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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Spring Reviews

Almost a year after I announced that it was time to take a step back from this blog, Allison's Book Bag is still here. I'm slowly working back up to weekly reviews again. Each week, there will be one under any of these categories: Advanced Reader Copies, animal books, religious books, or diversity books. Some will come in the form of single reviews and others in the form of round-ups. Just ahead, there will be reviews of:

  • Freddy the Frogcaster and the Terrible Tornado by Janice Dean
  • The Distance Between Us by Reya Grande
  • Hearts of Fire from The Voice of Matyrs

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