Thursday, October 16, 2014

The 2014 Crystal Kite Winners: ARMY CAMELS by Doris Fisher (SCBWI Texas: Houston)

This week's spotlight is on the 2014 Crystal Kite Award-winning ARMY CAMELS: TEXAS SHIPS OF THE DESERT by Doris Fisher!

Doris is from SCBWI Texas: Houston, and ARMY CAMELS won for the Texas and Oklahoma Division.

Award-winning Author Doris Fisher with her 2014 Crystal Kite-Winning picture book, ARMY CAMELS: TEXAS SHIPS OF THE DESERT

I contacted Doris to find out more...

Lee: Please tell us about your book!

Doris: Army Camels, Texas Ships of the Desert tells the amazing true Wild West tale of camels sailing to Texas to open up the west. They arrived right before the Civil War and were really wanted by then Senator Jefferson Davis! They sailed three months before walking down a gangplank when they landed in Indianola, Tx, now a ghost town!

Lee: What a cool piece of history! How long have you been involved with SCBWI, and can you share what you feel you've gained by being a member?

Doris: I have been a member since I started writing 15 years ago. I kept a list of conferences and workshops by SCBWI I've attended. So far I've gone to 45 venues to learn the craft of writing and of picture books.

Lee: Do you have any advice to share with other children's book writers and illustrators?

Doris: Keep writing and believing in your book manuscript. Go to critiques, conferences, dinners, and don't be shy about asking questions. My first book was rejected 25 times before finding it's permanent home! And I have all the rejection letters from the early 2000's. SCBWI folks are super nice! And remember, everyone was a beginner, once upon a time!

Thanks, Doris!

I also reached out to Vicky Sansum, Regional Advisor of SCBWI Texas: Houston, to learn more about their region and Doris' win. Here's what Vicky wrote:

We were thrilled when Doris won this year. She is in a critique group with Lynne Kelly who won the Crystal Kite last year for her book CHAINED. What a great example of why all writers need to be in a good critique group. Doris has been a long-time volunteer with our chapter. For ten years she was our "Door Prize Queen" for our conferences. She was great at securing all kinds of wonderful books for us to give away as door prizes at our events. Doris strongly believes in attending conferences and workshops where she keeps honing her craft and also networks like a pro. It's been through some of these networking opportunities that she has had publishing deals. Doris is generous with her time, knowledge and experience. We're lucky to have her in our chapter and are thrilled that she won the Crystal Kite this year, she certainly deserved it.

There are over 300 members in the Houston chapter. We have monthly meetings with a speaker; topics include writing all types of genres, illustration, how to market a book, social media, etc. We're lucky to have a lot of wonderful volunteers who help organize our events such as our annual conference which has 200 attendees. We also host smaller workshops and webinars that focus on a particular genre, market or skill. Our members range from those who are just starting their writing/illustrating careers to those who are multi-published. Those with years of experience are generous with sharing their knowledge by speaking at our meetings, workshops and through critique groups. We're fortunate to have a vibrant group of talented folks that make up our fabulous chapter. 

Thanks to both Doris and Vicky, and cheers to Vicky for ARMY CAMELS: TEXAS SHIPS OF THE DESERT winning the 2014 Crystal Kite Award!

You can learn more at Doris' website here.

And to find out more about SCBWI Texas: Houson, check out their regional site here.

Illustrate and Write On,

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