Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Deadline Is Approaching: It's Time to Submit Books for SCBWI's 2012 Golden Kite Awards!

The deadline to submit book for this year's Golden Kite Awards is December 16th--that's less than two month away. If you had a book published in 2011, here are a few great reasons to act now and get your book in the running...

Started in 1973, SCBWI offers the Golden Kites annually to recognize excellence in children’s book in for categories (Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Book Text and Picture Book Illustration).

Each winner receives $2,500 as well as an expense-paid trip to Los Angeles to attend the award ceremony at the Golden Kite Luncheon at SCBWI’s Summer Conference in August. (Word has it, the luncheon chicken is terrific.)

And (this is new!) Golden Kite winners also become lifetime members of SCBWI.

There are also four honor book recipients will also be named by the panel of judges which consists of children’s book writers and illustrators. Books can be nominated by individual or by publishers.

Pretty awesome, huh?

But there's more. This year for the first time, a commemorative poster with the winners was created and is being distributed to schools, libraries, bookstores and publishers. The poster for the 2011 Golden Kite Awards, below, features original art by last year’s winner, John Parra, and features cover images of the four 2011 Golden Kite winning books. Isn't it a beauty?

Click here for submission guidelines as well as lists of past winners.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

SCBWI's 2011 Sue Alexander Award Goes To...

Sue Alexander
Each year, SCBWI offers the Sue Alexander Award to the manuscript deemed most promising for publication, selected from the SCBWI Annual Summer Conference critique pool.

Industry professionals (editors, agents, authors) who critique the manuscript determine the finalists. Until her sudden death in July, 2008, Sue Alexander made the final selection. Now, a three-member panel from Sue’s writing group of 20 years decide on the winner.

This year's Sue Alexandar Award-winner is Marilyn Hilton for her middle-grade manuscript HOVER OVER ME.

In Hilton’s lovely, well-written manuscript, a girl who longs to believe in angels, “being in vital need of their assistance” endures bullying, wonders about her birth parents, makes an unexpected friend and tries to solve the mystery of the crime for which her missing brother has been falsely accused. Along the way, she learns something about the nature of angels. A sensitive voice, evocative detail, a rich sense of place, strong tension, intriguing characters with compelling problems and a satisfying theme all combine to make author Hilton’s manuscript a promising novel for middle-grade readers.
Award Winner Marilyn Hilto
Two runners-up were also named:
  • Pati Hailey for FINDING TRU 
  • Karen Bonner for WITCHING MOON.
Congratulations to Marilyn, Pati and Karen for their terrific work!

To learn more about the award and see a list of past winners, visit

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Contest for Picture Book Writers: The MeeGenius! Author Challenge 2011

The folks at MeeGenius!--a e-picture book app for young readers for iPhone, iPad, iTouch, Google TV, and the web--have just kicked off a contest.

Open to both aspiring and published authors, the MeeGenius! Author Challenge 2011 will award one winner $1500 and a publishing contract as well as offering a MeeGenius! library to the school of the winner's choice. Three runners-up will win $500 and publishing contract.

Submissions will be posted on the MeeGenius! website where visitors can vote on their favorites. The most popular picks become finalists.

The deadline for entry is November 1st and winners will be announced in March. For complete rules and guidelines, visit

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In the News This Week

On Fridays I've been sharing snippets of and links to news I've read during the last week that I found interesting, helpful, and/or fun.

 Going forward, I'm moving this feature to the weekend to work better with my now-more-full schedule.

This week's news includes a new Scholastic/Ruckus imprint, a children's publishing newsletter launch, iPad 3 news, an editorial against agent-publishers, online/app safety for kids, a new property for Penguin, and more. 

Scholastic, Ruckus Media Form New Digital/Print Imprint (PW)
Children's digital developer Ruckus Media is joining with Scholastic to create the Scholastic Ruckus imprint, a joint venture that will publish a wide range of children's and teen content across all platforms, from interactive content and transmedia projects to e-books, enhanced e-books and print. The first titles from the Scholastic Ruckus imprint will be released in 2012.   

Publishing Perspectives Launches Children’s Publishing Newsletter (GalleyCat)
Publishing Perspectives, the online industry news journal, has launched its first newsletter focused on children’s publishing.

When Will Your Local Borders Close? (GalleyCat)
Wondering when your local Borders will close?
Borders Group entered liquidation this summer, closing its remaining 399 stores and cutting around 10,700 employees. On the bookseller’s Facebook page, you can now see a list of the closure dates for your local Borders bookstore.

iPad 3 Rumored To Be Lighter And Pricier (eBookNewser) 
As Amazon is gearing up to announce a new tablet, Apple is already hard at work on the iPad 3. According to a report from Apple Insider, the third generation iPad will be slimmer and lighter, and possibly more expensive.

Apps, social networks pose new threat to kids (USA Today)
The Federal Trade Commission last month announced a $50,000 settlement with app maker W3 Innovations for collecting and dispersing information of kids under 13 in violation of the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act, or COPPA.

Links Shared On Twitter Last Half As Long As YouTube (AllTwitter)
The folks at, the popular URL shortener service, asked themselves just how long a link shared on a social network “lives”. And they found out that links shared on Twitter lasted only half as long as links shared on YouTube.

An Argument Against Agent-Publishers (PubPerspectives)
Nearly two thousand years ago, Plutarch wrote of a great ship that bore Theseus home from Crete. As its planks decayed, the plucky Athenians preserved it by replacing each rotting board in turn, until eventually nothing was left of the original vessel. Was it then the same ship? Plutarch asked. Or was it something wholly new?

Small Potatoes for Penguin (PW)
Penguin USA has acquired the license for Little Airplane Productions’ Small Potatoes, a preschool-targeted series of animated musical shorts. The series has taken off on Facebook and debuted on U.S. television September 6, on Disney Channel’s Disney Junior block. Penguin Young Readers Group’s Grosset & Dunlap division will publish a series of at least 10 books starting in early 2013, with Little Airplane handling the writing and design. The launch list will include a sticker book, an 8x8 and a board book.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Autumn: A Great Time for ConferenceTravel!

While the SCBWI Annual Summer and Winter Conferences are consistently fabulous, I must admit I always long for an equally awesome autumn event. I adore traveling this time of year. No sweaty luggage lugging. No stuffing winter coats in the overhead bin. Just bordering-on-brisk, leaves-ready-to-change, settling-into-your-airplane-seat-wrapped-in-a-cozy-sweater loveliness.

Fortunately I'm headed northwest next week, off to the KidLitosphere's 5th Annual KidLitCon held this year in Seattle September 16-17. Most of SCBWI TEAM BLOG will be there. And Scott Westerfeld. And lots of talk about promotion and blogging and social media and marketing and all sorts of useful things. If you aren't headed that way, I'll clue you into the action via my blog, Twitter (etc.).

If you've also got the fall travel bug, be sure to check out all the terrific upcoming regional SCBWI events. Some may involve a short drive and some a short plane ride. Either way, you can squeeze in a little writing/illustrating/publishing-related jaunt before the holidays:
Are you attending a fall conference or event (SCBWI or otherwise)? Share your destination in a comment and clue in others would-be travelers.