Wednesday, April 1, 2020

SCBWI Digital Workshops Start Tomorrow with Kate Messner sharing "Big Picture Revision for Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels"



SCBWI is offering members a series of no-charge digital workshops to support our members during this time.

Starting April 2, SCBWI will provide weekly on-hour webinars with renowned children's book creators, editors, agents, and art directors. The events will take place live via Zoom and are free of charge for any SCBWI member anywhere in the world. If you can't attend live (or if it fills up), a video recording of each workshop will be available on the SCBWI web site for one month afterward.

Workshop #1 is tomorrow, Thursday, April 2, 2020 from 1pm-2pm Pacific
Kate Messner, Author
BIG PICTURE REVISION FOR MIDDLE GRADE AND YOUNG ADULT NOVELS

Workshop #2 will be Thursday, April 9, 2020 from 1pm-2pm Pacific
Sara Sargent, Senior Executive Editor, Random House Children's Books
OUTSTANDING OPENERS: HOW TO GRAB YOUR READERS RIGHT FROM THE START

Workshop #3 will be Thursday April 16, 2020 from 1pm-2pm Pacific
Henry Winkler, Author and Actor
Lin Oliver, Author
HOW WE WRITE CHILDREN'S BOOKS AND WHY

Workshop #4 will be Thursday, April 23, 2020 from 1pm-2pm Pacific
Jennifer Vassel, Author
BOOK MARKETING 101: HOW TO BE YOUR OWN PUBLICIST

Workshop ##5 will be Thursday, April 30, 2020 from 1pm-2pm
Kait Feldmann, Editor, Scholastic
PAGE BY PAGE: BREAKING DOWN PICTURE BOOK PAGINATION

Workshop #6 will be Thursday, May 7, 2020 from 1pm-2pm Pacific
Laurent Linn, Art Director, Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Cecilia Yung, Art Director and Vice President, Penguin Books for Young Readers
TWO ART DIRECTORS TALKING: THE THEATRE OF PICTURE BOOKS - THE ART OF BRINGING VISUAL ELEMENTS TOGETHER FOR STORYTELLING

Workshop #7 will be Thursday, May 14, 2020 from 1pm-2pm Pacific
Linda Sue Park, Author
USING SCENE TO BUILD STORY

Workshop #8 will be Thursday, May 21, 2020 from 1pm-2pm Pacific
Marietta Zacker, Co-Owner and Agents, Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency
A CREATIVE LOOK AT THE STATE OF CHILDREN'S/YA BOOKS

Registration opens for each workshop the Monday before, and is limited to the first 1,000 members to sign up.

We hope to see you there, and stay safe!

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Listen to the Latest SCBWI Podcast - A Conversation with M.T. Anderson



New York Times bestselling author and winner of the National Book Award M. T. Anderson speaks with Theo Baker about history and time, experimentation, and literature. They also discuss research and switching between multiple projects. Listen to the episode trailer here.

Current SCBWI members can listen to the full episode here (log in first).

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Thursday, March 26, 2020

SCBWI Connects - SCBWI Offers a Digital Directory for Remote Learning Resources



So many creators of children’s books have risen to the call for help from teachers and parents during the COVID-19 crisis by creating online materials that will entertain, instruct, and inspire children and young people. Some are reading their books and discussing them. Some have created mini-lessons on art or history or craft projects. Some are doing the equivalent of a school visit with a presentation and slide show.

Click here to explore the entries in these categories: activities; art lessons; audiobooks & ebooks; bilingual; book readings; emotional & mental wellbeing; podcasts; teaching guides; and visits & workshops.

Illustrate and Write On – and Stay Safe,
Lee

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems - A Video Series From the Kennedy Center Education Artist-In-Residence

"You might be isolated, but you’re not alone. You are an art maker. Let’s make some together." —Mo Willems
I love this so much! Check out the Mo Willems "Lunch Doodles" videos, part of his Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence experience.




The questions and answers are really interesting, and there's lots of wisdom shared amid the art and games. Like,

"Any story I write is a question I don't yet know the answer to."

The animation project in episode 3 (at about 15 minutes in) is very cool.

These videos are a great way to engage with young readers. And for us adult creators of content for kids, it's a fun way to hang out and learn from this master of storytelling and visuals.

