Sunday, December 30, 2012

A note from Rollin

Dear SCBWI friends,
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Sorry for my long silence but I was so overwhelmed by your well wishes on the poster and the check for economic assistance that I didn’t know how to respond. It is one thing to sign a poster with hopeful thoughts and kindly offer up some money and something quite different to receive it. I was so in awe of the kind words of hope and positive thinking plus the check that I was speechless. My sister said, “A simple thank you will do, just say it soon.” I am sure she is correct but I want to add a little news.
I have chosen the Gerson Therapy, which goes on the premise that cancer is a chronic symptom and that the disease is a failing immune system. So I am out to heal my immune system so it can heal my chronic diseases but it is expensive, as Medicare or insurance does not cover it--though it is the least expensive way to heal cancer. Two years of therapy at about $28,000.00 in food and supplements and the cost of my doctor to oversee the process plus my need to spend almost two thirds of my day in juicing and other health care, it leaves precious little time to earn a living. So when the check arrived, it was enough to cover one month of food and some supplements. I was so grateful, again thank you very much. Thank you, Joni, for gather it all together to send to me.
The poster sits on the wall at the end of my bed so all of the positive thoughts can give me a good start each morning and a peaceful way to end my day. Thank you, Dana, for creating it for every one to sign.
Thank you all for the joy you have sent to me.
Be well, create lots,
PS, Please visit my healing site.

Cheers to our published members of 2012!

It's here. The last day of the year.

(That went fast, didn't it? Yikes!)

This year, many of our members released new books in a variety of genres. I wanted to ATTEMPT to take a quick roll call to honor you all, and your work, during this year. Forgive me if I missed some names, or just misspelled some––I am culling from Inside Story events as well as posts from the beginning of the year.

Cheers to you all for the books that are now in the world! Here's to many more successes in 2013!

Kimberly Baker
Stephanie Barden
Sean Beaudoin
Elizabeth Blake
Katherine Grace Bond
Martha Brockenbrough
Erik Brooks
Dia Calhoun
Stacey R. Campbell
Janet Lee Carey
Robyn Chance
Ben Clanton
J. Anderson Coats
Holly Cupala
Kevin Emerson
Sundee Frazier
Chadwick Gillenwater
Brenda Z. Guiberson
Stephanie Guerra
Mindy Hardwick
Penny Holland
Mark Holtzen
Jeff James
Patrick Jennings
Peg Kehret
Kathleen Kemly
Karen Kincy
Helen Landalf
Deb Lund
John Nez
Katherine Schlick Noe
Kirk Parrish
Julie Paschkis
Brenda Peterson
Randall Platt
Karen Robbins
Jeanne Ryan
Brianna Caplan Sayres
Carole Lexa Schaefer
Paul Schmid
Suzanne Selfors
Clete Barrett Smith
Maggie Smith
Trudi Trueit
Joe Wahman
Wendy Wahman
Suzanne Williams
Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Support Sandy Hook Elementary students with books

1) SCBWI's Executive Director, Lin Oliver, has learned through the Newtown Fire Department, that there’s a desperate need for picture books for the kids who will be returning to school after the new year. The Sandy Hook Elementary School community will be setting up a temporary elementary school location at the middle school, and since they are not moving the library, they’re in need of picture books to stock their temporary library. SCBWI's main office plans to donate books, and invites individual regions to join in. We can help by gathering new, appropriate, high-quality picture books over the next couple of weeks, which we’ll send to Newtown after the first of the year.

If you’re attending the Great Critique on January 7th, please try to bring a book to donate. While it's not mandatory, we’d love to see a high level of participation. If you’re not attending the Great Critique but would like to donate, please contact me at to make arrangements. The easiest thing would be to deliver, or ship, books to my home address in West Seattle. If that doesn't work I may be able to put you in touch with someone in your area who can get the books to me. 

