Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Novel Gift: First Book Is Giving Away More Than 125,000 Books to Low-income Teens

The lovely ladies of readergirlz need assistance spreading the word about a great opportunity to help get books to teens who can't afford them.

First Book--a nonprofit organization that annually provides millions of books to schools and programs serving children from low-income families--is giving away more than 125,000 brand-new books (donated by generous publishers) to low-income teen readers.

Organizations serving such teens must register with First Book so they can be matched with available inventory during the holiday season.

Here’s are a few ways you can help spread the news about the First Book campaign:
  • Post about the giveaway on Facebook
  • Tweet about it using the hashtag #novelgift
  • Link to First Book's registration page 
  • Link to my post or this post on the readergilz blog 
  • Get in touch groups that work with young adults--schools, after-school programs, church youth groups, community centers, etc.--and let them know that these books are available now
  • Groups can register in about 5 minutes via this link.

First Book will answer any questions by email (help@firstbook.org) or phone (866-READ-NOW or 866-732-3669).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Two Hours as Bookseller: Working at the Scholastic Book Fair

Book carts at the book fair.
The boy started afternoon Kindergarten this year and since I didn't have full-time job when school began, I volunteered for everything I could that had anything to do with books or words. I have 18 plus years working in publishing under my belt. I figured the elementary school could use a mother like me. I signed up to help in the writing lab, to type and proofread stories, and to work in the library.

When the school year began, I got a thanks-anyway-but-we've-got-too-many-volunteers email. "What?" thought I. "Don't they know who I AM?" Apparently I'm not very famous in elementary school circles.

A table of reference books. Yay nonfiction!
The one thing they did need help with was manning the Scholastic Book Fair, which took place last week. Lucky for them, I was free. I got a two-hour shift during which I was to greet and assist customers. (But not touch the cash register. Which, really, was for the best.)

Business was slow when the fair first opened so I worked hard to memorize our stock. And when customers did arrive I was on them like paste on construction paper. We combed the shelves searching for book on kids' and teachers' wish lists. I made suggestions for similar titles. And mostly I pointed across the room to the latest DIARY OF A WIMPY KID book because that's what most of them wanted.

When it was slow, I regaled uninterested fellow volunteers (mommies, math teachers) with my knowledge of children's books and their creators:

Me: "Mo Willems? I interviewed him. So funny."
Me: "Marla Frazee? We go waaaay back."
Me: "Laura Numeroff? We were totally at a party together once."
Me: "Tomie dePaola? Richard Peck? I've ridden elevators with both of them."  
Me: "Lisa Yee? Why I've been photographed with Peepy."

Them: "Um. Neat."

I also managed to get in a little book shopping for the boy and myself. It had been way too long since I'd added new picture books to my/our collection. If I can't transition from book fair volunteer to a career bookseller, I've always got shopping to fall back on. Here's what I came home with:

  • ALL THE WORLD by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee (Because, you know, we go way back. And it's beautiful.)
  • TURKEY TROUBLE by Wendi Silvano, illustrated by Lee Harper (So seasonal!)
  • I NEED MY MONSTER by Amanda Knoll, illustrated by Howard McWilliam (The librarian says it's favorite with boys.)
  • BONES by Steve Jenkins (So cool--it features a four-page-long gate-folded snake skeleton!)
  • THE ADVENTURES OF OOK AND GLUK: KUNG-FU CAVEMEN FROM THE FUTURE, The second graphic novel from George Beard and Harold Hutching, the creators of Captain Underpants (Because--funny.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

In the News This Week

Fridays on the SCBWI blog, I share snippets of and links to some of the publishing/media-related news I've read during the last week that I found interesting, helpful, and/or fun. Click titles to get to the full articles.

This week's news includes PW's coverage of NBA winner Kathryn Erskine's acceptance speech, goodbye to Tricycle Press, a pair of some studies on the teens' dating habits and buying habits (including books), MySpace/Facebook partnership, help with e-reader holiday shopping, and more.

