I don't have a link for this one--yet (maybe I'll be able to post something in the comments soon)--but tonight's episode of the Colbert Report contained a rather amusing diatribe by Stephen Colbert about Stephenie Meyer's New Moon, which has spent quite a bit of time on the NY Times bestseller list. According to him, teenage girls shouldn't waste their time on vampires. They should go for zombies, because at least the zombies are interested in them for their brains.
Lastly, I just now found out that YALSA has a blog--you learn something new every day.
Okay, on to the conference stuff. I wanted to put down a few notes from Esther Hershenhorn's talk, especially since she provided such a wealth of web links, many of which I was familiar with but some of which were completely new to me. Esther talked about The Children's Book Creator's Seven Essential Nutrients.
- Your current project should always be foremost in your mind. Keep all your notes and drafts--you can always donate them to a good cause when you're famous. If you're a teacher or are planning classroom visits, compile a bibliography related to your book. Come up with your one-sentence description of your book, or your flap copy. Create a website for your book.
- Keep your creative process alive and well. Try freewriting or writing exercises. Try changing your writing tool--if you use a computer, try changing the font, or using pen and paper. Try games like forming as many words as possible using your character's name--some interesting ideas might spring from it. Put gold stars on your calendar for every day you get some writing done. And if all else fails, you can always use the create your own YA novel kit. Or try writing 100 words a day for 100 days, or National Novel Writing Month.
- Craft is always important. Study good examples like The Annotated Charlotte's Web. Read the Horn Book. Visit the Cooperative Children's Book Center website, and learn from all the resources there. Look at others' revisions.
- Read as much children's literature as possible. Again, the Horn Book and the CCBC are invaluable. Esther also mentioned the California Young Reader Medal.
To be continued...