Thursday, October 29, 2015

Inside Story: A 2015 Extravaganza!

The Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators 

invites you to attend our 

Fall 2015 Inside Story 

Tuesday, November 10 at 7pm

Mockingbird Books, Seattle
7220 Woodlawn Ave NE, Seattle WA 98115

We hold this celebration twice a year so booksellers, librarians, teachers, and other children's book lovers can hear the "stories behind the stories" of new and upcoming books by our local authors and illustrators.
In addition to hearing these delightful two-minute stories, you’ll have the opportunity to win many prizes, including books by our fabulous presenters: Nina Laden, Dan Richards, Jennifer Longo, Erik Brooks, Stacey R. Campbell, Elizabeth Rose Stanton, Bonny Becker, Eric Ode, Suzanne Williams, Jaime Temairik, Trudi Trueit, Julie Paschkis, Elizabeth Thieme, Robin Cruise, Steven Henry, Dori Hillestad Butler, Dana Sullivan and Samantha Vamos.


SCBWI Crystal Kite Award Presentation . . .

. . . to our own Laurie Thompson for her fantastic book, BE A CHANGEMAKER: How To Start Something That Matters (Simon Pulse)!

The Crystal Kite Awards are given by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators to recognize great books from the seventy SCBWI regions around the world. Along with the SCBWI Golden Kite Awards, the Crystal Kite Awards are chosen by other children’s book writers and illustrators, making them the only peer-given awards in publishing for young readers.


Please invite your book-loving friends and send your RSVP to Mockingbird Books:

Please join us! Hope to see you there!

Deb Lund
SCBWI Inside Story Chair

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Let's do LAUNCH!

Hear ye, hear ye––

Check out SCBWI's new Book Launch Party!

How it works: If you have a book that came out any time in 2015, purchase a page for a fee of $25. If you'd like SCBWI to design it (rather than using their easy templates), you pay a larger fee of $100. By the end of this week, SCBWI will have a video up on their site that walks members through the process of designing their page. 

This is a completely amazing way to promote your book. By purchasing a page, you'd have creative free reign over its content, design, sass, theme, etc. Your book will appear alongside the launch pages of more than 25 best-selling authors/illustrators who are also launching their books with this online tool. 

The skinny: You have approximately one month to design your page before the Launch Party's page birthday on December 1.  We're digging for more information, such as how long the pages will stay live. For any questions or clarifications in the meantime, you can call the national SCBWI office (323-782-1010) and ask for Sarah or Kayla.  

The bottom line(s): Launch Party Day is December 1, 2015. SCBWI asks that everyone who is participating Tweet (#SCBWIBLP) and Facebook about it. Of course, you can always link your launch page in any social media. They’d like December 1 to be a Red Letter Day in the children’s book industry, with a ton of traffic heading to our Launch Party site. So please let us help other members and book industry people know.

How to get there: To get your own page on the SCBWI Launch Party website, log into SCBWI with your password, and then CLICK on the purple sidebar that says MY BOOK LAUNCH PARTY.  Away you go! 

Stay tuned––there is sure to be a lot of information to follow. In the meantime, try not to freak out with excitement!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Hooray for Liz!

Shout out to Liz Wong, featured illustrator on the SCBWI website for October. We are so excited about her picture book, Quackers, coming from Penguin Random House in March 2016. She's definitely an illustrator to watch!

Congratulations, Liz!


"Definitions," by Deb Lund:

Kidlit—Doodlers and scribblers who haven't quite grown up, immerse themselves in creating stories and/or art for babies through young adults, which are mostly bought by other adults who haven't quite grown up either.

NaNoers—Bizarre individuals who procrastinate on their self-given writing deadlines only to force themselves to give up showers, food, and friends for the entire month of November, call it National Novel Writing Month, and use peer pressure in order to catch up on their word count. And then they call it a novel.

PiBoIdMoers—More the fluffy bunny type who try out Picture Book Idea Month in order to get away from fluffy bunnies, especially those coming from Langley.

NaNoPiBoMukilKickoff—If you can't figure that out, you'll never make it there or know what it's about. But come anyway. We'll fill you in.

Please join us for the second annual NanoPiBoMukilKickoff! Write, create, list, and/or eat and drink in the company of other kidlit writers!

