Wednesday, April 1, 2020

SCBWI Digital Workshops Start Tomorrow with Kate Messner sharing "Big Picture Revision for Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels"



SCBWI is offering members a series of no-charge digital workshops to support our members during this time.

Starting April 2, SCBWI will provide weekly on-hour webinars with renowned children's book creators, editors, agents, and art directors. The events will take place live via Zoom and are free of charge for any SCBWI member anywhere in the world. If you can't attend live (or if it fills up), a video recording of each workshop will be available on the SCBWI web site for one month afterward.

Workshop #1 is tomorrow, Thursday, April 2, 2020 from 1pm-2pm Pacific
Kate Messner, Author
BIG PICTURE REVISION FOR MIDDLE GRADE AND YOUNG ADULT NOVELS

Workshop #2 will be Thursday, April 9, 2020 from 1pm-2pm Pacific
Sara Sargent, Senior Executive Editor, Random House Children's Books
OUTSTANDING OPENERS: HOW TO GRAB YOUR READERS RIGHT FROM THE START

Workshop #3 will be Thursday April 16, 2020 from 1pm-2pm Pacific
Henry Winkler, Author and Actor
Lin Oliver, Author
HOW WE WRITE CHILDREN'S BOOKS AND WHY

Workshop #4 will be Thursday, April 23, 2020 from 1pm-2pm Pacific
Jennifer Vassel, Author
BOOK MARKETING 101: HOW TO BE YOUR OWN PUBLICIST

Workshop ##5 will be Thursday, April 30, 2020 from 1pm-2pm
Kait Feldmann, Editor, Scholastic
PAGE BY PAGE: BREAKING DOWN PICTURE BOOK PAGINATION

Workshop #6 will be Thursday, May 7, 2020 from 1pm-2pm Pacific
Laurent Linn, Art Director, Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Cecilia Yung, Art Director and Vice President, Penguin Books for Young Readers
TWO ART DIRECTORS TALKING: THE THEATRE OF PICTURE BOOKS - THE ART OF BRINGING VISUAL ELEMENTS TOGETHER FOR STORYTELLING

Workshop #7 will be Thursday, May 14, 2020 from 1pm-2pm Pacific
Linda Sue Park, Author
USING SCENE TO BUILD STORY

Workshop #8 will be Thursday, May 21, 2020 from 1pm-2pm Pacific
Marietta Zacker, Co-Owner and Agents, Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency
A CREATIVE LOOK AT THE STATE OF CHILDREN'S/YA BOOKS

Registration opens for each workshop the Monday before, and is limited to the first 1,000 members to sign up.

We hope to see you there, and stay safe!

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Listen to the Latest SCBWI Podcast - A Conversation with M.T. Anderson



New York Times bestselling author and winner of the National Book Award M. T. Anderson speaks with Theo Baker about history and time, experimentation, and literature. They also discuss research and switching between multiple projects. Listen to the episode trailer here.

Current SCBWI members can listen to the full episode here (log in first).

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Thursday, March 26, 2020

SCBWI Connects - SCBWI Offers a Digital Directory for Remote Learning Resources



So many creators of children’s books have risen to the call for help from teachers and parents during the COVID-19 crisis by creating online materials that will entertain, instruct, and inspire children and young people. Some are reading their books and discussing them. Some have created mini-lessons on art or history or craft projects. Some are doing the equivalent of a school visit with a presentation and slide show.

Click here to explore the entries in these categories: activities; art lessons; audiobooks & ebooks; bilingual; book readings; emotional & mental wellbeing; podcasts; teaching guides; and visits & workshops.

Illustrate and Write On – and Stay Safe,
Lee

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems - A Video Series From the Kennedy Center Education Artist-In-Residence

"You might be isolated, but you’re not alone. You are an art maker. Let’s make some together." —Mo Willems
I love this so much! Check out the Mo Willems "Lunch Doodles" videos, part of his Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence experience.




The questions and answers are really interesting, and there's lots of wisdom shared amid the art and games. Like,

"Any story I write is a question I don't yet know the answer to."

The animation project in episode 3 (at about 15 minutes in) is very cool.

These videos are a great way to engage with young readers. And for us adult creators of content for kids, it's a fun way to hang out and learn from this master of storytelling and visuals.

