2003 Children's Writers Workshop a Success
By Dorinda Miller
(from the July 2003 Heartland Writers Journal)
As the coordinator, I was pleased with the interest shown in our
first HWG children's writer workshop. The participants benefited from
real life experiences of an editor, Julia Messina, and two published writers,
Jeanie Stewart and Sheila Wood Foard. Each gave the audience very specific
information concerning writing for the children's market, including
expectations from the publishing industry.
My greatest hope was to help fan sparks of interest from the publishing industry
toward writers in the Heartland. Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas were represented
with a total of 58 writers in attendance. I believe
this region is rich in history and stories that have yet to enlighten and
entertain interested readers. In order to bring the best publishers to
area, writer's organizations, like HWG, must continue offering quality
workshops and conferences.
I recently spoke with Messina . She was excited that several writers had
already sent articles to her less than a week after the workshop.
Obviously, area writers are eager to be heard, and well known publishers,
like those in the internationally known Carus Publishing Group, are willing
Finally, I'd like to share some attendee reactions to the workshop.
- " I feel renewed in my waning enthusiasm for writing! Thanks!"
- " Congratulations on HWG's preparation-such fine speakers-for a very
- " ...enjoyed the day...picked up many ideas and lots of information."
- " Very well planned-very well executed."
June 14, 2003
Registration and Continental
Welcome and Introduction
Julia Messina, Associate
Editor for the Cricket Magazine Group
Sheila Wood Foard,
Freelancer and instructor for the Institute of Children's Literature
Book Sales and Autographs
Jeanie Stewart, Published Children's Author
Informal small group critiques activity-first page of manuscripts only
Door prizes and Dismissal
session times will be assigned at registration.
and Submissions Policy
- Please review CRICKET'S guidelines at www.cricketmag.com
- Manuscript means stories
to 2,000 words maximum, compliant with publishing standards of formatting.
- Only the first twenty
manuscripts received will be critiqued by Mrs. Messina. Results of the
critiques will be discussed in ten minute one on one sessions at the workshop
with Mrs. Messina.
- Individual session
times will be assigned at registration.
- Critique fee is $20
- Only one manuscript
per person, please.
- Please mail manuscript
and its fee separate from registration fee so manuscripts over the first
twenty can be returned unopened.
informal small group critique activity is strictly based on voluntary
participation. Each attendee is encouraged to bring the first page
of a manuscript to discuss its strengths and weaknesses among peers.
Meet Our Speakers:
Julia Messina came
to CRICKET via business, politics, academics, law, and publishing.
Mrs. Messina is an Associate Editor with CRICKET, where she is responsible
for content development of the December, March, June and September issues.
She also provides proofing, copyediting, and promotional services. Along
with her many tasks, Mrs. Messina is also coordinating the nationwide celebration
of CRICKET'S 30th anniversary, where authors who have published in
Cricket Magazine Group over the past thirty years are reading their Cricket magazine
stories in their favorite bookstores and libraries. Cricket is promoting
the event by publishing a monthly Calendar of Reading Events in the magazine
and on its web site throughout its anniversary year. Program title: "An
inside look at CRICKET."
Sheila Wood Foard has
sold stories, articles, essays, and poems to more than 60 publications including Cricket,
Spider, Cicada, Ladybug, Highlights for Children, WeeOnes, Teen, Country
Home, and numerous others. She was a teacher of high school English,
creative writing, and journalism for over twenty-five years. She is also
an instructor for the Institute of Children's Literature. Program title: "Every
writer needs a writing coach."
Jeanie Stewart is
a former high school teacher. Since 1996 she has written eight novels in
a popular young adult series, four hi-lo's, three chapter books, and one
picture book. Ms. Stewart is also the Director of the Conran Memorial Library
in Hayti, Missouri. Program title: "Strategies designed to break into
the publishing world, including ghost writing and educational materials."
* This year the HWG
would like to extend a Thank You to the Southern Illinois Writer's Guild
for their promotional assistance with this workshop.