Sunday, October 30, 2016

Do you read scary stories to children? (article) by Leanne Dyck

(witch = wise woman. Something I endeavor to be.)

Happy Halloween!

I wrote a scary story for children ages 6 to 9 years old and I brought it to my writing group for feedback. 

Feedback: "Why would you want to scare children?"

Yes to sharing scary stories with children...

We all want to believe that childhood is a time of endless bliss. That worries and fears are foreign to the mind of every child, but this desire may leave your child unequipped to deal with their fears--great and small.

Few times in life are you as vulnerable as you are in childhood. Where you go, what you do, who you meet are largely beyond your control. Your parents go to work and leave you in the care of an adult you just meet. You're outside playing and your neighbour's snarling dog confronts you. 

 'It's a spooky time to be a kid... let's give them some tools to cope with it.' -writes Greg Ruth  in his article Why Horror is Good for You and Even Better for Your Kid  

Sharing scary stories with your child allows the two of you to name her fears and  talk about effective ways to deal with them.

As Heather Shumaker writes in her article Why We Should Share Sad and Scary Stories with Kids'Books are a safe place for children to learn about the world and their own tough emotions.'

'Being frightened by a book, said [psychologist] Kenny, "helps forge resilience." ' -One third of parents avoid reading scary stories, study finds

(from my days caring for children in day care centres)

Years ago, as a University student, I participated in a heated discussion regarding Bruno Bettlehelm's The Uses of Enchantment.

"Why would you want to traumatize children?" I asked my classmates.

No to sharing scary stories with children...

Literature is a powerful tool that must be used wisely. We must always be conscious of the messages it is sending to children.

Some children are ready for scary stories. We are told that it gives the child an opportunity to work through their fears with the promise of a happy ending.

However, some children are not ready. Instead of helping them deal with real fears, it creates new horrors for the child.

How can tell if your child is ready for scary stories...

Start with a mildly scary story such as The Monster at the end of this Book (this link takes you to a YouTube video reading of this book). Watch your child's reaction. If he shows signs of being afraid, check in with him by asking questions about the characters and the story.

Proceed with caution, at your child's pace.

I was a sensitive child easily frightened by books such as Sleeping Beauty and The Red Shoes, but as an adult, I enjoy reading horror novels. One of the scariest novels in my collection is...

On a remote island off the coast of Seattle, a man lies buried alive. Miles away, his captor--the elusive killer known only as Mephisto--listens through a transmitter to his victim's dying screams, waiting for him to reveal a secret only he knows. But learning the secret is only the beginning of Mephisto's maniacal game...
Tracking the madman are two detectives. In Canada, Superintendent Robert DeClercq, a man who has experienced horror up close. In America, Jenna Bond, a young detective who has never know true horror--until now.
Together they will uncover a trail of clues that will lead them to Mephisto, and into the bloody past in which he exists. Because the most terrifying secrets are buried, lying admidst the bones of the dead... 
Do you read horror? What's the scariest story in your collection?

Next post:  November 6th (published at approximately 5 pm)

Marketing 101
How exactly do you market yourself, your work, your book? What do you say to attract readers? Over the last six years, this blog has received 268,000 page views. What did I say to attract you to this blog?

Picture Book in Canada

Peanut Butter Press is a Canadian children's book publisher based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We have found our niche in creating quality picture books that children enjoy because of their interesting content and engaging illustrations.
And this in from the Children's Book Council... 

Sharing my Author Journey...

It's hard to believe that I worked this hard this month but...

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Help Me Promote Reading Books by Leanne Dyck

"I can't remember the last novel I read," he told me. "I can read but I don't."

Questions:  What do all these books have in common?
(Please scroll down to the very bottom of this post
--under the heading Sharing my Author Journey--for the answer.)