Stay safe, and illustrate and write on,
Lee

p.s. - thanks to Karin for the heads-up on these videos!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Sharing Our Notebooks - Inspiration for Starting (Or Improving) Your Own


Author and Poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's Sharing Our Notebooks blog offers inspiration...
Hi Writers! I know that some of you are home from school these days, and I hope you will find some new notebooking ideas here. I love keeping a notebook for writing, for drawing, for making a place for ideas and dreams and wishes and facts and feelings. This blog is home to many peeks into others' notebooks, and in each post you will find photos, notebooking-thoughts, and an idea to try. Feel free to poke around, notebook by your side, and explore your own brain and heart. Sometimes we don't know what we really think until we write.

Check out the many, many different approachese to starting or improving your own notebooking. (I call mine a journal.)

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

p.s.: Thanks to Kate Messner and her excellent round-up of resources, Read, Wonder, and Learn, for sharing this.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Kate Messner Organizes Online Resources From Authors and Illustrators "For Learning Anywhere" this Spring 2020



As cited in this Publishers Weekly article,

Kate Messner, author of the recently published Chirp (Bloomsbury), usually maintains a busy touring schedule, but with impending school closures, the author took to her website to create a resource page for children to access from home. Using social media, she recruited other authors to contribute to the archive. The page now includes more than two dozen links and videos of readings by authors including Tracey Baptiste, Debbi Michiko Florence, Nikki Grimes, Grace Lin, and Jason Reynolds.
And here's that resource.

As Kate writes, it's

"...a growing collection of resources that include everything from first-chapter and picture book read-alouds (shared with permission from publishers!) to drawing and writing mini-lessons. Be sure to check back often, as new resources will be added every day. As Kate writes, it's

Wash your hands, stay healthy, and enjoy these resources as we take care of one another this spring!"

This a great example of giving and helping in a time of high stress for all -- especially for young people.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Thursday, March 12, 2020

The Brown Bookshelf Celebrated 28 Black Children’s Book Creators!

From Day 1's celebration of Siman Nuurali



 through Day 28's celebration of Shauntay Grant,



there are so many Black Children's Book Creators—and their books!—to discover or be reminded of anew.

See the full list (with links) at the launch post of 28 Days Later Honorees here: https://thebrownbookshelf.com/2020/01/24/announcing-the-13th-class-of-28-days-later-honorees/

And don't miss the leap year treat of Day 29, which celebrates the work of the family of people behind The Brown Bookshelf!

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

26 Authors Share Self-Publishing Wisdom, compiled by BookBub



There's lots of gems in this image-friendly selection of quotes and advice, How to Self-Publish a Book: Tips from Indie Authors, including:

ON SETTING A TARGET AUDIENCE...
"Write the book for one person...Hit a home run with one person and there will be thousands more just like them who will also love your work." —Ernest Dempsey, The Napoleon Affair.

ON PUBLISHING POLISHED WORK
"The absolute best advice I ever received was not to rush to publication, hire top-of-the-line editors, and get more than one proofreader. We have one chance to hook readers, and presentation matters as much as content." —Melissa Foster, This is Love

ON PUBLISHING PRINT EDITIONS
"My tip is to make the editions look like one published by the big five traditional publishers." —Ty Patterson, The Warrior Series

The full post is well-worth reading.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Thursday, March 5, 2020

"Do You Want To Create A Picture Book?" - A Panel Discussion with Nate Williams, James Yang, Giuseppe Catellano, Jim Hoover, and Kirsten Hall

"Picture books are kind of like the guitar solo for illustrators."

With those words of inspiration (or maybe challenge), author and illustrator Nate Williams kicked off this panel discussion at the Society of Illustrators. In this video recorded on February 10, 2015, Nate outlines his creative process—from ideation to publishing. He is joined by James Yang (Author/Illustrator http://www.jamesyang.com), Giuseppe Catsellano (at the time an Art Director, Penguin Young Readers Group http://twitter.com/pinocastellano), Jim Hoover (Associate Art director, Viking Books), and Kirsten Hall (Agent/Producer http://catbirdagency.com/).


As shared on the Society of Illustrators video archive.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Latinx in Publishing Launches their Writers Mentorship Program

The Latinx in Publishing Writers Mentorship Program is a volunteer-based initiative that offers the opportunity for unpublished and/or unagented writers who identify as Latinx (mentees) to strengthen their craft, gain first-hand industry knowledge, and expand their professional connections through work with experienced published authors (mentors).