Stay safe, and illustrate and write on,
Lee

p.s. - thanks to Karin for the heads-up on these videos!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Sharing Our Notebooks - Inspiration for Starting (Or Improving) Your Own


Author and Poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's Sharing Our Notebooks blog offers inspiration...
Hi Writers! I know that some of you are home from school these days, and I hope you will find some new notebooking ideas here. I love keeping a notebook for writing, for drawing, for making a place for ideas and dreams and wishes and facts and feelings. This blog is home to many peeks into others' notebooks, and in each post you will find photos, notebooking-thoughts, and an idea to try. Feel free to poke around, notebook by your side, and explore your own brain and heart. Sometimes we don't know what we really think until we write.

Check out the many, many different approachese to starting or improving your own notebooking. (I call mine a journal.)

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

p.s.: Thanks to Kate Messner and her excellent round-up of resources, Read, Wonder, and Learn, for sharing this.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Kate Messner Organizes Online Resources From Authors and Illustrators "For Learning Anywhere" this Spring 2020



As cited in this Publishers Weekly article,

Kate Messner, author of the recently published Chirp (Bloomsbury), usually maintains a busy touring schedule, but with impending school closures, the author took to her website to create a resource page for children to access from home. Using social media, she recruited other authors to contribute to the archive. The page now includes more than two dozen links and videos of readings by authors including Tracey Baptiste, Debbi Michiko Florence, Nikki Grimes, Grace Lin, and Jason Reynolds.
And here's that resource.

As Kate writes, it's

"...a growing collection of resources that include everything from first-chapter and picture book read-alouds (shared with permission from publishers!) to drawing and writing mini-lessons. Be sure to check back often, as new resources will be added every day. As Kate writes, it's

Wash your hands, stay healthy, and enjoy these resources as we take care of one another this spring!"

This a great example of giving and helping in a time of high stress for all -- especially for young people.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Thursday, March 12, 2020

The Brown Bookshelf Celebrated 28 Black Children’s Book Creators!

From Day 1's celebration of Siman Nuurali



 through Day 28's celebration of Shauntay Grant,



there are so many Black Children's Book Creators—and their books!—to discover or be reminded of anew.

See the full list (with links) at the launch post of 28 Days Later Honorees here: https://thebrownbookshelf.com/2020/01/24/announcing-the-13th-class-of-28-days-later-honorees/

And don't miss the leap year treat of Day 29, which celebrates the work of the family of people behind The Brown Bookshelf!

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

26 Authors Share Self-Publishing Wisdom, compiled by BookBub



There's lots of gems in this image-friendly selection of quotes and advice, How to Self-Publish a Book: Tips from Indie Authors, including:

ON SETTING A TARGET AUDIENCE...
"Write the book for one person...Hit a home run with one person and there will be thousands more just like them who will also love your work." —Ernest Dempsey, The Napoleon Affair.

ON PUBLISHING POLISHED WORK
"The absolute best advice I ever received was not to rush to publication, hire top-of-the-line editors, and get more than one proofreader. We have one chance to hook readers, and presentation matters as much as content." —Melissa Foster, This is Love

ON PUBLISHING PRINT EDITIONS
"My tip is to make the editions look like one published by the big five traditional publishers." —Ty Patterson, The Warrior Series

The full post is well-worth reading.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Thursday, March 5, 2020

"Do You Want To Create A Picture Book?" - A Panel Discussion with Nate Williams, James Yang, Giuseppe Catellano, Jim Hoover, and Kirsten Hall

"Picture books are kind of like the guitar solo for illustrators."

With those words of inspiration (or maybe challenge), author and illustrator Nate Williams kicked off this panel discussion at the Society of Illustrators. In this video recorded on February 10, 2015, Nate outlines his creative process—from ideation to publishing. He is joined by James Yang (Author/Illustrator http://www.jamesyang.com), Giuseppe Catsellano (at the time an Art Director, Penguin Young Readers Group http://twitter.com/pinocastellano), Jim Hoover (Associate Art director, Viking Books), and Kirsten Hall (Agent/Producer http://catbirdagency.com/).


