Slapstick and Subtlety: Yes, Please by @cordellmatthew

One of the greatest misconceptions about children’s picture books is that these are books with pictures that are meant for children. This is simply not true. I would agree that, obviously, a significant amount of eyes and ears and hands (some might say noses and even tongues) that are devouring these books belong to children. But, in truth, picture book readership is also significantly adult. Librarians, teachers, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, big brothers and sisters, neighbors, good Samaritans, adults who love picture books (like me)… Well, you get the, uh… picture. (oof) So, if a picture book writer is in no way considering the adult in the picture book reading scenario, then that writer is doing his or herself and the adult picture book readers of the world a disservice.

This presents one of the most challenging aspects of crafting a successful picture book: writing and illustrating a book that can satisfy two vastly different minds. A child and an adult. If the story and art are unbalanced and tip too far in one direction, then the whole thing is thrown off. If a picture book is detested by an adult—by perhaps skewing TOO much for the child—then chances are, that book will not be acquired by the adult gatekeeper (if you will) in the picture book reading scenario. It will not be bought or checked out or read (certainly not re-read), dooming it from the get-go. On the other hand, you may have a book an adult is wild about in some adult-y way. But If the book is too sophisticated—skewing too far for the adult—then it will go over the child’s head and will be pushed aside, forgotten, or… worse. (Hell hath no fury like a disregarded kid.)

There are many things to consider when making a book that is appreciated by adult and child, but let’s pick one and tease that out a bit. Humor. I feel like—generally speaking… you know… not selling anyone short—kids often respond to humor that is presented in broad strokes. Slapstick comedy. Slipping on banana peels, farts, getting kicked in the butt, pratfalls, etc. (um… all things I’ve plugged into my books at some point or another.) But if you ask me, a cover-to-cover book of this is doomed to fail. Ask me sometime about my abandoned manuscript involving a lactose intolerant unicorn. Yes, some adults share these same humorous sensibilities (or some might say lack thereof), but a lot of adults are savvy to a more subtle brand of humor: witty, dry, and even a dash of sarcasm here and there could do wonders to even out the scale. A lot of that very well might go over the heads of our kiddos—particularly the younger set—but the older kids may get it and if it’s done right, it won’t matter if the young ones don’t pick up on every single joke. So, how do we do it right? We do it all.

I’d like to use my picture book, ANOTHER BROTHER, to provide some examples of how weaving together big and less big moments of humor might lead us all down the same path to some laughs.

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To set the stage a little, the book is about family of sheep that starts small: Two parents and one child. But things escalate quickly, turning this family into parents with—get this—13 children! I mean… already funny, right?? (And already, with a kinda blink-and-you-missed-it grown-up joke. Remember when “cloning” first entered serious conversation with Dolly the sheep?)

In opening things up, I establish how important only-child Davy is to Mom and Dad. There’s a bit of humor here, but it’s mostly setting the stage info, so the humor is kept subtle and dry. (tender ballad, wooly masterpiece=sock, etc.)

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As the story and pages turn, Davy gets a brother. The humor and language is paralleled but amped up more for slapstick-y kid laffs! (pukes, farts, etc.) Looking at this page, there’s something else I’d like to point out. Sometimes it’s better to let the pictures do the heavy lifting when it comes to slapstick. It can make it a bit more… tasteful?

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As the story progresses and the family grows (and quickly it does), there is a wildly climactic and mostly wordless spread of the multitude of things the now 12 brothers are doing to annoy Davy. You see, they copy him endlessly. I tried to combine both subtle moments of humor here with over-the-top/knock-you-over-the-head ones.

 

 

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Moving on, Davy’s brothers mature somewhat and decide to start doing their own things. Ergo: they leave him completely and sadly alone. This brings me to one of my favorite moments in the book. Davy misses the company of his brothers and is trying to reconnect in various ways. He wants to do and like the same things they do, but nothing is lining up. For instance, their distinct preferences in television.

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The inspiration here being those kids’ shows out there that are well-meaning but are out and out CREEPY. (Think TELETUBBIES.) I’d thought kids would pick up on this, but at school visits (depending on the audience and time of day) the kids are usually quiet on this spread. I do, however, always hear some light snickering from the adults in the room.

