Monday, February 28, 2011

Book Feast (hosted by the Elevensies)

The Elevensies are hosting Book Feast, a giveaway for libraries and readers. Each publication season this year, The Elevensies will put out a poster featuring that season's debut YA and MG novels. Take a picture of the poster in your local library, and you and the library will be entered in a drawing for signed copies of the books of your choice. See this post on their blog for giveaway details. (Helen Landalf's debut YA, FLYAWAY, which launches from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on December 19, 2001, will be featured on the Fall 2011 Book Feast menu).

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011 Conference Series-Distinguished Faculty: Victoria Jamieson

Only a few days left in February! That means spring is just around the corner, and just a bit longer until our 20th Annual Writing and Illustrating for Children Conference!! We still have many more incredible faculty to showcase, and one of those is a member of our Distinguished Faculty; Author/Illustrator Victoria Jamieson.

Victoria has worked as a designer for HarperCollins, and Greenwillow Books creating interiors and covers for both picture books and novels. She now works full time as an artist. Her first book was BEA ROCKS THE FLOCK, and she has two more books schedule to come out; OLYMPIG! (out in 2012), and BUG MUSICAL (comes out in 2013).

Here's a Q & A from 20 Questions post with Victoria Jamieson on Author Jane Heinrich's blog.
Which illustrators or artists do you admire the most? Why?

Oh, goodness. Mo Willems' books are genius, pure and simple. I never get tired of that pigeon. I also have a copy of Peter Brown's The Curious Garden next to my drawing table. That book is so beautiful it makes me almost physically sick (that's a compliment). It has such a subdued, beautiful color palette. I also love No, David! by David Shannon- another deceptively simple tale, but that always gives me goosebumps by the end. And Beverly Cleary depicts childhood with such stunning honesty. And, and, and...!
I also found this article written by Victoria on the Greenwillow Books Alumni Association Report (it shows a progression of her work on one of her book covers). You can find out more information on Victoria, and her work at her website. You can also follow her Illustration blog (with great artwork, and a fun post about Neil Diamond), and see more of her work on her Book & Graphic Design blog. A random fact about Victoria is that she once worked as a portrait artist for a Carnival Cruise ship.

For more information about the conference, and to register visit the event website.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fremont Place Books Closing - Open House

Fremont Place Book Co., an independent bookstore in business since 1988, is closing. The store has been an important landmark and community asset in Fremont for 22 years and Henry Burton has been its loving owner it for the past 7.

The store's last day is tomorrow, Sunday, Feb. 27; there will be an open house that day from noon to 6 p.m. Everything, from books to shelves to fixtures, is on sale.

Please stop by to give Henry a hug and help celebrate all that is great about books, bookselling, and being part of a community.
The store is at 621 N. 35th St., 206-547-5970, Also see this article in the Seattle Times.

Carole Estby Dagg's Book Trailer

Fellow Class of 2k11 and SCBWI member Megan Bostic created a trailer for Carole Estby Dagg's April 4 release, THE YEAR WE WERE FAMOUS. Grab a handful of popcorn and click on the link. For information on Megan, and her work you can visit her website. Here's Carole's website for more information on her work, and upcoming book.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Check out the Golden Kite Winners & Honor Books

The winners, as just announced by SCBWI, along with this year's Sid Fleischman Award winner. Congrats to the creators!

Northwest Book Lovers

Have you visited the Northwest Book Lovers website? It's a great resource for finding bookstores, authors, illustrators etc. Now you can also join Northwest Book Lovers on Facebook.

Here are more ways you can participate on their website:

1. Post your comments and raves about what you're reading on One Nightstand and tell other to do the same! All you have to do is click on "WHAT'S IN YOUR STACK?" and follow the prompts from there.

2. E-mail us blurbs, raves or reviews from NW independent booksellers that we can use in Face Out.

3. If you know of authors with new and forthcoming books who might want to write essays or be interviewed in our NW Voices section, you can let them know.

4. When you find interesting news or tidbits or blog posts by or about NW authors or bookstores or librarian, let them know and they might post them in our Regional Reprints section.

Make sure you visit the website, and take advantage of a great resource!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Highlights Foundation Whole Novel Workshop

If you’re a fan of children’s fantasy, then it’s likely that you’ve read and loved the work of two of fantasy’s best: Laura Ruby and Anne Ursu. Laura authored the standout books THE WALL AND THE WING and its sequel THE CHAOS KING. Anne penned the amazing middle grade novel, THE SHADOW THIEVES. Most of us would stand in line a long time to get either author’s autography, but now a select eight writers will have the opportunity to spend an entire week learning directly from these two fantasy stars!

Join Laura and Anne for the Whole Novel Workshop for Fantasy, May 1-8. These two outstanding writers will mentor you toward significant improvement on your novel. In this workshop, Laura and Anne will discuss issues of craft along with issues specific to the genre, including

• using physical details to build a vivid fantasy world;
• defining your magical system without losing a sense of wonder;
• ensuring your characters are as interesting as your world;
• communicating your world through your storytelling; and
• finding the right narrative voice.

