Quick-Read Crafty Tip and Tune-Up Day Winners!

We are excited to announce the winners of our second Tune-Up Day prizes!

But, before we do, we must slow down the pacing and increase the tension.


(page turn)

here’s a quick-read crafty tip for you.

(page turn)

It amazes me how each manuscript demands a different approach to writing and revision. I’m working on a huge revision for an acquired…YES! ACQUIRED… YAYYYY… lyrical non-fiction PB manuscript. Here’s a peek behind my revision curtain at the steps I’ve taken so far for this manuscript.

I still have a LONG way to go.

Step One:

I printed the editorial letter and underlined the most salient suggestions. I color-coated my underlining so that I could hone in on: heart, editorial tasks, and research. I wanted to be sure I didn’t lose any of these components.

Sample of Editorial Letter Process

Step Two:

I wrote a to do list of CONCRETE next steps.

Concrete steps to help me organize my process.

Step Three:

I created a visual representation of the ways the focal point of the manuscript fits within the historical and social context of the nonfiction topic.

I created a visual representation:

Historical Context, Social Landscape,

and Focal Point

Step Four:

I created word banks for various aspects of the manuscript from which I can pull as I revise.

Word banks for setting, historical

context, social context,

and for the main character

Step Five:

I mapped out the spreads/different “sections” of the manuscript in thumbnails. Here is the first section.

This particular book will be 48 pages. This is the first of three sections.

Step Six:

I wrote the first “section’s” spreads on sticky notes so that I could move them around to see what might work best. I pasted the sticky notes onto a dry erase board so that I could see the progression of the arc.

Progression of the sections of the manuscript. Broken into spreads.

Jogging back and forth between the computer, pen and paper, and visual representations has helped me ensure that I stay true to the heart of this manuscript. I hope seeing a bit of my process helps you too.

And now for our winners:

Congratulations to all who participated in the Tune-Up Day. Your #ReVISIONweek Tune-Up Day host will reach out to you regarding your prize.

We look forward to our week-long challenge September 14-21st!

Feel. Write. Risk.

Lauren, Joana, Katie, Lynne, Michal, and Shannon

Quick-Read Crafty Tip and Enter to Win for Tune-Up Day Prizes

We hope you enjoyed our 2nd Tune-Up Day!

Did you break your character(s)?

Did you put them back together?

Or did you tackle a different area of revision?

Comment below. Let us know how you did.

And then enter the Rafflecopter to win a prize.

And here’s another Quick-Read Crafty Tip especially for you.

Does your pesky lizard brain whisper not-so-sweet nothings in your ear? Does it wear you down? Make you frown?

Well, here are some helpful phrases and quotes you can use to send your lizard brain/critic brain/imposter syndrome thoughts running:

We are always here, cheering you on! Hopefully our cheers are louder than your lizard.

Winners will be announced on or around May 2nd.

We look forward to a FULL week of revision fun from September 14-21st.

Feel. Write. Risk.

Lauren, Joana, Katie, Lynne, Michal, and Shannon

Quick-Read Crafty Tip: #ReVISIONweek Tune Up Day 2: Falling Apart

Let’s talk about breaking our characters.

About making them fall apart.

About letting them hurt.

I know. I know. Making them hurt is hard. We often want to rescue our characters. For good reason.

So why do our characters have to truly fall apart? Why can’t our characters only hurt a little? The answer came to me on the elliptical. Let me explain.

I only let myself watch certain shows when I work out. It motivates me to hoist my butt onto the machine! I just finished the second season of Sweet Magnolias, which is an interesting show for a Jersey-girl to watch, as it’s a bit hard for me to relate to the southern charm. But let me tell you, some of the lines in that show are worth the price of admission and then some.

Here’s one of them:

“…until you’ve fallen apart, we can’t put you back together.”

Sweet Magnolias- Season 2, Episode 9

That quote made my creative lightbulb burn so brightly I had to stop in my elliptical tracks.

There it was in all its glorious emotional resonance!

The key to how to make our readers FEEL!

The reason it’s critical to make our characters hurt.

The reason our characters have to fall apart.

