Before We Close the Book on 2017…

Sing to the tune of “My Favorite Things” by Rodgers and Hammerstein:

unnamed-2Snowflakes on noses and text-able mittens 
Antlers on doggies and bells on soft kittens
Gingerbread cookies and tenderloin roasts
Just don’t forget all these wonderful posts!

I’m honored and daunted to write the final Writer’s Rumpus post of 2017. Since its inception, I’ve continually been awed by the amazing content shared through this blog. Before closing the book on 2017, I’d like to highlight posts from many of our talented contributors. You are ALWAYS welcome to search through the website by author or topic of interest, but I retained the author links to provide another easy way for you to search.

The word creativity is written in rainbow colors in crayon

YOU WILL ALWAYS BE CREATIVE

This post is highly inspirational and one that bears revisiting whenever you are plagued with doubts about your own creativity. Here is an excerpt:
You will always be a writer. Or an illustrator. Or a poet, singer, actor, painter, dancer, musician, inventor, sculptor, comedian or performance artist. However your creativity expresses itself, it will always be with you, because it is part of you. 

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WHY YOU SHOULD ENTER #PITCHWARS

Whenever Dana shares her knowledge on how to use social media to advance our writing careers, I take notes. Here is an excerpt:
Do you have a complete Young Adult or Middle Grade Manuscript? Are you still stuck on edits? Do you need a hand to get you past the last plot hole, to polish it before you begin to query agents? Then #PitchWars is for you!

LOVE PICTURE BOOKS? THREE NEW RELEASES YOU MUST READ

bob-not-bobWhen Kirsti recommends a book, I listen, read, and learn. In this post, she shares not one but THREE new books and makes an excellent case about the healing properties of picture books. Here is an excerpt:
In my work as a marriage and family therapist I utilize bibliotherapy (the use of books to help people heal emotionally) with clients ages five to fifty.  Picture books may appear simple, but many contain deeper messages that resonate with all ages.

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SO YOU WANT TO WRITE FLASH FICTION?

This post piqued my interest in Flash Fiction, a genre I had previously known nothing about. Entertaining as well as informative, it is cleverly written in the flash fiction format. Here is an excerpt:
The first thing I did was look for an online flash fiction writing class. I found one! And – it gets even better – the class is totally free! That’s right, folks, free. Holly’s Writing Classes.com offers a step-by-step tutorial on How to Write Flash Fiction that Doesn’t Suck. 

YouKnowWhat_Cover

 THE LAUNCHING OF A PICTURE BOOK

Carol shares the exciting experience of having her newest book launched in two languages. Here is an excerpt:
You see, Clavis Books, more commonly known as Clavis Uitgeverij, is an international publisher based in the Netherlands. All their books release first in Dutch. There have been a lot of unknowns, but it has been a wonderful and interesting adventure. 

THE WONDERLING BY MIRA BARTÓK

WTheWonderlingThis book review by Joyce is so wonderfully detailed, I became immersed in the richly imagined world of The Wonderling and couldn’t wait to read it. Here is an excerpt:
Imagine a world where “the line between animals and humans was not so clearly defined” and a protagonist who looks something like a child-sized fox, though upright on two legs, and having no tail and only one ear.

day13_canary

#THE100DAYPROJECT REDUX

For 100 days, I eagerly awaited each new illustration by Sarah, and I hope you’ll join me in encouraging her to participate again in 2018. Whether you are an illustrator, writer-illustrator, or writer who enjoys illustrations, this post is for you. Here is an excerpt:
Last year, I found that the #the100dayproject really helped me get in daily drawing practice (see the post about it here!), so I decided to give it another go for a hundred more #100daysofdrawingonphotos. If you’d like, you can follow along @thereul on Instagram.

I want my hat back

THE WONDERFUL WORDLESS SPREAD

This post is Kim’s homage to the captivating wordless spreads in picture books and the talented artists who illustrate them. Here is an excerpt:
The art of the wordless spread is a thing of beauty. It leaves room for the reader to react to the story without being told how to feel or what to think. It gives the reader time to pause and reflect on the character’s emotions or the impact of a special moment in the story.

