Archive: March 2013 -

Why Are Picture Books Shorter?

Two thousand words for a picture book is too long.  Then for a few years, the word count for picture books was limited to 1,000 words or less.  And now I'm repeatedly hearing 600 words is the upper max.  So why are they getting shorter and shorter? At this weekend's Maryland Society of Children's Book Writer and Illustrator conference, I heard a good, viable explanation.  Sylvie Frank, Associate Editor at Paula Wiseman Books, a group within Simon And Schuster Books for Young Readers, gave the reason.  She said that children are reading at a younger age now than they used to.  They are expected...

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Pick Your Poison: Bridget Zinn

Bridget Zinn, a YA writer from Portland, OR passed away in 2011. Her YA debut, POISON, was released by Hyperion on March 12, 2013. A group of writers are trying to do as much as we can to help publicize the book for Bridget.  In her memory we're creating blog posts centered around the theme of "Pick Your Poison"...aka what little bit of badness inspires us to write.  Macaroons? Bacon? Shirtless Adam Levine? Justin Timberlake dancing?  Elastic Waistbands?  Etc. So here's my guilty pleasure addition:  I have two things.  One is my guilty pleasure in general and one that specifically inspires...

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Writing Every Day

Why do writers like Stephen King say a best practice is to "write every day"? I think I know...  My family and I were sick last week, and between taking care of the kids and feeling ill myself, not much writing was accomplished.  So when I sat down with my latest manuscript this week, I had to reread whole sections and get back into the swing of things.  Even after just a week of not writing I felt rusty. But then as soon as I had spent a day in front of the computer, the words were flowing again.  In fact, they were flowing so fast that I woke up multiple times in the middle of the night...

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