Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Look what you missed!

Pub Night at the Roanoke Inn

by Dana Sullivan 
(with apologies to Edward Lear)

KidLit Drink Night, 9-22-12
Writers and illustrators crossed the lake
to meet at the Roanoke Inn
They moved tables and chairs, which earned them some glares
'til they ordered beer and gin

All were lighthearted, the rain clouds soon parted
As we sat in the yard of the bar
Laughter was flowing on the 26 showing
What a wonderful chapter we are,
We are,
We are,
What a wonderful chapter we are!

Help wanted: School project on book publishing

Attention, SCBWI-ers! Please consider helping this student on her worthwhile senior project. It's something close to all of our hearts.....

From her teacher:

I have a student who goes to Chief Seath High School and is doing her senior project on how to publish a book.  We are looking for folks who will meet with her for about an hour to answer questions about the publishing process. We hope you will be able to help us.

Diane White-Shaw
CSIHS senior project mentor and teacher

Thursday, September 20, 2012

HarperCollins Voyager imprint wants YOU!

This just in from Lois Brandt:

In case you haven't seen this already, HarperCollins Voyager imprint is going to accept unagented manuscripts for two weeks in October!  This may be an opportunity for YA science fiction writers.
For more details and links to submission guidelines, click here.

Catch Kirby Larson's Friend Fridays

News from Kirby, which in turn means good news for all:

I'm switching things up at my blog, kirbyslane.blogspot.com, a bit and am adding a new feature called Friend Fridays. I want to use those posts to celebrate my friends' new books. I try to keep up, but my SCBWI friends are just too danged prolific! (I mean that in a good way, of course.) If you have a new book out or coming out, please send me a heads-up at kirby@kirbylarson.com.

Karen Robbins bares her "Soles"

Good news from Karen!

I decided to take on a new challenge and publish my own book, Shoe Print Art Step Into Drawing Step by Step!  My 5,000 books arrived last week, and they're beautifully illustrated by Sally Marts.  Here's what 139 cartons of 5,000 books look like.

I was fortunate to have MaryAnn Kohl of Brightring Publishing as my editor.  Shoe Print Art has 55 images all drawn from a shoe print shape. Children from across America followed the steps and created an image which is printed on the page. The young artists range in age from 3 to 14. (Three of Susan Haas' creative granddaughters have drawn three images for the book.)  It shows children who follow the challenge of "Putting your best foot forward, you can draw anything!"

A percentage of the profits will be donated to Soles4Souls.org    

For more information on Karen and her creative projects, click here. For more about her project, click on www.shoeprintart.com.

NaNoWriMo class with Lois Brandt

Is this the year that you’re going to write that novel? 
Lois Brandt's class at Bellevue College starts October 6, and can get you the jump-start that you need.

Class: Write Your Novel in a Month  
Saturdays, October 6–December1, 10am-noon (no class 11/24)
Cost: $189

Is writing a novel one of your life-long dreams? Join this 8-week Bellevue College class as it hooks up with 100,000 writers worldwide for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The first classes prepare you for the noveling process, with practice in characterization, setting, plot, voice, and dialogue. Then we're off, and writing our 50,000-word manuscripts. During the last class we plan for revision. This is a great way to write your novel in a supportive environment.   
Questions?  Contact Lois@LoisBrandt.com 

Books by the Bay 2012: September 27 in Olympia

Need another reason to head south next weekend? Here's a sure bet:

Books by the Bay 2012

Thursday, September 27 from 5-7pm

Join the South Sound Reading Foundation
for a magical evening with award-winning authors, including regional best-selling author Jim Lynch.

Mr. Lynch will read from his new book, Truth Like the Sun. Other authors and illustrators include: Judy Bentley, author of Hiking Washington’s History; Erik Brooks, winner of the 2011 Washington State Book Award; Newbery Honor Winner Margaret Chodos; writer and publisher Robin Cruise; 
Parents' Choice, Washington State Governor's Writers, and Best Multicultural Award- winning author Ken Mochizuki; and critically acclaimed, award-winning illustrator, Julianne Paschkis. Books will be available for signature and sale.