2) Many of you know regional SCBWI member Richard Lorig and his wife Steffanie. Steffanie is the Executive Director of Art with Heart, a nonprofit whose mission is to empower youth in crisis through therapeutic books and programs that foster self-expression. Art with Heart is currently soliciting donations to reprint their grief book, with the goal of providing a copy for each of the 555 students of Sandy Hook Elementary school. I can vouch for the high quality of Art with Heart’s publications, and the work they do. To learn more about Art with Heart and make a donation, please visit

––posted by Kerri Kokias

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Artist Trust EDGE program deadline this Friday

Opportunity: Artist Trust EDGE program for literary artists in Washington State
Deadline: December 21 

I am a big fan of the EDGE program offered by Artist Trust to Washington state artists and writers. Three members of my critique group have participated in the program over the last several years and all have used the focused time and instruction to build a stronger practice. The opportunity to learn with other committed writers creates community as well. I recommend this program for moving your professional practice forward. In addition to the EDGE program Artist Trust offers annual Grants for Artist Projects, awards of up to $1,500 for proposed projects. Watch for the GAP Grants call for artists after the first of the year.

From the Artist Trust website:
Artist Trust invites literary artists in Washington State to apply to the EDGE Professional Development Program. The EDGE Program offers artists a comprehensive survey of professional practices through a hands-on, interactive curriculum that includes instruction by professionals in the field as well as specialized presentations, panel discussions and assignments. The objectives of the EDGE Program are to provide artists with the relevant and necessary entrepreneurial skills to achieve their personal career goals and with the opportunity to develop peer support and exchange. Since 2003, 454 literary, film and visual artists have successfully completed the EDGE Program.

EDGE curriculum includes: 
• Professional Presentation
• The Writing Life: Funding, Publication & Other Opportunities
• The Business of Writing
• Marketing & Promotion
EDGE for Literary Artists will be offered March 1–April 13, 2013 in Seattle. Up to 18 artists will participate in the program, which consists of 52 hours of training. One scholarship is granted.

Fees: $500 Artist Trust members, $545 non-members

––posted by Tina Hoggatt

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thank you from Kirby

Thank you all so much for making last night so special for me. I loved the "champagne substitute" toast and the festive spirit and the thoughtfulness.

I am mad at myself b/c I wrote at the top of my speech to thank Dana Sullivan for that wonderful banner he made, depicting Christy and me as little girls. If there's a way to thank him in the update, I'd love for that to happen.

(Editor's note: It's not a miracle, just hard-working volunteers, but here it is!)

And Deb, I will cherish that warm introduction but especially that comment that you think I'm hip. I'm definitely telling my kids that. And I had totally forgotten walking the ALA floor with you that day. What a story.

Deb Lund and Kirby Larson

I am so blessed; thank you all.


What's news this week

And now, on to all the good news that's fit to print!

Martha Brockenbrough's Devine Intervention, J. Anderson Coats' The Wicked and the Just, and Kelly Milner Halls' Girl Meets Boy were included in Kirkus Reviews' Best Teen Books of 2012. Cheers to you all!

Chadwick Gillenwater, aka "Professor Watermelon" announces the release of his new children's chapter book, Herbert. For more details about this book and how to find a copy, click here. Congrats, Chadwick!

Necromancing the Stone author Lish McBride appears this Tuesday, Decemebr 17 from 7-8pm at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park to discuss the much-anticipated follow-up to Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. Come support Lish and her Necromancer series.

December's Kid Lit Drink Night on December 7 was a convivial event for all! Dana Arnim recaps:
Gathering at Hale's Brewery in Ballard, my husband Bill and I were joined by 8 other SCBWI-ers for a great evening of talk and beer. A mix of both veteran and new members, we enjoyed the cheery mood at Hale's. I even snagged an "emergency business card" coaster––what clever folks. Thanks to all for coming out!

