Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Children's Lit Class

Wow. Hi. I've sucked at blogging lately. I have excuses- start of school, having bronchitis for a month (still got it), three trips to New York city in three weeks, my brand-new computer crashing (and taking a good 15 pages from my novel with it) etc. But I'm not going to detail them.

I want to talk about my children's writing class. I almost didn't get to take this class because it runs at the same time as my required stage make-up class. Fortunately, my advisor is letting me work around this and take the writing class. It meets once a week for three hours and I'm totally in love with it.

We cover everything from picture books to YA novels, including writing for magazines and non-fiction books. At the moment, we just finished reading and discussing The Tale of Despereaux, which I loved (and had never read before.) We're reading so many great books and I get so excited during every class. During yesterday's class, I had a bronchitis-related fever and I still thoroughly enjoyed myself.

The thing I love about it is that it inspires me not just to write, but to write what I love, and outside of it, too. Sometimes it's hard to be a YA writer in a school full of people (and a group of friends) who don't read YA, but my teacher is so passionate and supportive of children's lit that I feel I'm given permission to do my work. Also, after reading Despereaux, I think I'd like to write a middle grade novel some day.

As with my last writing class, it's a critique class part of the time. I'm not being critiqued until November, but I need to start getting my stuff together now. One scene that I wanted to present was deleted when my computer crashed, so I need to start putting the pieces back together. I'm excited to get their feedback, though. The response from my professor on my first (ever) non-fiction magazine article was much better than I expected. I was afraid to look at her comments, but aside from a few words suggestions here and there, it was received quite well. At the end, she wrote that she could see it being published, which caused me to happy dance in my brain :)

Speaking of things that cause happy dances and inspiration- if you haven't bought Maureen Johnson's The Name of the Star, DO IT NOW. I've always been a fan of MJ; she hasn't written a single bad book. This one, though, is simply amazing. She writes with a bravery I can only dream of. Plus, it takes place in London (almost exactly where I went to school, down to the street) and there are ghosts. What more could you want?

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