As announced in Publishers Weekly, "The first group of mentors for the program, which began on February 1 of this year and is slated to run through October 31, is comprised of 11 authors: Monica Brown, author of Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos; Paola Capó-García, author of Clap for Me That’s Not Me; Katrina Carrasco, author of The Best Bad Things; Lulu Delacre, three-time Pura Belpré Award Honoree and author/illustrator of Luci Soars; Christina Diaz Gonzalez, author of The Red Umbrella; Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, author of Children of the Land: A Memoir; Gabino Iglesias, author of Coyote Songs; Toni Margarita Plummer, author of The Bolero of Andi Rowe; Ruben Quesada, poetry editor at AGNI and author of Revelations; Sabrina Sol, author of Delicious Temptation; and Francisco X. Stork, author of Disappeared. The 2020 class of mentees are: Julianne Aguilar, Gustavo A. Barahona-López, Camille Corbett, Yesenia Flores Diaz, Brigid Martin, Aline Mello, Brenda Miller, Ofelia Montelongo, Jordan Pérez, Angela Pico, and Andrew Siañez-De La O." 

Carolina Ortiz, the program's codirector, said:
“It is our goal to bridge the gap and help new rising Latinx voices find the support they need within their own community by connecting them with published Latinx authors, who will be the people best equipped to understand their stories and perspectives.”
Learn more at the Latinx in Pubishing website here.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Listen to the Latest SCBWI Podcast - A Conversation With Juana Martinez-Neal



“In 2012, Juana Martinez-Neal won the Portfolio Showcase Grand Prize at the SCBWI Los Angeles conference. Today, she is a multi-award winning author/illustrator. Alma and How She Got Her Name” (Candlewick Press) was her debut picture book as an author-illustrator, and was recently awarded the 2019 Caldecott Honor!



Juana illustrated “La Princesa and the Pea” (written by Susan M. Elya, Putnam/Penguin), winner of the 2018 Pura Belpré Medal for Illustration, and “Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story” (written by Kevin Noble Maillard, Roaring Brook Press), winner of the 2020 Robert F. Sibert Medal.

In this exclusive conversation with Theo Baker, Juana shares about her childhood in Peru, her path to children's books, the many media she's worked with to create her illustrations, and balancing family responsibilities with creative time.

Listen to the episode trailer here.

Current SCBWI members can listen to the full episode here (log in first).

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Don Tate on Writing Nonfiction Picture Books at Nonfiction Chicks Present: Nonfiction Fest

This excellent interview with author/illustrator Don Tate, Questions I'm Frequently Asked About Writing Nonfiction for Children, covers a lot of important ground.



 Highlights:
What is the biggest obstacle you face in writing a biography?

Creating a story. A biography isn’t a chronological list of milestones. That’s a timeline, it goes in the back matter. For me, a biography is story with a beginning, middle, and an end. A biography has a scene-to-scene plot with rising and falling action. A good biography demonstrates change in the character from beginning to end. But researching a person's life doesn’t fall so easily into my criteria. Therein lies the obstacle.
and
Many of your stories deal with hard, painful truths about U.S. history. How do you tell these stories and make them appropriate for children?

Hansel and Gretel is the story of two young kids who are kidnapped by a cannibalistic witch. They are threatened to get baked in an oven. The story of Hansel and Gretel is a fairy tale; it’s not nonfiction, obviously. But for generations, it was a popular story for young readers. Children are tough. They can handle tough stories. I don’t think it’s a good idea to hide our tough history from children. The enslavement of Black people was an inhumane institution that existed lawfully in the U.S. at one time. That’s an ugly truth. It should not be sugar-coated or erased. Children are our future, and they need to know what happened in the past in order to prevent bad things from happening again. That said, there are certainly things within the topic of slavery that I cannot address in a children’s book. My stories serve as an entryway to discussion.
Read the full interview here.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Do You Know About the "Edited By?" SCBWI Member Benefit?

As a benefit of SCBWI membership, SCBWI offers a publication called "Edited By" that lists editors and what they have recently acquired.

The title page of "Edited By"


Compiled by Deborah Halverson, the idea is that,
Each year, the SCBWI surveys publishers and editors for lists of up to seven books acquired or edited recently. It is our hope that this publication will be a useful tool in targeting your manuscript submissions. By providing you with information about each publisher/editor’s tastes and acquisition decisions, this document can help you determine where to submit your manuscripts and/or illustrations.

It's page 99 of The Book: Essential Guide to Publishing for Children, which you can access by signing into your SCBWI profile and looking under publications. The direct url is: https://www.scbwi.org/online-resources/the-book/

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

How Children's Content Creators Can Help Indie Bookstores (And Our Careers, too)

In this February 2020 Forbes article, How Indie Bookstores Beat Amazon At The Bookselling Game: Lessons Here For Every Retailer, Pamela N. Danziger argues that community, curation, and convening are three superpowers Indie Bookstores can use to succeed.