Fantasy lovers often become fantasy writers, but few have a chance to learn directly from authors of such renown. Whole Novel Workshops are by application, and applications must be submitted by February 25 for
consideration. For more information visit the

Oodles of Story Ideas

Our own Laurie Thompson has discovered some great new story idea resources that she wanted to share. Check out her Oodles of Story Ideas post on her website. Laurie's site is full of other great posts as well! Reviews, interviews, and more! Thanks for sharing Laurie!!!

Reminder: Inside Story applications due

Applications are due Feb. 28 for the Spring 2011 Inside Story. We hold this party twice a year to celebrate new books by local authors and illustrators, and to share the secret "stories behind the stories" with fellow children's book lovers.

The event is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 27 at University Bookstore in Bellevue, 990 102nd Avenue Northeast.

You are eligible to participate as a presenter 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 uncertain which region you’re in, please check online at using the "Search Members" feature, or 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);
  • 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).
We do our best to accommodate all eligible applicants, but do have to cap the number to make sure the event doesn't run too long.  

Click here for the Spring 2011 Inside story Application.

If you applied last time and didn't make the cut, please note that in your application. And if you don't hear from us within a week, please contact Martha (insidestory AT

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

2011 Conference Series-Distinguished Faculty: Brent Hartinger

Happy Wednesday fellow SCBWI WWA members! It's time to meet another one of our Distinguished Faculty for our 20th Annual Writing and Illustrating for Children Conference; Author (and Playwright) Brent Hartinger. Brent has sold eight novels; including GEOGRAPHY CLUB; a novel about a secret high school gay-straight alliance.

Besides books, he writes screenplays, published articles, essays, short stories, newspaper columns, cartoons, and even greeting cards. Brent also teaches writing; you can follow him on Twitter (and get his patented Daily Writing Tips). He also occasionally joins the faculty at Vermont College in the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults.

Here's a Q & A question from a Writer's Digest Interview with Brent;

What is the most rewarding part of writing for the YA audience?
It is absolutely the response I get, which is just so honest and sincere and rewarding. I think adults are far less likely to really get excited about something. … For a teenager, it's an immediate, visceral thing, and the response is often so passionate and so emotional.
Here's another Interview to check out on Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Something to know about Brent is that his second great love is the theatre. You can find out more information about Brent, and his work on his website, and his blog.

For more information about the conference, and to register visit the event website.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kid Lit Pub Night

Don't forget to stop by this week's Kid Lit Pub Night on Thursday February 24, from 7-9 p.m. at The Noble Fir (5316 Ballard Ave. NW Seattle, 98119). It's a great chance to meet other members and catch up on news. Bring your local librarian or children's bookseller! At 8 p.m. there will be drawings to win a game of Bananagrams and a $10 University Bookstore gift card.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Northern Network Schmooze on March 2

SCBWI Western Washington's Northern Network extends an invitation to the group's March Schmooze:

Northern Network Schmooze

Wednesday, March 2, 7:00-9:00 pm

Barnes & Noble, Bellingham, Washington

I Wrote It, Now How Do I Revise It?”

Do you struggle with revision or do you love it? No matter which camp you fall into, we encourage you to join us for a lively discussion about the art of revision. What are your favorite revision tips? What are your challenges? Bring along any information or links to articles you’ve found helpful.

WEATHER ALERT! If it's snowing or the roads are dangerous, the network coordinator will not be present. Please use good judgment when deciding if you will attend.

Questions? Contact Angelina Hansen:

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Jon Scieszka is SPACEHEADZ!

Jon Scieszka, SPACEHEADZ historian, shares ways of the SPACEHEADZ on Wednesday March 9, at 7 p.m. at the Sammamish Library. This event is presented through Secret Garden Bookstore.
Besides his Library of Congress-bestowed title of National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Jon Scieszka is the author of many bestselling children's titles, including The STINKY CHEESE MAN, which won a Caldecott Honor medal. The series he’s here to launch Book 2 of, SPACEHEADZ, is more of a revolution than a book, really. Go to the series’ own site above to read all about it. You can find out more about the event at Secret Garden's website.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Good News for Stephanie Guerra

A big congratulations to fellow SCBWI member Stephanie Guerra! Stephanie has signed a contract for her debut novel, TORN, which will be published by Marshall Cavendish in spring of 2012.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Lois Harris Presentation

Lois V. Harris speaks about her books, CHARLIE RUSSELL: TALE-TELLING COWBOY ARTIST, and MARY CASSATT: IMPRESSIONIST PAINTER, at the Anacortes Public Library’s Centennial Celebration on Saturday, March 5, at noon at the library. Anacortes is her hometown, and Lois has a special place in her heart for the library as it’s where research for both biographies started. for more information on Lois and her work visit her website.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Congratulations, Kim!

