Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Books for literacy needed by October 11

And now, from the Good Cause Corner:

The worthy Northwest Literary Foundation is celebrating 25 years, and is hosting an auction on October 11, 2014. As part of their Fill the Shelves program to get books into the hands of schoolchildren whose schools offer 80% of their students free/reduced lunches, they are hoping to secure enough book donations to fill, well, a bookshelf––or many shelves! The books the NSF needs are new, popular and as locally authored as they can get. (Which is where we come in....)

The NLF also supports an Authors in Schools program, as well as Global Reading Challenge grants of $5,000, and school libraries in need of sets of books for class discussions.

Rene Kirkpatrick, who sits on the NLF board, has asked if SCBWI WWA members––as well as any other friends, authors, and publishers––could donate signed books to fill shelves.  

Of course, the event is ticketed and there are seats available! Tickets per seat are $175 or a table of 8 donation of $1400. (Please see the NSF link above for details of the event.)

If anyone is interested in donating their own books (please sign them!) in time for the October 11 event (held in Seattle at the new Museum of History and Industry), or can get access to books for donation, please contact Rene Kirkpatrick directly to make delivery arrangements. No matter where you are, there's a way if there's a will! To reach Rene, please email her directly.

Don't forget your passport to fun and career education!

Okay, now that the idyllic summer weather is fading and the back-to-school rush is over, don't forget to get your passport to all of SCBWI Western Washington's 2014-2015 monthly events, which will start on October 16 with a perennial favorite, our fall kickoff with an agent. (Specifically, Brianne Johnson of Writers House, who you can read more about here.)

News flash: Believe it or not, there are a few spots still left for Brianne's master class, "Essential Elements of the Middle Grade Novel." SCBWI members pay only $45 for this great opportunity to learn from an agent (and get an enhanced sense of her taste and personality).  

Annnnnd, a few illustrators can also still sign up to get their art in front of Brianne via our annual Keep It Simple Art Show. Get either opportunity while the getting's good!

Don't be a slow-poke!
Our first event of the season is often crazy-busy with lines as people who procrastinated pay to get in. Avoid the lines now so you have more time to peruse the art,  munch on snacks, and catch up with writer and illustrator friends you haven't seen all summer! More details about the whole year's program — which will include a movie night, panel discussions, and arty videos — plus the link to register for your very own passport are here.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Another perk of the Author's Guild!

We've posted before about the advantages of Authors Guild membership, but member Lois Harris has another example to add: free publicity.

She explains, "In 2006, I joined because I needed a website and didn't have a clue about how to get or build one, and the Authors Guild had a Sitebuilder software program for members. You can play around with different themes, colors, design, etc. I am not a computer type but found the program easy to use, and I'm happy with the results.

"Was I surprised the other day when the AG's marketing communications manager emailed, saying they liked the looks of my website and wanted permission to use it in an ad on the back cover of Poets & Writers Magazine's November/December issue.

"Of course, I said yes —unexpected publicity for my books! I'm tickled. If anyone out there gets or sees the magazine, please email me and let me know how the ad looks."

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dash over to the 1940s

Member Kirby Larson is hosting a Seattle celebration of her new book, Dash, on October 5 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Nisei Veterans Memorial Hall (1212 South King Street, Seattle, WA). She says, "We’ll have some 1940s fun — with prizes for the best vintage attire — and meet the family of the woman who inspired me to write Dash. Secret Garden is generously donating a portion of book sales to the Nisei Veterans Committee Foundation. It won’t be a celebration without you!"
If you can attend, RSVP to Kirby at kirby@kirbylarson.com with the number of people in your party. Can’t attend? Help support this great cause by ordering a copy by phone at 206-789-5006.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Get classy with Craig

Illustration class-y, that is. Member Craig Orback will be teaching his introductory and intermediate illustration classes in Seattle and Bellevue soon. He says this will be his last time teaching at North Seattle Community College before moving to Edmonds Community College this winter, so if you're a northerner, don't miss out! Craig is the award-winning illustrator of over 15 children's books, including his recent Gifts from the Enemy, written by Trudy Ludwig.

Children's Book Illustration 1

Children's Book Illustration 2
  • NorthSeattle Community College starting 10/09/14

An idyllic summertime Great Critique

Amidst rumors of 15-mile freeway backups, many participants set out tentatively to last weekend's Great Critique in Olympia, only to arrive early at the Evergreen State College campus on a pristine late summer morning, ready to share a few pages of their latest project. The soothing breeze blowing in from the north served everyone well as the sun heated things to a perfect 75 degrees.

