Sunday, February 13, 2011

Quick Answers: Cold Medicine, Reincarnation, and Newspaper Copyright

What genre would reincarnation fall into?
Fantasy.

Under the influence of cold medicine, I cranked out what I think is a cute picture book (text only, no art, but I'm still taking cold medicine so watch out). I am not new to writing, but am new to writing for kids. Specifically, I would like to learn more about rhyme, verse and poetry in picture books.

I've found a lot of references to how bad most writers are at it, but not a lot of ideas/advice on how to evaluate or improve.


Do you have any thoughts? I would like to figure out a) how bad my verse is and b) how to fix it. (I do assume it must be awful because I am high on drugs.)
Readers, to the comments!  I'm sure you have some great resources.
I'm interested in knowing if I can legally use feature stories I wrote that were already published by a community newspaper I work for. I understand that after 90 days, the stories legally belong to me and that I can rework them and sell them to magazines, trade journals, etc. for additional publication.
Does this sound correct?
Who do you understand this from?  The newspaper?  Because if it's not the newspaper (or more specifically the contract you signed with them), it doesn't mean a thing.

21 comments:

Adam Heine said...

Re: poetry. I've found In the Palm of Your Hand by Steve Kowit to be really helpful. I think learning how to do "real" poetry can help you do it well in a picture book. Which is to say, I see no reason "poetry in picture books" should be different from poetry in general, except perhaps in content.

AE said...

"Under the influence of cold medicine, I cranked out what I think is a cute picture book (text only, no art, but I'm still taking cold medicine so watch out). I am not new to writing, but am new to writing for kids. Specifically, I would like to learn more about rhyme, verse and poetry in picture books."

Read "A Poke in the Eye"
"A Kick in the Head"
"A Foot in the Mouth"

all published by Candlewick.

Rashka's art adds some much to the experience making it great picture book poetry.

Thomas Taylor said...

Just remember that your core reader is a tired, stressed-out parent who knows nothing about rhyme and metre and who would rather be drinking gin and tonic in the bath than reading a bedtime story.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how basic you want your rhyming PB links to be, but I like these two:

http://www.dorichaconas.com/Icing%20the%20Cake%20page.htm

and

http://www.lorislesynski.com/writing.html

Anonymous said...

As one who's sold pbs in rhyme, I'd beg to disagree with Adam. Poetry in picture books IS different. Here's my favorite essay on writing rhyme for kids:

http://www.dorichaconas.com/Icing%20the%20Cake%20page.htm

And, btw, unless you're Samuel Coleridge, you probably shouldn't be trying to write while drugged. It's hard enough when you've got all your faculties.

Vicki Smith said...

Enjoyed the post AND the comments!

AE said...

"Read "A Poke in the Eye"
"A Kick in the Head"
"A Foot in the Mouth"

all published by Candlewick.

Rashka's art adds some much to the experience making it great picture book poetry."

I am terribly sorry. I meant " A Poke in the I."

Rashka's art adds so much to the experience... and still stet...."


Does sleep deprivation count as drug use?




Read those books!! :)

Adam Heine said...

Re: Anon 12:21. The information in the link you provided doesn't appear to contradict what I said. It looks like a great beginner's primer to rhyme and rhythm.

Reading books like the one I suggested just takes that knowledge farther, adds to it, and improves it with practice.

Carin Bramsen said...

AE, I just ordered A Foot in the Mouth (not that I needed another one). Thanks for the recommendation!

Carin Bramsen said...

AE, I just ordered A Foot in the Mouth (not that I needed another one). Thanks for the recommendation!

The Storylady said...

"Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication" by Ann Whitford Paul, is a fantastic resource. It will give you the tools you need to understand how to tell your story in verse, and do it well.

Eilonwy said...

Brave Potatoes is my favorite children's story book using poetry. I was introduced to it when Daniel Shore (sp?) read it on NPR, but I've since given it to a dozen new parents and memorized it by rereading it to my own kids.

Rhyme (but not regular), overt verbal wit, coy allusive humor, and unexpected heroic action from a band of potatoes! What more could one ask for?

Marcia said...

By all means read Dori Chaconas's article, cited twice above.

If you wrote stories for a newspaper that employed you, that was almost surely work for hire (WFH). You don't own it anymore. If you were a freelancer, it depends on what rights you sold. I think you need to dig a little deeper and find out under what circumstances, if any, you could get back the rights to use the work in another form. For example, a writer who sells all rights to an article to a magazine can often get book rights back if she wants to use the article as a chapter in a book, if there's already a book publisher in the picture.

Literaticat said...

Eilonwy, I daresay you mean Daniel Pinkwater. You can listen to the recording of Daniel & Scott Simon reading BRAVE POTATOES here:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1079549

AE said...

Carin, I am so glad you love these.... aren't they the best!!!

(I am also a typography fanatic so I absorb that aspect...)

And Carin, I am a big Rashka fan, and I love poetry! Am working on an illustrated fractured rhyme book now (not that it is poetry per se, but... I got three art final samples done with verses and am finally happy) And I don't do much of this kind of gig but this one really got me and I am running with it... over... the... years... .

Orig Poster: Research the kids poetry market and make your work different but kid friendly!

:)

wonderer said...

Re: newspaper articles - As I understand it, you can use the research you did to write other articles for other publications, but you can't reuse your prose (unless your contract allows for reprints). For example, you might use the same source material to write an article for a newspaper and for a hobby magazine. The way you approach the material would be very different, but you'd get double the mileage out of your research.

christine tripp said...

I'm still such a believer in judging your own work and learning more from the masters. For me, the master of young poems is Shel Silverstein and, again for me, his best was "Where the Sidewalk Ends".
When I hold up anything I could do against the likes of that man, it pales.
He was also a master of cartoon illustration that all on it's own could make you laugh. I think his visual art was under appreciated.

AE said...

"I'm still such a believer in judging your own work and learning more from the masters. For me, the master of young poems is Shel Silverstein and, again for me, his best was "Where the Sidewalk Ends"."

They put that that to theater for kids. Wild!

Carin Bramsen said...

AE - Great good luck on your project!

Eilonwy said...

Literaticat! What a fine correction of my error. Now I know where to find that recording of Brave Potatoes again. Thanks so much!

pudders said...

Thanks, Carin. It is a true labor of love. :)