Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Inside Story, April 30

The Inside Story is our SCBWI chapter's twice-yearly celebration of new books. It's a chance for all of us, along with librarians, booksellers, media folks, and others, to get a sneak preview of new and upcoming titles by our members. Last fall, we heard from about 20 authors and illustrators, and last spring we had even more. Participants are still signing up, so we're not sure about this spring's final number, but we know there will be at least 13.

This fast-paced two-minute-each book-talk marathon will keep you on the edge of your seat. Mark the date on your calendar, and plan to be there. If you're a presenter, congratulations! If you're not presenting, we look forward to the day when it's your turn!

Still on the fence? Read on!

Still trying to decide whether you’ll attend SCBWI Western Washington’s 22nd Annual Writing & Illustrating for Children Conference, taking place Friday, April 19, through Sunday, April 21, 2013, at the Marriott Redmond Town Center in Redmond, Washington? The three-day event provides tremendous opportunities for growing your career as a writer and/or illustrator for children, but you don't need to take our word for it. Here's what some of your peers said about last year's conference:
  • "Where do I begin? The networking, the shared knowledge, the confidence and drive to move forward in this career... and the chocolate chip cookies didn't hurt, either." --Ryan Hatch (first-time attendee)
  • "I always learn more about the industry at the conferences, but what I cherish are all the notes I take home giving me new things to try and new ways to sharpen my craft." --Janet Lee Carey (seasoned pro)
  • "[What I liked most about the conference was] the welcoming and friendly attitude of all who attended. I didn't know anyone and found it incredibly easy to meet people and connect. [I] felt like I was among 400 fabulous people who were a lot like me. ... I'm taking away lots of encouragement to keep drawing and painting, a greater understanding of how to write dialogue well, a greater understanding of how to create a believable and authentic character, and a greater understanding of how the submission process works and how many revisions it may take to get to a finished product." --Karla Johnson
  • "As always, I come away inspired and more informed.  There is a creative energy at the SCBWI conference that fuels me as a creative force.  But I also learned more about myself within a changing industry.  There was valuable and realistic information provided." --Susan Ogilvie
  • "These are the people I want to work with. I consider every contact I made to be someone with the same enthusiasm and passion that I strive for in my own life." --Jeff James
  • "The entire event was fun, funny, flirty, fascinating, inFormative, futuristic (okay that is dreaming that the future brings contracts) and finally fulfilling!  Thank you so much!" --Lynette Sandbloom
  • And, a full 100% of our attendees said they would recommend the conference to a friend!
Find out more register yourself by clicking on the link below:

Don't delay! 
SCBWI Western Washington

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Roommates and Carpools!

Are you interested in finding a roommate to stay at the Marriott for the SCBWI Western Washington Annual Conference next month? How about carpooling to the hotel? We have attendees coming from near and far. Save money, save gas, and get to the Marriott faster in the HOV lanes. And maybe make some friends!

If interested, leave a note in the comments and find others in the same boat (or car..or room...)!

Zoinks! Four local YA authors blaze a promotional trail!

From left: Beaudoin, Brockenbrough, Emerson, and Patrick. Reprint courtesy of M. Brockenbrough.

It seems we are in the midst of a sea change in how authors promote their work. A stellar example can be found not too far from home, as four local YA authors have taken a novel approach to promoting their work––with a grassroots tour called You Are Next, a whirlwind blitz that has rocked the West Coast and shaken the very idea of the Author Appearance to its core. The prolific quartet of writers includes Sean Beaudoin (The Infects), Martha Brockenbrough (Devine Intervention), Kevin Emerson (The Lost Code), and Cat Patrick (Revived). This group has been there, done that in Portland, San Francisco, Vegas, and this weekend in Disneyland, as part of the YAppiest Day on Earth event, which will bring numerous YA novelists and their legions of fans together, and which marks the culmination of the You Are Next tour.

In a recent feature article in Publisher's Weekly, this gang got a well-deserved spotlight for their innovative approach to promoting their work and connecting with their readers.

What will this outfit do next? They're extremely good-looking, charismatic, have a bunch of books under their collective belts, and pretty much create a ruckus wherever they go. Whatever they have planned, it's going to be wild.

