Advice to Young Writers

Every once in a while I get a list of questions from someone who needs the answers RIGHT NOW to get an A in a course. Here's my favorite:

And here, in response, is my list of DO's and DON'Ts

1. Make reading your main out-of-school activity. Turn off the TV, quit texting, cancel your trip to the mall, and pick from a wide variety of good books.

2. Write something every day. Keep a journal, work on a story, make notes on your research.

3. Learn the rules of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Go over your work for errors. Do not hand in, submit, or email your mistakes--it makes a terrible impression.

4. Learn to accept criticism. You're still learning. (So am I, and I've been at it for a long, long time.)

5. Do at least three drafts before you even ask someone to read your poem/​story/​novel.

6. Don't ask how to get published before you even learn how to write. It may take years. You wouldn't dream of playing at Carnegie Hall after a year of piano lessons; you wouldn't try out for the Olympics when you've been skating for only a year—would you? The same is true of writing.

7. Don't ask writers how much money they make. It depresses us, because only a lucky few earn enough to live on. Here’s what I tell people: “Writing is a terrible way to make a living, but a great way to make a life.”

8........Well, I can't think of any more. This will have to do it for now. And besides, I have to get back to writing.

Fiction for Young Adults

Fiction for Young Adults
Dowdy Peggy White reinvents herself as a glamorous photographer, capturing memorable images during the 1930s Depression and 1940s World War II
Three gutsy girls go looking for adventure in the West in the 1920's
Anastasia and her three sisters are the privileged daughters of the richest man in the world, until their world begins to crumble.
YA Historical Fiction
What's it like to be the daughter of the most beautiful woman in the world? When Helen of Troy elopes with Paris, her daughter, Hermione, stows away on a Greek ship in search of her mother, hoping to bring her home--and perhaps to find a love of her own.
The future queen of England lives a life of privilege, but privilege comes with a steep price of isolation and loneliness--until she meets Albert.
She leaves Scotland as a child, is sent to France to marry the future king, returns to Scotland as a young woman to rule; a wild queen in a wild country.
First published in 1992, my first historical novel, has been reissued with a new cover.
Cleopatra has been chosen to be the next queen of Egypt, but she faces ruthless competition from her sisters. (Watch a video of Carolyn on this page)
The dizzying rise and horrific downfall of the last queen of France. Young Royals series
Who would not fall in love with--or at least have a mad crush on--young Will!
Marie van Goethen was a dancer in 19th century Paris and modeled for Degas's famous sculpture.
A fictionalized account of the early life of Charles Darwin, narrated by Charley himself.
Mozart's talented sister, Nannerl, struggles to achieve life she deserves--in music as well as in love.
Contemporary YA
Four characters, four big issues, four compelling stories: BECAUSE OF LISSA; THE PROBLEM WITH SIDNEY; GILLIAN'S CHOICE; THE TWO FACES OF ADAM

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