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Middle Grade Authors Love Teachers Giveaway #MGAuthorsLoveTeachers, 2017

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Hello, Teacher and Librarian WORLD CHANGERS!

A TOAST! To you.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, TEACHERS AND LIBRARIANS! ❤ ❤ ❤ Welcome to my third annual Middle Grade Authors Love Teachers and Librarians Giveaway!

It’s no secret to those of you who know me that I just adore and respect teachers and librarians teacherswho are out there every day with kids–reaching out to them with just the right book or just the right conversation and changing lives. As is often said in children’s literature circles, books offer both mirrors and windows to readers. We often discover things about ourselves and/or who we want to be through reading (mirrors). We also learn about the world–other cultures, ways of life, opinions and learn to empathize with others (windows) which is more important than ever. For some, a book offers a friend and the ability to revisit that friend as needed. Yes, we write the books. but YOU put those books into the hands of kids every day. We are a TEAM.

So…to express this appreciation and love for ALL of you heroes/teachers/librarians out there, I have banded together with some author friends (HUGE THANKS to these authors for their kindness and generosity!) to offer one GIANT giveaway for one lucky winner. The winner of this giveaway will receive a signed copy of every single book below–each mailed to you in separate packages by their authors/illustrators. There are many you’ll recognize, I think 🙂 Please feel free to click on each cover to see more information about the book and its author.

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Directions for entering are at the bottom.

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AND – IN ADDITION TO ALL OF THESE, PUFFIN BOOKS (Penguin) will donate a box (unsigned) of Penguin Classics! You won’t be sure what’s inside. It will be like a delivery from Santa 🙂

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So a pretty cool line-up of signed middle grade novels, huh?

Okay–so to enter the MIDDLE GRADE Giveaway to win ALL of these books:

1) Make a comment on this blog about anything book-related or kid-related. Or teacher/librarian related. Or anything-under-the-sun related. 🙂 *Please provide twitter handle or e-mail address with your comment* Also, if you share elsewhere online (Facebook, Google+, etc.) please let me know here.

2) Share to Twitter with the hashtag #MGAuthorsLoveTeachers  I know–long hashtag 🙂 But it will help us find your entry! Please include link, if possible!

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Rules: ***Giveaway ends on Monday, February 20 at 11:59PM. Winner will be announced the following morning.

1) This is to show our appreciation for teachers and librarians, specifically. Therefore, the winner must have a school mailing address and be presently employed at that school. (Sorry–only US and Canadian winners this time.)

***2) We know that teachers do not always get the appreciation they deserve. (They deserve parades and serenades and major awards.) This giveaway is a reminder that WE appreciate you. Yes—we write the books, but YOU are in the trenches every day. YOU get the books into the hands of our readers. Together, we are creating life-long readers. For that…we are most grateful.

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THANK YOU for visiting our giveaway!

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Lynda and the gang 🙂

 

 

Categories: author, Giveaway, writing | 368 Comments

Middle Grade Authors Love Teachers Giveaway #MGAuthorsLoveTeachers, 2016

Hello!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, TEACHERS AND LIBRARIANS!

It’s no secret to those of you who know me that I just adore and respect teachers and librarians teacherswho are out there every day with kids–reaching out to them with just the right book or just the right conversation and changing lives. As is often said in children’s literature circles, books offer both mirrors and windows to readers. We often discover things about ourselves and/or who we want to be through reading (mirrors). We also learn about the world–other cultures, ways of life, opinions and learn to empathize with others (windows). For some, a book offers a friend and the ability to revisit that friend as needed. Yes, we write the books. but YOU put those books into the hands of kids every day. We are a team.

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So…to express this appreciation and love for ALL of you heroes/teachers/librarians out there, I have banded together with some author friends (THANKS to you all for your kindness and generosity!) to offer one GIANT giveaway for one lucky winner. The winner of this giveaway will receive a signed copy of every single book below–each mailed to you in separate packages. Several are new releases, so the winner will be ahead of the game reading-wise in 2016! You may click on each cover to see more information about the book and its author.

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Directions for entering are at the bottom.