Here's to the future of this amazing assemblage of talent, and to many more novels from each!

Good news for Kim!

Our own Kim Baker, author of the highly praised middle-grade novel Pickle, has been shortlisted for the Children's Book Week-sponsored Children's Choice Book Awards, the only national book awards where the winning authors' books are selected by children and teens.

So, in a word, WOW!! Or YAY!! Or COWABUNGA!!

To see the lists of all the 2013 finalists in their respective categories, click here. To learn more about the awards, click here.

Congratulations to Kim on a book that clearly drew hordes of young mischief-makers to her story!

Kickstarter or indiegogo? Two authors, two choices.

For those of you at the monthly Professional Series meeting who heard firsthand from Panda Chronicler Anne Belov and her Kickstarter experiences, here are two more locals who have forged a path along the same lines of crowd sourcing support for their writing projects.

Brenda Winter Hanson dives into crowd-sourced funding for her mermaid novel.

Assistant Regional Advisor Brenda Winter Hanson has started her own site, through indiegogo, to help her get to a writing workshop that will allow her to delve into her entire manuscript. Here's her story, which takes us through her thinking behind this decision to go public. To view her campaign site, click here. Go, Brenda!

Karen Kincy

Another local author, the novelist Karen Kincy, turned to Kickstarter to help fund her newest book. In a recent interview with the Chinook Update, below, Karen shared her success story:

Q: Is this a new frontier for you? How did you decide to pursue this avenue? Other people doing it?   What made you head in that direction?
My project for Shadows of Asphodel was my very first Kickstarter, and I was inspired to do it after seeing all the amazing entrepreneurial projects that have succeeded on the crowdfunding platform--everything from handmade chocolates to board games to indie films. It helped me immensely to plan the logistics and marketing of the Kickstarter in advance, as well as deciding a reasonable budget to self-publish a book. I spent at least a month brainstorming with my friend and fellow novelist, Chelsea Campbell, since we have also been scheming up a co-authored book to write this summer. (Moral of this story: Talk to your writer friends! They have awesome ideas!)

Q: What happens now that you've made your fundraising goal?

After I finish the manuscript to the satisfaction of my beta readers and myself, it's time for editing, formatting, and pre-publication marketing. Shadows of Asphodel is slated for a September 2013 release. I'm keeping my backers in the loop through Kickstarter email updates. Soon I hope to share at least a sneak peak of the cover--I have already commissioned an amazing cover artist for Shadows of Asphodel, and can't wait to see the final cover.
Q: What has been the response from: fellow writers, agent, publishing folks, etc.? 
Curiosity and excitement, mostly, and a whole lot of enthusiasm from those who backed the project and spread the word. I couldn't have done it without my cheerleaders!
Q: Would you do this again? Why or why not?

I would definitely do it again. Thanks to Kickstarter, I don't have to worry about funding the initial costs of  self-publishing a book myself. And since most of the Shadows of Asphodel Kickstarter backers chose pledge levels with ebook or paperback rewards, I can effectively count those as a small batch of pre-orders, hopefully that will lead to good first reviews from those who love the book.

Monday, March 25, 2013

INSIDE STORY: Call for entries

Do you have a new book, or one coming out soon? If so, you may be eligible to present at Inside Story, our SCBWI Western Washington region's twice-yearly celebration of new books! We invite our membership and area booksellers, teachers, and librarians to view 2-minute presentations from the first 15 or so eligible PAL members who apply. The deadline is April 1st, but only a fool would delay.

Here are the details:
Tuesday, April 30 at 7 p.m.
Mercer Island Books
3014 78th Ave SE
Mercer Island WA 98040

Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. To be eligible, you need to be able to say "yes!" to all of the following:

  • You are an SCBWI member at the PAL level and your profile at is updated to reflect this.
  • You live in the official Western Washington region. If you’re a member and uncertain which region you’re in, please check your member profile on
  • Your publisher is on SCBWI’s lists of recognized (traditional) publishers; (found in the Market Surveys section of the SCBWI Publication THE BOOK, available to members for free download here).
  • Your book is released between four months before or three months after April 30.
  • Your book is readily available through normal trade channels (e.g., Baker & Taylor).

To apply, please fill out and submit the application form found here.

