Thursday, July 29, 2021

The SCBWI 50th Anniversary Summer Conference Begins Online Tomorrow! (With Pre-Conference Intensives Today)


Inspiration, information, and expertise will be shared by over 100 conference faculty...

Check out the full schedule, and the list of faculty, here.

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

SCBWI Highlights Self-Published Member Titles in July

Each month, SCBWI features books written and illustrated by members. And every month “highlights a new theme that will foster discussions, activities, and enjoyment!” July's focus is self published titles in these categories:

Early/Leveled Readers
Graphic Novels
Picture Books
Chapter Books
Middle Grade
and Young Adult

Check out all the lists here.

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Wisdom from Uri Shulevitz

Uri Shulevitz is a Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator and author, and his "Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children's Books" is highly recommended - cited by more than ten authors and illustrators as an "Essential Reference Book on Writing and Illustrating for Children & Teens," an article I pulled together a few years ago for "SCBWI The Book."

Early in the "Writing with Pictures," Uri offers a number of illustrations in sequence to help us understand readability, pacing, progression, and so much more about how we read picture sequences. As he writes on page 29,

When the actor-stage relationship is clear, when the picture code is consistent, when the progression is appropriate to the action, the picture sequence will "speak" to the reader. The more clearly the picture sequence speaks, the more enjoyment the reader will be able to get from it. And giving a feeling of satisfaction is essential in children's books.

There's so much more... "Writing with Pictures" is certainly worth checking out from the library or grabbing a used copy for yourself.

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Looking for Inspiration for Instagram? BookBub Spotlights 9 YA Authors "Running Fantastic Book Promotions on Instagram"

As part of Shailee Shah's curated list of "25 Authors Running Fantastic Book Promotions on Instagram," there are spotlights on Elise Bryant, who offers "a behind-the-scenes look at her author life"; Tahereh Mafi who "shares blurb[s] and excerpts from her upcoming releases amidst stunning lifestyle posts"; Kalynn Bayron, who "gives her followers sneak peeks into the publishing process of her books"; and Ransom Riggs, who "regularly shares posts and old photographs surrounding the lore of his series" and uses Instagram Live events; and more...

Check out the full roundup here, and be inspired with what you can do!

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

Thursday, July 15, 2021

A Creative Prompt


It only looks like a blank page now. Give it 12 minutes...

For your writing/illustrating practice, if you're looking for a jump-start, consider:

What would you create if you could go back in time and give the picture book or middle grade or YA title you create to your younger self? What would have made an impact on you, then? What does that inspire you to create, now?

Start with 12 minutes brainstorming, or freewriting, or sketching, and see where it takes you.

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Are Enewsletters a New Literary Genre?

Molly Fischer, writing for The Cut, asks us to consider just that in The Sound of My Inbox.

a few highlights:

A newsletter reshapes a writer’s relationship to their readers. The first-person informality that has been present since the earliest days of web writing achieves its business apotheosis in the newsletter: from personal essay to personal brand.


Substack, crucially, made it easy to charge subscribers, then attracted further scrutiny by offering a handful of established writers six-figure advances. In late June, Facebook entered the fray with a newsletter service called Bulletin. Consumers of digital media now find themselves in a newsletter deluge.

Check out the full article here.

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

Thursday, July 8, 2021

People of Color in Publishing and Latinx in Publishing Release their "Publishing Racism Survey" (blog post 2 of 2)

If you haven't yet, you can download and read the full survey report from the People of Color in Publishing or Latinx in Publishing websites.

The Racism in Publishing report is packed with statistics and first-person accounts that everyone in the industry should read. It also includes two end sections: the first is "Take Action Now", the intro for which reads, in part:

Our recommendations below can be employed by everyone, but we wrote them specifically with our white colleagues in mind. One of the most frequently recurring comments in our survey was that the additional labor expected of BIPOC employees is not also expected of white employees. That needs to change.

If you are a white employee in publishing, please review the list below for ways to be an anti-racist accomplice. The recommendations in this list were provided by survey participants as well as members of the POC in Pub and Latinx in Pub planning committees.

And then there's a really helpful resource list, covering Organizations and Programs, Statistics, Books, Videos, and Articles. There's even a way to suggest additional resources you know about it they're not listed.

One of the many takeaways is that there's lots of ongoing work to dismantle racism in publishing – and the responsibility of that work is something all of us should take on – it should not be seen as something just BIPOC folks in the industry are responsible for. Happily, this report offers a lot of insight and resources for white folks in the industry “to be an anti-racist accomplice,” and a window into the realities of racism lived by our BIPOC colleagues.

And, to riff off the famous words of Rudine Sims Bishop, it offers a mirror to BIPOC folks in the industry, to know they're not alone in the racism they've experienced.

There's a vision here as well (maybe that's the sliding glass door) - and perhaps we can all walk through it as we do this important, ongoing work together. As the report advises its readers, 

Dismantling racism in publishing requires your conscious, active involvement for the rest of your career.

Get the full report at People of Color in Publishing or from Latinx in Publishing websites.

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

People of Color in Publishing and Latinx in Publishing Release their "Publishing Racism Survey" (blog post 1 of 2)

You can download the full survey report from the People of Color in Publishing or Latinx in Publishing websites.

From the introduction:

People of Color in Publishing and Latinx in Publishing are both grassroots organizations founded with the shared goal of uplifting racially marginalized people in publishing. In July of 2018, we conducted an anonymous survey gauging the extent to which BIPOC book publishing employees experienced racism in the workplace. 

We received over 200 submissions and more than 50,000 words in written responses from professionals who had worked in various departments at indie presses and the Big 5... we found that every single participant shared a specific experience of racism.

Racism is so socially normalized that, in some forms, it is not recognized as racism. Many participants prefaced their statements with a variation of "not sure if this counts" or "not sure if I'm being oversensitive.” A word to our participants and fellow BIPOC colleagues: Your words count. You are not being oversensitive. You are not alone.

To our white colleagues: read these words attentively and share them widely. We ask that you do not approach any of your BIPOC colleagues to discuss this information, but instead call on your white colleagues. We have included an Actionable Takeaways and Resources section and recommend creating your own living list as well...

The entire report is well-worth reading.

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Get Your Book Included In SCBWI's Shout Out to Member Titles Published Each Month! (Free for current members!)

Happy Book Birthday is an SCBWI program that invites all members to promote their newly published work (traditionally and independently published) in the same month the book is released. 

The graphic for June 2021 - click here to explore this selection of books published by SCBWI members last month

On the first day of each month, all submitted book covers will be displayed on the Happy Book Birthday page on and advertised through social media.

It's super easy to participate!

Just gather the following information:

1.) Book release date
2.) Title of book
3.) Name of author and/or illustrator
4.) Chapter Book, Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Nonfiction, Picture Book, or Young Adult?
5.) Image of book cover – jpg or png ONLY – no PDFs or Word docs
6.) Summary or statement about your book, 25 words or less
7.) Link to your book’s purchase page

And send it by the deadline to

Congratulations on getting your book published - now you have to let folks know about it, and this is one easy way to start!

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,