By noon most everyone had arrived and small knots of people conversed noisily while seated on lawn chairs or plastic and steel numbers provided by the college. They brought brown-bag lunches, potluck desserts, sandwiches and fresh veggies, or Starbucks drinks to prepare for soul-baring critiquing. 

At 1:00 p.m., organizer Tony Dorrough introduced faculty members and then each group split off. “One group disappeared down a flight of concrete steps and behind a building, another found the shade of an exquisite tree, and still another climbed a manicured bluff overlooking all of the others,” says Tony. “My group decided to hang fairly close to others that remained in the college’s famed Red Square. We spent the rest of the afternoon in idyllic conditions, surrounded by the park-like scenery and summer smells, listening to stories, and discussing illustrations and layouts. It was a sunny slice of writer heaven, and I can't wait for next year.”

Among the positive feedback the event received afterward was this comment, “Thank you for putting together a really great critique. I've been to quite a few, but have not enjoyed any as much as I did ours today. I got very valid and useful feedback. And it was fun.”

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Only got a weekend?

SCBWI Oregon has opened weekend-only spots for their Oct. 16-19 retreat. (In other words, for Oct. 18 and 19, which means you could still hit Western Washington's kickoff on Oct. 16 and book down to Oregon for even more fun.) For those who can only come Saturday & Sunday, the SCBWI member cost is $250. That gets you all meals on Saturday, a shared room Saturday night, breakfast on Sunday, and retreat sessions both days.

The registration deadline is September 30th. Check it out.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fall Inside Story is coming!

Do you have a new book or one coming out soon? If so, you may be eligible to present at Inside Story, SCBWI Western Washington’s twice-yearly celebration of new books.

We invite our members, area booksellers, and librarians to view three-minute presentations from eligible PAL (Published and Listed) members. The application deadline is September 30, 2014, and the event will be held Tuesday, November 4 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Park Place Books.

A limited number of 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 (published and listed) level and your profile at SCBWI.org is updated to reflect this.
  • You live in the official Western Washington region. (Check your profile if you're uncertain.)
  • Your publisher is on SCBWI’s list of recognized (traditional) PAL publishers. You can find the accepted publisher list by going to your SCBWI member profile page, clicking “Add” in the “Books” section under “Publications.” Find “Publisher” (not “Other Publisher”) and type in your publisher’s name in the box that says, “Start typing…” Exceptions to PAL published books include self-published books that were originally published by a PAL publisher, books that are a continuation of a PAL published series, and Spark Award books.
  • Your book is released between three months before and three months after the month of the Inside Story event (August 2014 to February 2015).
  • Your book is readily available through normal trade channels (e.g., Baker & Taylor).
Find the application form here. And even if you're not planning to present this time around, please mark this event on your calendar. You won’t want to miss it!

A thousand plus one...

We already suggested about a thousand book events you might want to make this month. Here's another: Mike Curatio, author and illustrator of Little Elliot, Big City, will be at Third Place Books in Ravenna this coming Monday night, September 22, at 7:00 p.m.

Need a kick in the Muse?

Member Lois Brandt is teaching her popular “Write a Novel in a Month” class at Bellevue College North Campus starting October 14. Join this class as it hooks up with 100,000 writers worldwide for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The first class sessions prepare you for the process, with practice in characterization, setting, plot, voice, and dialogue. Then we're off and writing 50,000 word manuscripts. During the last class we plan for revision. This is a great way to write your novel in a supportive environment.  Cost $195.

Tuesday evenings, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
October 14 to December 9
Bellevue College North Campus

Register or contact Lois (the author of the new Maddi's Fridge) with questions.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

October preview: Agent Brianne Johnson

Brianne Johnson, an agent with Writers House, will be SCBWI Western Washington's featured October speaker in about a month, on October 16. She'll also be presenting a master class called Essential Elements of the Middle Grade Novel and giving limited manuscript consultations on the following day. The consultations are already sold out, but it's not too late to sign up for the master class — and you'll definitely want this season's Professional Series programming passport, so you can come to her keynote! Get more info about these opportunities and our whole season. You'll find the link to register there, too.

Read brief interviews of Brianne here or here or here or here, or check out her bio on Publisher's Marketplace.