Erskine Wins NBA in Young People's Literature (PW)
Kathryn Erskine was filled with gratitude as she stepped up to the podium on Wednesday night to claim the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, for her novel Mockingbird (Philomel), about a 10-year-old girl with Asperger’s syndrome. She thanked the National Book Awards "for supporting reading and our culture," as well as the judges, her publishing house Penguin, and "readers and friends and supporters and family." She also thanked educators, for teaching children "to think critically and deeply, and think for themselves." And she saved special thanks for her mother, for teaching her not only the "what" of the world, "but also the 'why.'"

Random House to Shutter Tricycle Press
As of January 31st Random House Children’s Books is discontinuing the frontlist publishing program of Berkeley-based Tricycle Press, the 18-year-old children’s book imprint. As part of the change, v-p and publisher Nicole Geiger and her four-person editorial team will leave the company on the 31st as well. Tricycle marketing and publicity manager Laura Mancuso will stay on in the same capacity at RHCB.

A study confirms every suspicion you ever had about high-school dating (Slate)
In the Darwinian world of high-school dating, freshman girls and senior boys have the highest chances of successfully partnering up. Senior girls (too picky!) and freshman boys (pond scum!) have the least. These are truisms known to anyone who has watched 10 minutes of a teen movie or spent 10 minutes in a high school cafeteria. Now, however, social scientists have examined them exhaustively and empirically. And they have found that for the most part, they're accurate. So are some other old prom-era chestnuts: Teen boys are primarily—obsessively?—interested in sex, whereas girls, no matter how boy-crazy, tend to focus on relationships. Young men frequently fib about their sexual experience, whereas young women tend to be more truthful. Once a student has sex, it becomes less of an issue in future relationships.

Teen Girls as Avid Shoppers (AdWeek)

Don't blame teenage girls for the sluggishness of consumer spending. In a survey just released by Varsity Brands (which sells cheerleading apparel) and Ketchum Global Research Network, girls age 13-18 identified shopping as their favorite pastime. And the list of purchases they've recently made confirms this isn't just talk. But other parts of the survey may leave you wondering how the girls' immersion in new media leaves them with time to buy things.

You Can Now Log in to MySpace with Facebook (Mashable)
In a move that has been rumored for nearly a year, MySpace users can now log in to the once dominant social network using Facebook. At a press event this afternoon, the two companies announced an expansion of their existing partnership that puts a connect with Facebook button on the MySpace homepage and enables a wide range of personalization and sharing features on MySpace.

Closing the book on Harry Potter (NYT)
A LOT has happened since the screenwriter Steve Kloves began working on his adaptation of the very first Harry Potter book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” in the late 1990s.
The three central characters — Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) — have grown up on screen, enduring the twin horrors of Voldemort and adolescence before our very eyes. The stories have become progressively darker and more complicated. And Mr. Kloves has immersed himself so deeply in the world of Harry Potter that by the time J. K. Rowling’s seventh and final volume, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” came out in 2007, he said, he knew the characters almost as thoroughly as she did herself.

Holiday Gift Guide To eReaders (eBook Newser)
The holiday shopping season is here and eReaders and tablets are poised to be the hot items of the season. To help you navigate through all of the devices out there, we have compiled a Holiday Gift Guide To eReaders featuring the latest eReaders on the market. The below list includes eReaders that have come out over the last year and will be hot this season:

Great Holiday Expectations for E-Readers (NYT)
E-readers will be widely available at stores like Target, Best Buy and Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, and offered at prices that make sense for Christmas gifts—less than $150. Publishers and booksellers are expecting that instead of giving your mother a new Nicholas Sparks novel or your father a David Baldacci thriller in the hardcovers that traditionally fly off the shelves and into wrapping paper at this time of year, you might elect to convert them to e-reading.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

And the 2010 National Book Award for Young People's Literature Goes to...

...Kathryn Erskine for her book MOCKINGBIRD!

Here's the complete lists of Finalists in the Young People's Literature category:

This year's judges YLP Judges were Laban Carrick Hill, Kelly Link, Tor Seidler, Hope Anita Smith and Sara Zarr. (Here's a link to their bios.)

Here are links to some reviews of all the NBA finalists:
Congratulations to all the wonderful nominees and to winner Kathryn Erskine!

Wednesday Tweet Roundup

It's humpday which means it's time for me to share some of my favorite tweets of the last week from the many writers, illustrators, editors, agents, and publishers who are out there sharing information and joining in the conversation on Twitter.

