Friday, January 31, 2014

Award-o-rama onscreen

Fresh from the ALA awards, here are a few great videos about a few winning author/illustrators and their processes:

Brian Floca
On process and book dummy creation
His ALA speech about Locomotive

David Wiesner
Two different videos on his process

Molly Idle
Flora & the Flamingo Video
Interview by Kathy Temean

Aaron Becker
The book trailer for Journey
The making of Journey

—Contributed by Street Team member Suzanne Kaufman

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Only a week until Norton & Jules!

Excited yet? We are! We're so looking forward to screening The Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expectations. This documentary film "playfully explores the creation, creators, lasting impact, and enduring relevance of one of the most universally loved children's books of our time." (Check out the trailer now!) We'll watch it from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, February 6 — and you can, too! Show up that evening at SPU's Demaray Hall 150 and you'll also enjoy a mini session with Deb Lund called Be a Fiction Magician! Tips & Card Tricks for Writers.

The Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expectations
on Vimeo.
The cost for members is $8.00. (Non-members pay $10.00.) No advance reservations will be taken; just plan to pay at the door — and arrive early so you can find parking, pay for an evening of creative genius, visit with peers, and get your snacks. See you next week!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How tweet it is

Here's what a little birdie is chirping about: a book launch party this Saturday by one of our own, Toni Yuly! Her new book is called Early Bird. Congratulations, Toni!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Kid Lit panda-monium TOMORROW

Join in for thrills and spills (hey, not on my nice clothes!) and maybe a dirty limerick or two, when the provincial panda shows up in the big city for her art opening!  Come to Anne Belov's two-person art show (with Jennifer Frohwerk) and reception first, from 1:30–3:30pm at nearby Ida Culver House (2315 NE 65th, between 25th and 23rd NE––free food and wine!) and then adjourn to the  Pub at Third Place Books Ravenna (6504 20th Ave NE). Or, heck, just show up at the pub! 


“Kid-lit Afternoon” sounded like a bad Quentin Tarantino movie, so maybe we can convene at the pub at about 7pm. As Anne says, "The pandas are standing by!" 

Kid lit drinks night! Huzzah!

David speaks out

Local children's book writer David Patneaude will be the featured guest at the Redmond Association of Spokenword (RASP) on Friday, January 31 from 7–9pm. Besides the author of such YA books as Thin Wood Walls and Epitaph Road, the event showcases other local writers in an open-mic format.


WHAT: David Patenaude and open-mic readings
WHEN: January 31, 7–9pm
WHERE: Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center, Room 207 
(16600 NE 80th St, Redmond)



Thursday, January 23, 2014

Got a meeting or presentation idea?

Do you have special expertise or experience teaching writing or illustration topics? Planning is proceeding for SCBWI Western Washington's 2014-2015 season, so now's your chance to guide the offerings! We expect to offer a substantial number of monthly events as well as conference-style programming, and you can suggest how that programming can best serve members.

Make a proposal or other suggestion using the form that's now available on our website. Proposals received prior to May 31 will be most timely for the planning cycle. Thanks for your ideas!

A weekend at Mockingbird Books

 Here's a fairy tale that never gets old!
Celebrate the launch of Rosamund Hodge's debut YA novel, Cruel Beauty. It's a new take on Beauty and the Beast, and is already getting some buzz. The festivities will take place next Friday, January 31 at 7pm at Mockingbird Books near Greenlake in Seattle.

The next day, Saturday, February 1 from 4–6pm, Mockingbird hosts a delicious bash for Pink Cupcake Magic, a picture book written by Katherine Tegen and illustrated by Kristin Varner. It's the story of a girl who lives to bake cupcakes and discovers how to add magic to the mix. Come for readings, and pink cupcakes too!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Catch the ALA awards by podcast

Have you got award fever yet? We can all tune in to the ALA live podcast on Monday, January 27, starting at 8:00 a.m. Eastern time, to hear the youth media award announcements for the Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and many others of our community's most prestigious awards.

Contributed by member Katherine Kirkpatrick, whose January blog post provides useful preparatory information

Member's artwork displayed

Member Anne Bellov will have her work displayed in a two-person show in Seattle that opens next Saturday, Jan. 25. She'll be at a reception from 1 - 3:00 p.m. at Ida Culver House, which is at 2315 NE 65th Street.

