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READ LIKE A WRITER, a teaching blog

URSULA NORDSTROM GIVES TIMELESS ADVICE TO A TEEN WRITER

By Christine Rhodeback Kohler

Ursula Nordstrom. senior vice president and publisher of Harper & Row from 1940-1979, didn’t address me as “Dear Genius”, but she was kind enough to write a two-page typed letter to this sophomore in high school who dreamed of growing up and becoming a published author.

I found this dictated  Read More 

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CHAMORRO JOURNALIST CELEBRATES GUAM’S LIBERATION

By Zita Y. Taitano

The date July 21, 1944 is a time Chamorros—the indigenous people of the island of Guam—can never forget. On this particular day, United States Armed Forces set foot on Guam to liberate the Chamorros from two-and-a-half years of occupation by the Japanese Empire.

Many of the native islanders suffered greatly  Read More 

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8 TIPS TO BETTER PUBLICITY PHOTOS

By Christine Kohler

Publicity photos are more important than ever since the advent of internet. I’ve had many experiences regarding publicity photos since my first four fiction books were published in 1985, so I’ll share with you how to get the best bang for your bucks.

Tip #1 – Release: Make sure the photographer will  Read More 
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HONORED TO BE A PARKLAND COLLEGE NOTABLE ALUMNI

By Christine Kohler

I am deeply honored, humbled, and gobsmacked to have been selected as one of 50 Parkland College Notable Alumni. Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Parkland is the third largest  Read More 

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NAYSAYER

By Christine Kohler

A librarian who has been a judge on many Texas Bluebonnet Award committees once told me that she looks for naysayers. One of this librarian’s favorite picture book author-illustrator is Suzanne Bloom.

Look at  Read More 

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OBTAINING IMAGES CAN BE A THORNY ISSUE

This photo is free on Pixabay.com

By Christine Kohler

UPDATE: Normally updates are at the end of articles, but I've decided to break with the norm and post it up-top so you don't have to scroll or skip altogether, wondering why I ran the same article twice.

First, Pixabay.com must have changed it's swap policy. An author recently drew to my attention that she could not find anywhere in the policy that Pixabay.com wanted people to upload 10 photos, approved by their committee, in exchange for using their photos free. I pulled up the policy and re-read, and she was right. I could no longer find that request.

Second, you may have noticed I removed my own thorny photo with this article and the cutline explaining that the close-up desert nature photo had been rejected by Pixabay. Just to show how subjective the arts are, I submitted this same photo as one of three in an application to iStock by Getty. Their committee accepted it. So the photo no longer belongs to me, and that's why I removed it so I don't get in any legal trouble later for using my own photo when others have to pay for it. (My photos on this site are not protected and anyone can copy them with a right click of the mouse.)
Which leads me to my third update...

I am now an iStock by Getty contributing artist! I was especially surprised I was selected first try because I don't doctor my photos with PhotoShop or other fancy software. Photos today on any of these professional sites are stunning, whereas I'm more of a point-and-shoot news photographer. I'm sure my photography professor at the University of Hawaii would be flabbergasted, too. I won't make much money, but it's better than giving away my photos free. If I do make even a little money, I'll roll it into buying a new 35mm camera with a longer lens. One thing I won't be buying is PhotoShop. They have also changed their policy and now it costs a monthly fee, which is against a personal principle of mine.

If you do photography in stills or videos, illustrate, or design graphics, consider applying to one of the paid professional services. You won't make a lot of money, probably not as much as freelancing, but it may provide "low hanging fruit" as another author-editor friend calls it.

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ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

Anyone who has ever maintained a website or blogged knows the challenge of finding free photos and illustrations, and obtaining permission to use them. Writers and artists, possibly more than anyone else, are sensitive to the copyright issues. We not only support, but defend, copyright laws. Just ask an author about  Read More 

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TURNING A VIGNETTE INTO A STORY

by Christine Kohler

Writers are storytellers. But not all storytellers—even the most gifted who captivate listeners— can write publishable stories. I realized this truth as an instructor for the Institute of Children’s Literature (ICL), and had to analyze why and how to move storytellers from orality to writing publishable fiction and narrative  Read More 

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DIFFERENT TYPES OF WRITERS' GROUPS

By Christine Kohler

As you set your New Year writing goals, decide whether a writing group would help you reach quicker your end goals, such as producing a polished publishable-quality manuscript. Also consider carefully what type of writing group would best help you take your writing up notches. I began my professional writing career  Read More 

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NO NANOWRIMO? NO GUILT!

By Christine Kohler

NANONANOBOOBOO is what I jokingly call NANOWRIMO. And if you don’t make your word count, NANONANOBOOHOO.

If you don’t know that NANOWRIMO stands for National Novel Writing Month then you’ve probably never taken this challenge to write a novel of 50,000 words in one month. (I had to Google  Read More 

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EMOTIONS JOURNAL

by Christine Kohler

When I switched from writing non-fiction to novels, I hit a snag when trying to create emotions for my characters. I realized that I had walled up many of my own emotions in order to be able to deal with difficult people and situations on an intellectual level instead. So, eight  Read More 

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