 Eat, Drink, and Be....Very Productive!

WHEN: Sunday, November 1 from 1–5pm 
WHERE: Diamond Knot Craft Brewing (621 Front Street, Mukilteo, WA 98275) 

Northern Network November meeting

It’s All About Your Presence

This meeting's all about web presence. Does your website represent
you? Are you gathering followers, and managing your ability to
connect with them? How do you create a web presence that shows your talent, but protects your work? When it comes to images, how do you size them for sharing, and can you watermark them--or should you?
Sarah Valeos will discuss these topics, and answer your questions this November meeting.

Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Barnes & Noble, Bellingham (4099 Meridian Street)
Questions? Call Rebecca Van Slyke at (360) 354-5797, or email at [That’s rebecca(underscore)vanslyke(at)hotmail(dot)com.]

Writer/illustrator mentors wanted!

Hello, SCBWI of Western WA:
I teach a career choices class at Chief Sealth High School.  I am looking for an illustrator and/or writer to host a few students for an hour and a half for each student. Students could meet writers and illustrators on our campus or students could meet them where ever it would be convenient.  The class focuses on job readiness and career exploration. I have a few students who are really interested in illustration and writing.  
Thank you!
Diane White-Shaw
Chief Sealth International High School
Seattle, WA

Writing for kids residency

Get a taste of the only MFA program in the Northwest with a specific track in writing for children and young adults--the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts on Whidbey Island. You can attend a 9-day residency program this January. Residency students take regular morning classes and attend special afternoon sessions featuring guest speakers from across the industry.
Children's/young adult speakers this January include our very own amazing authors Suzanne Selfors and Martha Brockenbrough. As well as Andrew Karre, executive editor at Dutton.  The program is small, friendly and very hands-on. Plus it meets at the beautiful historic Captain Whidbey’s Inn!
The deadline to apply is November 6. 
To fill out an application, click here

A Barry good week!

For those of you who were able to participate in The Week of Goldblatt, we can only imagine you are still pinching yourself. The NYC-based agency head swept us away with his incisive and constructive manuscript feedback, his thoughtful and encouraging master class, and his illuminating presentation at the monthly meeting. When it was all over, all we could want was...MORE!

Live from New York, it's agent Barry Goldblatt!

Some of Barry's most memorable lines from last week:

"If it's a trend and you see it, it's over already."
"Schmagents." (Referring to agents who really don't know what they're doing, have little experience.)
"Read diversely."
"Great writers are made in revision."
"I want manuscripts that make me FEEL, THINK, and WANT....MORE!"

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

New York Winter Conference: registration open


Yesterday, registration opened for the 17th annual SCBWI Winter Conference!

The lineup is exceptional.

The offerings are fantastic.


Barry wants YOU! Spaces available!

This isn't an April Fool's joke. This is real. This is happening. And if you get in on the action, it can happen for YOU! This is an opportunity to learn how to make your writing sing (and ring). 
You'll want to MOOve on this, so register now!
(See below for details.)

On Thursday afternoon, Oct. 22, 2015, from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m., in Bertona Hall, Room 6, on the campus of Seattle Pacific University, Barry Goldblatt presents "Barry Wants More Cowbell!" What Makes a Book Sing? With clients including Christopher Barzak, Holly Black, Angela Johnson, Jo Knowles, Lauren Myracle and Libba Bray, Agent Barry Goldblatt has heard a lot of beautiful literary music. In this class you’ll get an in-depth look at some gorgeous prose that grabs you from the first note. Using specific examples and in-class writing exercises, you’ll learn how to make your own work sing.

•     SCBWI member - $60
•     Non-member - $80 (NON-MEMBERS MUST WRITE A CHECK.)

How to register:
  • In person at tomorrow night’s SCBWI season opener at Seattle Pacific University, 7 - 9 p.m., Demaray Hall
  • Purchase your Passport to Monthly Programming and make sure to include Barry Goldblatt’s Master Class in your Additional Opportunities. Link here:
  • If you have already purchased your Passport, you can enroll in the Master Class by clicking on the “modify your registration” link in your SCBWI confirmation email and then hit the “modify” button on the SCBWI Western Washington registration page.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Tyler's good news

SCBWI-WWA member Tyler Parker wanted to share hie latest news: 
On October 31st at 11am he will be doing a kids story time/book signing at Powell's City of Books in Portland! The new book he illustrated, I WANT TO EAT YOUR BOOKS, was written by Karin LeFranc and came out from Sky Pony Press. For full details, click here

Tyler will be reading and signing the book as well  as demonstrating how to draw monsters.
Congratulations, Tyler!

