ReFo…what? Well, you can pronounce it in four syllables just like it looks, or you can change it up to be a reforming word—REFOReM-O—since this challenge aims to reform writing for picture book writers. Reading for Research Month, or ReFoReMo, is a new writing challenge for picture book writers from beginner to multi-published. It will offer mentor text tips from twenty-eight amazing author-educators, and hundreds of picture book recommendations that have helped other authors tackle their own fiction and nonfiction writing. But, inquiring minds may simply want to know what makes reading for research so beneficial for writers.
Whether you are struggling with plot, original concepts, dynamic characters, page turns, tension, show vs. tell, or other elements of picture books, mentor texts set wonderful examples.
“Dedication to CRAFT should always be of the utmost importance to a writer. And the way to better craft is to read extensively and learn from those who have written exceptionally (and not so exceptionally) well.” –Marcie Colleen, Children’s Author
“The best way to learn how to write good picture books is to read good picture books–and a lot of them!” –Tara Lazar, Picture Book Author
“Setting aside time to read and research books is key to taking your writing to the next level. You can read craft books, but reading texts that are similar to the kind you write help you see masterful writing in action. ReFoReMo encourages you to set aside time to be intentional about that reading. -Marcie Flinchum Atkins, Educator and Author
“If you are serious about writing picture books then here’s your chance to do your homework and have support from a community of writers. You’ll devour recommended picture books, find clues to resolve issues in your own stories, and get that boost to help transform you into the best book creator you can be! I’d say that’s pretty great! Three cheers for ReFoReMo!”
-Carol Gordon Ekster, Picture Book Author
Whether you decide to participate in ReFoReMo or not, I hope you will take the wise advice of these fine authors into consideration. Reading opens the door to your mind. And maybe, just maybe, you will find your muse waiting there for you.