2-3:30: Welcome, Rebecca Pepper Sinkler!
Your session with Ms. Sinkler, former editor of The New York Times Book Review, will not be all childlike genius, but rather a very grown-up discussion about craft. Specifically, I've asked her to talk to you about what she requires for non-fiction blogs for SafeKidsStories.com. Please make her welcome, and have ready your project descriptions and any questions about how to begin the blogs, how to interview your subjects, how to get enough color and action into a piece that's all talk or ideas, how to end. Ask her what young writers--or old ones for that matter--often do wrong, or what she's delighted to find in a new blog. Ms. Sinkler has anecdotes, experience, editing energy, humor, and a well of generosity for this, her city, for children, and young writers. Enjoy!
This week, we will do the scheduling of deadlines that I failed to do with you last week--after promising Kupa I would. Oy! Aspen Challenge winner(s) will be announced on March 29, and we are hoping to publish Aspen Challenge stories during the month of April. This is only the second time we will publish stories during the term in which they are written. We will need them written sooner rather than later so that Ms. Sinkler has time to read, edit, and talk to you about them.
Anyone whose page count is looking short need to do another piece? Here's a very good one one: https://www.rvcrew.com/rebel-crumbles/
Finally, page counts for children's books. Here's a good article from the Guardian, although WritersDigest.com has lots of them.
Aspen Challenger watchers: You have individual tasks to prepare for our consultation. I suggest you come prepared with a Google Doc that you and I can share with your tasks, contacts, and resources. Please look around for contacts and read the info below.
Free Library Culinary folks: look out for an email. I'll send you our time to visit as soon as I hear back from our contact there. Meanwhile, you can also check out the "Student-created breakfast item" in The Philadelphia Notebook and see whether there's follow-up you could do.
Please have your fictional characters, their development arcs, and your story sketches ready to go, too. On paper, Word, Pages, Docs: however you like. I'll ask you to give me the structure, maybe even to graph to story so that we don't get distracted by each and every delightful metaphor and detail. Joy in the morning; right now it's all plot points and rhythm: the building blocks of emotional power.
About the Challenge:
Please read this excellent summary of the event in The Philadelphia Citizen by Roxanne Patel Shepelavy.
Not every speaker gave a challenge. Here are the challenges offered. Don't recognize the name? Please, please read like a writer and look'em up; nourish your curiosity. Exercise it. Click around. Ditto the twenty schools and a complete list of participating schools are on the Aspen Challenge Philadelphia website. You cannot decide which school matches your interest unless you know something about them. Drake has decided she's interested in Girls High, because its a single-gender school, which was her high school experience. There's a school of creative and performing arts, a high school of health and science, an Afrocentric charter school. all very different missions for educating their students. Curious?
Click here for an overview of the project's five-year history, including challenges in L.A., Denver, Washington D.C., and Chicago.
Click here to read the solutions from last year's challenge in Chicago. You can find great solutions from other years online.
moving a character from innocence to experience; paralyzing fear to action; dependence to independent action; loneliness to friendship; fear to trust; what to what? What's the development you love to read? Write?
When does character make action inevitable?
Please take a look at this TEDx talk by children's author Donna Jo Napoli on subjects for young readers. What do you need to write? What do they need to read?