Also, meet local leaders committed to literacy, listen to live local music, enjoy appetizers and refreshments, and browse the over fifty unique literacy silent auction items, including a ticket package to the Seattle Symphony. It’s a great opportunity for early holiday shopping!

Where: Olympia Country and Golf Club, 3636 Country Club Road, Olympia, WA  98502

Each year the South Sound Reading Foundation invites you to participate in their literacy celebration to support their mission; ensuring all children are read with and, or are reading 20 minutes a day.
  Reading just 20 minutes a day promotes the healthy brain development, family bonding and school readiness all children need to read and succeed.

The Reading Foundation does this important work by educating and reminding children, youth and families about the importance of reading though community awareness campaigns and family education programming and by distributing free books so that every family, every child has the tools they need to read and succeed.

The Reading Foundation distributes over 50,000 books each year and with each book they share the important reading message.
The funds raised at Books by the Bay will enable the Reading Foundation to continue its important literacy work. Please show your support by attending this very special event.

To order tickets call: 360-412-4499 or email: readt2me@nthurston.k12.wa.us


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lois V. Harris events

Lois V. Harris presents an interactive picture book writing workshop on structure on Sept. 23 at Northwest Bookfest, in Kirkland’s Peter Kirk Community Center, Room 3 at 4 PM. (Please note that kid lit programs at Northwest Bookfest are not associated with or organized by SCBWI of Western Washington.)

On Sept. 29 at the 2012 Washington Art Education Association’s Fall Conference at Highline Community College, Lois gives a workshop sparked by the art of Maxfield Parrish, the subject of her newest book, Maxfield Parrish: Painter of Magical Make-Believe---if you know any art teachers, she'd love for you to let them know.

Call by tomorrow for Maureen McQuerry author event

 Please join author Maureen McQuerry for a special literary AND gustatory event at Mockingbird Books (7220 Woodlawn Ave NE) this Saturday, September 22 at 7pm, to celebrate Maureen's latest book, The Peculiars (Amulet). The ticket price, $18.56, includes a copy of the book, dinner, and other refreshments. Please call 206-518-5886 by September 20 to RSVP.

Peggy King Anderson's writing class

Peggy King Anderson is spreading the word, which is really all about the words you're about to write:

Peggy King Anderson currently has openings in her Magic of Writing for Children (Beginning level; there are also openings in the Intermediate/Advanced class as well, with 8 sessions beginning Sept 26, from 6:30-9:30, same location) which starts Tuesday, September 25,  6:30-9:30 PM, at Bellevue College, North Campus. In this 8-week series (bargain priced at $195), Peggy will cover the basics of writing for children in a fun, interactive class, with time for writing exercises and feedback on your own writing.  

To register online, click here. For phone registration, call 425-564-2263.

If you’d like further information, contact Peggy directly by email or call her at 425-823-6149. 
You can also visit her website.

A Very Special Request

Cheryl Klein, Arthur Levine, and many other people at Scholastic and the Make-A-Wish Foundation have been working hard to help someone's dream come true— and we can all help!

Cheryl writes:

"Over a year ago, we were contacted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation regarding a young Seattle-area writer named Stephanie Trimberger (who was 13 at the time; she’s 15 now) who has brain cancer. Her dream was to have her novel edited by “the Harry Potter editors,” so Arthur and I read it and wrote her an encouraging editorial letter, and she began working on revisions.  A year went by and we didn’t hear anything more, but she finished her book and she wanted us to take one last look. 

Thanks to the terrific coordination of a lot of people here, we not only managed to edit it in about 24 hours, but we typeset the manuscript and created a gorgeous cover for it; and with the help of an extraordinarily generous donation from the printer, 300 copies of Stephanie’s THE RUBY HEART have now been printed. Now the local Make-A-Wish Chapter in Seattle is working with the Pacific Place Barnes and Noble to host an event for her next Tuesday – they’ll pick her up in a limo and deliver her to the B&N, where she’ll do a reading and sign copies.

