Young Writers’ Camp Workshop

Young Writers’ Camp. A few days ago, I conducted a Young Writers’ Camp Workshop at the University of Texas’ (UTSA) downtown campus here in San Antonio, TX. During break, we enjoyed the city view from one of UTSA’s balconies. It was a pleasure working with the young writers. They were especially enthusiastic during the writing contest. They also asked great questions of the author.

Author Bios

Author Bios. Have you ever had to submit a bio for a school visit or a conference presentation? We all have. It is hard to talk about ourselves, isn’t it? The Writer Unboxed post, “Should you have more than one bio?”, addresses this topic. Part of the post reads:

Over the course of a writing career, you’ll discover you need more than one bio. In fact, you might find that you need quite a few. Each of them will be written for particular purposes, whether that be pitching for genre-specific projects, for festivals and conferences, or for book proposals and blurbs.

U. S. Kids magazine accepts submissions for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and crafts for children. Visit their website for submission guidelines.  

Another magazine taking submissions (non-fiction only) is Fun For Kidz. View their guidelines for upcoming themes.

And if you have wanted to ask questions to an agent, you might want to visit the blog, Ask An Agent, on the Literaticat blog.

I am getting ready to conduct a summer Youth Camp Writing Workshop for fourth and fifth graders this week. It will be held at the beautiful University of Texas in San Antonio campus downtown. Looking forward to the event.

If my books can help children become readers, then I feel I have accomplished something important. – Roald Dahl

Writing Tips: Copyrights and Trademarks

Writing Tips: Copyrights and Trademarks.  Have you ever wondered what you can and cannot use in your writing regarding copyrights and trademarks? The Institute for Writers blog post, “Can I Say This?” addresses this topic.

The post starts off with: “Writers often look at trademarked products or song lyrics or bits of poetry and ask, “Can I put this in my book?” The answer to that question can be complicated and rests in two fairly different areas of intellectual property law: copyright and trademark. These two areas serve two very different purposes and this is important when we consider whether something can be used. The article also addresses what publishers prefer on copyrights and trademarks. Go to the above link for more details.


The Fun for Kidz magazine is accepting submissions. Take a peek at their upcoming themes.

Humpty Dumpy and Jack and Jill magazines are also accepting submissions. Visit their website for guidelines.

KidLit Humorous Fiction Contest

And … this past weekend, I had the pleasure of participating in the local 2017 StoryFest event where authors, illustrators, puppeteers, and even a book fairy were in attendance. The topic was “Splash Into Reading.” The crowd loved it and so did I.


“Writing is a gift to yourself and it is also a gift of giving a story to someone.” – Amy Tan

2017 StoryFest Event

2017 StoryFest Event. I will be one of the authors participating at the 2017 StoryFest event being held on Saturday, May 20, 2017, from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. at Stinson Middle School, 13200 Skyhawk Drive, San Antonio, TX, 78249.   The event is sponsored by the Northside Independent School District and the Friends of Northside Libraries. There will be author readings, a book fair, puppets for the children, bookmark making, a book walk, and much more. If you live in the area, come on by.

Writing Short Stories

Writing Short Stories – I write picture books, poetry, and have started writing middle grade. I’ve also recently become interested in writing short stories. Here are a few tips to help those wanting to write short stories like me.

The Institute for Writers blog post, “7 Questions to ask yourself about your short story,” is a good start.

A more thorough description of the short story is available on the ElectricLiterature blog post, “How to Escape the Slush Pile: A self-editing checklist for Short Story Writers.”

And here’s the annual fiction writing contest sponsored by Pockets. I already submitted my story a few days ago. Wish me luck.

I also just submitted an essay to an anthology contest after reading several magazine articles on writing essays. Keep writing and submit! Do not give up!

And Happy Mother’s Day! I just received this beautiful bouquet of flowers from my children.

Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader. Not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon. – E.L. Doctorow

First Book Interview

Here’s the link to my blog interview with First Book on the topic of El Día de los Libros/El Día de los Niños or Children’s Day/Book Day, which author Pat Mora founded in 1996. I was honored to have been interviewed and have participated in El Día celebrations in the past. First Book is a great organization that provides books to students/libraries.

Below were activities for my book about kites: Lupita’s Papalote.

San Antonio Book Festival

The San Antonio Book Festival held yesterday on the grounds of the Central Library downtown was a huge success. Panels of authors and illustrators were held throughout the day. Children’s book authors also presented at the Children’s Reading Tents. There were books galore to be bought and autographed. Music and performances were also part of the program. Not to mention food trucks and booth after booth of authors showing off their books. The weather cooperated as hundreds of people enjoyed the festivities and books, books, books. 








San Antonio River behind the book festival. Lovely view.




Ever wonder what are the differences between primary, secondary, and lower-level sources in your writing? Not too long ago, I did a presentation at a writer’s conference on the topic, “The Importance of Authenticity of Primary Sources in Picture Books.”

Whether you’re writing a picture book or a historical novel, and you are doing research, check out the differences in sources from the Institute for Writers blogpost, “let’s talk about sources, baby.” It speaks to “finding credible sources for your fiction and nonfiction work.”

VIA Poetry on the Move

Just returned from the VIA Poetry on the Move reception where I read my winning poem, “El Gallo – the Rooster.” The artwork for my poem was done by student Dina Manzano of Edgewood Fine Arts Academy. I love that my rooster has attitude. It was great meeting the other eleven poets and listening to their awesome poems. We viewed our poems and artwork on the VIA bus. Bus riders will be able to enjoy the poems and artwork throughout the month of April on all VIA transit buses. A fantastic evening!



National Latino Children’s Literature Conference

National Latino Children’s Literature Conference. Over the weekend, I attended the above conference in San Antonio, Texas. Authors, illustrators, educators, and students from the downtown campus of the University of Texas in San Antonio (UTSA) where the conference was held were in attendance. Illustrator Carolyn Dee Flores and I were just one of the many presenters. We presented on the topic, “The Importance of Authenticity in Picture Books.”  Sessions by noted authors and professors were held throughout the conference.

(L to R: Illustrator Flores, Author & Poet Carmen Tafolla, and author Lupe Ruiz-Flores.


UTSA Downtown Campus