And finally (spoiler alert!) things are resolved when Davy gets a sister who adores him and copies his every move. On the end page, we’ve got a nice tapestry of sweetness and humor—of both slapstick and subtle varieties.

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Picture book humor is not “go big or go home.” I think we’d be selling kids short by thinking that and also neglecting the adults who will be in on the experience. But it certainly can’t be “play it cool, hipster” either. (I just made up that expression.) Perhaps if we, picture book makers, can go into it with both eyes open, we might be off on the right foot. Just watch out for that banana peel.

TAKEAWAYS:

• Write picture books not just for kids, but also for the adults who love and read them too.

• Vary the way humor is used in your book, so both kids and grown-ups can be satisfied.

• Always be funny. Even if just a little bit.

CordellM_headshotMatthew Cordell has illustrated many books for children including Special Delivery by Philip C. Stead, a Washington Post best book of 2015. He is the author and illustrator of several picture books including Trouble Gum, Another Brother, Wish, and Hello! Hello!, a New York Times Notable Children’s Book. Matthew lives outside of Chicago with his wife, author Julie Halpern, and their two children. Visit him online at matthewcordell.com, find him on Twitter @cordellmatthew or on Facebook facebook.com/cordellmatthew

If you are registered for Kidlit Summer School, you can download a worksheet of Matthew’s writing exercise at our Exercise Book. This is a password-protected area — only members allowed! Please check your email for the password.

Don’t miss your chance to get perfect attendance! Leave a comment on this post within the first 24 hours. Moderators have to approve first-time commenters, so your comment may not show up immediately.

Tipping The Scales Between Heart And Humor by @leezaworks and GIVEAWAY

Recently, I saw Penn & Teller live. It was a riveting show filled with mystical “ooohs,” enlightened “aaaahs,” and of course, plenty of laughs. The magician-entertainers are dubbed as a comedy duo and they delivered right on point—tricks, tension, punch lines, you name it… all tied up into one gratifying package.

When I began tinkering with ideas for this blog post wondering what on earth I could possibly say that you might find helpful in writing/illustrating this year’s theme, I couldn’t help but think about the show. Or, rather, the relationship between Penn and Teller, their relationship with the audience—and their balance between heart and humor.

Penn—aka the tall, chatty one with glasses—took viewers on a journey, spinning tales of yesteryear. He harkened back to childhood, celebrated the pair’s relationship that has spanned four decades and walked us through old-school magic tricks such as the classic pull-a-rabbit-out-of-a-hat number and an impressive fire-eating act. He built up tension in between each illusion, and from start to finish, verbally narrated the evening that culminated with a satisfying ending.

He was the author. He told us a story full of heart.

Teller—aka the silent one—entertained us visually with magic acts. He expertly mimed with comical delight, using a wild array of facial expressions, props and body language (I’m still gaga over the turning-pennies-into-goldfish trick!). And he did it all without uttering a single word.

He was the illustrator. He painted the pictures and gave us the humor. (Not to mention being the epitome of “Show, don’t tell!’)

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Setting Up

The warm-up act was a jazz musician who played piano for an hour during which, he invited the entire audience to inspect a large wooden barrel and box set up on stage. It was an unexpected surprise to me. I realized he had deliberately set the tone for what lay ahead in the show. Was that orchestrated by the magicians? Of course!

Clearly Penn and Teller’s success is rooted in the strength of their working relationship with one another and knowing how to composite great live entertainment. For me, the performance had just the right balance of heart and humor, interspersed with tension, drama, and unexpected twists.

This led me to thoughts of the working relationship between author and illustrator—and how we find just the right balance in our work between heart and humor. Maybe you can have a lot of one, but need a little of its counterpart to create harmony.

That doesn’t necessarily mean exactly equal parts. I doubt you would paint a room exactly half black and half white. But rather, when you work up a first draft, dummy or outline, you step back and see where to emphasize your main focus (heart or humor), pepper in a little of the other where it’s needed most and perhaps round out with some tension, drama or unexpected twists—with the idea of delivering one gratifying package to your viewer: the reader.

