Thursday, February 28, 2013

March PSM: Meet Jessica Schein

Mark those calendars for the March Professional Series Meeting, Thursday March 14! It's going to be a doozy!

"Book Marketing 101," with the multi-talented former Scholastic Associate Director of Marketing Jessica Schein, 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. Follow Jessica on Twitter to keep up to date on her writing, and check out her Tumblr site to stay current with all her book-related projects.


Jessica Schein

 AN INTERVIEW WITH JESSICA SCHEIN:

1) What's the biggest way in which marketing books has changed since you were at Scholastic? 

I actually think it's less of a question of how marketing has changed in the last 3+ years but how the industry itself has changed. Borders, a major retailer is gone; social media lifted the wall between reader and writer; and Amazon is now not only a publisher in its own right but has been at the forefront of self-publishing explosion. When I left Scholastic I knew of only a few self published success stories--Christopher Paolini being the first one that comes to mind--but now hardly a few weeks or a month goes by when I don't hear about someone who wrote a book, put it up on Amazon/BN.com/the iBookstore and is now pulling in thousands of dollars a month. This changing business model means books that would have died in someone's drawer are now being read by hundreds or thousands of people--and that's a wonderful thing. But this also makes it harder for new authors, especially, to find their audience.

2) What form of promoting one's own work is now considered obsolete?  

Print ads--and to some extent online banner ads. They're costly and hard to measure the impact of. We're also constantly bombarded with ads that unless they're very targeted, or clever, or both, they're generally ineffective. Today it's all about social media impact and integrated marketing/branding--what I think of as "suggestive" and not overt marketing.


3) What is a newly published author's greatest challenge when it comes to marketing their work?  

Getting themselves seen and heard. As I mentioned earlier there are so many people self-publishing now, making the market a crowded one. It's important for authors, both newbies and veterans, to think of marketing as a long term investment. Getting one's name out there shouldn't start when his/her book is about to or has just come out. It's never too early to build relationships with others in the publishing/reading community. It's these relationships that can make or break a writer's career.


4) What are you working on right now?  

I'm revising a YA dual-perspective novel with my writing partner, Kristiana Gregory, and my agent, whose comments have been invaluable. It's about two girls who live in the same Brooklyn house 200 years apart and the secrets they discover about their shared family. I'm also working on a series of e-novellas for more mature teens about a girl who goes missing after a night of partying in NYC.


5) What is your favorite a) thing to cook, b) recent novel read, and c) place to hang out and write in Seattle?  

My favorite thing to cook salmon (the fish in the PNW is so good), but I'm also obsessed with the Smitten Kitchen blog and I've tried a bunch of her recipes (all of which are pretty easy and amazing). The last novel I finished is Where'd You Go, Bernadette. It was hysterical and captured the Seattle vibe so, so well. And as for where I write--I tend to work at Porchlight or Tougo in Capitol Hill/the CD (where I live)--or my dining room table. I recently moved into a larger apartment and the fact that I have a dining room is the best thing that's happened to me in a long while. A dining room was so off the table (pun intended) in NYC, given the cost of an apartment larger than 300 square feet.

Northern Network March meeting and Feb. recap

A Point With a View: Playing With POV


You’ve got the perfect idea for a story. Strong characters, great plot, amazing setting… now—who’s going to tell it? This month, let’s consider Point of View and how it can work for—or against—your story.

What: Northern Network Meeting
Date: Wednesday, March 6
Time: 7pm
Location: Barnes & Noble (4099 Meridian Street, Bellingham)
Questions? Call Rebecca Van Slyke at (360) 354-5797, or email



FRESH FROM THE FEBRUARY MEETING:


He Said, She Said: Let’s Talk About Dialogue
SCBWI Northern Network Talk by Rebecca Van Slyke
                  The Northern Network discussed dialogue this month. Dialogue is simply a conversation between two or more characters. But writing effective dialogue can be incredibly challenging. We learned several tips. Dialogue should:
·      have a purpose. If your dialogue, like any other story element, doesn’t do anything to move the story forward, cut it.
·       be brief. Use the “rule of the index finger.”
·      be consistent. Each character should have their own way of speaking that is easily identifiable.
·      sound real. It emulates but does not replicate real speech
·      reveal your character. As your story progresses, reveal the layers of your character through actions, thoughts and dialogue.
Dialogue should not:
·      provide too much information. Don’t use dialogue as an “info dump.”
·      reveal backstory in an awkward way. Beware of “As-You-Know-Bobisms.” As in, “As you know, Bob, we’ve been friends since third grade.”
·      rely on adverbs. (“I know,” she said, happily.)  Show us, don’t tell us.
·      overdo tag lines (replied, called, remarked, added). You want the taglines to be invisible, so “said” should suffice in most cases.
·      be redundant. (“I’m sorry,” he apologized.)
So how do you do it?
·      Listen to people.
·      Include voice inflection, gesture and setting to break up or add beats to dialogue.
·      Tell it slant. Make sure the dialogue reflects the inner workings at some level.
·      Don’t forget to let your characters shut up. Sometimes silence speaks louder than words..
·      Read widely. When you feel lost, go to books that work..
·      Study films and plays. They are nearly all pure dialogue.
·      Read your dialogue out loud, or have someone else read it out loud to you.
·      Show growth in your character.
Following these guidelines will result in dialogue that is vital, organic and true, giving your characters roundness and depth; giving them their voice.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Conference Sneak Peek: Julie Just