Lois Harris' My Maxfield Parrish: Painter of Magical Make-Believe book received a lovely review from Fran Lewis. Lois also shared that her biographies of artists Mary Cassatt, Charlie Russell, and Maxfield Parrish are mentioned in local artist Ellen Clark’s Bellingham Herald blog. To find out more about Lois' books, Discussion Guides for which were developed by SCBWI Northern Network Coordinator and teacher Rebecca Van Slyke, can be found on Lois's website

Laurie O'Keefe's picture book, Gopher to the Rescue: A Volcano R
ecovery Story (written by Terry Catasus Jennings, illustrated by Laurie O'Keefe), has been named to the 2013 list of Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), in combination with the Children's Book Council (CBC) collaborate each year to choose top reads for children in grades K-12 that promote science and literacy.

Andrea Lawson has a new store on  Etsy, Flying Selki Art Studio.
Please visit! SCBWI members get a holiday coupon!  (coupon code: FlyingSeDec2012Art)

Children's book illustration classes with local illustrator Craig Orback begin in January, both in Seattle and Bellevue. Check his website for details on Children's Book Illustration I and II, to be held at Bellevue College (Saturdays, January 19–March 9) and North Seattle Community College
(I: Tuesdays, January 15-March 5; II: Mondays, January 14–March 18).

Crystal Kite Award winner Kirby Larson!

Huzzahs and congratulations to Crystal Kite Award recipient Kirby Larson, for her wonderful way with words and her inspiring, timeless tales.

Kirby received her award last night at the Professional Series Meeting, to much cheering and celebration.

Deb Lund presents Kirby with her award

The Crystal Kite Award with its worthy owner!

Here's to you, Kirby!

Award-winning cookie recipe

Here's a holiday gift for all, from kitchen of last night's Grand Prize Cookie Contest Winner Christina Wilsdon:

 I'm sending along the cookie recipe, as requested, for sharing. Thank you for awarding my contribution the Grand Prize and thanks for the gift certificate to Secret Garden! Now I can get a great book to read next time I sit down with cookies and milk :)

The recipe comes from the 2010 special issue "Holiday Cookies," published by America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated. I've amended it to incorporate what I did as I muddled through it....

Raspberry-Almond Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups slivered almonds
1 cup (or more) granulated sugar
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup raspberry jam

1. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Heat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Process 1 cup flour and almonds in food processor until finely ground, about a minute.

3. Add half a cup of sugar, the other cup of flour, and process til combined.

4. Add butter and vanilla; pulse until dough forms.

5. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on lightly floured surface.

6. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter (or a similarly sized simple shape, such as a five-pointed star), cut out cookies. Place 2" apart on prepared baking sheets.

7. Bake til edges are light brown, about 15 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Cool 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack.

8. Put the remaining half cup of sugar (or more--I found it easier to use a whole cup for this step) into a bowl. Quickly, before the cookies cool off too much, spread 1 tsp jam on the bottoms of half the cookies and press them together with the other cookies to form sandwiches. Then gently roll them in the sugar to coat them. If you do this while they're warm, the sugar will stick to them very well.

9. You can gather and re-roll leftover dough scraps along the way, though you may need to chill it again if it gets too warm to handle and roll out properly.

10. Cool cookies completely on wire rack.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Children's Writer/Illustrator Holiday Gift Guide

(Compiled by Kerri Kokias… in case Santa’s reading. Also as a disclaimer that these are just some of my personal favorites. There are a lot of other publications, resources and businesses writers/illustrators might support.)

This can be a blank notebook/sketchbook, a nice pen, art supplies, software, or even a book of stamps to encourage submissions in the upcoming year.

A Bulletin Board
Every author/illustrator needs a place to post inspirational quotes and images.

A Scheduled Date
Take your friend to see an admired writer/illustrator speak. Check local newspapers, books stores, event venues, and author/illustrator websites for event listings.

Illustrator’s Fine Art Prints
Many illustrators sell prints of their work on their websites or through Google some of your, (I mean, your gift recipients), favorite illustrators to see if they have prints for sale. And don’t forget to support illustrators in our region!

