For the last two weeks, I’ve been enrolled in workshops through the Summer Literary Seminars (SLS) out of Montreal, Canada. Morning workshops run for the entire two weeks, while afternoon workshops run one week each.
The program is hosted by the Writer’s House of Georgia. Located in Tbilisi, the building was completed in 1905. The Art Nouveau architecture blends Georgian and European influences, and the building has witnessed many important historic events, particularly in the political realm.
Although the building is in the heart of the city, the Writer’s House is a quiet sanctuary in the city. The central courtyard hosts a lush garden that stays cool even on the hottest days.
Stop by when you are in Tbilisi, or consider writing and learning with the SLS programs.
On Friday, I took advantage of a fourteen-hour layover in Paris, France. With so much time to spend, I headed into the city for a quick look around.
The indie bookstore Shakespeare and Company was on my list. The shop is on a street known for the vendors who set up book stalls along the Seine River. Their location is near Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Louvre.
Shakespeare and Company is an English-language bookstore in the heart of Paris. The building was originally constructed as a monastery. An old tradition held that one monk was assigned the duty of lighting the lamps at nightfall. The bookstore’s founder, George Whitman, cast himself as that monk when he began operating a store that would provide light through literature.
On Tuesday, we talked about publishers soliciting authors in the guise of a publication offer.
That’s not a book deal. That’s a (slick) commercial for their services.
But for some authors, “hybrid” publishing works. Could it be right for you?
Old-school vanity publishers know their terrible reputations, and many have rebranded as “hybrid.” They charge authors a “contribution” that pays their costs and a healthy profit margin. They don’t care if your book sells—they already made their money. You may end up with cartons of unsold books, text badly or not-at-all edited, dreadful covers, crappy page design.
True hybrid presses offer a legitimate package of publishing services. It costs more than self-publishing—they still profit before selling your book—but you’re not doing it all yourself. Hybrids can provide a smoother publication process, bookstore placement, reviews, and some of the legitimacy of an imprint.
I’ve written on this blog before about Dr. Barbara Culp, an experienced educator who has written an exceptional series for anyone involved in education. Her books target teachers, parents, students, administrators, and superintendents. Dr. Culp is unstoppable in her dedication!
The Art of Appraisal saves time and boosts performance with effective tools and a streamlined process.
With a few detailed comments, an appraisal can correct weak habits, boost midlevel professionals, and launch excellent teachers into greatness. The Art of Appraisal allows administrators to reap the greatest benefits by creating clarity and efficiency in the process.
First, a binary feedback structure ruled by four performance tiers is described. Then, ten key areas of teacher responsibility are defined. Each task is further parsed into four subcategories. Evaluations become faster and easier, and the feedback becomes exponentially more profound.
Rich with real-world examples and comments about different performance ratings, The Art of Appraisal clarifies and distills the evaluation process. Supplemental chapters are packed with practical comments that can be pasted into evaluations. This structured, step-by-step system was developed by Dr. Culp, an educational professional with over forty years of experience.
An invaluable tool for administrators and the teachers they evaluate, The Art of Appraisal allows a school’s most effective tool to be used in the most efficient manner.
Read more about Dr. Culp’s motivation here, and about her first six titles here. Hear directly from this sterling professional in the author interview here.
Have you read any of these books, or given them as gifts to your school or a special educator you respect? Let me know about your experiences!
Last November, I interviewed children’s author Wendy Gilhula about her work. Here’s a link to the interview to refresh your memory. At the time, she was celebrating the release of her first picture book, Pika Bunny and the Thunderstorm.
I blogged about that, too, here, calling it the Cutest Dual-language Picture Book! The work was published as separate editions in English and Spanish, with another edition in English and Spanish.
Now her second book is out. Pika Bunny Has a Big Question is available just in time for Wendy to be featured by her publisher at Book Expo of America (BEA). That’s big news for any author. It’s even better for Wendy’s fans, because she’ll be at her publisher’s booth signing copies.
The second book is already available in English. The dual-language edition is in the works and will be available soon. Meanwhile, worksheets based on Pika’s adventures are available for free at Wendy’s website. They are really, really cute! And they are also available in English and Spanish.
When I wished Wendy good luck, I told her I hoped she sold a ton of books at BEA. Then I asked, “How many Pika Bunnies are in a ton?”
Her answer: “There are about 5,333 Pika Bunnies in a ton.”
Let’s help her sell a ton of Pika Bunnies, and encourage literacy and multilingual abilities in kids!
Just wanted to share this most recent publication, an amusing essay about the foibles of the writing life. Other artists might find themselves in these anecdotes, as well!
Here’s the opening, followed by a link to the full essay:
The life of an author can be peculiar. Certain experiences ought to be grand events accompanied by trumpets and elephants, or at least a little snowfall of confetti and cake served up by your bestie. Moments like winning an award. Or signing with an agent. Or plunging into a writing career possessed by a passion that surely will mulch any obstacle in the wood chipper of artistic devotion.
Sometimes, however, you fall down the rabbit hole and discover that the Duchess’ baby has turned into a pig. The first two weeks of my writing career, for example, were spent curled up under my dining room table.