Nonwriters seem to believe that authors just sit down to work, write a wonderful book, and when it’s published, everybody buys it. Maybe that has happened. In a fairytale. But first drafts usually need lots of revision. And once your book does get published you need to tell people about it, which for children’s authors means school visits.
Luckily, for those of us who do write, mentors like Suzanne Morgan Williams are happy to share their insights and give us tools to make the process less painful. Suzanne will be in Albuquerque, New Mexico on May 14 to teach two in-person or Zoom workshops, called Revision Workout and So You’re Not a Juggler-Creating Exciting School Visits.
Suzanne Morgan Williams wants you to know that revising your work doesn’t mean that your first draft failed. Suanne likens writing to the building process. “Your first draft is akin to gathering the materials and preparing the land so you can build. Revision is when you do the actual building.” In her workshops, Suzanne gives authors an assortment of revision tools. Everyone is different, but everyone should leave the workshop with at least one tool that resonates with them.
Once your book is available to readers, it’s like a building that needs to be inhabited. Invite readers in with school visits. Kids learn about your book(s) and the visits supplement your income. Suzanne says, “A successful school visit engages your audience in a way they won’t forget. You want to make them laugh, cry, and leave wanting to read more.” Teachers love school visits, especially if you ask them in advance what they’re teaching, so you can tie into their curriculum. However, they often don’t have money to pay authors. Suzanne sometimes receives grants that pay her to talk to kids. She’ll discuss how others might do the same.
Sign up for one or both of Suzanne’s workshops (in-person or online) here. You can also learn more about the extra two-part manuscript critique she’s offering with the revision workshop.
Suzanne Morgan Williams is the author of the middle grade novel Bull Rider and eleven nonfiction books for children. Bull Rider is a Junior Library Guild Selection, is on several state award lists and won a Western Heritage Award from the National Western Heritage and Cowboy Museum. Her nonfiction titles include Piñatas and Smiling Skeletons, The Inuit, and China’s Daughters.
Suzanne has presented and taught writing workshops at dozens of schools, professional conferences, and literary events across the US and Canada. She is on the Nevada Arts Council Artist Roster of teaching artists and was Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Member of the Year, 2012. She is a founder of the Nevada SCBWI Mentorship program, and along with revising her own work, she has mentored near twenty novelists through their own revision processes.