CONGRATULATIONS, Jany Campana!!! You are the winner of a copy of BLUE RIDGE BABIES by Laura Sperry Gardner! I know you'll enjoy this sweet rollicking animal counting mountain book! Be sure to leave a review if you enjoy it, request it at your library, etc.! :-). Thanks, Laura, for the generous giveaway, and thank you Jany for your constant support of PBJamz!
Interview with Diane Worthey, author of RISE UP WITH A SONG
Diane and I talk PB biographies, writing process, music, the inspiration of women who came before us and more! Check out our conversation below!
RISE UP WITH A SONG: The True Story of Ethel Smyth, Suffragette Composer
This PB biography is full of excitement and derring-do; the story of a young woman who blasted all the barriers for women -- what they wore, what they did, and many other "glass ceilings" that plagued women, particularly in her time period. She wrote music -- big, powerful music, and she is remembered well for her contributions in this book by Diane Worthey. A story-worthy heroine, Ethel Smyth paved the way not only for female musicians, but also for women voters and for women in general. The perfect addition to a study of the suffragette movement, women's history month (March; incidentally also Music in Our Schools Month) or female composers, opera, or lots of other topics.
A Little Jam. . .(The Music Kind)
One of Ethel Smyth's most memorable pieces -- "The March of the Women" sung by women -- shoulder to shoulder and friend to friend. Enjoy this beautiful version of this amazing song!
Teacher Tips, Tricks and Topics
Tips and Topics for Music Teachers
Writing Prompts from Tonnye
Writing Tips from Diane Worthey
Here are some writer tips:
* Revise, Revise, Revise: Musicians do this all of the time. Do the same with your writing. Sometimes I work for hours on one sentence or one paragraph.
In picture books, every word is golden. Every word counts.
I put my manuscripts through my critique group at least 3 times before submitting to agents/publishers.
Writing is ultimately a group project- you don't have to change things you don't agree with, but try what your fellow writers suggest and see if it improves the manuscript.
* Be persistent : My first book was rejected 13 times before it found a home in the right publisher. My second book also had many rejections before it was picked up by a publisher.
* Think of layers you can add to your book. For RISE UP WITH A SONG, I used the lyrics to the public domain music The March of the Women to inspire my text.
* When writing, think in scenes. Imagine an illustrator trying to illustrate your scenes. Do your words help an illustrator? Write what you mean. Publishers often take out illustrator notes in a manuscript.
* The title to a picture book is key to setting the tone of the book. If you are inspired by your title, it will inform your writing.
As an exercise, try different titles and see how they inform your writing.
* Read your manuscript out loud to see if it flows in a musical way. Have someone read your manuscript to you. You will hear things differently this way.
* Attend SCBWI workshops where you can submit a manuscript to an agent. Be persistent in nudging the agent (nicely) to give you feedback.
Links, More Fun, Extensions for Families and Everyone!
Pinterest board with more info about Ethel Smyth and various songs and activities
YouTube playlist with videos and songs relating to Ethel Smyth
PBJamz Snack -- Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars!
If you were hosting a 1910 English tea something like these yummy peanut butter and jelly bars might be on the menu. If not, they would be a delicious accompaniment to an afternoon of music of Ethel Smyth -- or anyone else. Enjoy! And check out more great recipes from Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons!
Guest Links and Giveaways
To purchase RISE UP WITH A SONG at Amazon
at Barnes and Noble
Link to Kirkus starred review
Diane is offering a picture book critique as a giveaway for this episode. Comment below for a chance to win a critique!
Be sure to leave reviews, request these PBJamz books for your library, and share out the ones you love on social media, as well as to your friends and family!
This page is the official space for PBJamz -- multimedia Jamorama celebrating all things PB (picture books) and Jamz (music), although we'll indulge in the other PBJ snacks where appropriate :-). Join us each Thursday for new content connecting picture books and music!