Click on the Twitter handles (@name) to find each tweeter's page should you wish to follow them or read more of what they're saying. Follow the included links to read the articles or blog posts these tweeters recommend.

Remember--whether you're signed up with Twitter or not, you can read tweets and click links to find helpful blog posts, useful articles, and timely news bits (like the ones below).

This week's tweet buffet offers links to tasty crafty blog posts, a delicious collection of lists of top titles, advice from agents and editors to savor and more, starting off with a reminder that the NBA awards banquet will start, oh...any minute now.  

@TatteredCover: 2010 National Book Awards will be announced TONGHT! 60 Years of Honoring Great American Books: http://fb.me/KSGqVZh3

@GuardianBooks: Louise Rennison has last laugh by winning Roald Dahl funny prize http://gu.com/p/2y7ve/tf  

@literaticat: :-( crying. RT @PWKidsBookshelf RH shutters Tricycle Press; publisher Nicole Geiger & staff will leave as of 1/31/11

: from @PublishersLunch: Movable Type Literary Group hires Brianne Mulligan as assoc agent; YA and MG and some adult
@TracyClark_TLC: Strengths and Weaknesses. Do you know yours? My latest blog post: http://bit.ly/bHzRHT

@AimeeLSalter: Self-edit tips to help you 'show' rather than 'tell': http://bit.ly/b500ge

@tabithaolson: Roaring Brook Press editor Katherine Jacob's brilliance regarding pacing. http://bit.ly/czF5M3
@WritersDigest: Have you been to any of the world's best bookstores?

@sljournal: "Nonfiction wasn't as strong in the categories of nature and science this year..." Insight from review staff http://bit.ly/ddyz3K 

@teachingbooks: Bank Street COE announced their outstanding books of 2010! Very focused list. So many books. http://tinyurl.com/34dm5yd
: 2010 Best Books for Teens: Contemporary Novels

@stacylwhitman: #pubtip: I am not an agent. Don't query me asking me to represent you to publishers bc I'm a "select agent."

@ColleenLindsay:"Bad grammar & syntax can end your publishing career before it ever gets started." Great post by @DGLM --> http://tinyurl.com/23hll2r

@RachelleGardner: My best advice: Find where your passion meets the market. http://bit.ly/aT5Tit

: Guide to Literary Agents - Agent Katharine Sands On: 4 Agent Pet Peeves via @AddThis

@pwkidsbookshelf: Let kids be the judge: force-feeding the 'right’ sort of literature can put them off for life: http://bit.ly/c4hz7x
@editorgurl: Letting teens (gasp) pick their own books: An awesome speech from the author of The Marbury Lens. http://bit.ly/930GkI

@GalleyCat: To 'reward' Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe, J.K. Rowling won't write more HP books: http://mbist.ro/av8mkg

@PWKidsBookshelf: From io9: Why J.K. Rowling shouldn't write any more Harry Potter books http://on.io9.com/arjVUO

@LAGilman: Pending royalty statements make me twitchy. It's like being 10 & waiting to hear if you'll have a snow day or not... 

@johnmcusick: Lots of bunny themed queries today. But what does it MEAN?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

E.B. Lewis Joins the SCBWI Board of Advisors

A few weeks ago acclaimed illustrator E.B. Lewis was appointed to the SCBWI Board of Advisors. Among other awards, he's won a Caldecott Honor for COMING ON HOME SOON, written by Jacqueline Woodson and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for TALKIN' ABOUT BESSIE, written by Nikki Grimes. (See the cover images below.)

“The Board is looking forward to the unique contribution he can bring to the organization,” says President Stephen Mooser. "E.B. Lewis just appeared as our Amber Brown speaker at a school in Boston, where his inspirational message and talent continues to bring pride to SCBWI principles," says Executive Director Lin Oliver. "His enthusiasm for encouraging young artists and promoting literacy perfectly matches the goals of SCBWI. "

E.B. was on the faculty of SCBWI's 2010 Annual Summer Conference. I'm sorry if you missed him speak--it was terrific and inspiring  and seeing his warm, wonderful paintings on the giant ballroom screen was awesome. Here are links to two posts covering his presenations:
In a recent email to SCBWI board, E.B. said: "I am honored by the appointment and thank you all for your support. I will do my best to advance the mission of SCBWI and look forward to working with you all." Speaking on behalf of the board, I can say we all look forward to having him among our ranks. Welcome E.B. Lewis!

