|Augusta Scattergood, winner of the 2013 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award!|
I contacted Augusta to find out more...
Lee: Please tell us about your book!
Augusta: My debut novel, GLORY BE, is set during Freedom Summer, 1964, in a small town in Mississippi when the town's Community Pool is about to close rather than integrate. Gloriana June Hemphill, Glory for short, can't understand all the changes swirling around her. Why would anybody close her pool during the hottest months of the year? Why is her sister, who's been her best friend forever, mostly ignoring her? Even Glory's friend Frankie is mad that she's befriended a girl visiting from up north. Just about everything this summer has turned upside down. And it's up to Glory to figure it all out.
Historical fiction written for ages 9-12, GLORY BE was edited by Andrea Pinkney and published by Scholastic Press. It's been named to six state lists of children's recommended books and was one of Amazon's Best Middle Grade Novels of 2012. And now it's won the Crystal Kite for the Southeastern Region!
Lee: How long have you been involved with SCBWI, and can you share what you feel you've gained by being a member?
Augusta: Where do I begin. I joined SCBWI as soon as I left my library career, in 2001. I met my wonderful agent, Linda Pratt, at a summer conference in Maryland, at a MD DE WV regional event. When I moved to Florida, I immediately connected to a critique group, and since we've been here, my Tampa Bay SCBWI connections have been invaluable. I presented GLORY BE on the First Books panel at the Miami SCBWI conference in 2012 and made many new friends there. In my other role as book reviewer, I have reviewed books for the Bulletin. Quite honestly, I suspect my own novel would be languishing in a bottom drawer without the support of SCBWI.
Lee: Do you have any advice to share with other children's book writers and illustrators?
Augusta: Instead of giving writing advice, most of which we all know and try very hard follow, here's a little advice about navigating your book's Debut Year. Stay connected to other writers who have their first books out. If you aren't interested in joining the actual group to publicize them, find an email buddy you can "talk" to and keep in touch! Even if you aren't a scrapbooker, save all the amazing souvenirs (I have mine in a big binder). Find at least one writer beginning the path to publication and pay it forward in the same way others helped you. And, of course, enjoy every minute of those first exciting months.
And here's what SCBWI Florida's co-regional advisors have to share about their region:
We are a diverse community of hardworking volunteers dedicated to making your dreams of becoming published authors and illustrators for kids and teens a reality. Through our Florida Regional Conference, held every January in Miami, our Mid-Year Workshop, held every June in Orlando, and lots of smaller events throughout the year and state, we put YOU in touch with top agents and editors in the children’s book industry. A wonderful place to share ideas, make new friends, find critique groups near you, and learn more about the market, SCBWI Florida is the only writers/illustrators support system you’ll ever need.
You can learn more about SCBWI Florida at their website here.
And to find out more about Augusta and "Glory Be," visit Augusta's online home here.
Illustrate and Write On,