This just in from today's PW Children's Bookshelf newsletter:
Deirdre Langeland at Roaring Brook has acquired Pickle, a middle-grade debut novel by Kimberly Baker, in a pre-empt. The novel, described as part Frindleand part Fight Club for middle-schoolers, is about a 12-year-old boy who finds himself outgrowing his best friend while managing a group of new friends into a league of undercover pranksters. The author is the assistant regional advisor and conference coordinator for SCBWI Western Washington. Publication is set for fall 2012; Sara Crowe at Harvey Klinger did the deal for world rights.
Hip hip hooray for Kim!

2011 Conference Series-Distinguished Faculty: Kevin Emerson

Time to introduce another one of our 20th Annual Writing and Illustrating for Children Conference Distinguished Faculty members; Author Kevin Emerson. Kevin is the author of the OLIVER NOCTURNE books and CARLOS IS GONNA GET IT. He also writes songs and sings in Seattle band Central Services, and their kids' music counterpart, The Board of Education. A former elementary school science teacher, Kevin continues to work with kids and teens at 826 Seattle and teaches through the Writers in Schools program.

Here's a question/answer from an Interview on TRT Book Club.
A group of teens ask you the best way to become a published writer. How do you answer the question?

I would tell them to keep writing, start every new idea, don’t worry about finishing them all. And as they write something, to imagine who they are writing for. If you imagine other teens reading your work, then show it to other teens. Be the coolest writer among all your friends, then your class, then your town, and so on and so forth. Also, seek out some criticism early, but not too much, and look to the books you love for inspiration.
You can find out more information about Kevin, and his work on his website. An interesting fact about Kevin is that he spent a semester in Kenya studying wildlife biology and conservation.

Dawne Knobbe Presentation & Signing

Dawne Knobbe, who writes as D.E. Knobbe, will be doing a presentation and signing her first novel RUNAWAY STORM on Wednesday, February 23, at 7 p.m. in the Readings Gallery at Village Books in Fairhaven/Bellingam. RUNAWAY STORM is a page-turner, adventure novel that takes place in the San Juans (Dawne grew up in Canada and knows the islands). A great book for both boys, and girls! She'll be discussing her book, writing tricks she discovered, and will be giving a free mini survival kit with every book purchased. For more information on Dawn and her work, visit her website.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Scott Turow and Shakespeare

Why is copyright and a system for paying creators important? Read a compelling argument for it, written by Scott and others, in the NY Times.

Crystal Kites -- the second draft

Okay, NOW go vote for the new SCBWI Crystal Kite award -- more books have been nominated in our division, the list is a whole lot easier to see all at once, the authors are now listed alphabetically by last name... proof that revision works, ha ha! Sign in at, go to our Western Washington page, and look for the Crystal Kites tab on the right. I count 76 titles in our division, the majority of them from creators in our region. Way to go, WWA!

First-round voting will last through the end of the month, then there'll be a run-off. All SCBWI members are eligible to vote.

You may notice that in our division, a few books have been listed twice, one immediately after the other. Technical glitch -- if that's a book you want to vote for, vote for either one and SCBWI staff will make sure the vote count is summed on the other end.

One more note: there's at least one book on the list under the author's SCBWI screen name, rather than her own name. The book title is still correct! (But this is a good reminder that published authors should generally eschew screen names and use their real names for promotional purposes.)

Anne Belov Presentation

SCBWI member Anne Belov will be giving a presentation at the Freeland Library (on Whidbey Island): "Art Forgery for Fun and Profit, or what Makes Great Art Great", this Sunday February 20, at 2 p.m. Anne will discuss what painters (and illustrators!) can learn from copying the great works of art. As the artist responsible for about a third of the show, Anne knows what she's talking about. This talk is in conjunction with an exhibit, "Forgeries from the Froggwell Collection," now on view at the library. Come see the show. You'll swear you're at the Tate Britain. Among the paintings copied, see works "by" Vermeer, John Singer Sargent, Edgar Degas, J.M. Whistler, and much more! For directions to the library, visit the library webpage.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2011 Conference Series-Distinguished Faculty: Sara Easterly

We've been focusing on Keynote Speakers, Agent Faculty, and Editorial & Art Director Faculty, but we'd like to introduce some of our incredible other Distinguished Faculty. First up is Sara Easterly, who is an author and publicist, and many of you know her as the former SCBWI WWA co-Regional Advisor.

Sara's first children’s book was LIGHTS, CAMERA, FASHION! for ArtLab: Fashion Studio, and was illustrated by fellow SCBWI WWA member Jaime Temairik. Additionally, Sara has published several magazine articles and is currently writing a middle-grade/tween graphic novel series that she's working on with Jaime.

An author publicist, as well, Sara handles publicity for fellow SCBWI WWA members Kirby Larson and Bonny Becker. She also handles PR for readergirlz and book publisher Wizards of the Coast, supporting New York Times bestselling authors R.A. Salvatore, Margaret Weis, and Tracy Hickman.

You can find more about Sara and her work on her website. Sara wrote a post on writing as a guest blogger on the readergirlz website.

For more information about the conference, and to register visit the event website.

