Tag Archives: Publications

So Very Behind…

I haven’t updated in ages. The past month or two has been crazy-busy, writing-wise.

My revisions on Boarder Patrol were due October 31. There wasn’t that much to change, but some of what needed fixing took some thought. Since the book is under contract, I didn’t feel right working on anything else until I had that work done.

My newest manuscript, Tyler’s Intergalactic Spy School, won the juvenile category in the Muskoka Novel Marathon. I was able to revise it a little before sending it to the level-two judges, Kevin Craig, Anne Millyard and Roy McGregor, for feedback. (Well, Kevin was gracious enough to look at the raw manuscript, but that was due to a scheduling issue.)

The next step will be preparing it to go to a Canadian children’s publisher for January. The publisher is going to give feedback and not necessarily consider the manuscript for publication, but obviously I want to do the best job I can before submitting it. And there’s a lot of work to do before January! Especially around the ending…

My short story, ‘Julia’, was published in On Spec; I finally received my copies just this past week. It’s exciting! I’m especially grateful to the readers who got in touch with me and had very kind things to say about the story. My first reader feedback! 🙂 I won’t mention names, but that first email that appeared in my in-box made my week. Thank you so much!

I learned some great things in Brian Henry’s writing course and at the CANSCAIP conference, Packaging Your Imagination, which I’ll try to share here when things slow down a bit. I’m working on more changes to Boarder Patrol this week, and planning a book launch. The book launch will get its own post.

I’ve also plunged into CANSCAIP and volunteered as the new co-recording secretary. Taking the meeting notes, I’m fine with. Voting on issues feels somewhat less comfortable, given that I have all of two months’ experience as a member. I suppose I can balance out the more established authors and illustrators, or stretch out the bell curve, or something.

Finally, my husband insists on dragging me into the twenty-first century despite my misgivings. I caved and opened a Twitter account. I’m still not sure I’m doing it right, but I’m following some people who have interesting things to say (including said husband, because otherwise he’ll get cranky). Every now and then I pop up with a reply or a link, and I’m learning how to “retweet”. I’m @erinlthomas, because erinthomas was taken.

More later. Back to work.

Sold a Story!

I’m very excited that my short story, “Julia”, sold to On Spec magazine. I’m not sure when it will be out; I received the acceptance last week, so I’m guessing it will be in the next issue.

I’ve written a few incarnations of this story about a mother who is forced to choose between her children. The first draft, less than 2000 words, was based on a prompt from the NYC Midnight short story contest. After that, I stretched the concept out to short novella length, to explore it better. That draft was close to 10,000 words. Too long; it felt bulky. I’m pretty happy with the current draft, at just under 6000 words. 

Peter Carver, a former editor with Red Deer Press, teaches a course on writing for children through George Brown College in Toronto. He always talks about a work being “the right length for itself”–not the usual length for that genre, or the size it should be to make a picture book, but the number of words it takes to tell the story properly, without a lot of extra fluff in there. I feel like I finally got “Julia” to the right length for itself. It took a lot of trying, though.