Lois and Laurie in PW!

Lois Brandt, you earned a shout-out for a fantastic spotlight appearance of your book, Maddi's Fridge, in today's Publisher's Weekly/Children's Bookshelf! Lois' book shows up as a "click to win a copy" promotion, and it's smack in the middle of today's Children's Bookshelf news section. To see it in all its glory, click here.

Laurie Thompson, not to be outdone, also appears in the In Brief section, which shows a photo from last weekend's terrific launch party for Be a Changemaker.

To see the fabulous visual, click here.

So exciting to see our local talent recognized and shown to such a huge audience! High fives!

Monday, September 15, 2014

About a thousand book events you'll want to attend

Sept. 15: Mac Barnett discusses and signs Telephone. 6 p.m., University Book Store, Bellevue. Yep, tonight! Go get him.

Sept. 15: This just in! Mike Curato, author and illustrator of Little Elliot, Big City, will be here on Monday night for a special event. 7 p.m., Third Place Books/Ravenna. _________________________________________________________________________________

Sept. 17: Karen Finneyfrock and Elissa Washuta. WordsWest Literary Series hosts Finneyfrock, author of Starbird Murphy and the World Outside, and Washuta, author of My Body Is a Book of Rules. 7 p.m., C & P Coffee Company.

Sept. 19: Aaron Becker discusses and signs Quest. 7 p.m., Secret Garden Bookshop.

Sept. 22: Obert Skye signs Katfish. 6:30 p.m., Third Place Books. Signing line ticket with book purchase required.

Sept. 23: Obert Skye discusses and signs Creature From My Closet and Katfish. 6:30 p.m., Secret Garden Bookshop.

Sept. 24: Frank Portman discusses and signs King Dork. 6 p.m., University Book Store, Bellevue.

Sept. 25: Kazu Kibuishi and Raina Telgemeier discuss and sign their graphic novels. 7 p.m., University Book Store. Or don't miss them at SPL and KLDN the next day.

Sept. 28: Gayle Forman and Jandy Nelson discuss and sign Forman’s If I Stay and Where She Went and Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun, respectively. 3:30 p.m., University Book Store.

Sept. 29: Karma Wilson reads from her new book, Bear Sees Colors. 7 p.m., Secret Garden Books.

Sept. 30: Diane Muldrow discusses and signs Everything I Need to Know About Christmas, I Learned from a Little Golden Book. 7 p.m., Secret Garden Bookshop.

Sept. 30: Our own Lish McBride discusses Firebug. 7 p.m., Third Place Books.

Kazu, Kartoons, and KLDN

Itching to meet and tip a bev with famous graphic novelists? Here's your chance. New York Times bestselling graphic novelists Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet: Escape from Lucien) and Raina Telgemeier (Sisters) will read from their new books at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, September 26, at the Northeast Branch of the Seattle Public Library.

Flush with all of your public acclaim, they'll join our Kid Lit Drink Night at 8:00 p.m. at the Pub at Third Place. Come chat and chill!

You can read more about both graphic novelists at the links above or through Kazu's video and Raina's website.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Lois Harris writing class

Writing for Children: Polishing for a Successful Submission 

Do you have a rough draft of a children's article or story? Improve and revise your manuscript for submission by learning self-editing tips, the correct format, structural elements, and important first-page essentials. Learn how to research and choose the right magazine or book publisher for your particular work, create an effective cover, proposal or query letter and what to include, and how to keep track of your submissions. Taught by Lois Harris, author of Maxfield Parrish: Painter of Magical Make-Believe.
Location: Skagit Valley College, Mount Vernon Campus. 
Dates: October 9, 2014 and October 16, 2014 (Thursdays) 6:30 PM to 8 PM
Cost: $49 
Register for 6089 CENGL 056.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Attention, Great Critique-ers!

Since there are quite a few of you heading south to Olympia on Saturday, PLEASE BE AWARE OF TRAFFIC CONDITIONS on I-5 this weekend and plan your trip accordingly!

Excerpted from this article:

Drivers who cannot avoid I-5 in Olympia at these times are advised to:
  • Consider traveling through the area before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m.
  • Stay informed by checking WSDOT traffic alerts webpage, following WSDOT’s regional Twitter account and calling 5-1-1.
  • Expect considerable delays with miles of stop-and-go traffic.
  • Be prepared: Have a full tank of gas, have diversionary games for children traveling in the car, and pack patience.
  • Allow plenty of extra time to reach travel destinations.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

And then comes Tom

Local author Tom Brenner will read his newest picture book, And Then Comes Christmas, which is a must have holiday book and a beautiful follow-up picture book to And Then Comes Halloween. Please come celebrate Tom Brenner’s second book at Mockingbird Books in Green Lake.

