Tools for the Taking

Talking about Titles

In many of my manuscript critiques, I discuss the importance of titles. As a matter of fact, the only part of a story posted for my Picture Book Peek Weeks is a working title. I understand that titles submitted are often not finalized – maybe a first thought or afterthought. Perhaps the writer intends to… Read more »

Top 10 Picture Book Takeaways from the RMC-SCBWI Conference

My Top 10 Picture Book Takeaways from the RMC-SCBWI Conference 10. Beware of dialog-heavy picture book manuscripts. 9. The only beef editors and agents have against rhyming picture books is that they’re so often poorly written. 8. Manuscripts need to be more perfect than ever before they’re ready for submission. 7. While marketing yourself is… Read more »

Random Acts of Publicity Week

The amazing writer/teacher/mentor/blogger Darcy Pattison has declared September 7-11 Random Acts of Publicity Week. And I’m excited about these fun four days of spreading the word about my fellow authors and their work. Darcy will offer daily suggestions for both online and offline promotion activities. Here’s the schedule: Tuesday: Word of MouthWednesday: ReviewsThursday: LinksFriday: Social… Read more »

ABC’s of Writing – Verla Tells All

Here’s a question I see frequently in my inbox. I’ve got a friend/uncle/daughter who’s written a children’s book. She needs a publisher. Do you have any advice? And the answer is certainly “YES, YES, YES!” Generally I respond to these queries with links to my favorite writing websites, blogs, boards and books. But the generous… Read more »