Monday, December 27, 2010

Revising your novel's plot and pacing

Looking for novel revision help that focuses on plot and pacing? Joni Sensel will teach a six-week class on this topic at Hugo House this winter (Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m., starting Feb. 2). The course will include her feedback on participants' first 30 pages. For more scoop, check out the class details or syllabus online at the Hugo House site (look under Classes, then the 2011 Class Catalogue) or email her at joni (at)

Kid Lit Pub Night Reminder!

Don't forget —— our next KLPN is here! See you on Tuesday, December 28, from 7-9 p.m. at the Capitol Hill Elysian Brewpub at 1221 E Pike St, Seattle, 98122. Come share your New Years' writing and illustrating goals!

(Special thanks to Laura McGee Kvasnosky for graciously allowing us to contribute to the delinquency of Zelda and Ivy.)

Northern Network Schmooze

The WWA SCBWI Northern Network wants to extend an invitation to our January Schmooze.

Northern Network Schmooze Wednesday, January 5, from 7:00-9:00 p.m., at Barnes & Noble, Bellingham, Washington

“Maintaining Your Joy (and Sanity) on the Path to Publication and Beyond”

Debut author Denise Jaden’s YA novel, LOSING FAITH, hit the shelves this past October. Please join us as she shares the insight she’s gained through her writing, submission, and publication process. As a bonus, the manager of Barnes & Noble has offered us a hands-on demonstration and information session with the new color Nook (their latest eReader).

Please join us for an inspirational and fun-filled evening.

Questions? Contact Angelina Hansen:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Good News for Ann Teplick

It's certainly a Happy Holidays for Ann Teplick!! Ann has a prose poem, THIS IS HOW I WANT TO BE KISSED, inspired by Auguste Rodin's sculpture, "The Kiss," in the new issue of Crab Creek Review (2010 Vol 2). But that's not all for Ann! She's also just been accepted into the 2011 Jack Straw Writer's program and has received a Hedgebrook fellowship for 2011. Congratulations Ann!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

WLA Seminar on Copyright Lawsuits

When Someone Copies Your Art, Music or Writing...or They Think You've Copied Theirs

No one expects to be involved in a lawsuit. Most people would rather not even think about the possibility of litigation. But what if your client finds that a song or story he or she has written, or a print he or she has created, has been copied without permission? Or if your client receives a cease and desist letter threatening litigation? Join attorney Gregory Goeckner in this discussion of copyright litigation, including how to initiate a suit; jurisdiction; requirements for entry into federal court and the impacts they have on copyright litigation; how to respond if your client is threatened with a lawsuit; and how to counsel your client to avoid litigation in the first place.

The seminar takes place Thursday, January 13, 2011, from 12–1:30 p.m. (registration begins at 11:45 a.m.) at 911 Media Arts Center.

Cost for the seminar:
In advance: $35 Attorneys and Paralegals; $10 Artists and Students
At the door: $40 Attorneys and Paralegals; $15 Artists and Students

To register, visit Brown Paper Tickets, or phone 800.838.3006. To pay at the door, RSVP to Washington Lawyers for the Arts at 206.328.7053. Please note that the event is subject to cancellation; visit the WLA website or call 206.328.7053 for more information.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Erik Brooks STORYSKI Event

STORYSKI! with picture book author and illustrator, Erik Brooks

Presented by Erik and The Methow Valley Sport Trails Association, STORYSKI is a one kilometer cross-country ski trail lined with the children's picture book, POLAR OPPOSITES. This ski trail allows young skiers and their families to ski while reading the entire story of Alex the polar bear and Zina the penguin. 18 colorful story-panels line the trail -- for a self-guided storybook tour.

STORYSKI will rotate to three different locations throughout the winter in the Methow Valley. From now through January 13, STORYSKI will be located at the Mazama Corral Trailhead. Author Erik Brooks will lead his first guided tour on Sunday, December 26 at 11 a.m.

Books will be available for sale and signing immediately following at the Mazama Store!

Read more about the event on MVSTA's
website, and/or share the event invite on Erik’s Facebook page.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Janet Lee Carey (one of our own SCBWI Western Washington members) sent this link to an article, written by Onnesha Roychoudhuri for the Boston Review, that lays out what Amazon is doing and what publishers are facing right now. To find out more about Janet's work visit her website.