The Gift of Time
This could be as grand as sending your favorite author/illustrator to a luxury lodge (spa!) for a weekend of writing/illustrating time; or as simple as providing childcare or errand running to free up the person’s time.

2013 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market
Filled with in-depth information on how to get published, including tips on writing for children, interviews with best-selling children’s book authors, advice from literary agents, and hundreds of listings for children’s book publishers.

Subscription to a Publishing Industry Magazine

McMullens Subscription
McMullens is McSweeney’s new children's book imprint. You can subscribe to get 8 books mailed to you (I mean, your gift recipient) as they are they are released.

Gift Certificate to a Favorite Bookstore
Book people love books!

Registration for an Art or Writing Class
Check class listings at local colleges, art supply stores, and writing centers.

Registration for a Writing/Illustrating Conference or Retreat
Start with for a listing of SCBWI’s international and regional events.

SCBWI Gift Membership
The benefits of an SCBWI membership are endless.  Talk about the gift that keeps giving!

Once more for the Gip-- er, Rollin

One more reminder for the thousand things that'll make our Thursday meeting one not to miss: It's your last chance to toss in a contribution for the "$ea$sonal Be$t Wi$he$" we'll be sending Rollin Thomas. (See post here for details.) And many, many thanks to all of you who've already contributed — you are AWEsome.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Reminder: COOKIES! and BOOKS! this Thursday

A handy reminder to come to Thursday night's Professional Series meeting, featuring author, coach, and teacher Christi Krug, who will help get us through those horrible writing blocks, and a celebratory toast (or twenty) and presentation to Kirby Larson, our Crystal Kite Award winner!

As if those weren't enough reasons to make merry, 'tis the season's meeting that includes:

1) a final RAFFLE for some lucky someone out there to win tuition to the next regional SCBWI conference here in April 2013!


2) the world-famous, annual COOKIE SWAP! Bring a plate of your most delectable handmade holiday cookies and ye shall be judged on their deliciousness and awesomeness (3 cookies from each plate will be pulled by the judges, and the rest will be set out to share). It's a win-win, even if you lose, because we'll all be extremely happy to sample your wares! You must enter by 6:45pm, and the winner will be announced during the meeting. Prizes awarded!

and (and!!!)

3) the annual BOOK SWAP! Here's the skinny:
Bring a book, take a book. Picture books, middle grade, young adult, instructional books - whatever you think will be useful, appreciated and read. We'll set up a table for you to drop your books at the beginning of the meeting. Then, as we enjoy our cookies and praise the winners the redistribution will begin. We aim to have that table bare by the end of the evening. Any books left will be donated to Page Ahead.

See you Thursday - it's going to be a fabulous meeting.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Best of 2012 lists

2012 has gone by fast. Too fast. Am I the only one who thinks this has been the case? I am still brushing sand out of my T-shirts. How can it be that I am sitting in a coffee shop with a sweater AND a scarf, or that when I pick my daughter up from anywhere this week I am forced to leave the car running and the heater blasting? (Don't hate me, I learned the hard way and had to call AAA the other night for a drained battery.)

Which brings me to the onslaught. You know, the annual Best Of, Notable, Bestselling, Head of the Class lists that decree that certain books that are not only good, but, considering all the titles and authors who published things this year, at the tippy-top of the heap. Scan down one of these lists, and you've pretty much scanned them all. But...and this is a biggie: They are drawing attention to not only books, but to children's books. This is ultimately good. (Plus, isn't it fun to read lists? It's easy on the eye and also fun to count on your fingers the number you've actually read. Who's with me?)

And so, while I know puh-lenty of incredible writers (both personally and from my intimate moments holding their tomes in my lap in said car with said engine running and heat blasting), I pay attention to these year-end roundups. I have to. We all do, if this is what we aspire to be: one of the few, the proud, the Listed. Then again, some of these designations have to do with big marketing engines, and some have to do with actual readers. Either way, they're a way to mark the passing of yet another year in the publishing industry. Or, as I like to think of them, as the lily pads that float atop a much deeper and richly diverse pond of 2012's kid-lit offerings.