Literary agent Julie Just spent sixteen years working at the New York Times, where she went from Deputy Editor of the Children's and Young Adult coverage in the Book Review to the Editor. For an interview from Publisher's Weekly in 2005 that featured her move to the Editor post, click here. In 2010 she moved to a position as an agent with the esteemed agency Janklow & Nesbit, where she's been building a list of middle-grade and YA fiction, as well as graphic novels and children's and adult's narrative nonfiction (biography, history). We look forward to hearing from Julie when she comes in April, sharing her perspective as someone who covered writing for children in a newspaper to someone who's actively searching for great writing for children.

MARCH EVENTS


MARCH EVENTS
 
Sat, March 2:
 
Marissa Meyer
 
 
Come for Teen Book Brunch with Tacoma resident Marissa Meyer, author of the dystopian YA hit Cinder. Meyer's newest book in the Lunar Chronicles series, Scarlet, released in February. Scarlet continues the human-android struggle to survive in a dark and distant future, in a retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale.
 
 
 
11am, University Book Store, Mill Creek.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Author Loralee Leavitt conducts experiments from her new book Candy Experiments (Andrews McMeel, $14.99), which teaches children a new way to see the sweetest of treats. Over 57 ways to turn candy into a science project!
2pm at Secret Garden Books, 2pm; also Sunday, March 3 from 3-5pm at Park Place Books, Kirkland.


Sun, March 3:

Celebrate the grand re-opening of Queen Anne Books! Join Suzanne Selfors, Sean Beaudoin and Kevin Emerson as they help celebrate the grand reopening of this wonderful independent bookstore. Come support a neighborhood staple.
4-6pm, Queen Anne Books, 1811 Queen Anne Ave N.

Thu, March 7:
 
Join a quintet of YA writers as they stop in on their Dark Days Tour. Kiersten White (Mind Games), Dan Wells (Fragments), Claudia Gray (Spellcaster), Lauren Oliver (Requiem), and Debra Driza (Mila 2.0) showcase their newest books and talk the YA talk. Join the shadowy fray!
 6:30pm, University Book Store, U District. 
 
 
 
Jessica Brody
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jessica Brody (52 Reasons To Hate My Father, My Life Undecided, The Karma Club) appears in support of her latest YA novel, Unremembered.
7pm, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park.
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
Sat, March 9:
 
Richelle Mead, author of the popular Vampire Academy novels, celebrates the first book of her newest vampire-based series, The Indigo Spell: A Bloodlines Novel.  
6:30pm, Park Place Books, Lake Forest Park.
 
 
Mon, March 11:
 
Some of the most prolific middle-grade fantasy/adventure authors writing today, Peter Lerangis (Seven Wonders 1: The Colussus Rises), Jennifer A. Nielsen (The Ascendance Trilogy 2: The False Prince), and Lisa McMann (Infinity Ring 3: The Trap Door) converge for a special appearance. Now that's a lot of talent in one place at one time.... 
7pm, Secret Garden Books.
 
 
Fri, March 22:
 
Katherine Pryor, founder of South Park Fresh Starts,  appears on behalf of good food, which is the subject of her picture book, Sylvia's Spinach (Readers to Eaters). One little girl's eating fussiness changes when she's given a packet of spinach seeds.
10am, University Book Store, U District.
 
 
Sat, March 23:
 
Christi Zellerhoff and Amy Davis, authors of Princesses Can Be Pirates, Too! read from their collaborative picture book. 
7:30pm, Park Place Books, Lake Forest Park.
 