Locals make lists!

Great news! Here are a couple of book lists for you featuring two of our members.

Kelly Jones and her delightful middle-grade novel Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer made the esteemed Texas Library Association Master List for 2015.

And Laurie Thompson's terrific nonfiction book Be A Changemaker received gold in the 2015 Moonbeam Spirit Awards.

Congrats to Julie and Laurie!

SCBWI on YouTube

SCBWI has three new videos for your members and potential members alike. All three can be accessed at the SCBWI YouTube channel. Not surprisingly, they are awesome!

1) An overview of what SCBWI is and member benefits/privileges

2) A how-to guide to the member website

3) A FAQs video

Check them out, spread the word, and fire up the microwave. Enjoy!

Countdown to WEDNESDAY!


Start your engines.

Our season is opening on Wednesday.

Seattle Pacific University, Demaray Hall.


Agent Barry Goldblatt.

Be there.

SCBWI-WWA's 2015-16 season of monthly programming begins Wednesday, October 21.
Buckle up and hang on!

Friday, October 16, 2015

NaNoWriMo classes: FREE

Gearing up for NaNoWriMo?

Rebecca Agiewich, author of BREAKUP BABE, sent the following:

I'm an SCBWI member and am teaching three upcoming (free!) classes at Seattle Public Library for the Seattle Writes series. They all require registration. The class is "Get Ready for NaNoWrimo," and there will be one class on Sunday, October 18 at the Ballard Library, Saturday October 24th at the New Holly Branch, and later that day at the High Point Branch.

For other classes I teach, please check out my blog/page, here.

Thank you!

We HEART Martha!

Martha Brockenbrough, author of THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH, attended the Kirkus Prize ceremony last night in Austin, Texas as a nominee in the Young People's Literature category.

Alas, the award went to Pam Munoz Ryan's ECHO, but Martha immediately sent out a gracious post on Facebook and high-fived the winner in the process:

"A truly great book won the Kirkus Prize for young literature tonight. I was so shocked and thrilled to be a finalist, and am so happy with how this adventure has turned out. Thanks for all the good wishes, friends! And read ECHO by Pam Munoz Ryan. It's wonderful."

Kudos to Martha--we're so proud of you for your book and your tireless support of other writers near and far.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Mark's good news

Mark Holtzen shares some good news:

I've finally got a cover (illustration by John Skewes) to show off! My new picture book from Sasquatch Books, A TICKET TO THE PENNANT: A TALE OF BASEBALL IN SEATTLE comes out next spring on April 12, 2016! (Hopefully the excitement for Seattle baseball will be back in the air after this disappointing Mariners season.)
Here is a link to some relevant history and inspiration from my blog.

Thanks, Mark!!

Suzanne's series adieu and local appearances

EAGLE HARBOR FUN! George Shannon dressed as Mr. Tabby, Lynn Brunelle as Dr. Woo, and a special guest as Sasquatch. Plus, fairies everywhere, treats, trivia and  revelry. 

QUEEN ANNE ANTICS! Booksellers dressed as fairies, fairy face-painting, costumes, characters from the book, trivia contest and more.

Trudi's latest launch: FRIDAY!

Please join Trudi Trueit on Friday, October 16 for the release of her new book, THE SISTER SOLUTION. It’s the story of two sisters, who are as opposite as the sun and the moon (like that never happens!), who must find a way to work through their differences if they hope to conquer the queen bee and her drones at their middle school. As part of the launch, the University Bookstore will display some writing from local students. At this moment, sixth-graders from Heatherwood Middle School in Mill Creek are busy writing poems, songs, and letters in honor of their siblings! 
Hope to see you there!


The details:

The Sister Solution Book Launch

Friday, October 16, from 7–8pm

University Bookstore, Mill Creek


Sunday, October 11, 2015

EGGS-cellent news!