We have a problem that I'm hoping you can help me work towards solving...
'The percentage of American adults who read literature--any novels, short stories, poetry or plays--fell to at least a three-decade low last year, according to a new report from the National Endowment for the Arts.' -The long, steady decline of literary reading
'The Pew Research Centre reported...that nearly a quarter of American adults had not read a single book in the past year.' -The Decline of the American Book Lover
'Work by the Pew Research Centre and other outfits have confirmed the testimony of teachers and parents and the evidence of one's eyes. Few late teen-agers are reading many books.'  -The New Yorker 
 '80% of American families buy percisely zero books per year, a proportion which no doubt is echoed elsewhere in the western world.'   Too Many Writers, Not Enough Readers
If you enjoy reading... If you love books... You and me--writer and writer, writer and reader, reader and reader--we are on the same team:  team reading.

Our team has a goal, a mission, a mandate--to spread the love of reading to everyone, everywhere.

Why is this issue so important to me?

Because I have known life without books. I was a reluctant reader; I have dyslexia. But thanks to dedicated teachers and caring parents, I won that fight and learned to read. And believe me, life with books is much, much richer.


Books open your eyes to new ideas.

Books answer questions.

Book make you think.

Books build bridges.

Books prove that you're not alone.

Books allow you to walk in someone else's shoes.

I could go on and on, but you get it. I know you do. We're on the same team.

How can we promote reading?

-give books as gifts

-read aloud to those who can't read or even to those who can

-discuss what you've read

-let them see you reading

-make books and magazines available to be read at your place of work or in your home

-talk about your favourite authors

-make your local bookstore your meet-up place

-don't judge. It doesn't matter if they are reading old classics, bestsellers, graphic novels or comics. All that matters is that they are reading.

-recommend a good book

-write reviews of your favourite books

-become a literacy advocate 

-participate in reading events

all photos on this site were taken by Leanne Dyck--unless otherwise stated.

Picture Books in Canada

'Tradewind Books has been publishing prize-winning picture books, novels and poetry for children of all ages for over 15 years... Tradewind Books is a small publishing house with offices in Vancouver, British Columbia.'

Sharing my author journey...

This week I received another rejection letter. Correct, it wasn't just 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Why I love Linked In by Leanne Dyck

Photo by Leanne Dyck on Mayne Island

 On LinkedIn people actually read your bio. They must because... In my bio I mention the short stories I write for adults and recently a literary journal copy editor and short story collection publishers connected with me. That’s huge because it means they noticed me and liked what they saw. means that when I send them my work I can remind them that we are connected. That’s priceless. I have an in. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sending manuscripts to publishers--Jami Macarty's workshop notes by Leanne Dyck

'Sure ways to avoid the slush pile' 

After reading that description of Jami Macarty's workshop--Get It Out:  A Writer's Guide to the Submissions of Literary Works for Publication--I knew I had to attend.

But really what could I learn? After all, I've been sending submissions to publishers on a steady basis since 2014 (a total of 242 to date). If anything this workshop would serve as a review of what I already knew.

But I'm so glad I did walk through that door. I gathered some very helpful information.

For example...

Before the workshop, if I had a question, after reading the submission guidelines, I'd keep them to myself. I mean I didn't want to bother the editor. She's too busy.

After the workshop, I realize it's far less of a bother to the editor if I ask the question and send the correct information.

Before this workshop, if I found a mistake in the submission I simply re-sent that page.

After the workshop, I know I have to send a letter of withdrawal and then send my revised submission.

Before this workshop, I downplayed my publishing history. Self-publishing? E-books? That's nothing, right?

After the workshop, I have newfound pride in my writing.

Jami Macarty's workshop was interactive, information-rich, empowering, and inspiring.

Photo by Leanne Dyck

Next post:  Sunday, October 9th (published around 5 pm PST) 
On October 10th this blog turns six. Thank you so much for helping me care for my baby. 
To celebrate, I've written an article titled What Did I Learn This Year
Like what?
Well, like the importance of LinkedIn (how it can help build your career).

Photo by Leanne Dyck

Picture books in Canada

'Pemmican Publications is a book publisher with a mandate to promote Metis authors, illustrators and stories. It is a not-for-profit company that operates as an arm's-length affiliate of the Manitoba Metis Federation. Pemmican publishes on average five to six new titles per year, with titles ranging from cultural studies and autobiographies to illustrated titles for children.' -from Pemmican's website

Photo by Leanne Dyck

Sharing my Author Journey...

Writers write. But what else do writers do?