Hope all are having a beautiful summer out there in cyberspace! I spent my Friday night with this amazing group of teen readers and writers at the Valley Stream, NY public library. For this group I prepared a Tip Sheet of Writing Resources -- it starts off with my disclaimer:
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but represents groups that I have participated in or taken classes with over the years— from Caroline Bock, author of LIE.
More for Adults:
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators – (SBCWI) National organization for children’s writers, I’m a member of the NYC chapter with monthly seminars, annual winter meeting in January in NYC offers critiques, workshops and panels. www.scbwi.org
SheWrites (for women writers only). As they note, they are the “premier destination for women writers, providing services and support for women at every stage of their writing lives.” Lots of free information, sharing here. Also writing classes for a fee offered on line. www.shewrites.com
MediaBistro (on-line and in NYC, www.mediabistro.com): daily free email on the media business, plus some excellent short-term writing classes. Class with D.B. Gilles on screenwriting is very worthwhile. He has a new book: The ScreenWriter Within – I highly recommend it.
Publisher’s Lunch – daily free email on the publishing business. Key info for serious aspiring writer about what books have been sold by what agents to what publisher’s, what books optioned by film or television, and the scope of the deals. A subscription component of the site gives more details on deals. www.publishersmarketplace.com
AgentQuery – www.agentyquery.com
– “the largest and most searchable database of literary agents on the web.” Also the “how to write a query” section is very helpful (a “query” is a sale pitch letter about your project to a literary agent).
Long Island Children’s Writers and Illustrators (LICWI) - a very inclusive Long Island, NY group meets once a month at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, and features group critiques of children –young adult work. Editor visits. Extremely reasonable annual membership. www.licwi.org
Hofstra Continuing Education (high school and adult education writing classes year round and a well-run Summer Writers Institute on Long Island). If you are an aspiring children’s writer, try a class with Brian Heinz, very worthwhile. www.hofstra.edu/ucce/summerwriting.edu
More for Teens:
Figment: Write yourself in. A community to share writing – no fee to join. Teen orientated. Educator section too. Lots of resources for teen writers here – and for adult writers interested in young adult fiction, Find interview with me on this site!! www.figment.com
Stone Soup: It's a magazine written entirely by children. Ask your librarian whether she has some copies you could read first. Check out their website at www.stonesoup.com.
If you wish to submit, send to:
P.O. Box 83
Santa Cruz, CA 95063.
Include name, age, home address, phone number, and a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Top Writing Competition for High School students: The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for grades 7-12. Top award for high school students in the country for writing. Dramatic scripts, Flash Fiction (1,300 words), Personal Essay, Poetry, Science Fiction, Short Story are among the categories. DEADLINE for Northeast regional: is in early 2013. Regional and national winners. Scholarships for winners. More at www.artandwriting.org
Short list of books about writing on my bookshelf for adults or teens:
1) On the art of writing: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott about the creative process; On Writing by Stephen King and The Art of the Novelist by John Gardner.
2) On practical advice: Immediate Fiction by Jerry Cleaver, a complete writing course in one book; he Practical Writer from Inspiration to Publication edited by Therese Eiben and Mary Gannon on the staff of Poets & Writers Magazine and The Forest for the Trees: an Editor’s Advice to Writers by Betsy Lerner. Also, Poets&Writers Magazine and its website www.pw.org are essential resources (I even worked at Poets & Writers for a short, sweet stint as an editorial assistant!).
If your school has a literary magazine, get involved. I truly began to think of myself as a writer when I became involved in Opus, my New Rochelle High School literary magazine.
a summer of 2012 must-read