First Ebook Engages Kids’s Authors and Illustrators With Enlargement of Advocacy Program

First Ebook’s Authors and Illustrators in Motion Program engages authors and illustrators to assist fill the all-too-often empty bookshelves of youngsters in want

WASHINGTON (November 20, 2017) – In the present day, First Ebook, the nonprofit social enterprise targeted on equal entry to high quality schooling for youths in want, expanded Authors and Illustrators in Motion, its program that seeks to harness the skills and fervour of youngsters’s guide creators as advocates for broader entry to books for youngsters in low-income communities. Launched in 2013, First Ebook’s Authors and Illustrators in Motion program, which incorporates contributors Mac Barnett, Deborah Freedman, Meg Medina, Brad Meltzer, Mary Pope Osborne, Andrea Davis Pinkney, Jason Reynolds, and Mo Willems, goals to lift consciousness of First Ebook’s mission and the function of schooling as a pathway out of poverty.

Lack of entry to sufficient books and sources is the only best contributor to academic inequity in america, and up to date analysis recognized huge ‘guide deserts’ concentrated in low-income communities throughout the U.S.—with one group having solely a single guide to be shared amongst as many as 830 kids.[1] With college funding nonetheless under pre-recession ranges in 23 states, and with afterschool and youth applications challenged for means to maintain kids engaged, the necessity for sources is taking over a extra acute sense of urgency.[2] The urgency is mirrored within the monumental development of the First Ebook Community, which has grown greater than 40 % since 2016 and now numbers greater than 350,000 educators who completely serve kids in want—or greater than 25 % of the estimated 1.three million school rooms in low-income, under-resourced communities within the U.S. alone.

“Authors and illustrators care deeply in regards to the kids and younger adults we write for, and nobody understands the distinction that books could make fairly like we do,” Pinkney mentioned. “The profound disparity in entry to books—and its impact on kids’s schooling and future alternatives—is an injustice that weighs on the guts of our career and touches us on a private stage. There may be not a one among us that may fathom a world the place a baby isn’t in a position to uncover the enjoyment of studying. That’s why First Ebook’s Authors and Illustrators in Motion program is so necessary—it is a chance for us to make a tangible, obligatory distinction within the lives of youngsters and their households.”

First Ebook has invited authors and illustrators to assist the group’s mission by activating the audiences they attain by social media, college and library visits, and different platforms. Individuals, as soon as registered with First Ebook as a member of Authors and Illustrators in Motion, will join faculties and group applications with First Ebook for ongoing entry to books, sources, and educator assist supplies. They may moreover join potential funders with alternatives to offer monetary assist for deeply under-resourced faculties and applications by First Ebook’s award-winning nonprofit ecommerce platforms, the First Ebook Market ( and and the First Ebook Nationwide Financial institution Ebook (

“Increasing Authors and Illustrators in Motion appears essential at this second in time, when there’s nonetheless such an acute hole in entry to books and academic sources that impacts our youngsters and their futures so deeply,” mentioned Kerri Poore, director of writer and writer relations at First Ebook. “First Ebook is privileged to work with so many authors and illustrators who’re invested in bringing books to children who might in any other case not have books in any respect. We’re so grateful for his or her dedication and their partnership.”

As a part of the Authors and Illustrators in Motion program, First Ebook and award-winning writer and illustrator Ashley Bryan and the Ashley Bryan Middle are at the moment distributing 15,000 particular version copies of Bryan’s “Stunning Blackbird” to kids in want in three states. In 2016, First Ebook labored with Simon & Schuster Kids’s Publishing to distribute 20,000 copies of award-winning writer Jason Reynolds’ books to school rooms and applications serving low-income college students nationwide. Mary Pope Osborne, award-winning writer of the “Magic Tree Home,” has labored side-by-side with First Ebook for years to distribute tens of millions of copies of her books to kids in want and the educators who serve them.

First Ebook, which has operations in each the U.S. and Canada, works with formal and casual educators serving kids in want, aged between Zero-18 years in a variety of settings – from faculties, school rooms, summer time college and parks and leisure applications, to well being clinics, homeless shelters, faith-based applications, libraries, museums, summer time meals websites and extra. By means of a sustainable enterprise mannequin, First Ebook removes the boundaries to studying for eligible school rooms and applications by offering all the pieces from books to backpacks, and know-how to toothpaste, all at free or deeply reasonably priced costs.