...It would be so wonderful to have a big audience there to applaud her accomplishment and make it a great day for her. Stephanie is a huge reader of YA and fantasy fiction; she lost her mom to brain cancer nine years ago, and it sounds like she’s been writing about that long. I’m sure ALL writers can symptathize with her dream to publish a book, and it should be an amazing evening in seeing that dream fulfilled."

How about it, SCBWI Western Washington? Can we help make it the night of her dreams?

[Edited to add: 300 copies of the book have been generously donated and will be available free of charge. Hopefully there can be a big crowd of people to help Stephanie have a dream author moment. ]

Tuesday, September 25
6:00 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Pacific Place
600 Pine Street Suite 107
Seattle, WA 98101

You can RSVP and see more details on the Facebook page.

See you there!

REMINDER: Kid Lit Drink Night this Saturday!

With September’s Kid Lit Pub Night in ascendance
It’s time to do something ‘bout our sorry attendance.
Why the poor turnout on these nights out together?
Shouldn’t we flock to our birds of like feather?
Is it because our butts are placed firmly in chair?
And to leave for a drink or a bite we don’t dare?
What nonsense! You know that our butts should be moved
And a drink makes the stuff from our pens much improved
For not only does drinking bring on the good cheer
Look what it’s done for these famous careers:
The woman who started it all, Mother Goose
Wrote her best rhymes only when thoroughly juiced
And Bemelmans’ penchant for drink went so far
That the creator of Madeline now has his own bar
Sendak, the master, so recently departed
Used Jager to get his wild rumpuses started
And those Berenstains may have drawn bears oh so mild
But the cops say their parties tended to get really wild
Now you see that your writing career might depend
On how many drinks of good cheer you upend
A night out with friends might just give you the perk
To go back to your chair and do your best work!
So on Mercer Island at the Roanoke, September 22
With sketchbook in hand, I’ll be looking for you
From 5 until 7, and maybe ‘til 9
We’ll talk about kid lit over beer, booze or wine

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Child model for children's book needed!

Local illustrator Craig Orback is looking for a boy to model on the
weekend of Sept 22nd in Seattle for a children's book project. Here is his
I need the boy to be Iranian or of Middle Eastern descent.
He would need to be 10-12 years old. If your child fits this description 
or if you know any appropriate kids please email me. These illustrations are going to be
published in a cool kid's book (which I will give you a copy of), so that's
exciting, and I can even pay a little. It won't take more than an hour for this
first set of photos and I will take photos of him running outside with boys of other nationalities,
preferably near Lake City.
You can view my illustration work at http://www.craigorback.com and email
me at craig@craigorback.com.

Any help would be appreciated!

LATE NOTICE: Richard Jesse Watson event Tuesday

Attention! For those of you on Bainbridge or who want to enjoy a lovely ferry ride on Tuesday, this is the event for you!

Author/illustrator Richard Jesse Watson will lead an interaction discussion titled "The Up-Close, Far-Out World of Kids' Books," a roundtable sponsored by Field's End, at the Bainbridge Island Library (1270 Madison Ave N), this coming Tuesday, September 18, 7:00 - 8:30 pm. Free admission. 

More information follows:
Author/Illustrator Richard Jesse Watson leads an interactive discussion about the making of children’s books. Watson examines how writing and illustrating for kids requires looking through both ends of the telescope. Children stargaze by reading books. Bring your pointy hat and join one alchemist in a look beyond the mists to re-enter the dream that was childhood.

More about Richard Jesse Watson: As a writer and illustrator of picture books, he has snooped around Egyptian tombs, sipped python soup in a Malaysian jungle, chewed the fat with chimpanzees, and shared breakfast with an orangutan. He has hung out of an airplane over Port Townsend, pulled rabbits out of hats, dinked around with petrified dinosaur dung, and been wounded by his T-Rex maquette—real blood. Watson’s version of The Night Before Christmas was a New York Times bestseller. The Lord’s Prayer received a Kirkus starred review, and Kirkus also proclaimed The Magic Rabbit “exuberant.”

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Reminder: Professional Series Meeting TONIGHT!

For those of you who are in the midst of back-to-school mayhem or just aren't paying attention:

Tonight is the season opener of our monthly Professional Series Meetings. Join writers, illustrators, and the rest of the tribe as we welcome agents Bree Ogden and Mandy Hubbard from D4EO Literary Agency.

