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Where the learning never ends ...

Wild Ink Interview Part II

What do writers who want to break into this genre need to know?

Any experienced editor or writer will tell you there’s no substitute for researching the magazine or book publisher that you want to write for. Whenever I write for someone new, I’ll read back issues, previous articles they’ve published on similar topics, or books in the same or similar series. I examine overall structure, sentence and paragraph length and structure, transitions, use of quotations, etc. Throughout, I’m also “listening” for tone—Is it playful, authoritative, or gee whiz?

That might sound like over-analysis, but especially when you’re starting out, it can be helpful to deconstruct what you’re going to replicate. With new writers, most nonfiction editors are not looking for someone who can wow them with a grand slam of unique writing brilliance the likes they’ve never seen, they mainly want to know you can touch the bases.  Read More 
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Reflections From This Nonfiction Author

To find out more about Victoria's very cool book, check out http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13487524-wild-ink

You’ve written more than 30 books and hundreds of articles for children and teens. How do you decide what to write about? How do you juggle so many projects?

I’m in the fortunate position now of publishers coming to me with titles they want written. We collaborate on an outline then it’s in my hands.

As far as deciding what to include in a book, in my research and writing I’m constantly asking, “What will a kid want to know about this?  Read More 
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You know you're a children's nonfiction writer ...

When you walk out of a university library with a mix of books ranging from "Reproductive Biology and Phylogeny of Annelida" and Philip Short's "Mao: A Life."

Gotta love it.
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The Underdogs' Club

My mom is the quintessential first grade teacher—smart, quick, patient, firm but affectionate, with eyes in the back of her head that can spot emotional storms brewing 15 minutes into the future. She officially retired from the full-time gig a few years ago, but she still often answers that late afternoon/early morning phone  Read More 
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The FDR Memorial and the Maze of History

At Thanksgiving, I spent a couple days wandering D.C. with friends, a couple of whom had never been there before. (Special yay! to Hostel International for making it affordable.) We did our own after-dark tour of the Mall, visited the Capitol, and spotted Dennis Kucinich on a cellphone at the airport.

The highlight  Read More 
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