“Attached to the wall below me was a ladder. It must have been for building maintenance people to do whatever it is they do. I was both crazy-happy and terrified to see it, but I knew there was nowhere to go but down. I pulled Toby as close as I could. I had to crouch to grab the ladder. Keep breathing Toby, I won’t drop you. One foot down — easy — there’s the rung,
The expression “to lose yourself” in the part or in the performance, which has so often been used by great artists in the theater, has always confused me. I find it much more stimulating to say that I want “to find myself” in the part. —Uta Hagen, Respect for Acting
To lose yourself in a story is to become utterly unselfconscious. This can be just as true of reading a story as of writing one.
Great stones they lay upon his chest
Until he plead aye or nay…
It were a fearsome man, Giles Corey.
–Arthur Miller, The Crucible
There’s more to Dad’s legacy than this—
There’s his resonant voice reading Tennyson,
There’s John McCormick on the record player,
The immigrant great-grandparents,
Who passed their Irishness down like a wishing stone.
In December, 1995 I gathered four teenage writers in our living room and began the wild odyssey that would grow into Epicwrite. Recently, I had the honor of being nominated for the Roslyn S. Jaffe Award for that work, and while the winner has not yet been announced, the extensive application process allowed us to reflect on our reason for being. I thought you’d like the video Epicwrite staffer Ashley Olson produced for us.
If you want to write a Young Adult novel, try this:
The Young Adult book market is in a state of rapid growth, as teens devour “relatable” reads and hunt for more. Publishers are searching for writers who know how to hit the right note for this expanding market. Join Katherine Grace Bond for a course on crafting your novel for this dynamic audience.
Teen writers are a diverse bunch. Not all of them even know they are writers. I’ve met all of the following writers in my programs, and I’ve seen the light go on in their eyes when they come to own their writing.
When I can’t write, I go into withdrawal. I live in my room with my characters, emerging occasionally for a sandwich.
Last night, while the Advanced Fiction Writers were engrossed in serious literary discussion in a fine eating establishment, we noticed that one of the waiters was spending a lot of time in our section of the dining room. “Well, yes,” he admitted. “I think this is the most fun I’ve had working in a long time.”
Witness THE POWER OF FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE. We were, at that very moment,
True confession: When I was a teen, I was known as “the writer.” When I showed my writing to people (which I did as often as I could) they said, “Ooh! Aah!” When I submitted stories to teachers, they said, “Excellent!” and once, “Is this really yours?” (I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or outraged.)
Then in college I had this one creative writing professor…When I submitted a story that I knew was quite daring (male viewpoint,
I have not shared any of my work-in-progress here because it has felt too close to the bone. It’s a YA. It’s about art. And it’s about time-travel. It’s about a girl who feels responsible for keeping someone else alive, and how she goes back in time and thinks she wants to stay there. It’s a verse-novel, so it’s made up entirely of poems.
But it’s time for some mutual sharing. I’m looking for a small group of young people (high school/college) and some art.
Target is accepting grant applications through April 30 for their Early Childhood Reading Grant and their Arts, Culture and Design in Schools Grant. Each could be used to fund an author visit, artist residency or arts workshop in your school. Early Childhood Reading Grants can also be used for libraries and non-profit organizations. Each grant has many other possibilities as well. The online application takes about 15 minutes.