Sunday, February 27, 2011

Let Love In and vote today!

Debra Berndt's LET LOVE IN has been nominated as one of the "Best Dating Books of 2010" by About.com. Voting is open through March 8th, so be sure to click here to vote!


What I enjoy the most about "Let Love In" is that it isn't about "techniques" to become more generally attractive to a potential mate. It's about becoming clear on who you really are, and opening the doors to allow yourself to fully BE that person so that you attract the most appropriate match for you. Debra's methods ensure attracting love that will last a lifetime.
--Bob Doyle, (featured teacher in "The Secret")

Visit Debra Berndt's website for informational videos and resources!


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Star and early praise shine on PABLO!

PABLO NERUDA: Poet of the People by Monica Brown, illustrated by Julie Paschkis receives a *starred* review in the February 15 issue of Kirkus Reviews---a fabulous early sign of great things to come for Monica Brown's latest stunning picture book biography!



Kirkus Star Editor Review (reviewed on February 15, 2011)

More than a heartwarming portrait of Chile's most revered poet, this splendid tribute to Pablo Neruda animates his global appeal with a visceral immediacy capable of seducing readers of any age.

Brown's spare descriptions of the little boy who "loved wild things wildly and quiet things quietly" and grew to write poems about "velvet cloth the color of the sea," contrasts wonderfully with Paschkis' lush, earth-toned paintings that teem with the florid stream of words and images populating the inner world of the budding poetic consciousness. The word-laden illustrations, sporting names of authors in tree bark or swirling adjectives in the hollow of the moon, are a constant throughout the volume, spilling from Spanish to English, sound to sense—"arc oro orange azure azul ample apple simple timber timbre…"—and back again, with as great a depiction of creative processing as one's likely to see. At pains to depict Neruda above all as "a poet of the people," Brown encourages young readers to notice the suggestive world around them and then render it for others through language. She moves seamlessly from describing Neruda's poetic artistry to political activism, showing how an appreciation for the stones of Chile "tumbling down the mountaintops" could lead to his understanding of their value in "the hands of the stonecutters." A visual and thematic stunner. (author's note, bibliography) (Picture book. 4-11)


The book will be available online and in bookstores at the end of March, just in time for National Poetry Month. We're thrilled to share more early praise for the book:

“Brown and Paschkis paint a compelling portrait of a man who saw the world as a joyful, complex, and beautiful poem waiting to be unveiled.” Publishers Weekly

“Brown adds to her growing list of noteworthy picture-book biographies with this lyrical introduction to poet Pablo Neruda. Paschkis’ whimsical portraits honor the poet’s heritage and work with streams of words woven into the vibrantly patterned artwork…Brown’s succinct lines read like a poem themselves, and they emphasize the infinite places writers find inspiration, from seashores to coal mines to the faces of people they love.” Booklist


“Impassioned (story)telling combine with Paschkis’s vibrant, decorative style for a book high in child appeal.” —School Library Journal


For more info about books by Monica Brown, and to see her latest 2011 event schedule, visit www.monicabrown.net. Congratulations Monica and Julie!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Notes from the SDSU Writers Conference

We had the pleasure of participating in the 27th Annual SDSU Writers’ Conference last weekend in San Diego. This much anticipated conference brings together editors, agents, and writers for networking, one-on-one consultations, and presentations from top publishing professionals across the country.

For those of you that haven’t attended a Writers’ Conference yet this year---we were reminded how valuable the workshops are for writers at any stage of their projects. Most of all, we always feel inspired after a weekend of celebrating books and new writers! Who wouldn't? A writers conference might be just the inspiration you need to start a new novel or finish that looming revision!☺. Our trusted intern, Sara, sat in on several workshops at the conference and shares notes from one of her favorites:
Annette Pollert, an associate editor for Simon Pulse, a young adult imprint at Simon & Schuster, shared great insights into her editorial process along with lots of helpful tips for writers who are beginning (or have been putting off!) the somewhat daunting process of revising, in her lecuture “Revising Your Middle Grade or Teen Novel”. Here’s what Annette had to say:

On polishing dialogue:
- Read it aloud—does each character have their own voice, phrases, and tone?
- Is it serving a purpose? Dialogue should serve to enhance your manuscript, not tell us something we already know.
- Dialect (when used sparingly!) can be a great addition.

Backstory:
- Develop backstory—What do they wear? What are their hopes and fears? The more you know about your characters the more exciting their story is for the reader.
- Don’t be too nice to your characters! Torture them a little bit—but only when it has a purpose.
- Keeping it straight: Do you have lots of characters?—create a family tree. Make a map or floor plan to ensure settings and actions are viable. These are details that copywriters are going to check, so make sure it all makes sense!
- Have a strong backstory? Good…now cut it down! Readers want to experience the “now”.

Bringing it all together:
- Always keep the story moving forward—backstory should only be used to underscore the present.
- Reveal information only as needed. “Why are you telling me this?” “Why now?” These are questions an editor will be asking herself.

Common missteps:
- Cohesiveness: Have a character that disappears in the second half? Is the ending not in keeping with the tone in the beginning of the story?
- Don’t overuse gestures—they’re most effective when used sparingly, so readers really take note. Ditto on phrases and clichés, use them pointedly! Swearing can be appropriate in YA but don’t overuse it—make it count!
- Don’t wear out pace-building words—e.g. “suddenly”, “at that moment”, etc.
- Realizations are big moments! Is your character having one out of nowhere? Does it make sense at that particular time/place?

Don’t rely on summary, backstory, and adverbs—go back and revise! Most importantly, as Annette said, “trust your characters, trust your dialogue, trust yourself”.

Click here to learn more about the San Diego State Writers Conference.

Full Circle Literary will be on faculty at the following Writers Conferences---we hope to see you!

SCBWI Agent’s Day Los Angeles/Orange County (May 14, 2011)
National Latino Writers Conference, Albuquerque New Mexico (May 19-21, 2011)
SCBWI Annual Summer Conference, Los Angeles (August 5-8, 2011)
Willamette Writers Conference, Portland (August 5-7, 2011)
Writers League of Texas Conference, Austin (June 2012)
 

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