In the words of X Ambassadors: “I’m going to put you back together.”

That’s our job as creatives. We must help our characters fall apart in order to shed the patterns that aren’t working for them, and then we need to put them back together.

We need to know our characters well enough to support them as they fall apart.

To guide them through the dark night of the soul.

And then we need to pull from our knowledge of their wants, needs, loves, fears…

and put them back together.






As you revise today, remember the emotional journey we signed up for when we met our characters. Remember the power we have to make our readers feel. And then help your characters fall apart. Completely apart.

For once they break, you can put them back together in a whole new way.

Feel. Write. Risk.

Lauren, Joana, Katie, Lynne, Michal, and Shannon

Quick-Read Crafty Tip: Get Ready for #ReVISIONweek Tune-Up Day #2 on its NEW Date!

It’s almost time for our second Tune-Up Day of the year! WOOOHOOO!

Mark your calendars for April 19th. We have a special day planned for you.

We’ll offer tips that morning via a blog post, and then we’ll head over to Twitter for an ASK ANYTHING party! Here are the details:

If you’d like to join us and want to be eligible for prizes, like Zoom critiques and more, just add your name below.

And remember the words of Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird:

These words have guided me this year.

They’ve given me the courage to keep moving forward.

They’ve inspired me to redefine progress…

and they’ve helped me breathe,

one long, slow breath at a time.

Feel. Write. Risk.

Lauren, Joana, Katie, Lynne, Michal, and Shannon

Quick-Read Crafty Tips: WRAD, One-Year Old Book Birthday, and Tune-Up Day Winners

I love WRAD because it reminds me of the MOST important Quick-Read Crafty Tip:

Remember why you write!

As if on cue, one of the amazing students I “met” yesterday asked me this very question: “Why do you write books?”

It was such a gift to ponder this question.

I write because I love playing with words.

I write because I have characters who demand I tell their stories.

But most of all, I write for kids.

Reading to students, answering the brilliant and insightful questions they asked, and “meeting” the librarians and teachers who support them was beyond rewarding and enriching.

I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to remind students that they can be courageous like Rosie.

That they are stronger than they think.

That they can do hard things like Rosie, Charlie, and Calvin.

I was also able to celebrate Home For a While’s one-year book birthday with students in North Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee, and Georgia! What fun!

I can’t believe Home for a While snuggled into bookshelves a year ago. I have been blown away by students’ compassion, curiosity, and questions after hearing Calvin’s story. They have reminded me how important it is to reach deep inside and write books that offer a window, mirror, and a sliding door.

ALL children need to see themselves in books and all children need to see ALL children.

I challenge you to DIG DEEP and bravely write the books of your heart.

Single-module modular heart | This heart is made from a sing… | Flickr

And now… the #ReVISIONweek Tune-Up Day winners.

We will contact you regarding your prizes. Thanks to everyone who participated in our Tune-Up Day. We look forward to the rest of our 2022 #ReVISIONweek opportunities!

Feel. Write. Risk.

Lauren, Joana, Katie, Lynne, Michal, and Shannon

#ReVISIONweek Tune-Up Day: Let’s “Let Go of Fear” Together

Welcome! We are excited you’re here. Here’s a quick one-minute preview of our Tune-Up Day plan:

Now, grab your manuscript, pens, and courage, and join me for a live revising session for the next 13-minutes. Revising is more fun when we do it together!

Woohoo! Whether you revised for five minutes, thirteen minutes, or kept going for an hour, you ROCK!

And now, here are the exciting Tune-Up Day prizes.

myfreebingocards.com - bingo card generator

Just let us know how you did by commenting comment on today’s post, and then enter the Rafflecopter by January 31st to win!

We’ll see you on April 6th for our Spring Tune-Up Day Challenge!

Feel. Write. Risk.

Lauren, Joana, Katie, Lynne, Michal, and Shannon

Sign up Now for the First #ReVISIONweek Tune-Up Day of 2022: Start the Year Out “Write”: Let Go of Fear

Hello! Happy New Year!

All month, our brains are storming with the amazing Tara Lazar. And now, it’s just about time for a quick Tune-Up Day challenge.

