Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Secret Garden's Drama Story Events

Secret Garden Books is proud to announce their brand-new partnership with Seattle Children’s Theatre for the 2010-2011 Season! During the run of each show of the season, they will be hosting weekend Drama Story events with artists from Seattle Children’s Theatre. The first one is based on Mem Fox and Judy Horacek’s book WHERE IS THE GREEN SHEEP? The event will be Saturday September 11, at 2 p.m.

This Drama Story event will feature these curriculum connections: Listening; Storytelling; Creative Play; Music; Dance; Early Reading Skills; Art; Repetition. They will experience a story from the inside. They will use acting, imagination and interactive, multi-sensory props to explore The Green Sheep.

To find more information, including remaining 2010 events, and dates for Secret Garden’s SCT Drama Story, visit their website. You can also find more information on the Seattle Children's Theater at their website.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Apply now for the Fall Retreat!

SCBWI Western Washington invites you to apply for its Fall 2010 Retreat for Writers and Writer-Illustrators of Children’s Books, WEEKEND ON THE WATER, taking place Friday, November 5, to Sunday, November 7, 2010, at the luxurious Alderbrook Resort & Spa, nestled on the scenic shores of Hood Canal less than two hours west of Seattle.

In an intimate, craft-focused retreat, Jill Santopolo, executive editor at Penguin’s Philomel Books imprint, and Nancy Mercado, executive editor at Roaring Brook Press, will bring their considerable editorial and teaching experience to bear on the idea of “connections,” with a focus on plot, putting emotion on the page, and the all-important revision.

Selected writers will spend the weekend alternating between sessions with Jill and Nancy, including a group first-page intensive, with time built in for individual writing, group critiques, walks, kayaking, swimming, resting, and networking.

Retreat fees range from $535 to $550, depending on whether you are a member of SCBWI International (members receive a $15 discount). Prices include all workshops and activities, one first-pages intensive, two nights’ lodging with one roommate, five catered meals, Internet access, and endless inspiration from the spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains and the Hood Canal—a glacier-carved fjord more than 60 miles long.

The application and submission deadline is fast approaching: September 27, 2010. You will not be considered for the retreat if you don’t meet the deadline. No exceptions.

View complete information, application details, and deadlines for WEEKEND ON THE WATER by clicking on the link below:

Saturday, August 28, 2010

October Retreat Opportunity in Oregon

SCBWI Oregon will hold a retreat with Tricycle Press editor Abigail Samoun, former Washington writer Chris Eboch, and other great faculty on October 7-10, 2010. You could enjoy almost a solid week of writing goodness by starting in Oregon and working your way up to WWA's October Professional Series Meeting with agent Anna Olswanger in Seattle on the following Tuesday!

Washington members are welcome to check out the details or register for the remaining Oregon retreat spaces available. Robin Koontz, RA for Oregon, says, "Abigail Samoun, our guest editor, will be looking at post-retreat submissions and is especially on the lookout for MG. What
does she like? I don't know yet, she's going to tell us in October! This
is just one networking gem you would pick up if you join us."

Also, for those of you who have been asking: registration and more information about Western WA's Weekend on the Water fall retreat will appear here any day now. That event will be Nov. 5-7, 2010. See your Chinook newsletter for more information or check back here frequently.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Writing "Edgy" Fiction

Thanks to Liz Mills, for sending this link to Cynthia Leitich Smith's blog. Cynthia interviews Ricki Thompson, author of CITY OF CANNIBALS, who gives her thoughts and process on writing "edgy" fiction.

As an artist, I have a responsibility to speak the truth. And the truth is, teenagers live in an “edgy” place. What could be edgier than attempting to balance on the tenuous cusp of adulthood? When teens aren’t engaging in “edgy” behavior, they’re likely thinking, fantasizing, or reading about it. How can I write for and about teens if I don’t write “edgy?”

To read more from this author, check out Cynthia Leitich Smith's blog.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another carpool hope - Sequim

While we're hooking folks up, a Peninsula member is hoping to learn about kidlit pals in Sequim or thereabouts for carpooling to our monthly meetings and/or general mayhem. Contact Gene at gdbradbury (at) yahoo.com.

Islander hookups

A member on San Juan Island is looking to connect with others in the area to possibly carpool to SCBWI WWA meetings. If you're in that neighborhood and/or would be coming through Anacortes, contact Andrea at as4444 (at) centurytel (dot) net. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lois V. Harris Good News and Appearance

More good news for Lois V. Harris! Lois, author of MARY CASSATT: IMPRESSIONIST PAINTER, was mentioned in the latest issue of Home Schooling Today Magazine.

You can catch up with Lois on Tuesday August 31, at 7 pm, when she reads her new book, CHARLIE RUSSELL, TALE-TELLING COWBOY ARTIST, accompanied by a Russell art slideshow at Village Books in Bellingham. The Russell book received a lovely review in the Sunday, August 15 issues of The Kitsap Sun and The Bellingham Herald, and on August 22, in the Tacoma News Tribune.

For more information on Lois, and her books, visit her website.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Meet Noa Wheeler

Henry Holt Editor Noa Wheeler will be our speaker at our September Professional Series Meeting on September 14 to kick of our 2010-2011 programming season. She'll also be leading several special opportunities that are already sold out. In the meantime, here's a little about her:

Noa Wheeler is an editor at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. She has worked with award-winning authors and illustrators such as Bryan Collier, Denise Fleming, and Peter McCarty. She has recently worked on the critically-acclaimed CHARLES AND EMMA by Deborah Heiligman and THE EVOLUTION OF CALPURNIA TATE by Jackie Kelly (a Newbery Honor book).

If you haven't already signed up for our regional programming for the year, don't forget! Things will be hectic at that first meeting. Find more info about the benefits and/or register here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Inside Story: Spots filling up fast

The roster for the fall Inside Story is nearly full.

If you sent your application and did not hear back from Martha right away, please contact her: martha AT marthabee DOT com.

If you're like to apply, here are our criteria:

We are now taking presenter applications for the Fall 2010 Inside Story. You are eligible if you meet ALL of the criteria below: 

  • You are an SCBWI member at the PAL level or have signed up for SCBWI Western Washington's current regional programming;
  • You live in the official Western Washington region. If you’re a member and uncertain which region you’re in, please email us and we’ll check for you.
  • Your publisher is on SCBWI’s lists of recognized (traditional) publishers; (found in the SCBWI Market Surveys or on the registration pages of the SCBWI website). Self-published titles do not qualify.
  • Your book is released within four months before or three months after the event; AND
  • Your book is readily available through normal trade channels (e.g., Baker & Taylor).
Presenter slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. We generally limit the slate to about 15 presenters. Applications are due Sept. 1. So don't delay if you have an eligible book!

The event will be Oct. 27 at Parkplace Books in Kirkland. Click here for more information, as well as a link to the application.


This month Stasia Kehoe's blog, Writer on the Side, explores the theme WRITING-IN-TANDEM and interviewing the following author teams. Some are offering fun give-aways!

Monday, August 9: Suzanne Williams & Joan Holub, GODDESS GIRLS series (with a give-away!)

Monday, August 23: Lisa & Laura Roecker, LIAR SOCIETY, which comes out March 2011 (with a give-away!).

Monday, August 30: Kirby Larson & Mary Nethery, TWO BOBBIES, and NUBS.

Stacia's own debut novel, AUDITION, a verse novel, comes out Fall 2011.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tu Books (Lee & Low) seeking submissions!

This just in from Stacy Whitman, editorial director at Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books:

Hi all,

We've just gone live with our illustrator guidelines and wanted to share them with you: http://www.leeandlow.com/p/tu_art.mhtml. We're mostly looking for cover artists and the occasional line art for middle grade novel interiors--NO picture books, sorry--and we wanted to be sure that illustrators knew how to submit their artwork for consideration.

As you may know, we publish diverse fantasy and science fiction for middle graders and young adults. So we're especially looking for artists who can depict fantastic settings and people of color, with a great sense of design and an eye for what would grab a young reader's attention.

Also, we're still (always) looking for great novels for children and young adults featuring characters of color and non-Western settings. Our novel submission guidelines can be found here: http://www.leeandlow.com/p/tu_submissions.mhtml.

Stacy Whitman
Editorial Director

Tu Books, an imprint of
Join us on:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Inside Story: Apply now to feature your book

For the past 12 years (since our beloved George Shannon and Laura McGee Kvasnosky conceived of the idea), one of the most exciting events of our chapter has been the Inside Story.

Twice a year, we celebrate the new books our members have published, and we invite some 300 librarians, booksellers, media members, and colleagues. It makes for an inspirational and lively evening.

We are now taking presenter applications for the Fall 2010 Inside Story. You are eligible if you meet ALL of the criteria below: 
  • You are an SCBWI member at the PAL level or have signed up for SCBWI Western Washington's current regional programming;
  • You live in the official Western Washington region. If you’re a member and uncertain which region you’re in, please email us and we’ll check for you.
  • Your publisher is on SCBWI’s lists of recognized (traditional) publishers; (found in the SCBWI Market Surveys or on the registration pages of the SCBWI website). Self-published titles do not qualify.
  • Your book is released within four months before or three months after the event; AND
  • Your book is readily available through normal trade channels (e.g., Baker & Taylor).
Presenter slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. We generally limit the slate to about 15 presenters. Applications are due Sept. 1. So don't delay if you have an eligible book!

The event will be Oct. 27 at Parkplace Books in Kirkland. Click here for more information, as well as a link to the application.

NOTE: If you don't hear back from Martha within 48 hours, please contact her directly (martha AT marthabee.com). 

Northern Network September Schmooze

The WWA SCBWI Northern Network wants to extend you an invitation to our September Schmooze. We hope everyone has enjoyed a fun summer filled with plenty of relaxation and creative moments. We are looking forward to some delightful guest speakers this season and hope you will all be able to join us on our new night.

Northern Network Schmooze
Wednesday, September 1, 7:00-9:00 pm
Barnes & Noble, Bellingham, Washington
“The Courage to Submit”

The path to publication can be a daunting journey, even for the seasoned traveler. How do we know  our work is “ready”? Who should we send it to? What if we are rejected? Do I need an agent? Where do I find one?

Please join us for an encouraging evening as we discuss these questions and more. No RSVP required. We will be meeting at Barnes & Noble again (in the café). Questions or comments? Please contact Angelina Hansen: yascribe@comcast.net.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Something a little different

Most of us would love to have multiple agent offers! Jennifer Wolf, who is an aspiring Young Adult author, wrote about her experience on her blog. The interesting part is that Jennifer had to reject agents, how often does that happen? The experience is worth reading! Congratulations Jennifer on your good news!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Picture Book Illustration Class

SCBWI's own Doug Keith will be teaching a Picture Book Illustration class at Edmonds Community College this fall. The course focuses on the fundamentals of creating artwork for picture books, from the first sketches and storyboard, to the final art. Doug is a multi-talented artist, who has illustrated more than forty picture books. For details on the class, which runs from September 23-November 18, 2010, click here. To learn more about Doug, and his work, go to his website.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Remain optimistic: Interview with Agent Anna Olswanger

SCBWI Western Washington will be welcoming agent Anna Olswanger in October. As a preview of her appearance, here's a quick interview with her that also complements the forthcoming issue of our printed newsletter, The Chinook — which has a submissions theme. Check out both!

Q: Anna, what's your top tip for writing a successful query letter or submitting a manuscript?

AO: Write a strong first sentence. "Strong" can mean dramatic, stark, or surprising.

Q: What’s the biggest query letter or submission no-no, from your perspective?

AO: A query or cover letter that starts with "Dear Agent." The next biggest no-no is telling me that your manuscript has been professionally edited. I'd like to work with authors who can edit their own manuscripts.

Q: In your opinion, is it important to land an agent before trying to sell that first book?

AO: I think you can get your manuscript read on your own without an agent. So many editors go to conferences and give talks. You can meet them and they will read your manuscripts after the conference.

Q: What are your top tips for writers who are looking to find an agent?

AO: 1. Go to conferences where agents speak.

2. Make sure you're ready for an agent. Have you spent years perfecting your craft?

3. Pick your best manuscript and query about it. Don't mention the five other manuscripts you have ready to send. That will overwhelm the agent and make her or him wary of working with you.

3. Be willing to revise.

Q: How important is having a blog, Twitter, or Facebook in terms of catching an agent's or editor’s eye? Is there anything else you might look at besides the query or submission itself?

AO: If you're blogging, twittering, and posting on Facebook, when are you writing your novel or picture book? I'm not impressed by anything other than the quality of your manuscript.

Q: Could you share some stories about the best and/or worst query letters or submissions you’ve ever read? How about the most unusual?

AO: I don't give much weight to query letters. The only thing that matters to me is the quality of the writing in the manuscript. The worst submissions are the ones that weren't ready to go out: They had an overabundance of the passive voice, dangling participles, text that should have been cut.

Q: What is your best advice to an author or illustrator who is on the cusp of submission? How about one who is waiting for an answer or facing rejection?

AO: Remain optimistic.

Thanks, Anna! We're certainly optimistic about our time together in October, and we'll look forward to meeting you in person soon!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Looking for Flash!

The Dragons of Noor are slapping their tails, excited by the upcoming release of the newest Noor book, THE DRAGONS OF NOOR, by Janet Lee Carey! Janet is looking for someone to update the flash animation on her website for the book's release, this October. If interested please contact Janet at jlcarey@hotmail.com.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Trolling for Trenches Tales

Straight from our own Chinook Editor, Liz Mills...

