by Kelly Carey
This year I’m excited to participate in Carrie Charley Brown’s ReFoReMo. ReFoReMo stands for Read for Research Month and it invites picture book writers to read picture books every day during the month of March.
Exploring picture books currently on the shelves is a key component in improving your own writing. Just last month, at a craft chat at The Writers’ Loft, writer and agent Ammi- Joan Paquette encouraged writers to read books in their genre. I have heard this advice often and I heed it - my local librarians can attest to the fact that I take out about a dozen picture books every week.
While it is hardly a hardship to snuggle in and read a pile of picture books, you need to be sure you are reading with the critical eye of a writer. In a recent post, Caldecott winner Mac Barnett said, “Don’t just spend an afternoon in the children’s section of a bookstore. Read seriously. The more you read, the more aware you’ll be of why books work or don’t work, and the better your book will be.” http://www.buzzfeed.com/macbarnett/how-to-write-a-picture-book-i066#.irAJWNAZjd
ReFoReMo gives picture book writers the opportunity to read with a community and with the guidance of daily author-educator blogs to make sure your reading is guided and impactful. With ReFoReMo you will read with purpose and enhance your craft.
ReFoReMo is recommending that you track the books you read in a notebook. I would also encourage you to add them to your Goodreads book shelf. I love Goodreads as a way to build a virtual library and create a great reference for comp titles. See my November 2014 post for more on Goodreads http://www.24carrotwriting.com/-blog/use-goodreads-to-build-your-virtual-library .
ReFoReMo is free and the sign up is easy. Just make sure you sign up before March 1! Check out the ReFoReMo site at http://www.carriecharleybrown.com/reforemo , join a community and spend the month of March reading.
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