Friday, November 12, 2010

In the News This Week

Fridays on the SCBWI blog, I share snippets of and links to some of the publishing/media-related news I've read during the last week that I found interesting, helpful, and/or fun. Click titles to get to the full articles.

This week's news includes two in-case-you-live-under-a-rock stories---one on Amazon's removal of a pedophile guide (they listened to the Twitter uproar), and another on a career shift for agent Nathan Bransford. Also a few best books lists, ebook in New York Times, NYT on interactive books (minus the E), a new publisher at Scholastic, two ebook devices aimed at kids, and more. Also a count/counterpoint pieces on NaNoWriMo--which are slightly over a week old, but I gave you no news last week during my vacation, so enjoy them now, and keep at it, NaNo-ers!

'Pedophile's Guide' Removed from Amazon (GalleyCat)
The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure, a controversial title that generated boycott threats on Amazon yesterday, has been removed. The old link now opens the image embedded above. The Today Show covered the story this morning. The author, Phillip R Greaves 2nd, spoke to reporters during the segment, adding: "Everytime you see them on television, they're either rapists or kidnappers. It's not accurate of that particular sexuality." BNet and TechCrunch have both written about the removal.

PW's Best Children's Books 2010 (PW)
Shark vs. Train
Chris Barton, illus. by Tom Lichtenheld (Little, Brown)
This is one of those elementally brilliant ideas that evokes a "Why didn't I think of that?" response. By pitting a cartoon train and shark against each other in a series of increasingly ludicrous challenges (the train's heft is a liability in a hot air balloon race, but very effective on a seesaw), Barton and Lichtenheld tap into kids' innate ability to turn anything, anything into a competition.

Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2010
Annually since 1952, the Book Review has asked a panel of judges to select 10 winners from among the several thousand children’s books published during the year. The judges this time around were Robert Sabuda, a co-creator of the best-selling “Encyclopedia Prehistorica” series and twice the recipient of a Times Best Illustrated award; Elizabeth Bird, a children’s librarian with the New York Public Library, whose first picture book, “Giant Dance Party,” is due out next year; and David Barringer, a novelist and designer who is the author of “There’s Nothing Funny About Design.” —The Editors

Interactive Books (‘E’ Not Included) (NYT)
Years ago, I was a supporter of a new literary movement, one that uprooted the traditional tenets of narrative in modern fiction: Choose Your Own Adventure. The books in that series, which first appeared in 1979, did so much more than simply tell a tale: by offering the reader choices at critical junctures, each one gave a rapt fourth grader like me the opportunity to shape the story. (If you decide to use turbo boost, turn to Page 48. If you decide to use shields, turn to Page 50.)

Benton Named Scholastic Trade Publisher (PW)
Lori Benton, whose career in children’s publishing includes a long run at Harcourt’s children’s division where she rose to v-p and publisher, has been named v-p and publisher for the Scholastic Trade Publishing division. In her new role, which begins January 3, Benton will oversee direction of the publishing program for all imprints. She succeeds Suzanne Murphy, who moved to Disney Publishing in June, and will report to Ellie Berger, president of Scholastic Trade Publishing.

Public Libraries by Design: Creating teen-friendly spaces with a gaming area (SLJ)
Library design and services frequently include welcoming spaces for teens. Why should a designated place for teens be considered? According to Kimberly Bolan, author of Teen Spaces: The Step-by-Step Library Makeover (American Library Association, 2009), it builds positive, safe environments for studying, socializing, and leisure activities; encourages community involvement and library appreciation; expands the library’s customer base; and is an effective way to market the library and draw teens to other services the library offers.

Social Books Hopes to Make E-Reading Communal (NYT)
Outside of a book club, reading a book is a pretty solitary affair. Two entrepreneurs, Jason Johnson and Jason Illian, are trying to change that with a new mobile application called Social Books. "Short-form content on the Web is very interactive, very dynamic," Mr. Johnson said. “You can see which of your friends read the same article and what they thought of it. It made us ask, 'Can this be applied to long-form content? Can we take the advent of social media and apply it to the way we read books on tablets?'"