 
Mon, March 25:
 
Cassandra Clare
 
Cassandra Clare, author of the best-selling Mortal Instruments series and Infernal Devices trilogy is coming! Her new book is Clockwork Princess. TICKETS REQUIRED FOR SIGNING BOOKS, AVAILABLE MARCH 19. First-come, first-served. (No ticket if you want to hear her speak. Click here for full details.)
7pm, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park. 
  

Reminder: Vote for Crystal Kite Award

You have until TOMORROW to vote for your choice of this year's Crystal Kite Award!

To vote, follow this path:

1) Log in to SCBWI with your email and member password, then 2) click on the link that reads, "See What's Going on in your Region," then 3) click on the "Crystal Kite" tab on the upper right of the page. From there, 4) the list of nominees will appear and you can search them alphabetically by author or title, which means 5) you can then vote.

Take a few minutes TODAY to let your voice be heard in support of the great work our members have created!

VOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTE

Monday, February 25, 2013

Conference Sneak Peek: Kendra Levin







Perhaps the best way to get to know Kendra Levin, Senior Editor at Viking Children's Books, is to go right to her impressive web site. A longtime publishing professional who has worked with numerous authors in various stages of the writing process, Kendra decided to become even more involved in the struggles of the writer by becoming a certified life coach. Her subsequent business, Kendra Coaching, grew out of her expertise and dedication to strategies for successful writing and revision. For an interview on her perspective as a writing coach, click here. An author in her own right, Kendra has written plays that have been produced and performed Off Broadway, as well as contributing to a nonfiction anthology and screenwriting.

In a great interview with the SCBWI's Rocky Mountain Chapter, Michaele Charles gets into what makes this incisive and detail-oriented editor and writing coach tick. (Note: You have to click once more to get the interview in full, as a PDF.) There is also a nutshell profile here.



Kendra will add her extensive knowledge and advice when she comes to this year's annual conference, and we look forward to learning from her in April!

4Culture Individual Project Grants

Two local funding opportunities for Writers and Illustrators
March 6 & April 15

King County based artists and writers are eligible to apply to 4Culture for Individual Artist Project Grants. Applications are due March 6 and are submitted online. For this opportunity, you will need to outline a project and a budget, as well as submit supporting material (manuscript samples, images). Grants could support time to work on a manuscript or illustrations. The last public workshop is February 26, but program staff Heather Dwyer is available to answer questions about application. The resource room at 4Culture has examples of past applications that are available for review.


Artist Trust funds Washington State artists of all disciplines. Their Grants for Artist Projects program funds projects up to $1500. Application information will be available March 5 and applications are due April 15. This grant application is simple and requires project description, budget and work samples.

Lee White's character questionnaire

For those of you who missed it earlier in February, or for those who actually came but wanted a replay, here's the inspiring content from Lee White's talk on character-building. Thanks to Lee and to Jaime Zollars, for permission to reprint this useful questionnaire to share with our chapter at large!




Friday, February 22, 2013

Graphic Artists Guild Workshop

Graphic Artists Guild February Workshop
What Is Responsive Web Design and Why Should You Care?
Presenter: Erik Fadiman, interactive designer/developer and instructor at Seattle Central Creative Academy

When: Wednesday, February 27, 12-1:30pm. (Doors open at 11:30am.)
Where: Seattle Design Center, 5701 6th Avenue South, Plaza Building, EAFA Gallery, Suite 292


Responsive Web Design means creating web sites which easily adapt their content to any size screen. While much of this is done by web developers in HTML and CSS, it’s increasingly important that designers are fluent in this new workflow. More and more people are accessing the Internet from their smart phones and tablets. New gadgets of different sizes seem to enter the market every week and web browsing from portable devices is expected to outpace desktop use by 2015.

In this workshop we will discuss:
  • Why you should “design for mobile first”
  • How to “future-proof” your site against costly redesigns
  • How to explain Responsive Web Design to your clients
  • Best practices for converting layouts to small screens
  • Why you should stop creating fixed width layouts in Photoshop

 

Click here for tickets:
Pre-registration pricing:
 Guild Member $10
, Student $10, Professional Member $15
(ASMP, ASPA, AIGA, SCBWI, CNW, EAFA), 
General $20. $5 more if purchased at the door.




