3 Tips for Hatching Stories


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Writing has everything to do with chickens.  At least that’s how it feels as I embark on my new homeschooling/backyard chicken adventure.  Have you ever noticed that our language is inundated with chicken references and idioms?  That was part one of my chicken unit for the kids:  Find and define as many chicken sayings as you can.  They came up with 82!  Chickens have personalities, and preferences, and they are curious.  Who knew?  No wonder there are so many picture books about chickens! So with the help of my chickens, I’ll tell you about 3 tips for hatching stories.  

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1. Fly the coop. Chickens need to leave the coop and get some light if they want to produce eggs.  That’s why a chicken run and time away from the coop in essential.  

Sometimes as writers, we feel cooped up or overly scheduled.  This squelches the writing juices and we can’t produce.  Don’t fill your life so full that writing isn’t possible.  Write in the treehouse, at the library, in a park, or on a swing. You’ll lay your best eggs when you fly the coop!

To read more of this post, go to The Children's Book Academy!

Can You Paint With all the Colors of the Wind?



When I opened the package containing Colors of the Wind, by J. L. Powers and George Mendoza, I instantly knew it would be a hit with my kids.

The stunningly beautiful picture book is written about George Mendoza, a blind artist and athlete who also illustrated the book. I read this book to my 12, 11, 8, 6, and 4 year old's and they were mesmerized.

The story is visually arresting and the pictures fit seamlessly into the narrative. The story of George is inspiring and motivating...if a blind man can win Olympic medals and paint, than anything is possible. The message to work hard and persist in following your dreams is an important one and this book share that message very well.

We'll be reading this story over and over again for the story, the words and the breathtaking paintings. Well done, J.L. Powers and George Mendoza!

Interview of Dr. Mira Reisberg, Phenomenal Teacher and Mentor + GIVEAWAY


Dr. Mira Reisberg is a font of knowledge. Her passion for children’s literature and children’s book writers is obvious in everything that she does. I’ve taken several courses with The Children’s Book Academy and loved every minute of the experience!
Kirsti Call: You are an author, illustrator, teacher, and until recently, an agent. How do you decide what to focus on?
Dr. Mira Reisberg: First of all, thank you for interviewing me on Writers’ Rumpus. It’s a pleasure to be here.
This is such a timely question for me because after working 14-20 hour days for a year, I realized I couldn’t do it all. The pressure to earn a living combined with the pressure to do well by my clients, plus having a traumatic experience during the summer, took its toll and I got very sick. When I thought about what I loved most about agenting, it was helping others and working editorially, both of which I could do through the Children’s Book Academy, so I contacted all the outstanding editors who hadn’t said yay or nay, forwarded the clients’ contact info, and shut the agency down. It was very hard, but now I wake up without pain and anxiety, truly excited to be funneling my masses of creative energy into the Academy. We just had a webinar that 681 people signed up for, which is outrageous.
KC: I’ve taken several courses from The Children’s Book Academy. You are a phenomenal teacher and mentor. What is your favorite class to teach and what courses are coming up soon?
Read more of this interview here, on Writer's Rumpus!!!