E-Books to Join The New York Times Best-Seller List – NYTimes.com (WIRED)
he New York Times will begin reporting the best selling e-books in new fiction and non-fiction lists early next year, the newspaper reports. The Times has published best-seller lists since 1935 and they have been a significant driver of book sales for decades. Bricks-and-mortar stores post the list and, space permitting, section off these titles outside the fiction and non-fictions aisles as close to the cash registers as is humanly possible. The same has become true with advent of e-book stores, where lists and search are key entry points, and browsing is somewhat more problematic. So expect these lists to be a boon to e-book merchants on day one.
eBook Sales To Grow To $2.8 Billion In 2015
(eBook Newser)
eBook sales in the U.S. will grow from just less than $1 billion in 2010 to more than $2.8 billion in 2015, according to a new report from Forrester Research. The study found that the digital publishing category has more than doubled from 3.7 million users in the US at year-end 2009 to more than 10.3 million a year later.

Barnes & Noble Pushing Nook Color To Kids In Test Stores (eBook Newswer)
Looking to reach families, Barnes & Noble is expanding the Toys & Games departments in its stores nationwide and is testing new children’s play spaces in five test stores. The playrooms will be a great gateway drug to get kids hooked on the upcoming Nook Color, as the playrooms will be stocked with the devices.

Fable maker to target youth e-book market (Boston Globe)
Amazon.com is making a fortune selling electronic books, presumably to adults. Now, Concord start-up company Isabella Products Inc. and Boston publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are planning to cash in on an untapped market: e-books for children. Next summer, Isabella will introduce the Fable, a combination tablet computer and e-book reader aimed at children. Unlike the black-and-white screen found on Amazon.com's popular Kindle e-reader, the Fable will feature a full-color, 7-inch touchscreen that can display the colorful illustrations found in most children’s titles.

Nathan Bransford Leaves Curtis Brown & Joins CNET (GalleyCat)
Curtis Brown agent Nathan Bransford told his online community today that he will no longer be a literary agent. He explained in a post: “I am leaving the world of publishing to work at the tech news/review site CNET, where I will be helping to coordinate social media strategy.”

Better yet, DON'T write that novel (Salon)
For me, the end of October is always slightly tinged with dread -- provoked not by Halloween spooks, not even by election season, but by the advent of something called NaNoWriMo. If those syllables are nothing but babble to you, then I salute you. They stand for National Novel Writing Month.

12 reasons to ignore the naysayers: Do NaNoWriMo (LAT)
If you want to write a novel in 30 days, don't let anyone stop you. Not even Salon's Laura Miller. Miller, who I usually find thoughtful and sweet, has written an anti-NaNoWriMo column -- "Better yet, DON'T write that novel" -- that is at best wrongheaded, and at worst, smallhearted. Miller would lay the blame for too many writers -- and not enough readers -- at the foot of NaNoWriMo, the project that challenges would-be authors to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lin Oliver & Henry Winkler Among Those to Be Honored by PEN USA

PEN USA, the West Coast center for International PEN, will salute the winners of its 2010 Literary Awards at its 20th Annual Literary Awards Festival next Wednesday, November 17th, at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Among this year's honorees are SCBWI's own Lin Oliver and her writing partner Henry Winkler! Lin and Henry will receive an Award of Merit. PEN will also offer awards for outstanding work by writers in 11 separate genres.

“Henry Winkler and I feel honored that our HANK ZIPZER  books have received the Award of Merit from PEN," says Lin. "The books are essentially about a boy who is different because he has learning challenges, and how he develops the humor, acceptance and resourcefulness to realize his dreams in the world. In this time, when so many kids who are different are being bullied, we’re happy that our books have made a contribution to the literature of acceptance and inclusion--virtues we all need to practice.”

Paul Fleischman will take home the Children's/Young Adult Literature award for his book THE DUNDERHEADS (Candlewick). And none other than Hugh Hefner will receive an Award of Honor & First Amendment Award. (I'm sure he'll bring a date.)

