to make picture book cover!

My heart is full sharing the cover of my and illustrator Mags DeRoma’s picture book, To Make, with her cover art!

Our picture book will be out in summer 2022 from HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books. 

Here is the cover of To Make, courtesy of Mags DeRoma!

I danced when I first saw it because this joyful stunner feels so right. It captures the spirit of this picture book. Its heart. Because TO MAKE is a manual to inspire kids to do just that, make something their own. To celebrate the process, the perseverance of any creative act. To encourage everyone who reads it to “keep making.” And look at those kids embarking in that direction! This cover feels like an invitation, full of possibility. Look at how they are dancing too! 

You can read an interview I did with Mags about the cover and her process of making all the art for To Make on This Picture Book Life here

We both are also full of thanks for:

Mabel Hsu, our incredible and truly dream editor at Katherine Tegen Books; Hannah Mann, who boldly and affectionately agented this book for us both; Amy Ryan, ace art director at Harper; Molly Fehr, gifted designer at Harper. This team has worked diligently on and cared deeply for this book from the jump. Thank you. 

 

All photos courtesy Mags DeRoma

another picture book revision workshop!

Another round of my online picture book revision workshop is right around the corner! Starts August 7th for four special Saturday sessions to support you as you REVISE a PB manuscript according to your voice and vision, RECEIVE encouragement and inspiration from me and the small group, and REVITALIZE your writing process.

Two scholarships are available at a significant discount for creators with underrepresented/marginalized voices in publishing—your voices are vital to our field and to children.

One cool change this round is that instead of written letters after your second revision, it’ll be a more collaborative one-on-one video call to talk about feedback, buoying, and direction instead! Please email me for more info or to sign up!

 

And I’ve got some testimonials I’m delighted to share as well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Writer’s Life in LA Parent Mag!

 

I’m thrilled to have an interview in the May/June issue of L.A. Parent Magazine about This Writer’s Life
 by fellow LA writer, Ronna Mandel!

You can read it right here (page 23)!

“By developing their own process and their own writer’s life, [kids] can solidify a practice that will serve them now and later by absorbing narrative components, honing writing techniques, and, perhaps most importantly, nurturing the ability to channel their feelings and experiences into creativity and stories—
a meaningful practice they can lean on their whole lives.”

 

Photo credit:  Rippin Sindher

“Story Breath” article in SCBWI Bulletin!

  

I’m thrilled to have an article in the spring issue of the SCBWI Bulletin:

“Story Breath: Inspiration for Plot and Pace in Picture Books!”

And check out that tender, dreamy, hopeful magazine cover by my friend, Maple Lam!

This piece encapsulates my view of what makes the form so special and how to inspire your particular story’s unique energy and movement. (And the accompanying darling dragon sketch is by illustrator Faith Pray.)

“…picture books are different. Special. Distinct…Just like breath, each [one] has its own flow, rhythms, patterns.”

 

I offer a rationale for the metaphor of breath for plot and pace as well as six common “breath beats” from inhale to held breath to gasp. 

Plus, there are examples of those “breath beats” from all the wonderful picture books in the image below! 

 

Big thanks to SCBWI for the opportunity to have my work in a publication I’ve been reading and enjoying for so many years. 

another picture book revision workshop series!

The first “Revise, Receive, Revitalize” workshop series was truly special and such a rewarding experience of empowering other writers, I’m offering another! It’ll start February 27th for a total of four consecutive Saturday mornings from 10 – 12:30 (Pacific). This is a space for camaraderie, discovery, and encouragement as you develop your unique voice, deepen your understanding of the form, and meaningfully revise one picture book manuscript. Please reach out if you’d like more information, to secure a scholarship, or to sign up!

picture book news! to make!

TO MAKE will be in out in 2022!

It’ll be my debut in the form, and it’s the result of writing picture book manuscripts for 15 years. It’s a simple exploration of the creative process, a primer for makers, an encouraging manual and memoir for artists of any age.

It is not only my book. It is illustrated by my friend Mags DeRoma, an incredibly talented artist who’s brought not just her talent, but her spirit of adventure and collaboration to the project and our partnership, for which I’m forever grateful.

It is edited by Mabel Hsu, our dream editor and a dream to work with.

I’m beyond happy to share this news with you and beyond excited to share the book itself.

(Big shout to Hannah Mann for shepherding this project and being open to our rule-breaking path from the jump.) 

picture book revision workshop!

I’m so excited to be facilitating this picture book revision workshop series! It’s  going to be really special!

About the workshop series:
A series of four two-hour live, video workshop group sessions.
Each meeting will include segments with:
INSPIRATION
PEER INPUT
&
INSTRUCTION

The goal is for you to get the support, encouragement, guidance, and camaraderie you need to revise one picture book manuscript while exploring, deepening, and energizing your voice and writing process. 


About me:
I read, write, and roller skate in Los Angeles. My first middle grade novel, Zinnia and the Bees, was published in 2017 and was a Southern California Independent Booksellers Association 2018 Book Award finalist. My debut picture book, TO MAKE, illustrated by Mags DeRoma, will be out in summer 2022 from Katherin Tegen Books/HarperCollins. I’ve blogged at This Picture Book Life for several years, delivered many professional critiques, and am the creator of the kids creative writing YouTube channel, This Writer’s Life.  


Cost:
$350
Two scholarships available for writers with underrepresented voices in publishing to take the workshop at a significant discount.
 
Please email me for more info or to sign up!
danielledaviswrites@me.com
 

this writer’s life creative advice compilation #1

In honor of 20 episodes of This Writer’s Life, a few weeks back I published a special compilation of creative advice from all of them!

One of my very favorite parts of this project is that each video features someone I admire offering a piece of creative advice for young writers. That’s why we created Creative Advice Compilation #1!

In the YouTube video, you’ll behold 20 creative advice-givers sharing their experience and wise guidance from their own process with young writers! 

My hope is that you will be as inspired as I am by every person and what they have to share. Enormous gratitude to each and every one! And links to their websites are over in the show notes on YouTube so you can find out more about them while you’re there!



free online kids writing workshop!

Join me for an online creative writing workshop for kids (around 7-12 years-old)

through Studio City Library on Wednesday, June 17th!

In eight lines over eight pages, kids will create a booklet that tells a party true, partly made-up story about their shoe (or other item of clothing)!
This activity teaches narrative structure while making a zany, fun book to keep.
All kids need: a pen or pencil, one sheet of notebook or printer paper, scissors if you have some.
To sign up, simply email Lauren the librarian at lkratz@lapl.org!

this writer’s life button shop is now open!

I’m excited to announce This Writer’s Life Button Shop is now open!! Writer buttons come in packs from 4 to 32, each with an assortment of these 4 designs!

Meant for anyone who loves to write and especially designed to help kids think of and celebrate themselves as writers. 

Plus you’ll get free shipping on any set of writer buttons from now until June 30th, 2020 with the code BUTTONSBUTTONS entered at checkout!


Buttons designed by Michael J. Salter.
Photo by Meiko Takechi Arquillos.

 

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