WHERE/WHEN: Seattle Pacific University, Demaray Hall, Room 150. Registration at 6:45 p.m., program at 7p.m.


Suzanne Selfors book signing this Saturday

It's not too late to book your bookish weekend plans!

Suzanne Selfors will be signing copies of her new YA fairy tale, The Sweetest Spell (Walker Childrens) this Saturday. For those of you who don't know the delicious plot she's cooked up, I won't say a word (except that it involves chocolate!).....

WHO: Suzanne Selfors
WHAT: YA book signing
WHEN: THIS Saturday, September 15 at 11am
WHERE: Costco, Club #001, 4401 Fourth Ave. S, Seattle 98134

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Craig Orback's book illustration classes

Local award-winning illustrator Craig Orback is offering Children's Book
Illustration classes in Bellevue and Seattle. 

Children's Book Illustration I
Immerse yourself in the world of children’s book illustration with
this introductory course. Through in-class assignments using a variety
of media, you'll learn basic techniques to complete illustrations for
young readers. Also learn the business side of children’s book
illustration, including what it takes to get your work seen by the
right people. Character consistency, portfolios, contracts, and other
topics are also covered. Basic drawing skills are helpful but not
required. Homework is required. 
 - Bellevue Community College, Saturdays, 8 Sessions, 9/29/2012 - 12/8/2012,
from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Cost is $189. Call (425) 564-2263 or click on course link, above.
 - North Seattle Community College, Mondays, 8 Sessions, 10/1/2012 - 12/3/2012,
from 6:30-9 p.m. Cost is $135. Click here for details.

Childrens Book Illustration II
Explore in greater depth your passion for children's book illustration. 
In this intermediate course, you will learn, step-by-step, how to create 
a children's picture book dummy that, when finished, can be submitted to 
publishers for possible publication. From developing an initial story board 
to completing full page sketches, this is the perfect course if you have a 
children's story you have longed to illustrate and potentially publish!
Bellevue Community College, Saturdays, 8 Sessions, 9/29/2012 - 12/8/2012,
from 1:00-4:00pm, Cost is $205, Call (425) 564-2263, or click on link above.

Visit Craig's website and blog for his portfolio and bio and more.

WLMA Conference panelists needed

From Jennifer Shaw Wolf, a plea:

Hi all,

I am in need of a few more authors to participate in a panel on author visits at the Washington Library Media Association Conference in Yakima. The panel would present on October 12th at 3:15.  This is not a paid panel, but it should be a great opportunity to network with school librarians throughout the state. I can drive panelists from Tacoma to Yakima and back again. (I'm planning to make a round trip on Friday.)

If you would like to participate in this, I would need to know as soon as possible. Please email me directly if you are interested or have questions.

Thank you!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Post to post: Why we write

Thanks to Jim Whiting, who send along this site to share as we attempt to keep those writing resolutions this fall. Part inspiration, information, and ultimately a resource to help you in your continued work and process.

An invitation: Four YA authors reading

If you like the sound of "free," then here's a goody!

On Thursday, September 27, we invite you to come to Cheap Coffee & Young Adult Fiction featuring YA authors Sean Beaudoin, Kevin Emerson, Karen Finneyfrock and Lish McBride.

Lish McBride

Sean Beaudoin

 This reading is free, all ages, and will take place in the Richard Hugo House cabaret space on Seattle's Capitol Hill.


Following the format of the popular Hugo series Cheap Wine & Poetry and Cheap Beer & Prose, Cheap Coffee & Young Adult Fiction will feature four readers, one break and inexpensive beverages.

Karen Finneyfrock

Kevin Emerson


And don’t you worry, coffee aficionados: “Cheap” isn’t a value judgment. We’re offering great coffee (thanks, Caffe Vita!).

Post to post: Why we need bookstores

Thanks to Dorine White, who passed along this valuable post that first appeared on the Huffington Post site recently.

If you care about the life of the bookstore community as an outlet for the work you do or aspire to do, it's worth a read!

