Monday, April 07, 2008

Two blogs in One

Good Answer! Good Answer!

Ever watch the TV show "Family Feud"? Each team enthusiastically claps every time one of their team member comes up with an answer to the question - whether it's a good answer or not.

But Ally Carter, author of I'D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU and it's sequel, CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO SPY, has written a perfect answer to the question kids like to ask visiting authors in their school library, "How can I get published?"

I got that question last week after my writing workshop with 8th graders. I know how they feel. I was there once - writing and dreaming of the day I'd be a published author. In 8th grade I was barely producing stories that made any kind of sense with their earnestness and struggling metaphors. But I - they - WANT to be published - desperately.

Ally's blog answers writers who are currently under 18 years of age and their concerns completely and honestly. Take her advice. She's right. She's inspired. Go to: and click on the Diary link.

Then go read her books. They're FABULOUS! She's already spent TWELVE WEEKS on the New York Times Bestseller list! Congrats, Ally!

May the spies be with you . . .


Weddings, babies - it's been a roller coaster, my friends. Throw in a big Easter choir program I accompanied, Spring Break, and a hugely awful, terrible, no good very bad cold to boot. But I am better!

And frantically finishing the final touches on a handout and goodies for my upcoming school visits tomorrow and next Tuesday. "The Creative Diary" is a fabulous writing workshop that I've been honing and perfecting for the last couple of years and it's amazing how excited the students get to write during the presentation - even the ones who DON'T LIKE writing. It's great! Imagination exercises, fast writing, and an exciting premise for them to write about.

I'm visiting 250 8th graders tomorrow in the library (in two different shifts) at John Adams Middle School and the teacher whom I met in February is giving it all a fabulous unique twist. Over the next month the kids will have the chance to finish, revise, and polish the two stories they will write with me tomorrow, put them together like a book, then display them at an Evening Dessert Reception with their parent's on May 1 when I will return and give a keynote speech and autograph books.

Since the students will have a month to take this piece of a story and turn it into a full-blown project, I'm adding several new things to the talk tomorrow to help them think about the elements of a story and how to build a story with all of its many pieces. I hope they will be inspired and excited!

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