) and they’re great for parents who want to be entertained along with their kids.”

Angela was thrilled to learn Josh has several books coming out in the next couple of years, enough (perhaps) to satisfy her daughter and new arrival.

But what’s Josh’s secret? Every newbie writer is told to stay away from rhyme. It’s tough to do. No agents or editors seem to want it. How does one write rhyme right?

Josh’s success stands out. And he’s willing to share his techniques and tips. That’s the kind of thing that happens at The Writers’ Loft craft chats, and Josh is a great example.

At this year’s New York SCBWI conference, he was singled out for his generosity in promoting other writers, sharing information about what has worked for him and the nitty-gritty on marketing your book successfully (see his detailed recent post about that at http://www.24carrotwriting.com/-blog/josh-funk-shares-powerhouse-marketing-strategies).

So, to rhyme…or not to rhyme? When is it right for your manuscript? To find out, get thee to Josh’s free craft chat at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday, August 8) at The Writers’ Loft.

Think It’s Too Far To Drive To The Loft? Think Again!

by Kari Allen

This spring, I drove down to South Carolina with my family. It took about 15 hours. Which was still less than the amount of time I spent driving down to the Writers’ Loft for a six-week course that I finished in April.

I have attended a bunch of Saturday workshops and craft chats at the Loft in the past, but I had never committed to a longer course. I always talked myself out if it; it always seemed like it was too much time and effort. Time that I didn’t have or couldn’t allow myself to have. Coming from central New Hampshire, it would mean hours and hours in the car, not to mention arranging childcare and figuring out my family’s schedule. But this past March, I decided to sign up for a multi-week course and gave myself one of the best gifts I could ever have as a writer. 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

Stealing the Cat: How My Theft Led Me to The Writers’ Loft

by Lisa Rogers

MY CONNECTION TO THE WRITERS’ LOFT began when I stole Heather Kelly’s cat.

I didn’t intentionally commit a crime: my husband, daughter, and I were on our daily hour-and-a-half walk with Tucker, our 90-lb. Treeing Walker Coonhound. After our Dalmatian nearly had his ears cut off by a cat crouched in some bushes, we’d been wary of letting this dog nose his way into shrubs. So when Tucker’s sniffer started eye-deep into a patch of greenery near a baseball field, we pulled him back.

What was in there turned out to be Heather’s cat, Jelly.

I’m allergic to cats, but my daughter isn’t, and she reached in and snatched up a beautiful calico female. We figured she was lost, so we took her home and safeguarded her in Tucker’s never-used crate.

Days later, I connected with Heather, and she claimed Jelly as her own.

Continue reading

Friends Don’t Let Friends Write Alone

by Heather Kelly, Founder, The Writers’ Loft

THERE’S A TON OF WRITING ADVICE out there. In fact, I feel fairly confident that you can go and Google whatever information you need to get your writing career to the next level.
Heather KellyBut is that enough? Is information in a vacuum what you truly need?

The truth, for me, is that even with all the information in all the writing books in the world (I’ve read a ton) and all the webinars on writing and marketing online (there’s some stellar stuff out there), I wouldn’t survive the writing and publication industry by myself.

I need community. I think you might, too.

Continue reading