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So a pretty cool line-up of signed middle grade novels, huh?

Note: Ten of these books are 2016 releases. Therefore, there may be a delay in receiving a book that has not been released yet. When the author has them in hand, you will get one! Promise 🙂

Okay–so to enter the MIDDLE GRADE Giveaway to win ALL of these books:

1) Make a comment on this blog about anything book-related or kid-related. Or teacher/librarian related. Or anything-under-the-sun related. 🙂 *Please provide twitter handle or e-mail address with your comment* Also, if you share elsewhere online (Facebook, Google+, etc.) please let me know here.

2) Share to Twitter with the hashtag #MGAuthorsLoveTeachers  I know–long hashtag 🙂 But it will help us find your entry! Please include link, if possible!

 

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Rules: ***Giveaway ends on Saturday, February 20th at 11:59. Winner will be announced Sunday morning.

1) This is to show our appreciation for teachers and librarians, specifically. Therefore, the winner must have a school mailing address and be presently employed at that school. (Sorry–only US and Canadian winners this time.)

***2) We know that teachers do not always get the appreciation they deserve. (They deserve parades and serenades and major awards.) This giveaway is a reminder that WE appreciate you. Yes—we write the books, but YOU get the books into the hands of our readers. Together, we are creating life-long readers. For that we are most grateful.

THANK YOU for visiting our giveaway!

Be well, read well,

Lynda

 

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Thanks for being fantastico

 

Categories: author, books, Giveaway, Love of teachers, middle-grade, writing | 415 Comments

3,2,1…Launch Party!

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THANK YOU, ALL–my fantastic FANTASTICOS!

Yesterday, was my launch party for my book, FISH IN A TREE (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin–coming February 5th). Even though it was Super Bowl Sunday, we had a good turnout–and it was fun! I saw people I haven’t seen for years. A flurry of hugs at the doorway.

There were others on my mind though–such as Nerdy friends from across the country who I wish had been able to be there. Not just to buy a book but to celebrate a new book entering the world–and its future readers as well. That’s what we do as nerds–celebrate books and their readers! So, in honor of these people (and because I hate to see any party end) I’m going to offer a giveaway for a signed copy of FISH IN A TREE, an official FIAT Launch Party shirt, and some book swag.

But, first….some pictures. 🙂  (HUGE thanks to Greg Hunt and Liz Goulet Dubois for most of these pictures )

Getting ready :-)

Getting ready 🙂

In the beginning...

In the beginning…

Some of our FANTASTICO volunteers!

Some of our FANTASTICO volunteers!

Raffle Table!

Raffle Table!

Book poster and a shot of a young man who would prove to be very good at fishing.

Book poster and a shot of a young man who would prove to be very good at fishing.

Nerdy friend, Lesley Burnap, Jason Lewis, Susan Dee, and Gigi McAllister

Nerdy friend, Lesley Burnap, Jason Lewis, Susan Dee, and Gigi McAllister

I love to meet young readers! ((photo: Karin LeFranc)

I love to meet young readers! ((photo: Karin LeFranc)

One of the stations where readers could win raffle tickets - Add a Page to The Sketchbook of Impossible Things. GREAT Additions!

One of the stations where readers could win raffle tickets – Add a Page to The Sketchbook of Impossible Things. GREAT Additions!

One for my favorite volunteers :-)

One for my favorite volunteers 🙂

Girls playing and enjoying chess!

Girls playing and enjoying chess!

West Hartford Librarian, Kari Karp, plays GO FISH!

West Hartford Librarian, Kari Karp, plays GO FISH!

:-)

🙂

Caption Contest booth with an enthusiastic facilitator :-)

Caption Contest booth with an enthusiastic facilitator 🙂

Cupcake making!

Cupcake making!

Artistic folk :-)

Artistic folk 🙂

A new page is added to The Sketchbook of Impossible Things!

A new page is added to The Sketchbook of Impossible Things!

A raffle ticket and the remnants of a cupcake.

A raffle ticket and the remnants of a cupcake.

