Caroline Bock-BEFORE MY EYES
Caroline Bock - Author of BEFORE MY EYES and LIE
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THROWING SNOWBALLS AT PENGUINS by Caroline Bock PUBLISHED by AKASHIC BOOKS' web series Fri-SciFi
Blade Runner
"SWEETNESS" - THE WAY TO MY HEART
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YOUNG ADULT MOVIE STARS
YOUNG ADULT NOVEL WRITING TIPS
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Caroline Bock-BEFORE MY EYES

ON WRITING

Character Council of Greater Kentucky and LIE review

What a cool thing I discovered -- LIE was reviewed in this monthly educator bulletin for The Character Council of Greater Kentucky.  Now, as a writer, on first glance, I thought this was a writer's journal --i.e. development of fictional people in literature-- I have 10 distinct first person points of view in LIE and maybe someone in the Kentucky area thought this interesting.

But no, it's character as in a way to build ethics and values that we can all agree on like fairness, respect, trustworthiness,  and caring for one another -- themes that are at the heart of my debut young adult novel, LIE.   (We can agree that these are good things, right?  In our current political climate I often wonder!)

Here's the link to the Character Council of Greater Kentucky -- and you will find there a PDF of this amazingly insightful newsletter on building character in grades 1-12 -- www.charactercincinnati.org.

And here's an excerpt from their LIE review: "This novel is a smart, topical story about a racially motivated hate crime, its far-ranging consequences and the community determined to keep it under wraps..."

Cool, right?

Truly,

Caroline Bock
more about LIE

Writing Resources -- Personal and Practical Tips for New Writers

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
 
AgentQuerywww.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:
Stone Soup
Submissions Dept.
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.
 

Truly,

Caroline Bock
author LIE
a summer of 2012 must-read

Sharing Meg Medina

Check out the interview with fabulous Latina writer Meg Medina and me at her blog www.megmedina.com.


Interested in Writing for Children? FREE ON LINE Conference Coming Up

As I speak to groups young and old about LIE, my debut novel, (and I have an upcoming talk at the Elmont Public Library on Tuesday, June 5th at 6-8 pm at 700 Hempstead Tpk. Elmont, NY -- FREE, open to the public) there is always someone who comes up to me, and often, shyly admits that they want to be a writer.  

Yes, I think to myself: a reader!  To be a writer you have to be a reader, someone who devours books -- especially books in whatever genre you are interested in writing in. And since we are on the topic of free -- books can be FREE (think: public library).

Beyond being a reader, to be a writer you have to write -- and that sounds simple, but it takes practice, skill, and often, guidance to write well. So, I discovered an upcoming FREE, yes, FREE (because writer's conferences and Master of Fine Arts degrees costs money, sometimes a lot of money), on line children's writer's conference: Write On Con 2012, which will take place Tuesday, August 14 and Wednesday, August 15th. Major agents, editors and children's writers are scheduled to be involved in this second annual Write On Con  --(I hope to be involved -- keep your fingers crossed for me!).  The 2012 theme is "Back to Basics."  And it's all on line -- so you can live anywhere in the world and participate!  Plan ahead. More details at www.writeoncon.com

Truly,

author of LIE
if you haven't read LIE
yet -- put it on your summer reading list!! 

  

The Chapter Map.... Writing Insight

Reading this morning about "Giving Birth To Blue," in the PW Children's Bookshelf (free newsletter!), and came across this paragraph, which about the editorial process.  This is an exchange between fabulous fantasy author, Kristin Cashore, and her editor and is very telling about what editors are looking for -- from any author (bestselling or not!) and how they read manuscripts:

"...Following receipt of the letter, the editor and author spoke on the telephone. Dawson told Cashore she had started a “chapter map” for Bitterblue, a document she creates for every book she edits, which she uses to test whether a chapter is doing enough. “These are down and dirty notes for me so I can make sure each chapter has a reason to exist,” Dawson says. “I keep track of plot developments and reveals. There’s got to be a reversal or a transformation in each chapter, otherwise it’s not really a chapter..."   Read entire story at www.publishersweekly.com

Truly, from the author of LIE,
a critically-acclaimed
realistic young adult novel,
(and a reader who loves
fantasy too!)

Some Truthful Advice for College Students and Recent Graduates from the Author of LIE

This spring, I taught a terrific group of students Corporate Public Relations and Public Relations Writing, and I learned what I didn't know about what they didn't know.  I learned a lot. So, here's four quick pieces of advice for the college student or new graduate:   

*Learn how to write a professional business letter
*Learn how to write a professional business memo
*Learn how to write a professional business email.

This is about writing clear, concise, focused, grammatically-correct, proofed works -- based on your own ideas and insights. It's about knowing how to present oneself in writing as a professional. It's about being able to say with confidence that you know how to write and think critically about an issue. 

Yes, there is a place for five-page essays and 10-page research papers.  I'm a former English student and a recent MFA graduate in Creative Writing, how could I think critical papers were not important?

However, with 20 years plus of experience in Corporate America, I also know most adults will never write an essay. But they will write an one-page letter, a memo or email. 

Our fast-moving, 21st century society is about making the complicated less complicated -- and that often means being able to summarize and distill ideas into shorter works, especially for professional organizations.  Those "shorter works" are often letters, memos or emails. Learn how to write them well and you will go far.  

I promised four pieces of advice:  
 
*Learn basic business interaction  -i.e. how to stand up straight, look someone in the eye, have a solid handshake- and talk in a sincere, thoughtful manner that says:  I care, I want to be part of what you're part of and I plan to work hard at it today and each day that I am employed here. (Leave out these phrases: "whatever," "like," "don't know," "you know," and so many more along those lines that scream: I seem to be having trouble holding a professional conversation).

Maybe this is all old fashioned -- I mean, we have spell check and grammar check, we text vs. talk, we connect via social media, but I strongly believe that the lack of basic professional writing and oral skills is what leads so many in business to believe that young people aren't entering the workforce prepared.  And we, teachers, as well as parents, should be instilling these skills.

One last thought:
 
A terrific website -- sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor -- on careers and career-building is www.onetoline.org.

Congratulations to the class of 2012!!

Truly, the author of LIE
Yes, a novel.
Buy and read. 

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