Showing posts from April, 2014

Volunteer Work

Part of my year has been devoted to volunteering in a variety of contexts. First and foremost, I’ve been working with the Wednesday Wonderfuls at 826 Seattle .     826 is a non-profit that provides free after-school tutoring and conducts a variety of writing-centered workshops and field trips for kids. The spirit of 826 is fun, friendly, and quirky and there are several different branches in various cities across the US. I was initially vaguely jealous and irritated by how many volunteers I encountered at 826 Seattle. I had never had nearly enough help as a public school teacher, so it seemed odd to join an organization that already had so many resources. But here’s the thing: 826, or more specifically, Steve the (awesome) Programs Coordinator (see rug), provides a well-organized, thoughtful, and highly structured experience for volunteers. The Wednesday team is a kind and dedicated group of people who care a great deal about their work with kids. In short, there are ex

SCBWI WWA 2014 Recap

I had a great time at the SCBWI-WWA conference this past weekend. Once again, I met a number of incredibly kind and generous people. I feel lucky to be a part of this warm and intelligent community and I look forward to getting more involved in the coming years. My conference highlights: Master class: A Character Calls with Franny Billingsley             Take-aways: Character is tied to plot. A character’s root desire fuels her obsession a.k.a. the method she believes she must use to achieve her desire. State of the State of Publishing: Justin Chanda             Take-aways: Don't worry; kidlit is thriving. The industry is cyclical and moving away from YA. Keynote: This Speech Could Save Your Life by Kim Baker             Take-aways: Kim Baker is freaking awesome and I want to be her friend. Actions Speak as Loud as Words: Claudia Gabel             Take-aways: Revise in waves. Outline your plot (perhaps in 3 acts). Creating the Fictional Dream: Fra