Jennifer K. Mann is this year's winner of the Scandiuzzi Children's Book Awards in the Picture Book category at the Washington State Book Awards!

Can we get a WOO-HOO?

Jenn reads from her award-winner! (Goodreads)

Jennifer's debut picture book, TWO SPECKLED EGGS, won the award at Saturday night's event at the Seattle Public Library.

For the complete list of winners, click HERE.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Anne Belov's art opening

Anne Belov will be having a show of her paintings, titled "Room With a View," during the month of October at the Fountainhead Gallery on Queen Anne Hill (625 W McGraw St, Seattle). 
Anne, as many of you know, is a fine-arts painter who also has a passion for all things panda!
Painting by Anne Belov, "Where You'll Find Me Now," oil 26 x 32.
The show opens Saturday, October 10th with a reception from 5-7 PM. 
Regular gallery hours are from 11-6 Thursday through Sunday.
In other good news, Anne has also recently been selected to be in the 2015/16 mentorship program through Nevada SCBWI!

Congratulations, Anne!

Illustrators: BIG Bologna 2016 opportunity!

Take note, illustrators: This is one of those BIG DEALS!

Every two years the SCBWI has a booth at the International Children’s Book Fair in Bologna, Italy. SCBWI will be displaying the 10 finalists of the hugely successful BIG (Bologna Illustrators Gallery) at our 2016 Bologna Book Fair booth. This will be seen by publishers, agents, and other attendees from across the world. 

In addition, a digital version of the entire shortlisted portfolio will be posted on with thumbnails of artwork and contact information. SCBWI has engaged a prestigious judging panel that will gather the shortlist.

Entry fee: $15. 

Deadline: November 15, 2015

Full details on how to apply are here.

Additional link to information. Please click below:

Friday, October 9, 2015

Triple threat at SPL

Call it a bonanza, or, even better, a trifecta!

The Seattle Public Library's Central branch will host three of the most riveting authors writing for kids today. It's a singular opportunity to hear them speak about their work. Don't say we never put you in the loop! Our own Jolie Stekly will moderate what is sure to be a memorable evening. See below for all the details, and see you THERE!

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Illustrators take B&N!
Some of our chapter's illustrious illustrators––namely Kevan Atteberry, Jennifer K. Mann, Wendy Wahman, Toni Yuly, Ben Clanton, and Elizabeth Rose Stanton––WERE invited to participate in a "Meet the Authors" panel to mark the kick-off for Educator Appreciation Week!


Thanks, all! Catch you next time!

'Tis the season...opener!


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Book Award finalists read

This SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, finalists for the Washington State Books Award will read from their nominated works at University Book Store in the University District at 3PM.

Those reading are:
Mary Cronk Farrell, Maureen McQuerry, Jennifer K. Mann, and Jennifer Longo.

Come support our local talent and celebrate their books! See you there!

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Barry Goldblatt Interview


SCBWI-WWA's 2015-16 
First Evening of Monthly Programming
Wednesday, October 21, 7–9pm
Seattle Pacific University, Demaray Hall
The One, The Only 


We had an opportunity to ask Barry some pertinent questions in advance of his arrival. Besides being the honcho of Barry Goldblatt Literary, LLC, there are other sides to him that are worth knowing about. Here's what he had to say:

Hi, Barry! Our SCBWI-Western WA chapter is just about to go bonkers with your arrival. But I am just a wee bit curious: What do New Yorkers REALLY think of Seattle right now? (Even those dozen or so folks not actually absorbed by the Amazon-Industrial Complex.) 
I don't know what New Yorkers in general think of anything, since there really isn't a general New Yorker. But this Brooklynite loves to visit Seattle! It's a lovely city, the food and wine scene is excellent, and it did birth some incredible music too, so what's not to like? I still don't want to live there, though, because Brooklyn.
Do you own an umbrella? (Trick question: It doesn't rain here any more.)