First, here is this year’s #ReVISIONweek schedule and a link to more information:

Second: block out time on January 26th for #ReVISIONweek Tune-Up Day fun.

Third: sort through the manuscripts that are languishing in the drawer. Or better yet, take one of your Storystorm ideas and crank out a draft. (If you’re in 12×12, this can be your January draft!)


(PSA: I highly recommend you do NOT look up gifs for vomit. I made that mistake and it’s gonna leave a mark. Perhaps forever.)

Finally, keep your eyes peeled for a blog post on January 26th containing a video to help you along the way.

The theme for this Tune-Up Day is START THE YEAR OUT “WRITE”: LET GO OF FEAR!

And as always, there will be prizes!

Here’s a Quick-Read Crafty Tip to tide you over while you count down the days to January 26th:

(Disclaimer: I love to write in rhyme, but meter, rhythm, and I don’t see eye to eye, so I only write in rhyme in blog posts.)

We challenge you to approach January’s Tune-Up Day without fear.

Save all of your darlings in old drafts, and then open a blank page…a completely blank page.

Get ready to pull the words, characters, and scenes that work best, and discard the rest.

And don’t worry, we’ll help you through. Your #ReVISIONweek founders love you!

Just add your name in the comments below and you’re in. We’ll see you soon!

Feel. Write. Risk.

Lauren, Joana, Katie, Lynne, Michal, and Shannon

Quick-Read Crafty Tips: Holiday Season Bingo

Tis the season…

A season that in theory should be filled with joy, peace, and laughter, but in reality is often filled with exhaustion and unrealistic expectations.

Self-care and carving out time for creativity is challenging at best and impossible at worst during the holidays, but they are both critical for the creative soul. This holiday season, I challenge you to give yourself permission to take time for yourself. You can use this bingo card as a guide.

myfreebingocards.com - bingo card generator

From my family to yours, I wish you a holiday season filled self-care, self-compassion, creativity and peace.

Feel. Write. Risk.


#ReVISIONweek 2022 Dates and PRIZE Announcements

Hello #ReVISIONaries!

At long last, it is time to announce the winners of the prizes.

But before I do, Joana, Katie, Lynne, Michal, Shannon, and I want you to know how much fun we had revising with all of you! Your comments, hard work, and enthusiasm was inspiring! Thank you for joining us on this #ReVISIONweek road!

Schitts Creek Comedy GIF by CBC

The winners are:

Kathy Halsey won the Zoom Critique from Katie

Mary Warth won the Zoom Author Visit from Katie

Dedra Davis won a signed copy of LILLYBELLE: A DAMSEL NOT IN DISTRESS from Joana

Deborah Foster won a Zoom Session with Lynne

Wendy Greenley won a digital book from Lynne

Sara Fajardo won a non-rhyming critique from Michal

Stacey Miller won a non-rhyming critique from Lauren

Jeannette Lee won a non-rhyming PB critique from Shannon

Laurel Santini won a Zoom Author Visit from Lauren

AND, I decided to add a bonus “Ask Me Anything” prize which includes a 10-minute video or phone consultation with me. The winner is… Cindy Sommer.

Congratulations to all! You will receive an email at the beginning of next week with further information about your prizes.

And now for the 2022 dates. Mark your calendar!

This industry can certainly be challenging! Please remember:

Feel. Write. Risk.

Lauren, Joana, Katie, Lynne, Michal, and Shannon


Whew! What a week! We hope you reflected on your manuscripts, reveled in words, assessed ideas, wielded your hatchet, and played with voice. And most of all, we hope you had fun! Here are a couple of final tips.

And now for prizes!

Did you read the posts?

Did you comment on at least one or two posts?

Did you revise?

Click on the prizes below to enter the Rafflecopter. You have until October 20th at midnight MST to enter.

myfreebingocards.com - bingo card generator

We look forward to seeing you next year for more #ReVISIONweek fun!

Until then…

Feel. Write. Risk.

Lauren, Joana, Katie, Lynne, Michal, and Shannon

P.S. Lauren is offering 25% off all critique prices exclusively to #ReVISIONweek participants from now until the end of the year.