Monday, December 20, 2010

InteractBooks Seeks Submissions

This is not an SCBWI Western Washington sponsored event. SCBWI Western Washington is not endorsing, representing, or familiar with Richard Johnson, and/or InteractBooks. If anyone is interested, you're free to contact him directly. As always, writers and illustrators should do their research and decide if the opportunity meets industry standards for compensation or if they're willing to work experimentally, if that's part of the deal.

Richard Johnson, VP of Business Development at InteractBooks, LLC. is currently taking submissions for completed children's books (text and illustrations) to bring forward onto their InteractBooks iPad/iPhone platform.

They are a new company, located in Texas, and have just submitted their app to Apples App Store. The app should be available for download by Christmas or shortly thereafter.

Richard will be in Seattle from December 23-31. If you would like to meet him for a presentation and discussion the week after Christmas please contact him through his e-mail and/or phone number listed below.

Phone: 512.576-5432

Sunday, December 19, 2010

SCBWI Western Washington 20th Annual Writing and Illustrating for Children Conference

SCBWI Western Washington is pleased to announce its 20th Annual Writing and Illustrating for Children Conference, which will take place on Saturday, April 16th, and Sunday, April 17th, 2011, at the Marriott Redmond Town Center in Redmond, Washington. Special events this year will include an Illustration Master Class and a Nonfiction Intensive on Friday before the event, plus an anniversary dance party on Saturday.

Keynote Speakers
  • Holly Black, Author
  • Emily Jenkins/E. Lockhart, Author
  • Dan Santat, Illustrator
  • Deborah Wiles, Author

Editorial & Art Director Faculty
Lionel Bender, Editor, Bender Richardson White
• Justin Chanda, VP/Publisher, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
• Martha Mihalick, Associate Editor, Greenwillow Books at HarperCollins
• Anne Moore, Art Director, Candlewick Press
• Tim Travaglini, Former Editor, G.P. Putnam & Sons at Penguin
• Liz Waniewski, Editor, Dial Books for Young Readers

Agent Faculty
• Sarah Davies, Agent, The Greenhouse Literary Agency
• Joe Monti, Agent, Barry Goldblatt Literary LLC
• Tina Wexler, Agent, International Creative Management
• Marietta Zacker, Agent, Nancy Gallt Literary Agency

Other Distinguished Faculty
• Kevin Emerson, Author
• Brent Hartinger, Author
• Victoria Jamieson, Illustrator/Designer at HarperCollins Children’s
• Lin Oliver, Author/Executive Director, SCBWI International
• Rosanne Parry, Author
• Jesse Joshua Watson, Author/Illustrator
• Jim Whiting, Author/Editor

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Novel Re-Vision Class with Lois Brandt

For our members who are stuck on revisions:

Novel Re-Vision: Editing Your Manuscript for Story
Eight Saturdays, January 8 – March 5, 2011
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Do you have a completed draft novel? Wondering what to do next? This Bellevue College class walks writers through the novel revision process. In-class exercises and critiques help students recognize the sections of their manuscripts that convey story and those that don’t. During the course students will compile a list of edits necessary to revise their novel. Prerequisite: a completed draft novel. Cost $195.00

Questions? Contact
Register at the Bellevue College Continuing Education Website

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Board Member Voting

SCBWI full and PAL members, voting is now open for the SCBWI Board of Directors. (Associate-level members do not vote.) You should have gotten an email about this today, but if you don't, check your spam folder or go to the website for more information -- you can also submit a paper ballot by January 15. You can vote for 4 people from the 11 great nominees to fill the 4 board seats.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cookie Questions

Tomorrow night's going to be an incredible Professional Series Program! Check out the post from yesterday! A few of you have asked questions about the Annual Holiday Cookie Contest. Here's the lowdown...

~Bring a plateful of your favorite homemade holiday cookies (the judges will pull off 3 cookies from your plate, and/or dish). The rest will be set out to share with everyone.

~Bring your cookies by 6:45.

~The judging will be done shortly after 7 p.m., and the winner will be announced during the meeting (with fabulous prizes).

So, bring your favorite recipes, and be prepared for a memorable evening of fun, fantastic programming, and delicious treats!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

December Professional Series Meeting reminder!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010
SPU's Demaray Hall 150

* Eat some festive and yummy cookies and desserts!
* Bring books for the book swap, then hunt for new treasures to take back home!
* Do some holiday shopping at the Secret Garden bookstore!
* Last chance to enter the free conference tuition raffle!
* Visit with friends and network with kidlit colleagues!
* Enjoy loads of good cheer!

