Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Reading for Research Challenge Reflections

By Keila V. Dawson

Although the 2019 Reading for Research challenge has ended, reading for research continues. In this post, participants shared what they’ve discovered and or learned during our March challenge. 

(Photo courtesy of Cheryl Cook Johnson)

I have two notebooks I use for PB studies. I like how I do notes for fiction ~ character, problem, inciting event/escalation, resolution, and book concept.  …any suggestions [for NF] would be greatly appreciated. – Cheryl Cook Johnson

For a nonfiction PB, I've been keeping a log of other NF PBs with relevant details such as word count, reading level, if quotes were used or not (imagined or real), sidebars, back matter and other (if any) techniques used. Also looking at and logging first lines and last lines in mentor texts to help educate and inspire. - Kate Harold
I used to just type out my mentor texts but now I'm analyzing them more in regards to theme & language used, etc. I mainly type up mentor texts of books I fall in love with. - Nicole Salter Braun

I would say how much I've identified my oldest son in the boy [character] in NANA UPSTAIRS, NANA DOWNSTAIRS I’ve really enjoyed reading the bios as well. I’ve enjoyed the style and structure of them all. I never would have thought to write a bio, but now I’m reconsidering. They were informational and fun. - Ashley Congdon

Writing Down first and last lines and learning lots! - Susan Karunama Twiggs
“I don't think I would write a story without some sort of resolution…or at least an implied resolution.” Laura Jenkins (after reading and discussing “Little Brown” with her son)

I learned that I have very specific taste when it comes to what I enjoy in a picture book. …reading so many varied mentor texts helped me define the types of picture books I enjoy reading AND writing.  - Susie Sawyer
I take notes and save those articles that speak to me. I'm working on a story about friendship. IVER AND ELLSWORTH helped me get beyond the words to feel the emotion. The structure of the story guided me as I figured out the pagination of my manuscript.Charlotte Dixon

I'm in a long-standing critique group [and] look out for mentor texts for my CPs that fit what they may be working on. Sometimes we actually read mentor texts aloud via Google chats in our online critique group. Kathy Halsey

The many benefits of participating in the annual Reading for Research challenge include reading current titles, finding mentor texts that help us with a work in progress, inspiring us to write in a different format or structure, discovering comparative titles, and learning more about our personal interests. Although these benefits differ for every participant, everyone takes the challenge for the same reason, to grow as writers. I did. I hope you did too.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

ReFoReMo 2019 Prize Drawing Winners

The education earned through ReFoReMo participation is certainly a huge prize, but we also wanted to announce the winners of the extra prize drawings. Congratulations to everyone!
Marcie F. Atkins Ebook, Mentor Texts for Writers                     Judy Sobanski

Quick-Look PB Critique with Carrie Charley Brown                   Ashley Congdon

30 min SKYPE w Matthew Winner                                               Debbie Bernstein LaCroix

15 min PB Consultation a Susannah Richards                            Linda Staszak

Heidi Stemple’s  Picture Book Counting Birds                            Rebecca Gardyn Levington

Keila Dawson’s Picture Book King Cake Baby                             Jolene Gutierrez

Kirsti Call’s Picture Book The Raindrop Who Couldn’t Fall      Lenora Biemans

Jamie Deenihan’s When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree   Angie Isaacs

Slush Pile Pass with Emma Sector                                               Rebecca Colby

Mia Wengen’s Book How to Coach Girls & PB Grab Bag         Jose Cruz

Christy Mihaly’s Picture Book Hey Hey Hay                               Bettie Boswell

Ryan T. Higgins Picture Book                                                        Cathy Ogren

Picture Book: Someone New, gifted from Julie Bliven            Marsha Elyn Wright

Ruth Spiro’s Picture Book Made by Maxine                              Linda Kulp Trout

Emma Walton Hamilton’s Editor in a Box                                  Kathryn Worley

PB Critique with Cindy Schrauben                                              Charlotte Dixon

Charlotte Wenger’s Picture Book This Book is Spineless        Mary Wrath

Kim Chaffee’s Picture Book Her Fearless Run                           Jessica Mercado

Michelle Hout’s Picture Book Sea Glass Summer                    Megan Cason

$150 KIDSBUZZ Coupon from Deborah Sloan                          Cheryl Johnson          

If your name was announced, you will receive an email from us this week with more details. Congratulations to all! We'll be back on our regular blog schedule starting next week. See you then!

Friday, March 29, 2019

ReFoReMo Day 21: Founders Carrie Charley Brown & Kirsti Call Say Thanks, Celebrate, and Cross Their Fingers!

By Carrie Charley Brown and Kirsti Call

The last day of ReFoReMo 2019 is here, friends. We are certain there will be mixed emotions, but this is truly not the end. You might decide to cut down on the weight of your library haul, but you must keep gifting yourself with the insider knowledge that mentor texts provide. Stand proud and proclaim your victorious month!

Our goal on this journey was to grow as writers. Let’s enhance our growth mindsets by reflecting:

What was your goal as you entered ReFoReMo?
What steps did you take to achieve your goal?
What new skill or knowledge did you learn?
What would you like to learn more about?
What else could you do to make your mentor text journey more personal or connected?

You could save all of the mentor texts that you want to re-read and look for what they have in common.  Then, ask yourself: Why do I like this group of books?  What is it about them that moves me? 

What are you grateful for? For starters, let’s throw some thank-yous to the grandstand:

Susannah Richards
Jamie Deenihan
Marcie Flinchum Atkins
Heidi Stemple
Matthew Winner
Emma Sector
Mia Wenjen
Christy Mihaly
Ryan T. Higgins
Janie Reinart
Julie Bliven
Ruth Spiro
Cindy Schrauben
Emma Walton Hamilton
Keila Dawson
Charlotte Wenger
Kim Chaffee
Michelle Houts
Deborah Sloan
And us, Carrie Charley Brown and Kirsti Call

Now, it’s your turn! Give yourself a round of applause! Heck, how about a standing ovation?

If you registered for ReFoReMo by March 4, commented on every post, and made efforts to read and research picture books consistently during this past month, then please feel free to enter the prize drawings below. To see the variety of prizes in this drawing, use the dots to scroll through. You will only enter the drawing Rafflecopter one time, but be sure to do it by April 3. Good luck! We are thankful to our presenters for going above and beyond to offer these extras! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We will be back to announce the prize winners on April 9! Until then, join us in the Facebook Group to share your mentor text analysis of particular books or break down your research process for us! Did you discover something eye-opening? Did you benefit from a certain approach to note-taking? We want to hear what worked for you!

Carrie Charley Brown is the founder and co-coordinator of ReFoReMo. She eats, sleeps, and breathes picture books as a library media specialist, writer, and critique mentor. Carrie contributed as a 2014/2015 CYBILS fiction picture book panelist and regional advisor for SCBWI North Texas. She enjoys supporting the kidlit community by spreading mentor text love.

Kirsti Call is the co-coordinator of ReFoReMo and a marriage and family therapist who uses bibliotherapy with every client. She reads, critiques and revises every day as a member of various critique groups, and blogs for Writers Rumpus. As the author of The Raindrop Who Couldn't Fall, Kirsti coaches revision at school visits through interactive writing, singing, and of course, reading for research! Kirsti contributed as a 2015 CYBILS YA Fiction panelist and 2016-2018 CYBILS fiction picture book panelist. She is repped by Emma Sector at Prospect Agency.