Happy :-)

Happy 🙂

Fish in a Tree T-shirts

Fish in a Tree T-shirts

Albert Jeopardy. Apparently, these two fine young fellows made up some pretty impressive questions for game-goers.

Albert Jeopardy. Apparently, these two fine young fellows made up some pretty impressive questions for game-goers.

Albert Jeopardy board :-)

Albert Jeopardy board 🙂

Cupcakes! With a rainbow of frosting choices. :-)

Cupcakes! With a rainbow of frosting choices. 🙂 And a dedicated cupcake helper!

Gigi McAllister came all the way from Maine! (along with 3 others) Thank you!

Gigi McAllister came all the way from Maine! (along with 3 others) Thank you!

What are the objects in the mystery boxes???

What are the objects in the mystery boxes???

Reader :-) (Photo: Rebecca Smalian)

Reader 🙂 (Photo: Rebecca Smalian)

Fish for the tree!

Fish for the tree!

People :-)

People 🙂

So happy to see these friends! Jeanne, Mary, Liz and Laurie :-)

So happy to see these friends! Jeanne, Mary, Liz and Laurie 🙂

Kyle fishing for words

Fishing for letters to make words!

Creating fish for the tree :-)

Creating fish for the tree 🙂

Fishing :-)

Author, Leslie Bulion, fishes for words. 🙂

Lynda speaks to readers about where Fish in a Tree came from.

Lynda speaks to readers about where Fish in a Tree came from.

West Hartford librarian, Janet Murphy, is the master of making fish for the tree!

West Hartford librarian, Janet Murphy, is the master of making fish for the tree!

Artist at work!

Artist at work!

Making friendship bracelets next to The Caption Contest booth.

Making friendship bracelets next to The Caption Contest booth.

Tattooed hands!

Tattooed hands!

More people :-)

More people 🙂

Susan Dee wins a bucket o' swag, a signed copy of FISH IN A TREE, and a Skype visit :-)

Susan Dee wins a bucket o’ swag, a signed copy of FISH IN A TREE, and a Skype visit 🙂

BIg winner of Ally Nickerson's art supplies.

Big winner of Ally Nickerson’s art supplies.

Three *very* helpful members of the Teen Advisory Board, and West Hartford librarians, Kari Karp and Janet Murphy.

Three *very* helpful members of the Teen Advisory Board, and West Hartford librarians, Kari Karp and Janet Murphy.

Fish for the tree!

Fish for the tree!

Choosing the winners...

Choosing the winners…

Teacher, Melanie Swider, winner of the author visit. :-) Can't wait to visit her school!

Teacher, Melanie Swider, winner of the author visit. 🙂 Can’t wait to visit her school!

Laurie Murphy, another raffle winner ;-)

Laurie Murphy, another raffle winner 😉

With me in spirit - my fantastico agent, Erin Murphy :-)

With me in spirit – my fantastico agent, Erin Murphy 🙂

Also with me in spirit! My Penguin peeps: Eileen Kreit, Nancy Paulsen, Venessa Carson, and Alexis Watts. (I wish Sara LaFleur were in this picture, too!)  My editor and publisher, Nancy Paulsen, is phenomenal. She is the steel penny of editors--one of a kind! I am most grateful for the day she called and every day we've worked together since.

Also with me in spirit! My Penguin peeps: Venessa Carson, Nancy Paulsen, moi, Eileen Kreit, and Alexis Watts. (I wish Sara LaFleur were in this picture, too!)
My editor and publisher, Nancy Paulsen, is phenomenal. She is the steel penny of editors–one of a kind! I am most grateful for the day she called and every day we’ve worked together since.

Thank you all for an extraordinary day! I am so, so lucky...

Thank you all for an extraordinary day! I am so, so lucky…

My heartfelt thanks to all who came to celebrate with me on Sunday. It was such a great day – I just kept thinking how very lucky I am. I am blessed. Truly blessed. And I never take any of it for granted.

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To my online friends ~ Thank you for “visiting” my launch party 🙂

OKAY! NOW for the giveaway information 🙂

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I am offering a giveaway for:

1) A signed copy of FISH IN A TREE

2) A free, full-length Skype visit.

