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Le Sigh: The future influx of Children’s Books

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) – With the Hollywood writers strike putting the brakes on film and TV writing, a group of scribes has found an unusual mode of creative expression: children’s books.
Writers with credits ranging from “The Simpsons” to “Shrek 2” to “That’s So Raven” are picking up their pens to write fictional stories — only instead of sitting in meetings coming up with punch lines, they’re at home dreaming up frogs with big appetites and boys who fight with their sisters.
“It’s kind of a nice way to do something creative at a time when we’re having a hard time doing our bread-and-butter work,” said David N. Weiss, a “Shrek 2” and “Rugrats” writer who recently turned in a first draft of “Carl the Frog,” about a cannibalistic amphibian.
Then there’s former “Raven” executive producer Dava Savel and former “Simpsons” and “Malcolm in the Middle” writer David Sacks. Savel is writing about a boy who creates his own town because his sister is hogging space. Sacks is finding time between his current executive producer duties on Comedy Central’s “The Root of All Evil” to pen “Vigfus,” a parable about Vikings who end up in modern-day New York and find the city too gentle.”
It has been a great outlet during the strike,” said Sacks, who with his writing partner Brian Ross recently turned in a second draft.The titles are part of Worthwhile Books, a new imprint at the telco-cum-entertainment company IDT/IDW. Although the unit was conceived and a number of the deals were signed ahead of the strike, Worthwhile is benefiting from the added time writers suddenly find they have on their hands — when they’re not picketing, of course.
“We’re a small publishing house, so we’re not a struck company, and these writers can write as much as they want,” said Robert Kurtz, vp and creative director of Worthwhile Books and a veteran of shows including “Boy Meets World.”

Striking writers turn to child’s play | Entertainment | Entertainment News | Reuters.com

Yaaabooo.  Yay for talented writers joining in on the amazingness that is children’s literacy & library.  Sounds like there’s some creative juices flowing, and awesomeness adding to the bunch.

Boooo, because there are peeps (like me) without the ‘big name’ screen plays who toil (in my case, endlessly) to write YA/kids books, but worry about the already-HUGE amounts of competition (thanks to the post-JK boom of ‘hey i can do that’ writers).

Ur crampin’ my already limited space, yo!  Lolz.  Ah well. Jealousy rears its ugly green head when talent jumps on board.  Besides, I can’t really complain, I’ve not even tried to get any of my stuff ‘out the door’ in 3 years (aside from my participation in from The Kinetics, formally known as The Superinas, which comes out this spring). 

BTW, Vikings are so hot right now.  You heard it hear first.  😀

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  1. January 11, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    I hear you Izzy! I make my living writing kids books and have no problem with competing for publishing dollars with other writers. But I do groan when I hear of another celebrity who has suddenly decided to write a kids book. While TV writers are definitely not big names like Madonna, etc, I think they’ll definitely have an advantage that will have little to do with talent when it comes to getting pieces of the publishing pie. At least they’re writers, so I’m not going to grumble too much.

  2. January 12, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Vikings do rule 🙂

  3. January 14, 2008 at 3:35 am

    Izzy and Liam, agree…Particularly when it’s vaulted into fame w/star firepower trickle down (Seinfeld’s wife just got flak for that on the ‘cooking for kids’ and ‘stealth health’ front, as I wrote about here: http://www.shapingyouth.org/blog/?p=911

    Anyway, I’ve been meaning to profile Tracy on JacketFlap…have you checked out their social media site for children’s authors & illustrators?

    I’m new on board, but I gave the link to Mike Berenstain (Berenstain Bears) and mentioned we should all start a ‘presence’ there just to kick off the real writers from the wannabes. (although I’ve already made a fatal flaw by accepting ‘friends’ sans fact checking fully there; eek, a story in itself, how do you sift-n-sort through scads of social media ‘friend overtures?’)

    Anyway, worth a peek. And Izzy? I can only imagine what you’ve dreamed up…would LOVE to see your work in this arena sometime. (I wrote my first ‘award-winner’ in 8th grade and am still kicking myself for not publishing/marketing it, dangit! Could’ve been collecting royalties by now…heehe. Then again, judging by my greeting card line, that ends up ‘lunch money’ if you don’t have a mega-distribution channel…it’s all about media leverage/ownership for buyer/shelf space like everything else, eh?)

    (I can see Joel Gray in Cabaret dancing to ‘money makes the world go around’ about now…) “Le Sigh” indeed… 😉

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