4Culture Grants

4Culture, King County's cultural arts organization, is accepting applications for Individual Artist Project grants with a deadline of March 9 for the online application. Grants may support
  • The development of new work
  • The interpretation of existing work
  • The presentation of new work or collection of works
  • Support professional development of an artist (e.g. workshop, conference, residency)
  • Support the rental or purchase of materials or equipment that further the applicant's artistic development
This is a competitive grant, so treat it as you would a submittal to an agent. Guidelines, application workshop information and the online application may be found on the 4Culture website. Go for it!

Literary Lions Gala 2011

Wow! Want to rub elbows with some of your favorite authors AND help support literacy, reading and lifelong learning programs in our libraries and in our community? 

Check out this lineup appearing at the King County Library System Foundation's annual Literary Lions Gala, including Erik Brooks, Holly Cupala, Karen Cushman, Michael de Guzman, Patrick Jennings, Barb Bentler Ullman, Emily Whitman, Dori Jones Yang, and many more!

On Saturday, March 5, 2011the Bellevue Library  is the perfect setting for you to discover and meet authors, buy their books and enjoy a unique literary-themed silent auction.

For more information on sponsorships or to reserve your tickets, contact Claire Wilkinson,, 425.369.3448.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Celebrate Valentines Day with Some Book Love

Happy Valentines Day Fellow Writers & Illustrators! A day all about L-O-V-E!! And to celebrate (writer & reader style) I found a post on From the Mixed Up Files Blog; they've put together A List of Love (MG books about love; including sibling/family, crushes and first loves, funny love, etc. So find a book you love, and enjoy today!! Happy Writing and Reading!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

2011 Conference Series-Agent Faculty: Joe Monti

Looking for that perfect Valentines Day present for a children's writer, or illustrator you know and love? Or maybe just a gift for yourself? We've got the perfect one! A weekend at our 20th Annual Writing and Illustrating for Children Conference!! There's still spots available, and to help you convince yourself how beneficial this conference is for you as a writer/illustrator, it's time to highlight another one of our incredible agent faculty; Joe Monti, who is an agent with Goldblatt Literary LLC.

Joe's worked as a book seller, a book buyer for B. Dalton, and Barnes and Noble, and for both Houghton Mifflin, and Little Brown Books for Young Readers before becoming an agent with Barry Goldblatt Literary LLC. He's an unabashed lover of genre fiction, particularly fantasy and science fiction. You can find out more about Joe on the Goldblatt Literary website.

I also found an interview. with Joe on Literary Rambles, and this quote from an interview on the Guide to Literary Agents (Editor's Blog).
Don’t hold back from your passion. Too many folks get caught up in what the marketplace is supposedly looking for, and they lose sight of what they’re trying to write. That and read your drafts (Note the plural usage!) aloud for imperfections of language and cadence. It’s an old horse, but not done enough because it may take you days to finish—but the results are astounding.
For more information about the conference, and to register visit the event website.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Deadline Extended for Naylor Fellowship Applications

The deadline has been extended to March 3 for nominations for this year's $5,000 PEN/Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Working Writer Fellowship. A candidate must be a writer of children's or young-adult fiction in financial need; candidates must have published at least two novels for children or young adults which have been warmly received by literary critics, but have not generated sufficient income to support the author. The writer's books must be published by a U.S. publisher. Please consider nominating someone, and let your fellow authors and editors know about the award. For information on how to apply, please visit the website.

Plan for WA Library Snapshot Day April 12

As part of the ALA's "Snapshot Day" movement, Washington librarians, authors, illustrator, readers, and library users of all sorts are planning special events for "Washington Library Snapshot Day" events at school, academic and public libraries on April 12, 2011. Join the fun! Check out initial planning and information about this "see and be seen" event; your local librarian would probably be thrilled to talk with you about what's going on at your local library that day and how you might be able to make the event bigger and better.

If you have great ideas that other SCBWI WWA folk can help with, feel free to leave those ideas in the comments or start a discussion at our next Kid Lit Pub Night!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Authors Guild series on e-books (and more)

The Authors Guild is running a terrific series looking back at last year's Macmillan/Amazon battle, examining the issues in the ebook royalty struggle, and looking forward to what's on the horizon. Although membership of your own is HIGHLY recommended for published SCBWI WWA folk, the Guild feels so strongly about publicizing these issues to authors (and illustrators), they're allowing reposting, tweeting, etc. of the entire series, even to Guild non-members.

You can't afford not to be informed on these points.

Read the first episode, "How Apple Saved Barnes & Noble. Probably."

Read the second episode, "E-book Royalty Math: The Big Tilt."

Read the third episode, "The E-book Royalty Mess: An Interim Fix."

We'll post links to any future episodes as they're available.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Good News for Tony Dirksen and Pam Withers!