She says, "The theme of the show, 'Ordinary Illuminated,' is one I've been involved with most of my painting life: depicting objects that I live with in a way that celebrates and illuminates them. I am joined in the show by the very talented Jennifer Frohwerk. While it's not kidlit specific, I'd love to see folks at the opening. They usually have pretty good food too, not to mention wine — and maybe there could be an impromptu kid-lit drink night afterward. I'm just saying, us folks out in the provinces don't get in to the big city much!"

RSVP to 206-538-6151 to attend the reception.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Need a film fix?

Join us from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, February 6, for a screening of The Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expectations. This documentary film "playfully explores the creation, creators, lasting impact, and enduring relevance of one of the most universally loved children's books of our time." (Check out the trailer now!)

The Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expectations
on Vimeo.

This evening will be a full and regular SCBWI WWA meeting, including our usual good news and business, plus a a mini session with Deb Lund called Be a Fiction Magician! Tips & Card Tricks for Writers.

This session will be held at SPU's Demaray Hall 150 (the usual location). The cost for members is $8.00. (Non-members pay $10.00.) No advance reservations will be taken; just plan to pay at the door — and arrive early so you can find parking, pay for an evening of creative genius, visit with peers, and get your snacks. See you soon!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The early bird gets the... cupcake?

Member Toni Yuly will celebrate the launch of her first picture book, Early Bird, at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 1. Yay! Join her at the Elliott Bay Book Company for cheeps, cheers, and cupcakes.

(Please RSVP with the bookstore so she'll be sure to have a cupcake waiting for you!)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Illustration collaboration

Check out this great post on the collaborative process between editor, art director, and artist by art director Lauren Rille, who will at our spring conference.

—Contributed by Street Team member Suzanne Kaufmann, who was recently a featured illustrator on Kathy Temean's Writing and Illustrating blog.

Update: We've fixed a glitch in the link, so try again!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cool low-tech "easter egg"

Yet another cool way books can surprise us! (Illustrators, take note...)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Writing class at UW Experimental College

Writers Wanted!

Yes, you!

Are you:  
currently writing a novel, movie, play, screenplay? Or do you just want to hone your writing skills?

Award-winning actress/writer/director/teacher Denise Frisino (Whiskey Cove) will be teaching a course at UW's Experimental College titled, "Creating Memorable Characters." In it, you'll learn how to develop characters and dialogue that will strengthen your plot and story arc.

To register for the course, which runs January 21–February 4 (and it's only offered in the winter), please click here.

Classic controversy

When is a book a "classic"?

Publisher's Weekly’s ShelfTalker blog brings up the issue of publishers marketing books as “instant classics.” Elizabeth Bluemle at ShelfTalker makes a great case for there being no such thing.

What do you think? Join the discussion here.

––Contributed by Kjersten Anna Hayes

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Want a story-filled weekend?

Join member Wendy Wahman at "What's Your Story," a free event this Saturday, January 15, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the EX3 Teen Center in Sammamish.

She says, "This could be fun for families, interviewing each other and writing down memories. The event is geared towards teens and people over 55, but really, anyone over 7 is welcome. There will be writing groups led by authors, and a life stories coach will be available to talk to, too. My group will be making a Book-of-the-Day. What's that? Making one is therapeutic and creative. It stirs up introspection and expression. It heightens inner and outer awareness, calms and centers you. You draw from your dreams (real or imagined), experiences and memories. And when you are done, you hold a book in your hands. Your book of the day."

Get more information at

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Armchair conference

Listen up! Instead of traveling long distances and dealing with making frozen dinners to supply your family while you get your conference mojo on, there's another solution: a webinar!

Beginning this month, SCBWI Michigan and Delve Writing is hosting a five-part webinar series that will highlight multiple aspects of the children's book world, from industry know-how to submissions.

To find out more about this exciting and unique series, and to register, click here.

Because, hey, we like to keep our butts in our chairs. Our own chairs, that is!

Free workshop series with Stasia!

Attention all YA writers (beginning to experienced)! Member and author Stasia Ward Kehoe will be leading a free (you read that right!) three-session workshop series at the Woodinville library starting next weekend. Join her to discuss the business and craft of writing. She says, "At each session, we will analyze passages from some standout YA fiction, apply our insights to our own work through writing exercises, and share insights on the process of submitting your work for publication. Attend one, two or all three sessions – and bring paper and pencil!"

The public workshops will be held on Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., on the following dates:
  • January 25
  • March 22
  • May 24

This month's session is called Reader to Writer. We are often told that to be good writers, we must read. But what does this mean? Specifically, how and what can we learn from books we admire and how does this translate into our own words on the page?