WHEN: Saturday, September 13 at 11am

Illustrator wanted

A local author is looking for an illustrator for his book. SCBWI cannot endorse this endeavor, but certainly encourages it! We also encourage interested illustrators to see what the SCBWI Guide to Publishing for Children has to say about hiring (or working as) an illustrator.

For more details, contact Rudy Willingham. And best of luck!

Jennifer Longo's debut--cupcakes included!

Please join Jennifer Longo for books and cupcakes and signing of books and more cupcakes and champagne and general merriment as we celebrate the publication of Jen's debut novel, Six Feel Over It! All-ages, some reading and prizes, and did we mention...CUPCAKES! A bunch of 11-year-olds will be playing music,. You do NOT want to miss this! 

Hope to see you there!

Where: Island Books, Mercer Island
When: Sunday, September 14 at 3pm

YA novel class at Hugo House

Want to really invest in writing or completing that YA manuscript idea that has been knocking around in your brain? SCBWI member and YA novelist Stephanie Kuehnert is teaching a year-long YA novel writing class at the Hugo House in Seattle.

It starts next Wednesday, September 17 and runs until the end of May, providing an intensive path toward finishing a publishable draft of a manuscript. The first third will focus on generative, craft activities designed to get your novel moving. The rest of the class will be comprised of workshops and small group activities to help you meet your goals. It will conclude with a weekend intensive on publishing including a visit from a kidlit agent.

There are still a couple of seats remaining!

You can find out more about Stephanie and the class and register by clicking here.

Stephanie is the author of the novels I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone and Ballads of Suburbia.

Be an attendee!

Our very own Laurie Thompson's new book, Be a Changemaker, debuts this week, and she's celebrating with a launch party! Here are the deets:

Sunday, September 14th, at 2 p.m.
Seattle Creative Arts Center
2601 NW Market St
Seattle, WA 98107
(Click here for directions and parking information.
Eat, drink, mingle, hear more about the book from the author, and—best of all—meet some local teens who are already changing the world!

Caldecott Honor winner Aaron Becker visits

On Friday, September 19, Aaron Becker, the Caldecott Medal Honor winner for the wordless picture book Journey,  will appear at Ballard's Secret Garden Books at 7pm.

Aaron's follows his beautiful debut with Quest, the second picture book in a planned trilogy.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Picture Book or Graphic Novel? Back to School with Dana Sullivan

Writer/illustrator Dana Sullivan will be teaching intro to illustration classes this fall.

Intro to Graphic Novels at Bellevue College, Wednesday nights, 6-9 pm, Sept 17 – Nov 29. Using Manga, comics, graphic novels and picture books for examples, you will create your own visual masterpiece in six weeks. Check the details and register here

Inro to Picture Book Illustration at Kirkland Arts Center, Tuesday nights, 7-10 pm, Sept 23 – Nov 18. A great class for illustrators AND writers, you will turn that great idea into a real book dummy in eight weeks. We’ll march step-by-step through the process of character development, pacing, storyboarding, dummying up your book and submitting for publication. This is the kick in the back cover you have been waiting for. Details and registration here:

Dana is the author and illustrator of Ozzie and the Art Contest, Kay Kay’s Alphabet Safari and the illustrator of the four book Digger and Daisy series, and two sets of Bob Books for Scholastic. Check out his work at www.danajsullivan.com

New Voices Award submissions due September 30

Lee & Low, publishers committed to diverse voices, is accepting submissions for their New Voices Award through September 30. The winner will be announced in December 2014.

For more information and submission guidelines, please click here.


The list came out last week, but I wanted to raise a mighty "Huzzah!" to the finalists of the 2014 Washington State Book Award, as nominated by the Washington Center for the Book.

