Posts Tagged ‘Authors’

Like Poetry?

Have you been to Poet David L. Harrison’s website?

He’s the author of more than 70 books, and he has a regular poetry contest for kids.

Check out his website:  http://www.davidlharrison.com/

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Author Joyce Hostetter

Author Joyce Hostetter writes historical fiction.

Visit her website to see information on her books, and follow her blog to learn about her writing process.


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Eileen Spinelli’s Website

Have you been to author Elieen Spinelli’s website?

Do you know she’s written close to 50 books?


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Jerry Spinelli’s Website

Have you read any of Jerry Spinelli’s books? Do you like them?

Here’s a link to his website:   http://www.jerryspinelli.com/newbery_002.htm

All kinds of fun stuff there, including starting a Stargirl Society!

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Orange Man Talking BubbleSPEAKING OF DIALOGUE…

I have a friend who speaks easily and with lots of expression.  It’s as if the thoughts swirling in her head are pushing the words out of her mouth. She can do this for a long time! Her husband however, doesn’t say much.  When he does, I lean in to listen. He speaks so quietly and so carefully that sometimes I want to finish his sentences.

When writing fiction, it’s important to make your characters sound different from each other.  But how?

One way I do this is to give characters certain expressions that they repeat fairly often. In my novel, BLUE, Bessie Bledsoe responds to bad things by saying, “Have mercy.”  That suits her personality because she’s the sort of neighbor who comes in with hugs and an apple pie to cheer up my other characters when they need it.

In THE WEDNESDAY WARS by Gary Schmidt, 7th grader, Holling Hoodhood often starts his sentences with, “Let me tell you”. This opening phrase is perfect for Holling because his life is full of drama and he is going to tell about it. (My advice? Get The Wednesday Wars and read it!)

Humor, sarcasm, and moodiness are also tools for creating unique speech.  And of course, some characters will be educated while others might use lots of poor grammar or maybe just one incorrect speech pattern that sets them apart. Making use of speech that reflects a region or ethnic group, is also highly effective! (But it’s tricky – proceed carefully.)

If you need help making characters sound individual, try listening to your family or a group of friends while eating pizza or watching TV. You might even want to take a few notes. Just don’t tell your brother he’s about to show up in your first novel.

Joyce Moyer Hostetter

Author, Historical Fiction

COMFORT (Blue sequel)






TALKING STORY (E-Newsletter)

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Highlights Magazine is sponsoring a fiction contest for those ages 16 and up.  The contest is for short works of fiction up to 750 words, although the word count for stories for beginning readers is 475 words.  Stories must be postmarked between January 1 and January 31, 2010.  Details are here.

Find more contests for young people by becoming a member of the www.YAAGroup.org

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Taken from Jerry & Eileen Spinelli’s new book, TODAY I WILL: A Year of Quotes, Notes, and Promises to Myself.

Jerry Spinelli – www.jerryspinelli.com

Eileen Spinelli – www.eileenspinelli.com

Jerry and Eileen will be answering questions right here at the Young Authors and Artists Group, so please send in  your questions for Jerry and Eileen.  Join the YAAGroup at www.yaagroup.org/join.htm

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