Questions? Contact her through her blog.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cat lover? Check this out!

Famous member alert! Seattle's Showbox Theatre (at the Pike Place Market) will soon be hosting CatVidFest, which will feature member Wendy Wahman's book trailer for A Cat Like That. Wendy says, "My book trailer for A Cat Like That was selected from over 7,000 entries to be part of this 80-minute compilation of the best cat videos from 2013." Join the fun on Wednesday, Jan 15, at 8 p.m. (You can pick up a copy of her book from University Bookstore while you're there.)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

From page to screen

Midwinter blahs?

We won't allow it!

Come in from the cold: Join SCBWI WWA members for a special meeting on THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 7–9pm, at SPU's Demaray Hall. For all the details, click here
**PLEASE NOTE: WE WILL ACCEPT CASH OR CHECKS ONLY FOR ADMISSION. An ATM is located in the convenience store just up the hill on the SPU campus.)

We will be screening the documentary The Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expectations, a feature about the beloved children's book by Norton Juster.

 The evening will commence with a presentation by Whidbey Island author Deb Lund (Monsters and Machines, the Dino- series, Tell Me My Story, Mama), who will present her latest project, "Fiction Magic: Card Tricks and Tips for Writers." Deb has created a deck of cards with wonderful writing prompts and strategies, which she'll share. This is the culmination of Deb's many years of writing, teaching, and coaching––all in a single deck of cards! To read about her inspiration, click here.

2014 Children's Literature Conference in Bellingham

You've got until February 3 to take advantage of the early-bird discount for this year's Children's Literature Conference in Bellingham, which is sponsored by Western Washington University. The event will be Saturday, March 1, and will feature Nic Bishop, Jennifer Holm, Steve Sheinkin, and Laura Vaccaro Seeger. Get more information or register here.

Friday, January 10, 2014

PW discount

Publishers' Weekly offers SCBWI members a discount on its Spring and Fall 2014 Children's Announcements, which can be helpful for keeping tabs on industry trends, what's selling, and when it'll be released. Both announcements issues are available for only $25. Members are also eligible for discounted full-year subscriptions that are 60% off the regular rate. Click here to take advantage of either offer and make 2014 a more informed year!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Register to revise

It may be in the future, but there are ONLY THREE SPACES LEFT in Darcy Pattison's Novel Revision Retreat, which takes place June 6-8, 2014, in Tacoma. Darcy is the author of Novel Metamorphosis, and has been a teacher at our own WWA retreat not once, but twice.

For information on the retreat, which comes highly recommended by our own Joni Sensel (who attended in the past), click here. For the full details, also click this link. It may only be January, but sometimes planning ahead can be a good thing. With a teacher like Darcy, it can be a very, very good thing!

Dana does dummies!

Art by––who else?––Dana Sullivan

How are YOU planning to shake off last year's cobwebs?
By signing up for Dana Sullivan's dazzling class, Picture books for Dummies! 
(As in, MAKE a dummy, not BE a dummy. Just to clarify. Ahem.) 
If, like many of us, your New Year's resolution is to finally make that nebulous book idea into a real book dummy, this is the class for you. Dana will march/goad/cajole/limerick you step by step through the process. From character development to story, right up to holding your very own dummy, ready for submission, in your creative hands!* 
Join Dana Sullivan, writer and illustrator of Ozzie and the Art Contest and illustrator of the Digger and Daisy series, for this intensive Dummy Boot Camp, which will focus on playful doodling, storyboarding, inside stories of the publishing world, and just having some serious fun. This is the perfect class for beginning illustrators AND writers looking for a new perspective on their work.
Click on the links for registration and all those good (and we mean delicious!) details:

Questions for the man? Email Dana directly. He'll know what to tell you. And responds quickly

*actual results may vary. You've gotta put in the work!

Graphic novel goodness

Interested in creating a graphic novel? Learn from experts when Seattle's Graphic Arts Guild presents a day of graphic novel goodness on Saturday, January 25, 2014. This all-day event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., includes a panel and two morning workshops. David Lasky will present “Make Your Own Comic” for artists and Megan Kelso will lead a workshop for writers called "Comics For Writers." Then five panelists and a moderator will cover the rest! The session takes place at the Seattle Design Center. Check here for more information and a link to buy tickets.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Calling Clark County authors and illustrators

Here's a sweet promotional opportunity for someone who attends our Southern Network events or other members living in the Vancouver, WA, area! A writer for Vancouver Family Magazine, which is published for parents in the Clark County area, is looking for children's book authors who live in southwest Washington for a feature she's writing. If you're a published author who might like to be interviewed or otherwise featured, contact Pamela Swearingen at

Monday, January 6, 2014

Plan now for a fantastic February film!