In the category of Books for Early Readers, Middle Readers, and Young Adults, the list reads like a Who's Who of our SCBWI-WWA members:

The Wrap-Up List, by Steven Arntson
Wise Young Fool, by Sean Beaudoin
And Then, Story Starters, by M.H. Clark
Jumped In, by Patrick Flores-Scott 
The League, by Thatcher Heldring
Duke, by Kirby Larson 
The Sasquatch Escape, by Suzanne Selfors

In other award news, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association has published their list of nominees for the 2015 award. To see the full list, click here. Among the names we were happy to see Laurie Thompson, for Be a Changemaker, Lois Brandt, for Maddi's Fridge, Maureen Doyle McQuerry's Time Out of Time, Marissa Meyer's Cress, Toni Yuly's Early Bird, Kelly Milner Halls' Ghostly Evidence, Patrick Jennings' Guinea Dog 3, and others. Please let me know who I left out!

Congratulations to all of you! Well done!

Eastside Write-In this Tuesday

Just a reminder that our weekly write-in on the Eastside is still going on (this week marks our tenth!), and all SCBWIers are welcome to join us anytime. We meet Tuesdays at Crossroads Bellevue starting at 10am for two hours of quiet writing time, followed by lunch and writerly chat. You'll find us in the Commons area near the main entrance by Starbucks and Half Price Books. To maximize the writing time/minimize disruptions, we aim to settle in and start shortly after 10. If you're running late, no worries. Just slip in, grab a seat, and dive right in to whatever work you've brought along. 
Contact Lisa Owens (lisa@llowens.com) or Dori Butler (dhbutler@kidswriter.com) with any questions.

Perfect your kidlit craft!

 What better way to structure your year, and master your craft!

A UW Continuing Education certificate course, Writing for Children, is taught by our former Regional Advisor and esteemed retreat director emerita Jolie Stekly. She can be reached via email at cuppajolie@gmail.com if you have any questions.

The course has led to many publications in our field, and is an excellent and strong foundation for finding your voice. Beginners, intermediate, and experienced writers are all welcome!

The UW Writing for Kids program is meant for writers of all levels who are interested in writing for kids of all ages. The program has both helped writers get started on their journeys, as well as launched them to the next level, and many graduates have found great success. The year-long (3- quarter) program provides in-depth lessons, many inspiring and knowledgeable guest speakers, and dedicated time and focus on writing and reaching your goals.

The course starts September 30. To learn more or to register, click here.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Passports are here!

To register for our AWESOME season of programming and professional series meetings, all you have to do is pay your annual SCBWI dues and then register by clicking here!

15 Great Critique slots open!

If you've tried to register for THE GREAT CRITIQUE lately and you weren't able to get it to work, it was probably because we had reached capacity for this event. 

Well, due to popular demand we have opened (15) additional spots. If you are reading this announcement and you wanted to go to the THE GREAT CRITIQUE but you haven't been able to get registered, stop reading and start registering––the first 15 (!) get in! 

Okay, you've been officially notified. My work here is done.
To register, please click here.

Tony Dorrough
Southern Network & Critique Group Coordinator

NOTE: Please be aware that there will be traffic delays on the day of the Great Critique. Plan your route and your travel time accordingly!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Northern Network season kickoff

It’s been a great summer, but with fall just around the corner it’s time to get the Northern Network gang back together again! Come to the 2014-15 season kickoff and let us know what you’ve been up to all summer (even if it’s just to show us your vacation pictures)! We’ll also talk about what topics you’d like to discuss this year.

Date: Wednesday, September 3
Time: 7pm
Location: The Bellingham Barnes & Noble (4099 Meridian Street)

Questions? Call Rebecca Van Slyke at (360) 354-5797, or email her at rebecca_vanslyke@hotmail.com.

Children's book class at Hugo House

Do you have a story in progress or a finished draft that needs revising? 

Clare Hodgson Meeker will be teaching a six-week writing class called Polishing your Children’s Book Manuscript on Thursday nights from 7-9pm at Hugo House in Seattle starting September 18.

Make a promise to yourself to submit your story to a publisher this year and she will help you get there. In this class, you’ll focus on strengthening story structure, dramatic tension, voice, and character development. Discover the right amount of detail and description to include for your target age group and the themes that will deepen your story and give it broader appeal. 

Students will submit one story in progress to the class and receive constructive feedback on their work from the instructor and classmates. For more information or to register, please contact Hugo House at 206-322-7030 or click here.

Clare Hodgson Meeker is an award-winning author of 10 books for children, including the Smithsonian Notable Book Lootas Little Wave Eater and Soccer Dreams: Playing the Seattle Sounders FC Way.