Thursday, June 27, 2013

Good news times 2 for Rebecca Van Slyke

Congratulations to Rebecca Van Slyke, whose picture book Lexie, the Word Wrangler, was fought over by two editors and will be the first of a two-book deal for the victor, Nancy Paulsen Books.

To see the announcement, please click here.

Three cheers for Rebecca's two-fer!

Summer Sketch Meet-Up, July 11

Because it worked so well the first time around, let's do it again!

Illustrators and Artists (plus curious and adventuresome writers who might want to try sketching)! Another Summer Sketch Meet-Up is in the works. The plan is to meet July 11, around 10:30am (give or take) at Fisherman's Terminal in Ballard. Bring sketching supplies, and sunscreen or a raincoat depending on the weather, plus some spare change for a coffee or a fish taco. Some folks like to bring a portable chair! Bring your kids if they like to sketch! 

See you there, pretty much rain or shine.

The Gas Works Gang dares it to rain on their parade!

Dana Sullivan

Reception: UW Natural Science Illustration certificate program

You are invited!

Susan Pope, a 2013 graduate of the UW's certificate program in Natural Science Illustration, is part of a reception/gallery opening in the Burke Room of the Burke Museum on Thursday, July 11 from 5:30-8:30pmIt's free to attend, there will be nibbles and drinks. All are welcome.

The exhibit will remain on display in the Burke Room through September 15, 2013. Please check with the museum to make sure the room isn't being used for another event.

Help wanted!

Writer Kiraya Kestin is looking to pay someone to help her merge chapters into a single novel in MS Word 2010 format. She lives in the north end of Seattle, and would love to hear from someone who has experience with this.

To contact her, call 206-363-8983.


Honoring Ruth Maxwell

From Gail Martini-Peterson:

Longtime children's writer Ruth Maxwell has moved into a West Seattle nursing home. She requests no visitors, just her family. Ruth has fought cancer for several years including surgery and chemotherapy, but always with good humor and the support of friends and her church. She was born in Wisconsin, site of her last novel, The Peshtigo Greenhorn, which she dedicated to her late son Doug (purchased at She lived in California, where she wrote while raising her children. She was a critique partner to Eve Bunting in those early days around the time SCBWI was founded. Ruth had lots of stories published in Highlights and other magazines, but after a divorce, she needed time to raise her children and go to school. She continued to go to school and ended up with a Bachelor's degree in child welfare, a Master's degree in special education, and a Doctorate in education.
During her working life she developed an educational curriculum that is still being used in California. She has been earning royalties on it for a long time, but recently gave it to California schools.

Since retirement, Ruth has lived in West Seattle and has been writing. Shortly after joining the local SCBWI chapter, she had a middle-grade historical novel, Eighteen Roses Red: A Young Girl's Heroic Mission in the Revolutionary War, published (2006) by White Mane Kids. She self-published Suicide:Living With the Question in March 2012 to share what she learned following her son's suicide (both can be purchased on Amazon). 

In recent years when she was healthy enough, she kept a blog mainly for her children, grandkids, and great-grands (as she called them). Everyone can read those memories, thoughts, and experiences from Ruth's long and productive life at  They are well worth the read. Her last entry was on June 7 of this month.

If you'd like to send a card, please address it to: Ruth Maxwell, The Kenney, 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW, Seattle, WA 98136.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Suzanne Selfors pens the Best Chapter Book of 2013!

Hot off the presses, here's some exciting news to savor!

Suzanne Selfors announced that her new series, The Imaginary Veterinary, Book 1, The Sasquatch Escape, was just named by as the Best Chapter Book of 2013. Read the announcement here. Congratulations, Suzanne!

Jo Gershman's book wins IBPA award

Congratulations are most definitely in order for Jo Gershman, whose book, Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream, received the 2013 Benjamin Franklin Gold Award from the Independent Book Publishers Association in the Children's Picture Book category on May 29! Since the book was published in 2012, it has scooped up a dozen additional awards. For more information on the celebrated story, click here. To read more about Jo, visit her website.

Way to go, Jo!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Upcoming events

––Author/Illustrator Paul Schmid launches his new book, Oliver and his Alligator (ages 3-5, $15.99) on Tuesday, June 25 at 7pm. Secret Garden Books, Market Street, Ballard.

––Graphic Artists Guild Workshop
Make a Handmade Rock 'n' Roll Poster with Shogo Ota in ninety minutes at the Guild's last 
workshop of the season.  Use paper, sharpies, crayons, pencils, collage and whatever else you can
think of to make a poster for your favorite band. Start the summer off right! We'll have some art
supplies, but feel free to bring non-messy supplies of your own. Old magazines welcome.
Pre-register for discount by June 24: 
Guild Member $10, student $10, Professional Association member $15, General $20, $5 more at the 

––Margaret Nevinski is offering writing workshops for kids and teens through the Bainbridge 
Island Park District this summer. Click here for registration information.

