Published author teaches SCATS writers about the “slush pile”

logoSpecial from Lana Rudolph

Young writers were inspired by author Pamela Walker McKenzie as she shared her journey as an inexperienced girl from a farm in Allen County, to a teacher, a librarian in the New York Public Library, and finally fulfilling her dream as a published author.

Like many, McKenzie found adventure and often escaped in books. Journaling has always been another escape for McKenzie. Her journals served as inspiration for writing and on many occasions helped her make sense of life situations and experiences.

The SCATS writers spent last week gathering tools that will help them build their picture books. They found their inspirations for writing, dove into touchstone text by authors such as Patricia Polacco, identified quality characteristics of a narrative, and used figurative language to paint a picture for their readers.

SCATS writers will begin the prewriting process and begin their rough drafts tomorrow. They will spend the following days revising and editing their manuscripts keeping in mind McKenzie’s advice, “The best you can do can always be better.”

Pamela walked us through the publishing process pointing out the importance of submitting manuscripts to a publishing market that matches one’s writing. As she submitted her writings she built a large rejection pile. She described the publishers as having a “slush pile” of self-assigned manuscripts that get a quick review and make it into the hand of an editor or into the trash can.

SCATS writers are looking forward to the next steps in creating their very own picture books and are excited about reaching out to publishing companies with their fine work.

Pamela Walker McKenzie talks to the SCATS Writing class.
Pamela Walker McKenzie talks to the SCATS Writing class.