Dramaquill's All Things Writing

November 18, 2013

Barbara Park, Junie B. Jones author, dead at age 66

Before I settled into writing novels in the adult suspense genre, I dabbled in writing for children. Several of my poems were published in Hopscotch for Girls magazine, WeeOnes online, Dragonfly Spirit and My Friend Magazine.

I also enjoyed writing stories for kids and at one point thought about taking the adventures of some of my characters in chapter books, MG novels or even YA.

For research, I read a lot of books in the kidlit field, but I must say that the Junie B. Jones series, by Barbara Parks, was one of my all time favourites. June B is a hilariously charming and funny girl who’s take on life’s ordinary occurrences entertains adults as much as the children who read the books.

Today, as I checked my emails and ezines, I read about the passing of Barbara Park, the Junie B. Jones author. She was only sixty-six years of age.

It got me to thinking  not only about myself ,but about so many other writers who complain that they don’t have the time to sit down and write.

Well, we’d all better make the time. We never know how long we’ll be lucky enough to grace planet earth with our existence.

Whether you’re a Junie B. Jones fan or not, Park’s success with this series proves that great writing sells books.

Check out this article from NYdailynew.com:
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/junie-b-jones-children-author-barbara-park-dies-article-1.1520219

If you really want to write, make the time –  for tomorrow is not guaranteed to any one of us.

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November 27, 2007

Now here’s a contest that could boost a new writer’s career

So far I’ve blogged mostly about my suspense novel in it’s final revisions and my Nanowrimo suspense novel.  But in fact, I’m also a kidlit writer.  I write about eight original playscripts every year for our studio’s drama department and I enjoy writing rhyme, inspired of course, by non other than the master of rhyme, Dr. Seuss.

I’ve had several poems published in both print and online kids’ magazines with two more coming out in 2009 with Hopscotch and Boys Quest magazines.  I love writing rhyme and also have several rhyming PBs making the rounds.

I was first made aware of the Delacorte contest when my critique group was helping me with the POV and other issues in my YA novel, “Thinkers”.   This prestigious contest is offered up to new writers of MG and YA novels who have not previously had a book published. 

But the competition is stiff and the judging tough.  Several years, the prize was not awarded, indicating that the level of the entrants manuscripts was not sufficiently worthy of the Delacorte stamp.

So a piece of advice to those who might be intrigued to enter:   Polish…polish…polish those manuscripts.  Join a critique group.  Revise and edit.  Check and double check spelling, typos, grammar and format.   Hone your skills at writing dialogue, developing characters that make us want to cheer for them and plots that keep the reader flipping to the next page.

If you’ve done all that and really believe in your manuscript, then it’s time to enter the Delacorte.

Although the MG category is closed for 2007, there’s still time to enter your YA this year.

http://www.randomhouse.com/kids/writingcontests/

Good luck!  Maybe one of you will be the next Delacorte winner.

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