Creative Writing Workshop (Ages 8-11)

Wrap up your summer with a week of fun writing activities. We’ll go from ideas in our heads to words on the page. Young writers may also share their stories in the Author Corner. If your writing skills have been asleep all summer, now is the time to wake them up! Margaret is a children’s book author who has taught in Bainbridge Island schools.

#423301 Section 1: Monday-Friday, Aug. 12-16. 9:30-noon $120
#423301 Section 2: Monday-Friday, Aug. 19-23. 9:30-noon $120
#423301 Section 3: Monday-Friday, Aug. 19-23. 1:00-3:30 $120

Teen Creative Writing Workshop (Ages 12-15)

Whether you’ve been writing this summer or thinking about writing, this workshop for young teens is a place to express your unique voice. Margaret organizes our time like an adult writing workshop. We’ll work on our stories, novels, or poems and share them aloud for helpful feedback. August weather should allow us to write outside!

#423302 Monday-Friday, Aug. 12-16. 1:00-3:30 $120

All summer writing workshops are held at Strawberry Hill Center, 7666 High School Road NE, Bainbridge Island, WA. Registration is now open. To register, visit or call 206-842-2306, ext. 116. 

Opportunities aplenty!


If you are making work that is graphic and sequential you should apply for 4culture's call for comics artists and short filmmakers. 4Culture is commissioning a short film and a comic book that tell the story of hazardous materials and the environment. Each will be translated into Spanish. The commission budget is up to $15,000 and the deadline is THIS COMING Monday, June 24. Read the Call for Artists here. Submissions are online.  

Wanted: Volunteers to Read to Kids

Page Ahead, the largest children’s literacy program in Washington State, has an opportunity for volunteers to read with kids! They are looking for volunteers to read with preschool and kindergarten classes this 2013-2014 school year. Story Time volunteers read books, sing songs and create simple crafts with children in need. Contact Page Ahead directly at 206-461-0123 for more information.

Please spread the word!


Calling All Literary Artists

Kittitas County Fresh Air Artists Festival
For the past four years, High Country Artists in Kittitas County, WA has held a festival for plein air painters, photographers, and literary artists.  July 13––19, 2013 will be our 5th Kittitas County Fresh Air Artists' Festival.  Spend a day or the week  capturing the essence of our county, and/or enjoy our  week-long schedule of fun planned which includes outdoor painting demonstrations and workshops, writing workshops, a Quick Draw event, a cowboy round-up with the Roslyn Riders, and a week-ending art exhibit with cash awards.  Our professional instructors for the week include Angela Bandurka, Dianna Shyne, Richard Smith, and Janine Brodine.
You'll definitely want to put this on your schedule to attend!  This is a fun event open to artists in all stages of development, novice to experienced.  Full festival information and on-line registration is available here.

 Job listing: 

Art Therapist at UW Medical Center. Click on job link here.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sketch and Lunch Meet-Up for Illustrators

From Jennifer K. Mann:

Illustrators!! Let's kick off the summer with a sketch and lunch meet up! Next Thursday, June 20, 10:30am, let's meet at Gas Works Park. Bring a picnic lunch, and a medium you don't often sketch with (if you want). Or just your usual sketching stuff. Don't forget sunscreen. If it's raining, we'll reschedule!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

2013 Northwest Bookfest: call for presenters

From Northwest Bookfest organizers:


 It's hard to believe that six months have passed since our last successful Northwest BookFest. The Board of Directors is now in the process of planning BookFest 2013, which will take place November 2 and 3 on the beautiful Northwest University campus in Kirkland.

 Do you have digital publishing expertise? Do you like mingling with top influencers in the publishing industry? Do you have a passion to teach? Do you have a service or product that can help local authors achieve their goals? The 2013 Northwest BookFest is looking for highly dynamic presenters for this year's writer's conference.

Authors, publishers, editors, booksellers, librarians, publicists, and bibliophiles in general will be treated to a jam-packed weekend of workshops, panel discussions, classes, and readings.

 This year's event will feature dozens of author appearances and book signings in every genre from children's books to espionage thrillers.

 We will have time slots for 60 workshops, panels and presentations on all aspects of writing and publishing. Presenters will include:

Ebook providers
Online and Digital Marketers

 The workshop portion of the conference, which has proven in the past to be one of the most popular parts of Northwest BookFest, will focus on enhancing writing and publishing skills. Presentations will include utilizing new technologies within the publishing industry such as: social media, digital publishing and other key factors that are influencing our new digital publishing revolution.