Please honor the maximum word count where given. Our quick edits might not be what you have in mind! And if you haven't heard back from us within a week, please contact

If you're not planning to present this time around, please mark this event on your calendar anyway. We'd love to see you there!


Deb Lund, Library and Bookstore Liaison
SCBWI Western Washington

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Confessions of a Conference Virgin, Part Two

Testimonial by Emily Russin (Chinook Update editor and AdCom member):

I was, to be honest, quite terrified before last year's SCBWI conference. I was a newbie, I was unpublished (still am!), and I didn't know that many people. Heck, I assumed that I'd be hugging the walls and keeping my head down, taking notes. My roommate, once of my dear friends from high school, was busy helping out behind the scenes and seemed to know everyone. Okay, not seemed. She did know everyone. I figured I'd be the Weekend Wallflower.

Did this turn out to be the case? Nope. Not even close. The things I anticipated the most––the agent/editor/fiction panels, the coveted proximity to Industry Folks, writing feedback, precious publishing and writing advice––which were the most relevant to my work-in-progress––were great, thank you, but the other categories I'd glossed over during the registration process walloped me even harder: an illustrator's keynote (the amazing Melissa Sweet, whose talk about her creative process and play-at-work mantra resulted in the fabulous and meticulously researched picture book, Balloons Over Broadway); the portfolio showcase (I must have collected three dozen incredible sample images); and the sheer concentration of bodies in the same room that housed brains passionate about my passion. This realization caught me and held me fast. And, yes, I even mingled a bit and made new contacts and reconnected with some familiar faces. (And yes, people were nice and friendly and interested in hearing what I was working on. Unfailingly so.) As far as my writing feedback from the wonderful Jenny Bent, let's just say I was so impressed by her that I kept intentionally throwing myself in her path, willing her to take me on as a client even though I was nowhere near ready. But wow, I got to talk to an agent, a real live agent! Now I follow her on Twitter....

What I was told, more often than not, was true. The nuggets of information that hit you from unlikely sources resonate and stay with you. I still hold close the idea that work can be, and should be, like play. Whether you're playing with words or images, it's a hands-on, creative process that has all sorts of possibilities and paths to take. When you're doing this work/play all alone for most of the year, it's so, so beneficial to have a place like the SCBWI-WWA conference to remind yourself you're not entirely in a vacuum. The fact that it's here, where we live, is such a gift.

So, I chatted with people next to me at the table during cocktails. I learned about others' work, and found an acquaintance/friend from Spokane to sit with at lunch the next day instead of hugging said walls. I opened myself up and found that everyone else was part of the same tribe. A committed, witty, dedicated, and warm group––and they all made room for this newbie.

Now I'm part of the advisory committee that is helping organize our upcoming conference, and I couldn't be more overwhelmed and excited. As a newbie at this side of things, I am heading into this year's event as a second-time attendee. I'm still eager to learn, to rub shoulders with the VIPS, and to let those serendipitous aha! moments take root and get me through another year of the work I love.

Won't you join me?

Confessions of a Conference Virgin, Part One

Testimonial by Lynette Sandbloom:
Three years ago I was part of the writing program at UW. Probably 98 percent of my class went to the SCBWI conference that year, but I didn't because I wasn't sure I was ready. When they all came back after the conference, I really wished I had signed up. Everyone had so much fun, the conference was so inspiring. I heard that over and over.
Last year, I signed up and was blown away by the whole thing. It was amazing to be with so many people interested in the same thing, listen to so many creative people give talks, share information, and give wonderful tips on how to succeed. I took it all in and loved every single minute that I was there. I also loved that when you signed up for a talk on one subject, you could change your mind and attend something else. The breakout sessions were often small and personal and whether an art director, agent, or editor was giving a talk, I learned so much. In addition, many of the authors/illustrators were happy to sign books for you. I had one signed by Matt de la Pena and I told him my name. He wrote in my book something like, "Let your voice be known." He was so nice to talk to and that inscription felt so personal.
There are many opportunities to send your work or illustrations out after the conference to the editors and agents that attend. This is often the only way to have your work be seen. It is like icing on the cake.
I sat in on the First-Time attendee talk, too. I liked it. The wrap-up was fabulous and began as a parade. The entire conference felt like a party that I didn't want to end. It didn't matter for a second that I was a beginner. I only wish I could go to more of these! Truly, you will enjoy it so much.
I would encourage all of you to go. If I can answer any specific questions, I would be happy to.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Give yourself a getaway-- and hurry

Coming to our 22nd Annual Writing and Illustrating for Children Conference? Hurry if you want to take advantage of the great room rate that the Marriott Redmond Town Center provides as part of our conference package.