Washington State Book Award winners

Congratulations are most definitely in order for Seattle author Katherine Schlick Noe, whose novel, Something to Hold (Clarion), garnered a Washington State Book Award last week!

One of two Scandiuzzi Children's Book Award winners, Noe's compelling novel about a white girl living on an Oregon Indian reservation shares the honor with Olympia writer and artist Nikki McClure's mouth-watering picture book, To Market, To Market (Abrams), comprise two of the six honors bestowed on Washington residents annually. The awards are sponsored by the Washington Center for the Book and the Seattle Public Library.

Click here for the complete list of winners from the Seattle Times announcement several days ago. It's a proud moment around these parts for children's books. Cheers!

A celebration of the full roster of this year's winners will take place on Wednesday, October 3 at 7pm at Richard Hugo House in Seattle's Capitol Hill. It's free, so it's a great opportunity for schmoozing with these talented writers.

The process of writing a novel

Thanks to Laurie Thompson for pointing out this hilarious take on what it takes to get your novel published!

Because you are most definitely not alone.....

Monday, September 10, 2012

Katherine Grace Bond's course needs two more!

Katherine Grace Bond is looking for you. She's written novels for teens, and she knows a thing or two.

Yes, you, with the novel idea and the desire to captivate teen audiences!

Her class, YA Novel Writing: Captivating the Teen Reader, begins next week at Bellevue College.

Please click here for details and more information.

So sign up already! You won't be sorry!

Road Trip!

You know what would be lovely this time of year? A scenic road trip over the Cascades for an SCBWI conference. The leaves are changing and our 9 months of great writing weather are upon us.

SCBWI Inland Northwest is hosting their annual conference Saturday, September 29th, in Spokane, Washington. Hear great speakers like editor Stacy Barney, agent Jill Corcoran, author Kelly Milner Halls, author Maureen McQueery, and our very own charmer, illustrator/author Jaime Temairik.

So grab a pal and sign up for a day of inspiration! Cruise through the mountains, confer with another branch of the tribe, and don't miss a trip to Spokane's beloved indy, Auntie's Bookstore.

There are only a few spots left, so don't delay!

Details here.

Professional Series Preview: Bree Ogden

Bree Ogden is an agent at the West Coast branch of D4EO Literary, representing middle grade, young adult and graphic novels. She also teaches and writes at LitReactor.com.

Always generous with what she's learned from the publishing industry, Bree will be presenting at the September 13th Professional Series Meeting on Understanding the Trends While Writing Timeless Literature. She recently took the time to answer a few questions.

Q. As an agent and teacher, what unique perspective and experience do you bring to a client's project?

A.        Every agent brings a unique perspective to their clients’ work. That’s why it is so important to find the right agent for you. I am a very editorial agent. It comes with my years of being an editor for newspapers and magazines. I don’t just sign perfect manuscripts, ready to send out. I like to sign projects that I feel have the most potential.
My teaching experience has really magnified this sentiment. It’s so fantastic to get to work with writers to help them develop their ideas and words into something really literarily delicious and saleable. When I look at a piece of writing, I see all sides of it. The literary side, the commercial side, the intellectual side, the guilty pleasure side, and of course, the marketing angle. I think it’s important to realize that no one manuscript will be a perfect fit for everyone, but that it can at least touch on all areas and make a huge splash. 

Q. What is one of the biggest mistakes a writer makes when querying you?

A.        This is something I see very often, that doesn’t really have a negative effect on myself, but I feel bad for the writer. This is when I can tell they are throwing their query out into the ether to see if anyone will pick it up. I can recognize this type of query because it will often be addressed to “Dear Agent” or “Dear D4EO” and often times it is so far from what I represent. Unfortunately, I pass on those really quickly because I know I don’t represent them. And the writer gains nothing from a bunch of generic rejection letters.
A writer should really work on treating each query letter like a cover letter of a resume. If you tailor each one (a little bit) for each agent, you will find that you get much better responses, as well as more feedback in rejection letters. If you are sending it to the right people, you will be able to pinpoint a more defined reason for the rejections. 

