Farewell to the TPL Teens e-Writer in Residence 2015 and a Final Contest!

I can't believe that my time as e-Writer in Residence has come to an end. It feels like it passed in a blink. There were so many amazing moments, and I feel privileged to have been a part of this program. Thank you, Toronto Public Library for giving me this...

What Type of Publishing is Right for You?

Self-published young author Dylan Doose offers a breakdown of the different types of publishing and some answers to questions about self-publishing. Dylan's bio: Writer. Sculptor. Bad fitness advice. In between writing books I fill my not-so-busy schedule with the practising of martial arts, mountain biking, paddle surfing, weight lifting, and...

What Libraries Mean To Me

As a kid, I hung out at Toronto Public Library’s Centennial Branch and North York Central Branch searching out sequential volumes of Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books and Nancy Drew Mystery Stories. Libraries were my refuge, my haven, the most wonderful place in the world. Books, books, and more books...perfect. As...

Haiku to Win!

Haiku is a traditional Japanese form of poetry. A Haiku is three lines long. It has seventeen syllables. The syllable count is 5/7/5. Haiku often depicts nature and stresses simplicity, elegance, and clarity. It is traditionally written in the present tense. Modern Haiku often breaks the 5/7/5 rule and moves...

Writing Prompt #3

Missed the Flash Fiction post, Writing Prompt #1 and Writing Prompt #2? Check them out now! Today I'm offering a few writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing. Is the person you present online different than the person you are in real life? In what ways does the real...

The Industry—Part 2: What's a query letter?

Missed The Industry—Part 1: How do I find an Agent? Check it out here. A query letter is an introduction: you're introducing both yourself and your manuscript to an agent or editor. The letter needs to grab the reader's attention, make her sit up and take notice. So what do...

What Does Writing Mean To You?

Today's post has three parts: an answer to the question "What does writing mean to you?", a link to a writing contest and a book giveaway! What does writing mean to you? I asked the question—"What does writing mean to you?"— and Terese Mason Pierre answered. Terese is a writer,...

The Industry—Part 1: How do I find an agent?

Some questions I hear often are: Do I look for an agent or an editor? How do I find an agent? How do I approach an agent? First off, check out the interview with awesome agent Beth Miller of Writers House and amazing author Kelsey Sutton who started working with...

Writing Prompt #2

We all have those wonderful writing days. The ones where the words flow like crystal waters pouring over smooth rocks, reflecting the rays of the summer sun. We all have those other writing days. The ones where it takes three hours to scratch out a single sentence and self-doubt snarls...

Two More Grammar and Punctuation Mistakes I See in Submissions

Missed my first post on grammar and punctuation? Check it out here. Next up…two more grammar and punctuation mistakes I see in submissions: We just can't agree. Subjects/verbs and nouns/pronouns should agree in number. Pronouns should agree with each other. Incorrect: My stories reveals character growth. Incorrect: A writer is...

Ten Tips for Editing Your Own Work

Self editing is tough. How can a writer tear apart the paragraphs and scenes they slaved over? How can they know what to cut and what to keep? Here are ten tips to help you polish your project. 1. Tuck your baby in for a nap. Let your manuscript/story rest....

Great Beginnings

Three tips for opening your story with a bang: Hook your reader Capture the reader's attention right away Make the reader wonder about something raise a question in the reader's mind provoke curiosity Start with a problem or conflict it could be a small problem, For example, your character is...

Reflection on the Writing Life

I have a writing pal who says, "I hate writing, but I like having written." Sounds like a funny thing for a multi-published, award winning, USA Today bestselling author to say, but it really isn't. The thing is, my friend is right. Popular life theory right now espouses enjoying the...

Flash it to win!

How short can a piece of short fiction be? 250 words? 100 words? What about six words? For sale: baby shoes, never worn. This story is often attributed to Ernest Hemingway, though the link between them has never been conclusively proven. The words are powerful and poignant and tell a...

Video Advice, Inspiration, Thoughts On Writing, and Writing Resources

Rick Riordan offers three tips for young writers: Original Source Neil Gaiman shares advice for aspiring writers: Original Source Stephen King talks about his writing process: Original Source One of my favourite books about the writing process is On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. It's an...

Your Bookmark Here: Aliens Attack!

October 20, 2015 | Alice

Comments (0)

I was kind of excited to see Eve Silver chosen as our e-Writer in Residence around here, because I'm kind of loving some alien invasion stories lately. They have a bunch of stuff I love - action, suspense, some light political commentary about the "other" and of course, explosions. Her...

Five Fab Snippets of Writing Advice from Awesome Authors

From Kelley Armstrong, #1 New York Times bestselling author, The Masked Truth: "Keep writing. It’s boring advice, but it really is the most important thing. You need to love writing and to keep at it, even if you don’t get published quickly (most authors don’t!) Do it for the love...

Red Maple and White Pine 2016 Award Nominees Announced!

October 15, 2015 | Amy

Comments (4)

Check out our new post for the 2017 Red Maple and White Pine Award Nominees! ________________________________________________ The OLA (Ontario Library Association) has announced the nominees for the 2016 Red Maple and White Pine awards! In case you haven’t heard of them before, these two awards are part of the Forest...

Top Five Grammar and Punctuation Mistakes I See in Submissions

Grammar is something writers mess up. There's no shame in it. Even the most experienced writers can throw in a mistake or two when the story takes over and their typing fingers can't keep up with their thoughts. So here are the top five mistakes I see in submissions. Spot...

Friday Writing Prompt #1

Today I'm posting two images to get your creative mind working and your fingers typing. But before we get to the images, I want to announce the winner of the Morgan Rhodes prize pack from my post a couple of weeks back. Congrats, Mark! Your prize will soon be heading...

Link Roundup: Resources for Teen Writers

Today's post is all about resources for teen writers. Blogs and Boards for Teen Writers Go Teen Writers "exists to provide encouragement, instruction, and community for teen writers." There are posts on craft and getting published and more. Teens Can Write, Too supports and encourages teen writers and though the...

Young Voices Writers Conference tickets going, going...

October 6, 2015 | Ken Sparling

Comments (0)

Register now to be part of the 2015 Young Voices Writers Conference! Tickets are going fast! FREE for Toronto teens. You don't want to miss this full day of workshops, networking with other writers, an open mic, and the chance to get published in an instant anthology! Meet teen writers...

Zoie from ZOIE'S BOOKSHELF reports on Sarah Henstra's Writing Workshop

Fridays on the TPL Teens blog are all about writing tips, current reads and a chance to win cool books. First up, the writing tips. Scroll down for the contest. I was thrilled when Zoie from Zoie's Bookshelf offered awesome writing tips that she picked up at Sarah Henstra's Writing...

Teen writers who sold their books ... maybe the next one will be you

One thing I hear from teen writers is that they're scared to send their work out, that they think an agent won't want it, that they worry an editor won't be interested. Not all teen writers feel that way, but for the ones who do, I thought I'd share some...

Friday Writing Info, Friday Reads, and a Friday Contest

Every Friday during my residency I'll be posting writing info and prompts, asking you for your Friday reads, and offering up a cool contest. Today's topic is setting, and for the math fans among you, I'll offer up an equation. Hey, even if you aren't a fan of math, the...