We were delighted to have Kendra Levin, Senior Editor at
Viking Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House; Emily Feinberg, Associate
Editor at Roaring Brook Press; and Stacy Whitman, Publisher of Tu, an imprint
of Lee and Low Books at our June 2015 CWHV conference.
Kendra kicked off her novel writing workshops
with a three-page handout. Several exercises explored character development and
getting to know your character by sharing a secret or receiving a gift. When
building your character you are "building layers or unpeeling layers." Some
exercises involved writing in a different perspective and stepping outside your
comfort zone by writing in a different genre or POV; another exercise was to
identify your main character.
"The key to successful picture book writing is to learn to think visually," said Emily Feinberg, leader of the
picture book workshops. One exercise involved working with shapes to help the
writers think visually and to understand the importance of scene changes and
page turns. Another exercise was to rewrite the first scene from your
work-in-progress using a different perspective. In addition to other writing
exercises, pagination, page turns and the acquisition process was discussed.
Stacy Whitman closed our conference with her
presentation on multiculturalism. "There are
much more children of color in the United States than there aren't and those
children deserve to see themselves in books." Stacy explained the importance of
doing research; when the story isn’t accurate, it pulls the reader out of the story. She advocated using experts to review your manuscript to help ensure its
accuracy and authenticity and having strong characters who "push on the plot
more than it pushes on them." Check out stacylwhitman.com, if you are
considering writing cross-culturally.
were critiqued by Tracy Marchini off site. Attendees received a written
critique from Tracy upon check-in and had the opportunity to speak with her during free time.
farewell to Tracy as a CWHV co-founder and committee member. She will continue to function as
a critiquer for future CWHV conferences. We wish Tracy well in her future
writing endeavors and will miss her insights, her enthusiasm and her ideas. Thank
you, Tracy, for all your hard work and time that you invested in the newsletters and other
tasks. Go forth and be brilliant!
conferences are a great way to network, reunite with old writer friends and exchange
information. A writer informed me of a local fiction writing group where you can
share and get feedback on your manuscript. Meetings are on selected Tuesday
nights at Barnes & Noble in Poughkeepsie. http://www.meetup.com/Hudson-Valley-Fiction-Writers-Workshop/
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|Kendra Levin and Stacy Whitman|
|Tracy Marchini discussing a critique|