Invite your audience to inspect the wooden barrel and box

Front matter of a book—endpapers, title, copyright and dedication pages—offer valuable real estate that can help set the tone of what lies ahead (heart, humor, or both) before your story begins.

It’s easier, yes, if you are the illustrator or illustrator/author, but even if you are not an illustrator there’s nothing to stop you from making suggestions. Be sure to give whatever you’ve suggested a reason to exist, not just because it’s funny or sweet, but that it contributes to the storytelling. As well as thoughtful illustrations, cleverly-written dedications, disclaimers, or special notes to the reader can set up the tone of your book.

Know When To Lighten Things Up

When your story’s scale tips toward sweet or sad, offer up some subtle comic relief to give your characters and readers hope—plus a way to stay engaged. If you have kids, or recall your own childhood, think about an emotional time when you or another family member used humor to help them (or you) snap out of a mood? Or did someone discover you actually cared all along, but you wouldn’t admit it and immediately you made fart sounds with your armpit to create a diversion from … you know… your ‘feelings’?

Give Reason To Care Beyond the Jokes

When the manuscript’s scale tips to the funny or silly, make sure you pull on that heartstring once in a while to strengthen the bond between your character(s) and story. A book filled with a list of one-liners won’t give your readers any real reason to care—or desire to know how it all turns out—basically it’s just a joke book.

Add Surprises

Once you’ve established your basic structure, look at where you can then: add a dash of tension (even when a comically-clumsy magician thrusting swords into the box that currently contains the beautiful assistant can still cause a reader to catch his/her breath); sprinkle drama to create some anticipation to wild shenanigans (cue the page turn, or cliffhanger); or feature an unexpected twist that can cinch the deal to that satisfying ending.

Think Less is More

And, if you’re caught trying to shove the playing cards back up your sleeve in hopes that no-one notices, you might be trying too hard. Keep it simple. Take a break. Deconstruct your work then build it back up. That’s what revision is for, right?

With the Penn & Teller show, the comedy was expected. The tricks looked simple and effortless (although I am sure countless hours were spent perfecting every nuance of the performance). In the end, the heartfelt narration was a nice surprise that made me care about these two in a deeper way, far more than I did before walking into the theater.

So, whether illustrating or writing: Get all your props together, find that balance, hit the stage and deliver a gratifying and magical package to your favorite audience—your readers!

HernandezL_HeadshotLeeza Hernandez illustrates (and sometimes writes) picture books including Dog Gone! and Cat Napped! and Never Play Music Right Next To The Zoo written by John Lithgow—as well as The Eat Your Homework series by Ann McCallum. She’s currently on lockdown in her studio illustrating Amy Parker’s This Is Your Day (Scholastic, Fall 2017). No really, she’s been locked in and no-one will let her out until she meets her deadline! You can find Leeza on Instagram and Twitter @leezaworks or visit leezaworks.com

If you are registered for Kidlit Summer School, you can download a worksheet of Leeza’s research exercise at our Exercise Book. This is a password-protected area — only members allowed! Please check your email for the password.

GIVEAWAY! Leeza is giving away a magical goodie box filled with surprises (including a 20-minute chat coupon where she’s happy to answer any of your burning questions) and fun props that may make you laugh, cry or both, plus three runner-up note packs. If you are a registered Summer School student and would like a chance to win a prize, please leave a comment on this post to be entered into the drawing. Good luck!

Don’t miss your chance to get perfect attendance! Leave a comment on this post within the first 24 hours. Moderators have to approve first-time commenters, so your comment may not show up immediately.

#KidlitSummerSchool Week 2 Begins Tomorrow!

Yay for Kidlit Summer School 2016!

You did it! You made it though week one, and the fun isn’t over yet, not even close! Enjoy today relaxing and having fun in the sun (psst… it’s #nationalicecreamday today) and get ready for tomorrow because it’s … drum roll please … WEEK TWO!

As a friendly reminder, for the most successful school experience, try your best not to skip class! They’re offered Monday through Friday right here on the blog through our fabulous faculty guest bloggers. All you have to do is virtually show up here. If you subscribe to this blog, you can have the school come to you instead. And don’t forget if you’re not already subscribed, just head to the right sidebar and subscribe—it’s that easy!

