Learning “Fast and Furiously” with Karen Boss—Part 1

by Lisa Rogers

Following the runaway success of her picture book courses over the last year, Charlesbridge editor Karen Boss brings her amazing energy this fall to The Writers’ Loft with four workshops, a one-day class, and a four-week course.

The first two workshops focus on craft, the third on the publishing process from submission to publication, and the fourth on idea development. Then—fasten your seat belts—Karen offers a one-day Condensed Topical Thunder workshop, followed by Finding Your Thunder, a four-week deep study of picture books. Continue reading

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.

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