Congratulations to fellow SCBWI-WWA members Tony Dirksen, and Pam Withers! They've started a new adolescent literacy foundation, Keen Readers; which will profile middle-grade and young-adult authors and review middle-grade and young-adult books. Based in Seattle and launched in February 2011 by the two SCBWI-WWA members, The Keen Readers Foundation addresses parents and mentors of reluctant readers, while also including a section for youths with author interviews, writing contests and book reviews. In February, the featured author is SCBWI-WWA member David Patneaude.
Most children can read, but "it takes a village to raise a child's desire to read," the site explains, "especially once that child hits age nine. Hence the so-called 'fourth-grade slump,' which if ignored can last through high school and beyond. It's our goal to support parents and mentors in helping youths become comfortable with reading. In today's information age, that's not an option; it's a key to success.
Keen Readers includes interviews with literacy experts and young-adult authors around North America, articles, book reviews, writing contests for adults and youth, an ask-an-expert column, a message board for parental discussions and an extensive list of links to more sources on reluctant readers and adolescent literacy.
Keen Readers also supports and donates books to reading-buddy programs across North America.

Tony Dirksen and Pam Withers met three years ago at a Great Critique session run by the Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators in Seattle, then began carpooling to SCBWI-WWA meetings together. They discovered a common interest in promoting teen literacy and thought up the idea for the foundation last fall. The website's "About Us" section mentions the SCBWI-WWA connection, and hundreds of press releases sent out with the launch also mentioned SCBWI as the original source for the collaboration.
The more I traveled around North America giving talks to schools about being an author, the more I felt that was not enough. I wanted to get more deeply involved in teen literacy," she said. "My only beef with Tony is that he spent the two weeks before our launch on his honeymoon in England. Luckily, he returned happy and fired up to grow our foundation, which we feel is needed.
Withers and Dirksen welcome volunteers who would like to write articles or book reviews for the site, or apply to serve on its board. They'd also like to hear from the rare authors who were reluctant readers as children. Visit the Keen Readers website for more information about Tony, Pam, and what they're doing (you can also follow them on their blog, and on facebook)!! A big congratulations to you both!

2011 Conference Series-Agent Faculty: Sarah Davies

Time to introduce you to another one of our AMAZING 2011 Conference Faculty! And this time, it's one of our Agent Faculty; Sarah Davies, who is an agent with the Greenhouse Literacy Agency.

Sarah heads the North American side of the Greenhouse (she's originally from London, and Greenhouse operates in the U.S., Canada, and in the UK). She has more than 25 years’ experience of children’s publishing. She's worked at Collins (before it was HarperCollins), Transworld/Random House, and at Macmillan Children’s Books in London. Sarah is an experienced speaker on issues connected with children’s books and creative writing and attends international bookfairs, American writers’ conferences, and industry events throughout the year.

You can find out information about Greenhouse on their website (where you can also follow Sarah's blog). Here are some interviews with Sarah that you can check out!
Here's a little bit of what Sarah's looking for in authors (from an interview on Literary Rambles).
I like authors who can make me laugh or cry, who can make me see the world in some new way--who make me want to leap to the phone to call them as soon as I've turned the last page. I also love authors who can do great action (very rare) and big stories that engage the intellect as well as the heart (also rare). Oh, and sharp, snappy commercial writing with a strong hook. But I also have a passion for beautiful, powerful language and therefore adore writers who can weave magic with their words (which means, yes, I will take on a literary novel if I have a strong enough belief in the author).
Can you believe that we have spots left for our conference!?! If you haven't signed up yet please visit our event website for more information about the conference and to register.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mark Teague Date Change

Author & Illustrator Mark Teague's visit to Secret Garden will be on March 15, at 7 p.m. (rather than the previous stated February 15). For more information visit their website. Mark will be reading his newest book, LA RUE ACROSS AMERICA, and he'll also be signing books.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Authors wanted for Read Across America

Mary at ParkPlace Books in Kirkland is setting up school-visit events in the Lake Washington School District for the week of Feb. 28 through March 4 in conjunction with Read Across America. She's looking for authors willing to spend an hour with students that week and sell one title to them through the store using an advance order form. There's no honoriarium or stipend involved, but as she notes, "The idea is to remind the schools of all you wonderful authors we are lucky enough to have in the area." And to sell books with the help of one of our remaining independents, of course.

If you're a published author (with a book available through standard trade channels) who'd like the exposure or a chance to sell your latest title that week, contact Mary at 425-828-6546 or parkplacebooks (at) Integra (dot) net.

SCBWI WWA Special Event with Kristen McLean: Understanding the Future of the Publishing Industry

Join SCBWI WWA and Kristen McLean for a Special Event: Understanding the Future of the Publishing Industry, on Tuesday, March 15
TechFemme recently predicted, "Kristen McLean is Going to Upset (ie., Fix) the Publishing Industry." . She's going to upset (ie., enlighten, and hopefully in a good way!) SCBWI Western Washington, too, when she visits Seattle. Mark your calendars now and register for a special SCBWI Western Washington presentation on Tuesday, March 15, from 7-9 p.m., where Kristen, former executive director of the Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC), will share key findings from the 2010 ABC/Bowker Pubtrack Consumer Study of the Juvenile Book Market. The first direct consumer study of the book market, the findings shed light on some critical trends that are shaping today's changing children’s book industry, such as:
    • Will books continue to be valued in the lives of children and teens?
    • Are consumer attitudes towards books holding up against the flood of other media competing for market space?
    • How are parents and children choosing what to read and buy?
    • What role are children playing in book-buying decisions?
    • Will there be readers to support this industry in the decades to come?
Just $20 to attend. For details and to register, click here.