The special conference rate of $115 a night is good only until March 30 -- not much more than a week. You can share a room (and the cost) with a writing or illustrating pal to:
  • Save yourself an early-morning drive.
  • Ensure you can fully enjoy KidLit Drink Night or schmoozing with other attendees or faculty late into Saturday night.
  • Steal a little extra time for writing, drawing, brainstorming, or reveling in a weekend to focus on your career instead of your day-to-day commitments.
Make it a getaway weekend and reserve a room at the Marriott now! Use this reservations link to get the conference rate.

Story Chairs installation opening event

You are cordially invited to this innovative audio installation that takes storytelling to the next level. To learn more about the individuals involved, please click here. Congratulations to our very own Tina Hoggatt for putting this amazing project together!

Washington Lawyers for the Arts tax workshop

WHERE: Theater Schmeater
, 1500 Summit Avenue, Seattle
WHEN: Tuesday, March 26, 710pm
REGISTER: Registration begins at 6:45pm. To register, click here to visit Brown Paper Tickets online, or call 800.838.3006. To pay at the door, RSVP to Washington Lawyers for the Arts at 206.328.7053. Please note that the event is subject to cancellation; visit or call 206.328.7053 for more information.
FEE: $50 for attorneys (includes 2.5 CLE credits (pending)); $25 for artists & others

Designed specifically to address the arts and entertainment issues, topics to be covered will include:
  • What deductions can be claimed
  • What tax forms to use and how to fill them out
  • How to keep business and tax records in an organized manner
  • How to minimize the chances of getting audited
"All the information at an affordable price," and "I knew next to nothing about taxes before this workshop; now I have some great info" are just two of the many favorable comments we received from previous workshops. Space is limited for what is sure to be a popular event, so early registration is encouraged!

Book marketing tips from Jessica Schein

If you didn't catch Jessica Schein's illuminating discussion of marketing your books in today's social media-obsessed world, you're in luck––Jessica has very kindly permitted us to reproduce a cheat sheet for your benefit. And believe me, Jessica knows a thing or two about a thing or two....

You're welcome!

Reminder: Kid Lit Drink Night TOMORROW!

Why Attend a Writing Conference?

It seems like we're getting more than the usual amount of queries from hesitant attendees this year, asking if we think they should go to the conference.

Basically, we say that whether or not you attend any event or workshop is up to you. You can review the conference details and decide if it would be a good fit for your needs. We try and offer rounded programming to serve everyone from newbies to pros, writers and illustrators. But you're the only one who can decide whether it's a good match or not.

If you're just starting out on your career in children's or YA books, you should know that getting published is not easy. It's not impossible, but it's far from easy. Fortune favors the polished and prepared.

We are admittedly biased. The SCBWI WWA conference is put together by a large team of volunteers. It takes hundreds (thousands?) of hours to plan and prepare for such an event every year. So if we weren't passionate about how important it is for our writing community, we couldn't do it. It's an investment—you invest the registration fee (which we try to keep as low as possible), and we invest our time and energy trying to make it the best that it can be. But we're enthusiastic because we have seen the benefits that a conference setting provides. We've met friends and critique partners, gathered inspiration and tools, and made connections with professionals that have benefited our careers. We've heard success stories from attendees. The conference is a great way to prepare yourself and gather the skills you need to succeed in your quest. And the benefits don't stop once you've been published. Our conference team still loves to attend conferences, even more so when we're not organizing them ourselves and can soak up the programming.

I wrote a post on conference expectations a couple of years ago for my agent's blog (you'll never guess where we met), because I wasn't really sure what was happening at my first conference either. You can read it here, if you're interested.

