Saturday, August 23, 2008


Susan Raab, author of An Author's Guide to Children's Book Promotion, and book publicist has interviewed 16 people for Teachers for a New Era, a project supported by the Carnegie, Ford and Annenberg foundations, intended for student use at the University of Connecticut. She grabbed me in the aisle at the Bologna rights fair last spring and was kind enough to include me. Susan is a great interviewer. She somehow encourages you to examine your own thinking, and draws out what you believe in, too. She asks good questions, but way more than that, she listens so intently that you forget the tape recorder is on. Among the 16 interviews there are writers, artists, reviewers, and more, from all over the world....

Here are the: interviews

WRITERS: If you have limited time, please start with Leonard Marcus. His books and this interview are a gift to everyone who cares about and wants to understand the birth, history, and current direction of American children's books--both the art and the business--and a quick look at what is happening internationally. He is also one of the nicest people on the planet.

ILLUSTRATORS: Don't miss the wonderful Marla Frazee whose work is amazing and who somehow turns an interview into an inspirational class session--as well as a very personal exploration of her own love of picture books.

Friday, August 22, 2008

exits and traps

This image is from Morocco. It's also in South End, Limori, one of the exit-alleys, lined with vendors and kiosks. It eventually leads away from the ale houses and the sailors and the squalor, back to cleaner, better parts of the city. It's one of the alleys that Sadina cannot walk. She just can't.
I realized something this morning:
It's weird how much of every book is autobiography. Oblique, maybe, but true, true, true...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

payingwriterjobs: filling the gaps

I have used this list off and on for years whenever publishers take six months to produce a contract that *still* needs minor amending, then another two months to write the check--or when they cancel a project because marketing was really hoping for something that would work with lavender glitter and a charm bracelet--or when an editor changes houses and the new one isn't really interested in historicals just now--or B&N decides they won't stock the next of a series so acquiring more titles is no longer of interest...etc, etc, etc....
Let's just not go into why I am suddenly reminded of its usefulness...
But it has saved me, and my bank account, a number of times.

The Official Rules:

This is a mailing list for PAYING writer and editor jobs. It can be Freelance, Staff, Contract, or Permanent, but must PAY. No work for free or chit-chat allowed. This is primarily a network for writers and editors who are looking for work and editors who are looking for professional writers. This is a moderated list, which means the owner approves of all postings.

My Version:

Payingwriterjobs is a group-generated listing of paying jobs for writers. No chit-chat, no communication between contributors, no nurturing, no writing advice, NO guarantees about the jobs listed. It isn't a list for beginners--but many beginners in one field of writing are professionals in another. The list assumes that professionalism: each writer will do his/her own research on any work offered on the list and be smart enough not to apply for work she/he doesn't know how to do. The purpose is to match professional writers with real jobs. Members are expected to contribute to the listings now and then by searching the internet for relevant postings--craigslist, industry rags, whatever. There is a moderator. To reiterate: NO ONE is guaranteeing anything to those who use the list.

Friday, August 08, 2008

writing about writing about writing

Just a quick note to say I am asking writers to respond to this:

The hardest thing about writing is....

Your answers will help shape the book about writing that I am slowly compiling. I want it to be truly useful--or what's the point? Two lists have already given some great responses. I hope to get many more. The answer can be about any aspect of the endeavor: craft, time management, how you enter "the trance", art vs commerce, character control (or not), writing through personal crises, the business end of writing, your mother in law's insistence that it's a cute hobby as long as your house stays nice (oh, no, wait, that was me, years ago)...and whatever else stands between you and writing a brilliant book.

Anyone so moved can certainly answer it here. Anyone preferring privacy can email me at kathleen at

Thanks for writing, for leaving your work for family, friends, and readers to enjoy, thanks for saving literacy.