Bulletin, week of July 13 addition –
This is a gre8t week to use regular registration for Summer School created by two SCBWI members. (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. (pre-reg ended, but not to worry!)
Just after I returned from the SCBWI conference in June, I came across a cute writer chickie handling an impressive eyepiece.
She was pecking around in my mail online.
Chipping about something called the Nerdy Chicks Rule KIDLIT SUMMER SCHOOL.
Here is all about it!
FRESH from the 2015 SCBWI-FL MIDYEAR HOOPLA
artwork c. JOYCE WAN, all rights reserved, used with permission
These are impressions that can’t have been unique to me.
The dedicated artists & writers shared laughs,
love of books & stories & lively discussions
through the weekend.
Perhaps being in magic Florida, helped!
My poetry crit partner Christine & I sat rapt all
Saturday. I was also lucky to soak up picture book
lessons on Friday. Worth. Every. Penny.
The thrills + wisdom shared offset motoring 9 hours round-trip.
(With thanks to my dear hubby who made the trip too & our
generous longtime pals we stayed with who just moved into a big new house,
Brad + Sandy. The neighborhood elementary school is
Spanish-speaking & Sandy is a volunteer reader/tutor with
school stories to share, a bonus for me.)
Still applauding conference volunteers – including
Linda Bernfeld, Gaby Triana, Linda Shute & Curtis Sponsler &
my longtime SCBWI pal, Gloria Rothstein. They conducted
two auctions – live & silent, matched critique givers to
the artists & writers, arranged meals, transportation for
faculty, meeting rooms, onsite bookstore & much more.
INSIDER, INSIDER, INSIDER NEWS
You-Heard-It-Here-Today/ Picture Books –
Lee Bennett Hopkin’s JUMPING OFF LIBRARY SHELVES (illus. Jane Manning)
Alexandra Penfold’s EAT, SLEEP, POOP (illus., Jane Massey)
Rob Sanders’ RUBY ROSE ON HER TOES (illus Debbi Ohi)
Tim Miller’s MOO IN A TUTU (he is illus)
Douglas Florian’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (he is illus)
Irene Latham’s FRESH DELICIOUS, Poems from the Farmer’s Market &
also her WHEN THE SUN SHINES ON ANARTICA
Mika Song’s TEA WITH OLIVER (he is illus)
Bonus – how about that last author-illustrator’s name?
For a sneak peek at an Advance Reader Copy of a yet-to-be
released Middle Grade novel by the talented author of
Nory Ryan’s Song & about 90 other books, I invite you HERE.
Thrilled to have a 1st look.
INFO bits on the detailed PROCESS to PUBLISHING
>An editor rejected books that another house published. When she
saw them between covers, she wished she discerned, in manuscript form
what the other house perceived in manuscript form – the books turned
out quite good & she wished she had pubbed them.
This is to help us understand how our manuscripts can be wonderful,
just not right at that moment for the editor/publisher we’ve sent it to.
>This same editor shared that when she was at a house where the sales
force wielded manuscript rejection power, one of her championed children’s
books was rejected. She eventually had it published by that house. How?
“There is a lot of turnover.”
She sent to back to the writer to keep working on it. Later the editor
resubmitted it when the naysayer had moved on to another house.
>An editor said a picture book that she originally didn’t like, even
sort of derided to close associates, still had this kernel of emotion that
stuck to her.
She could never shake it from her mind. She went back. Looked at it.
Six years later she is publishing it, pleased with the results.
<Listening to an editor share how short p.b. manuscripts can make her
heart beat fast – I feel I got it. Revising. Short.
A successful YA author said her years of taking picture book classes
to learn to write 500 word manuscripts helped her write succinctly
(I will add successfully) in verse for the high school reader.
First lines that are direct & simple make all the difference in picture books.
Examples an editor shared that she loves –
“Hattie was a big black hen.” Mem Fox
“The mice made a teeter-totter.” Ellen Stoll Walsh
Look up the SCBWI Edited By list to help find editors whose books you like.
MEET & GREET
Agents, editors, artists & writers! Even spouses, partners & children.
Too many to name, but here is one moment of many from the conference
that are treasures. He is poet, editor & poetry anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins, known
as The Pied Piper of Children’s Poetry.
Every faculty member was accessible, warm & funny. If I garbled my words
getting them out, or didn’t get any words out to those I intended to, it was my
own cold feet. Next time, Jan!
I feel good that at lunch I linked a writer I didn’t know before that much appreciated meal,into a nice conversation with an agent at our large table, because the writer had shared with me info about her work I knew the agent would like to know. Put on the spot, I am usually more advanced at promoting others than myself.
At a workshop an editor said spiffy remarks after
I read aloud from my fresh-scribbled words. They were three pieces
of brief writing in response to the unexpected writing prompt. I
blushed, floated. Haven’t quite landed, yet.
Orlando’s newish indy shop, Bookmark It, received a warm welcome.
I turned out to be their first conference book buyer (not just looking)
customer. One of the best sellers of the SCBWI weekend is the book
cradled in my hand, in the photo,
LULLABY & KISSES SWEET.
I am so stoked that writer pals, especially Robyn Hood Black,
are represented in this huggable chubby board book, alongside Jane Yolen, X.J. Kennedy, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Kristine O’Connell George, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Alice Schertle & other children’s author luminaries. I am happy it winged away, inscribed, to the dear baby in our family in Rhode Island, who celebrates his 1st birthday this very month.
Here are lines from that book’s SWEET by Peggy Janousky
Next time when I eat this fruit
I think I’ll wear a bathing suit
Since many of us are fortunate to be dripping with watermelon
this time of year, Peggy’s poem is particulary refreshing here
at our house.
ORLANDO is BEAUTIFUL
We arrived in Orlando not long after visiting our family in CT & MASS during
days of a big ol’ eyetalyen wedding, so it was fun to reflect on very different cities.
We saw a chipmunk in Boston and an otter in Orlando. We saw the pencil
sculpture in Orlando in a downtown art park.
And it strikes me as something Boston would be proud to own.
Consider the SCBWI-FL MidyearConference in 2016. Information on
it will be posted at the Florida site. SCBWI = Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.
While I was in Orlando, several title eyedears & other creative writing
thoughts came to mind. My conference-inspired scribbles continue.
I’ve re-read & re-read notes from the two conference
critiques, have thought, made scribbles of phrases, lines, more.
One final summer presentation as a children’s author is on my
calendar. (Since the conference I visited a well-off private school one week
& then drove over to a needy community center program the next &
I appreciated having those contrasts.) The next event is at our lovely library.
Following that I expect to slack off non-manuscript writing
(including here) in these precious summer weeks,
in expectations of manuscript progress & to begin new project eyedears
that bubbled up as a result of this nourishing SCBWI-FL weekend.