Monday, December 26, 2016

Kid Lit Drink Night - December!

Come and celebrate the awesome SCBWI 2016 year together with your fellow SCBWI-ers. Here's the link to the Nickerson Street Saloon. And as always, you don't need to "drink" to come and have a good time.

Happy Holidays,


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

December Meeting Recap and What's Up Ahead in 2017

Our December meeting was a great success. Katherine Pryor imparted her knowledge for applying for grants. Yes! Authors and Illustrators can actually get paid to write and draw. How fantastic is that? In a nutshell, here are her tried and true steps to applying for a grant:

Steps to Applying:

Identify funders

Create an application calendar


Grant application consists of:


Examples of work

Determining proposed work

What is the mission of  the funder?

Do they have a particular geographic/demographic interest?

What types of work have they funded in the past?

Does the project have a measurable outcome?

Then, J. Anderson Coats infused us with confidence and our dreaded first drafts. Yup, most of us have been there or are currently living the nightmare.

But don't fear. Instead, J. Anderson encouraged us to embrace the Frankendraft!

The "FRANKENDRAFT IS A SIGN THAT YOU TRIED SOMETHING NEW, YOU WERE CHALLENGED. UNREALISTIC TO THINK SOMETHING LIKE THAT WILL BE PERFECT THE FIRST TIME. There is always something more to learn."  Thank you, J. Anderson. Your words were music to my ears as I race the clock to the end of the year to finish my Frankendraft. But, I'm excited to soon have this accomplishment under my writer's belt. And you should, too!
Upcoming Events:

Stay tuned for details on location for December's Kid Lit Drink Night. These are a great way to socialize with your fellow, local SCBWI-ers and round out the year.

January Monthly Meeting

There is no traditional monthly meeting in January. Instead, we have ...

The Great Critique

Date(s) - 01/11/20177:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Demaray Hall
3307 3rd Ave. W. - Seattle, Washington

That’s right! Another opportunity to take your project from good to GREAT! And just in time for the conference this spring. This popular event offers you the opportunity to have your project critiqued by a published author or illustrator and your peers. This event requires additional payment. Register under Additional Opportunities.

PLEASE NOTE: This event usually fills up quickly, so don’t delay. If you are not registered for the Great Critique, do not show up on January 11. There is no general meeting, only the Great Critique.

The New Year

I will blog about my interviews with the faculty for our conference in April. If you're going to the conference, you'll have a heads-up on what to expect, who is looking for what, and a little bit about their non-agent or editor selves. And, if you are not able to make it, you'll still have this info for your submissions to the agent or editor of your choice.

The past year has been super awesome and 2017 is looking pretty darn awesome, too!

Have a very Happy Holiday Season and a Fantabulously Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 11, 2016

December's Monthly Programming

December's meeting is one you definitely do not want to miss. This Wednesday, December 14th from 7-9pm at SPU Demaray Hall.

Our mini presentation is by Katherine Pryor who will speak about grant writing: Show Me the Money: Grant Writing for Creative Professionals.

The main presentation by J. Anderson Coats, Resurrecting Your Frankendraft, is sure to excite all of us who are on the brink, or will be in the not too distant future, of rewriting a first draft.

And, don't forget our Cookie Contest! So, let's all rally through the snow, wind, sleet, rain, or hail for the last meeting before the new year.



Thursday, December 8, 2016

Munch Ado About Cookies - and Books!

Cookie Contest

Our annual Holiday Cookie Contest brings out the warrior in even our meekest authors and illustrators. This year we have two categories: Delicious and Beautiful.

The Rules:

* Make at least one dozen cookies – three cookies on a plate to be judged. The rest are for general scarfing.

* Label the plate with your name and the name of your cookie.

* Set them up before 6:30pm. You will be directed to the setup area.

* Contest closes at 6:45 pm, to give judges time to argue.

Winner will receive

Book Exchange

* Bring up to five kid-lit books you no longer have room for.

* Take only as many books as you bring.

* Extra books will be donated to the appropriate-age children’s service.

Take a break from the hectic schedules that become all too crazy-busy this time of year. Enjoy some home-baked cookies, peruse books, mingle with your fellow creative peeps, and enjoy what will be an awesome program with our two guest speakers, J. Anderson Coats and Katherine Pryor.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Cookies and books (Set-up and enjoying) from 6:00 - 7:00.
Meeting from 7:00 -9:00
SPU Demeray Hall

See you there!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Come meet, mingle, and make crafts with our local children’s book authors and illustrators! This event is free and open to all families. Books will be available for sale and signing for a perfect winter gift.