3) A FISH IN A TREE T-shirt from the launch party

4) Some FIAT swag for a classroom.

TO ENTER:

1) Please comment on this blog post 🙂

2) Please tweet and/or retweet with hashtag #FIATbook. You must include hashtag to be entered. 🙂

Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on Saturday, February 7th. TWO winners will be announced/notified on Sunday.

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Thank you ALL, my fantasticos!!! 

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Categories: author, books, Fish in a Tree, Giveaway, Great minds don't think a like, Love of teachers, writing | 90 Comments

Remembering the Query Daze – a Writer Looks Back with Gratitude

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Lately, I’ve been thinking back to the “query daze.” How hard it was to put my work in front of strangers who were experts and ask them what they thought. At that time, I received some pretty tough feedback. The first query/writing sample I’d ever sent out (for a book entitled Kicking the Beehive) came back with a written response—I was thrilled, believing that a hand-written comment on a rejection means you’re on the cusp of success! The note read, “I love your title. However, you never need send me anything again.”

Ouch, right?

Thing is…I knew the book wasn’t ready. That I wasn’t ready. I sent it as a Hail Mary. A hope and a wish. My head thought I had a chance. My heart knew better.

So, I began another book. The voice popped. I believed in it. Yet, there was this other voice, too. Not demanding to be written but relentlessly tugging at me. So, I began to write that one instead. It was entitled, One for the Murphys, and was later published with Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin in 2012. The book I’d left in order to write Murphys is now under contract and due out in Fall, 2016.

Dreams come true, folks! Believe me; they do.

So, I’ve been thinking about my fellow writers in the pre-agent days. I wrote a love letter to SCBWI (Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators) after receiving an ARC of One for the Murphys because SCBWI was so crucial in getting published.

I’ve been replaying those times with friends and critique group members I met through SCBWI who both encouraged me and kicked me in the butt–depending on what was called for that day. We were a tribe. We still are. And I am grateful to benefit from their caring, honesty, and wisdom.

And, oddly enough, I am grateful for that time of querying and waiting for the phone to ring. Knowing that 212 was the area code for New York city where many agents and publishers would call from. And hoping. Hoping that when the phone rang, it would be a 212 call. These were the days of high hopes laced with days of wondering if I should just work on something easier. Like pulling a tire through a keyhole.

However, that time taught me about grit and determination and the business of publishing. I learned what I wanted and how very much I wanted it. It was a time of feeling both alone and part of something bigger all at the same time.

My second novel, FISH IN A TREE, (avail for pre-order now ~ release is Feb 5, 2015) has many themes that remind me of my early author journey:                                                                Copy (3) of FISH IN A TREE COVER high res

  • Grit and resilience
  • Having the courage to accept help
  • Don’t play the comparison game. Recognize both your strengths and short-comings not in terms of being better or worse but in being human with your one-of-a-kind voice.
  • Let your strengths shine in the first try (draft). Work on your short-comings later (in revision).
  • Being vulnerable to your audience can be hard–but it often deepens connections with others (Here is an old post on the vulnerability of being a writer )
  • Sometimes the things that make you feel like there’s something wrong with you are actually your strengths (i.e. – never being able to follow an outline like other writers)
  • Having others on the journey with you makes for a richer ride and a happier person.
  • Yup–we’re all in this together. And we have to support each other. That’s what it’s all about. Not just writing but the whole being human thing.

So, since I am making these connections between my early writing career and FISH IN A TREE…

and bubbling over with all of this gratitude for my tribe…

and looking for a way to celebrate the release of this book…

AND knowing how much I was/am helped by others…

I’d like to try to help other writers who are longing to break into children’s publishing. So…

I am offering a giveaway where two children’s writers will be randomly chosen. The winners will be contacted with instructions re: sending me the first ten pages of their book (12 pt, double-spaced) and I will give a balanced critique and speak with the writer on the phone for 30-minutes about his/her writing sample.