Now, take a look at your class schedule for the week ahead. More great info, wisdom and learning heading your way!

As always, please help us share the love for #KidlitSummerSchool by posting about it on Twitter, FB (including in groups of writers), Pinterest, and all other forms of social media. Simply use the tag #KidlitSummerSchool wherever you post. If you want, you can copy the ready-made tweet below and paste it into your feed. Super-easy!

More HEART&HUMOR on the 2nd week of #KidlitSummerSchool with blog posts, webinars, exercises, and more! http://www.nerdychickswrite.com

If you still didn’t get to it yet, no worries, here’s our check list of ways to get the most out of Kidlit Summer School:

  • Make sure you are on the email list! Do this by registering this year. All passwords, webinar links, etc. will be sent out through email ONLY. If you are not getting emails, please click HERE to troubleshoot. Because there are so many of you, we ask that you read this carefully before contacting us about a problem. A regular weekly email will be sent out (usually on Sundays). Look for it to make sure you get it!
  • Join our Facebook Group! If you have registered for Kidlit Summer School 2016, follow this link to ask to be added if you haven’t already.  If you haven’t registered, please register HERE, even if you registered last year
  • Participate in our Twitter #30mdares: This year, Rebecca Petruck will post prompts on Twitter and Facebook twice a week so students have the freedom to arrange group dares that suit their schedules and time zones, or do them on their own. The only “rule” is to set a timer and go without stopping for 30 minutes. You can find her on Twitter at @RebeccaPetruck.   Prompts will be posted Tuesday at 9p ET and Saturday at 10a ET. To get prompts, check the Twitter hashtag #30mdare or visit the Facebook group.Publisher’s Weekly covered Rebecca’s first experience with the #30mdare. You can read about that HERE.
  • FAQ page: Check out the pages for FAQs in the navigation bar for more information on webinars, email, and #30mdares.
  • Cafe Press: Soon our 2016 design will be ready to order from our Cafe Press store. You can have your own Kidlit Summer School uniform. 😉
  • Webinars: Stay tuned — we’re still working on these.
  • New to School? If this is your first time attending Kidlit Summer School, check out our updated ABOUT page for a brief explanation of how things work!

GIVEAWAYS:

  • Perfect Attendance: Remember the blue-star-thumbperfect attendance award? You can get one for attending Kidlit Summer School! We’ll hold a drawing at the end of Summer School for people who commented on every post here on the blog within the first 24 hours of it going up. When Summer School is over, there will be a post explaining how to be entered for the drawing for the Perfect Attendance grand prize.
  • Author Giveaways: Some of our amazing authors will be sponsoring giveaways with their posts. You must comment on their post to qualify for these. Details will be at the end of each post.
  • #30mdare Giveaway: Students who complete at least five of the seven dares will be entered to win a 20-page critique and follow-up phone call from Rebecca. 

ALL PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED AT THE END OF KIDLIT SUMMER SCHOOL 2016!

We’re off to grab some ice cream, but looking forward to another great week … See you in class!

The Kidlit Summer School Board of Education.

Follow us on Twitter: @dawnmyoung @kamikinard @leezaworks @marciecolleen @sudiptabq

POP QUIZ WEEK 4

Alright, are you ready to show off all that you have learned in our FINAL Pop Quiz? We know you’re all going to nail it and will surely show off your plotting prowess! Take this quiz to see what you learned during week three of Kidlit Summer School.

On Monday, Megan Miranda taught us to thrill our readers by…

  1. Asking ourselves “What’s the worst that can happen?”
  2. Adding even more tension.
  3. Finding moments to surprise.
  4. All of the above.

On Tuesday, Lori Degman asked questions regarding plot in rhyming stories…

  1. Does the story have a strong beginning that introduces the setting, characters or problem in a way that makes the reader want to keep reading?
  2. Does every line add to the story and move it forward?  
  3. Does the pacing (the length and rhythm of each line) match the mood of the story?
  4. All of the above.