See for yourself:

 New York Times, Notable Children's Books of 2012

New York Public Library's 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, 2012 (hi, Pickle! and congrats to Kim Baker!)

Goodreads Choice Awards, 2012: Best Young Adult Fiction, Best Young Adult Fantasy, Best Middle-Grade and Children's, Best Picture Books

Publisher's Weekly, Children's Picture Books, Children's Fiction, Children's Nonfiction

Kirkus Books Reviews, Best Children's Books of 2012, Best Teen Books of 2012 (hi, Devine Intervention! and congrats to Martha Brockenbrough!)

There are lots more where these came from, and surely even more to follow after the American Library Association's annual meeting IN SEATTLE this coming January! Stay tuned!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Critique Groups 101

And now, a few words from SCBWI-WWA Critique Coordinator Kerri Kokias:

What is a Critique Group?
A critique groups is a group of authors or illustrators who connect regularly, either online or in person, to share their work and get honest feedback. They give one another encouragement, share general craft and marketing information, and most importantly, offer ideas for revision.

How do Critique Groups work?

The format for critique groups is flexible and can vary greatly. Some groups meet in person, while some exchange material and feedback online. Many implement a combination of the two. Typically groups meet monthly, but some meet more, or less, frequently. Some stick to a specific genre of children’s literature while most have members of varying genres. Basically, members can mold the group to best meet their needs.

How can I get involved in a Critique Group?

Writing classes, conferences, Professional Series meetings and events like The Great Critique all provide excellent opportunities to meet other writers and illustrators and form critique groups.
If you are a member of SCBWI International, I can help put you in contact with other writers/illustrators to join, or create a critique group that would be a good fit for you. I’m available at Professional Series meetings or by email. Please provide your name, genre, area where you live, e-mail address, and whether you’d prefer to in an online or in-person group.
Watch for Kerri's post Critiquing 101 coming later in the month!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Profession Series Meeting Preview: December 13

And if you thought December was exciting enough all by itself, here's a Professional Series meeting that will have you singing into your eggnog for weeks to come....

WHEN: Thursday, December 13 from **6:45-9pm
WHERE: Seattle Pacific University, Demaray Hall 150

Christi Krug is in the business of inspiration. Her business, Wildfire Writing, combines her expertise as a writer, teacher and personal coach in all aspects of the creative process. She teaches independently as well as in conjunction with Clark College in Vancouver, WA. An award-winning writer whose poetry, short stories, and articles have appeared in everything from national magazines to handmade publications, from religious periodicals to horror anthologies. She is the author of seven resource books, and Burn Wild: A Writer's Guide to Creative Breakthrough, out in January 2013. Her talk is titled, "Burn Wild: Breaking Through Creative Blocks."

She has conducted workshops for writing conferences and worked with individual writers around the globe, offering helpful prompts through her blog, Kindling, and other exercises to jump-start the writing process or push a writer's mind out of those treacherous ruts. She specializes in out-of-the-box approaches to creating, and to the belief that the best ideas are simply waiting to be invited out into the world. We are thrilled to welcome Christi this month, and to celebrate the season with a huge dose of inspiration!

There’s no mystery why our membership chose The Friendship Doll by Kirby Larson as our region’s Crystal Kite winner, but this book does include a mystery that hasn’t been solved.  

I am Miss Kanagawa. In 1927, my 57 doll-sisters and I were sent from Japan to America as Ambassadors of Friendship. Our work wasn't all peach blossoms and tea cakes. My story will take you from New York to Oregon, during the Great Depression. Though few in this tale are as fascinating as I, their stories won't be an unpleasant diversion. You will make the acquaintance of Bunny, bent on revenge; Lois, with her head in the clouds; Willie Mae, who not only awakened my heart, but broke it; and Lucy, a friend so dear, not even war could part us. I have put this tale to paper because from those 58 Friendship Dolls only 45 remain. I know that someone who chooses this book is capable of solving the mystery of the missing sisters. Perhaps that someone is you.

