Nancy's Books

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Inspiration to write/Jaime Adoff/Kiki Magazine/Contest/Call for submissions

One recurring question I’m asked is “How do you stay inspired to write?” This question has many forms, such as “Don’t you get tired of writing, day after day?” and “How do you find the time to write?”

Inspiration often comes in brilliant flashes like lightning when an idea for a story zigzags into my brain. Other times inspiration seeps over me like cool breeze on a warm day. This happens when I read a story or article that impresses me or meet an author who is compelling in his/her own way or talk with someone who enjoys reading books.

A week or so ago, I attended the Kentucky School Media/ALA Conference in Louisville. Several authors were scattered around a spacious room snuggled comfortably between vendor booths. Nice arrangement for all. I chatted with librarians from around the state. Between signing books and talking with vendors, I introduced myself to the one author who sat in a booth near me. He said his name was Jaime Adoff, and he briefly discussed his books, stating he wrote novels and picture books. I was impressed with his pleasant, sociable personality. Our conversation was cut short when librarians came to our tables with books for us to sign. As I turned to walk to my table, I picked up a brochure from a stack Jaime had on display.

A few minutes later, I began reading Jaime Adoff’s brochure. My mouth dropped, literally, when I read that he was the son of Virginia Hamilton, the Newbery Award-winning author, and Arnold Adoff, the renowned poet. Jaime has collected impressive literary awards of his own, including the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award and the Lee Bennett Hopkins Award.

Between signings, we continued to talk. And laugh. And tell stories.

I met school, public, and academic librarians. We talked. And laughed. And told stories.

I met the editor-in-chief of a notable new magazine, Kiki, for tween girls. We talked. And laughed. And told stories.

When I left Louisville, I felt energized to rev up the story I’m working on and to find the time to write a story that’s been percolating for a while. Meeting authors and librarians and editors and others in the writing community is my way of staying inspired to write.

Students often need to be inspired to write, too. One way is to allow students to choose a topic they’re interested in. Another is to write while students are writing. When students observe a teacher writing, they see value in the experience. One of the best ways of firing up students to place pencil to paper and write is to read books aloud and follow with a discussion of the plot, character or a specific aspect of writing.

Find out what works to inspire you or your students to write. When you do, immerse yourself in that world periodically and leave refreshed and ready to create new worlds of your own.

Contest/Call for submissions

The Competition is open to any writer, regardless of nationality, who has never been the author of a published novel (authors of self-published works may enter, as long as the manuscript submitted is not the self-published work) and is not under contract with a publisher for publication of a novel. Only one manuscript entry is permitted per writer. All manuscripts must be original, previously unpublished works of book length (no less than 220 typewritten pages or 60,000 words) written in the English language by the entrants. Murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the story. If a winner is selected, Minotaur Books will offer to enter into its standard form author's agreement with the entrant for publication of the winning manuscript. After execution of the standard form author's agreement by both parties, the winner will receive an advance against future royalties of $10,000. Deadline November 13, 2010.

Kiki Magazine
Kiki is a magazine for girls who love life, appreciate creativity, and recognize good ideas. A Kiki reader thinks for herself, has her own look, and is on her way to being a confident, strong, and smart young woman. She's a girl with style and substance! Kiki shows you all the different ways you can be involved in design. Seven different departments blend style and artistry with intelligence and creativity, and design features will inspire you to transform your Kiki into your very own creativity journal!
This magazine accepts submissions from professional writers and from female students. Male writers must be parents of girls.
Details at

1 comment:

  1. Great to meet you too Nancy! Great post! Best of luck with your writing!


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