About First Ebook

First Ebook transforms the lives of youngsters in want. By means of a sustainable, market-driven mannequin, First Ebook is creating equal entry to high quality schooling — making all the pieces from brand-new, high-quality books and academic sources, to sports activities gear, winter coats, snacks, and extra – reasonably priced to its member community of greater than 350,000 educators who completely serve children in want. Since 1992, First Ebook has distributed greater than 170 million books and academic sources to applications and faculties serving kids from low-income households in additional than 30 nations. First Ebook at the moment reaches a mean of three million kids yearly and helps a couple of in 4 of the estimated 1.three million school rooms and applications serving kids in want. With an extra 1,000 educators becoming a member of every week, First Ebook is the most important and fastest-growing community of educators in america completely serving children in want.

Eligible educators, librarians, suppliers, and others serving kids in want can enroll at For extra data, please go to or observe the most recent information on Fb and Twitter.

Protecting Your Whiny Characters Likable


How do you deal with a whiny character? No one likes a whiner, however the reality is that actual folks whine every so often. Typically they’ve a cause to whine. In case your character is whiny, how do you retain from making readers sick of him?

Derek posted this query on my “Ask A Query For My Weblog” web page:

Character query: how do you write some intense character drama (each internally and externally) with out the protagonist coming off as mopey or unlikable?

Extra context: I’m writing a YA Science Fiction e-book for NaNoWriMo. I actually get pleasure from YA as a result of I actually just like the interpersonal relationships, character development, and many others. that appear to actually thrive in books for that viewers.

So the characters in my e-book are presently coping with a whole lot of drama. I really feel like I’ve made the protagonist sufficiently proactive, proficient, and likeable. Nevertheless, he’s presently mourning the lack of his dad and mom and he additionally grew to become estranged from his finest good friend after the inciting incident. Yay for battle, proper?

So my query is, how can I permit my character to grieve and develop, experiencing the very actual ache that accompanies his life circumstances with out him coming off whiny? I actually hate major characters who mope.

On this case, my protagonist remains to be being proactive and pushing the plot ahead, however he’s carrying a whole lot of disgrace and self-hatred that may accompany intense emotional wounds. This may make his inner dialogue fairly, properly, miserable.

Proper now, the protagonist and his finest good friend are each harm and treating one another considerably cruelly, therefore making choices which can be very plausible however might flip off the reader.

I’m loving the battle that each one of this has delivered to my novel. Nevertheless, I additionally know I’ve learn books with interpersonal conflicts which have actually irritated me as a result of extended nature of them. And the novel was much more enjoyable to write down when the protagonist and his finest good friend have been on good phrases. So the temptation is to simply go make all the things all higher actual quick, though I do know that will in all probability not be clever.

Randy sez: This can be a good query. I feel it’s vital to at all times ask why your reader reads.

Why Your Reader Reads

Your reader reads to have a Highly effective Emotional Expertise. Subsequently, you write to offer your reader with a Highly effective Emotional Expertise. However which expertise are you going to offer?

Completely different readers learn for various emotive experiences. You get to determine what readers you wish to enchantment to (your “Goal Viewers”), which suggests you get to determine what emotive expertise you’re promoting. When you determine that, then your solely job is to do an excellent job offering that emotive expertise.

If you happen to determine that you just’re promoting an emotive expertise that features recovering from deep emotional wounds, then write that form of story and don’t fear about annoying your Goal Viewers. Your Goal Viewers, by definition, needs to learn your form of story. Folks exterior your Goal Viewers, by definition, don’t wish to learn your form of story, however you don’t care.

That’s proper, you don’t care about folks exterior your Goal Viewers. As a result of you may’t. You may’t make everybody completely happy. A choice to make your Goal Viewers completely happy is a choice to not even take into consideration folks exterior your Goal Viewers.

I hope that provides you slightly freedom to write down the story you wish to write.

Steadiness, Steadiness, Steadiness

Now, having stated that, there’s such a factor as an unbalanced story. You clearly aren’t writing ONLY about deep emotional wounds. You’re making an attempt to create some distinctive mix of emotional experiences. You get to determine what that mix is. Then you could concentrate on giving precisely that mix to your readers.

Take into consideration The Starvation Video games. Is Katniss generally whiny and even unlikable? Positive she is. Typically. However she’s not ONLY whiny and unlikable. She’s not even MOSTLY whiny and unlikely. She’s simply sometimes whiny and unlikable. She has loads of good in her that overrides these. She’s robust sufficient to defy the foundations and hunt meals for her household. She’s bought a smooth spot in her coronary heart for her sister Prim—she volunteers to face virtually sure loss of life in Prim’s place. She’s bought a powerful survival intuition and she or he’s powerful and resourceful and she or he has a sure angle. The world is treating her grossly unfairly. She has a cause to whine. So she whines—for a bit.