On Wednesday, Julie Sternberg suggested using conversation-based techniques such as:

  1. Eavesdrop on your main character as (s)he tells his/her best friend what’s happened.
  2. Brainstorm your plot ideas with your writer friends, and keep brainstorming as you continue to write.
  3. Whenever a particular moment, or the plot as a whole, isn’t working, open a new document and have a conversation with yourself about why that might be.
  4. All of the above.

On Thursday, Christine Fletcher gave us tips for writing effective conflict

  1. Bring your protagonist face-to-face with the need to grow and change.
  2. Conflict has to directly impact the protagonist’s goals, fears, and/or flaws.
  3. The reader needs to know why the conflict and its outcome matter so much to the protagonist—because then, and only then, will the reader care too.
  4. All of the above.

On Friday, John Cusick showed us how to escape the murky middle of our stories by…

  1. Dropping your hero and a few pals into a new setting.
  2. Exploring what your characters are doing a week, a month, or a year from now.
  3. Writing a scene in which all of your characters attend the same party.
  4. All of the above.

On Saturday, Joyce Wan helped us learn to twist our endings through…

  1. An ending that echoes something that happened in the beginning of the story
  2. Role reversal in which a character is revealed to be someone else in the end.
  3. Challenging the perception of the reader.
  4. All of the above

How did you do? A++ right? 6 out of 6? If you’re not sure or think you missed something, that’s easy, simply go back and check out the posts from Week Four. This is an open blog test. You don’t even have to turn it in. Grade yourself and then pat yourself on the back!

POP QUIZ WEEK 3

Now that Week 3 has come to a close, it’s time to review what you learned and take a Pop Quiz. We know you’re all going to nail it and will surely show off your plotting prowess! Take this quiz to see what you learned during week three of Kidlit Summer School.

On Monday, Laurie J. Edwards reminded us that…

  1. Backstory is anything that happened before the book begins.
  2. Loading the first chapters with backstory slows the plot.
  3. A good reason to use backstory is when a character is doing something totally out of character, and it’s vital for readers to understand why.
  4. All of the above.

On Tuesday, Maryrose Wood talked about making sure that …

  1. Your hero should make the big choices, risks, discoveries and sacrifices that drive the story forward.
  2. Your hero is uniquely qualified to address the central problem of your tale.
  3. You have a rich cast of unforgettable secondary characters, but that’s no substitute for making your protagonist the most interesting, compelling and indispensable character in your tale.
  4. All of the above.

On Wednesday, Lee Harper suggested for us to…

  1. Imagine the outline of your story is the blurb on the jacket sleeve (flap) of your book.
  2. Be okay that there is always a LOT of going back and forth in the process of plotting a picture book.
  3. Know that the beauty of the Post-it technique is that you can easily get rid of what doesn’t work without investing a great deal of time in your writing/drawing.
  4. All of the above.

On Thursday, Jennifer Latham taught us that in order to build a good MG/YA mystery, you need to …

  1. Set up the basic mystery and decide on what you think it’s resolution will be.
  2. Establish 3-4 major pieces of information your detective will need to learn.
  3. Allow some clues and plot elements to emerge as you write.
  4. All of the above.

On Friday, Marcie Collen showed us how to throw rocks at our character and …

  1. Get back to the basics.
  2. Brew up a storm and make lemonade (or in this case, stone soup!)
  3. When all else fails, step away and start a list of possibilities.
  4. All of the above.

On Saturday, Charlotte Bennardo helped us learn that …

  1. You don’t have to stick with your outline, because it’s meant to be a guide, not a prison.
  2. If you can stop writing at the end of a chapter, that when you pick up again, you can read the last few sentences, look at the notes for the next chapter, and it will all click.
  3. If you need to make a major revision, update your Post-its first so that you can see at a glance if the changes will work.

On Sunday, Heidi Schulz recapped …

  1. The work of plotting is not finished once you have created your first draft.
  2. To consider places to expand or trim your work in order to keep the plot even-paced.
  3. To be sure to give low-action scenes after high-action scenes in order to give readers a change to catch their breath.
  4. All of the above

How did you do? A++ right? 7 out of 7? If you’re not sure or think you missed something, that’s easy, simply go back and check out the posts from Week Three. This is an open blog test. You don’t even have to turn it in. Grade yourself and then pat yourself on the back!