Kristen McLean is the founder and CEO of Bookigee, an innovative tech startup for the publishing industry that connects authors & content creators, publishers, and consumers through a super-cool visualizing search platform. From 2005-2010, Kristen was the executive director of the Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC). Under Kristen’s leadership, ABC merged with its larger sister association, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) in 2011, where its work continues. Find out more her at website.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tomorrow Night is February's Professional Series Meeting (Includes a Homework Assignment)

Tomorrow night is our February Professional Series Meeting. Our programming includes a mini-session with Amber Keyser, who will present LEARNING TO READ FOR AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS, and our main session is with Wayne Ude, who is presenting WHILE THE CENTRAL PLOT SIMMERS: SUBPLOTS AND SECONDARY/SUPPORTING CHARACTERS.

Wayne asks that you bring a three-sentence description of a plot, whether an idea or something you’re working on, as well as three sentences (maximum) about each of the central characters. Wayne is the Whidbey Island Writers Association MFA program director, as well as author of a children’s book as well as adult short stories and a novel.

Meeting take place at Seattle Pacific University, Demeray Hall, Room 150. Registration is at 6:45 p.m., and the program begins at 7 p.m. For more information; including session descriptions, directions, and fees please visit our website monthly meeting page.

2011 Conference Series-Editorial & Art Director Faculty: Martha Mihalick

Happy Monday All! I'm home with the flu today, but thankfully I'm able to spend some time researching and posting about our FANTASTIC 2011 Conference Faculty! I'd like to introduce you to another one of our Editorial and Art Director Faculty; Martha Mihalick. Martha is the Associate Editor with Greenwillow Books at HarperCollins. She edits a wide range of books; from Picture Books to Young Adult.

Martha majored in English, and then attended the Denver Publishing Institute, and as she says "shortly afterwards began her dream job". Martha has a very strong online presence. She has a fantastic website (see this recent post about her life long love of reading). She's on twitter, and manages both Greenwillow's facebook fan page, and Greenwillow's blog.

I found several wonderfully practical interviews with Martha as well.
  • YA Highway Publishing Interview Series
  • Christy's Creative Space interview on voice
  • Market My Words interview on marketing
  • Cheryl's Musings has a list of some of the books edited by Martha/Greenwillow Books.
Here's a question/answer from the Market My Words interview
In your opinion , what are the top things every author should do and must do to promote their book?

I think the most vital thing is to have a website—one that you regularly update, so that it never seems stale. Kids, teens, parents, librarians, booksellers, teachers will all google favorite authors to find out more about them!

This is particularly critical for aspiring illustrators, in my opinion. Most of my artist-hunting happens online. And “website,” can also mean blog.

It’s important that an author or artist’s online presence is one that THEY are comfortable with. This may be a regular website that they update once a month or so with news, etc. Or it may be a blog they update every day or once a week, or what-have-you.

After that, reaching out to your community and contacts and being available for appearances is great.
A random fact about Martha (taken from her website).
Before I realized children’s book editor was a job, I wanted to be a ballerina when I grew up. Or a writer (my best friend was going to be an illustrator, conveniently enough). Or a figure skater. Or a pediatrician.

Crystal Kite Announcement!

This just in from SCBWI International:

As of February 4, 2011, the 2011 SCBWI Crystal Kite Member Choice Award voting has been suspended at the request of our members who did not register their books in time for this year's competition!

You have a 2 week grace period to get your books registered, and voting will begin again on February 16, 2011. If you have already voted, you'll need to go back to the Crystal Kite tab at your Regional Home Page at that time to vote again.

How to Enter
All you need to do is log in to your SCBWI Member Profile, enter your book information on the "Publications" tab, and make sure that you've clicked the box that reads "Yes, I would like to submit this publication for Crystal Kite Awards nomination."

1. Log in at with your email address and password.
2. Click the link that says, "See what's going on in your region!" on your Member Home Page.
3. Click on the "Crystal Kite" tab of your Regional Home Page, and browse through the titles and authors. You may also search for a specific book or author in your Regional Division.
4. Click the "Vote" button next to the title you wish to vote for.