Then she fights again. She fights again onerous, and generally lashes out at people who find themselves making an attempt to assist her. However the reader is OK together with her whining and her misplaced anger, as a result of it’s plausible and it’s in steadiness and she or he a minimum of acknowledges she has flaws and feels responsible about it. That’s the mix Suzanne Collins selected to offer. That’s the mix a whole lot of readers needed. It labored out fairly properly.

Derek, your query was a tactical one—how do you write that drama with out scaring away readers? The reply is that you just salt it in with out letting it get out of proportion. Early in your story, it is best to set up the mix of emotive experiences that you just’re going to provide your reader. As soon as your reader will get previous the primary few scenes, she ought to know what that mix is. You now have a contract with the reader to proceed with that mix for the remainder of the story. Maintain it in steadiness. If one scene goes a bit whiny, then the subsequent scene must go gentle on the drama and convey within the different emotive experiences you’re promoting.

Steadiness doesn’t imply that each scene should really feel the identical, emotively. It signifies that you alternate by the assorted emotive experiences that make up your distinctive mix.

Do this and your reader wins. When your reader wins, you win.

If you happen to’ve bought a query you’d like me to reply in public on this weblog, hop on over to my “Ask A Query For My Weblog” web page and submit your query. I’ll reply those I can, however no ensures. There are solely so many hours within the day.


Merry and Bright (Sometimes) | Writerspace


“Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.” Edna Ferber

A Christmas Carol. The Little Match Girl. The Cricket at the Hearth. As much as I love to read these classics during the holiday season (okay, that’s not completely true. I read The Little Match Girl once and that was enough for me. My little nine year old soul was scarred for life) I also enjoy finding new tales to delight in.

I was thrilled when presented with the opportunity to gather the works of master storytellers into The Christmas Tales Bundle, a collection of ten short stories depicting the various shades of the season.

In “Carl of the Bells” discover how a Christmas scam doesn’t turn out as planned.

Find romance in the resort town of Leavenworth, Washington in “Firelights of Christmas”

See a widower receive a magical, musical gift in “Walter’s Christmas Night-Musik”

Meet the fascinating Matt Sturtz in “Rehabilitation”

And much more…

From fantasy to women’s fiction, mystery to romance, this collection of short stories is sure to have something for everyone. So treat yourself, or someone you know, to this bargain priced bundle this holiday season and all year through.


Do you have a favorite holiday story you like to read? Wishing you and yours a wonderful December filled with laughter, love and happy memories.


How Does a Seat-of-the-Pants Writer Create Story Structure?


What if you don’t like the Snowflake Method? Is there a way to structure your story if you prefer to write by the seat of your pants?

Steven posted this question on my “Ask A Question For My Blog” page:

I have been reading your book “How to Write a Novel Using the SnowFlake Method” and first I would like to thank you for writing a book that shows how to properly write a story instead of making book that shows me what a story is supposed to be. In my adventures as a writer I have found myself preferring the “fly by the seat of your pants” writing style, but I feel that more structure is needed. However I feel that the Snowflake method stifles the unconditional inspiration that comes with “fly by the seat of your pants” writing. If you can walk in my shoes for a bit, what would you do to structure your story without losing valuable inspiration?

Randy sez: First, let me define some terms so we’re all on the same page:

The process you use to create the first draft of your novel is what I call your “creative paradigm.”

Your “story structure” defines the emotional journey that your reader takes when she reads the final draft of your novel.

So your creative paradigm and your story structure are two very different things. You can have a good story structure for your novel, no matter what creative paradigm you use. But you’ll find your story structure at different points in the writing process, depending on what creative paradigm you go with.

Creative Paradigm Options

You have a number of options in your creative paradigm. Here are some of the common ones:

  • Writing by the seat of your pants.
  • Editing as you go.
  • The Snowflake Method (this is the one that’s made me famous).
  • Outlining your novel.

It’s possible to write a well-structured novel using any of these creative paradigms.

It’s also possible to write a terribly-structured novel using any of these creative paradigms.

Writers who design their novel before they write it (Snowflakers and Outliners) are in theory supposed to be designing in a good story structure. That’s the main reason they design first. But if they don’t understand story structure, then they probably won’t design a good structure for their novel.

Good story structure is explained in many books, including the one Steven mentioned, my best-selling book How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method. This how-to book is written as a story, and it’s self-referential—the First Disaster in the story happens in the chapter that explains what a First Disaster is. The chapter on Proactive Scenes is written as a Proactive Scene and the chapter on Reactive Scenes is written as a Reactive Scene. The entire book is an illustration of itself. And of course I wrote the book using the Snowflake Method, and my Snowflake documents are included at the back of the book so you can see how it was done.