#KidlitSummerSchool Orientation. Class Starts Tomorrow!

Welcome to Kidlit Summer School Orientation!

Today we’re here to tell you what to expect so that you can feel comfortable and confident going forward. Looks like you’re sitting up straight and reading your assignment. Fantastic! You get a star!

smiling-gold-star-thumb

For the most successful school experience, make sure you don’t cut class! Classes are offered Monday through Saturday right here on the blog through our fabulous faculty guest bloggers. All you have to do is virtually show up here! If you subscribe to this blog, you can have the school come to you instead. We recommend this, so head to the right sidebar and subscribe if you haven’t already! You want to learn how to craft a riveting plot, don’t you? We’ll be covering all manner of strategies for crafting great plots over the next few weeks.

Sundays are a time to sit back and process what you’ve learned. We’ll have that covered here on the blog too! Along with some pop quizzes. Don’t worry about those. We have confidence you’ll pass with flying colors!

Now, take a look at your class schedule for the week. You’re going to learn a lot!

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Since tomorrow is THE FIRST DAY, we’d like to get #KidlitSummerSchool trending. Please help us share the word by posting about it on Twitter, FB (including in groups of writers), Pinterest, and all other forms of social media. Please use the tag #KidlitSummerSchool wherever you post. If you want, you can copy the ready-made tweet below and paste it into your feed. Super-easy!

Join us for the 1st day of ! THE PLOT THICKENS with blog posts, webinars, exercises, and more!

Here are some ways you can get the most out of Kidlit Summer School:

  • Make sure you are on the email list! Do this by registering this year. If you are not getting emails, please click HERE to troubleshoot. Because there are so many of you, we ask that you read this carefully before contacting us about a problem. A regular weekly email will be sent out tonight or tomorrow morning. Look for it to make sure you get it!
  • Join our Facebook Group! If you have registered for Kidlit Summer School 2015, follow this link to ask to be added if you haven’t already. https://www.facebook.com/groups/264884010371441/  If you haven’t registered, please register HERE, even if you registered last year
  • Attend the Webinars. Times and login information will be emailed to registered participants. You must register for the webinars you want to attend or watch. The next webinar, with the Kidlit Summer School Board of Education is this Wednesday, July 22 at 8:00 pm. You can also mark your calendars for 8 pm July 27. Our webinar that night will feature agents Sean McCarthy and Marie Lamda! Details about both events will be delivered by email. Find out what Sean and Marie are interested in acquiring, and more about our Board of Education by consulting the FACULTY page. You can find out more about webinars in the under FAQs above.
  • Participate in our Twitter #30mdares: This year, Rebecca Petruck will post prompts on Twitter and Facebook twice a week so students have the freedom to arrange group dares that suit their schedules and time zones, or do them on their own. The only “rule” is to set a timer and go without stopping for 30 minutes. You can find her on Twitter at @RebeccaPetruck.   Prompts will be posted Tuesday at 9p ET and Saturday at 10a ET. To get prompts, check the Twitter hashtag #30mdare or visit the Facebook group.Publisher’s Weekly covered Rebecca’s first experience with the #30mdare. You can read about that HERE.
  • Fill out your orientation form: Now, what’s orientation without filling out a few forms? Your task is to fill out this form before school starts! Click on the link to get your form: Orientation Form 2015  Luckily, you don’t have to worry about immunizations to attend this school. Like all #KidlitSummerSchool activities, filling out the form is voluntary! It’s just to get you thinking about the road ahead.
  • FAQ page: Check out the pages for FAQs in the navigation bar for more information on webinars, email, and #30mdares.
  • Cafe Press: We are setting up a Cafe Press store. Soon you can have your own Kidlit Summer School uniform. 😉

GIVEAWAYS:

