Thursday, April 4, 2013

These are A Few of my Favorite Blogs

With apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein and the strains of "These are a Few of my Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music playing in my head, I thought I'd share some of my favorite writing blogs with you. 

But first, a disclaimer. This list does not include every blog I read. The ones listed here demonstrate excellent writing; they  are consistently great sources of writing instruction and advice; and are ones I point my writing students to.  For the most part, the authors of these blogs don't promote themselves, their books, or their services. They generously provide their expertise to the writing community- both for those who write for children and young adults, and for those who write for adults. 

So, in no particular order and without further fanfare here are my top picks:

Janice Hardy writes fantasy and science fiction for teens, is a former Writer's Digest writing instructor, and offers tremendous writing advice on The Other Side of The Story. My favorite posts are her Real Life Diagnostics;  "a weekly column that studies a snippet of a work in progress for specific issues." Readers send in their work with questions and Janice diagnoses them on the blog. Thus it is part critique and part example.  As we all know, one of the best ways of learning to write is figuring out what works, what doesn't, and how to change it. Janice generously offers solution to writer's problems. I am looking forward to finishing this draft of Half-Truths and submitting a snippet myself!

Kathy Temean's blog, Writing and Illustrating, was one of the first blogs I started following dedicated to writing and illustrating for children and young adults. Kathy's posts include interviews with agents, authors, and illustrators; publishing news, industry trends, contests, book reviews, and more. Each Saturday she features a different illustrator who shows the process he/she took to create a picture book. These inevitably knock my socks off. I can't draw a decent stick figure and it is a privilege to view the behind-the-scenes work these illustrators put into each drawing.  By the way, Kathy is an author, award winning artist/illustrator, and the Regional Advisor for the NJ SCBWI. I wonder how she has time to breathe. 

I met Lorin Orberweger last year at the Free Expressions Your Best Book Workshop in Charlotte which she coordinated. She is an author, independent book editor, ghost writer, writing instructor, and one of the most encouraging yet "this-is-what-your-manuscript-needs-nail-it-on-the-head-person" I have met in my writing journey. Her Write Line blog includes book reviews, a First Page feedback column, insightful articles about the writing craft, industry information, as well as writing challenges and prompts. 

Janet Reid, the literary agent better known as the Query Shark, is to queries what Janice Hardy is to book snippets. Janet invites writers to submit their queries which she critiques. Once again, writers can learn from her as to what works and what doesn't. I'm not at the query stage yet, but when I get there, I'll be hunting through her blog to glean from her generous instruction. And after I've spit-polished my query, it'll be in her submission queue. 

Emma Darwin is the novelist and short story writer behind This Itch of Writing. Each of her blogs are like mini-writing courses. They are meaty, thought-provoking, and include much of what novelists need to know. In this particular post, Emma lists 13 posts that will help writers get published. I go back and re-read her posts when I am stumped with such tricky questions like psychic distance-which I didn't even know existed until I read her blog!

Jeannie Campbell's blog, The Character Therapist, brings a unique twist to the writing blogosphere. She is a a licensed marriage and family therapist as well as a freelance writer, author, editor, and book reviewer. Her posts provide writers with psychological insights into characters which they might not have considered. Since writing is all about delving into and showing the complexities of people and relationships, Jeannie's blog is a unique source of information. She recently began a series on character archetypes. Don't miss it. 

So, here's a thankful round of applause to all of these bloggers who generously feed the rest of the writing world. 

Now it's your turn. What is your favorite writing blog? 


Linda Phillips said...

Thanks, Carol. You know I am trying to build my blog following, so I value your input.

Rosi said...

Thanks for this. I wasn't aware of some of these. I couldn't agree more about Kathy's Writing and Illustrating Blog. I never miss it. There are a lot of great writing blogs, but I think one of the best is Kristen Lamb's blog We Are Not Alone --
And, of course, I like mine for book reviews!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Linda and Rosi for stopping by. Rosi, it was hard to pick just a few--I think you provide a wealth of information too! I will check out Kristen Lamb's--thanks for the link!

Jean said...

Oooh! Thanks. Now I have my weekend planned - blog hopping!


Linda A. said...

Always good to learn of others' recommendations. I look forward to checking these out.

Carol Baldwin said...

AND writing too, right, JEan?

Carol Baldwin said...

They're all good, Linda! But yours is really unique!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing these blogs and your thoughts about them, Carol. The only one I'm familiar with is Kathy Temean's. I've been involved in some NJ SCBWI events, and can tell you she is a wonderful lady! I look forward to checking these out. Blessings!!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Kathleen. I hope they're as helpful to you as they have been for me!

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