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HOW I DISCOVERED WRITING MIDDLE GRADE ISN’T SCARY

Traditionally a writer of picture books, Amy provides some tips and inspiration to help writers take the middle grade plunge. Here is an excerpt:
I’ve found a rhythm for writing longer stories that works for me, and I’d like to share some things I’ve learned over the past year that might help you make the leap into writing longer kidlit, or encourage you to keep at it.

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HOW TO USE GOODREADS

Whether you are already among the millions of members, or have been itching to join, this post explains how to use Goodreads properly. Here is an excerpt:
First, it’s very easy to sign up for Goodreads, just type in your name (or a nickname if you’d like to remain private), add in your email (this will also be kept private), and lastly, make up a password. To start your book list, enter a title in the search field (see picture below).

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COMMONLY CONFUSED COMMAS

Comma confusion is a common ailment (say that ten times fast!), but this post is the antidote. Examples from well-known books illustrate ten useful grammar rules, all written in easy-to-understand language. Here is an excerpt:
If a name or nickname follows an introductory word or phrase, insert a comma before the name. Consider the following: eat grandma or eat, grandma. Commas can spell the difference between life and death!

COVER REVEAL FOR THE ART OF THE SWAP (AND A LITTLE “HOW A BOOK IS BORN” STORY TO ACCOMPANY IT)

Art of the Swap finalThis post describes how two talented writers (Jen Malone and Kris Asselin) worked together to create this super-fun middle grade novel. Here is an excerpt:
We’re joining you today from the land of co-writing to (hooray!!) reveal the cover for our first joint venture! This book was so much fun to write, but also incredibly fun to plot, which is one of the places in the book writing process where having two brains in the mix can spark some incredible “what if’s”…

 

WRITE DEEP

stones-2166377_1280Marti’s post offers a thoughtful, well-researched, and beautifully written argument for adding depth to your stories. Here is an excerpt:
For all their substance, these tales lacked that draw beyond the great storyline–that pull that reaches a reader’s soul and binds them to the action.

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ME? A MENTOR FOR WRITING WITH THE STARS?

This blog post is laugh-out-loud hysterical! If you don’t believe me, here is an excerpt to convince you:
Now, even though I have always thought of myself as a star, mainly because my mom told me so and no one argues with my mom, I wondered what I could truly offer another writer.

wrad2017spotfinal3JOSH FUNK’S WORLD READ ALOUD DAY 2017 EXPERIENCE

Josh shares his virtual globe-trotting experience as a participant in this amazing event. Here is an excerpt:
On Thursday, I visited 21 classrooms in 12 states, 6 time zones, 4 countries, and ALL the hemispheres. You see, Thursday, February 16th was World Read Aloud Day (#WRAD), presented by litworld.org, an organization whose goal is to cultivate a love of reading and fight illiteracy worldwide.

 

ripple grove press Logo RGP-210 THINGS NOT TO SAY IN YOUR QUERY – ADVICE FROM A CHILDREN’S PUBLISHER

Carol brings us query advice from Rob Broder of Ripple Grove Press. For writers of picture books who’ve reached the querying stage, learn what NOT to say before you submit! Here is an excerpt:
Some query letters show that their writers did their homework. Others…. not so much. Here is Rob Broder’s advice on the ten things not to say in your query if you want to stand out as a writer who knows what they’re doing.

PRICELESS PERSPECTIVES

This final post appropriately looks forward to 2018: ReFoReMo, coordinated by Carrie and Kirsti, is set for March! Here is an excerpt:
Open your new year with a heart and mind for different perspectives.We’ve been busy lining up the new team of ReFoReMo presenters and are excited to reveal them to you in the new year. We hope you’ll dig up new perspectives with us!

These are just a sampling of what Writer’s Rumpus has to offer, as there are many excellent posts I didn’t mention here. I invite each of you to comment on which posts you turn back to time and again. And to share a few of your favorite things – in rhyme, if you dare!unnamed-3

I look forward to more wonderful posts in 2018 and wish you a New Year filled with happiness, good health, and oodles of creativity.

18 comments

  1. Great post, Laura. It’s always good to look back on what we might have missed and this is such a handy way to do so. Sending best wishes to everyone in the Writers’ Rumpus community, whether you’re an author, an illustrator, or a reader—Happy New Year!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Marcia. And this was just a sampling! I love how easy it is to navigate through the website to revisit earlier posts. There is so much amazing information here and I’m grateful to be a part of this community.

      Liked by 1 person

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