Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Writer's workshop weekend

I just got back from my first children's book writer's workshop. It was held at an old hotel on Lake George. It was like "The Shining"--nearly deserted, no cell phone service, socked in by rain and fog.

I had to take a 6-hour train ride, followed by a 20-minute cab ride from a woman who drove in the middle of the road and pointed out that the Novocaine had not yet worn off from her dental appointment.

Here, in a nutshell, is what I learned:

Never submit a manuscript about:

1. Bedtime
2. Monsters acting un-monster-like
3. Cats and kittens or puppies and dogs going on an adventure
4. Going green
5. Visiting grandparents
6. How much I love you
7. Overcoming boredom
8. First day of school
9. Dealing with disabilities
10. Baby bird learning to fly
11. Caterpillar turning into a butterfly
12. Okay to be who you are
13. Anything that rhymes

I learned this right before the book editor critiqued my manuscript, which was a rhyming bedtime story about being loved just the way you are. Fortunately I'd left out the part about the baby bird visiting the caterpillar who overcomes disabilities while visiting his grandparents who are going green.

1 comment:

  1. Well, you'd already been in the ACTUAL 'The Shining' hotel, so better to see a new one for this. I'm surprised the no-no list didn't include saying good night to the moon.