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Sunday, March 28, 2010

One of the best ways to find out what's happening in the world of kids' books at any given moment in time is to attend a conference. This past weekend (March 27th and 28th) I attended the Tennessee Mountain Writers Conference in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. One of their speakers was Candie Moonshower, author of The Legend of Zoe. Candie held two sessions, one of which I attended called "Writing For Young People and Children". She was her usual entertaining self and kept her audience's attention with her wit and knowledge of the art of writing for children. Out of her ten points to remember, what struck me the most were the ones centered around the act of writing, keep writing, write some more, then re-write what you've written. Writing exercises that creative muscle, as Candie called it. But another of the ten points was to be sure to read what's out there for children now. What I do is refer to what I think are the masters of the craft - the books that keep me coming back again and again to read and then re-read, trying to absorb, perhaps, what it is that makes them great. Work the muscle. It helps keep the juices flowing.