Learning online isn’t just for kids. You could be too!

I’ve been amazed at the online learning opportunities that have popped up in the last few weeks for writers. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) has free seminars through April. You do have to be a member to register, but if you’re interested in writing children’s books, being a member of SCBWI is something you should do anyway. Check out their digital workshops at https://www.scbwi.org/scbwi-digital-workshops/  Some of the workshops coming in the next few weeks include authors Henry Winkler & Lin Oliver, and Linda Sue Park and an editor at Scholastic, Kate Feldman.

Our regional chapter of SCBWI, Southern Breeze was supposed to have their annual writer’s conference in Alabama in March. We all know what happened with that. But the conference committee did an amazing job of putting the break-out sessions into live Zoom meetings. You can still sign up for some sessions at https://southern-breeze.scbwi.org/. Most sessions are only $15 and a few are free.

Janice Hardy

This week, fellow Mojo Debbie D’Aurelio and I sat in on a fabulous session led by Janice Hardy. The session was called “Finding the Plot in Your Premise”. If you’ve never visited Janice’s website www.Fiction-University.com, you should. Everything you ever wanted to know about how to write a novel is somewhere in her blog posts or her books. Janice told us, “A great premise is often full of potential, but it’s all setup or setting and there’s no story.” One of the best tips she gave us was to write a query letter before you write the book. She said that if you can’t write a query letter, you don’t have a story yet. The three questions you should ask about your premise: Is there a goal?; Is there a conflict?; Are there stakes?

In this crazy time, it’s been a nice distraction for me to be able to hone my craft through these online seminars. They’ve inspired me and motivated me to work on my projects. Middle Grade Mojo hopes you can be inspired too.