On Writing and Publishing

The Art and Science of the Critique
Audience: Writers/ Writing Coaches/ Editors/ Teachers/ Librarians

Whether you are giving or receiving literary criticism or editing your own work, there are guidelines for and offering constructive, perceptive comments and questions that help hone and improve writing. Learn how to develop a “good eye” and communicate both positive responses and concerns about a manuscript tactfully, clearly, and helpfully.

Match Making: Finding Your Dream Team
Audience: New and Experienced Writers and Illustrators

Learn how to build a professional team that best represents your career goals and professional interests. Do you need an agent? A writing coach or freelance editor? A booking agent for school visits? A publicist? How should you choose what publisher and editor best fits your work? Should you publish with different publishers for different books? All of these questions will be addressed to help writers and illustrators make informed decisions that will impact positively on their long-range career plans.

Bending the Trends: Writing Original and Innovative Books in a Derivative Market
Audience: Writers/ Illustrators

No writer or illustrator creates their work in a vacuum. Learn how to assess current trends in publishing and sales of books in various genres for children of different ages to determine how to focus your talent to produce books that are a good fit for the market and the readers. Gain practical tips on researching publishers and editors that can best publish and promote your work.

Honing Your Craft to Reach Your Audiences
Audience: Writers

This skills-based workshop will consider such style elements as narrative voice, tone, and perspective, as well as the importance of developing enticing openings, strong pacing, suspenseful plotting, and satisfying endings. In addition to strengthening writing techniques, participants will learn how to meet the expectations of adult “gatekeepers”—editors, marketers, reviewers, teachers, librarians, parents, and awards committees—while crafting appealing and challenging books for children and young adults.

Finding Your Voice and Making It Heard

Audience: Writers

What does your authentic writing voice sound like? Learn how to achieve internal logic and emotional truth in your writing while developing your best range and versatility in choosing formats and genres for the audience that needs to “hear” your voice.

Navigating the Maze of Children's Books Publishing
Audience: Writers/ Illustrators/ Teachers/ Librarians

Discover your best path to follow in bringing your work to the attention of agents, editors, art directors, and marketers to insure that your books will be well-published and promoted. Practical advice will guide you in avoiding and escaping the “slush pile,” gauging the differences among publishers, getting responses from your query letters, and developing a cordial mutually advantageous working relationship with publishing professionals.

What Do Editors Actually Do? And Who Needs Them?
Audience: Writers/ Agents/ Book Selectors

Discover the editor’s role in acquiring a book, making it publishable, and in choosing the best format, art, and design to make it successful. Find out how you can determine whether an editor is really working in your best interest and what she’s really doing all day (when she’s not reading your latest manuscript).

On Evaluating and Selecting Children's Books

The Books They Are A'Changin' (with apologies to Bob Dylan)
Audience: Teachers/ Librarians/ Education and Library Students/ Writers/ Illustrators

Children today are exposed to many forms of media and information about social, political and global crises. In content and format contemporary children’s literature is changing to reflect young readers’ worlds in new and exciting ways. Judy was the editor of Radical Change in Books for Youth in the Digital Age by Eliza Dresang. She will show how the construct for evaluating children’s and young adult books outlined in this award-winning professional book on children’s literature can be applied to many of the highest quality books published in the past quarter century and will demonstrate how to evaluate and appreciate books that resonate for their audiences.

Choosing and Using Books Children Want, Need, and Love
Audience: Teachers/ Reading Specialists/ Librarians/ Parents/ Literacy Volunteers

A child’s strengths and interests are as important as his or her reading level in suggesting books that help them learn about the world and themselves. Learn how to select books on such under-served areas of the curriculum as the arts, music, and global understanding. Find the best nonfiction, sports, and humor books for boys and all reluctant readers.

Consider the Source: How to Read between the Lines of Reviews, Book Lists, and Awards
Audience: Writers/ Educators/ Librarians/ Booksellers/ Parents/ Education and Library School Students

Book recommendations are more or less useful and valuable depending on the expertise, perspective, and criteria of the reviewer, review journal, sponsoring organization, or web site contributor evaluating books and other materials for young readers. Develop your own critical skills and evaluation standards, as well as learning to assess the criticism offered by prestigious review publications, book lists, awards juries, and web sites.

Are There Really Boys' Books and Girls' Books?
Audience: Writers/ Teachers/ Reading Specialist/ Librarians/ Booksellers/ Parents

How valid is the conventional wisdom about which books boys will read and which ones girls will love? Examine and debunk the myths that boys only like nonfiction or adventure stories and only girls will read quiet books about personal relationships. Learn how to connect themes, characters, and topics in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry to kids’ interests in sports, art, music, science, history, and all the activities in their own lives that cross gender boundaries. Turn even devout non-readers into avid bookies by connecting with their own enthusiasms to expand their reading horizons.

Basics of Children's Book Publishing for School Groups

How Do Good Stories Become Great Books?
Audience: Elementary and Middle-School Students/ Education and Library School Students/ Teachers/ Librarians

Go behind the titles in the bookstores and the library to find out the step-by-step process a writer’s good idea takes as it progresses through many drafts, revisions, editing, art, production, publication, promotion, advertising, and sales to reach the reader. This is a lively and accessible introduction to the art and science of getting a book published.

Copyright © 2012 Judy O'Malley   E-mail Judy at: judy at judy o malley dot com website design by Sarah Cassani