To enter, you must:

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1) Be an adult who has been actively writing fiction for children

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2) NOT be published in any genre (as I am trying to help those who have not broken in YET)

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To earn entries, you may:

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~~Make a comment below. Please enter your email address OR twitter name so I can contact you if you win

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~~Share this giveaway link to FB (which you must tell me about in the comments)

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~~Tweeting or Retweeting with the hashtag,  #WritingAllies  (This will help me find your tweets in order to enter you in the drawing. You may also tag me @Lynmullalyhunt )

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The winners will be chosen at 11:59 PM on December 10th. Winners will be notified by the following morning and also announced here. Due to travel plans, I must receive your ten pages via e-mail within 2 days of winning and I will schedule the phone conversation within a few days after that.

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**Thank you and good luck. I’ll leave you with a favorite quote about being a writer:

The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Categories: author, courage, Fish in a Tree, Giveaway, Grit, SCBWI, writing | 65 Comments

NCTE in Boston – Amazing Weekend!

Last weekend, I attended NCTE (National Council for Teachers of English). What an amazing weekend. And, no…I’m not just throwing that word, amazing, around. It really did amaze me.

It amazed me to see so many kid & book loving people all in one place. It amazed me to see the sea of publishers’ booths. It amazed me to meet authors whose work I’ve admired for years. It amazed me to meet friends “for real” from my online community and The Nerdy Book Club. It amazed me to attend workshops given by these people for their teaching colleagues – and it amazed me how much it all made me miss being in the classroom. Inspiration everywhere!

And I left feeling just so, so grateful. Grateful that I have been blessed with this career. And grateful that there are teachers in the world like the ones I met at NCTE. I had many teachers and librarians thank me for writing, which I so appreciated and was humbled by. But, let’s face it–without the teachers like the ones below (and tons of others!) most kids wouldn’t pick up books, discover how opening the cover of a book can open up things inside of them that they never would have dreamed. Books do change lives. I’m proof of that.

So here’s to teachers and librarians! There are so many gifted, big-hearted people in the trenches with our kids every day. Thank goodness.

Here is my picture wrap-up of the most excellent NCTE, 2013. 🙂

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Hanging out in the Penguin Booth with the phenomenal Judy Blume. WOW! Also, there with Eileen Bishop Kreit from Puffin. Always so happy to see Eileen. :-)

Hanging out in the Penguin Booth with the phenomenal Judy Blume. WOW! Also, there with Eileen Bishop Kreit from Puffin. Always so happy to see Eileen. She’s a rock star in my book. 🙂

Happy to visit with lit agency friends! (Front:) Susan Meyer, Erin Murphy (my agent), Joan Paquette, Elly Swartz  (Back:) Jennifer Nielsen, Audrey Vernick, Nancy Tupper Ling, moi

Happy to visit with lit agency friends! (Front:) Susan Meyer, Erin Murphy (my agent), Joan Paquette, Elly Swartz (Back:) Jennifer Nielsen, Audrey Vernick, Nancy Tupper Ling, moi

My fabulous agent, Erin Murphy. Doesn't she have the best name ever? :-)

My fabulous agent, Erin Murphy. Doesn’t she have the best name ever? 🙂

Editor and Publisher, Nancy Paulsen, with "her girls" at NCTE. Beck McDowell, Nancy Paulsen, moi, Jacqueline Woodson

Editor and Publisher, Nancy Paulsen, with “her girls” at NCTE. Beck McDowell, Nancy Paulsen, moi, Jacqueline Woodson

Love these ladies!  Alyson Beecher and Cynthia Alaniz . SO fortunate to attend their panel :-)

Love these ladies! Alyson Beecher and Cynthia Alaniz . SO fortunate to attend their panel 🙂

Alyson Beecher who has been so very sweet throughout my debut journey. Loved meeting her for real!

Alyson Beecher who has been so very sweet throughout my debut journey. Loved meeting her for real!

Who doesn't love Jennifer Nielsen? Finally got to talk with each other in person!

Who doesn’t love Jennifer Nielsen? Finally got to talk with each other in person!

