Friday, August 19, 2022

From Bland to Brilliant: Developing and Revising Your Novel

Author Jenny Martin leads a class at Southlake Library to help up-and-coming authors take their writing to the next level.

Puzzling over that stack of rejections for your first (or fifteenth) novel? Not sure why your book/short story/idea isn’t working? If so, join us for an interactive session jam-packed with tons of practical tips, tricks, and ideas to make your own pages shine. Walk away with a detailed game plan to help you write, rewrite or revise a story that will hook readers and get an editor or agent’s attention.

Find this program at Southlake Town Hall on October 9th at 6 PM. Open to the public, no registration is required.

Green Scores Touchdown with Visit to Eubanks, Durham Intermediate Schools

img_9502From NFL player to book author, Tim Green promotes literacy to anyone who will listen.

Carroll ISD intermediate school students couldn’t wait for Tuesday morning when they had the chance to meet Green.

The best-selling author has an impressive resume. He was an award-winning NFL defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons for eight years. While Green played in the NFL, he also studied law and began his writing career. After he retired from football in 1994, Green had already published his first book and became a lawyer.

After writing more than a dozen books for adults, Green began a series of best-selling novels for kids. The books are set in the world of sports and are based on his experiences as an athlete and a coach.

Students at Eubanks and Durham Intermediate Schools embraced his message about the value of teamwork and treating your teammates like they are special. He talked about the importance of kindness and related a story about his experience being kind to a boy with a disability. He spoke about reading and how reading takes you to special places.

Green encouraged our students to read twenty minutes a day, “weight lifting” for the brain!

He read to the students from his new book, Left Out. Tim’s message made a tremendous impact on the Carroll’s fifth and sixth graders. Many of the students have spoken about his books being “Awesome!” Students are continuing to read and enjoy his books every time they visit the library.

Student Storyteller from WGES

Kiera DiCesare shows one of her books

Halloween has passed, but this season is the inspiration for one young author’s adventurous tales. Kiera DiCesare, a fourth grade student at Walnut Grove Elementary, started writing and illustrating her own books based on her Halloween costumes when she was in kindergarten. She has now written three more books and inspired a young generation of authors.

Kiera in Kindergarten, with her first book

This school year, Carroll ISD is emphasizing reading and literacy through the district’s “Once Upon a Dragon” fairy tale theme. The district is profiling librarians, teachers and students through news stories and features. Recently, we talked with Kiera about her passion for reading and what fuels her imagination for writing.

Question: How do you get your ideas for the characters in your books?

Kiera: I start in the summer thinking about the plot and developing the characters for my book. The main characters are based on my friends’ personalities. I’ve learned that I can be as creative as I want to be with my characters. Recently, I was helping some other kids in my class with a writing project about a witch. I reminded them that a witch doesn’t have to be scary or green with long hair—a witch can be orange—there are no rules with characters.

Question: Who helps you with your books and costumes?

Kiera: I’ve had a lot of help— My teachers have taught me story structure and plot development, my mom edits my work, and my grandmother makes my costumes.

Question: What’s the most challenging part of writing a book?

Kiera: The beginning and the end of the book are the hardest to write. I’ve learned to start with a problem and work through it in the story. Action and dialogue are the two most important parts of the narrative. Once the problem is solved, I like to end the book. I’ve written four books and most of them end with a party.

Question: Do you have a favorite book?

Kiera: It’s hard to pick just one because I love to read. I’m reading harder books now, but I still try to finish one book per week. I liked The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan, but I really enjoy fairy tales. I’ve read all of the Rainbow Magicbook series by Daisy Meadows.

Kiera with Emily, a classmate

Quesiton: How are you helping other students in your class with writing their own books?

Kiera: Writing is a really big deal in fourth grade. My teacher, Mrs. Clarrissimeaux, encourages us to use our imaginations and be creative with our writing. My friend, Emily Backoo, wrote a sequel to my book Saving the Seasons, entitled Autumn Magic. We both carried our books in the character book parade at school.

Question: What is something others students don’t know you?

Kiera: I like to write poetry. I plan to enter the upcoming American Girl poetry contest. I’ve also had several essays published by the Texas Music Teachers Association.

Carroll Student Becomes Published Author

Carroll ISD student Brittany Tew (pictured left) can add another achievement to her list of accomplishments. Tew, who is currently Miss Teen Southlake, is now a published author. The teenager wrote and published the book “Triumphing Over Tragedy”, a colorful children’s book about coping with loss. The book is available in paperback on

Brittany was inspired to write the book based on personal loss. At 16 years old, Brittany is the oldest of five daughters. Two of her siblings passed away at a young age, both victims of a rare brain disease. Brittany said by sharing her story, she might inspire hope in other children who are facing heartbreak.

In addition to writing, Brittany also serves as the beloved Carroll ISD mascot “Charlie”.  She was recently renamed be the mascot for the 2012-2013 school year. Brittany is also an honors student, accomplished ventriloquist and plays piano.

Popular Children's Author Visits Durham Intermediate

Students at Durham Intermediate School were recently treated to a special guest speaker. Popular award-winning author Gordon Korman came and spoke to the fifth- and sixth-grade students about his books and answered questions. Korman has written more than 60 books, which are widely read by children and young adults. His books which are regularly checked out in the DIS libary include: The Swindle SeriesSwindle, Framed, Zoobreak and Showoff. He has also written several popular series including 39 Clues. Korman started his writing career at 12 years old and his first novel was published when he was freshman in high school. For more information about Korman, visit his website.