But What About That Pesky Story Structure?

Now we can answer Steven’s question. He recognizes that it’s possible to write a novel seat-of-the-pants and end up with good story structure. But his question is how to make that happen.

First, note that your creative paradigm is just a method for getting your first draft down on paper. That’s all. I recommend that you use whatever creative paradigm works best for you. Your brain is wired a certain way, and you shouldn’t try to change your wiring.

Second, you need to remember that your first draft is not your last draft. Only the last draft needs to have good story structure. Your first draft doesn’t. Your first draft is nothing more than a stepping-stone to your last draft.

If you use the Snowflake Method correctly, then your first draft will have good story structure, because you designed in a sound structure from the get-go. But you’re still going to need to do revisions on your novel. You may need three or ten or a hundred more drafts to get your story the way you want it. During those extra drafts, your story structure may evolve, but it probably won’t change radically. Other things will change. That’s why you’re writing multiple drafts.

If you write by the seat of your pants, it’s likely that your first draft won’t have good story structure. That’s okay, because that wasn’t your goal. Your goal was to get the first draft down on paper, and you achieved your goal. So it’s perfectly fine if your first draft has poor structure or no structure. The point is that it’s something, and you can work with something to make it better. You can’t work with nothing.

How to Analyze a Messy First Draft

So what do you do with a messy first draft? Well, you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you.

First, read through the whole thing and make notes on any problems you see. Don’t fix the problems; just make a note of what they are.

Second, you’re going to need to analyze your story, and this seems like one reasonable way to do it:

  1. Make a list of all the scenes in your novel. You can do this on 3×5 cards or use a spreadsheet or my software Snowflake Pro or whatever tool you like.
  2. From that scene list, make a synopsis of about four pages that summarizes your story. One paragraph for each group of related scenes should do it.
  3. Create a “character bible” that spells out all the details about each character.
  4. Condense your long synopsis down to a one-page synopsis.
  5. Write up the backstories for your characters.
  6. Write a one-paragraph summary of your short synopsis that spells out the Three-Act Structure of your novel.
  7. Write a one-sentence summary of your story that captures its essence.

You’ll note that the above analysis is sort of a reverse version of the Snowflake Method, where you are starting from a large document and reducing it down, bit by bit, to its essence. Along the way, you’re finding the structure of your story.

Once you’ve done all that hard work, you’re ready to write your second draft. It may very well be massively different from your first draft. (Or you might be one of those great geniuses whose first draft is golden stuff, ready to print. If so, tell nobody, because there are hundreds of thousands of writers out there who hate you.)

When you’ve got your second draft done, update your analysis to make sure you’ve now got a sound story structure. (Remember, story structure is essential. It’s what gives your reader emotional satisfaction, and the main goal of writing fiction is to give your reader a powerful emotional experience.) If your story structure is still broken, fix it and then write another draft to get it right. Keep doing this until it’s good. Then you can go on to the next step in revision, which is to make sure all your scenes are working. Then you can polish the novel, and you’re done.

Writing is Hard Work

Sounds like a lot of work? It is. I would be dishonest if I said that writing fiction is easy. Writing fiction is hard, and at some point you have to do the work of designing your story structure. Snowflakers and outliners do this work up front, before writing the first draft. Seat-of-the-pants writers and edit-as-you-go writers do this work on the back end, after writing the first draft. But everybody has to do the same work. It’s just a question of when you do it. In the end, the reader doesn’t care when you did the hard work. The reader just cares that you did the hard work.

Is all that work worth it? That’s for you to decide. If you believe that reading a powerfully emotive story has value, then writing a powerfully emotive story must also have value. And that requires writing a story with a powerfully emotive design.

I’ll say it once more, since this needs repeating. There is no “one right way to write a novel.” There is one right way for YOU to write your novel, based on the way your brain is wired. But the way that works best for you is not necessarily the same as the way that works best for your friend. Seat-of-the-pants writing works for some. So does edit-as-you-go. So does outlining. And of course, Snowflaking works for some. One of the things that makes me happiest in life is knowing that this simple process I created has helped many tens of thousands of writers around the world write their novels. Of course the Snowflake Method is not for everybody. But it’s for a lot of somebodies. And that’s kind of cool.

If you’ve got a question you’d like me to answer in public on this blog, hop on over to my “Ask A Question For My Blog” page and submit your question. I’ll answer the ones I can, but no guarantees. There are only so many hours in the day.