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Writer Advice

How to Make a StoryApp, Part I: Listen to Your Characters

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How to Make a StoryApp, Part I: Listen to Your Characters

Today I am thrilled to begin pulling back the curtain on the making of our launch StoryApp: In the Footsteps of Giants.

The nexus of the project, and the most important element of all, is the story. So this is where we began. And as we close out the first month of a new year, I am happy to say that we're closing in on a working manuscript.

But the road traveled thus far is not been straight. Is it ever?

You never know what’s going to happen when you give yourself over to the creative process, no matter the medium of expression. You conceive of an idea. You pitch it to an agent or editor, who takes it to a publisher or producer; or you take it directly to the crowd. And they say, “Sure! Let’s make that.” At which point you do a happy dance. Maybe celebrate with your friends.

But then the real work begins…

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SCBWI British Isles 2015 Conference Recap: New Readers Ahoy, Creating Books To Treasure

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SCBWI British Isles 2015 Conference Recap: New Readers Ahoy, Creating Books To Treasure

What compelled you to come to the conference this year? I asked Sally. We were both attending the Friday evening pre-conference "Fringe" event on Vlogging (Video Blogging) led by Olivia Kiernan. It was my first meet-up of the 2015 Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) British Isles annual conference in Winchester, UK. Sally had already been to the Scrawl Crawl earlier that day.

To be amongst authors. That’s why I come every year, she said.

And thus began what for author Miriam Craig has turned into the best weekend of the year. I always come to the conference because I love seeing old friends and meeting new people. I always learn a lot. It’s a great way to keep up to date and to experiment.

Continue reading...

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Teen Read Week with Author Mary Hoffman

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Teen Read Week with Author Mary Hoffman

It's Teen Read Week! A literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) in 1998 to encourage teens to read and to support their local libraries.

You can join the conversation on Twitter with #TRW15, where we'll be sharing this chat with Time Traveler Tours & Tales launch author, Mary Hoffman. But before you bounce, check out this exclusive interview with the author, herself!

Mary has written numerous books for teens, and future teens besides. Her books have touched many lives for many years, as you'll see in the interview below. I caught up with her to find out about the inspirations for her settings and characters...

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Taming the Giant: A Peek Inside the Creative Process

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Taming the Giant: A Peek Inside the Creative Process

Last Friday, Mary Hoffman and I met up in London for a good old-fashioned brainstorming session. Our Kickstarter campaign now successfully funded and our much deserved holiday breaks behind us, it was time to crack on with our collaboration: In the Footsteps of Giants.

As with most creative endeavors, the way forward seemed smooth sailing at the outset. But once Mary waded into the breaking tides of the writing process, the route we’d planned proved un- navigable; her intended narrator an inadequate guide. We needed to chart a new course, together.

Our ensuing discussion, which focused on questions of genre and voice, forced us to examine the heart and soul of our mission to Turn History On. It compelled us to ask,

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