Tag Archives: writing workshop

A Writing Community that Works for YOU

19 Jan

Do you need to belong to a writing community? Yes, you do! There are various groups you can join, some free/some paid. Each has its own focus, everything from support and information to education and advocacy.

This week I had the opportunity to learn about an organization that I want to share with you. The Authors Guild is an advocacy group which works FOR you. “The Authors Guild exists to support working writers and their ability to earn a living from authorship. We work to protect free speech, honor copyright, and ensure fair compensation practices in the changing publishing landscape.” This very important mission includes offering legal advice, resources, discounts, and providing seminars and workshops to members.

Free Swag included a new journal!

Yesterday, the AG offered a free workshop in Cincinnati (Thanks to our library for hosting.) and I attended with one of my critique partners. AG partnered with Penguin Random House to present a full day of seminars, lunch, and fellowship. Topics included Path to Publication, An Editor’s Perspective, Your Legal Rights: Making contracts Work for You, Everything You Need to Know About Agents and Query Letters, and more. I went home with so much information, I’ll be processing for weeks!

Whether you write kid lit, short stories, poems, novels, magazine exposés, newspaper articles, how-to manuals, scientific research, editorials, blog posts, screenplays, movie scripts, tour guides, cookbooks, or anything more than your grocery list, I highly recommend that you join the Authors Guild too.

Our Granny

16 May

Last week I was doing a little picture book research, and I ran across a forgotten favorite. We used to read it when I taught first and second grades, and oh how the children loved it!


Our Granny written by Margaret Wild and illustrated by Julie Vivas (1993)

Our Granny is a sweet and very funny book about the many different kinds of grandmothers we have and how each one is loved by her grandchildren for their unique traits. The grannies are compared to the narrator’s granny on separate pages. The first lines immediately lets the reader know that not all grannies are the same. ‘Some grannies live in… apartments, big old houses, old people’s homes, little rooms in the city, trailers, farmhouses, cottages by the ocean, nursing homes, or nowhere at all. Our granny lives with us in our house.’ (I added the commas because it is written in free verse with each fragment on a separate line. It’s much more beautiful in print.) The many different grannies have fat knees, crinkly eyes, big soft laps… our granny as a wobbly bottom.  Some grannies  wear silky dresses, big bras, sensible shoes…our granny wears a funny bathing suit. Some grannies baby-sit, go to college, write books, play in a band… our granny marches in demonstrations. The last line, of course, is ‘We love our granny.’

The illustrations are beautiful, funny, and heartwarming. Children can really see how the grannies (and people in general) can be loved for their differences.

After reading this book, my classes always had the opportunity to write about their own grandmothers and draw a picture of them. This work was displayed and then added to their writing portfolios to share with family members at our end of the year Author’s Tea. Regardless of what other masterpieces their children wrote throughout the year, this one always brought at least one person in the room to tears and laughter. Do yourself a favor, and read it with someone you love!

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