Dessert with some of my favorite Maine ladies: Susan Dee, Mary , Gigi McAllister, and Mary Lou Shuster

Dessert with some of my favorite Maine ladies: Susan Dee, Mary Bellavance, Gigi McAllister, and Mary Lou Shuster

Chatting with these great ladies about books. Thanks, Heather Jensen :-)

Chatting with these great ladies about books. Thanks, Heather Jensen and Amy Romanowski 🙂

Here I am with Gigi McAllister!! Yeah :-)

Here I am with Gigi McAllister!! Yeah 🙂

Here, I am with my editor and publisher, Nancy Paulsen. I could write something very long about how phenomenal she is, but then she'd have to edit it. :-)  So, let's just say that I'm blessed.

Here, I am with my editor and publisher, Nancy Paulsen. I could write something very long about how phenomenal she is, but then she’d have to edit it. 🙂 So, let’s just say that I’m blessed.

An amazing panel on multi-cultural literature with authors, Mitali Perkins, Christina Gonzalez, and Matt de la Pena. Also, teachers, Cynthia Alaniz, Teresa Bunner (standing) and Alyson Beecher

An amazing panel on multi-cultural literature with authors, Mitali Perkins, Christina Gonzalez, and Matt de la Pena. Also, teachers, Cynthia Alaniz, Teresa Bunner (standing) and Alyson Beecher

At a fun Tweet-up with Marianne Knowles, Ann Haywood Leal, and Emily Mitchell

At a fun Tweet-up with Marianne Knowles, Ann Haywood Leal, and Emily Mitchell

Ellen Hopkins and Erin Dionne. :-)

Ellen Hopkins and Erin Dionne. 🙂

I got to meet Melissa Guerrette! Yeah! :-)

I got to meet Melissa Guerrette! Yeah! 🙂

Such fun to meet Colby Sharp in person!

Such fun and an honor to meet Colby Sharp in person! Nerdy Book Ambassador Extraordinaire.

Meeting the great Donalyn Miller, co-founder of The Nerdy Book Club and renowned author, was such a pleasure. A sweet author moment for me.

Meeting the great Donalyn Miller, Co-founder of the Nerdy Book Club phenomenon and acclaimed author/literacy expert, was such a pleasure. Such a sweet author moment for me.

Nerdy presenter, Teri Lesesne (AKA Professor Nana!) WOW! :-)

Nerdy presenter, Teri Lesesne (AKA Professor Nana!) 🙂 Teri shared a bunch of cool online stuff to help teachers turn kids onto reading and help teachers organize including vine videos and livebinder.com

Nerdy Co-Founder, Colby Sharp presents with Author, Jenni Holm :-)

Nerdy Co-Founder, Colby Sharp presents with uber-talented author, Jenni Holm 🙂 “We want to give kids experiences that change lives.” ~Colby “Help your students make connections to authors via Skype, Twitter, and fan mail.” ~Jenni

Nerdy presenter, Kellee Moye  :-)

Nerdy presenter, Kellee Moye 🙂 “Set high expectations and hold the kids to them.” “You might as well be *that* teacher that talks books.” “Give the kids choices re: books.” “Don’t just hand out books. You must book talk them!”

A Nerdy workshop!

The Nerdy audience! 🙂

Nerdy presenter, Katherine Sokolowski :-)

Nerdy presenter, Katherine Sokolowski 🙂 Conferences with kids should be like talking around a table.” “Going forward–it’s all about relationships. I’m not talking about me–I’m talking about *them* ” “Slow down. Talk less.”

Donalyn Miller! :-) "Every reader has value and their own voice."

Donalyn Miller! 🙂 “Every reader has value and their own voice.”

Nerdy presenter, Cindy Minnich, and YA author, Beck McDowell

Nerdy presenter, Cindy Minnich, and YA author, Beck McDowell

cindyminnich

Cindy Minnich presents at Nerdy Workshop! 🙂 “Our lives are constantly changing and we need to change with them.” “Have kids keep log of their lives.” “If we know where we are and where we want to be, we can plan.”

jackie woodson

Me with Jackie Woodson. Amazing writer. Phenomenal person.