The Crystal Kite is a regional version of SCBWI’s national award, The Golden Kite. Each of the 70 worldwide regional chapters votes for their favorite book published by one of their region’s SCBWI members. “Like the Golden Kite Awards, the Crystal Kites are selected by peers---authors and artists working in the children’s book field,” says SCBWI Executive Director Lin Oliver. “That makes them unique and especially satisfying to receive.” 
Please join us as we celebrate Kirby and soak up inspiration from her talk,  “I believe, I believe, I believe: Miracles on Writing Street.” We believe, too, Kirby. We know it hasn’t all been peach blossoms and tea cakes, but we all need someone who models success with integrity, contribution, and storytelling that speaks to our hearts. That someone is you.


Did someone say "cookies"? 'Tis that delectable time again, folks, for our annual 

COOKIE CONTEST   [crunch, crunch, crunch]

Here's the scoop: You must enter by **6:45pm. 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. The judging will be done shortly after 7pm, and the winner will be announced during the meeting (with fabulous prizes).  

And because we love you, enter the meeting-wide RAFFLE to win tuition to our always-fabulous, always-inspiring April 2013 Regional Conference! DETAILS: Get your raffle ticket when you pick up your name tag. Drop your ticket off as you enter the lecture hall.

Merry, merry, everyone! See you next week!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

December events


Garfield's Books, Tacoma, 1-4pm
Jingle Book Bash
Appearances by Northwest YA authors, including Helen Landalf, Megan Bostic, Jennifer Shaw Wolfe, and others. Panel, signings, games, treats, and prizes! 

Rob Schouten Gallery, Greenbank, Whidbey Island, 1-4pm
Anne Belov's book launch party
The painter-turned-cartoonist/blogger ("The Panda Chronicles") celebrates the release of her new book of cartoons, The Panda Chronicles, Book One: Your Brain on Pandas. In attendance will be her characters, Bob T. Panda and Babette de Panda. Also, original cartoons will be on display.

Barnes & Noble, Bellingham (4099 Meridian St), 7pm
Northern Network Meeting
The Great Critique is coming to Seattle on January 7! To prepare for it, we are going to do an informal “Mini Critique” session. To participate, please bring 5 copies of the first chapter of a story, a picture book manuscript, poem, nonfiction piece, or other writing. Illustrators, please bring 1-2 samples of your artwork. Don’t worry if you’re not able to be at the Seattle meeting. You’re very welcome to join in the fun in Bellingham! Here are the particulars:
Questions? Call Rebecca Van Slyke at (360) 354-5797, or email her.
East West Bookshop, 7-8:30pm 
Authors' Roundtable 
Beginning Thursday December 6, from 7-8:30pm, Bill Kenower will lead a monthly roundtable at East West Bookshop in Seattle's Ravenna neighborhood. Here is your chance to talk about success, failure, acceptance, rejection, writer's block, writer's envy, and a writer's joy. Everything will be on the table, and everyone will is welcome. Sign up nowSpace is still available.

Finally Found Books, Black Diamond, 11am-2pm
Young Adult Author Day
Come meet Northwest YA authors, including Helen Landalf, Joni Sensel, Kendare Blake...and special guest Peg Kehret!

SCBWI-WA Professional Series December Meeting, 7-9pm
Stay tuned for exciting (and delicious!) details! Save the date!

Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, 7pm
Lish McBride, Necromancing the Stone (second in the YA Necromancer series, following Hold Me Closer, Necromancer)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kid Lit Drink Night - December

Let's get started on our holiday celebrations by raising a glass of cheer! 
Please join us on Friday, December 7 at 7pm 
Kid Lit Drink Night 
at Hale's Brewery in Ballard!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday morning catch-up!

