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Showing posts from April, 2014

Volunteer Work

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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 excellent reasons th…

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: Franny Billingsley Take-aways: Sensory language is the way to enhance the inner and outer…