Where:  Central Library
              Room Location Level 1 - Faye G. Allen Children's Center

When:    Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016

Time:      11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Library events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required.

Contact Info: Central Library Children's Desk 206-386-4675 or Ask a Librarian. Room Capacity Space is limited at library events. Please come early to make sure you get a seat. Due to the fire code, we can’t exceed the maximum capacity for our rooms.

Sounds like a wonderful way to spend a winter holiday Saturday with kids, books, and art.



Monday, November 28, 2016

December Kid Lit Drink Night

Let’s kick-off the holiday season at the Issaquah
Brew House.

Here’s a link to the menu.

You’ll see there’s something for everyone. And, don’t feel you need to order up a beer, wine, or cocktail to join in on the fun. If H2O is your jam, no worries - your jam is everyone's jam, too!

See you there,


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Book Launch Party for The Twelve Days of Christmas: Starring the Chickens

Janet Lee Carey celebrates her first picture book with illustrator Molly Blaisdell. Sing the Chickens version of the familiar Christmas carol. And hatch some holiday hilarity with us! Bring your peeps. Munch yummy treats.  Prizes for the little ones.    

When: Saturday, December 3rd 5-6:30
Where: University Bookstore
             990 102
nd Ave Northeast
             Bellevue, WA 98004

Happy Holidays All! 

Janet Lee Carey,  Author

In The Time of Dragon Moon (A sure favorite of fans of high fantasy -VOYA) 
Dragonswood (SLJ & Kirkus starred reviews. ALA Best Books for Young Adults 2013)
Wenny Has Wings (Mark Twain Award, Feature Film Japan May 2008) 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Call for artist/designer:

Here is a gig for an artist/designer

Job description: paperback book cover that requires knowledge of Photoshop and InDesign. The design and layout of a paperback book cover (front cover, spine, back cover), and creation of file for printer. The cover has to follow the format of two previous two books, so there is little new design--only the placement/layout of the title might be different.  However, there is no template, so you will be required to create the cover from scratch using InDesign, matching the old covers.

A front cover image has to be created from photos and then converted to a painting-like picture.  The image would be of a plane with someone boarding the plane from a stairway or of the plane with backpacks, etc., on the tarmac.  

The author would prefer to work with someone local and preferably have a first meeting prior to December 5.   

Please contact Jo Gershman at for further details.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Secret Garden Books - Gives Back This Holiday Weekend

A Couple of Events to be Thankful for This Season

EVENT          Ballard Gives Black Friday
DATE            Friday 25 November 2016
EVENT          INDIES FIRST / Small Business Saturday
DATE            Saturday 26 November 2016
LOCATION:       Secret Garden Bookshop
                         2214 NW Market St.
CONTACT:        Suzanne Perry, Events

Ballard Gives Black Friday
We will be closed on Thanksgiving, enjoying the holiday with our families and friends.  And we won't be offering any doorbusters at 6 AM on black Friday either. That’s not really us
We, along with several other Ballard businesses, are celebrating our shops’ biggest day by doing something a little more socially conscious again this year. This'll be our forth year doing it this way, and we're proud to say we've raised a whole lot of books and money for our charity, Page Ahead, because we are in total alignment with their mandate to get new books into the hands of kids that need them the most. In addition to donating a portion of the entire day’s profits, we’ll also deeply discount Page Ahead’s Book Wish List for our customers to buy directly, with the assistance of Page Ahead volunteers on site here, who’ll wrap and deliver them!
INDIES FIRST / Small Business Saturday
Sherman Alexie isn't coming to our shop this Small Business Saturday. Neither are any other authors. We are thrilled to participate in the American Booksellers Association's official first-Saturday-of-the-shopping-season day. Read all about the national program here. Lena Dunham is this year's official celebrity endorser! We're solely focusing on an event we're proud to be doing for our community: Secret Garden Book Angels for the 3rd Year
Through the holiday season, 120 green angels will be displayed around our shop to represent children's names, ages, and their heart's desire in the form of a new book. They've been collected by our friend Michele Bacon, who, for the third year running, has worked in close association with three local schools: Whitman Middle School, Salmon Bay, and BF Day. Michele has spoken to the people in each school who know their kids best - counselors, school/home liaisons, teachers and librarians. Together they've identified the kids least likely to receive a new book for the holidays. Then, the school representative has done a bit of investigative work in order to find out what sort of book each kid would most like if only they could receive one. 
Michele transplanted this idea from Anderson’s Bookshop, which she calls “her bookstore when she lived in Illinois” which has a long history doing a similar program. Books are important to her family and she learned about the homeless population at BF Day Elementary in 2014 when she was visiting potential schools for her own children to attend when they moved to Seattle that year. In 2014, 84 kids received gifts, last year, there were 117.
To fulfill our goal of 120 this year, we welcome our customers to pick an Angel and choose a book or gift certificate to fulfill the wish. You'll get a discount on the book and we'll wrap it and make sure it gets hand delivered to the proper school before the start of winter recess. Books will be put in backpacks, given to parents, or handed directly to the designated kid.
We share Michele Bacon’s belief that people want to do things for people, especially around the holidays. We are proud that this is our little grass-root, homegrown way of doing it, and we are grateful that our community shares the generosity to make it a success.
Happy Holidays,