It's worth asking ourselves, as writers and illustrators, how can we leverage those same three "Cs"?

How can we build community (online, with our works, and in person)?

How can we curate content (and maybe have our books included in that curated content)?

And how can we convene - bring together - folks interested in our content?

Doing so could build synergy towards success with our audiences, indie bookstores, and our own books.

Read the full article on Forbes.com here.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Highlights from #NY20SCBWI

Lin welcomes attendees to the 2020 SCBWI Winter Conference


I've found I can always afford fifteen minutes of idea chasing." -Kate Messner

"I have no speical talents. I am only passionately curious." - Albert Einstein, shared by Kate Messner

Jerry Pinkney's illustration (pun intended) of how the illustrator is the "interpreter of text," working out things the illustrator wants to work out.

On evaluating a work that's been submitted, agent Patrice Caldwell asking, "What's going to make them put down their phone and read a book?"

Agent Marietta Zacker, on her evaluation process: "1) Do I love it? 2) Can I think of specific editors who would love it, too?" 3) What does it need to get it ready? "I look for things that people can't not do."

Editor Connie Hsu on her own evaluation process, that after voice, "I wonder what reason is for the book to be."

"You have to decide what kind of legacy you want to leave. I want my books to say something." –Derrick Barnes.


Read more about the conference at the Official SCBWI Conference Blog here.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

#NY20SCBWI - The 2020 SCBWI Winter Conference - Starts Tomorrow!



All the excitement of the Golden Kite Awards, the portfolio show, the keynotes, the panels, the business, the inspiration, the craft, the community, and the opportunity of the SCBWI Winter Conference is being blogged over at the SCBWI Conference Blog.

Just us there!

And we invite you to follow and use the #NY20SCBWI hashtag online.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Lee & Low's Diversity In Publishing 2019 Baseline Survey Results are Released

"Where is the Diversity in Publishing?" Four years after their first (and groundbreaking) survey of the publishing industry to get some solid numbers to be able to quantify and track diversity status, efforts, and progress, the 2019 survey results have been released.


Looking at race, gender, orientation, and disability, this time around the survey included literary agents and university presses, and overall had a lot more participation ("In 2015, there were 3,706 responses to the survey. In 2019, we received 7,893 responses.")

While the change in terms of diversity in publishing was not "compelling" or statistically significant, there were some bright spots of progress, (i.e, intern populations are much more diverse than publishing in general) but clearly our industry can do more and better.

The full article on the results (and the rest of the slides) are well-worth checking out!

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Thursday, January 30, 2020

The 2020 SCBWI Golden Kite Award and Sid Fleischman Award Winners

The Golden Kite and Sid Fleischman Awards will be presented during the Golden Kite Gala at the New York Winter Conference on Friday, February 7 at 7pm at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Special guest speaker James Patterson will deliver the keynote address.



SCBWI Executive Director Lin Oliver said of the award,

“The SCBWI is happy to honor writers and illustrators who achieve excellence in their work, and this year, to be able to offer financial awards to both the recipients and the charitable organizations of their choice. It was an extremely large and competitive field, and we thank our renowned panel of judges for working so hard to make these worthy selections.”


THIS YEAR'S GOLDEN KITE AWARD WINNERS ARE...

Young Reader and Middle Grade Fiction: Padma Venkatraman – The Bridge Home (Nancy Paulsen Books)



Four homeless children struggle to create a home under a bridge in Chennai, India.

Young Adult Fiction: Julie Berry – Lovely War (Viking Books for Young Readers)



The goddess Aphrodite narrates the tale of four lovers caught in the sweep of World War I.

Non-Fiction for Younger Readers: Elizabeth Rusch – Mario and the Hole in the Sky: How a Chemist Saved Our Planet, illustrated by Teresa Martinez (Charlesbridge)



The true story of how a Mexican American chemist solved the ozone crisis of the 1980s.

Non-Fiction for Older Readers: Deborah Heiligman – Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of “The Children’s Ship” (Henry Holt)



Explores the tragic sinking of the SS City of Benares, an English passenger ship of children fleeing Work War II.

Picture Book Illustration: Hyewon Yum – Clever Little Witch, written by Muon Thị Van (Margaret K. McElderry Books)



Young witch Little Linh contends with a new baby brother in a sweet story paired with lively, colorful illustrations.

