2019 Toronto Writing Workshop

This Saturday, Aug. 17, I’ll be at the 2019 Toronto Writing Workshop talking about picture books and answering your questions about becoming an author.

It’s being held at the Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen St. W. in Toronto.

10:45 – 11:50, Cedar Room
Ask the Authors Anything
. This panel is a chance to ask three published authors — a picture book author, a young adult author, and an adult sci-fi/fantasy author anything you want. Hear different perspectives on your questions. Come with questions!

1:15 – 2:30, Cedar Room
Picture Book Intensive: Advice on Perfecting Your Children’s Book
. In this session, we’ll look at picture book elements including plot, character and text—in a very different light than for other genres.

Hope to see you there!

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Continuing your writing education

I am doing an MA, Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Gloucestershire.

The program is in conjunction with a program by the Humber School for Writers.

They asked me about my MA journey, and posted this Q&A. If you’re interested in furthering your writing education, I highly recommend the Humber/UoG MA program.

Click the link below for the Q&A.

https://creativearts.humber.ca/programs/school-writers/news/qa-with-joyce-grant-about-u-gloucestershire-ma.html

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Breaking In (to kidlit publishing)

L-R: Authors Jon-Erik Lappano, Joyce Grant, Heather Camlot, Melanie J. Fishbane after the 2017 PYI Breaking In panel discussion.

I recently moderated a panel about how to “break in” to kidlit publishing.

The panel was held at CANSCAIP’s annual Packaging Your Imagination conference in Toronto. My panelists were three successful recently debuted authors: Jon-Erik LappanoMelanie J. Fishbane and Heather Camlot.

This is the second Breaking In panel I’ve moderated and I think I can safely say, from the comments we received, it was helpful to many people who are trying to become published children’s authors.

If you’re trying to break in, check out the list of resources we put together after last year’s panel. It has been freshly updated this year with new dates and information.

See you next year!

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Packing great baseball info into “Home Team”

Sketch by coach Ryan McBride, Out of the Park Sports.

Sketch by coach Ryan McBride, Out of the Park Sports.

I’m currently writing the sequel to Tagged Out; its working title is Home Team. Once again, it’s set in Toronto’s Christie Pits, and features the fictional Toronto Blues baseball team.

Just as with Tagged Out, it’s important that it’s packed with as much expert baseball information as possible.

When fictional Coach Coop talks to the Blues in Home Team, he’ll be giving his team advice that comes right out of the mouth of some real-life baseball coaches. So, readers will be getting that advice as well.

This week, it’s thanks to Ryan McBride, who runs Out of the Park Sports in Toronto. Here’s the scene he sketched out for Chapter 4, which explains how a second baseman–in this case, “Miguel”–should get into position to tag someone trying to steal second.

McBride explained the necessary positioning and footwork to make that play happen. There’s more to it than you might think! Most baseball players will know that, as McBride explained, “the batter who’s up needs to be a right-handed batter, otherwise it would be the shortstop covering second.” But they might not know that before the play, Miguel needs to have moved closer to second base, and that he will have to run over and plant his back foot on the left side of the base, to properly make the tag.

So in Chapter 4 in Home Team, when Coach Coop tells Miguel where to stand, he’ll actually be speaking the words of Ryan McBride.

It’s advice a lot of young baseball players would love to have, but might not be able to access. Thanks to Coach Coop and the Blues–and coaches like Ryan McBride–they soon will.

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