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Writing For Charity Event

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm involved in a charity event on July 19. The event makes sense for aspiring writers who are within striking distances of Salt Lake City. The proceeds go to a really great cause. Here are the details:

Writing for Charity

This summer have unfettered access to professional children's authors,
all in the name of charity! Saturday, July 19 several local authors
will host a Writing for Charity event in Salt Lake City, with all
profits going to The Wheelchair Project. Come hear writers talk about
their process, how to write for a young audience, storytelling tips,
and the ins and outs of the publishing business. In addition, have
your picture book text or first page of your novel (the most important
page!) workshopped by professionals.

When: Saturday, July 19, 9 am to 1 pm
Where: Salt Lake Main Library, 200 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, Utah
Cost: $45 (should be tax deductible!)
Event breakdown: 9:00 am -- Registration
9:15 - 10:15 am -- Panel discussion in the auditorium
10:30 - 11:15 -- Break out discussions in topic groups
11:30 - 1:00 -- Small group workshops

Authors include Brandon Mull, Shannon Hale, Mette Ivie Harrison, Ann
Cannon, Kristyn Crow, Becky Hickox, Kimberley Heuston, Anne Bowen,
Aprilynne Pike, Ann Dee Ellis, Mike Knudson, and Wendy Toliver.

Space is limited, first come first serve.

To reserve your spot, mail in the $45 registration fee.
Mailing address: 1176 E 2620th N, Provo, UT 84604-4132
Make checks to: "LDS Philanthropies" (the organization that runs The
Wheelchair Project) and write "Wheelchair" in the memo line.
Also include: Your name, age, phone number, and area of interest--
picture book writing, fantasy novel, or realistic fiction novel.

On the day of the event, bring 15 copies of the first page of your
novel or picture book text (maximum word count: 300 words) for some
hands on workshopping.

100% of the proceeds go to The Wheelchair Project, a wonderful charity that donates new wheelchairs
to people in third world countries, many of whom have never had one. A
wheelchair can completely change the life of a disabled person,
offering mobility, increased independence, and a chance to go to
school or find employment. Because this charity is administered by
volunteers with LDS Philanthropy, there is no overhead and every penny
donated goes directly to purchasing wheelchairs. This is not a
religious charity--the wheelchairs go to the needy regardless of their
faith. Thank you for supporting this extraordinary cause!

Jerky Authors

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I keep hearing rumors that some authors are jerks, although I still haven't personally met a real prizewinner yet. A few have treated me indifferently, but nobody has been rude or openly arrogant. Still, talking to people in the industry, and to bookstore employees, and readers, I hear there are some really impersonal authors out there. Names have been named to me, though I will not repeat them here.

What blows my mind is that of all professions, fiction writers should be the most personable! Why? Because to do what we do, we have to understand what makes somebody likeable or despicable, heroic or cowardly, friendly or abrasive, nice or jerky. We make our living by creating characters, and making those characters relatable to readers. How can writers who thoroughly understand what makes somebody smart, or kind, or likeable proceed to behave another way? By the way, if I'm ever a jerk, feel free to quote this back to me.

The bright side so far is that my personal experiences with other authors have been mostly quite positive. Through book conferences and other opportunities, I've had a chance to meet some pretty successful authors, and most have been very personable, including some big names like Neil Gaiman and Christopher Paolini. I hear that authors for younger audiences have a reputation for being nicer, and those are largely who I meet, so maybe that is part of it, although some of the friendly authors I have encountered write for adults. Guys like Orson Scott Card, who generously gave me some very helpful advice when I was brand new.

Not that you have to be famous to be jerky. I can easily conceive of the semi-famous or non-famous jealous jerk variety. So easily that I may have even glimpsed a couple.

Speaking of personalities, on a lighter note, somebody forwarded me a Fablehaven personality test. I have no idea who created it. I took the test, and apparently I'm Lena. Who knew? If you want to check it out, here is a link: http://www.allthetests.com/quiz25/quizpu.php?testid=1214937487

That's all for now. I'm almost done with chapter 6 of Fablehaven 4. Feels like a lot of fun so far. I'll keep you posted.

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