Picture Book Text: Ashley Benham Yazdani – A Green Place to Be: The Creation of Central Park (Candlewick)



Depicts New York City’s “vibrant jewel” from its birth in 1858 to its role as a social and environmental landmark today.

Sid Fleischman Humor Award Winner: Remy Lai – Pie in the Sky (Henry Holt)



When Jingwen’s life is turned upside down after moving to Australia, where everyone speaks an “alien language”, he finds laughter and the meaning of home in the kitchen with his brother.

THE GOLDEN KITE HONOR BOOKS ARE...

 Young Reader and Middle Grade Fiction: Remy Lai – Pie in the Sky (Henry Holt)

Young Adult Fiction: Elizabeth Acevedo – With the Fire on High (HarperTeen)

Non-Fiction for Young Readers: Curtis Manley – Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet, illustrated by Jessica Lanan (Roaring Brook Press)

Non-Fiction for Older Readers: Ian Lendler – The First Dinosaur: How Science Solved the Greatest Mystery on Earth, illustrated by C.M. Butzer (Margaret K. McElderry Books)

Picture Book Text: Kwame Alexander – The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson (Versify)

Picture Book Illustration: Frank Morrison – The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop, written by Carole Boston Weatherford (little bee books)

Congratulations to all! Read the full press release from SCBWI here.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Listen to the Latest SCBWI Podcast Now: A Conversation with Denene Millner



Denene Millner is the editor of Denene Millner Books at Simon & Schuster and a bestselling author herself. She speaks with Theo Baker about her own writing, her career path, and what her eponymous children’s book imprint is all about.

Listen to the episode trailer here.

Current SCBWI members can listen to the full episode here (log in first).

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Layering Powerful Voice to Create Memorable Characters - A Margot Finke "Musing" from Harold Underdown's Online Archives



This article, Layering Powerful Voice to Create Memorable Characters, while written back in 2005, remains evergreen.

"...how do you give several assorted characters, plus your main POV, powerful voices? Think of an onion. I'm serious! There are layers of skin to peel before you get to the good stuff in the middle of that onion. Building your character's voice uses the same technique; only this time you layer from the inside out. And the layers need to come in snippets – a fact here, a whisper or an overheard phone conversation there. Please, no dumping large chunks of informational text. Focus on blending in, little by little, the many physical and emotional layers that reveal each character's voice. Memorable characters are steeped in complexity and detail. Their layers are many and varied. Begin the layering process on the first page."
And then Margot lists a dozen "how-to" suggestions, including

"Use comments from other characters to describe or praise or criticize your main POV character" 

and

"Allow your main character some weakness he can either outgrow or overcome as the story progresses. No one is perfect. Kids know this - they sure aren't. Your reader wants to root for a character they can identify with."

It's an excellent piece, and well-worth reading.

I found this at Harold Underdown's Writing, Illustrating, and Publishing Children's Books: The Purple Crayon website. It's packed with resources and great information.





Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

SCBWI Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia with Washington D.C. & Virginia's Read Local Challenge - Innovations in Book Marketing

With posters and taglines like:

What if you discovered that your favorite author also liked to hang out at your favorite frozen yogurt shop?

SCBWI Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia with Washington D.C. & Virginia are sponsoring a "Read Local Challenge."



A multi-faceted campaign that includes read local parties, discounts on speaker fees, and "Read Local" Kits with prizes and signed books, it promotes 17 picture books and their creators, 11 middle grade books and their creators, and 10 young adult books and their creators.


Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Ellen Meeropol's ARC tour: Innovations in Book Marketing

Reported by Robert Gray in Shelf Awareness, the road trip that Ellen Meeropol took with a car full of ARCs, visiting "58 indie bookstores in 15 days" is remarkable.

A screen shot of the Shelf Awareness article, including a photo of Ellen by her car, which featured signage about her upcoming book release.

While not done for a children's book, the idea is replicable. (Ellen credits the idea to her friend and fellow Red Hen Press author Cai Emmons, who made a similar indie pilgrimage for her novel.)

As Ellen put it,

"So what was I doing in October and November was driving around New England with ARCs and chocolate bars covered in the image of the book jacket, visiting indie bookstores? The plan was to personally introduce my new novel to booksellers, store owners and fiction buyers. I asked them to take look at my novel, to consider stocking it, making an IndieNext nomination, recommending it to book groups and handselling it to customers."

