December 31, 2012

Read, Write, Draw!

Courtesy of ClipArt

Happy New Year!

Editor Irene Roth and I are happy to announce the Kid’s Imagination Train.  The first issue of the blog magazine will appear in January.  KIT was created to promote writers and to encourage children to read.  As an extra bonus, children will have the opportunity to illustrate their favorite stories.  Designed for children ages 5 -12, KIT offers book reviews and fiction and nonfiction by writers all over the world.

The Kid's Imagination Train accepts fiction and nonfiction from writers 18 years and older. Suggested topics for writers include: science, nature, animals, technology, history, astronomy, sports, world cultures, adventure, health, and volunteering.

Each month, KIT plans to publish one fiction story, one nonfiction article, and one book review.  Illustrations will be added to stories and articles in the order in which they have been received.  Please check out home page for writer's and illustrator's requirements:   


December 19, 2012

Professional Writer's Resume

Have you ever wanted to earn a special writing assignment?  If so, you may need to provide a writer’s resume.  Here’s a simple example that you may want to use or modify to suit your own needs:   

Contact information:  At the top of your first page, center your name, street address, city and state, phone, email.

Add the next sections in bold type, flushed left.

Summary:  The summary is an overview of what you have accomplished as a writer.  In a single paragraph, describe your writing experience and any other experience related to writing.   

Education:  List your degree, college attended, and year of graduation. 

Professional organizations:  List your memberships.

Experience:  List your job titles and the dates you’ve worked at each job.  The list goes from present to past.

Publications:  First, give a general summary of the kinds of pieces you’ve published.  For instance, it could look like:

educational articles for children
parenting and writer’s articles
elementary education lesson plans
fiction for children’s magazines 

Then add a sub-heading by listing the specific places where your work has been published.  These may include books, newspapers, websites, or magazines. 

There are many different ways to format a resume.  You can use my example or check online to see what works best for you.  Creating a professional resume is always good to have on hand.  You'll never know when it may be needed to earn a coveted writing assignment.


In a recent post, I blogged about three of my pet peeves:  improperly formatted bibliographies, submissions that fail to follow the guidelines, and rushed revisions. Let’s focus on pet peeve number two:  submissions that ignore the guidelines.  

Not that long ago, I received a fiction submission for my new blog the Kid’s Imagination Train  When I glanced at the word count, I cringed.  It was not just a little over the word limit, it was grossly over the word count. The submission was 2800 words.  KIT requires a 500-word count for stories and articles.  Now, I don’t get me wrong.  I don't get bent out of shape if a story or article exceeds word count and runs to about 600 words or so, but anything longer will probably earn a rejection. This author either failed to read the guidelines or chose to ignore them.  

Kid's Imagination Train guidelines are in place for a reason:  we respect our young audience.  Since the age group for KIT is for children ages 5 -12, this article would be too long to hold their attention.  

Writer's guidelines are not a set of rules open to interpretation.  They are policies a publication expects you to follow. So, my husband and trusted adviser offered me a suggestion—change the "writers and illustrators guidelines" to "writers and illustrators requirements."  Perfect!  I made the necessary change to KIT's home page.  This should clear up any ambiguities concerning word count and other submission rules.  But only time will tell.  Hopefully, writers will submit as required. And if they do, I will most likely strike pet peeve number 2 off the pet peeve list. 

December 10, 2012

Words of Wisdom

I never attended a seminar led by the motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, but if I had, I would have eaten up all of his advice, especially the words of wisdom about dealing with rejection.  For me, rejection often breeds negativity and defeat.  It makes me wonder if I will ever publish a children's book. 

Luckily this mood doesn't last long and I find ways to pick myself up.  Take for instance these amazing quotes by Zig.  Recently, I received another rejection, but after reading the quotes my spirits lifted.  If you are going through a similar period of frustration in writing for children, perhaps the following advice will be beneficial:  

"Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street."
"You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great."
"Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude."
"There is little you can learn from doing nothing."
"If you learn from defeat, you haven't really lost."
"Expect the best.  Prepare for the worst.  Capitalize on what comes."
"It's not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; it is how you handle what happens to you." 

Zig Zagler was born on my birthday, November 6th.  He passed away on November 28th, 2012 at age 86.