  • So, if you're hoping to win a fabulous hand-made cookie trophy or medal, don't forget to bring something delicious with you to share.
  • If you could stand to clear out your bookshelves (or nightstand, or car, or random piles around the house), remember to bring new or gently used books for the book swap. You can take home as many as you bring with you. Any extras left at the end of the night will be donated to charity.
  • And don't forget our program for the evening:

Mini-Session: EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT WRITING I'VE LEARNED FROM MY GRANDKIDS with Peggy King Anderson. Ten juicy writing tips, inspired by Peggy’s nine (yes NINE) grandkids. Peggy will share true-life incidents, along with the Aha! writing insights she gained. From fairies and sharks to Jesus with swimming goggles, Peggy’s grandkid stories will make you chuckle. You’ll come away listening in a new way to the kids in your life, all just bursting with new writing insights for you.

Main Program: FIRST YOU CHOOSE A SKELETON: BUILDING A STORY FROM THE INSIDE OUT with Bruce Holland Rogers. What is the best germ from which to begin a story? Does character come first? Action? Plot? Should we write from a premise or a theme? One way to keep writing challenging is to try basic approaches we’ve never tried before. This talk will examine an approach to story-making that most prose writers don’t consider: beginning with structure and only then looking for the right kind of story to hang on that structure. Bruce will demonstrate places where math intersects with writing and ways in which arbitrary decisions can make the writer bolder and more free. While useful for beginners, this talk is aimed at more experienced writers who already know a lot of conventional approaches to writing. Bruce is an award-winning adult science fiction and fantasy author and a faculty member for the Whidbey Island Writers Association MFA program.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Highlights Foundation 2011 Chautauqua Scholarship Program

You may know someone who is hesitating to pursue his or her Chautauqua dream due to finances. The Highlights Foundation offers scholarships and now is the time to find out more.

A lot of children’s writers dream of the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua. “Next year,” they promise themselves. “Next year, I’m going to Chautauqua!” Then reality sets in. The drive and talent to support the dream are there, but the finances . . . maybe not.

Please encourage your writing friends to stop dreaming and start planning! Pass along our scholarship newsletter. Scholarships will be considered in two groups. Early applications will be accepted through December 15, 2010.
(Final scholarship deadline is February 11, 2011.)

For more information visit the Highlights Foundation website.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Graphic Artists Guild Holiday Bash & Silent Auction

It's the SPGA/Seattle Chapter Graphic Artists Guild Holiday Bash and Silent Auction on Wednesday, December 15, from 6:30-9 p.m. Join us at the Pyramid Alehouse for nibbles and a chance to bid on some great items. Bring a guest and your cash or checkbook (NO PLASTIC, sorry!) to bid on items like:
  • Wacom tablet
  • Training sessions with local experts: John Lustig-cartoonist, J'net Smith-art licenser, Henk Dawson-illustrator
  • New books from Peachpit and O'Reilly
  • Alien Skin software

How Much?

Member and guest-$20
ASMP member - $20

At the door price cash or check only
Guild Member and guest $25
ASMP member - $25
Non-member - $35


Pyramid Alehouse, across from Safeco Field
1201 1st Ave. S., Seattle, WA (206) 682-3377,
complimentary parking in front and back.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

BookScan info on Amazon

Here's an interesting turn of events for published authors: Amazon's providing BookScan figures on Author Central.

I'm afraid to even look. What do you think — is this a useful tool that's long overdue, or just another way to obsess when we should be writing or creating art?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Article Opportunity for The Chinook

Greetings, fellow SCBWI-WWA members...

In honor of Google's release of eBooks today, I would like to challenge one or more of you to write an article for The Chinook about the various e-readers and electronic book movement. I'm open to different takes on the issue, though I'd like to keep things positive and informative, rather than negative and dismissive.
If this interests you and you're willing to do some research so that we can have an informative and instructive piece, please email me at
Please contact me before moving forward with any writing, I want to make sure we're on the same page, content-wise.


I look forward to hearing from you!

Liz Mills
Articles Editor

More Than Six Reasons to Attend the Meeting Next Week

You're probably already planning on attending our Professional Series meeting next week, right? Our very own PEGGY KING ANDERSON will be speaking, as well as Bruce Holland Rogers from the Whidbey Island MFA program. That there is enough to get you in your seat at SPU come the 14th.
But wait, there's more.