Congratulations to Lin & Henry for this award for their wonderful contribution to children's literature. I wish we could all attend the ceremony!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Tweet Roundup

It's humpday which means it's time for me to share some of my favorite tweets of the last week from the many writers, illustrators, editors, agents, and publishers who are out there sharing information and joining in the conversation on Twitter.

Click on the Twitter handles (@name) to find each tweeter's page should you wish to follow them or read more of what they're saying. Follow the included links to read the articles or blog posts these tweeters recommend.

Remember--whether you're signed up with Twitter or not, you can read tweets and click links to find helpful blog posts, useful articles, and timely news bits (like the ones below).

I didn't have a ton a time to skulk around the twitterverse this past as I was busy being on vacation. But a cool thing about Twitter is you can pop in for a few minutes here in there on your mobile device (like while you're in the airport; or en route to see some monuments via train; or, dare I say, when you have nothing else to read in the bathroom). Here's what I caught on the fly this past week, including links to some interesting and insightful blog posts, a few award winners, a dash of craft, a soup├žon of social media, and a little inspiration here and there.

@MyraMcEntire: YOU GUUUUYYYYS! Your comments on my post for @4kidlit are so SWEET. Let's take on the world, SHALL WE? http://bit.ly/ckLuxC

@SarahGreenhouse: New blog post from me on 'writing by the people and for the people'! http://bit.ly/LCZjs

@mstewartscience Today on the INK blog: How sensory details enrich #NFforKids writing: http://bit.ly/bvDtRO

@HUnderdown: If you write picture books, here's a writing/revising guide you should know about: http://ow.ly/36lcB

@Kid_Lit From the archives: when to cut something out of your manuscript http://ow.ly/36MJF

@RileyCarney Great Post: Deepening Your Novel with Imagery, Symbolism and Figurative Language http://ow.ly/36LIk

: "reading is like breathing...part of our existence" says @readingtub in @ChldrnsBksNRvws

@danielehrenhaft: M.T. Anderson on the importance of breaking boundaries: http://tinyurl.com/22oa3nl 

: The 10 Best Parents in Children's Literature | Strollerderby
How Picture Books Play a Role in a Child’s Development: http://ht.ly/36eao
@GalleyCat: When you run out of ideas, use the amazing Brainstormer app to keep writing: http://mbist.ro/9bJcT4 #NaNoWriMo Tip #9
@GalleyCat: Need more time to write? Try using an iPhone app to dictate your novel: http://mbist.ro/bgRlNX #NaNoWriMo Tip #10

  Guide to Literary Agents - Agent Tina Wexler On: 6 and 1/2 Ways to Impress an Agent http://t.co/EHYUqyu

@leewind Editor To Agent, and Now Agent To... Social Media Expert?http://bit.ly/doFVTs

@debng: What Does My Facebook Status Say About Me? http://bit.ly/bkcYLq

@debng: The Patrick Swayze Rules of Community Management http://bit.ly/cLWkxv

@sanderssays: If you use Twitter + FB + LinkedIn + Blog, read: http://bit.ly/9DNtx0 (excellent advice!)
@MichaelBourret: Remember how I promised something new and exciting for our blog? Here's the news: we're doing a live chat! http://bit.ly/99jatW
@BlytheWoolston: If you missed yesterday's #familyofreaders conversation between @HornBook + @mitaliperkins go read it http://bit.ly/a44fc0

@DeadRules2011: Lost your virginity? YA writers want to know who got it. Everyone's first time at The Elevensies today: http://bit.ly/92VWhu

@sarazarr: @Kid_Lit on contemporary realistic YA in the current market: http://bit.ly/cOWzJQ 

@CynLeitichSmith: YA Books on Bullying, Including Trailers from Naomi Bates: http://bit.ly/ban9D6

@yalibraryuk: Post-YALSA session summaries, history of YA, & book giveaway are all part of new links roundup: http://tiny.cc/postyalsaroundup

@lydia_sharp: YA Highway: What are your constellations?: http://bit.ly/aVqhM9 via @YAHighway 

@ypulse: Publishers Weekly Best Children's Books list for 2010: http://tinyurl.com/3yjzuw6
 NYTimes Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2010 http://ow.ly/35PZZ

@curiousmartha: Don't try to submit your manuscript to an editor via online dating site message. #pubtip 

 You can't make this stuff up: @tweenbooks

Happy Birthday Holly Black and Neil Gaiman!
  Just signed up for the #SCBWI Winter Conference in NYC! Sessions look amazing! Can't wait!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

SCBWI TEAM BLOG Pre-conference Interview: Patricia Lee Gauch

The latest Annual Winter Conference faculty member featured in our SCBWI TEAM BLOG pre-conference interview series is Patricia Lee Gauch. Patti talked with TEAM BLOGger Martha Brockenbrough. (I'm a day late in alerting you--I just got back from a family trip to Washington D.C.)

