Read Local Challenge

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I hope you had an amazing summer … and yes, I know, summer isn’t technically over until September 22nd, but the weather is cooler, leaves are turning, and kids are back in school, so for me? It’s fall.

I love fall.

I love the whole crisp notebooks, new pens, and fresh slate feeling that September brings, shaking off the lazy days of summer and inspiring me to once again roll up my sleeves and work hard on my goals. And one of my biggest goals? To read more. So I’m in luck thanks to our regional … Continue reading

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Writing Advice for Beginners: Coffee and Conversation Flashback Friday Round Two

Last week, I kicked off a Coffee & Conversation Flashback Friday series where we revisit awesome nuggets of wisdom shared by editors, agents, art directors, authors, and illustrators throughout the years here at As The Eraser Burns.

Missed it? No worries, here’s the link for the first round of writing advice for beginners.

Writing Advice for Beginners: Coffee & Conversation Flashback Friday 01

Ready for round two? Okay, let’s go. Continue reading

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Summer Writing Prompts

“I enjoy, in the summer, getting back to writing in my own voice.” –Mike O’Brien

I really like this quote, since summer is such a lovely time to relax, renew, and think about what truly makes you happy, as a person and as a writer or artist. It’s also a great time to grab a journal, kick back on the porch with your favorite beverage of choice, and scribble out a story just for fun.

Imagine that. Writing for fun!

With that in mind, here’s some fun first lines just screaming to be used as …

Summer Writing Prompts

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Writing Advice for Beginners: Coffee and Conversation Flashback Friday Round One

In the many years I’ve been blogging here at As The Eraser Burns, we’ve posted lots of Coffee & Conversation Interviews with editors, agents, art directors, authors, and illustrators. Within each are brilliant nuggets of advice that deserve a revisiting. So today, I’m starting a Flashback Friday series of posts with answers for various questions from those who have taken a turn in the C&C cyber chair.

Writing Advice for Beginners: Coffee & Conversation Flashback Friday 01

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Our Annual MD/DE/WV Regional Conference has a New Home!

Awesome news for those of you who are planning on attending our next SCBWI MD/DE/WV 25th Annual Regional Conference … it will have a new home! Here’s the announcement our co-regional adviser, Kathy MacMillan sent out with all the details:

25 and Still We R(ev)ise

We’re excited to announce that our MD/DE/WV Annual Conference will have a new home in 2018.  Though we have loved the beautiful Claggett Center, which has housed our conference for many years, we are simply outgrowing it!  (But we can’t quit it completely – be on the lookout for a writing retreat at Claggett in Fall 2018!).  After researching and visiting several facilities in the area, our committee has selected the Maritime Conference Center in Linthicum Heights, Maryland as the home of our 2018 Conference. It’s got a big, bright, beautiful facility, easy access from public transportation and BWI airport, and plenty of comfortable hotel rooms, so we hope you’re as excited as we are! Continue reading

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Crafting Dynamic Characters with a Character Development Chart

Cha-ra-cter: the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.

Chart: record the progress or development of.

Cha-ra-cter chart: a super awesome way to develop your characters in order to write a super awesome book.

With July’s blog theme being It’s all about the Character, this is the first in a series of posts about how to create dynamic characters with enough juice in their back pocket to fuel a dynamic story. A good place to start is, well … where I usually start, and that’s by filling out a chart I’ve created for my main character, antagonist, and important minor characters. Continue reading

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Upcoming SCBWI Events

Happy Friday, everyone, I hope you’re having an amazing summer! Ours has been wonderful but a recent Wal-Mart trip reminded me how fall is just around the corner, as proved by their stuffed Back to School aisles. But that’s cool, we have many awesome SCBWI events coming up this autumn, both for our region and others. So grab your calendars and get ready to make some notes! Continue reading

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Congratulations to Debbie Levy, winner of the 2017 Crystal Kite Award for the Atlantic Area!

Happy Friday, everyone! This post is long overdue, but major congrats and a mighty woo-HOO to regional member, Debbie Levy!

Her book, I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, has been chosen by SCBWI members as the winner of the 2017 Crystal Kite award for the Atlantic area, which includes Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Wash DC, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland!

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent her lifetime disagreeing . . . with creaky old ideas. With unfairness. With inequality. She has disagreed. She has disapproved. She has objected and resisted. She has dissented!

Disagreeable? No. Determined? Yes! Ruth Bader Ginsburg has changed her life, and ours, by voicing her disagreements and standing up for what’s right. This picture book about the first female Jewish justice of the U.S. Supreme Court shows that disagreeing does not make you disagreeable and that important change can happen one disagreement at a time.

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Ages 5 and up

Again, congratulations, Debbie! And if you’d like to read more about the winners in all fifteen regional areas, click on this link.

Happy writing and drawing, everyone, and I hope you’re having an amazing summer!

Posted in Book Talk, Member News, Regional News | 3 Comments

Guest Post: Karen Leggett Abouraya

Happy Summer and welcome June! In keeping with this month’s theme – Diversity – we are fortunate to have Karen Leggett Abouraya’s contribution to ATEB!

Karen Leggett Abouraya, a member of SCBWI MD/DE/WV, is a veteran journalist and children’s author who lives in Silver Spring, MD. Her first book, Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books, written in collaboration with illustrator Susan L. Roth, won a CABA award in 2013.  Karen is also the author of the picture book biography, Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words and an active member of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, D.C. @LeggettAbouraya facebook./com/handsaroundthelibrary

Take it away, Karen~~ Continue reading

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Happy Book Birthday, Meg Eden!

Congratulations are in order for area member Meg Eden on the release of Post-High School Reality Quest.

Buffy’s your typical cosplaying, retro-gaming, con-going geek girl, but as her high school graduation approaches, she finds she has an unwelcome guest in her mind: <>the text parser.
Narrating her life like it’s a classic adventure game (cough Zork cough), the text parser forces her to interact with the world through a series of a typewritten commands: Finish school.
Go to party.
Fall in love.

At first it’s pretty cool. It’s not easy making the transition from high school to college. It’s not easy dealing with roommates. It’s not easy being in a new relationship with her lifelong crush. Buffy makes some huge mistakes along the way, but the text-parser lets her fix all of them.

It’s like having superpowers…until the text parser won’t shut up.

Buffy is desperate to get rid of it, but no matter how many times she tries to restart or reset, the text parser won’t go away. Before long, her life starts to crumble: her friends grow apart, her roommates turn against her, and her boyfriend falls into a deep depression. Buffy’s life has become a game, but how can you win when there’s no final boss?
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