“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.

 

my writer’s life (FREE!) creative writing activities journal

 

 

It’s here! It’s free! It’s a downloadable, printable PDF from my website! 

That’s right, it’s:

My Writer’s Life Creative Writing Activities Journal for Kids (volume one)!

This journal contains 10 creative writing activities aimed at 8 to 12-year-olds that can be used in conjunction with corresponding This Writer’s Life episodes on YouTube or explored on their own. I hope it’s of use to budding writers to explore story, language, and imagination, all things they might need right now.

Here it is in my webshop.

And if you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll not only get new episodes of This Writer’s Life, but a welcome email that automatically sends you a link to this writing journal for kids. 

Take care of yourself and each other during this time of compassionate physical distancing for the greater good, and happy writing to the kids in your life!

Here’s a little snippet of me talking about this resource.

 

 

Creative Writing Workshops for Kids at Makers Mess in March! *postponed*

I’m super thrilled to be offering a series of three creative writing workshops for kids at Makers Mess in Silver Lake here in LA! The coolest part? Each session is offered at two different times to fit your and your child’s schedule—Thursday afternoons or Saturday mornings! 

One of my favorite things is helping kids express and develop their unique voices and imaginations, and that’s exactly the goal of these workshops for 8 to 12-year-olds! We’ll start with the beginning, of course, crafting a character and writing the scene that starts the engine of the story. In the other two sessions, we’ll write action and comparisons, we’ll revise, and participants will get to be inspired by one another and have some writing conferencing with me as the facilitator. At the close, kid writers will get to take away a Storymap, their story(!), and a special surprise to honor their creativity and accomplishment throughout the three sessions. 

The first workshop? Thursday, March 12th or Saturday, March 14th.

All the details and sign-ups are right here!

 

this writer’s life is live!

I’m so excited to announce a new project I’ve been cooking up for a few months!

THIS WRITER’S LIFE: A PEEK INTO PROCESS is a YouTube series aimed at 8-12 year-olds and their classrooms.

Every episode peeks into some aspect of the writing process with tools, activities, guidance, and encouragement. Plus, each one features someone I know and admire who’ll offer a piece of advice from their own creative process! How cool is that?

My intention is to help kids develop their writing skills and confidence as they build their own writer’s life.


The most enormous thanks to Rippin Sindher for her brilliant and supportive directing and Michael J. Salter for beautiful graphics, art direction, and music because without them this project would just be an idea in my notebook. 

You are cordially invited to subscribe, share this with young writers, parents, teachers, or librarians, and to please stay tuned!

Sign up for my newsletter!