Targeted Speedpass with PB Author Laura Roettiger


What brought you to children’s books?

I am a reading specialist and did a lot of writing with and for my students. I began writing with the intention of publishing when my full time teaching transitioned to mentoring. I am particularly fond of books that combine two different things, for example STEM and humor, or creative inspiration and kindness. I also have found lyrical writing to be my favorite in picture books. In writing for an older audience, I think the voice is what I’m drawn to most.

What do you LOVE about children’s books?

I loved reading as a child, reading to my children, and reading to my students. I think picture books, chapter books, and middle grade books provide a magic door that invites children of different ages into a love of reading. I’m so happy to be part of the community that creates these opportunities.

What is a common issue with the submissions you review?

Manuscripts I see as a RateYourStory judge that need trimming are the ones I usually like the best because it’s easy to see what they author was working toward and hopefully with my feedback and some trimming, the author is able to cut their manuscript and leave room for the illustrator and for the reader to bring their own experience to the writing. I’ve come a long way since writing my first book and would love to do some judicious editing if I could.

Please share a submission tip with our Members.

Think about reading your manuscript for a week of school visits. Would you want to read it 25 times outloud? Where does it feel too wordy, where could a wordless spread be used for greater impact? If you can do this and still love every word, you’re on the right track.


Please share a revision Tip for our Members.

This is taken from an editor I met at a conference: Even if you’re not an illustrator, write your manuscript out by hand and imagine the page turns and illustrations. What’s working? What’s not? When I do this, I immediately start trimming words that aren’t necessary. This includes ‘stage directions’ that can be better shown in illustrations, wordy dialogue, adjectives, and using words repetitively when it’s not for the sake of repetition which can be wonderful.

Share a fun fact about YOU!


I have worked with struggling readers from kindergarten to adults and my goal has always been to teach a love of reading, not to teach reading because when you love something you become better at it and the motivation is intrinsic. I am still in touch with students from over twenty years ago and that’s what they remember about me. My writing is also to encourage a love of reading.

Also is there anything in particular you want or don't want to give rating and

feedback on?

I prefer non-rhyming text because unless it’s got perfect meter, I know it’s not working but I’m not skilled enough to explain why. I enjoy fiction with facts woven in.

BIO:


Laura Roettiger is the author of ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON and has enjoyed working with children ever since she was no longer considered a child herself. She was a reading specialist and elementary teacher in Chicago, IL before moving to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where she worked in Environmental Education and as a new teacher mentor for two years at a STEM school. She is a judge for Rate Your Story, works with third grade classrooms through #KidsNeedMentors, tutors adults in the Boulder Reads Literacy program at the Boulder Public Library, and works with BookstoKids, a Colorado based literacy nonprofit. Her superpower is encouraging curiosity in children and her students, letting them know she believes in them. She has three children of her own whose curiosity and creativity led all of them into STEM related professions.


Laura Roettiger is the author of ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON and has enjoyed working with children ever since she was no longer considered a child herself. She was a reading specialist and elementary teacher in Chicago, IL before moving to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where she worked in Environmental Education and as a new teacher mentor for two years at a STEM school. She is a judge for Rate Your Story, works with third grade classrooms through #KidsNeedMentors, tutors adults in the Boulder Reads Literacy program at the Boulder Public Library, and works with BookstoKids, a Colorado based literacy nonprofit. Her superpower is encouraging curiosity in children and her students, letting them know she believes in them. She has three children of her own whose curiosity and creativity led all of them into STEM related professions.


Contact her at: www.lauraroettigerbooks.com

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