April 12, 2011
WiCM Writers’ Group:
Ellen Bari’s Jumping Jenny
This week we celebrated the accomplishments of one of our own. WiCM devotee Ellen Bari proved the system works with some great news: she just released Jumping Jenny, her first trade children’s book! And she said owes it ALL, 100%, COMPLETELY to WiCM. While that may not be entirely true (true fact: Jenny was under contract before Ellen joined WiCM), I’m feeling very WiCMy while I write this. A WiCM member just got published!
Jumping Jenny (www.jumpingjennythebook.com) introduces readers to a little girl who is an incessant jumper. It doesn’t take but a few pages to sympathize with such a bounding spirit, especially when Jenny finds herself the subject of classroom ridicule. But when she discovers a way to use her passion to help others, the town’s enthusiasm buoys her bouncing efforts.
With an inspiring narrative and beautiful, dynamic illustrations, the book is sure to appeal to the younglings. But to remove all doubt, I tested it on my three-year-old niece, who responded: “this book is a treasure. At this point in my life, I value the uplifting story arc and the rich illustrations. When I acquire literacy, I anticipate this tale will provide me further enjoyment and equip me with lessons that will serve me throughout my years.”
Technically my niece implied these words, chiefly by hopping/jumping for about an hour.
As for the event, Ellen documented Jumping Jenny’s story with anecdotes and distilled advice. She spoke about how to motivate oneself to write regularly, how to find a writers’ group, how to find an agent or an editor to read one’s manuscript, the perils of submitting a picture book manuscript with an illustrator attached to it, the importance of writing about one’s passion, and the need to persevere in response to a challenging process.
If you’d like to learn more (and I recommend you do), hop along this-a-way:
As an added bonus, Ellen led us through some very fun and muse-beckoning writing exercises. And she shared some helpful resources:
We covered a lot of ground, but Ellen left so many questions in this blogger’s mind. Chiefly, I want to know how we’re going to celebrate. We should throw a parade. Or stage a baseball game, where she throws out the first pitch. Something. Personally, I’ll quietly celebrate by bragging about how well I know her (“I’d say a ‘9’ on a scale of 1 to 10. Yes, 9”).
The important thing is that ONE OF OUR OWN JUST GOT PUBLISHED.
Kudos to Ellen for putting on such a fun and informative event. Check out the book at once. And let’s make sure we all pat her on the back when we next see her.