MWPA 2014 Maine Literary Award Finalists

Hooray! to all of the writers on the short list for the 2014 Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance Maine Literary Award. Below are the Children’s and Young Adult finalists. For more categories, take a look at the original announcement here.

Kelly Ellerbrook The Perfect Christmas Egg 
Lynn Plourde You’re Wearing THAT to School?! 
Kim Ridley The Secret Pool 

Megan Frazer Blakemore The Water Castle 
Maria Padian Out of Nowhere 
Katie Quirk A Girl Called Problem 

A special happy dance for my friends, Megan Frazer Blakemore and Maria Padian. You can read my Sporty Girl Books interview with Maria about her book JERSEY TOMATOES ARE THE BEST here. OUT OF NOWHERE has been a part of the recent Portland Citywide Read program “I’m Your Neighbor.”


MWPA Workshop A Success!

Since my last post there have been a lot of changes in my personal life. Changes that I’m not going to go into here. Suffice it to say they have taken up a lot of my brain and heart space and so blogging has been low on the priority list.

What came in high on the priority list this week was my workshop preparation for the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. That presentation, “Desire in the Middle Grade and Young Adult Novel,” went very well (if I do say so myself). I was honored to spend the day with seven aspiring writers who braved five hours with me at the Patten Free Library in Bath, ME. Together we explored model texts including Julie Berry’s; All The Truth That’s In Me, Linda Urban’s, A Crooked Kind of Perfect; Ingrid Law’s, Savvy; and Alan Cumyn’s, Tilt.

We asked questions, challenged ideas, reviewed manuscripts, wrote, revised, and even meditated. The day was a success!

Now I’m looking forward to my next presentation. May 2nd, I’ll be at the NESCBWI Annual Spring Conference presenting a workshop called, “Active Mind, Active Body.” We’ll be exploring the connection between physical activity and creativity, developing physical and creative goals, and crafting plans to achieve our goals. Finally, we’ll be doing some gentle physical activity (stretching, dance, yoga) to jump start fun writing activities. Register today!

If you were in my workshop today, share your learning, a new epiphany, or something that went well in the comments below.

If you are coming to NESCBWI New England introduce yourself in the comments and get your own badge here.

MWPA Desire Workshop Gets New Date & Time

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Dear Friends,

My Maine Writer’s and Publishers Workshop, Desire in Middle Grade and young Adult Novels, has a new date and time. Instead of two three hour sessions we are compacting it into a single five hour session on March first at the Patten Free Library in Bath, Maine. Click the picture or text link above for more information and registration. I can promise you a kick-ass lecture with examples from wonderful books, and one on one attention. If you know a someone in or around Maine who might be interested, please send them the link to this blogpost. Retweets and Facebook postings are encouraged!

Happy Writing,


Five on Friday: Festivals, Events and Blogs, Oh my!

1. Maine Festival of the Book

The Maine Festival of the Book is a literary extravaganza taking place tomorrow, March 31st. Workshops, presentations and readings are scheduled throughout the day and take place at various USM locations including the Abromoson Center and Glickman Library. Children’s and Young Adult authors and illustrators including Jeannie Brett, Anne Sibley O’Brien, Brenda Reeves Sturgis, Lynne Plourde, Reza Jalali, Maria Testa and others will be present.Click here for a complete schedule and specifics!


If you liked my review of CITIZEN SCIENTIST by Loree Griffin Burns, you’ll probably love Anastasia Suen’s blog hosting creation Nonfiction Monday. Different bloggers agree to host a round of Nonfiction Reviews from blogs all over the kidlitosphere. Take a look!

3. We are on the cusp of April National Poetry Month! I hope you have events in your area. Here in Brunswick, I’m one of the organizers of Poem in Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 26th. Please take a look at our Poem In Your Pocket-Brunswick Facebook page for events throughout the last week of April. It’s also a great place to find links to just the right poem to fit your mood. We’ll be putting up posters next week and distributing stickers to local businesses and libraries over school vacation. Look for them!

4. Speaking of poetry…and blogs

At Jama’s Alphabet Soup, she has a wonderful round up of Poetry events all over the kidlitosphere here (click on image):

and a list of all the Poetry Friday Hosts here (click on image):

If you haven’t seen allaboutlemon, it’s a blog where the creativity just flows. Every 3rd Saturday, the author invites people to write haikus inspired by her collaged photo. For the Love of Haiku

Here’s mine:

Middle class captive
Blind to horrors far away
Our valley is lush

And here’s the picture:

Wild, right?

5. What’s coming up on Book Review Wednesdays? I’ve got a bunch of nonfiction and poetry that I’ll be sharing round-up style throughout April. Some new, some not as shiny but just as precious. Hope to see you here all month long.