As shared on the Society of Illustrators video archive.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Latinx in Publishing Launches their Writers Mentorship Program

The Latinx in Publishing Writers Mentorship Program is a volunteer-based initiative that offers the opportunity for unpublished and/or unagented writers who identify as Latinx (mentees) to strengthen their craft, gain first-hand industry knowledge, and expand their professional connections through work with experienced published authors (mentors).




As announced in Publishers Weekly, "The first group of mentors for the program, which began on February 1 of this year and is slated to run through October 31, is comprised of 11 authors: Monica Brown, author of Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos; Paola Capó-García, author of Clap for Me That’s Not Me; Katrina Carrasco, author of The Best Bad Things; Lulu Delacre, three-time Pura Belpré Award Honoree and author/illustrator of Luci Soars; Christina Diaz Gonzalez, author of The Red Umbrella; Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, author of Children of the Land: A Memoir; Gabino Iglesias, author of Coyote Songs; Toni Margarita Plummer, author of The Bolero of Andi Rowe; Ruben Quesada, poetry editor at AGNI and author of Revelations; Sabrina Sol, author of Delicious Temptation; and Francisco X. Stork, author of Disappeared. The 2020 class of mentees are: Julianne Aguilar, Gustavo A. Barahona-López, Camille Corbett, Yesenia Flores Diaz, Brigid Martin, Aline Mello, Brenda Miller, Ofelia Montelongo, Jordan Pérez, Angela Pico, and Andrew Siañez-De La O." 

Carolina Ortiz, the program's codirector, said:
“It is our goal to bridge the gap and help new rising Latinx voices find the support they need within their own community by connecting them with published Latinx authors, who will be the people best equipped to understand their stories and perspectives.”
Learn more at the Latinx in Pubishing website here.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Listen to the Latest SCBWI Podcast - A Conversation With Juana Martinez-Neal



“In 2012, Juana Martinez-Neal won the Portfolio Showcase Grand Prize at the SCBWI Los Angeles conference. Today, she is a multi-award winning author/illustrator. Alma and How She Got Her Name” (Candlewick Press) was her debut picture book as an author-illustrator, and was recently awarded the 2019 Caldecott Honor!



Juana illustrated “La Princesa and the Pea” (written by Susan M. Elya, Putnam/Penguin), winner of the 2018 Pura Belpré Medal for Illustration, and “Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story” (written by Kevin Noble Maillard, Roaring Brook Press), winner of the 2020 Robert F. Sibert Medal.

In this exclusive conversation with Theo Baker, Juana shares about her childhood in Peru, her path to children's books, the many media she's worked with to create her illustrations, and balancing family responsibilities with creative time.

Listen to the episode trailer here.

Current SCBWI members can listen to the full episode here (log in first).

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Don Tate on Writing Nonfiction Picture Books at Nonfiction Chicks Present: Nonfiction Fest

This excellent interview with author/illustrator Don Tate, Questions I'm Frequently Asked About Writing Nonfiction for Children, covers a lot of important ground.



 Highlights:
What is the biggest obstacle you face in writing a biography?

Creating a story. A biography isn’t a chronological list of milestones. That’s a timeline, it goes in the back matter. For me, a biography is story with a beginning, middle, and an end. A biography has a scene-to-scene plot with rising and falling action. A good biography demonstrates change in the character from beginning to end. But researching a person's life doesn’t fall so easily into my criteria. Therein lies the obstacle.
and
Many of your stories deal with hard, painful truths about U.S. history. How do you tell these stories and make them appropriate for children?

Hansel and Gretel is the story of two young kids who are kidnapped by a cannibalistic witch. They are threatened to get baked in an oven. The story of Hansel and Gretel is a fairy tale; it’s not nonfiction, obviously. But for generations, it was a popular story for young readers. Children are tough. They can handle tough stories. I don’t think it’s a good idea to hide our tough history from children. The enslavement of Black people was an inhumane institution that existed lawfully in the U.S. at one time. That’s an ugly truth. It should not be sugar-coated or erased. Children are our future, and they need to know what happened in the past in order to prevent bad things from happening again. That said, there are certainly things within the topic of slavery that I cannot address in a children’s book. My stories serve as an entryway to discussion.
Read the full interview here.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee