Wednesday, July 27, 2011

SCBWI Summer Picnic

This will be a potluck picnic so please B.Y.O. food and drink.
We'll have a grill for any grill-ables, and a big yard with some kid activities, and a few surprises.
RSVP to for address and directions.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Published Pro Think Tank Summary

By Sara Easterly

Nearly 50 PAL (published and listed) members attended the second quarterly Published Pro Think Tank, held Monday, July 11, 2011. Gauging by the incredible interest, the topic, eBooks and Self-Publishing for Traditionally Published Authors, was timely and resonated.

Today’s publishing landscape is changing quickly, and the stigma that once loomed over e-books and self-publishing is being lifted. In fact, many authors who’ve already hit the big time with traditional book publishers are turning to self-publishing.

Earlier this year, for instance, New York Times best-selling thriller author Barry Eisler turned down a $500,000 publishing deal from a mainstream publisher in order to self-publish his next book. Last fall, acclaimed writer Seth Godin, author of about a dozen books including PURPLE COW, told the Wall Street Journal that he “now has so many direct customer relationships, largely via his blog, that he no longer needs a traditional publisher.”

Janet Wong, Kevin Emerson, Chris Eboch, and P.J. Hoover are a few of the pioneers following suit in the children’s book industry. Together with Milos Vasic (Vasic Books) and Laura Rennert (Andrea Brown Literary Agency), they joined the Think Tank from four U.S. time zones—in person or via Skype—to share their personal paths into ebooks or self-publishing. They dished about things like doing the math to make profits work… the logistics of selling e-books through online bookstores… when it makes sense to self-publish and when it doesn’t… and how and when to talk about it with your agent.

Janet Wong has published 21 books through traditional publishers, appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and spoken at the White House, but says her proudest accomplishments are two ebooks that she published herself this year: ONCE UPON A TIGER and POETRY TAG TIME. Her move into the ebook arena was driven by a desire to respond to teacher requests for more affordable poetry books—definitely possible when priced as an ebook at $0.99 or $2.99.

Janet was joined by Milos Vasic, her book designer, who shared details about the technical side of things, such as which programs to use and how to upload .mobi files for the Kindle store or .epub files for the Nook store.

Kevin Emerson has published seven novels for middle grade readers: CARLOS IS GONNA GET IT with Arthur A. Levine Books, and six books in the OLIVER NOCTURNE SERIES, the first five published by Scholastic. Kevin recently self-published the final book in his OLIVER NOCTURNE series after Scholastic changed editors—and course—on him, wanting to meet his fans’ desire to see the series to completion. With the help of his author friends in town, Kevin produced a final novel— written, designed, and printed entirely in Seattle, the place he and his supernatural universe call home. The result is the final Oliver book, THE TRIAD OF FINITY. Kevin said he sometimes feels nervous and apologetic when talking about his foray into self-publishing, but has found the experience liberating and fun.

Author Chris Eboch began her children’s writing career with successes such as THE WELL OF SACRIFICE (still in print from 1999) and writing for the Nancy Drew series. But after her editor was fired, she decided to self-publish the last book of her HAUNTED series as well as a middle-grade manuscript set in Egypt. Chris’s agent thought it was a wise idea and was very supportive, and continues to pitch other manuscripts to traditional publishers. As it turns out, the HAUNTED book may be published traditionally after all, but Chris has EYES OF THE PHAROAH and an adult romance in the self-published market now.

Middle-grade author P.J. Hoover decided to self-publish her first YA, SOLSTICE, after her agent, Laura Rennert with Andrea Brown Literary Agency, suggested it and out of a sheer desire to get the book into the hands of readers. After all, she reasoned, she’d worked on the book for three years and felt it would be a shame to let it sit in a drawer when there are so many other options these days. In addition, the topic and themes of SOLSTICE were so timely they were afraid that, after some early attempts at traditional publishing didn’t result in a deal, the traditional timeframe would be too long and she’d miss the market.

P.J.’s agent, Laura Rennert, discussed her agency’s experimental role in helping to bring an ebook or self-published book to market, which she sees as just another way the agency can help authors bring books to readers. Laura is heading up her agency’s digital and independent publishing initiative. Following the model used with P.J.’s book, the agency would likely handle everything from positioning and packaging, editorial and copyediting, formatting and conversion, cover design and jacket copy, photography, proofreading, and uploading to all retailers and distributors—with standard agency commissions, as with books printed traditionally, to ensure there’s no conflict of interest. Laura talked about segments where ebooks have penetrated farther than paper books and some of the advantages and disadvantages of publishing options.

All panelists echoed Laura’s belief that this is a great time for authors, with more opportunities than ever before. Attendees were energized and chatty after the event ended, lingering to network, gab, and discuss their possible interest in ebooks and self-publishing. “It was very informative and really worth attending,” said Elizabeth Blake.

Secrets of the Copyright Page

Ever wondered what those numbers and lines of text mean on copyright pages? Scholastic's blog, On Our Minds, has the answers!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Art of Writing Children's Books Workshop with Richard Jesse Watson

Author/Illustrator Richard Jesse Watson is teaching a two-day workshop on Saturday and Sunday, August 20 and 21 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Cost is $150 for the workshop.
For anyone interested in writing for children, this class will give you tools and tangible steps to help launch your stories.
Sign up soon! There are only a few spots left. Contact The Writer's Workshoppe in Port Townsend at 360.379.2617.

You can find out more about the class, what to bring on his news blog page. You can find out more about Richard, and his work, on his website and blog.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

No More Writer's Block

A big huge thanks to Laurie for sending this link to a great blog post on Joanne Rocklin's "Anti-block" blog. It's titled 180 WAYS TO CONQUER WRITER'S BLOCK: for writers of all ages and genres. There are daily tips for writers and is a great resource to get those creative juices flowing!
Here's a little bit from Tip #9
Not what you think...
One of the best tips I know is his: he used to stop his writing for the day just when things were going well. The next day he'd just pick up at that point and not have to wonder what to write. After that, the writing flowed.
Check it out! There are some great ideas and we all can use great ideas!! Happy Writing!

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Girl's Ink" Summer Camp Registration

Hedgebrook is joining forces with the Power of Hope, The Whidbey Institute and The Partnership for Youth Empowerment Global to offer a week long summer camp for aspiring young female writers. Program participants will be mentored by published Hedgebrook alumnae who will inspire new ways of thinking and delivering the written word.

Within a supportive and safe community of women; writers will have the opportunity to explore issues and themes that are meaningful to their lives. Through working with narrative, fiction, poetry, spoken word, and playwriting, students can explore the genre that speaks to them. A week of diverse workshops, classes and "one on one" sessions allow participants to build new skills, confidence and self esteem.

The Date: August 16-23, 2011
Location: Whidbey Institute, in Clinton, Washington.
Cost: $695 includes meals, lodging, and all activities. Transportation is additional.

Need-based scholarship funds available.

Visit Power of Hope's website for more information or to download the application.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New YA Website

Thanks to fellow SCBWI member Maureen McQuerry for sending this information!
I want to let Chinook readers know about Young Adult Washington, a new website for writers, readers, librarians and anyone who loves YA fiction. We have an interactive map listing YA authors in WA state as well as YA books with WA state locals.

This month's featured author is Patrick Carman with an interview about his new interactive book DARK EDEN. Featured bookstore is Queen Anne Books. Explore and see what's happening in YA Washington.

Make sure you check out the Author Directory page while you're on the website!!
For more information on Maureen, and her work, visit her website.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Good News for Jenn Chushcoff (and a Great Post by Jenn too!)

Good News to Jenn Preston Chushcoff. Jenn's story, THE ABCDEATH MURDER MYSTERY, won Under the Juniper Tree's Edward Gorey challenge. Jenn also sent in a wonderfully written post about writing for UTJT to share more about her experience. Here's her post-

Crow Toes Quarterly has closed shop, but the macabre side of children's literature has found a home in the online journal, Underneath the Juniper Tree. Though they're unable to pay contributor's at this time, writing for them is an opportunity for both emerging and established writers. I usually shy away from writing for free, but there are some benefits to submitting to a quality online journal.

First, it helps newbies learn the publishing process, like meeting deadlines and collaborating with an editor. It gets stories out of the desk drawer and in front of an audience. (That's the entire point of doing this, right?) Plus, if you know anything about publishing, you know it's a slower than molasses endeavor. Writing a story and having it appear in print one month later is, how can I put this?, an incredible release!
Then there's the possibility of catching the eye of an agent or editor who happen by.

For already published authors, UTJT encourages fresh work. Several of my published pieces in UTJT were inspired by their weekly contests. My story, THE ABCDEATH MURDER MYSTERY, won their Edward Gorey challenge, which was to write a story based on three Gorey illustrations. UTJT has also been an outlet for my more spookity-ookity stuff like, THE FAIRY GOTHMOTHER and THE TRUTH ABOUT NOTHING.

Authors keep their copyright, but since much of the writing is specific to the challenges, it would be a "challenge" to have it published elsewhere. Instead, it's a good opportunity to stretch yourself and indulge that dark side. So if you like to tingle scaredy bones, you should check out Underneath the Juniper Tree.

*Artists! They're also accepting artwork and feature lots of talent in their June and July issues.

Congrats to Jenn and thanks for the thoughtful post too! Here's the link for THE FAIRY GOTHMOTHER and you can read more about Jenn, and her work, on her website.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Kid Lit Drink Night is Tonight!!

Attention fans and newcomers to Kid Lit Drink Night: Don't forget to come this Monday, July 18 to Olympia Pizza from 7-10 p.m. Bring a friend, a librarian, a list of your latest Kid Lit reads and commiserate about our summer weather.

Coming soon: August 20: Save the date for the SCBWI Summer Picnic! It will be a potluck affair in Woodinville from 3-7 p.m. More details to follow soon.

Questions: contact Molly Hall, incoming SCBWI Social Coordinator at

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Lois Harris Interview

Fellow SCBWI WWA member Lois Harris was recently interviewed on The Dabbling Mum's blog. Check it out here! For more information on Lois, and her work, check out her website.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Third Place Books Events

Sunday July 17, at 2 p.m. Third Place Books (Lake Forest Park) will host Wendy Wahman and her new book, A CAT LIKE THAT, and also their friends Samantha Vamos (THE CAZUELA THE FARM MAIDEN STIRRED), Paul Schmid (A PET FOR PETUNIA), Carmela D'Amico (SUKI, THE VERY LOUD BUNNY), Kevan Atteberry (TICKLE MONSTER AND BOOGIE MONSTER), Richard and Steffanie Lorig (SUCH A SILLY BABY). There will be stories, crafts, and maybe a prize or two.

Here's the link for more information. You can also visit their website.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

How to Make a Book Trailer

A great post on Darcy Pattison's blog Fiction Notes. It's about how to create a book trailer and also celebrates the second launch of WRITING YOUNG ADULT FICTION FOR DUMMIES. A great link to check out. Thanks to Laurie for sending the link!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Call for Submissions

TU BOOKS, an imprint of LEE & LOW BOOKS, publishes speculative fiction for children and young adults featuring diverse characters and settings. Our focus is on well-told, exciting, adventurous fantasy, science fiction, and mystery novels featuring people of color set in worlds inspired by non-Western folklore or culture. We welcome Western settings if the main character is a person of color.

We are looking specifically for stories for both middle grade (ages 8-12) and young adult (ages 12-18) readers. (We are not looking for picture books, chapter books, or short stories. Please do not send submissions in these formats.)

For more information on how to submit, please see our submission guidelines here. We are not accepting unagented email submissions at this time.

What I'm particularly interested in seeing lately: Asian steampunk, any African culture, Latino/a stories, First Nations/Native American/Aboriginal fantasy or science fiction written by tribal members, original postapocalyptic worlds, historical fantasy or mystery set in a non-Western setting.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Summer Conference is selling out fast!

The SCBWI's 40th Annual Summer Conference is HUGE. Not just for the number of speakers and opportunities, but for a record-breaking number of attendees as well. That means that registration will be closing in the next few days, and there will be no chance of part-time or walk-up registration.

If you've been on the fence about whether or not to attend (and about 50 of you are already packing your bags!), this is your last chance.

We'll be there. Plus Jon Scieszka, Bruce Coville, Laurie Halse Anderson, Libba Bray, Denise Fleming, John Green, and many, many more. Lin Oliver tells us that there are even a couple of surprises planned. Don't miss it!

See all the details and register online here.

Are you going? What are you the most excited about?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

ArtEAST Class- Word Play: Say What You Want to Say

Come play with words and writing. No grades, no grammar. Just you, the pen, some paper. Guided exercises and prompts will unleash the creative writer in you. Go deep, be funny, capture memories, create characters. In this one day event, you can build on a current project or begin a new one. Write the next chapter. Write the first chapter. Create text for a website. Caption photo albums. Draft that article. Begin your memoir. Queue up a few blog posts. We have one goal: play with words. No writing experience necessary or bring some to share. For more information, see the Write to the Edge website.

Instructor: Reisha Holton

Class Fee: $40 each or all four for $130 (see above for suggested materials to bring)

Location: Hailstone Feed Store, 232 Front St. N., Issaquah

There are two classes: Sunday, June 5, 1 – 4 p.m. and Sunday, August 7, 1 – 4 p.m.

To register visit this link.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Good News for Paul Schmid!

Three Cheers for Paul Schmid!! Paul's book, A PET FOR PETUNIA, received a review in The New York Times! This is Paul's first NYT review and PETUNIA leads the article about children who want pets (while their parents don't). The article talks about books dealing with this subject. A nice article and review for Paul! Congrats on your Good News!

For more information about Paul, and his work, visit his website and blog.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

There's Still Space in Craig Orback's Children's Book Illustration and Painting Classes

If you'd like to register for Children's Book Illustration and Painting Classes with Craig Orback there's still time! Classes start this week! Here's the post that has all the information about Craig's classes.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Published Pro Think Tank -- LOCATION CHANGE

PAL-level members, don't forget our Think Tank scheduled for Monday evening, July 11 — and don't miss the change in location. Instead of the SPU campus as origianally planned, we'll be meeting in the Bear River Room at the Marriott Redmond Town Center (the same location as our conference the past few years). We apologize for the change, but had to make it for technical reasons.
Marriott Redmond Town Center
7401 164th Avenue NW
Redmond, WA 98052

If you've RSVP'd for this event, you should soon receive an email reminder with the new location, address, carpooling opportunities, and other information.

If you haven't RSVP'd, be aware that advance registration is free but required; contact Published Member Liaison Sara Easterly at sara (at) saraeasterly (dot) com to check whether there are still seats available.

Discounted entry to business writing seminar

Many of us write--or dream of writing--for our day jobs. If you want to polish your writing skills so that you can get more freelance work, or write more effectively in general, you might enjoy an upcoming seminar on July 26 at the University of Phoenix Bellevue Learning Center.

The instructor, John Sturtevant, is offering a big discount to friends of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar ($275 instead of the regular $425 price).

And naturally, any friend of the SCBWI is a friend of SPOGG.

Here's info about the event:

Get the confidence and skills you need to think clearly and write what you mean.

Information is plentiful in every organization. But how you communicate that information is critical. You must continually turn information into knowledge to help your managers, colleagues, and customers understand often complex ideas, and make educated decisions.

Clear writing starts with clear thinking.

John Sturtevant's Business Writing Seminar is an energetic, fun, challenging, and thought-provoking day packed with new ideas and practical techniques – all designed to give you the confidence to master what people struggle with the most – how to think clearly and write what you mean.
What you’ll learn:
  • The most important goal in writing (it’s not what you think).
  • The #1 question on every reader’s mind (you’re thinking it right now).
  • Why thinking about tomatoes will make you a better writer (it really works!)
  • 4 ways to define your objective and expected outcome.
  • Listening skills that help you identify your reader’s perspective.
  • How to understand, and answer, your reader’s expectations.
  • Why format, style, and organization contribute to clear writing.
  • Persuasive-writing structure and techniques that produce results.
  • Dozens of other practical ideas you can use immediately!
Who should attend:

Managers, technical professionals, business analysts, sales and marketing pros, administrative staff – everyone who has to communicate their ideas throughout the work day.

In this interactive full-day session, you will collaborate on problem-solving exercises, write and revise assignments, and learn from others through peer critiques.

You’ll also learn and practice the principles of analysis and argument. In business, you most often write to convince others to do something – approve a budget, change a process, support a project, and dozens of other kinds of decisions. You’ll learn how to think analytically and form a logical, persuasive argument.

For more information or to register, click here. (Be sure to click the Friend of SPOGG option.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Review for A Pet for Petunia by Paul Schmid

Here's a great review on 100 Scope Notes to check out! Yea for Paul Schmid!! A big thanks to Liz Mills who is so wonderful about passing great links along!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Paper Art

Thanks to Liz Mills for sharing this fun link! American artist Laura Cooperman documents her travels in the most amazing way – using a scalpel, paper and pins. Her collection of hand cut paper illustrations and installations depict houses she has seen, and landscapes she has wandered. Very fun idea!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy Birthday to A CAT LIKE THAT!!

Happiest Birthday wishes to Wendy Wahman's A CAT LIKE THAT, which celebrated it's book birthday June 21! Click any of the links below to find out more information!

“Striking illustrations and a pitch-perfect portrait of an unnamed pet’s personality combine to showcase charming (and practical) advice on how to make friends with a feline.” Kirkus Reviews


facebookhenry holt bfyr

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Good News for Lois Harris

Applause and Cartwheels for Lois Harris!! Lois’ book, CHARLIE RUSSELL: TALE-TELLING COWBOY ARTIST, is A Parents’ Choice Recommended Award Winner (Spring 2011, Non-Fiction, ages 5-8 years). Here’s the link.

Congratulations to Lois! For more information on Lois, and her work, visit her website.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Children's Picture Book Course with Rollin Thomas

Rollin Thomas is offering his 8 week course on Children's Picture Books at Pratt Fine Arts Center. If you enjoyed him at the SCBWI Spring Conference, you will love his class. This course starts July 13, from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. and will run on Wednesdays. The class is limited in size for optimal contact time with only a few spaces left, so hurry.

Introduction to Children's Picture Book Illustration
Do you have a children's picture book idea just waiting to be discovered? This class will give you creative tools to help with visual storytelling, character development, and making story boards and book dummies. Learn how to find your place in the children's book market and create original art for a professional portfolio. Lectures, discussions, and exercises to help you develop your story and your style. Prerequisite: the desire to create for children.
Please use this link to go straight to the description page to sign-up. Only $370