Friday, October 19, 2007

GOLDEN COFFEE CUP and SCBWI Oregon Retreat Notes

Hi folks! We are closing on November 1st. Enter the most compelling goal and achieve it by November 30th and win a free cup of coffee!

Post your goal here: The 2nd Annual Golden Coffee Cup . This is a motivational event and it is a contest -- four of you will win a cup of coffee. Check out the link for the complete rules. This coveted award will be given to the successful November goal setters. This is my answer to that "interesting concept" (cough, cough) of requiring writers to churn out 50,000 incomprehensible words in one month. Hey, some folks tell stories with few words and lots of pictures and feel like they are left out in the cold. We will churn less with much more comprehension in our month. Join us! The 2007 Golden Coffee Cup will be awarded for a month of goal setting and achievement.

I'm back from the SCBWI Oregon Retreat. Silver Falls is beautiful -- fall leaves and the most awesome waterfalls. I had the opportunity schmooze with some wonderful writers. Terry Pierce, the author of many books for kids, including the early reader Tae Kwan Do!, hiked the falls with me and few of my new friends.

Bruce Coville sent shivers down my spine with his recitation of the The Highwayman at the "not planned but held every year for 18 years" end of the retreat party. I was something of a poetry addict in high school and memorized every word of this poem. Such a gift.

Margaret Bechard shared her passion for revision. She stressed every word should move the story forward and if its not doing that it should be removed. I also enjoyed writing exercises with Deborah Brodie. She's a freelance editor and book doctor these days, folks, after 30 years working for companies like Roaring Brook Press and Viking. I also had the opportunity to hear Candlewick's Senior Editor Sarah Ketchersid. Her passion for a well constructed, timeless picture book moved me. I took away a deep sense that picture books have fathomless depths of meaning, offer countless illustratable moments, and tell one story. All and all, a lovely time.

Two gems I took away from the conference. Both from a critique session. You never know where you will find those gems.

"Everyone says, 'character, character, character' but you find out its also plot, setting, theme. . ."
Carol Bloemen

"Actually, first chapters are hell." Carol Bloemen

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