Thursday, November 26, 2020

Listen to the Latest SCBWI Podcast: A Conversation with Jerry Pinkney


The Multi-Award winning illustrator of over 100 picture books, Jerry Pinkney speaks with Theo Baker about his childhood, the challenges and triumphs of his artist journey, and much more!

Listen to the episode trailer here.

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

Illustrate and Write On,

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

NaNoWriMo Pep Talks (and a Shout Out to Kacen Callender)

Whether you're nearing your NaNoWriMo novel finish line, or if you're only just learning that "NaNoWriMo" stands for "National Novel Writing Month," they've lined up some encouraging "pep" talks for all of us writers.

Kacen Callender's is really poignant, speaking about their struggles with writing a YA fantasy novel. Posted on November 15, 2020, it is vulnerable and honest, a pep talk for both Kacen and all of us reading.


What's so cool is that only days later, Kacen won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature for King and the Dragonflies!

In their virtual acceptance speech (reported by Publishers Weekly), Kacen gave another kind of pep talk, saying,

"I know I'm not the only one who believes that these next generations are the ones that are meant to change everything," Callender said, upon accepting the award. "Young people already have changed the world in so many ways, and it is an honor and a privilege to be given a platform and the opportunity to help in their guidance through the power of story."

The power of story... that's inspirational!

Illustrate and Write On,

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Will the "Big Five" Become the "Big Four"?

As reported this week by Edmund Lee in The New York Times, among the top bidders for Simon & Schuster are:

"News Corp, which already owns HarperCollins," and 

"a leading bidder is Penguin Random House... the largest book publisher in the United States, [which] is owned by the German media giant Bertelsmann." 

Additionally, "The French firm Vivendi, a minority owner of Hachette through the publisher Lagardère, has also made a bid." 

It should all be settled (or not - if there's no deal) in the next few weeks. "Final bids are due before Thanksgiving, and ViacomCBS could announce a winner some time after that."

Ongoing consolidation affects the overall business - and is important to know about. You can read the full article here.

Illustrate and Write On,

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Celebrate World Kindness: The November Theme for the SCBWI Recommended Reading List 2020

Over 250 books from SCBWI PAL members ranging from YA, middle grade, graphic novels and picture books, have been submitted to take part in this member opportunity. Each month SCBWI will focus on a theme and curate the books to help parents, caregivers, librarians, booksellers – everyone who loves children’s books and YA – find the right one for them, their kids, or their customers.

November kicks off with the theme of World Kindness through books that focus on warm-hearted, humane, and sympathetic stories. Also, each month, SCBWI will feature an original illustration created by one of our talented illustrator members. Neha Rawat kicks things off with her wonderful artwork.

Check out the books on the SCBWI Recommended Reading List here.

Illustrate and Write On,

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Are You Aware of the Two Lawsuits the Authors Guild is Involved in?

This letter from Authors Guild president Douglas Preston explains the two lawsuits the Authors Guild is involved in, and how “the ‘information wants to be free’ philosophy is nothing more than a form of economic censorship. 

Here's an excerpt:
Both lawsuits, in different ways, fight back against a philosophy that arose alongside the internet, the idea that “information wants to be free.”

On its surface, this philosophy sounds appealing. If information is free and available to everyone, the argument goes, it will provide a huge benefit to society. The elitist gatekeepers who profit from selling information are pushed aside, and everyone — especially the disadvantaged and those from underserved and marginalized communities — will have free access to the same information as the wealthy and privileged.

But in reality, this idea simply offers a new route for the monetization of information, by taking income from authors and diverting it to internet companies in the form of advertising dollars derived from providing free information to users. “Free” content attracts users to the platforms, driving up the value of their advertising space. Piracy is the natural outcome of this philosophy. It is a major reason why authors have seen a collapse in their average income over the past 10 years, along with many other creators, such as musicians, songwriters, composers, photographers, playwrights, graphic designers, and small businesses and nonprofits that own copyrights. Since big tech companies fiercely protect their intellectual property, the “information wants to be free” philosophy in their hands is actually “information wants to be free (except mine).”
The full letter is well-worth reading, as the outcome of these lawsuits may effect our very livelihoods.

Illustrate and Write On,

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Reading Habits Of Generation Z (ages 5-25)

From the BookBaby Blog, theinfographic feature The Reading Habits Of Five Generations, was fascinating - especially in how Gen Z differs in reading from other generations. 


It's well-worth checking out the full information from Best By The Numbers here.

Illustrate and Write On,

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

SCBWI Offers More Than 35 Awards and Grants - Have You Looked To See What You Might Apply For?

The Golden Kite Awards may be the most recognizable, but there are so many more accolades and opportunities for SCBWI to recognize your excellent work!

There are awards and grants for pre-published writers, pre-published illustrators, published authors and illustrators, for translators - there are community grants, and grants for students, and a couple of partnered grants and awards as well!

Check out the full list here.

Illustrate and Write On, and Good Luck!

Check out the SCBWI Conference Blog for Live Updates from SCBWI & Smithsonian's Online Nonfiction Workshop!

This Friday Nov 6 and Saturday Nov 7, 2020, this Nonfiction conference promises a panel of editors, a panel of authors, five keynotes from acclaimed authors Kevin Noble Maillard, Elizabeth Partridge, and Carole Boston Weatherford, editor Emily Feinberg, and Eduardo Díaz (Director of the Smithsonian Latino Center), and much more!

To find out more and register, check out:

And bookmark the official SCBWI Conference Blog at:

Illustrate and Write On,