For more detailed instructions about the "Member Profile" screens, including how to enter you book for the Crystal Kite Awards, click here.
Dates to remember!
The first round of voting will now commence on Wednesday, February 16, 2011, and continue until midnight (PST) on March 15th. The top 5 vote-getters in each Regional Division will advance to the semi-final round of voting, which will now begin on Wednesday, March 17, 2011.
For a list of regional divisions and complete SCBWI Crystal Kite Member Choice Awards guidelines please click here

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chautauqua scholarship reminder

Just a reminder that the postmark deadline for applying for a scholarship to the annual Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua is next Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011. The folks at Chautaugua say, "We'd love to see children's writers and illustrators who need financial assistance be able to attend this workshop. It takes place July 16-23, 2011, in western New York at the Chautauqua Institution." For an application and more information, contact Jo Lloyd at or call toll-free at 877-512-8365.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Conference rideshare arrangements

Planning to go to our annual conference in April? Interested in ridesharing?

A member from San Juan Island wants to come and is looking for someone she could ride with. If that's you, contact Andrea at as4444 (at) centurytel (dot) net or at 360 378 9541.

More generally, if you'd like to arrange rideshares from either the driver's or riders' perspectives, you can try:
- Leaving info and your contact information for others in comments here on this post
- Coming to our monthly PSM meetings and asking there (we can announce your interest during the business meeting if you let us know when you arrive)
- Attending a Kid Lit Pub Night and finding someone to rideshare with there
- Posting on our Facebook page.

And don't forget that public transport is an option for some; detailed information about bus options is on the conference registration page on the Travel & Lodging tab.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

2011 Conference Series-Editorial & Art Director Faculty: Justin Chanda

January is gone! We're headed into February, which is just a little over two months from our 20th Annual Writing & Illustrating for Children Conference! Time for a preview of another one of our fabulous Editorial & Art Director Faculty; Justin Chanda.

Justin is the VP/Publisher with Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, and is the publisher of three flagship imprints; Atheneum, BFYR, and McElderry (which means he helps to bring 200+ books into the world every year). He gets to edit some of it's best talent, including the likes of Jon Scieszka, David Shannon, Michael Ian Black, and others (Keynote Speaker Holly Blacks' WHITE CAT is published through McElderry).

He was recently on the Editor Panel at the LA SCBWI Conference last summer. You can find an interview with him here. And here's his stance on e-books (borrowed from another interview with Justin on the Official SCBWI Conference Blog
"E-books are great. They are wonderful. Anyone who tells you different is wrong. It's just a new avenue to get great stories out to kids and adults. It's like the Wild West right now, and we are still trying to figure it out. I do not believe e-books are going to eradicate the hardcover books. I know it will be difficult for booksellers, but I'm embracing it. And the iPad is going to be a great way to develop picture books. Digital publishing in general is not replacing things, its just a way to get more people reading."
Justin is known for his enthusiasm for children's books, and has also worked as an executive editor at both Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Are You a Picture Book Marathoner?

During February 2011, over 400 children's writers worldwide will be "writing" a picture book marathon. A marathon goes approximately 26 miles. They’ll be writing 26 picture books (one a day for 26 days). The marathon is designed as a motivational tool to jumpstart their writing.

If you're signed up, you'll be able to connect on the website. If you're not, you can still check out the website, and follow the blog (which is full of great tips; including story starters).

Deborah Reber book launch--TONIGHT!

Deborah Reber launches her newest book LANGUAGE OF LOVE (part of the two-book collection LOVE, LOVE, LOVE) Wednesday, February 2, starting at 7 p.m. at Secret Garden Bookshop.

You can find out more information at Deborah's Facebook Event page. For more information on Deborah and her work, visit her website.

Mark Teague is coming to town!

From Secret Garden Books in Ballard:
Mark Teague has delighted young readers with his illustrations in more than 20 picture books, and he has written many of them himself, including the popular Pigsty, Baby Tamer, and One Halloween Night. He is also the illustrator of Cynthia Rylant's beloved Poppleton series for beginning readers, and Jane Yolen’s How Do Dinosaurs... series of picture books.
In LaRue Across America, Ike's plans for a peaceful cruise with Mrs. LaRue are thwarted when their neighbor, Mrs. Hibbins, falls suddenly ill from heat stroke. Mrs. LaRue suggests that she and Ike care for her cats while Mrs. Hibbins is in the hospital, inviting them along on the cruise. But cats aren't allowed, and Mrs. LaRue decides to take them all on a week's vacation of road-tripping.
Join Mark Teague on this wonderful romp of a road trip across America's immediately recognizable tourist destinations. Teague masterfully drives us to the story's very satisfying ending through his hilarious text and slyly smart paintings.The author will read us his story and show us an illustration demo. He will also sign books available for sale at the event. Free.
When: Tuesday, February 15th, at 7:00 p.m. 
Where: Secret Garden Books2214 NW Market St, Seattle, WA

Hey Artists, Want Some Money?

It's a rather silly question. Laurie sent the Update this link about opportunities to get paid doing what you love to do!! Artist Trust, a nonprofit that supports the work of artists, has expanded its web site to include a directory of funding opportunities (grants, fellowships, awards, residencies, etc.) among other resources, for individuals. Check it out! Maybe you'll be able to find funding to do what YOU love!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Crystal Kite Nominees

Just in case you'd like to see a list of ALL of the nominees from our Crystal Kite regional division (which includes Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota), here they are! 

