Friday, April 26, 2013


I'd like to congratulate Michelle Heidenrich Barnes as the winner of The Giant Saguaro Poetry Contest. SHe will receive an Amazon gift card from THe Storyteller's Scroll.

Here is her winning entry.
Happy Poetry Month.

Mighty Saguaro

Mighty saguaro!
Defender of calm—
woodpecker’s beat and coyote’s song.

Giant saguaro!
Sixty feet tall—
proud desert hero, protector of all.

Fearless saguaro!
Silent, yet strong—
arms poised for action should something go wrong.

Noble saguaro!
Imposing you stand—
benevolent king throughout the land.

© 2013 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, all rights reserved.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Children's Writers of the Hudson Valley Conference - June 8, 2013

Today, we have Karen Orloff, children's picture book author as our guest and she is here to tell us of a new conference opportunity.

1. Could you tell us a little bit about your organization? 

Children's Writers of the Hudson Valley (CWHV) is a brand-new organization started by six children's writers who have ten years of conference planning between them: myself, Val Marchini, Tracy Marchini, Karen Shan, Della Ross Ferreri and Catherine Ciocchi in order to help local writers get the tools they need to publish their work. We are dedicated to the development, education, and professionalism of children's book writers.

2.  Who can attend this conference? 

Anyone who writes for children, whether they are published or unpublished, is welcome to attend!

3.  Where is going to be held? 

This year's conference will be held at the Hampton Inn, on Route 9 (South Road) in Poughkeepsieon Saturday, June 8th from 8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

4. What makes it different form other writer's conferences? 

We believe this conference differs from some of the others because it will truly be a "hands-on" event, where writers will come with their notebooks and pens, ready to work. 

Two publishing professionals, Sterling editor Brett Duquette, and Curtis Brown agent Sarah LaPolla, will each be giving essentially a four-hour workshop (two, 2- hour sessions, broken up by lunch) where they will lead participants in
writing exercises on a variety of subjects, such as character development, dialogue, etc.  Brett will be offering a workshop on picture book writing; Sarah will be doing a novel writing session. Participants will choose one of these and will stay with that group during the course of the day.

Additionally, Tracy Marchini, former agent's assistant for Curtis Brown, will be giving an hour-long query letter writing workshop, which everyone will participate in.

5. What is the day's schedule? 

The conference begins at 8:45. From 9 -11 a.m., we will break up into the picture book and novel writing groups.

Lunch will be offered from 11 - 12. 

From 12 - 12:30, the agent and editor will hold an informal Q&A session to discuss their submission policies
and types of work they are acquiring, among other things.

 From 12:45 - 2:45, the picture book and novels workshops continue

3:00 - 4:00 will be the query letter writing session 

and from 4:00 - 4:15, there will be door prizes.

 6.Anything else we should know? 

Cost of this conference is $90, which includes lunch.  Off-site written critiques will be available by Tracy Marchini for an additional $25. 

Space is limited but there are still spots open.  For more information and to print out a registration form, go to  

Or email me (Karen Orloff) at:

We are looking forward to a wonderful, exciting and educational event!

2013 SCBWI Pocono Retreat at The Highlights Barn

A weekend with fellow writers. Great workshops. Great fun.
Critique Buddies from Eastern NY SCBWI

Two of the YA Wonderwriters

Great Writer Friends

Ode to a Cactus and oh so many laughs!
Selling the Two "R's" - RATGIRL:Song of the Viper  and ROCK STAR SANTA

Saturday, April 6, 2013

2013 Progressive Poem

Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem 2013

When you listen to your footsteps
the words become music and
the rhythm that you’re rapping gets your fingers tapping, too.
Your pen starts dancing across the page
a private pirouette, a solitary samba until
smiling, you’re beguiling, as your love comes shining through.

Tomorrow’s line comes from Janet Fagal.

I love writing rhyme. After thirty years of directing a laboratory Pre-School, it’s a part of me. The children loved story time, but rhyming picture books were the biggest hit. So I guess when an idea strikes me for a picture book, it almost always comes in rhyme.

Older kids like rhyme too, but what changes is the topic: humor for boys, and some girls, flowery for most girls, and some boys. Sometimes it’s the form. Teachers make use of haikus in class, as well as couplets and free verse.

Poems that are puzzles, like a cleave poem, are also a hit with older kids.

Always have a paper and writing instrument handy. You never know when ideas will strike you. Get the gist down and the rhyme and beat will follow. J

Another thing that is essential to writing poetry is a good critique group. I’ve been a member of THE POETS’ GARAGE for several years. As a collective unit we’ve churned out thousands of poems, some in children’s magazines, some in poetry anthologies for children, and some of us also have, or will have, rhyming picture books published.

In fact, you’ve already heard from our newest member, Matt. And following me you will be hearing from several more. So, long live children’s poetry and enjoy our progressive poem. You can follow the poem by checking in at the blogs in the sidebar.

Warm regards,
Gayle C. Krause


Hi folks: This is a fun challenge. Write a picture book in 50 words or less. See Vivian Kirkfield's blog for details. https://vivianki...