Here's a bit from the interview:

My SCBWI chapter invited Patricia Lee Gauch to Washington state for a retreat a couple of years ago, and I got to see first-hand what a fine teacher she is: gentle but demanding, and full of information distilled from a phenomenal career in children's literature.

Patti is not only a published author herself (Christina Katerina and the Box, Thunder at Gettysburg, and The Knitting of Elizabeth Amelia), she has edited some of the finest writers in the business: Brian Jacques, T.A. Barron, Andrew Clements, Jane Yolen, Janet Lisle, Katherine Erkskine, and Barbara Joosse.

She's worked with artists Eric Carle, David Small, Ed Young, Loren Long. Three books she edited have won Caldecott Medals: Owl Moon, Lon Po Po, and So You Want to Be President

Click here to register for the Annual Winter Conference and learn from outstanding faculty like Patricia Lee Gauch!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday Tweet Roundup: Ringing in #NaNoWriMo Edition

It's humpday which means it's time for me to share some of my favorite tweets of the last week from the many writers, illustrators, editors, agents, and publishers who are out there sharing information and joining in the conversation on Twitter.

Click on the Twitter handles (@name) to find each tweeter's page should you wish to follow them or read more of what they're saying. Follow the included links to read the articles or blog posts these tweeters recommend.

Remember--whether you're signed up with Twitter or not, you can read tweets and click links to find helpful blog posts, useful articles, and timely news bits (like the ones below).

This week's picks and links and links all have to do with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which kicked off November 1, during which more than 170,000 people will start a novel from scratch and attempt to finish it in 30 days. Today's tweets include tips, tools, motivation, cheers, fears, and just fun. Go writers, go! (And if you're reading this--get back to work!)

@Croxus And for those who don't know the awesome of #nanowrimo, here: http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/whatisnano

@Prenna23 Was going to just go to sleep + start #NaNoWriMo tomorrow but going to start now. Writing 10 words is better than nothing. #procrastination

@EchelonPress #NaNoWriMo just looked up from the keyboard-mid opening scene and I have a good start at 805 words in 25 minutes.

@johnmcusick Four pages down. Will hafta bang out the last three before White Horse. This ain't a sprint, it's a marathon. #NaNoWriMo

@ShadowGirl_ #NaNoWriMo is trending worldwide and in the UK. Woot! Good luck writers. I'm cheering for you all and I wish I could do it!

@pattidigh Kudos to all participating in #NaNoWriMo this month. I'm opting for National Nap More Month (#NaNaMoMo) instead.

@ThereseWalsh putting the NANO in NaNoWriMo http://bit.ly/atAen1

@inkyelbows Pros & cons of participating in #NaNoWriMo, from @mercedesmy: http://bit.ly/bxGqnv

@Sarahbear9789 Omg, I love my plot. It just got fixed. #nanowrimo

@pubperspectives Why I’m Participating in NaNoWriMo . . . Are You?: By Erin Cox In today’s lead story, author… http://goo.gl/fb/Wm3AL

@emilytastic Are you ready for #NaNoWriMo? Here's my take on the whole fandangle. http://bit.ly/9nJ1Ex

@WorkmanPub First step to getting published? Start writing! http://bit.ly/9PNjnf

@joanna_haugen Talk about good inspiration for the month! RT @algonquinbooks: Trivia of the day: Sara Gruen wrote WATER FOR ELEPHANTS during #NaNoWriMo.  