Q. What trends do you see for Graphic Novels in the Kid Lit market?

A.        It’s such an exciting market! Lots of hungry kids waiting for the new graphic novel craze. I am seeing two trends right now: very dark, Grimm fairytale-esque graphic novels for children and what some like to call “info-tainment.”

This trend of dark literature is slowly filtering down the ages. Adults were reading horror, then young adults, and now children. And because straight horror (blood and guts) is hard to sell in the school and library markets (and to kids in general), there is an added fantastical element, which gives the plotlines a Grimm or Aesop fairytale feel. I’m extremely excited about this trend. It allows for a new area of creativity to blossom. 

“Info-tainment” is slowly building, but very surely building. It is exactly as it sounds, a way to present information in an entertaining manner (often via graphic novels). Graphic novelists are taking historical and even health subjects to the drawing board. They are essentially taking heavy subjects and feeding them to the consumer with a spoonful of sugar. It’s so awesome. One of the reasons I have always been an advocate of literature is for the teaching value. And now there is a very concentrated way to teach but still make it saleable. 

Q. What is the most encouraging thing you hear from editors during this challenging economy?

A.        I’m always hearing encouraging words from editors. The fact that editors are reading first time manuscripts from first time authors is very encouraging. First time authors are being published every season and they are thriving. Editors love to work with new talent and are very open to the new directions being placed before them every day. 

Q. Is being a West Coast agent difficult when most of the deals happen in NYC?

A.        Not even a little bit. West coast agents are often asked this question and the answer is always the same. Everything is done via email and phones these days.
            However, in order to do my clients justice, whenever I get a chance, I make sure to ask NY editors how they feel about non-NY agents. And every time, they say it doesn’t matter to them. Which is awesome because I’m a West coast girl, through and through!


Promote your new book to booksellers from all over the region! The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association’s Fall Trade Show takes place at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma on October 13-15, and a limited number of SCBWI Western Washington PAL (published and listed) members have an opportunity to participate in our exhibit presence on Sunday, Oct. 14.

Participants will be paired up with another author or illustrator for 60-90 minute shifts at our SCBWI table to talk with booksellers and librarians attending the show, introduce them to the SCBWI online “Find a Speaker” page, collect contact information for a book raffle, and share the latest SCBWI books — including their own 2012 titles!


               You must be an SCBWI member living in the Western Washington region.

               Because the trade show focuses on new titles, participants must have a 2012 title from a PAL publisher, and preference will be given to those with a fall title. 

               Participants will be asked to pay $25 for their show badge and to help defray our booth costs. (Your badge gives you access to the rest of the show before or after your shift in our booth.)

               Participants also must donate either an ARC or a copy of their latest book (if neither an ARC nor the new one is available) for our display and raffles. 

               Participants may also bring fliers, postcards, or bookmarks to share with booksellers.

If you’re a SCBWI PAL member but cannot participate that day or don’t have a 2012 book, you may still donate copies of your books for the display and raffles. To participate at that level, bring your titles to the September or October PSM meetings or email Tina Hoggatt at hoggattoblas@comcast.net. This opportunity applies for SCBWI members at the PAL level only.
To be considered for a booth shift, complete and return the application on our website here – scroll down to “SCBWI at PNBA” for the link. Applications are due no later than 9/20. We’ll let you know by 9/25 if you’ll be scheduled in the booth, and we’ll provide additional instructions if so.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

PICKLE book launch recaps

There were many SCBWI-WWA friends in attendance at Kim Baker's book launch party for PICKLE at Secret Garden Books last week. In case you missed it, you can read about it on my blog here and also here on Dawn Simon's blog.  If you went and blogged about it, please post a link in the comments section so everyone can see!

Friday, September 7, 2012

You're invited to September's Kid Lit Drink Night!

With September’s Kid Lit Pub Night in ascendance
It’s time to do something ‘bout our sorry attendance.

Why the poor turnout on these nights out together?
Shouldn’t we flock to our birds of like feather?
Is it because our butts are placed firmly in chair?
And to leave for a drink or a bite we don’t dare?

