Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Have you self-published a children's or YA book? Hannah Holt is collecting survey data!

Once again, Hannah Holt is putting some real-world numbers to this writing and illustrating for children and teen career thing we're all doing. Her previous results were fascinating, and now, she's collecting data on self-published authors of children's and teen books.

You can take the anonymous survey here.

Thanks for participating, and thanks to Hannah for doing this work to help us all calibrate our vision of our career with the reality of what's happening for our peers. Why is this important? I strongly believe that:

An informed creator is an empowered creator.
You can find Hannah at her website and also on twitter.

Illustrate and Write On,

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The SCBWI Winter Conference in New York is only a week away!

The SCBWI 19th Annual Winter Conference is sold out, and whether you'll be attending or not, make sure to follow along on our SCBWI Conference Blog and on social media with the hashtag #NY18SCBWI!

SCBWI Team Blog will be covering the Golden Kite Awards, the keynotes (Dan Santat! Angie Thomas!), the panels (Agents - including Kirsten Hall, Erin Murphy, Molly O'Neill, Brooks Sherman, and Marietta Zacker, and Editors - including Caitlyn Dlouhy, Tiffany Liao, Daniel Nayeri, and Jill Santopolo), the Portolio Showcase, and so much more!

It's going to be amazing...

Illustrate and Write On!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The best response to rejection, courtesy of SCBWI board member, multi-award winner and best-selling author and poet Jane Yolen

Looking for some inspiration? Check out Jane's response to a recent rejection, as documented on her Facebook account:

Jane writes: "OUCH. Not a great start to the New Year: a rejection of five poems for an anthology. Hope it is an outlier and not a predictive model. So I sent out five more to a different journal."

Five poems rejected, five more sent out the SAME DAY.

There's a reason that Jane Yolen is the consummate pro that she is -- and that she's published over 350 books. She takes care of business, and also takes care of her creative self, keeping the fires of hope fed.

Work rejected? Send more work right out again, so there's always a sense of hope moving forward.

This is so wise, to not marinate in the NO, but put out for the MAYBE right away. And in this industry of writing and illustrating for children, that's probably the sanest (and best) way to get to the YESes that are waiting for each of us.

Thanks, Jane!

Illustrate and Write On... and keep submitting!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Listen to SCBWI's newest podcast: A Conversation with Raúl Colón

Raúl Colón is the award-winning illustrator of over 30 books for children. He has received the silver and gold medal in the original art show, a Pura Belpré Award, and the SCBWI Golden Kite Award!

In this two-part conversation with Theo Baker, Raúl discusses his inspirations and career journey, dives deep into his process and technique, explores the advantages of analog over digital methods of producing art, and offers his advice for illustrators who are still trying to find their own unique style. And much more!

Listen to the episode trailer here.

Current SCBWI members can listen to the full podcast here (log in first!)

Illustrate and Write On, 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The 2017 Golden Kite Award And Sid Fleischman Humor Award Winning Books!

This year, the awards will be presented at the sold-out 2018 SCBWI Winter Conference in New York.
Congratulations to all the winners!

Middle Grade Fiction: Jack Cheng - SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS (Dial Books/Penguin Random House)

 Non-Fiction for Older Readers: Deborah Heiligman - VINCENT AND THEO (Godwin Books/Henry Holt and Company)

Picture Book Nonfiction: Carole Boston Weatherford - SCHOMBURG: THE MAN WHO BUILT A LIBRARY (Candlewick Press)

 Picture Book Illustration: Kenard Pak - GOODBYE AUTUMN, HELLO WINTER (Henry Holt and Company) 

Picture Book Text: Carolyn Crimi - THERE MIGHT BE LOBSTERS (Candlewick Press)

Young Adult Fiction: Elana K. Arnold – WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF (Carolrhoda Lab)

Sid Fleischman Award Winner: Crystal Allen - THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS: THE WALL OF FAME GAME (Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins)

Congratulations as well to the creators of the Golden Kite honor books...

Middle Grade Fiction:
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – The War I Finally Won (Dial Books/Penguin Random House)
Ruth Freeman – One Good Thing About America (Holiday House)

Picture Book Text:
Carmen Agra Deedy- The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet (Scholastic Press/Scholastic, Inc.)