@WeronikaJanczuk OMG, if you're doing #NaNoWriMo, this is an incredible list of tips and musings: http://bit.ly/dqcOyH. (via @Janet_Reid)

@GalleyCat As National Novel Writing Month starts, here are some writing tools. Share your story: http://mbist.ro/9070zQ

@jjmahoney3 Decided to use Google Docs to write my #NaNoWriMo novel this year. Why didn't I do this before? It'll be wherever I am! Goodbye Word!
 @GalleyCat Cliche Finder site helps writers stop cliches before they start; our #NaNoWriMo tool of the day: http://mbist.ro/cGSfpt

@inkyelbows For writers who missed @Elumir's first #NaNoWriMo song: http://bit.ly/cLzfmc (Nanofounder @ChrisBaty likes it, too!)

@ColleenLindsay "Writing a novel is like fighting a cyborg bear!" @ChuckWendig offers up awesome dos & don'ts for NaNoWriMo: http://bit.ly/bgCHP8 #hilarious

@colleenaf For those stuck on ideas for #nanowrimo: Teen Book Generator by @travisnichols Equipment needed: 12-sided die, PASSION. http://bit.ly/ayTB9H

Today marks the day all literary agents and editors dread: NaNoWriMo. #rememberthatrevisionisyourfriend #donthitsendonthatqueryonDecemberOne
 @ColleenLindsay Worst queries I ever received as an agent always started with "I've just finished writing my NaNoWriMo novel and...
@ElanaRoth Oh #NaNoWriMo...how you vex me. I do not look forward to the crappy, unedited manuscripts that will soon clutter my inbox in December.

@ktubb NaNo! So who's hit 50,000 already? #theresalwayssomeone *knife eyes*

SCBWI TEAM BLOG Pre-conference Interview: Jane Yolen

Martha Brockenbrough offers the first in our series of SCBWI TEAM BLOG pre-conference faculty interviews starting us out with the terrific Jane Yolen!

Here's a bit from Martha's interview with Jane (in which, Martha says, "she debuts the new BIC.")

Without the mighty badge of the SCBWI national blog team to hide behind, I'd never have the guts to approach Jane Yolen for an interview.

She's Jane Yolen! Author of more than 300 books! A Caldecott Medalist and Golden Kite winner! Likened unto Hans Christian Anderson! Also, as far as I can tell, she is bionic. There is otherwise no way to explain how she writes so many fabulous books.

You might already know these things about Jane, though.

But did you know that she coined the acronym B.I.C. for "butt in chair"? Did you further know she was the second author ever to join the SCBWI? And that she was the organization's first regional adviser? She founded and for a decade ran the New England region.

Click here to read the full interview with Jane Yolen.

Click here to register for the Annual Winter Conference and see Jane--and a number of other equally wonderful faculty--in person.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Serendipity Literary's YA Novel Discovery Contest

In honor of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), Regina Brooks, agent, founder of Serendipity Literary Agency, and author of WRITING GREAT BOOK FOR YOUNG ADULTS, is offering a contest for YA novelists--and no pitch or query is necessary. Instead, says Regina, "this contest is meant to encourage the aspiring YA author to get started on that novel by offering an incentive for completing the first 250 words."

Here are details:
  • The top 20 submissions will all be read by a panel of five judges comprised of top YA editors (see below). 
  • Of the 20, judges will choose the top five submissions and provide each author with commentary. 
  • These five winners will also receive a free one-year subscription to THE WRITER magazine. 
  • ONE Grand Prize Winner will win a full manuscript reading and editorial consultation from Regina Brooks and free 10-week writing course courtesy of the Gotham Writer’s Workshop
  • The first 100 writers to enter will receive free autographed copies of WRITING GREAT BOOK FOR YOUNG ADULTS

Entries via website only.
(click here for the form)
The deadline is November 30th.

Judges (in addition to Regina Brooks):
  • Nancy Mercado, Executive Editor at Roaring Brook Press
  • Nicole Raymond, Editor at Candlewick
  • Cheryl Klein, Senior Editor at Arthur Levine Books
  • Leila Sales, Editor Viking
  • Evette Porter, Editor at Harlequin
  • Leah Hultenschmidt, Executive Editor at Sourcebooks
This is a great opportunity to get your work seen by some wonderful editors and a top agent--and win some great prizes. To learn more about Regina Brooks and Serendipity Lit, check out the website. For more information on the contest, click here.