This was actually at AASL the weekend before, but I SO loved being on a panel with these ladies. We spoke on using books to teach resilience and compassion: (1st row:) Jo Knowles, Kimberly Newton Fusco, Nora Raleigh Baskin, Karen Day, (2nd row:) Leslie Connor, Erin Moulton, Me, Cynthia Lord  (not pictured: Moderator, Susannah Richards)

This was actually at AASL the weekend before, but I SO loved being on a panel with these ladies. We spoke on using books to teach resilience and compassion: (1st row:) Jo Knowles, Kimberly Newton Fusco, Nora Raleigh Baskin, Karen Day, (2nd row:) Leslie Connor, Erin Moulton, Me, Cynthia Lord (not pictured: Moderator, Susannah Richards)

Categories: agent, author, editor, friends, inspiring, writing | Tags: | 4 Comments

Full Circle — An Author’s Confession

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So, I have a confession. A couple, actually.

In elementary school, I told both our school librarian and my mother an untruth—that I had lost my Copy of DSC09709copy of Theodore Taylor’s The Cay. The librarian was clearly annoyed and my mother was a bit more than that, having received a bill for the “lost book.” After that, though, it was mine. At the age of ten, it was the first book that I’d ever owned.

I knew it was wrong and I felt bad. I really did. And, I worried I’d be found out. It also bugged me that the librarian and my mother thought I was irresponsible. I wanted to tell them both that I hadn’t actually lost it, but I also knew that the lie was the only way I could keep it.

One for the Murphys has done well—I can’t even express the depth of how happy that makes me—and it has nothing to do with royalty checks or anything like that. (Very few authors are rich–monetarily speaking.) It’s the personal connections.

I have received letters, and e-mails, Tweets, and invitations that have really moved this formerly-Carley-esque author. I’ve further learned about the personal connections people can make to texts. How fictitious people can reach from the pages and save readers. But there are two different e-mails that came in months ago that keep coming back to me—can’t shake them.

One letter was from a teacher, and the other a librarian, who both wrote to tell me that their copies of One for the Murphys had been stolen by students. I got the feeling from both ladies that they both had an idea of who may have taken them, but I also got a sense that they were both going to “let it go.”  The idea of kids stealing does not make me happy—how could I be happy to hear about a child stealing something?

However, I do confess to dropping into my childhood-reluctant-reader-self and being torn. Because I remember lying underneath that scratchy bedspread, holding The Cay and thinking that I just couldn’t give it up. That it was the very first time that I read a story that got under my skin and I didn’t understand why and I knew I had to keep reading it until I figured it out. Over those many readings, I learned a lot about myself. And I learned some things about other people in the world as well.

I shouldn’t have forced my mother to pay for that book. And I am not happy about stolen copies of Murphys. But I have to admit…my heart wonders about the two kids that took them (one 6th grader and one 7th grader). I wonder why. I wonder what it is about the Murphys that spoke to them. I wonder how they feel about what they’ve done. I wonder how they are doing.

But, mostly, I hope that those kids feel like I did in meeting The Cay’s Timothy and Phillip. That meeting Carley, Toni, and the Murphy family will help readers understand themselves, the people around them, their situations, develop compassion for themselves and others, and formulate their own questions about the world.

As an adult who understands those kid-longings, my hope is that these two children find their answers.
________________________

In order to attempt to make amends to the universe, I am offering a HERO pack—for teachers, librarians, principals, and school social workers ONLY. Why? Because they are HEROES!!!!  (You may enter on behalf of a teacher/librarian and the box will be mailed directly to the winner at their school 🙂

The winning Hero(ine) will receive all of the following:

giveaway

1) A new copy of THE CAY by Theodore Taylor because his story helped me so, so much and helped foster my love of stories.

2) A hardcover copy of the 1972 version of TALES OF A FOURTH GRADE NOTHING—this is the same book my teacher, Mr. Christy, handed me one day—and changed everything. Read full story here on Nerdy Book Club Here.

3) A signed first printing (in third now) copy of One for the Murphys for you—the teacher or librarian.

4) A signed first printing copy of Murphys for your library/classroom.

5) A signed ARC (advance reader copy) of Murphys so that you may show your students what the “test run” looks like from a publisher—very cool to see if you haven’t seen one yet.

