Posts Tagged ‘Richard Peck’

On Saturday our local SCBWI chapter had a very special guest speaker, Lin Oliver, co-founder of SCBWI. Lin took time from her very busy schedule to share with our members some writing tips she has gleaned from her 40 plus years of working with the best children’s authors of our time.

In addition to co-founding SCBWI, Lin is also a children’s book author and writer-producer of family films, television series and movies for children.  Her New York Times best-selling book series HANK ZIPZER, co-authored by Henry Winkler, has sold over three million copies.

Here is a book trailer for Lin’s newest series with Henry Winkler.

Lin was witty and charming as she described her experience as a writer and shared her “12 Things for Writing for Children.” Here are a few of the tips that Lin shared with us:

From author Bruce Coville: “Follow your wierdness.”

 Use your creativity, kids will love it.

From author Richard Peck: “Be emotional, but not sentimental. Just because it happened to you, doesn’t make it interesting.”

Use the emotions from previous experiences to add richness to your writing, not necessarily the situations.

From author Jane Yolen: “It’s not a children’s book if a child doesn’t solve the story problem.”

If the adult solves the problem, write adult fiction.

From author Sid Fleischman: “In writing, nothing is wasted, but the paper.”

Don’t be afraid to cut. That scene may be used in another story or set up an even better idea.

It was an inspirational afternoon and I was very happy I attended. Now I’m going to go and follow my weirdness.

Happy Writing,

Suzanne Santillan

Writing on the Sidewalk.

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So you finally got your first contract. Your book has been published…Now what? What can you, as an author, do to continue on and have a long and successful journey?

Publishers Weekly reported in February about a panel discussion in New York by the PEN American Center’s Children’s Book Committee, that discussed this very topic. The speakers were David Levithan, panel moderator, and fellow authors Jane O’Connor, Richard Peck, Marilyn Singer, and Brian Floca. The topic was “Crafting a Career as a Children’s or Young Adult Author—Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.”

Despite their diverse backgrounds, the authors found they had two things in common; a lack of a clear career direction in the beginning and the willingness to write many types of books on many different subjects.

Author Marilyn Singer summed up a successful career with the following acronym:


T- talent

O- optimism

W- widespread interests

E- endurance

L- luck

“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” she said. “Don’t throw in the towel, use it.”

I think those are very wise words.

Suzanne Santillan

Writing on the Sidewalk

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