Writing is a solitary endeavor... but we're not alone!
I wouldn't be where I am today without the things I've learned from other writers. Friends and mentors who have taken me under their wings. Trusted critique partners who help me polish my words to the brightest shine. Those who have taught classes and workshops. Those I've met at conferences and conventions. And the writers I will probably never meet, whose books still inspire me every single day.
In the spirit of paying it forward, I have compiled a page of resources for writers.
On this page, you will find free tips and tricks, interviews where I talk about the writing process, and even links to the (live or on-demand) virtual classes I teach on writing and on marketing yourself as an author!
I've teamed up with author Annette Whipple to create a series of on-demand courses for KidLit creators at all levels.
Please use the code VBKIDLITCREATIVES2020 for 10% off any course!
Some of the courses available now are course #1 in my Selling Yourself (without selling yourself short) series, "Preparing Your Perfect Presentation" (wherein I guide you through the process of finding the intersection between what you're passionate about, what you know, and what schools and libraries are looking for to showcase the story that only you can tell) and "Facts are Fun: Informational Writing for Children" (Annette's deep dive into the research process).
Courses coming soon include "How to Fracture a Fairy Tale," "Write What You Know (...and that's probably more than you realize)," and courses #2 - #4 in my Selling Yourself (without selling yourself short) series, "Allow Yourself to Shine (in-person and online)," "Reaching out to Schools and Libraries," and "Winning Author Presentations (making meaningful connections and keeping audiences engaged)."
Please feel free to contact me if you would like to set up a one-on-one consultation or a live webinar for your writing group--or if you have a suggestion for a future on-demand course!
- * Transitioning from Writing YA to Picture Books (Tara Lazar: Storystorm)
- * Authors who Have Influenced my Work (Jen McConnel: Writers on Wednesday)
- * 3 Cool Facts That You Might Not Already Know About Me (One Four Kid Lit Blog)
- * My Favorite Scene in TWELVE STEPS (Y.A. Reads - 2014 Debut Author Intros, Episode 6)
- * Why I Write What I Do (My Writing Process Blog Hop Answers)
- * How the Most Devastating Feedback I Ever Received was the Best Thing for my Writing Career (Sub It Club Success Story)
- * How Living with a Brain Tumor Makes me a Better Person and Writer (DiversifYA Blog)
- *How my Faith as a Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ("I'm a Mormon") Defines Me (DiversifYA Blog)
- * How I Almost Talked Myself Out of Being a Writer Several Times (Michelle4Laughs - It's in the Details: Getting the Call)
Though they aren't necessary, book trailers can be a fun way to promote your new books. Here are a couple of very simple trailers we put together for my debut novel, TWELVE STEPS, when it released in March 2014.
A writing guide for turning the familiar fairy tales, myths, and other stories we all know and love into something new and exciting.
I have been the coordinator for the MD/DE/VA/DC/WV Read Local Challenge since our beginnings in 2016.
Here are some links to our Meet The Author webinar series.
04 Jan 2018: A Conversation with Middle Grade Authors Laura Shovan, Leah Henderson, and Barbara Carney-Coston (moderated by Kathy MacMillan)
04 Jan 2018: A Conversation with Picture Book Authors J.H. Diehl, Amy S. Hansen, and Rebecca Evans (moderated by Kathy MacMillan)
24 Feb 2018: A Conversation with Middle Grade Authors Amie Rotruck and Deborah Kalb (moderated by Veronica Bartles)
24 Feb 2018: A Conversation with Picture Book Authors Ann McCallum, Karen Leggett Abouraya, and Lezlie Evans
03 Mar 2018: A Conversation with Young Adult Authors Conversation with Young Adult Authors Kathy MacMillan, Linda Budzinski, Meg Eden, Pintip Dunn, & Christina June (moderated by Laura Bowers)
08 May 2018: A Conversation with Picture Book Authors Sue Fliess, Megan Wagner Lloyd, and Veronica Bartles--Technical difficulties rendered the audio difficult on this webinar. Here are the author responses as a PDF instead.
Classes Available For Writers:
Need help writing a query letter that will catch an agent's attention? An elevator pitch for when you meet your dream agent at a conference? Or a Twitter pitch that will stand out in a crowded hashtag? As a three-time Pitch Wars mentor and a Literary Cupid for the recent #PitMatch Twitter party, I've had a lot of experience with query letters and short pitches that work. I'll share some tips for making your pitch pop and share real-life examples of pitches that work. If desired, participants may submit their pitches prior to the class for critique. I'll go over as many as time will allow.
Selling Yourself Without Selling Yourself series: Setting up Your Author Website
An online presence is essential for an author. Even if you are not tech-savvy, even if you rarely use the internet for yourself, your readers will look for you online. Your website doesn't have to be elaborate, but you need an online "home address" where you can be found. In this hands-on workshop, we'll walk through the basics of getting started with a simple website, including basic design tips to ensure a user-friendly, easy-to-navigate site.
Selling Yourself Without Selling Yourself series: Dipping Your Toes in the Social Media Pool
Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat. Tumblr. Pintrest. ... Every day, it seems there is some new social media app to master. Keeping up can feel overwhelming! Do you really need social media anyway? Yes, you do ... but the great news is, you don't have to let social media take over your life! We'll define your goals and compare the pros and cons of the various social media platforms to establish your plan for dipping your toes in the social media pool without fear of drowning in the deep end.
Selling Yourself Without Selling Yourself series: How to Reach Out to Schools/Libraries/Bookstores
You have your book. You have a great school/library presentation ready to go. You’re all ready for great author visits! … But how do you let schools, libraries, and bookstores know you are available? Who do you contact? What do you say? And what do they mean when they ask you to send a “high resolution” photo for publicity? In this hands-on workshop, we’ll put together a “media kit” with photos, links, bio, etc. that you can have available for all of your upcoming author events. Plus, I’ll share the tips I’ve learned in working with booksellers, school administrators, and librarians on how to present yourself in the best light. We’ll even work on drafting a personalized email that you can send to schools and libraries to let them know you are available for events.