If you are interested in applying to present a workshop, be part of an author panel or organize a presentation, please complete the application at Be sure you provide us with a descriptive title, a detailed description, and a few benefits for attendees who attend your presentation. Also indicate your choice of dates for presenting. Once approved, you will be sent an information form with more details.

 Workshop slots usually go quickly so don't miss out on this special opportunity to promote your books or business. With widespread media coverage and promotion, we expect a large crowd to attend. Please visit the website  and complete the application form. Applications will be reviewed by the programming committee and a confirmation sent once approved.

 Help celebrate the literary arts at Northwest BookFest 2013 ­ an exciting weekend of connecting, learning, and sharing.

If you have questions, please email me at

NOTE: Northwest Bookfest is not affiliated with SCBWI-WWA. 

REMINDER: Kid Lit Drink Night tonight!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

REMINDER: SCBWI-WWA Illustrator Exhibit deadline

Calling all illustrators!

Only one month left!

Monday, July 8 is the deadline for the upcoming art show at the Convention Center. Please click here for all the details–you won't want to miss out on this amazing opportunity to show your work!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

July Teen Writers Workshops in Port Townsend

The Port Townsend Writer's Conference will take place from July 7-21. There are great general writing opportunities available at this conference, but we thought some of you might know a teen who would benefit from this program. Scholarships are available.

Teens - take your writing to the next level! 
Advanced High School Writers Studio
Port Townsend Writer's Conference
July 7-14

In the Advanced High School Writers Studio work with Jennine CapĆ³ Crucet each morning, then participate in the Port Townsend Writers Conference every afternoon and evening.
 Jennine talks about "using humor to break down the wall" in this YouTube interview.

Work with Jennine and a cadre of fellow writers in an intensive learning community designed to move your writing to the next level. And maybe have a laugh or two...

Novel-writing resource released

[Thanks to Martha Brockenbrough for passing this along!]

Darcy Pattison has written a book about how to start and write (and therefore complete) your novel.


Six Winning Steps Toward a Compelling Opening Line, Scene and Chapter

You want to write a novel, but you don’t know where to start. You have a great idea and—well, that’s all. This book explains the writing process of starting a novel in six winning steps.


  • Starting the Journey
  • Why Editors Focus on Page 1
  • STEP ONE: Clarify Your Idea
  • STEP TWO: Review Your Skills
  • STEP THREE: Plan the Opening Chapter
  • STEP FOUR: Plan the Opening Line
  • STEP FIVE: Now, Write!
  • STEP SIX: Revise
Writing teacher and author, Darcy Pattison, is the author of NOVEL METAMORPHOSIS: Uncommon Ways to Revise,How to Write a Children’s Picture Book, and The Book Trailer Manual. She brings extensive experience in teaching writing to this exciting new book and helps you get started with the creative writing process.


Use this book is in October to help you plan what to write in November!

Confidence to Begin Your Novel

  • 29 Plot Templates
  • 2 Essential Writing Skills
  • 100 Examples of Opening Lines
  • 7 Weak Openings to Avoid
  • 4 Strong Openings to Use
  • 3 Assignments to Get Unstuck
  • 7 Problems to Resolve The Math adds up to one thing: a publishable manuscript.


    In 1999, Darcy Pattison started working with fiction authors on revising their novels. In order to come to a Novel Revision Retreat, they needed a complete draft of a novel and we spent an intensive weekend revising. The results? Many published novels, including Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson, winner of the Newbery Honor award.
    Now, I am turning to beginning writers and bringing order to the writing process. If you start well, you have a better chance of writing a publishable manuscript—and needing fewer revisions. Start Your Novel is a natural extension of my teaching of fiction and will get you past the terror of the blank page.
  • Craig Orback's on fire!

    Local illustrator and teacher Craig Orback has two exciting things going on:

    Seattle author Cameron Dokey and illustrator Craig Orback are having a book launch party and signing this Saturday at Magnolia Books in Seattle from 1-3pm for their new book, Boys Camp Book #1- Zack's Story. This is the first in a fun new middle-grade series about the adventures of a group of boys at a summer camp. Each book follows a different character from the same cabin.

    Craig also wants to announce his upcoming classes:

    Children's Book Illustration Classes

    Local illustrator Craig Orback has some new Children's Book
    Illustration classes starting soon in Bellevue and Seattle. Visit him
    at his website and blog

    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. Craig Orback is an award-winning illustrator
    of over 18 children's books. Basic drawing skills are helpful but not
    required. Homework is required.

    Bellevue Community College, Saturdays, 8 Sessions, June 29- August 24,
    from 10am-12:30pm. Cost is $189. Call (425) 564-2263 or register here.

    North Seattle Community College, Mondays, 8 Sessions, July 1-August 19, 6:30-9pm. Cost is $145, register here.


    Read this: A timely post on author gender and recognition

    Many thanks to Joni Sensel for this blog post by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, who gives the long and short explanations for author recognition in relation to author gender. Very interesting!

