January 16, 2010

Random Saturday Thoughts

I wanted to share a few choice quotes from Katherine Paterson's interview with Signor Sutton in the latest Notes from the Horn Book...

Teachers have almost stopped reading aloud to their classes because of the pressure of testing and tight curricula, but it is the books we read and talk about together that bring us closer together.

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Since my first novel was rescued from a slush pile, it makes me sad that most publishing houses can no longer read unsolicited manuscripts, nor are many willing to take chances on novels that are not deemed immediately "marketable."


Some thoughts to ponder from the new Children's Literature Ambassador. May her term help usher in new opportunities to read to children at school and at home. And may she serve as inspiration and encouragement to new writers, helping them not to give up on their work despite the difficulties of getting a traditional publisher in this day and age. Ultimately, nearly all of us start out in someone's slush pile, whether it's a publisher still taking unsolicited submissions or an agent...(much as I am seduced by the outlandish pipe dream of some fabulous agent e-mailing me to say how much s/he was so impressed by my latest blog post and that I am obviously a preternaturally talented scribe who MUST be published immediately, repeatedly, and often...)



The Oregon Coast Children's Book Writers Workshop ALWAYS looks fabulous to me, and this year the excellent instructors include Eric Kimmel, April Henry, our local NorCal agent extraordinaire Jennifer Laughran, and more. If only I had all the money in the world for workshops and conferences...I mean, there's this, and Book Blogger Con, and this fall's KidlitCon (which I've got my eye on), not to mention the North Central CA SCBWI in April that I'm already going to, and the LA SCBWI in August...SIGH.

6 comments:

Michelle said...

It's amazing how much goes on in the world of books and book blogging isn't it? It's impossible to be able to do everything you want to do in the span of the year. Really the only way would be to win the lottery and what are the chances of that!

Hopefully you'll be able to go to one of the events, they really are a great time to learn and network with your fellow bloggers.

a. fortis said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Yep, I went to the KidlitCon in Portland in '08 and had a fantastic time. Just couldn't afford to go to DC this past summer. :(

Beth Kephart said...

Yes, Katherine P. is an inspiration, and I hope for what you hope for, too.

Sandra Stiles said...

Katherine Patterson is right. In our district they have paid lots of bucks to have a curriculum created for elementary through high school core subjects. They tell the teacher what to teach and the time frame for each unit and the books they are to have the kids read together (Language Arts) and as of this last month here in Bradenton, Florida our elective teachers have been told they must take Wednesdays each week and have the students read. I would not have seen a problem with this except our Art teacher was reading aloud the book "100 Cupboards" and the students were creating a cupboard and it had a whole readign and writing component to it and they told her she couldn't read it aloud on Wednesdays she had to do that some other time. Sad that just a few make the rules for those of us in the trenches who truly know what the children need.

a. fortis said...

That is REALLY sad. There's nothing I find more inspiring than lessons that really make curriculum something active and creative for students.

Saints and Spinners said...

I keep starting to type things, and deleting them. I feel as if I've said the same things many times before-- you know, hopes for the rise of the small publishers, a real positive revolution of the American public school systems, etc. I would like to see the slush piles abate so that there's a better chance of good writing to get through. As ever, I am rooting for you, a.fortis.