  • Perfect Attendance: Remember the blue-star-thumbperfect attendance award? You can get one for attending Kidlit Summer School! We’ll hold a drawing at the end of Summer School for people who commented on every post here on the blog within the first 24 hours of it going up. When Summer School is over, there will be a post explaining how to be entered for the drawing for the Perfect Attendance grand prize.
  • Author Giveaways: Some of our amazing authors will be sponsoring giveaways with their posts. You must comment on their post to qualify for these. Details will be at the end of each post.
  • #30mdare Giveaway: Students who complete at least five of the seven dares will be entered to win a 20-page critique and follow-up phone call from Rebecca. 
  • Regular Registration Giveaways: We are giving away the following prizes to Summer Schoolers who register by July 26, when regular registration ends. Names will be drawn from registrants.
  • Brainstorming Session with Kami and Sudipta: a 30 minute BRAINSTORMING session with Sudipta and Kami together. In this session, the Nerdy Chicks will talk you through your idea — at whatever level of finished it is — and help you push it to the next level.
  • KLSS 2015 BadgeBling Pack: Our adorable Kidlit Summer School Sleuth designed by Joyce Wan on a notebook, totebag, and t-shirt from Cafe Press. 

ALL PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED AT THE END OF KIDLIT SUMMER SCHOOL 2015!

We’re looking forward to a great few weeks! See you in class!

The Kidlit Summer School Board of Education.

Follow us on Twitter: @dawnmyoung @kamikinard @leezaworks @marciecolleen @sudiptabq

Orientation

Welcome to Kidlit Summer School Orientation!

Today we’re here to tell you what to expect so that you can feel comfortable and confident going forward. I like the way you’re sitting up straight and reading this with interest. Good job! You get a star!

smiling-gold-star-thumb

What is a school without books? Books like these from Scholastic are some of the ones that will be given away during summer school! Others books and prizes will be given away with individual posts.

What is a school without books? Books like these from Scholastic are some of the ones that will be given away during summer school! Others books and prizes will be given away with individual posts.

For the most successful school experience, make sure you don’t cut class! Classes are offered Monday through Saturday right here on the blog through our fabulous faculty guest bloggers. All you have to do is virtually show up here, or subscribe to this blog in the right sidebar if you want to get daily emails. You want to learn how to compose a composite character and craft a unique voice, don’t you? These are two of the many great topics that will be covered over the next few weeks.

Sundays are a time to sit back and process what you’ve learned. We’ll have that covered here on the blog too!

 

There are other ways you can participate as well:

  •  Join our Facebook Group! Follow this link to ask to be added if you haven’t already. https://www.facebook.com/groups/264884010371441/
  •  Participate in our Twitter #30mdares on Thursdays at 9:00 EST and Sundays at 3:00 EST.  Don’t know what a #30mdare is? Here’s more info: What will your character do for a #30mdare? During Nerdy Chicks Write Summer School, Rebecca Petruck will host seven 30-minute dares on Twitter, Thursdays at 9:00p ET and Sundays at 3p ET. Each dare will be a prompt to push your characters to try something new, cross boundaries, and surprise themselves. In only thirty minutes, you may discover new aspects of your characters and open up your stories in unexpected and awesome ways. Plus, everyone who completes five of the seven dares will be entered in a drawing for a first-three-pages critique from Rebecca! Publisher’s Weekly covered Rebecca’s first experience with the #30mdare. You can read about that HERE.
  • Attend the free webinars. Times and login information will be posted on the FB group and sent through email. We are still working on these.

Email confirmations for people who pre-registered or registered by Wednesday have already gone out. We are continuing to send out confirmations for people who registered Thursday or later. If you registered, but do not receive an email from us by Sunday, leave a comment and we’ll check on it. NOTE: If you have requested to join the FB group and have not been accepted in by tonight, it may be because your registration name is different from your FB name. Send us an email at nerdychickswrite(at)gmail(dot)com with the subject line FB group and include the email address you used to register for Summer School. We’ll get it all sorted out!

Now, what’s orientation without filling out a few forms? Luckily, you don’t have to worry about immunizations to attend this school. Here’s a form similar to one I found for a certain university. Your task is to fill it out as one of your characters. Click on the link to get your form:  Kidlit Summer School . Like all #KidlitSummerSchool activities, filling out the form is voluntary! It’s just to get you thinking about character.

k and sWe’re looking forward to a great few weeks! See you in class!

Kami and Sudipta