    Kevin Emerson's big BEA moment!

    [From the watchful eye of Katherine Schlick Noe]

    You may have seen this update from Publisher's Weekly––what a great pleasure to see our own SCBWI-WWA pal, Kevin Emerson, onstage with Jon Scieszka and Jack Gantos at BookExpo talking about boys and reading! 

    Here's the link to the money shot. Way to go, Kevin!

    Story Chairs event TOMORROW!

    Some of the writers and music makers from the Story Chairs project will gather at Jack Straw this Friday, June 7 at 7:00 pm to share our work. Please join us for an hour of stories and music in the big studio. There will be cool drinks, snacks and company to kick off your weekend. Experience the Story Chairs if you haven't yet had the chance!

    Drawing by Dana Sullivan: Tina Hoggatt and Moe

    WHERE: Jack Straw Productions, 4261 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, 98105

    The Writers:
    Kathleen Alcala, Gwen Demombynes, Gabriela Denise Frank, Willow Fox, Terry Garfield, Tina Hoggatt, Janel Kolby, Melissa Koosmann, Megan Vared, Judith Van Praag, Brenda Winter Hansen

    The Music
    Lucien La Motte

    Some links in case you missed them this past month or so:
    Check out a Jack Straw podcast about the project.

    Monday, June 3, 2013

    Daylong workshop: Writing as Spiritual Calling

    From Katherine Grace Bond:

    Through writing we respond to a call from an unseen place. It is this “thin place” that illuminates us, breaks us, and makes us whole again.

    Come to Duvall on Saturday, June 15 for a day to explore writing as a spiritual calling.

    Keynote by New York Times bestselling author, Karl Marlantes, author of Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War. Presenters include SCBWI members Janet Lee Carey, Peggy King Anderson and Katherine Grace Bond, American Book Award-winning poet Carolyne Wright, humorist Alex Riggle, and historical fiction author Bev Cooke.

    Tuition is by donation. All funds raised will be used to benefit St. Vincent de Paul Society outreach to struggling families.

    Click here for more information. Click here to register.

    Dana Sullivan's Summer Illustration Classes

    Intro to Children's Book Illustration with Dana Sullivan

    Our own Assistant Regional Advisor, Dana Sullivan, is teaching a fun, active class focusing on visual storytelling, character development, story board making and crafting a book dummy from your own story. A great intro to the children's book market and a start on putting together your own professional portfolio. To learn more about Dana, check out his blog.

    Dana is the author/illustrator of Ozzie and the Art Contest, due out in July, and the illustrator of the Digger and Daisy series, which will hit shelves this fall.

    WHEN / WHERE: Tuesdays, July 9–August 13, from 7–10pm. Kirkland Arts Center, Kirkland.
    For more details and registration: Click here.

    Kid Lit Drink Night June 12!

    Hear ye, hear ye!

    Allyson Valentine book release event

    Because she's super-excited, I will let Allyson tell you her news herself:

    After a long and crazy journey, my debut novel, How (Not) to Find a Boyfriend, is being released June 14th from Penguin. This girl deserves a party, and I hope you can join me for the celebration!

    And... Did I say free Molly Moon's ice cream? Yes!

    Nora, the protagonist in How (Not) to Find a Boyfriend, is a raving Molly Moon's fan who rates guys using an ice cream scale based on her favorite Molly Moon's flavors. To help celebrate the launch of the book, Molly Moon's is donating ice cream to my launch event!

    To reiterate: Friday, June 14th at 7pm at Secret Garden! Come get a bowl of ice cream! What flavor raking does your main squeeze deserve?

    Hope to see you there!! 

    Where: Secret Garden Books in Ballard
    When: Friday, June 14th at 7pm
    Why: Because you only release a debut novel once!


    Kate DiCamillo interview

    Ruth Schubert had the recent good fortune to interview Kate DiCamillo for Seattle's Child magazine. To read the long version of her conversation, please click here.

    Loralee Leavitt booksigning

    Loralee Leavitt, author of Candy Experiments, will be signing and demonstrating (volunteers who want a little hands-on participation are welcome!) on these upcoming dates:

    Saturday, June 8 at the Mill Creek University Bookstore. 11am

    Thursday, June 13 at Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park. 7pm

    Come and find out how sweets can be tweaked to teach science to kids!

    Wendy Wahman's latest project

    [Passed along from the always-in-the-loop Tina Hoggatt:]

     Crosscut, an online news site with a local focus, has just published the fourth in a series of Seattle Mayoral candidate portraits by Wendy Wahman. The illustrations are masterful summations of the candidates and, as can be seen from the comments, touchstones for conversation. Check out the latest here and follow the link to the Mayor Games page, where you can see the whole series so far. Nice work, Wendy!