  • BIBLE RIDDLES FROM THE BACKPEW, Mike Thaler, Zonderkidz
  • CARMEN LEARNS ENGLISH, Judy Cox, Holiday House, Inc.
  • CAT DIARIES, Erik Brooks, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
  • CHARLIE RUSSELL: TALE-TELLING COWBOY ARTIST, Lois Harris, Pelican Publishing Company
  • CHASING BROOKLYN, Lisa Schroeder, Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster)
  • CHURCH HARVEST MESTIVAL, Mike Thaler, Zonderkidz
  • CINCO DE MOUSE-O!, Judy Cox, Holiday House, Inc.
  • CONFESSIONS OF A FORMER BULLY, Trudy Ludwig, Tricycle Press
  • COUGAR CUB TALES: I'M JUST LIKE YOU, Sharon Cramer, B & F Publishing
  • COUGAR CUB TALES: LOST AND ALONE, Sharon Cramer, B & F Publishing
  • EARTH: FEELING THE HEAT, Brenda Z Guiberson, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
  • EPITAPH ROAD, David Patneaude, Egmont USA
  • FAIRVIEW FELINES: A NEWSPAPER MYSTERY, Michele Corriel, Blooming Tree Press
  • FAITHFUL, Janet Fox, Puffin Books (Penguin Young Readers Group)
  • FOR HORSE-CRAZY GIRLS ONLY, Christina Wilsdon (equiferus), Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan Publishers)
  • HENRIETTA HORNBUCKLE' S CIRCUS OF LIFE, Michael de Guzman, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc.
  • HOT PURSUIT: MURDER IN MISSISSIPPI, Craig Orback, Kar-Ben Publishing
  • IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES, Lisa Schroeder, Aladdin (Simon & Schuster)
  • JOURNEY INTO THE DEEP: DISCOVERING NEW OCEAN CREATURES, Rebecca L Johnson, Millbrook Press (Lerner Publishing Group)
  • MOON BEAR, Brenda Z Guiberson, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
  • MORE BEARS!, Kenn Nesbitt, Sourcebooks
  • MY MOM'S DEPLOYMENT, Julie LaBelle, Elva Resa Publishing
  • NORA AND THE TEXAS TERROR, Judy Cox, Holiday House, Inc.
  • OTHER, Karen KIncy, Flux
  • POLAR OPPOSITES, Erik Brooks, Marshall Cavendish Children's Books (Marshall Cavendish Corporation)
  • PUDDLE MOON, Mari Gayatri Stein, River Wood Books
  • ROLL UP THE STREETS!, John Bladek, KaneMiller
  • SECRETS OF A LAB RAT: MOM, THERE'S A DINOSAUR IN BEESON'S LAKE, Trudi Strain Trueit, Aladdin (Simon & Schuster)
  • SMELLS LIKE DOG, Suzanne Selfors, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Hachette Book Group USA)
  • STABLEMATES: STORMY, J Elizabeth Mills, Cartwheel Books (Scholastic)
  • TELL ME A SECRET, Holly Cupala, HarperCollins Children's Books
  • THE AUTHOR FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, Mike Thaler, Scholastic
  • THE CAN MAN, Craig Orback, Lee & Low Books
  • THE CLEARING, Heather Davis, Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • THE DEAD BOYS, Royce Buckingham, G.P. Putnam's Sons (Penguin Young Readers Group)
  • THE DRAGONS OF NOOR, Janet Lee Carey, Egmont USA
  • THE FREAK OBSERVER, Blythe Woolston, Carolrhoda Books (Lerner Publishing Group)
  • THE GENETIC CODE, Phill Jones, Chelsea House (Infobase Publishing)
  • THE KING'S 6TH FINGER, jolby, Self Published
  • THE NAUGHTY LIST, Suzanne Young, Razorbill (Penguin Young Readers Group)
  • THE NEST WHERE I LIKE TO REST, Dawn Babb Prochovnic, ABDO Group
  • THE OTHER HALF OF MY HEART, Sundee Frazier, Delacorte Dell (Random House)
  • THE SOURDOUGH MAN, Chérie Stihler, Sasquatch Books
  • THE SPOOKY WHEELS ON THE BUS, J Elizabeth Mills, Cartwheel Books (Scholastic)
  • THE TIGHTY-WHITEY SPIDER, Kenn Nesbitt, Sourcebooks
  • THE TILTING HOUSE, Tom Llewellyn, Tricycle Press
  • THE TIMEKEEPER'S MOON, Joni Sensel, Bloomsbury Children's Books
  • THRESHOLDS, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Viking Children's Books (Penguin Young Readers Group)
  • VACATION BIBLE SNOOZE, Mike Thaler, Zonderkidz
Wow, that's quite a list, and there will be some stiff competition out there! Round 1 voting will end the last weekday in February, so if you haven't ready many of these, get thee to a library or bookstore pronto, and be sure to cast your vote (see previous post for details)!