Let me count the reasons why this meeting is not to be missed, in no particular order.

1. BOOK SWAP! You're getting books for the holidays, right? Your loved ones are probably scouring the shelves for the perfect picks in their favorite independent bookstores right now. You need to MAKE ROOM. Clean off those shelves. Put the books in bags. Put them in your trunk today, so you don't forget them on the 14th.

We're keeping it simple. Bring books to swap and/or donate before the meeting. We'll happily donate anything directly, as well as any books left over at the end of the night. New, used, children's, craft— anything, really.
Bring books!

2. RAFFLE! This is your last chance. We'll draw three lucky names for gift certificates to Secret Garden Books, AND I'll put you in the small pool of past winners for the grand finale raffle. Then we'll have another drawing and TWO WINNERS will receive free registration for our 20th Annual Writing and Illustrating for Children Conference in April.

That's right. You don't want to miss it.


We're having our annual holiday cookie contest, which means there will be a bounty of cookies. And our hospitality guru will probably have warm beverages and other snacks.

Do you have an awesome cookie recipe? Bring a plateful to share at the meeting! You could have a chance to win...


All homemade cookies brought to the meeting will be tasted by our top secret panel of expert judges (Reason 4&1/2: You might be chosen to be a cookie judge! Is there a better role? I think not.). There will be even more Secret Garden gift certificates. And COOKIE MEDALS. And a COOKIE TROPHY. Where else can you get that? Where else would you want to get that? I'm still looking for my hot glue gun, so I can't show you what this year's prizes look like yet, but they will probably be similar to this doozy won by Jolie Stekly last year.


6. MERRIMENT AND GOOD CHEER! They speak for themselves. It will be fun and festive.

(Not mentioned: Books to purchase, good news to hear, laughter, comfortable seats, etc. etc.)

See you there!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Still a few spots left in THE GREAT CRITIQUE!

Help your work evolve from good… to GREAT! Your SCBWI Western Washington Region will again present THE GREAT CRITIQUE during our first 2011 meeting on January 11, 2011. This popular event offers you the opportunity to experience a model critique group led by a published professional. This year’s critique group leaders include Peggy King Anderson, Donna Bergman, Vijaya Bodach, Jennifer Bradbury, Kevin Emerson, Kathryn Galbraith, Liz Gallagher, Meg Lippert, J. Elizabeth Mills, Craig Orback, David Patneaude, Karen Lee Schmidt, Trudi Trueit, Richard Jesse Watson, Pam Withers, Kirby Larson, Holly Cupala, Michele Torrey, George Shannon, Deb Lund, Kevan Atteberry, and Wendy Wahman.

Participants will receive feedback from the group leader as well as from a small group of 5 or 6 of their peers. We will do our best to place you in a group with others within the same genre. This event offers writers and illustrators a chance to experience how critiques can help strengthen their work, and offers those who already participate in a critique group feedback from a fresh set of eyes and ears.

WRITERS can bring a maximum of 5 double-spaced pages or 1200 words.

ILLUSTRATORS and WRITER/ILLUSTRATORS can bring a dummy or up to 5 illustration samples.

This event is free for anyone who has paid for SCBWI Western Washington’s regional programming. SCBWI International members who have not paid for Western Washington's regional programming will need to pay just $8 to participate. For all others, the cost is $10.

You MUST register to participate. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and this event usually fills quickly, so please do not delay. Please carefully consider whether you would like to take advantage of this opportunity — if you sign up, we expect you to show up, and so will your assigned group! To register, simply click here.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Next Kid Lit Pub Night...

Thanks again to everyone who came to the make-up Kid Lit Pub night last Monday in Bellevue. It's a great way to meet new faces as well as old friends. This time there was a lot of talk about current projects, NaNoWriMo fatigue, and industry chatter. The next date to mark on your calendar is December 28, from 7-9 p.m. at the Capitol Hill Elysian Brewpub at 1221 E Pike St, Seattle, 98122. See you there!

Friday, December 3, 2010

New SCBWI Benefit for PAL (or soon to be PAL) members!

The SCBWI website has a new feature especially for published or soon-to-be published members — a discussion board specifically for authors and illustrators with a book coming out in 2011. The new discussion board will be a great place to share notes, swap promotion ideas, or team up with other like-minded folks to coordinate on group promotion opportunities.