Nope, I don't believe in umbrellas. If I carry one, it doesn't rain, or it breaks and is useless, so I just accept getting wet.
What's the last book you read for pleasure? Or grabbed out of desperation at the airport? Outside of your clients' work and the literary marketplace you keep up with, I mean....
It's hard, as an agent, to ever truly just read for pleasure, but the last book I read that was not by a client or a friend was Zen Cho's SORCERER TO THE CROWN, which is fantastic: smart, fun, exciting and fresh!
I read in a previous interview that you work from your home office. Do you own an excellent coffee machine, or are you a run-to-the-corner-coffeehouse kind of person? What's the beverage of choice?
I do not drink coffee. (Yes, I hear the gasps of horror...but think of it as meaning more for the rest of you!) I do like the ritual of making coffee, however, so I have both an excellent machine and a french press, as well as a grinder. I love the smell, just hate the taste. My drink of choice in a cafe setting is chai; in a bar, a Dark & Stormy; and in general, I do love root beer (but I'm a snob about it).
Do you operate under a current editorial mantra right now? Are there red flags that change over time, like too much back story at the  beginning or not enough earned resolution at the end? Or, hey, let me ask you straight out: If you could scare a Barry Goldblatt Pet Peeve out of all future manuscripts RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW, what would it be?
I don't know that I have a specific mantra, but bottom line is I need to make a true emotional connection to a character pretty early on, or I'm just going to lose interest. I wanna get inside a character's head and live the story right along with them. In general, I think a lot of new authors spend too much time focused on making a great first page, instead of on a great manuscript (in much the same way I see too much focus on query letters). Yes, I need the first page to grab me, but if all the pages after that are a let down, who cares? As for a pet peeve, I (like most of my agent and editor colleagues) hate the "waking from a dream/nightmare" opening and would be happy to never see it again.

I'm sure I'm not the first to ask, but what's your superpower?

My superpower is my ability to find incredibly good things to eat no matter where I am. Why, yes, I am food obsessed, why do you ask?


Twinkies or Cronuts?
Of those two, Cronuts, but honestly, waiting in line for hours for a pastry is not really my thing. Though on occasions it can be worth it.

Graphic novels or classic comics?
These aren't exactly opposites, but I love what's happening in graphic novels right now. So many exciting authors and artists working in this medium!

Netflix or network?
Netflix. More Daredevil and Sense8 now please!

Taylor or Miley?

The Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson?
Grimm all the way! Dark is my bread and butter.

Please join us for what is sure to be a fabulous evening of wit and wisdom and,  yes, SNACKS!!!

Friday, October 2, 2015

TOMORROW: Illustrator's Day at U Bookstore

University Book Store's First Annual Illustrators Day
U District store

See how illustrators bring books to life! Join us for a full day of fun presentations by professional illustrators at University Book Store's First Annual Illustrators Day.

Drawing on easels or projecting images from their computer on a big screen, illustrators will demonstrate and explain how they take words and a blank page and bring stories to life through drawings that reflect both the book they're illustrating and their own unique style. Some illustrators will even be calling on audience members to help them out! Guest illustrators will also stick around after their presentations to answer questions and sign copies of their books.


11am – 12pm    Mike Cressy, author and illustrator of Super Alphabet

12pm – 1 pm    Julie Paschkis, author and illustrator of P. Zonka Lays an Egg

1pm – 2pm    John Skewes, author and illustrator of the Larry Gets Lost™ series

2pm – 3pm     Wendy Wahman, author and illustrator of Don't Lick the Dog

3pm – 4pm    Ben Clanton, author and illustrator of Rex Wrecks It!

4pm – 5pm    Paul Schmid, author and illustrator of Oliver and His Egg

5pm – 6pm    Matthew Holm, author and illustrator of the Babymouse series

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Illustrators take B&N!

Some of our chapter's illustrious illustrators––namely Kevan Atteberry, Jennifer K. Mann, Wendy Wahman, Toni Yuly, Ben Clanton, and Elizabeth Rose Stanton––have been invited to participate in a "Meet the Authors" panel to mark the kick-off for Educator Appreciation Week! 
WHEN: Saturday, October 10 from 10am–noon
WHERE: Barnes & Noble, 600 Pine St, downtown Seattle

Partial proceeds from book sales will go to support GeekGirlCon in its quest to inspire girls to pursue interests in Science, Technology and the Arts! 

Weekend on the Water message


Here's a quick message from Lois Brandt, Weekend on the Water co-coordinator:

Acceptances have gone out for this fall's fabulous Weekend on the Water retreat. 

If you applied and have NOT heard back from the retreat, please email Lois Brandt (