Conference Sneak Peek: Sophie Blackall

2013 Annual Conference
SNEAK PEEK
presents



SOPHIE BLACKALL

     Autralian-born, New York-transplanted illustrator Sophie Blackall might be best known for her lovably quirky illustrations in the Ivy and Bean series of chapter books, or she might have flickered on in your consciousness when she won the coveted 2003 Ezra Jack Keats Award for illustrating Ruby's Wish (written by Shirin Yin Bridges, Chronicle Books, 2002). Either way, Sophie's special style is as whimsical and unique as her projects. Besides editorial illustrations for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and Vogue, she has created animated TV commercials and characters for theme parks. Her most recent book is Missed Connections: Love Lost and Found (Workman Publishing, 2011). Find out more about her projects and see wonderful examples of her illustrations on her web site, by clicking here. In a 2010 web interview, Sophie reflects on her process and influences. Read it here.
 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Kirby Larson events for Hattie's sequel!



Help Kirby Larson celebrate the launch of Hattie Ever After, the long-awaited sequel to the 2007 Newbery Honor Book Hattie Big Sky! Join her for cookies and conversation. Prizes for the best chapeaux!

When: Friday, February 22 at 6:30pm 
Where: Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park

Can't make it on Friday night?
Kirby will also be appearing at Village Books in Bellingham on Tuesday, February 26 at 7pm 
and 
Secret Garden Books in Ballard on Friday, March 1 
at 7pm

Kid Lit Drink Night THURSDAY






  

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Invitation to SCBWI-WWA's spring conference!


2013Banner 

SCBWI Western Washington invites you to attend its 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. Learn from esteemed literary professionals—agents as well as editors and art directors from major publishing houses—in addition to award-winning authors and illustrators.
 

Keynote Speakers:
Conf2013-MacBarnett-small
Mac Barnett,
Author
Conf2013-SophieBlackall-small
Sophie Blackall,
Author/Illustrator
Conf2013-KellyMilnerHalls-small
Kelly Milner Halls,
Author
Conf2013-RobinLaFevers-small
Robin LaFevers,
Author

Editorial & Art Director Faculty:
  • Patti Ann Harris, Art Director, Little, Brown and Company
  • Kendra Levin, Senior Editor, Viking children’s Books
  • Taylor Norman, Editorial Assistant, Chronicle Books
  • Tamra Tuller, Editor, Chronicle Books
  • Colleen AF Venable, Designer, First Second Books
  • Stacy Whitman, Publisher and Editor, Tu Books

Agent Faculty:

  • Julie Just, Agent, Janklow & Nesbit Associates
  • Ammi-Joan Paquette, Agent, Erin Murphy Literary Agency
  • Abigail Samoun, Agent, Red Fox Literary
  • Joanna Volpe, Agent, New Leaf Literary & Media

Other Distinguished Faculty:

  • Stasia Kehoe, Author
  • Deb Lund, Author
  • Jolie Stekly, Author
Conference Features:
  • 4 editors, 4 agents, 2 art directors
  • Both craft and marketing topics
  • Skill and interest tracks
  • Local success story panel
  • Wine and cheese reception 
  • Secret Garden pop-up store

Optional opportunities:

  • Roundtable consultations
  • Two fiction master classes for writers
  • Nonfiction master class for writers
  • Graphic Novels 101 master calss
  • Art Director's master class for illustrators
  • Published attendee showcase 
  • Juried art portfolio show
  • Professional art portfolio display
  • Continuing Education credits for teachers
Conf 2013-PriceBox

Standard tuition is $285 for SCBWI International members and $305 for non-members. Register by February 28, 2013, for a special early-bird discount of $20. All prices include continental breakfast Saturday, boxed lunch both days, and admission to Saturday's Wine & Cheese Reception. Additional fees vary, depending on any optional opportunities for writers or illustrators that you may select, such as roundtable critique sessions or master classes on Friday; the Juried Art Portfolio Display on Saturday; or CE credits for teachers. These additional opportunities are very limited and will be reserved for the first registrants who select and pay for them. Conference capacity is limited to the first 400 registrants. 

View complete information and register by clicking on the link below:





Don't delay! We expect registration to fill quickly, and we want to see you there!

Keynote Speakers:
Conf2013-MacBarnett-smallMac Barnett,
Author
Conf2013-SophieBlackall-small
Sophie Blackall,

Author/Illustrator
Conf2013-KellyMilnerHalls-small

Kelly Milner Halls,

Author
Conf2013-RobinLaFevers-small

Robin LaFevers,
Author

Editorial & Art Director Faculty:
  • Patti Ann Harris, Art Director, Little, Brown and Company
  • Kendra Levin, Senior Editor, Viking children’s Books
  • Taylor Norman, Editorial Assistant, Chronicle Books
  • Tamra Tuller, Editor, Chronicle Books
  • Colleen AF Venable, Designer, First Second Books
  • Stacy Whitman, Publisher and Editor, Tu Books

Agent Faculty:

  • Julie Just, Agent, Janklow & Nesbit Associates
  • Ammi-Joan Paquette, Agent, Erin Murphy Literary Agency
  • Abigail Samoun, Agent, Red Fox Literary
  • Joanna Volpe, Agent, New Leaf Literary & Media

Other Distinguished Faculty:

  • Stasia Kehoe, Author
  • Deb Lund, Author
  • Jolie Stekly, Author
Conference Features:
  • 4 editors, 4 agents, 2 art directors
  • Both craft and marketing topics
  • Skill and interest tracks
  • Local success story panel
  • Wine and cheese reception 
  • Published attendee showcase 
  • Secret Garden pop-up store
  • Juried art portfolio show
  • Professional art portfolio display

Optional opportunities:

  • Roundtable consultations
  • Two master classes for illustrators
  • Two fiction intensives
  • Nonfiction intensive
  • Continuing Education credits through The Heritage Institute
Conf 2013-PriceBox
Keynote Speakers:
Conf2013-MacBarnett-smallMac Barnett,
Author
Conf2013-SophieBlackall-small
Sophie Blackall,

Author/Illustrator
Conf2013-KellyMilnerHalls-small

Kelly Milner Halls,

Author
Conf2013-RobinLaFevers-small

Robin LaFevers,
Author

Editorial & Art Director Faculty:
  • Patti Ann Harris, Art Director, Little, Brown and Company
  • Kendra Levin, Senior Editor, Viking children’s Books
  • Taylor Norman, Editorial Assistant, Chronicle Books
  • Tamra Tuller, Editor, Chronicle Books
  • Colleen AF Venable, Designer, First Second Books
  • Stacy Whitman, Publisher and Editor, Tu Books

Agent Faculty:

  • Julie Just, Agent, Janklow & Nesbit Associates
  • Ammi-Joan Paquette, Agent, Erin Murphy Literary Agency
  • Abigail Samoun, Agent, Red Fox Literary
  • Joanna Volpe, Agent, New Leaf Literary & Media

Other Distinguished Faculty:

  • Stasia Kehoe, Author
  • Deb Lund, Author
  • Jolie Stekly, Author
Conference Features:
  • 4 editors, 4 agents, 2 art directors
  • Both craft and marketing topics
  • Skill and interest tracks
  • Local success story panel
  • Wine and cheese reception 
  • Published attendee showcase 
  • Secret Garden pop-up store
  • Juried art portfolio show
  • Professional art portfolio display

Optional opportunities:

  • Roundtable consultations
  • Two master classes for illustrators
  • Two fiction intensives
  • Nonfiction intensive
  • Continuing Education credits through The Heritage Institute
Conf 2013-PriceBox

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pre-conference reading

We got authors and illustrators,
Editors, agents, and LOOK!
In addition to them,
We got your new favorite book…

If you want to really know
More than conference bios show,
Check out a bookstore
For these books and more!

(Note: Secret Garden will also have a small selection of conference faculty titles at our March Professional Series Meeting. Watch this space for more faculty titles soon. Poetry courtesy of Deb Lund!)

Mac Barnett:
Extra Yarn
Chloe and the Lion
Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem 
The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity
Danger Goes Berserk

Sophie Blackall:
Spinster Goose: Twisted Rhymes for Naughty Children by Lisa Wheeler
Are You Awake?
Missed Connections, Love, Lost & Found
Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan
Ivy and Bean Series by Annie Barrows

Kendra Levin:
Crap Kingdom by DC Pierson
The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door by Karen Finneyfrock
Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el
Gilt by Katherine Longshore
Buddy by M.H. Herlong

Kelly Milner Halls:
Tales of the Cryptids
Saving the Baghdad Zoo
In Search of Sasquatch
Alien Investigation
Hatchlings: Life-Size Baby Dinosaurs
Tiger in Trouble

Abigail Samoun:
Brand-New Emily by Ginger Rue
The Tilting House by Tom Llewellyn

Norman Taylor:
Under Shifting Glass by Nicky Singer
Ivy + Bean by Annie Barrows

Joanna Volpe:
Ever Afters: Of Giants & Ice by Shelby Bach
Chained by Lynne Kelly
Sway by Amber Turner
Altered by Jennifer Rush
The Seven Tales of Trinket by Shelley Moore Thomas

Stacy Whitman:
Awakening by Karen Sandler (April)
Hammer of Witches by Shana Mlawski (April)
Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Vodnik by Bryce Moore
Cat Girl's Day Off by Kimberly Pauley
Tankborn by Karen Sandler
Wolf Mark by Joseph Bruchac