The Porchlight

The Porchlight is brought to you by Bethany Hegedus, Creative Director at The Writing Barn in Austin, Texas. ( Join us as we chat with authors, illustrators and other creatives in and outside of the kid-lit field.
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The Porchlight



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Now displaying: June, 2016
Jun 23, 2016

Craft & Creativity Conversations
Episode Three

From time to time, here at the Porchlight podcast we will be sharing a LIVE podcast directly from the party porch, with a live audience. Applause. Laughter. Wine and cheese. (Perhaps this will replace our tag line: Retreat. Create. Celebrate.) What could be better? Today we share with you our first LIVE AND DIRECT FROM THE PARTY PORCH episode, complete with audience questions.

Episode Three features the incredibly multi-talented Katherine Catmull discussing her glorious new novel The Radiant Road

Katherine and I discuss bad reviews, working in various creative communities,  how she came to write about fairies, the "Freedom" to turn off the internet, character intention and motivation and how to teach that in our work with other writers, and how for Katherine acting is more like reading than writing, and the best description of show vs tell that I guarantee you will have ever heard.

also get into the Oxford comma debate, and her work with her big famous editor Julie Strauss Gable, how Cynthia Leitich Smith hits delete at the end of first drafts, and how following our obsessions can lead to a career.

Show notes:

Julie Strauss Gabel feature in the New York Times.

Katherine Catmull's article on World Building for the Austin Chronicle.

Texans: Austin, Dallas, Houston, Hill Country folks this means YOU--you can study with Katherine right here at The Writing Barn. She will be teaching World Building: Emotional Engagement with us THIS August. You can register for her class here.


Jun 16, 2016

Craft & Creativity Conversations
Episode Two

The Porchlight: Craft & Creativity Conversations welcomes author G. Neri (Greg to his friends and family.) Join us as we talk about mining stories from real life headlines, following the happy accidents, becoming an accidental author, the death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and the research behind Tru & Nelle. Harper Lee and Truman Capote enthusiasts will have much to grin about as Greg shares about Tru and Nelle’s love of Sherlock Holmes and how their childhood reading influenced their lives. And if you listen close, Greg even reveals a “dark” secret—never shared before.

As an added bonus, author and filmmaker EE Charlulto filmed Greg on his visit to Monroeville, Alabama—hometown of Nelle Harper Lee and Truman Capote. Enjoy the film they made of his time in the birthplace of these two literary greats here.

Join us soon for Episode Three with Katherine Catmull.

Jun 16, 2016

The Writing Barn is thrilled to premiere its new series

Porchlight Podcast

So much of being a writer involves talking about writing. Whether it be about the grueling process of getting the words on the page or the hardships of submissions and rejections, when we are able to talk about the successes and pitfalls of our creative careers it all begins to feel less daunting and we begin to feel part of something bigger than ourselves and our next manuscripts.

The Porchlight Podcast is centered around these kinds of conversations with authors who have been through it all. 

For episode one we are beyond excited to welcome author Donna Gephart. Join us as we talk about her new novel, her love for the humorous, and her work with children and adults of all ages. 

Her humorous/heartbreaking middle grade novels include:

1. DEATH BY TOILET PAPER -- Will Ben be able to keep a promise to his recently deceased dad and save his family from eviction, using his creativity and contest skills?
2. OLIVIA BEAN, TRIVIA QUEEN -- Can Olivia overcome huge obstacles to achieve her dream of appearing on the TV quiz show Jeopardy!?
3. HOW TO SURVIVE MIDDLE SCHOOL -- David is famous online from his hilarious YouTube videos, but how will he ever survive middle school?
4. AS IF BEING 12-3/4 ISN'T BAD ENOUGH, MY MOTHER IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT -- won the prestigious Sid Fleischman Humor Award and the Florida State Book Award. Can spelling bee champ, Vanessa, do what's necessary to save her mom from an assassination attempt on the campaign trail?

Donna's books have won a number of awards, received starred reviews, and landed on many state reading lists.

She's a popular speaker at schools, book festivals, libraries, and conferences, including the S.C.B.W.I. National Conference, the Erma Bombeck Humor Writers' Workshop, F.A.M.E., the Conference on Children's Literature, and others.

Her newest novel, Lily and Dunkin, is a Booklist Starred Review, JLG Selection, SIBA Okra Pick, and Amazon Best of the Month Selection. The story centers around a girl dealing with gender identity issues and a boy struggling with mental illness, who come together to form an unlikely friendship.

The Writing Barn was lucky enough to host a Weekend Writing Intensive where Donna, along with ICM agent, Tina Wexler, led discussions about craft and held workshops critiquing attendee manuscripts. Pictures of that event are HERE.