Picture Book Illustration:
LeUyen Pham – Fallingwater (Roaring Brook)

Young Adult Fiction:
Courtney Stevens – Dress Codes for Small Towns (Harper Teen/HarperCollins)  Liara Tamani – Calling My Name (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins)

Click here to find out more about the Golden Kite Awards and Sid Fleischman Humor Award.

Illustrate and Write On!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Literary Agent and V.P. Elizabeth Harding of Curtis Brown discusses the $3 Billion children's book business

From this interview with Valerie Peterson on the Balance, Elizabeth shares:

'Where the retail booksellers have been the primary market for adult books, for children's books, the school, and library markets have always been really important to sales — and there's been a recent resurgence there.
To give some historical perspective — 20 years ago the school and library market was very robust and, at the time, it was great if your children's book sold in bookstores, obviously, but it wasn't the focus.
Then Barnes and Noble and other superstores and Amazon came into the picture, and it became really important to be able to sell your books through those venues; a lot of weight was put on those sales. The focus shifted [from schools and libraries] to getting books onto the picture book wall at B&N. The children's market began to rely heavily on those retail sales — which hadn't traditionally been the case, and which was more in tune with how adult books were sold.
There still is a lot of weight put on those sales, but we're back to having the school library market being really critical.
It's well-worth reading the full interview (and I love the advice about befriending your local children's librarian!)

Illustrate and Write On,

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Start the new year with creative inspiration from Marla Frazee

This video short by Adam Goodwin about award-winning author illustrator Marla Frazee is lovely, full of wisdom and anecdotes and inspiration for starting this new year of creativity for us all...


Marla Frazee from Adam Goodwin on Vimeo.

Thanks, Marla, and thanks Adam!

Illustrate and Write On! 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Newbery-Winning Author Kwame Alexander on how giving back changed his world view

This moment, as told by Tamra Bolton at the Parade website, is full of lessons for us all. New York Times Bestselling and Award-Winning author Kwame Alexander helped create a library for children in a remote village in Ghana.

Kwame "had just released his newest book, Solo, about a young man, Blade Morrison, and his struggle to deal with his past and uncertain future. Morrison’s quest eventually takes him to Ghana where he finds his roots and begins to understand who he is and where he is going."

When Kwame visited the village to celebrate the library's opening, he found the building wasn't completed. There wasn't even a roof.

"Like in my book Solo, I came over here to help, but what I discovered is, I’d never asked the question, ‘Is this library important to you? Is this something you want?’ Their answer was, ‘We need a health clinic’. I thought, ‘Why not include a health clinic?’”

The lesson for all of us who want to help make our world a better place?

"I realized you cannot expect to teach a child to read if they are not well. You can’t go into a community and dictate what they need; you have to find out what they need." –Kwame Alexander

Read the full article here.

Illustrate and Write On,

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Aim High in 2018 - You and SCBWI's 25 Different Award and Grant Programs

SCBWI has awards and grants for Published Authors and Illustrators, for Writers, For Illustrators, for Students, and even a Community grant to help schools pay for an author/illustrator visit – there's so much opportunity!

For published authors and illustrators,

from the Book Launch Award ($2,000 to help the promotion of an author or illustrator's new published work) to the Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Grant (honoring the contribution of mid-list authors) to SCBWI's flagship Golden Kite Awards, and more...

For Writers,

from the Emerging Voices Award (to foster the emergence of diverse voices in children's books), to the Work-In-Progress Grants, to the Karen Cushman Late Bloomer Award (for a work-in-progress from an unpublished author over 50), and more...

For Illustrators,

from the Narrative Art Award (given annually to an illustrator of promise based on a given prompt),  to the Don Freeman Work-in-Progress Grant (to assist illustrators in the completion of a book dummy or portfolio), to the Portfolio Awards (given top the top portfolios submitted to the annual SCBWI Summer or Winter Conference), and more...

Check out all the grants and award opportunities here, pay attention to the submission deadlines, and put your work out there in 2018!

Good luck, and write and illustrate on!