Thursday, October 21, 2021

How Far Do You Read Into a Book to Decide if You'll Finish It (or Not)?

This piece in Shelf Awareness, Robert Gray: A Reader's Dilemma: To Resist, Finish, Adjourn or Abandon rounded up a bunch of different strategies.

The funniest? Librarian and author Nancy Pearl's "Revised 'Rule of 50'" that, Gray explains, was updated when Pearl was "In her 50s and 60s."

“I could no longer avoid the realization that, while the reading time remaining in my life was growing shorter, the world of books that I wanted to read was, if anything, growing larger.... When you are 51 years of age or older, subtract your age from 100, and the resulting number (which, of course, gets smaller every year) is the number of pages you should read before you can guiltlessly give up on a book. As the saying goes, 'Age has its privileges.' And the ultimate privilege of age, of course, is that when you turn 100, you are authorized (by the Rule of 50) to judge a book by its cover.”

The whole piece is fun... and interesting to consider. How far will you read before you decide to finish or not?

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

SCBWI's New Digital Workshop Series Starts October 21, 2021


A new series of SCBWI's free-for-members digital workshops are happening - and you can sign up for the first now

On October 21, 2021 at 1pm Pacific, Author Laura Taylor Namey presents "Come Create... Strong Emotional Relationships Between Your YA Characters."

On October 28, 2021 at 1pm Pacific, Author Debbi Michiko Florence presents "Come Create... Fully Developed Characters."

On November 4, 2021 at 1pm Pacific, Illustrator Joe Cepeda presents "Come Create... Illustration Spreads: From Manuscript to Thumbnails."

On November 11, 2021 at 1pm Pacific, Author Bruce Hale presents "Come Create... Powerful Pro Presentations."

On November 18, 2021 at 1pm Pacific, Author Tiffany D. Jackson presents "Come Create... Page Turning Plots."

and On December 2, 2021 at 1pm Pacific, Illustrator LeUyen Pham presents "Come Create... and Design Characters."

Get all the details, and register for the next one, here.

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Leila Hirschfeld over at BookBub rounds up "15 Ways Authors Support Each Other on Social Media"

“Inspired by how authors have stepped up to build community and spotlight their fellow writers work," Leila Hirschfeld put together this BookBub Partners post, 15 Ways Authors Support Each Other on Social Media. It has lots of examples and ideas, including:

#1 Host book clubs featuring other authors’ titles

#7 Signal boost debut authors and encourage others to do the same


#10 Run giveaways of fellow authors’ books

How many are you currently doing? See any new ones to add to what you already do to support your fellow kid lit creators?

Read the full piece here.

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Nyle Vialet Urges us to "Stand Up to Censorship in Schools"

In this Publishers Weekly piece, Stand Up to Censorship in Schools, Nyle Vialet, editorial project manager at Wise Ink Creative Publishing, considers the recent controversy of a Pennsylvania school district banning books that “are about, or written by, people of color.”

Nyle goes on to say,

“Banning books and resources that are connected to people of color and racism not only ensures the embedding of white-centric thinking in a new generation of children, but it ensures censorship of minority stories and voices.”


“It has been hard work to get to the point where minorities can see, read, and hear stories from people of color, and attempts to silence these voices should not be taken lightly.”


“Make no mistake: books are power, and this ban is a fight over who gets to hold it.”

It's an excellent article. Read it in full here.

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Eugene Yelchin on Writing a Memoir

Mulit-award winning author/illustrator Eugene Yelchin shares about his new middle grade memoir, The Genius Under the Table: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain in this Publishers Weekly profile: Four Questions for Eugene Yelchin.

Here's just a taste:

PW: How was the process of writing directly from your life different from writing fiction?

Eugene: It was easier because I knew the story before I began writing! I knew how things came out. But there was no plot, so I had to impose a plot on my memories. I had to organize real events into cause and effect to make the memoir read like a story. That’s the only way to tell a story: something happened so something else happened. My early drafts were hundreds of pages long and included everything I thought was interesting, things my brother thought were interesting, things my wife thought were interesting. But I had to leave a lot of those things out because they didn’t fit into the cause-and-effect structure.

Also, when I work on a character, I try to be extra careful not to confuse what the character wants and what the character needs. Most of us know what we want, but rarely know or understand what we need. Yevgeny wants to uncover his family’s secrets and his country’s secrets, but he’s too polite, too well-behaved to demand truthful answers. He lacks the courage to fully confront the adults in his life. Instead he attempts to piece together his small discoveries like a puzzle. Only by the end of the book does he mature enough to demand answers.

It's a fascinating interview – read it in full here.

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Putting Translator Names on Book Covers - Is a Change Coming? #TranslatorsOnTheCover

Our friends at the UK's Society of Authors (as well as the US' Authors Guild) are asking authors to sign an open letter, aimed at changing how Translators are credited in publishing. 

Penned by Jennifer Croft (translator of Olga Tokarczuk’s International Booker Prize-winning Flights) and Mark Haddon (author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), the letter reads:

For too long, we’ve taken translators for granted. It is thanks to translators that we have access to world literatures past and present.

It is thanks to translators that we are not merely isolated islands of readers and writers talking amongst ourselves, hearing only ourselves.

Translators are the life-blood of both the literary world and the book trade which sustains it. They should be properly recognised, celebrated and rewarded for this. The first step towards doing this seems an obvious one. From now on we will be asking, in our contracts and communications, that our publishers ensure, whenever our work is translated, that the name of the translator appears on the front cover.

And, it's something to consider asking for in your contracts as well.

This was also covered by BBC radio - you can listen here.

Big thanks to writer and translator Avery Udagawa for the heads-up on this important story!

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,