Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Science of Character

This post is reblogged from Terri Eichholz’ excellent Engage Their Minds. Not only is it great to consider where our readers are concerned, but also in terms of fictional characters!

Engage Their Minds

image from letitripple.org image from letitripple.org

“Instead of asking students what they want to be, we should be asking them who they want to be.” 

I wish I could give attribution for the above quote.  It was something I saw on Twitter a few weeks ago, and it resonated with me.  The film called, “The Science of Character” delivers a similar message, except the question is, “How do you want to be?”

My 5th grade GT students study the “Dimensions of Character.”  This 8-minute film, “The Science of Character,” says everything that I hope they will learn from this year.  It stresses that you have the power to develop your own character – and that you can also shape the character of other people.  The video cites brain research that supports these ideas, and also cites Carol Dweck’s work on mindsets.

The video asks the audience to think…

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Common Core: Creating Supplemental Materials

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by Heather Harris Brady

Since it’s a major goal of mine to have my books become part of the educational process I think a lot about creating supplemental materials. These materials (questionnaires, worksheets, fun activities and even LitTrips) are another way for writers to reach out to teachers and guides. I know companies like Scholastic do a lot of this for their books, but if you are doing a lot of your legwork there’s resources to help.

Common Core Seven-Step Short Guide to Creating Text Dependent Questions

Complete Guide to Creating Text Dependent Questions

Checklist for Evaluating Question Quality

Professional Development Module: Understanding Text Dependent Questions

Photo: Wiki Commons
 

New Lucky Agent Contest!

Reposted from Writer’s Digest Blog:

Welcome to the 14th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the deal: With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes—meaning each contest is focused around a specific category or two. So if you’re writing contemporary middle grade fiction, this 14th contest is for you! (The contest is live through EOD, March 18, 2014.)

WHY YOU SHOULD GET EXCITED

After a previous “Dear Lucky Agent” contest, the agent judge, Tamar Rydzinski (The Laura Dail Literary Agency), signed one of the three contest winners. After Tamar signed the writer, she went on to sell two of that writer’s books! How cool! That’s why these contests are not to missed if you have an eligible submission.

HOW TO SUBMIT

E-mail entries to dearluckyagent14@gmail.com. Please paste everything. No attachments.

WHAT TO SUBMIT

The first 150-200 words of your unpublished, book-length work of contemporary middle grade fiction. You must include a contact e-mail address with your entry and use your real name. Also, submit the title of the work and a logline (one-sentence description of the work) with each entry.

Please note: To be eligible to submit, you must mention this contest twice through any any social-media. Please provide a social media link or Twitter handle or screenshot or blog post URL, etc., with your offical e-mailed entry so the judge and I can verify eligibility. Some previous entrants could not be considered because they skipped this step! Simply spread the word twice through any means and give us a way to verify you did; a tinyURL for this link/contest for you to easily use is http://tinyurl.com/kva3w9j. An easy way to notify me of your sharing is to include my Twitter handle @chucksambuchino somewhere in your mention(s) if using Twitter. And if you are going to solely use Twitter as your 2 times, please wait 1 day between mentions to spread out the notices, rather than simply tweeting twice back to back. Thanks.

WHAT IS ELIGIBLE?

Contemporary middle grade fiction. This means any middle grade set in our present world and time — mainstream, thriller, romance, mystery, adventure, humor, etc. What the agent judge will NOT consider as part of this contest is stories set outside our present world — sci-fi, fantasy, historical, steampunk.

CONTEST DETAILS

This contest will be live for approximately 14 days—from March 4, 2014 through the end of March 18, 2014, PST. Winners notified by e-mail within three weeks of end of contest. Winners announced on the blog thereafter.
To enter, submit the first 150-200 words of your book. Shorter or longer entries will not be considered. Keep it within word count range please.
You can submit as many times as you wish. You can submit even if you submitted to other contests in the past, but please note that past winners cannot win again. All that said, you are urged to only submit your best work.
The contest is open to everyone of all ages, save those employees, officers and directors of GLA’s publisher, F+W Media, Inc.
By e-mailing your entry, you are submitting an entry for consideration in this contest and thereby agreeing to the terms written here as well as any terms possibly added by me in the “Comments” section of this blog post. (If you have questions or concerns, write me personally at chuck.sambuchino (at) fwmedia.com. The Gmail account above is for submissions, not questions.)
PRIZES!!!

Top 3 winners all get: 1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A free one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com ($50 value)!

MEET YOUR (AWESOME) AGENT JUDGE!

Christa Heschke is an agent with McIntosh & Otis. (Find her on Twitter, and see her blog, Neverending Stories.) Christa graduated from Binghamton University with a major in English and a minor in Anthropology. She started in publishing as an intern at both Writers House and Sterling Lord Literistic, where she fell in love with the agency side of publishing. Christa has been at McIntosh and Otis, Inc. in the Children’s Literature Department since 2009 where she is actively looking for picture books, middle grade, young adult and new adult projects and is currently building her list.

Apps Part II

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by Heather Harris Brady

In my last post we talked about using online apps to be more productive. I’m going to get a little more in-depth today on using apps while you’re writing.

I write a lot of historical fiction (using my ipad), so I’m constantly jumping around to fact-check. I use UX Write as my word processor, partly because it was cheap and partly because it can deal with .docx files.

UX Write also has a nice working relationship with Dropbox. As you can see from the above graphic, when I’m in UX Write I can choose my working files (under ipad) or jump into Dropbox where I store my historical research.

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Inside Dropbox I organize my research by writing project, noted above as Missfits 2 research. It’s worth noting that I do not ever save manuscripts or writing-to-be-published on any of the cloud services because I have a deep-seated skepticism of their privacy policies.

In addition to my Dropbox research library I also create mood boards and character inspiration boards on Pinterest (pinterest.com). Anything that isn’t conducive to either Dropbox or Pinterest I save in kippt (kippt.com).

I’m not receiving any kind of compensation for any of the services listed. They just happen to work for me, maybe they can help you out as well.