And if you decide that the SCBWI Western Washington Conference next month (!) is a good match for you, you can find the details and register here. But don't wait, we're over 80% full and usually sell out, because people that go once tend to come back. We promise to make it the best we can. But we're not asking you to trust us with your hopes, dreams, and ideas. We're asking you to trust yourself.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Last day to VOTE!

In case you haven't heard:

TODAY is the last day to log your vote for this year's Crystal Kite Awards! Please take the thirty seconds to log into your SCBWI Member accounts and hit the "What's New In My Region" link to find the Crystal Kite tab. 

Some really worthy folks whose books are just fantastic deserve your support.

On behalf of the eventual winner, THANK YOU.

So...get to it!

With love and the most gentle of nudges,

Your Advisory Committee

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Models wanted for picture book


I am on the lookout for models for a great picture-book project: 
I am illustrating a biography of the man pictured above (a Holocaust survivor 
living in Portland) and need two individuals to model as him. Looking for two 
brothers (if possible) ages 14-15 and 17-18. It would be great if they resembled 
him somewhat (he is from Poland). Looking for more of a rounded face and thin 
body. Please spread the word! 
I'm looking to take the first set of pictures sometime in March. 
I can pay a little, and you would receive a published children's book! 
You can learn more about my work at

Conference Sneak Peek: Joanna Volpe

Getting her feet wet in the publishing industry was akin to being a kid in a candy store for literary agent Joanna Volpe. From Blue Marlin Publications, where she worked as a publisher's assistant, to time at FinePrint Literary and Nancy Coffey Literary, she started her own agency, New Leaf Literary. One of Joanna's claims to fame is that she represents Veronica Roth, the author of the highly successful Divergent trilogy, as well as Kody Keplinger (The Duff, Shout Out). For more information on Joanna's take on the publishing world, as well as what she's most interested in, see this spotlight feature and this interview. We're so glad she's coming to offer her point of view this year!

Conference Sneak Peek: Tamra Tuller

After working for several years in education as an English as a Second Language instructor at Rutgers University’s Program in American Language Studies, Tamra Tuller got her publishing feet wet in the Scholastic Book Clubs, and then moved on to Scholastic’s trade division at Blue Sky Press. She was an editor at Philomel Books, primarily focused on modern, literary middle grade and young adult fiction as well as story-based picture books. She has worked with such authors as Ruta Sepetys, Kathryn Erskine, Renata Liwska, Beth Kephart, Heidi Ayarbe and Barbara Joosse. An East Coaster by birth, Tamra recently moved to San Francisco, recently settling into her new position as Children's Editor at Chronicle Books, where she is now in charge of developing their middle-grade and YA lists.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Professional Series Meeting this Thursday!

image design: Dana Sullivan

Upcoming events: a catch-all

 A roundup of noteworthy events, classes, workshops, and other goings-on. Stay in the loop!

Preview Class:
Jolie Stekly and Nina Hess will present a free preview class for the UW Writing for Children certificate program for the 2013-14 school year. The two-hour preview class will be informative, experiential, and interactive, and give you a sense of what to expect in the certificate program beginning this fall. You'll want to bring a pen and paper or computer so you can do some writing! WHEN: Monday, March 25, 6:15-8:15pm
WHERE: UW campus
Note: Space is limited, so you do have to register in advance. 

Graphic Artists Guild Workshop:
WHEN: Wednesday, March 27 from 12-1:30pm
WHERE: Seattle Design Center, 5701 Sixth Ave S, Ste 292
REGISTER: Register for a price discount here. For more details, click here.

Topic: "Creating a Personal Brand Strategy: Communicate Your Value and Brand Yourself to Win"
 In this workshop, branding specialist Eric Weaver will show you how to create a personal brand strategy that will help you phrase your value, and position you for competitive advantage, whether as an employee, a contractor or a freelancer. Eric will cover: the need for a personal branding strategy, how to craft this strategy, best practice, and cautionary tales. Eric has 21 years' experience in digital marketing, including building social strategies for Intel, Jack in the Box, Carnival, HP, and Starbucks. 

Children's Book Illustration Classes:
 Local illustrator Craig Orback has new classes starting soon in Bellevue and Seattle. 