6) A bunch of bookmarks for your school

7) A One for the Murphys pen

8) Five “Be someone’s hero” wrist bands

9) ONE “Be someone’s hero/no cape required” T-shirt (teal, black, or red in size large now or other sizes can be forwarded later (Two are shown in picture to show front and back.)

10) A free 45-minute Skype visit with me. Because I love talking with kids and teachers. 🙂

~~~

To enter, please make a comment below. Would love to hear your confessions, thoughts about the post, your favorite part of One for the Murphys, or how much you’d like some free stuff for your school/students–I’m flexible 🙂 PLEASE remember to include your e-mail address. (I’m sorry–USA shipping only)

***You may also earn entries by posting this link on Twitter and including my tag — @lynmullalyhunt . You may also retweet my tweet. Thank you 🙂
GIVEAWAY ENDS ON Wednesday, January 23rd at 11:59 pm.

Thank you! 🙂

Categories: author, confession, writing | 109 Comments

Back to My Writing Roots–The OFFICIAL Launch Party of MURPHYS

So…Can I just say HOW EXCITED I am about my *official CT launch* of One for the MURPHYS at the Glastonbury, CT Barnes and Noble this Thursday, May 24th at 6:00?!

My career literally started in this store when I joined a writers’ group about ten years back and was welcomed with open arms. I made good friends, learned a lot, and also took a liking to Mocha Lattes.

This is also a special store to me, as I wrote about 20% of MURPHYS at the table near the window. Coincidentally, OFTM takes place in Glastonbury, CT, with scenes set in Smith Middle School and Welles-Turner Library. Also, a whole chapter takes place in the Hallmark Store next door to the B&N.

I am happily collecting Red Sox and semi-happily collecting NY Yankees items for raffles.  You’ll also find some “Be someone’s hero” t-shirts, a real live prop from the book, and other eclectic items. I promise to entertain with adventurous tales of my travels across the wilds of…erm…Glastonbury. I’ll tell you why I set OFTM there, the very unlikely thing that sparked the book in my head, and talk about some things other writers (of any age) can do to improve their writing. I may even wear a gorilla suit. (I said *may*)

Friends, teacher colleagues, former students, and fellow writers (and, hopefully, kids!) will join me in my celebration. Can’t WAIT!!! Hope you can join us!

 

Categories: adventure, author, Be Someone's Hero, Marketing, middle-grade, One for the Murphys | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

Mentor Monday ~ Michaela Maccoll

A BIG Mentor Monday welcome to Michaela Maccoll, author of two historical novels entitled, Prisoners in the Palace and Promise the Night. Both have earned so many starred reviews, they should be re-titled as constellations!

Thanks so much, Michaela, for coming by to tell us about your wonderful mentors!

Hi, Lynda! Thanks so much for the opportunity to muse out loud about mentors. Who do you single out and say…. That one! He or she is my mentor! It’s additionally tough for me because I don’t like asking for help. I’m loath to use up too much of their time or goodwill. I ration these mentors, for better or worse.

But I do have a “mentor” that I go back to time and time again. Who is the first to receive any news. Who has seen every major revision and kept me writing through a careful combination of praise, guilt and critique.

My mentor isn’t a person, it’s three people: my critique group. Sari, Christine, Karen and I have been together for over five years now. I brought the group together originally (Sari and I were old friends, Christine I met at  a conference and Karen stood behind Christine and I in the ladies’ room line at SCBWI!), but what keeps us going is how useful and necessary we are to each other.

We all bring strengths to each other and shore up the weaknesses together. Sari has such a   deft gift for romantic comedy, she always finds the romance in my scenes, even if I don’t. Christine has a poet’s soul and when I write to something beautiful, I ask myself “What would Christine do?” And Karen? Her clear no-nonsense approach to editing has helped me find the germ of what’s good and clear out the dreck more times than I can count.

These gentle ladies are the only ones who’ve seen my highs and lows. I trust them and love them.

Mentors indeed!

Categories: adventure, author, Mentor Monday, writing

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