Welcome to this, the Monday edition, of what I call "Playing Catch-Up"! Now that the turkeys have been reduced to stock and the pie pans contain nothing but crumbs, 'tis the time for me to catch up on some of your news.

Apologies to the stalwart crew who made it to the Kid Lit Drink Night on Bainbridge Island a couple of weeks ago! Here's the long-awaited recap of what went down on The Island, courtesy of Jennifer Mann:

Seven intrepid SCBWI-ers traveled from far and wide on a very dark and rainy Friday night recently to join up on at Casa Rojas Cantina on Bainbridge Island for Kid Lit Drink Night November 16. Kevan Attebury came all the way over from the Eastside (but departed before our photo shoot); Christina Wilsdon joined us from Seattle; Rowena Russell traveled from Bremerton; and Andrea Lawson came down in the dark from Port Townsend. Margaret Nevinski, Dawn Simon and Jennifer Mann made the relatively short journey from other dark and rainy neighborhoods on the island. Although we competed for the Noisiest Group Award with a large and lively crowd imbibing at the Cantina before seeing Breaking Dawn at the theater next door, we did manage to silence the room when we loudly brainstormed brilliant and unexpected markets for Kevan’s Monster-a-Day project. We also solved some vexing Photoshop problems, discussed the current state of publishing and generally toasted the wonder and joy that is children’s books. It was a great night to venture out into the rain! Next time maybe we’ll aim for a sunny summer evening, and a spot on the deck of the Harbour Pub.


Check this out! Lois V. Harris was interviewed on Stacy Thies’ blog.

Karen Robbins will be signing Care For Our World and children will be doing an art drawing from her Shoe Print Art book at Market Street Shoes (2232 NW Market St #101, Ballard) on Tuesday, November 27 at 7pm. This is a combined book event with Secret Garden Books and Market Street Shoes. Please bring a slightly used pair of shoes to place in the collection box for Soles 4 Souls.  


Randi Platt's book release and events

Well, That Platt Woman’s gone and published another novel! 
This one’s a Christmas story for all ages!


A girl in search of an education, a draft horse in search of one last chance, a derelict tractor in search of a missing gear, and a young Mexican-American in search of a home. These unlikely compatriots join forces and risk everything for a small bit of something during a time when nothing was king - The Great Depression.

Randi will be appearing at the following events, so come support her latest release:

TODAY! Monday - November 26 - 7pm - Joeseppi’s Ristorante - 2207 N Pearl, Tacoma - come early for dinner then join us in the back room for coffee and cookies!

Wednesday - November 28 - 7pm - Madrona Links Restaurant- 3604 22nd Avenue NW, Gig Harbor, Wa - come early for dinner then join us in the back room for coffee and cookies!

Friday, November 30 - 6:30pm - Liberty Bay Books - 18881 Front Street NE - Charming downtown Poulsbo!

Saturday, December 1- 5pm - Mostly Books - 3126 Harborview Drive - Gig Harbor - come down for the lighting of the Christmas tree across the street and join me and author Casandra Firman who will be autographing copies of her own Christmas book, ONE CHRISTMAS IN OLD TASCOSA!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Stacey R. Campbell's YA debut out today

Anacortes author Stacey R. Campbell's debut YA novel, Hush (Green Darner Press, a new imprint of Gemelli Press), releases today as an e-book, and the paperback will follow in mid-January. Please see her website for more details and information about Stacey, as well as her Facebook fan page.

The first in a planned series of Lakeview books,
Hush begins the story of a quest to find a missing heir to one of Europe's thrones, from the exclusive grounds of a boarding school to the United Kingdom. And it begins the story of Blakely and Max, and how their paths cross in the search for the truth.

Congratulations, Stacey! 

Helen Landalf's paperback release

Here's the good news Helen Landalf shared at the Professional Series Meeting last week, which everyone should know about.

Helen's debut YA novel, Flyaway, has just released in a paperback edition from Graphia, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, with a beautiful new cover.
 We agree, it's gorgeous! Congratulations, Helen!