Children's Book Illustration I 
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. Character consistency, portfolios, contracts, and other topics are also covered. 
Basic drawing skills are helpful but not required. Homework is required.  
 WHEN: 8 Saturday sessions, April 6–June 1, 10am-12:30pm; 8 Monday sessions,
April 8–June 3, 6:30-9pm.
WHERE: Bellevue Community College (Saturdays), North Seattle Community College (Mondays)
REGISTER: Bellevue: Cost is $189, click here. Seattle: Cost is $135, click here.  

Children's 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 
WHEN: 8 Saturday sessions, April 6–June 1, 1-4pm.
WHERE:  Bellevue Community College
Cost $205, click here.
Short story class:
If you've always wanted to write a short story or learn more about crafting these little gems, 

Lois Brandt will show you how. In her course, "Writing Short Stories from First Sentence to 

Submission," you will spend eight weeks producing a portfolio of work–between 2 and 5 completed short stories.  Each student is expected to write between 2,000-7,000 words a week. During the first four weeks students plot short stories and write them to completion. The second half of the class is devoted to editing and revising one story from the student’s portfolio. Students will learn to edit their own work and to receive and give constructive criticism. At the end of class students submit their polished stories to literary or genre markets.
WHEN: 8 Wednesday sessions, April 17–June 5, 6:30-9pm.
WHERE: Bellevue College, North campus
REGISTER: Cost $179, click here.

Beyond Books: A Conversation with Eric Carle:
Sunday, April 7 at 1 pm at Philip Hall, UW Tacoma

In partnership with University of Washington Tacoma
Book signing to follow at Tacoma Art Museum, 3pm

Tacoma Art Museum invites you to a conversation with renowned author, illustrator, and artist Eric Carle as he discusses the remarkable variety of paintings, sculptures, and sketches he has been making privately for more than 60 years. Before or after the presentation, visit Tacoma Art Museum to view the independent art of this beloved national figure in the exhibition Beyond Books: The Independent Art of Eric Carle (on view April 6–July 7).
The event at Philip Hall will be followed by a chance to meet the artist at a book signing at Tacoma Art Museum.
Cost: $20 ($15 for members, $10 for students); includes museum admission. Space is limited, so make your reservations early!

Writing Class:
Author Lois Harris leads a two-night course, entitled, "A Simple Structure for a Strong Story."
WHEN: Thursday, April 25 and Thursday, May 2 from 6:30-8:30pm.
WHERE: Skagit Valley College, Mount Vernon campus
REGISTER: For course information (listed as 6075 CENGL) as well as registration ($49)
click here.

Environmental Writers Workshop:
Environmental Writing: Inspire, Observe, Inhabit 
WHEN: Saturday, May 4, 9am-5pm (lunch provided)
WHERE: Burke Museum, UW campus
REGISTER: Space is limited, register by clicking here. $100 registration fee, Burke 
members get 10% discount  (scholarships available with valid student ID)
We in the Pacific Northwest are fortunate to live not only in a place 
where nature abounds but also to live in place where place-based writers
abound. Whether it is exploring the deep time of geology, considering 
the myriad ways of slugs, bugs, and everyone’s favorite, cockroaches, or
connecting children with the natural world around them, these authors 
will inspire us to continue writing about the environment in all its 
guises. Join award-winning authors David George Gordon, Brenda Guiberson
and David Montgomery as they lead classroom and field-based sessions. They 
bring years of experience as writers, researchers, and teachers. Each is
an attentive observer who weaves together history, science, and field 
time into well- crafted, thought-provoking writing about the natural and
cultural world. Plus, with Brenda we have the insights of a children’s 
book author, who is sure to give everyone a new and captivating 
perspective on the environment.

For more information, please email or call (206) 543-5591.

WWU Classes:
Western Washington University in Bellingham has two interesting writing programs coming up:  Writing Children’s Literature, Thursdays, April 4–May 16, from 6-9pm,; and Knock-Out Editing, Thursdays, May 16–June 13, from 6-9pm.


