The Unteachables (Balzer & Bray, 2019) by Gordon Korman is an inspiring upper middle grade novel with big splashes of humor.
Unusually (for a middle grade) it’s told from multiple points of view, including adults. We get a look at the misfits and delinquents who are isolated from the rest of the student body and put in one class together. These are the kids no one knows what to do with. And this year, their teacher is burned out and only hanging in ’til retirement. But something unexpected happens.
Meet Kiana who doesn’t belong, Mr. Kermit who’s sure it is a conspiracy, Parker with his provisional driver’s license, Aldo who definitely has anger issues, Elaine rhymes with pain, and more. Here’s a book trailer.
Don’t miss this book!
Author Gordon Korman has written over 95 books! Click here to his main book page and then choose what category you’d like to see more of his books.
You can “meet” Gordon here as he talks about how he got started and his most recent novel Restart.
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If you are not discouraged about your writing on a regular basis, you might not be trying hard enough. Any challenging pursuit will encounter frequent patches of frustration. Writing is nothing if not challenging.
In response to questions on KIDLIT411 (a Facebook group), I offered a free Zoom meeting today. About nine or ten writers participated and we spent about an hour together.
Getting ready for it–using a list of questions some had–I realized I’d done a live talk on a similar topic for SCBWI Oregon back in 2019. So, I took the PowerPoint from that, did some rearranging, and had a presentation.
My plan had been to record the Zoom meeting. I was almost done talking when I realized, I’d never pushed start record. Arghh. Next time I need a sign that says START RECORD right in front of me!
Since I can’t share the recording as planned, my husband reminded me I could convert the PPT presentation as a pdf. Wise man. Except it was too huge. He suggested we try google slides–it cut off some of my text. So, instead I chose outline view in PPT and copied the text of my slides and answered some extra questions I was asked:
ORGANIZING RESEARCH PROCESS
Keep track of those you are interested in!
You can do…
A Word document
A Word table
An Excel spreadsheet
Each tab a different agent (editor) and paste all your info including links
A pen and paper notebook
What info you may want to keep
Email or link to submission form
usually forms are through agency—sometimes query manager
Personal blog link
Where you found them…
What they want to see, such as …
Query or cover letter
Full manuscript, first ten pages, first 50 pages, first chapter
Synopsis – one page, brief, or …
How they want it sent – email (attached or not–usually pasted in) or form (with link)
Someone else mentioned Jessica Faust and James McGowan at Book Ends Literary
How much time do you spend writing versus doing writing business?
It depends on what’s going on in my world. I don’t know how to quantify it either. When I’m burnt out on writing, I might go catch up reading newsletters, research agents, submitting. It varies week to week. I also do the latter when the in box gets too full! 😉
Is there a list of good agents versus bad? No. It’s too subjective.
What about Query Tracker? I’ve not used it. Developed my process before it existed.
I hope this is helpful to those who couldn’t attend.