February 2012

Pitchapalooza, the American Idol of writing, is coming to the Bridgewater Public Library on March 1st!

Participants get one minute to “pitch” their book to a panel of judges. Winners receive a consultation with Arielle Eckstut and David Sterry, the authors of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published. In the past month, three authors have received book deals as a result of Pitchapalooza.

Registration is FREE, but is limited to the first lucky 80 people to sign up. Don’t miss this one, folks. Sign up here.

Exciting workshop opportunity *and* writing exercise below, re-posted from Highlights Foundation.

Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, encourages writers to make time to write daily. But what if the well has run dry? What if the cursor on the screen is only annoyingly marking the time that you are not actually writing? Ms. Lamott describes the pain of staring at a… blank screen,

“. . . I become a dog with a chew toy, worrying it for a while, wrestling it to the ground, flinging it over my shoulder, chasing it, licking it, chewing it, flinging it back over my shoulder. I stop just short of actually barking. But all of this only takes somewhere between one and two minutes, so I haven’t actually wasted that much time. Still, it leaves me winded. I go back to trying to breathe, slowly, calmly, and I finally notice the one-inch picture frame that I put on my desk to remind me of short assignments.”

Your short writing assignment for today comes from award-winning author Juanita Havill and author-editor Susan Pearson.

Choose a narrative picture book—one with a clear beginning, middle, and end—and study the story. Then write the first page of the first chapter of a novelization of the picture book.

Juanita and Susan will run a week-long writing retreat, guiding writers through daily short assignments, lessons in plot and character, and one-on-one manuscript feedback. Finding Your Story is geared toward people who need time to write, as well as time to study the craft of writing for children.

We would love to see how you interpreted today’s assignment. Please post in the space below. Make sure that you include your name and the original picture book that you have studied for this rewrite. Don’t forget to check out Juanita and Susan’s workshop by clicking here.

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”
— Frances Hodgson Burnett