Showing posts with label School Journal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label School Journal. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A short word...

This is the Skinny Blog Post because I have to travel urgently up country
In the news here in NZ, the closure of Learning Media which deserves a long broadside blog post on its own.

Overseas the Goodreads Bullying debacle goes on and on. Nathan Bransford had some thoughts on this. Reviewers behaving badly.... IMHO if you don’t like the book, don’t review it. Life is too short.

Roz Morris has a great blog post on how to deal with Critiques and Editorial Feedback.

Writers Guide To Publishing has a comprehensive post onbacking up your many ways should you ... could you do it...

In Craft,
K M Weiland has two stunning posts on building writing confidence and Crafting Opening Scenes with input from Roz Morris.

Artists Road is also looking at Beginnings and reflecting the other.

Write Practice has a close look at the crafting of series books...what do you need to nail down.

Even the Huffington Post has a look at writing tips.

In Marketing,
The Bookshelf Muse team on hand selling your book.

Dear Author has a guest post on cover design for won’t look at your book cover the same way again...

Website to check out...
This week I posted on Facebook an article by KristineKathryn Rusch on one book vs career publishing which struck a nerve... Kris and her husband Dean Wesley Smith have covered all aspects of the book publishing trade between them and their Business Of Publishing posts are to the point master classes in being a professional writer.

I promise a longer post next week after I’ve calmed down* over the NZ Governments breaking of an internationally recognized, award winning, educational publishing company dedicated to giving NZ children the best of our writers and artists for 105 years...because education should make a profit for the government shouldn’t it?


* pigs will fly first...

 pic 1964 School Journal...Four levels covering 5year olds to 12 year olds. Four issues a level...16 journals a year sent to schools (free) in class sets of 30. Each journal comprising of 3 Fiction short stories, 3 Articles, one play, one craft activity, 8 poems all graded at the reading ability of children in each level and cross indexed according to subject and reading level in a comprehensive index issued every year covering 5 years...which was my teaching bible. All schools considered their journal room holding up to 20 years worth of class sets to be their prime reading resource for teaching reading literacy and keeping NZ in the top 5 for reading literacy in the world over many decades.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Under The Spotlight

Around the world governments are pulling in their belts and trying to budget better to cope with the depression following the banking crisis. Sadly Educational publishing, which provides resources into schools, has taken a hit with money shaved off here and there or dropped altogether. 
Children learn to read on specially designed books and discover an amazing world of knowledge, adventure and dreams that enthuse, delight and challenge them. The best days as a teacher are when you can see the light bulbs switch on over kid’s heads. They can make sense of the squiggles on the page. They can read words!
The people who produce these books are often paid peanuts and still turn out top quality work because they have a passion to create life long learners, to start a child on the road to finding out knowledge for themselves. It is a great gift to give and children’s writers and illustrators know they are privileged to do it. They demand the best of themselves, to give the best to their young readers.

For some reason writing for children is seen as adults not directly involved in it. Simple words on a page... anyone can do it.  In fact it is a very specialised skill...the smaller the book the more specialised. 
When I first sat down to write for children, I brought home 20 readers from my school and analyzed them. On average they had 50 words. They told a funny story with a pay off at the end. The funniest one I analyzed had 47 words. There were only 11 different words used in the story. Margaret Many, the genius, became my benchmark. My ambition to write a funny 50-word reader (and boy was it hard,) became by default my writing school. There was huge jubilation when my work was accepted two years later on the 30th submission to the School Journal. I felt like the child in my classroom... the squiggles finally made sense! I was flying. I could do anything. Of course after that it got harder.

This week the NZ children’s writing community has been standing up and asking what is happening with the School Journal? Is it going to be a victim of a budget cut? 
This iconic part of NZ school life provides the major resource of our literacy teaching. It is provided free to schools, four times a year, at four levels throughout the school and is the envy of many countries. New Zealand children’s writers earn a good portion of their income from the Journal, which with its 105 years of history is the longest serial publication for children in the world. The illustrators, many of whom work exclusively for the journal and related resources are world famous in the NZ classroom and unknown outside of it. Our best and brightest talents have started with the School Journal, often continuing to contribute work long after they ‘made it big’ in trade.

We are pleased to say it is still here with us after the uncertainty of the last week. The loud voices, letters to ministers and media attention have hopefully shown the government that even the rumour of a threat to the School Journal will bring a swift response. Educational publishing should not be a victim of a short sighted budget cut. The children will lose out. New Zealand writers, illustrators, designers and editors will lose out and the Government will lose out. 
No government will want to be known as the One That Cut The Journal. It would be like banning Pineapple Lumps or Jaffas.

In the rest of the world...Children’s and YA publishing is holding up the rest of the publishing industry with the latest figures out.

DigitalBook World looks at Mike Shatzkin's predictions that soon most people working in publishing won’t be working for publishing companies...

Is it time for writers to stop blogging? Jane Friedman asks if it is really worth it. And she also spotlights five industry trends that every writer should be aware of.

Is Hybrid the new buzzword for agents...This article looks at the rise of expanded literary agencies.

On Craft,
Story Openings: Hook or Seduction

On Marketing,
Writing and making a Success of Serial Fiction...this is a podcast...and it is really interesting. Iain Broome talks to Sean Platt about writing episodic serials... every week a new Episode up on Amazon.

To Finish,
Rachelle Gardner takes a look at what writers have to do to earn some money.... It’s a simple list but shines a small bright light....


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