For more details or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact Rebecca Beardsall.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Conference Sneak Peek: Mac Barnett

Mac Barnett

Click on writer Mac Barnett's Wikipedia page, and you're literally inundated with a list of pubications that will make your eyes cross. This is one prolific guy! The Oakland, California resident is the proud recipient of the 2013 Caldecott Honor for his picture book, Extra Yarn (with illustrations by John Klassen), a book which also received the 2012 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Excellence in Picture Books. If that isn't impressive enough already, Mac has penned the Brixton Brothers series, and is anticipating the publication of his latest picture book, Count the Monkeys (with illustrations by Kevin Cornell). For more information on Mac's numerous other publications, check out his website. In a 2010 interview with School Library Journal's blog, Mac shows his zany side, as well as his love of creating books for kids. Oh, and he reveals his multiple connections to The Stinky Cheese Man and––get this!––that he was a children's book cover model!

Kid Lit Drink Night March 21

Come one, come all! It's that time again, to get together, imbibe, and say all the smart, creative, and witty things you say to yourself every day while trying to write/illustrate those future award-winning children's books.

To reiterate that fantastic visual announcement, courtesy of Dana Sullivan (and Mo Willems, I mean, "Mo Swillin'")––

WHEN: March 21, 6:30pm 
WHERE: Beveridge Place Pub, 6413 California Ave SW, West Seattle

PS: If anyone could give West Seattleite/SCBWI-er Andy Helman a ride, please email her:  andyhelman@earthlink.netThanks - she would really appreciate it!!

March PSM: One-week countdown!

Next week at this time, you have the chance to attend our March Professional Series Meeting, featuring two exciting speakers on two relevant and inspiring topics. Be there, or beware: This is some information you WILL NOT want to miss!

Mini-Session: STRATEGIES TO A SUCCESSFUL KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN with Anne Belov. Many authors and illustrators are turning to Kickstarter (a crowd-sourced funding platform) to help establish community outreach or personal projects, but there’s a lot you need to know beyond your project’s end goal. Ann will share what she did right with her successful Kickstarter campaign, and what might have helped her move beyond her listed fund goal.

Main Program:
BOOK MARKETING 101 with former Scholastic associate director of marketing, Jessica Schein. This presentation will include an overview of ways to successfully market one’s book without spending a lot of money. This includes using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media outlets to promote oneself and build community. It will also cover why it’s important to build one’s personal community. Today’s marketing is not necessarily book-specific, it is person-specific. There will be handout detailing what authors can do online and in-person as well as a timeline.

As always: 7pm, Seattle University, Demaray Hall

See you all there. Seriously, it's going to be good....

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Second round Crystal Kite Awards shortlist


The second round of voting for the Crystal Kite Awards is now open. Please take the time to honor the excellent creations of your fellow SCBWI-WWAers. The following books/authors are still in the running:

Kim Baker, Pickle (Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan Publishers))

Carmen Bernier-Grand, Picasso: Yo El Rey I The King (Amazon Children's Publishing)

Benjamin Clanton, Vote for Me! (Kids Can Press)

Janet Fox, Sirens (Speak (A division of Penguin))

Deb Lund, Dinosoaring (Harcourt Children's Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt))

Elizabeth Rusch, The Mighty Mars Rovers: The incredible adventures of Spirit and Opportunity (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt))

To vote, follow these straightforward steps:

1. Click here. (SCBWI site)
2.  Click on upper-right tab, "Member Home" (if you are a member paid and registered, you should be able to sail right into a personal greeting).
3. Click on link, "See What's Going On in Your Region!"
4. Click on "Crystal Kite" tab on right.
5. Follow voting instructions and VOTE!  

Monday, March 4, 2013

March PSM: Meet Anne Belov

Anne Belov

Whidbey Island artist Anne Belov will speak at the March 14 Professional Series Meeting on "Strategies to a Successful Kickstarter Campaign." As a Kickstarter success story, Anne will share her strategies for not only meeting her original fundraising goal, but surpassing it. She is a fine artist who has actually made a living off her art for over 20 years. Her infectious laughter, silliness, and panda kindergarten pranks might give you the impression that she feels life is a continuous party, but she's extremely organized and disciplined. Anne paints, writes, makes prints, and is the founder of The Institute for Contemporary Panda Satire. Her paintings are on view at the Rob Schouten Gallery. Her cartoons appear in The Panda Chronicles, and her new book is available by clicking here. In April, she will teach a course on Beginning Egg Tempera at the Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio. She has written articles about Kickstarter for Funds for Writers, New York Artists Online Blog, and Whidbey Life Magazine.