Thursday, April 24, 2014

Happy birthday, Catherine (called Birdy)!

The month of May is the 20th anniversary of local member (and delightful past speaker) Karen Cushman's classic, Catherine, Called Birdy. Find all sorts of celebration and reminiscences throughout the coming month on Karen's blog.

Sex in the library (and the Secret Garden Bookshop)

Authors and librarians Mary Jo Heller and Aarene Storms share their new book, Sex in the Library: A Guide to Sexual Content in Teen Literature (Voya Press) on Tuesday, April 29. The event, which will be held at Secret Garden Bookshop in Ballard at 7:00 p.m., addresses the development of library collections dealing with sex and sexuality for teens. The book provides no-holds-barred and no-body-parts-left-out reviews of more than 100 books to be considered for collections (including, maybe, one at home). Bring your questions.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Writing for Children Class still open

There are just a few spots left in Clare Hodgson Meeker's late spring class, "Writing For Children: Intro to Story Structure," beginning May 3 for six consecutive Saturdays. Each session runs from 10–noon at Richard Hugo House in Seattle starting May 3. 
Through discussion and weekly writing exercises, the course will explore narrative structure in all genres, from picture book to young adult, and discover how great stories in each genre are created. Special guest and bestselling mystery author Elizabeth George will join us for one class to talk about her approach to plotting in her new YA novel series. Bring your story idea or work in progress and take the next concrete step toward publication.  
Click here  for more info or to register. 

Call for MG nominations

The Washington Library Media Association's annual Sasquatch Award committee is looking for books. Nominate good solid middle grade fiction AND stellar non-fiction for grades 4-6 (not too teen!), variety of genres and boy/girl type books, copyright 2012 OR 2013. If folks have books to nominate, send them via email to Erin Ostrander at

This year's Sasquatch Award winner happens to be our very own Royce Buckingham, for his book The Dead Boys. Congratulations, Royce! Read all about it here.

From Erin Ostrander: They don't have to be WA-based authors or have WA interest, but I've got a soft spot for our wonderful local talent from working with local authors and illustrators for 14 years––I was super-thrilled to have Royce's book, The DeadBoys; Guinea Dog by Patrick Jennings; and Clete Barrett Smith's Aliens on Vacation all on the list this past year!

Crystal Kite second-round voting now open

A huge congratulations to our chapter's Crystal Kite Award finalists!

They are:

Jennifer Bradbury, A Moment Comes

Martha Brockenbrough, Dinosaur Tooth Fairy

Nina Laden, Once Upon a Memory

Stephanie Shaw, Bedtime in the Meadow

Cat Winters, In the Shadows of Blackbirds

You've got until April 30 to cast your vote for the Western Division winner!

To peruse their beautiful covers and, more important, to vote, click here. (You must be a current SCBWI member.) Tell your friends, and support the great work being done right here in WWA!

Winning images, all in one spot!

See the complete portfolios that won our 2014 Juried Portfolio Art Show! Portfolio creation and the selection of images and ordering is an art of its own, as these winners demonstrate. What can you learn from their presentations?

Second runner-up: Corrina Luyken
First runner-up: Jessixa Bagley
Grand Prize Winner: Julie Bayless

Each winner  received one of four cash prizes from our new Rollin Thomas Memorial Award, and we'll keep our fingers crossed that the additional attention of the judges might soon turn into career opportunities. Congratulations to all three.

Whatcha wanna do? Send us workshop ideas!

Your SCBWI Western Washington Advisory Committee will soon plan our region's events for next season, and we need your suggestions. Now's the time to nominate yourself or another experienced workshop leader or lecturer to lead educational topics for our Professional Series or a future conference.

You can also forward topic suggestions, even if you're not sure who should present them, by email. (And ignore the alligator. He gets that way sometimes. You actually need to click the link in the text above.)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

SCBWI WWA Illustrator Exhibit Coming!

The Washington State Historical Society has invited us (you know, SCBWI WWA) to put on a show! From November 2014 through January 2015, select illustrators will be part of an exhibit hanging in the WSHS gallery in Tacoma. Details like the submission process and dates, framing, etc. are being worked out, but for now, WATCH THIS SPACE and your email inbox for more info. Start thinking NOW about what event or icon from Washington state's history would make a killer illustration. A visit to the WA State History Museum wouldn't be a bad idea to get those creative juices flowing. Plus, starting May 17, you can see a new interactive installation featuring some of our favorite local kid lit illustrators.

Caption and Cartoon Contest Conquerors!

Thanks to all the writers and illustrators who entered the Creative Contest at last weekend's conference, especially the ones who made us laugh! Our winners all turned down trips to Disneyland, a vintage Mustang convertible and even the chance for a pair of "Wild Thing" pajamas in favor of books either written by, edited by, published by or just thumbed through by our illustrious faculty. Herewith the winners. Congratulations all!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

YA book launch: Between Two Worlds

Member Katherine Kirkpatrick will launch her YA novel BETWEEN TWO WORLDS (Wendy Lamb Books) at Third Place Books in Bothell on Saturday, April 26. Publisher's Weekly gave the book a starred review, calling it an "engrossing work of historical fiction." Show up that evening at 6:30 p.m. for snacks, book trivia, and prizes. She'll also be making a blog tour as part of the launch; see the full schedule here.

In a recent blog post, Katherine wrote, "There is nothing more depressing for an author than to sit at a table with a forced smile in front of a pyramid of books, facing a room full of vacant chairs. I’m happy to say I’ve found a middle path, a joyous way of celebrating new books that comes in second to my mother’s former parties." She goes on to explain SCBWI WWA's twice-yearly event called Inside Story, adding, "I am so grateful to Laura McGee Kvasnosky and George Shannon for creating this wonderful community forum where we can give ourselves a boost."

(The next Inside Story will be held on May 6, from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m., at Mockingbird Books, too.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lin Oliver and Tomie de Paola THURSDAY

We're a wee bit out of breath from last weekend's fabulous conference, but it's red-alert time!

Time to rhyme! Oliver and de Paola's book.

Tomorrow, at University Book Store in the University District, SCBWI co-founder and executive director Lin Oliver, along with rock-star illustrator Tomie de Paola, will present their collaboration, Little Poems for Tiny Ears. Authored by Oliver and illustrated by de Paola, these two should be a humdinger of a partnership.

Dynamic duo: de Paola and Oliver.

The party gets started at 7pm, and again, we're just being cautious, but getting there early is probably your best bet. Just saying....