As surely as the Fremont Troll grabs VW Beetles off the Aurora bridge for lunch, I am low on Trenches interviews! Let there not be an issue without juicy stories of how we are making our way through the wild, woolly world of publishing. Have you recently sold a magazine story? Are you a regular contributor to a magazine column? Did you recently sign with an agent? Did you recently get a book deal or sell your millionth book? We want to hear from you--how you got your start, where your ideas come from, how we can learn from you and follow in your footsteps. Contribute, or I'm personally sending the troll after each one of you. And there have not been many Beetles going across that bridge, let me tell you. Please email me at tfttnw@gmail.com for a list of questions. Otherwise, there'll be a contribution from the Troll, I promise!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Holly Cupala Book Trailer Launch Party

If you've been following Holly Cupala, and her debut novel, TELL ME A SECRET, then you know she's launched her book trailer this last Monday August 2. If you've missed it, they've extended it through today! It's a party, so of course they've got great prizes (including signed books, jewelry, and t-shirts, and more).

HOW TO WIN? Share the Trailer Love!

Click here to go to YouTube, then click the Share button to send to your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or blog! 5 pts each
Click here to tell us where you posted and enter to win!

Plus Holly will be featured at readergirlz for the entire month of August, with a live Twitter chat coming up! Click here for that link. Holly hopes you enjoy the trailer, and thanks everyone for being part of the virtual tour and party!

Attention P.A.L. members: new school visit blog

Alexis O'Neill, regional advisor for the Ventura/Santa Barbara region of SCBWI, just launched a new site to help children’s authors & illustrators navigate the fun, but often confusing, world of doing school visits and public appearances.  It’s called:  www.SchoolVisitExperts.com

The purpose of this blog is to offer advice to published children’s authors & illustrators on designing quality school visit programs and managing the business side of doing appearances.

Since 2006, Alexis has been writing a column for the SCBWI Bulletin called “The Truth About School Visits,” which has struck a chord with our published (and soon-to-be-published) members.  The blog expands on the practical advice experts share and offers visuals, forms and more so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.  Why Alexis? She knows schools inside out!  She does a hefty number of school visit presentations each year, is a former elementary school teacher with an M.S. in Instructional Technology and a Ph.D. in Teacher Education, and has training in drama and art.  She's really good at scoping out terrific people who can offer guidance to us all. And we love her!

But this blog isn’t about her – it’s about tapping the experiences and knowledge of all kinds of school visit experts from across the country – and even across the world – to help you gain skills to create and deliver quality programs for audiences everywhere.

Jump on over, take a look, participate in the conversation – and sign-up to get the latest practical posts & handy resources.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tips for collaborating on a series

I don't know about you, but I've always wanted to write a series of books with a friend.

Our colleague Suzanne Williams and our former SCBWI-WWA pal Joan Holub were kind enough to answer questions about that on my blog (as part of the tour for the launch of their new book, Aphrodite the Beauty.

Here's what they had to say:
How are you handling the writing between the two of you? A lot of people have dreamed of teaming up, but aren't quite sure how to chart the course. Do you have any tips? 

Suzanne: Pick the right writing partner! Joan and I both have strong work habits, compatible writing styles, and enough experience to allow us to put our egos aside for the sake of the writing.

Joan: Well said, Suzanne. We weren’t sure how we were going to write together in the beginning. Some writing teams trade off chapters, but that seemed too unwieldy for us. Since we were initially contracted to write four books, we each did rough drafts for two, then traded the stories back and forth for several more drafts.

Read the rest (and enter for your chance to win a little swag).

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

UW Writing Class

The UW Writing for Children’s Certificate program is now open for application. There is always a waitlist, so it’s best to sign up as soon as possible! Courses with SCE designation are open for single-course enrollment (SCE) to non-certificate students on a space-available basis. The first class is Writing for Children: Foundations. Go to their link to sign up!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Time to sign up for SCBWI-WWA regional programming!

SCBWI WWA’s 2010-2011 season will begin in September! This year, our Professional Series Meetings will again be held on the second Tuesday of each month at the Seattle Pacific University campus at Demaray Hall 150. Mark your calendars, and don't forget to register now: click here to sign up for our regional programming

We have quite a lineup for the 2010−2011 program year! Speakers include Noa Wheeler, associate editor at Henry Holt; Anna Olswanger, literary agent with Liza Dawson Associates in New York; Kathleen Alcalá, Bruce Holland Rogers, and Wayne Ude, acclaimed authors and faculty members from the Whidbey Island Writers MFA program; Grace Wang, Ph.D., a professional creativity and life coach; Peggy King Anderson, beloved author and teacher who has helped kick off the careers of many Western Washington authors and illustrators; Geisel Award Medal winner Laura McGee Kvasnosky; and many others!