And that personal touch seems impactful — Ellen's a former bookseller herself, so her strategy was thoughtful (and included chocolate.)
"I didn't use a standard pitch. When I handed them the ARC, most booksellers immediately turned to the back and read the short description and the blurbs. I followed their lead, about offering more information or not. Often our conversations were more about bookselling and our favorite current reads than about my book."
The result? When asked, Ellen answered,
"What difference will it make to my novel? I don't know. But in these days of increasing grassroots book promotion, I'm happy to have driven those roads, visited those stores, and met those booksellers."
The article about Ellen's ARC tour of indie bookstores is well worth-reading.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

David Mackintosh's top 10 illustration and design tips for picture books - via The Guardian

David Mackintosh's top 10 illustration and design tips was published a few years ago, but the tips are solid, 'evergreen', and well worth considering.



 Here's just two that really resonated:
Tip 1 – How to keep ideas: If I think of something for a book, I'll write it in a notebook. It could be a title I like, or something I overheard on the tube or just an idea that I can build a story around. Often I just carry a story about in my head for ages, working on it in there until I sit down at the laptop or with a pencil to get it going. I find it quicker to play with the ideas using a pencil on paper, than typing on my laptop (see Tip 3).
and
Tip 5 – Turn up the contrast: A busy page with a lot of words on it followed by a page with a tiny ant on it and no words can be very dramatic. Contrast makes things interesting and avoids it being repetitive. Also, a page without text can really create atmosphere. It places all the emphasis upon the picture and the reader is on their own with the information they're getting from that picture. It's very effective and can be used to alter rhythm and pace in the story in different ways. A bit like music in a film.
Read the full piece here. 

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Thursday, January 9, 2020

#AuthorsforFireys Auctions to Support Australian Firefighters

The Australian wildfires are all over the news. As The Guardian reported earlier today, "Bushfires have swept large parts of Australia since October, leaving more than 23 people dead, destroying thousands of homes and devastating wildlife – 1 billion animals have been killed."

In the midst of this terrible news there's something good happening, powered by the writing and illustrating community... and it's on Twitter.



As the Authors for Fireys website explains, it's a decentralized
"Twitter auction channelling funds directly to our brave Australian firefighters."
How it works:
"Creators run their own individual auction / tweet under the hashtag. Twitter users scroll through the auction items under the hashtag and reply to the items to make their bids. Make your bids on the original item thread only. (ie. If you see an item quote-tweeted, do not bid there.) TOP TIP: open up the thread under the item to see what others are bidding"
You can find the full guide to the auction here.

The auction started on Monday 6th Jan 2020 and ends at 11pm Sydney/Melbourne time on Saturday 11th Jan 2020.

Jump over to Twitter and search the hashtag:

#AuthorsforFireys

and

#AuthorsForFiries

I'm grateful for this moment of unity and goodness, across genre and category lines, and around the world, for our friends in Australia.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Do You Know About SCBWI Webinars?



Our friends at SCBWI Nevada host a listing of SCBWI regional chapter webinars that offer you a chance to take an online class with an expert and move your craft and business of children's publishing knowledge forward!

As they explain,
"SCBWI offers webinars across the regions in the US and abroad. This is a list of the webinars being provided by the various regions. All webinars are recorded, so that if you registered but didn’t see it live, you can watch it in the recorded form. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re not able to make it to the live event; however, how long the recording is available differs by event. Webinars are priced affordably so that you can all attend."
With upcoming webinars on world building, Amazon SEO, Scholastic Bookfairs, creating compelling characters, writing middle grade mysteries, putting together your illustrator portfolio, cutting your picture book text, and so many more, you can craft your own educational path!

Check out the full list here, and consider bookmarking the page so you can check back as new webinars are added.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Children's Authors Share Their Happy Surprises in Publishers Weekly

Here's the perfect start to 2020: Diane Roback at Publishers Weekly compiled this collection of brief stories, Children's Authors on Their Happy Surprises.



Read about Maggie Stiefvater's surprise with a compassionate, lying nun. Christian Robinson's school visit at the Atlanta School for the Deaf that inspired him to include a deaf child in his newest book. Ruta Sepetys receiving a case filled with her own family's hidden history.

There are more happy surprise stories, from Kate DiCamillo, Jerry Craft, Jon Scieszka, Patricia MacLachlan, Raina Telgemeier, Gary Schmidt, Laurie Halse Anderson, Roshani Chokshi, Cynthia Kadohata, Jason Reynolds, Barbara McClintock, Thanhhà Lai, Julie Murphy, Mark Teague, Chris Raschka, Ali Benjamin, and Raúl the Third.

It's such a fun – and inspiring – read!

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee