Allison's Book Bag

Current Write #1: October Writing Group Meeting

Posted on: October 26, 2015

MyMuseMondayMy Muse Monday is a fun meme where writers can meet other like-minded writers and share what they’ve been working on and how the week has gone for them. I’ve decided to post a monthly summary of my local writing group’s meetings.

After several years of failing to any long-term critique partners, this past spring, I finally found two local partners. One lady works regularly on educational submissions for young people. The other lady enjoys creating picture book rhyming books.

Ironically, despite my best attempts to avoid leadership roles, I seem to have become the host for our group. As such, I find the best time and place for everyone to meet, as well as suggest topics for discussion.

At our initial meeting, we decided how our group should operate. We set up these guidelines:

  • meet for a couple of hours once a month
  • swap manuscripts ahead of time
  • start meetings by sharing writing information
  • switch midway to discuss critiques of our submissions
  • share both what works and doesn’t work about our submissions
  • end with discussion of markets
  • alternate where we meet
  • provide snacks

At our October meeting, we spent the first half of our meeting talking about our experiences at a state children’s festival. Here’s a link to my write-up: Plum Creek Children’s Literacy Festival

Next, we moved onto critiques and pumpkin cookies. I shared a story that I had submitted a year ago to a now defunct contest. One of the ladies recommended I restructure it as a chapter book. A light bulb went off in my head! Previously, I had always thought my choice of writing for young people came down to writing for magazines with a limit of about 1000-2000 words or for the novel market with an expected length of 40,000 to 60,000 words. Perhaps instead my inclination to write long stories makes me best-suited to the early reader and/or chapter book market?

Our discussion ended with a talk about challenges. Some of the more popular writing ones include:


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Summer Reviews

Books can take connect us with strangers, take us to unique places, and introduce us to new ideas. They can also offer hope in a chaotic world. And so I must share what I read!

Each week, I’ll introduce you to religious books, Advanced Reader Copies, animal books, or diversity books. Some I’ll review as singles and others as part of round-ups. Just ahead, there will be reviews of:

  • Joni: The unforgettable story of a young woman’s struggle against quadriplegia & depression by Joni Eareckson
  • The True Story of the World’s Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary by Samantha Glen
  • Brothers in hope : the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan–refugees by Mary Williams
  • The Inner Life of Cats by Thomas McNamee



Cat Writers’ Association
Artists Helping Animals

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