I’ve been meaning to write a blog article for weeks, but I’ve been so caught up bouncing from one activity to the next that I just haven’t had the chance. In addition to my regular editorial consulting work, which occupies at least half of my time, what else has kept me so busy? Lots of activities—all of them fun. Here’s a quick overview.
Pages Party at Newark Library: On February 24, I spoke to dozens of young writers whose writing or artwork was selected for inclusion in this year’s Pages publication. The event, which was sponsored by New Castle County Libraries, drew a packed room as families joined the celebration. It was truly inspiring to be among so many talented young people!
SCBWI Regional Conference: On March 17-18, I spoke at the SCBWI regional conference in Maryland. I conducted a workshop on writing and selling nonfiction, and I participated in a panel discussion on getting and working with an agent. In addition, I held individual critique sessions with three writers. Being surrounded by the enthusiasm of fellow writers for a weekend always energizes my work for weeks after.
Mini Book Tour in New York: I organized a mini book tour in New York for March 24-25. On Saturday, I did a reading and book signing at the delightful McNally Jackson bookshop in Manhattan (where my cousin’s daughter, best-selling author Kate Milford, works). A small but enthusiastic audience listened to stories and asked questions about writing for nearly an hour. The following day, I read and signed books at the Dolphin Bookshop in Port Washington. All in all, the weekend proved quite an adventure!
Delaware Writers Studio: On April 15, I spoke about “Writing for Children” to aspiring writers at the Kirkwood Library. Attendees seemed to really enjoy the suggestions I was able to offer on writing and selling books and articles to children’s publications. I’ve reached the stage in my career where I find it gratifying to share the knowledge I’ve gained over the years with others who just beginning their journeys as writers.
School Visits: In March and April, I did writing workshops, readings, or Literacy Night appearances at Colwyck Elementary School, ASPIRA Academy, John B. Moore Middle School, McVey Elementary School, and Maclary Elementary School. May will find me doing workshops at Wilmington Manor Elementary School and Newark Charter School. Also, a special shout out to United Way of Delaware, which sponsored several Delaware authors to speak in schools across the state on February 1, World Read Aloud Day. I spoke at Bancroft Elementary School and Pulaski Elementary School in Wilmington. Sharing my books and writing tips with literally hundreds of youngsters is one of my favorite “jobs.”
Book Writing: Sandwiched in between all these other activities (and my consulting work), I was able to make progress on several book projects. I finished editing/proofing Capstone books on Kids’ Legal Rights and Decoding Propaganda, and I signed contracts for five new books. In the coming months, I will be writing biographies of Ruth Brader Ginsburg and Tecumseh, as well as a You Choose adventure book, all for Capstone. I also will be doing updates of books about the states of Pennsylvania and Illinois for Cavendish. In addition, I’m working on two picture book manuscripts. I don’t want to say too much about those for fear of jinxing them, but I’m excited about both. One is a collaboration, and the other is a potential follow-up for One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me!
Freelancers always say that it’s better to be too busy than not busy enough, and I have definitely been in the “really busy” category for the first four months of 2018. Given the projects already booked for the summer and fall, I foresee busy times ahead. I feel truly blessed to be able to work on projects that bring me so much satisfaction and joy.