Video #1: So, you’ve told me you want to write a picture book…

One of the things I’ve been hoping to do this year (and I’m talking 5779, not 2019) is make some videos about writing. I finally took the plunge after receiving a number of phone calls, PMs, and other queries about what it takes to write a picture book.

In this 9 minute (or so) video, you’ll hear:

7 & 1/2 minutes answering the following very basic questions:
1) Should you write a picture book at all? What kind of person does well writing araizy cover picture book?
2) What is the very first step you should take?
3) Should I self-publish or traditionally publish?
4) Does it matter if you are “naturally gifted” at writing?

And then you’ll receive about a minute & 1/2 of resources for learning to write a picture book which will all cost you less than hiring me. (Even if you’ll need to hire a coach or editor later, you will save yourself a bundle by doing what is recommended in the second half of the video FIRST.)

If you’ve got questions, post them in the comments. I’ll either answer them there, refer you to a better resource, or make another video in reply.

 

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All sorts of great news to share

Yes, I’ve been AWOL again. And yes, I have all the usual excuses. And I have news–lots of it!

  1. I’ve finally got a title for my new middle-grade novel, coming out, G-d willing, this fall: Adina at Her Best. Look for it in Menucha Publisher’s fall catalogue. I’m not sure that it will be out in time for Rosh Hashanah, but it should be available by Chanukah time.
  2. I finished the second draft of my first novel for adults, and I’m getting a lot of feedback from beta readers. It’s been rather harrowing — there’s lots and lots to fix. (I’ll admit to some public ugly-crying.) But hopefully this is another step pushing the book closer to completion.
  3. It might not all pay off, but two weeks ago, I sent off a picture book submission to an agent, an article submission to a Jewish magazine, and short story submission to a secular venue in a matter of four days: bam! bam! bam! The article was, thankfully, accepted, and I’m very excited. I’m very doubtful about the others–they are definite long-shots–but I’m proud of myself for pushing myself.
  4. One of my editing/coaching clients is now nearly done with the second volume in their series of picture books! They’ve been working hard for months, and I’m super-excited to see the reaction with the next book hits shelves.

I’m not getting much creative work done. It’s summer and the kids are all home from school. But I’ve been doing a bunch of editing and picked up another client for picture book coaching. Now I’ve just got to figure out how to get the mental space and time alone to revise my novel…

What are you up to this summer? Do you have more or less time for creative endeavors during the summer? And do you have any exciting news?

Passover looming ahead: Not quite panicking yet

Due to the onslaught of housework, etc., that Pesach entails, as well as some nifty work assignments, I’ll be posting less for the next month or so. However, I do want to share with my readers several bits of good news: Continue reading

My thoughts on Tablet’s article “Do Jewish Children’s Books Have a Problem with Gender?”

Emily Sigalow, in Tablet this week, published an article entitled “Do Jewish Children’s Books Have a Problem with Gender?”

While she does make one point I agree with, that awards committee’s tend to favor Jewish picture books with male lead characters and that the females tend to be engaged in traditional roles, she seems to learn from that that Jewish children’s books as a whole have a problem.

I have to disagree with the overall picture Sigalow paints, though.

You can see my comments on the article if you visit Tablet (scroll to the bottom of the page), but I’d like to make a few more thoughts.

Jewish children’s books do have problems. Actually, many secular books have the same problems. Continue reading

The best books for Jewish kids?

Kveller presented one bubby’s Top 10 Books for Jewish Kids this week. The first seven are Jewish books, the last three are secular books that the author of the list feels can benefit Jewish kids. I’ve got some issues with the list. Continue reading

Helping out the illustrator, even when you don’t know who they are yet

I’ve been working on a new picture book manuscript, my first one in a while. It’s a poem that came out of  experiences with my kids and with others’ and the troubles they face.

I put it away for a couple days, pulling it out again this morning. Now that I’ve decided it’s a picture book, I’m revising it with an eye to the requirements of the format.

O the horror! It’s unillustrateable!

(Yes, I just made that word up.)

What do I mean?  Continue reading