Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fall 2009 Writers Conference in Utah

They are still going:

SCBWI Conference: November 13-14, 2009

The Annual Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrator's (SCBWI) Conference in Salt Lake City, November 13-14, 2009 at the City Library (210 East 400 South, Salt Lake City). Speakers will include Egmont USA editor Elizabeth Law, Book Stop Literary agent Kendra Marcus, and Simon and Schuster art director Laurent Linn. Guest authors will be Royce Buckingham (Demonkeeper), Bree Despain (The Dark Divine), Bobbie Pyron (The Ring), Jean Reagan (Always My Brother), and Sydney Salter (Jungle Crossing). Plus, a Friday writing intensive with Terri Farley (author of the Phantom Stallion series).

The workshop on Friday will be from 2-4:30pm.
Cost $25/SCBWI members, $35/non-members.

Satuday will be from 9:30am-5:15pm.
Cost $85/SCBWI members, $100/non-members.
To register go to the scbwi website @ www.scbwi-utah-idaho.org or email Sydney Salter Husseman at u.i.scbwi@mindspring.com for a PDF of the brochure.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Mania--Query

One of our readers submitted a query letter for critique. Feel free to make comments, but please keep them constructive.

Critique Archive 0027:

October 22, 2009

Dear xxxx,

I spoke with you at the BYU Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Conference where you expressed an interest in mid-grade contemporary fantasy. Most boys dream of being super heroes, but in my 40,000 word novel, Eddie and the Magic Staff, disabled twelve-year-old Eddie Davenport dreams of being normal, until the day he disappears down a sinkhole and finds a magic staff that cures him—while he holds it.

Trapped beneath the earth, Eddie rouses Afvyra, last of the dragons, from centuries of slumber. “Dragons aren’t real,” Eddie said. “It’s a dream, or a really good movie effect.’”

To escape the dragon’s wrath Eddie must choose to keep the staff, or relinquish his new found freedom to buy his sister’s life. Will he discover in time that he is more than his disability, and that true magic lies within?

Eddie and the Magic Staff received an honorable mention in the 2009 League of Utah Writer’s Tween Book competition. My writing has also been published in LDS Living Magazine. I am the Vice President of the Absolutely Write chapter of the League of Utah Writers.

As the mother of two disabled boys I have unique insight into the inner struggle of disabled children and feel this enables me to accurately portray the search for acceptance Eddie experiences in Eddie and the Magic Staff.

I appreciate your consideration and look forward to hearing from you. I have enclosed a SASE and the first three chapters for your review.



Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday Mania--Query

One of our readers submitted a query letter for critique. Feel free to make comments, but please keep them constructive.

Critique Archive 0026:

Dear XXXX,

It’s 1992, you’re in London in the middle of the night, frightened and alone. Who would you call? If you are a brilliant, desperate 11-year-old girl hiding in the Notting Hill library, you call on your favorite literary characters. Why? Because Jane Eyre, Huck Finn, and Sidney Carton are your friends…

The young English girl’s tale is one of two that converge in Charm Bracelet, the first novel in my City of Roses series. Set in Portland, Oregon in 2009, the second storyline revolves around jaded corporate attorney, Simon Phillips. In an alcohol-induced fog, Simon finds himself atop a conference room table at his law firm boldly taking the entire legal profession to task, spouting off the things lawyers sometimes think about but never say. This gutsy stand, and other bad-boy behavior, land Simon with an enforced leave of absence, volunteer work, and stress management classes.

Hoping to avoid anyone he knows, a sober, disgruntled Simon goes to a crumbling community center in Northwest Portland for help, and there, unexpectedly, meets the love of his life. Simon has only to look at Dr. Kate Spencer, a non-profit pediatrician, to know she will change him forever, Accustomed to women falling at his feet, Simon must work hard to become a better person, one worthy of Kate. Will it be enough for him to win her, or is it his turn to have a broken heart? Can Simon help Kate move beyond the tragic past that haunts her? Will Kate risk emotional security or continue burying herself in a life of service? And just how does a dented, battered charm bracelet tie Simon and Kate’s story to the girl in the library?

These questions are all answered in Charm Bracelet. Comparable to the work of Lolly Winston, the 102,000-word story explores the consequences of loving another, showing that relationships can be harrowing as well as redemptive. It’s a smart love story with humor. And a shiny, gold heart.

I have been a passionate reader and writer since childhood, and now that my six children are older, I have adequate time to devote to my vocation. Over the last two years, I have taken as many classes as I could to learn the craft. I participate in two critique groups, have attended writer’s conferences throughout the state of Utah, and I am a member of The League of Utah Writers. As a regular speaker at a local women’s organization, I feel in tune with what women look for in a good story, and I am now working on the third installment for City of Roses. My former instructor, Sharon Jarvis (The Kaleidoscope Season, The Fairhaven Chronicles, Deseret Book Company) suggested that I begin submitting my work.

I have enclosed the first five pages of Charm Bracelet with this query. I hope to hear from you in order to send more. Thank you for your time and consideration.