We're pleased to announce an addition to SCBWI Western Washington's 2014 schedule. Please join us from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, February 6, for a meeting at SPU's Demaray Hall 150 (the usual location) for a full program, including:
  • Mini session: Be a Fiction Magician! Tips & Card Tricks for Writers, from the marvelous Deb Lund.
  • Business: Bring your good news and hear about upcoming events, including our 2014 conference in April.
  • Main session: A screening of The Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expectations. This documentary film "playfully explores the creation, creators, lasting impact, and enduring relevance of one of the most universally loved children's books of our time." (Check out the trailer now!)

The Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expectations
on Vimeo.

No advance reservations will be taken; just plan to pay at the door — and arrive early so you can find parking, pay for an evening of creative genius, visit with peers, and get your snacks.

Members: $8.00
Non-members: $10.00

Mark your calendars, and we'll see you then!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

We scribbled, we scrawled...

...we dribbled, we drawled.

Such was the scene at our most recent Kid Lit Drink Night, held December 27 at the Tippe and Drague Ale House on Beacon Hill.

It was a warren of like-minded knuffle bunnies, all cozy in the corner while legions of canine fans came for Husky Fight Hunger Bowl game, which was available on multiple TVs. Dawgs and bunnies filled the house, and draughts and pints were shared by all. It was a post-holiday treat to see Joni Sensel, our beloved former RA and current blog editrix, back in the city after an extended midwestern sojourn. Among the many who came to the warren in the corner were: Kevan Atteberry, Tina Hoggatt, Suzanne Kaufman, Elizabeth Rose Stanton, Laurie Thompson, Brenda Winter Hansen, and Dana Sullivan (who howled with the Dawg Pack at every nuanced ref's call, when he wasn't scribbling to save his life). It was, you could say, A Very Good Night.

Here's the proof:

Register! Right here. Right now.

Registration is officially open for the 2014 Write Here, Write Now, a unique literary intensive.

Sponsored by the Seattle7 Writers, the day features mini-lessons and tips from Seattle7 Writers and friends; receive consultations; write for sustained blocks of time; listen to opening and closing remarks by Claire Dederer and Garth Stein; and much, much more. The event will take place at Fremont Abbey. (Think Downton, but with less waitstaff. And no fancy dress. Or high tea.)

To register, click on this link.

Imagine: a day spent cranking on, and thinking about, your writing. No plane fares, no fancy hotels, just you, a network of support in the city, and a lot of words waiting to hit the screen.

Ahhhhh. What are you waiting for?

Last-minute Laurie!

This just in:

Laurie Halse Anderson is coming THIS WEDNESDAY, January 8 to University Book Store.

Yes, really. You read that right!

The author of beloved YA books Speak, Wintergirls, Twisted, Catalyst, Prom, and historical novels Chains, Forge, and Fever: 1793, will appear to support her latest work, The Impossible Knife of Memory. This is a novel centered around a returned Iraqi war vet and his teenage daughter.

The deets:

WHO: Laurie Halse Anderson
WHAT: The Impossible Knife of Memory
WHERE: University Book Store, U-District, Seattle
WHEN: Wednesday, January 8 at 7pm

Friday, January 3, 2014

Arty inspiration

Need a creative kick in the drawers? Try one of these:

  • This daily weblog by Dinotopia creator James Gurney (left), which is for illustrators, plein-air painters, sketchers, comic artists, animators, art students, and writers. You'll find practical studio tips, insights into the making of the Dinotopia books, and first-hand reports from art schools and museums.
  • This Seven Impossible Things post featuring debut author/illustrator Lori Nichols and a new perspective on leaves (just in time to make you long for spring).
  — Contributed by Street Team member Suzanne Kaufman, who says she's going to focus on tips and new artists for the next month

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year — and a new chance to learn!

Need a new class to perk up your writing for the New Year? Member Lois V. Harris, whose credits include multiple picture books, will be teaching a class called Shining the Spotlight on Children's Concept Books, Picture Books, and Story Books at the Skagit Valley College on Thursday evenings starting on January 30. The $49 course will include discussion of the guidelines for each category of young children's literature and creation of a dummy for feedback. For more info or to register, call Skagit Valley College at (360) 416–7638 or check out their website.