Avi: Read Good Writing

Murder1Today I discovered an amazing children’s author: Avi. Avi has written over seventy books for young readers to young adults and is still writing. My first foray into his work was a fun historical fiction novel called Murder at Midnight about a magician’s assistant and the magic of the printing press. This evening, I plan to read Crispin: The Cross of Lead  which won the Newberry Award. crispin

Curious to learn about his writing techniques, I was delighted to find that he has a writer’s blog called Wordcraft. It is insightful, candid and full of useful information. I plan on spending plenty of time catching up on the last three years of his posts. He kindly put up a tag index, so I can go through his posts by topic.

I especially enjoyed reading an entry on re-energizing. Avi wrote “There is another way to re-energize, to wash away your author’s eyes of murky fog: read good writing. Not just any writing, but something you admire, that the world has told you is good, that is good.” His writing is my re-energizer today.

Advertisements

Agent Query Progress

A small break in the clouds.

A small break in the clouds

For once, I felt I was making some progress in my search to find agents to query. Then, the moment I was sure I had found someone and would get my first query letter out today, to my complete horror, her blog said she wasn’t accepting queries at this time. I clicked back to her agency page and there it was under her picture in red letters, not accepting queries. I could have saved myself a lot of time if I had noticed that before I started researching her further. At least I hadn’t read a bunch of books she represented before finding out she wasn’t accepting queries, this time.

Today, unlike most days of my frustrating agent search, I have found someone who looks interesting. She’s interested in writer/illustrators for middle grade fiction, which excites me. A while back, I read that editors liked to use their own illustrator, so a writer was better off not sending illustrations with the story. However, after reading that this agent wants illustrations, I’m going to get to work on the drawings to go with my story, at least a couple, and send them in with my query. I’ve been wanting to draw my monsters anyway, and I’ll need them if traditional publishing routes don’t work out, so this day just got a whole lot more fun!

Anyone have any tips on making the agent search easier?