Mark Holtzen book release

Mark Holtzen announces the release of his self-published children's book, The Pig War, which has garnered some impressive attention. It is being sold in about fifteen bookstores around the region  and received a starred review from Kirkus. Way to go, Mark!

When his parents send him to remote Mobray Island for a summer with his curmudgeonly grandfather, bookish Kell thinks his time is going to be a boring bust. But he and his boisterous sister Grace are quickly drawn into events from the island’s past—The Pig War of 1859. By summer’s end Kell learns that Mobray Island holds more adventure than he bargained for: shady ancestors, shadier neighbors, and even some discoveries about himself.

Mark was also a recent guest blogger on the PNBA site. Click to read his post.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The rest of November: Events worth your while

For the rest of this month, here's a sampling of author/illustrator events. Please not that from this point onward, I will need to receive your event/appearance by the middle of the month BEFORE you're scheduled. That way I can be more efficient and timely, and you'll get the most comprehensive, up-to-date schedule. For those pesky, last-minute events, of course send them my way and I will try to fit them into a weekly post highlighting goings-on and newsy tidbits.

TODAY, Tuesday, November 13, is Inside Story, featuring amazing book releases from our very own chapter! The lineup is extraordinary, and if you can get yourself up to the Mill Creek University Book Store by 7pm, you will be rewarded for your effort. Really.

Saturday, November 17: Teen Book Brunch
Featuring Helen Landalf (Flyaway), Martha Brockenbrough (Devine Intervention), J. Anderson Coates (The Wicked and the Just), Megan Bostic (Never Eighteen).
University Book Store, Mill Creek, 11am

Wednesday, November 28: Graphic Artists Guild Workshop
"The Secret to Happy Clients," with Patricia Belyea. Winning clients is hard enough, but how do you keep them coming back for more? Learn about client profiling, the dynamics of securing and retaining clients, and tips on making your clients delighted with your services.
Seattle Design Center, noon-1:30pm (doors open at 11:30am)
Pre-register for discount price. Further details at

Because this month began with such a bang at Weekend on the Water, with special guests Jordan Brown and Anne Ursu, it wouldn't be right to keep it under wraps. The latest writeup about this dynamic duo's take on revision and craft left many brains spinning, and here's Janel Kolby's post. Hopefully some of the nuggets of wisdom will make you sit up and have that long-awaited creative epiphany!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Welcome to the holiday season! 

Inside Story is TONIGHT!

SCBWI Western Washington's Fall 2012 Inside Story is happening tonight! 

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. Each presenter gets a couple of minutes to share inside information about their books. Booksellers, librarians, teachers, media people, and all other kidlit lovers are all invited. 

We'll have fun and PRIZES!

The Fall 2012 Inside Story will take place TONIGHT, November 13 at 7 p.m. at University Bookstore in Mill Creek. 

Congratulations to our fall presenters:
  • Kim Baker with PICKLE
  • Sean Beaudoin with THE INFECTS
  • Martha Brockenbrough with DEVINE INTERVENTION
  • Erik Brooks with WHO HAS THIS TAIL?
  • Brenda Z Guiberson with FROG SONG
  • Kathleen Kemly with MOLLY, BY GOLLY!
  • Karen Kincy with FOXFIRE
  • Randall Platt with LIBERTY'S CHRISTMAS
  • Karen Robbins with CARE FOR OUR WORLD 
  • Jeanne Ryan with NERVE
  • Carole Lexa Schaefer with ABCERS
  • Paul Schmid with PERFECTLY PERCY
  • Maggie Smith with PIGS IN PAJAMAS
  • Trudi Trueit with STEALING POPULAR
  • Wendy Wahman with SNOWBOY 1,2,3
  • Suzanne Williams with ZEUS AND THE THUNDERBOLT OF DOOM
We hope you'll be there to help us celebrate these wonderful new books!