What nonsense! You know that our butts should be moved
And a drink makes the stuff from our pens much improved
For not only does drinking bring on the good cheer
Look what it’s done for these famous careers:

The woman who started it all, Mother Goose
Wrote her best rhymes only when thoroughly juiced
And Bemelmans’ penchant for drink went so far
That the creator of Madeline now has his own bar

Sendak, the master, so recently departed
Used Jager to get his wild rumpuses started
And those Berenstains may have drawn bears oh so mild
But the cops say their parties tended to get really wild

Now you see that your writing career might depend
On how many drinks of good cheer you upend
A night out with friends might just give you the perk
To go back to your chair and do your best work!
So on Mercer Island at the Roanoke, September 22
With sketchbook in hand, I’ll be looking for you
From 5 until 7, and maybe ‘til 9
We’ll talk about kid lit over beer, booze or wine
Rhyming couplets and gorgeous illustrated invitation by Dana Sullivan

September authors: Mo Willems and more!

Sorry, I just had to kick the sand out of my blogging shoes and get my head out of the waves.

September is here, and starting TOMORROW (Saturday, September the Eighth, ahem, hence the apology!), there's a slew of worthy kid-lit folk making appearances in the greater Seattle/Western WA area.

So without much fuss, and more than a little muss, cast your eyes below:

Mo Willems, Sept 8, Seattle Central Library - TOMORROW

Yes, he of the Knuffle Bunnies and Pigeons returns with dinosaurs!

Deb Lund, Sept 8
Another din-o-rama, from Deb!

Peg Kehret, Sept 8 (note: two appearances on the same day!)
Peg reads from her new memoir, Animal Talk.

Clete Smith, Sept 15
Bellingham's beloved alien writer returns with his latest intergalactic adventure.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Professional Series Preview: Mandy Hubbard

We're excited to have Mandy Hubbard speak at next week's (that's September 13th, just in case you aren't quite fully into September mentally) Professional Series Meeting, where she will be giving tips on how to survive rejection. Mandy Hubbard is a literary agent for D4EO Literary, where she represents authors of middle grade and teen fiction. She is also the author of Prada & Prejudice, You Wish, But I Love Him, and several other YA novels. She currently lives in Tacoma, Washington.

Here are a few things she has to say about agenting.

As an agent and a writer, what unique perspective and experience do you bring to a client's revision process?
I’ve worked with five different editors, so  I’ve had the chance to experience five different editorial styles and all of the challenges that go with that. I know first hand what it’s like to tear down a manuscript and rebuild it. I bring all of that experience to the table as an agent, and I try very hard to push my clients to the next level. For instance, I wrote six pages of notes for Imogen Howson on her novel, LINKED. She replotted a great deal of the book. It ended up selling in a six figure pre-empt, and it releases Summer 2013. I’d like to think my editorial guidance had something to do with it.

What is one of the biggest mistakes a writer makes when querying you?
With MG and YA (and picture books, for that matter) writers spend a whole lot of time talking about everything BUT the plot/ story—they want to discuss why they wrote the book, or talk about themselves, or talk about the lessons they really want kids to learn, and they often talk for paragraphs about how it’s a “real thrill ride” or “this will break your heart” or “it would make a great movie!”
The funny thing is, NONE of that stuff matters. I want to know what your story is about—who your character is and what challenges s/he will face. Let ME decide if it’s heartbreaking our laugh out loud.

If there are murmurings that [insert X genre/trend] is dead, what do you have to say to writers having difficulty selling their manuscript?
You know, I’ve signed projects knowing I may have missed the market, and I know how frustrating it is to realize it would have sold in a heartbeat two years prior. For the most part, genre doesn’t matter, and even when all the rage was paranormal romance, I sold a contemporary YA romance in an auction. BUT, something being “not hot” is different than something being a HUGE trend that is over. If the market is just too saturated you may be between a rock and a hard place—anything dystopian or strictly paranormal romance with an angel/werewolf/vampire is almost impossible to sell, and that’s just the truth. If you have one you’re sitting on, you won’t hurt yourself to query it and see how it goes, but then try to work on something that doesn’t feel quite so ‘done.’And know that all things are cyclical. Your type of fantasy may swing back around in a few years or so.