Find the discussion board by logging in at, then going back to the home page. Click "Discussion Boards" in the Quick Links in the lower right. The new forum is in the Member Communications section and called PUBLICATION DATE 2011!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Authors & Illustrators Book Signing!!

Nina Laden, Paul Owen Lewis, and Craig Orback will be signing books at The Bookworm Burrow on December 12, from 1-3 p.m. Come on in, have some fun and meet children's book Authors and Illustrators!
For more information and location go to the Bookworm Burrow's website.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holly Cupala's Book Bash!!

Local SCBWI member, and former Assistant Regional Advisor, Holly Cupala is holding her very first public TELL ME A SECRET bash this Saturday, December 4, at 6 p.m. at Kirkland Parkplace Books. Join her for an evening of music that inspired the book, story secrets, tasty morsels from "Cafe Shiraz" (the restaurant in the book, of course!), and more yummy treats.

They will also be launching a very secret project with the talents of award-winning actress Jenna Lamia (known for reading THE CHOSEN ONE, THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES, THE HELP, and others): a special edition audiobook recording of the novel available to pre-order at the party (the free serialized podcast version is available here. Ten percent of the evening's proceeds will go to World Vision's Hope for Sexually Exploited Girls. Invite your friends, and we hope to see you!

For more information on Holly, and her work, visit her website.

Monthly Question (and November's Member Answers!!)

Thanks to everyone who answered November's Monthly Question! We asked all our SCBWI Western Washington members, and Chinook Update readers to answer this question: "I like to write at _______, because ______." Check out the answers your fellow writers posted, right after December's Monthly Question.

December's Question: Favorite Characters
If you could be any fictional character (in children's literature-PB, MG, YA, etc.); Who would you be, and why?? (And no, I don't want to be Mary Poppins-see above picture-, but it was fun for Halloween).

Let us know which character YOU'D want to be!!

We want to know more about you; your writing process, preferences, wisdom, and such! We're a community of writers, and we want to know more about who's out there!

November Monthly Question Answers:

Rebekah Jensen: I like to write at Freshy's Coffee in West Seattle, because there's great writing space, good background noise, AMAZING food, and coffee to keep me going!!

Angelina C. Hansen: I like to write at home in front of the fire, because, oddly enough, there are few distractions.
Mindy: I like to write at Undertown in Port Townsend because the atmosphere makes me think there might be a few ghosts lurking.
Linda Johns: I like to write at Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe on 50th in Seattle's University District because it has lots of light and plentiful power outlets.
Kirk K: I like to write anywhere I can find the time to write! But if you pressed me, I would probably say the Woodinville Barnes & Noble because it's close to my work and I'm surrounded by books.
Helen Landalf: I like to write in my basement office at home because I have a view of my back yard and my cat sometimes comes in to visit me.
Miz “B”: I like to write at my upstairs drawing table because my cat sits on the table and "helps" me. I had to give her own pillow so that she doesn't sit on my paper.
Brenda Winter Hansen: I love to write at home in my office because: 1) the walls are cluttered just the way I want them with all sorts of visual inspiration 2) I have a great view of my back yard 3) the music is always what I want to hear 4) the coffee, tea, and snacks are already paid for
Allyson Valentine Schrier: Issaquah Coffee Company in Gilman Village. There is no laundry for me to wash, no dishes to obsess about, no cockatiels begging to come out of the cage. The background hum and chatter help me stay focused. I drink tea, and someone else cleans up after me.
Molly Hall: I love to write at home, special magenta blanket tucked around me. Anywhere is good, but near the fireplace is best, with a hot tea and my music in my ears. Also love the proximity to the bathroom and snacks!
Laurie Thompson: I like to write at home, in my pajamas and bedhead, with a big mug of coffee in front of me and the dog snoring on the rug behind me. I'm much more productive, however, at the Issaquah Coffee Company with Allyson.
Michele Griskey: I like to write standing up in my kitchen with my laptop propped up on a game box. I can look out at the weeds growing in my garden and have easy access to coffee, tea, and snacks. I have a hard time sitting still, so the bum glue method doesn't work well for me.
Karrie Zylstra-Myton: I like to write in my office because it's the best way to get any writing done in between the times when my 5 month old needs me. He's crying now so here I go!