Suzanne Perry
Events / Public Relations

Secret Garden Bookshop
2214 NW Market St.
Seattle, WA  98107

Monday, November 21, 2016

Northern Network SCBWI December Meeting

Image result for cartoon graphic book writer

Northern Network News
Mini Critique Session

Interested to see what others think of your artwork or story?  We’re doing a mini-critique session this month! To participate, please bring 5 copies of the first chapter of a story, a picture book manuscript, poem, non-fiction piece, or other writing. Illustrators, please bring 1-4 samples of your artwork. If you don’t have anything to share, please feel free to attend anyway. We welcome your opinions, too.  Here are the particulars:

Date:        Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Time:        7:00 p.m.

Location:  The Bellingham Barnes & Noble (4099 Meridian Street)

Questions? Call Rebecca Van Slyke at (360) 354-5797, or email her at

[That’s rebecca(underscore)vanslyke(at)hotmail(dot)com]

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Book Launch Party for Sophie Topfeather, Superstar


(sequel to Sophie’s Quest, by local

author, Sonja Anderson)

It's a timely story of an unlikely friendship between a Great Horned Owl and a pirate-wannabe mouse that brings hope to a divided community.

Where:  Page 2 Books,
             457 SW 152nd. St.
             Burien (near the library)

Sonja Anderson lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and two daughters, one of whom inspired this series with an argument on her elementary school playground! It took nearly fifteen years from argument to book in hand--proof that you should never, ever give up.

We'll have crafts, treats, door prizes, and books to sign! Everyone is welcome!
Thanks so much!

Sonja Anderson

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Little Something About Amazon's Author Pages

Here are some frequently asked questions about Amazon Author Pages sent to me via Dana Sullivan via his agent via Penguin - hence, reliable sources all of them.
In summer 2016, the Penguin Random House Amazon sales team met with the head of the Author Central team to discuss frequently asked questions about author photos, new titles, and reader notifications. Here are those questions and answers:
When and how are new titles added to author pages?
Once the cover image and product description have been fed out and ingested onto the Amazon detail page, the title should be added to your author page. In general, we expect this process to take roughly a week, but please note that some author pages will take longer to update (especially those for debut authors). If your latest book is not added to your page after approximately one week, you can “claim” the book yourself via your Author Central account.
How are customers notified of my new book?
When a new book is added to your author page, Amazon sends an email alert to any customer who has clicked on your “Follow” button. Amazon will send the email blast to all followers soon after the information is added to the site. Customers who start to follow you after the initial blast should receive the email alert soon thereafter.
My latest book has been added to my author page, but the customer email notification has not been sent. Why? 
An author page is considered incomplete without an author photo and bio. Without those assets, Amazon will not send “Follow” emails to customers.
I never uploaded a photo to Author Central, and the current version was not fed by my publishing team. Where is Amazon getting this information?
If you’re seeing an author photo that hasn’t been provided by you or your publishing team, it’s likely that Amazon has pulled it from somewhere within the Amazon ecosystem (such as GoodReads), other territories of Amazon (, or occasionally from the public domain.  We’ve also noticed examples of Amazon pulling directly from
If you would like to upload your own photo, work with your publicity team to choose the best one. And be sure to check out this article for tips and best practices.
I would like to add a photo to my page, but Amazon does not provide the ability to include a photo copyright line.
Currently, the only solution is for publishers or authors to embed the copyright information directly into the author photo. At this time, Amazon does not provide a field into which you can add copyright info.
I have lost my Author Central login and can no longer access my page. Can someone from my publishing team access the account on my behalf?       
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to give publishers access to author pages. Amazon encourages authors who have forgotten or lost their login information to contact Author Central customer service for assistance.
Finally, here are some News for Authors articles you might have missed about Amazon Author Pages and SEO for authors:

Anna Olswanger | Literary Agent | Olswanger Literary LLC
16-60 Chandler Drive | Fair Lawn, NJ | 07410-2715
t: 201-791-4699 | w: | twitter: @AnnaOlswanger | pinterest:

Thanks, Dana, for the great info!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Recap and What's In Store for December

If you were able to attend this week's SCBWI Monthly meeting, then you already know what a fabulous presentation both Ben Clanton and Dan Gemeinhart gave. We saw some quick sketching by Ben and the audience sketched, too, even yours truly whose stick figures leave all to be desired. Other writers like myself were even encouraged to sketch out  storyboards for our next picture book. Psst ... good thing I'm writing YA! Dan was equally encouraging and knowledgeable about the craft of crunchy and chewy. In other words, how to have a "high stakes plot ... with a compelling and emotional center."

If you missed out, I bet you're wishin' you hadn't. But no worries, there's another meeting on December 14th from 7-9pm at SPU Demaray Hall. Our speakers will be Katherine Pryor, Show Me the Money: Grant Writing for Creative Professionals and the main presentation by J. Anderson Coats, Resurrecting Your Frankendraft. And who hasn't had a first draft scary enough to hide it on a shelf? Now is your opportunity to bring it to life in all its glory just in time for a New Year's resolution.


And don’t miss our ever-popular holiday cookie contest and book exchange!

Stay tuned for more details about our presenters for December and about the cookie exchange. In the meantime, let's put our collective talents as writers and illustrators to work. We all know there is a lot to be written and pictures are worth at least another 1,000 words!



Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Kid Lit Drink Night General Schedule

Kid Lit Drink Nights are a time for like-minded writers and illustrators to get together and socialize. Your beverage of choice may be anything from H20, soda, beer, wine, a cocktail, or anything in between. The focus is on the new friends you make and a chance to see the ones you already know.

Hope to see you at any one or all of these events.



Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Inside Story Is Coming to Town!

Your local Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators invites you to attend their biannual Inside Story event at University Book Store in Bellevue (990 102nd Ave NE) from 7:00 to 9:00 pm on Tuesday, November 15, 2016.
  • Meet and greet local authors and illustrators
  • Hear 2-minute “behind the scenes” stories from each author or illustrator about their just published, or soon-to-be published books
  • Win (or purchase) autographed books
  • Mingle with your fellow children’s book lovers
Here are the event details:
Tuesday, November 15, 2016 from 7:00-9:00pm
University Book Store
990 102nd Ave. NE
Bellevue, WA  98004

You won’t want to miss it!

Dori Butler, Inside Story Coordinator319-594-5640        

P.S. Feel free to forward this to any and all book lovers in the area.  

Monday, November 7, 2016

Book Launch for Barbara Jean Hicks

Barbara Jean Hicks, Once Upon a Parsnip

Join Little Red and Old Bully Wolf on a madcap shopping spree through the marvelous Fairytale Market! Little Red is simply looking for parsnips for Granny Hood’s lunch, but Mr. Wolf is determined to snare the stew-worthy trio of famous pigs who run the store―and getting back at Little Red wouldn’t be bad, either.

This fairytale mash-up is rhyming fun with no agenda―but don’t be surprised if kids take a sudden interest in trying new foods, like Little Red’s mouth-watering Apple-Parsnip Soup. The child-tested recipe is included!
“A Perfect read-aloud, fun for listeners and readers alike.” —NW Authors 4 Authors

In the last dozen years, Barbara Jean has written about monsters, cats and fairytale characters, including the princess sisters from Disney’s Oscar-winning animated film, Frozen. Inspired by the pure gumption of Elsa and Anna of Arendelle, she will don her tiara and gown for her appearance here.

Read more about her on her website.

When:   Sunday, November 13, 2016 - 1:00pm
Where:  Secret Garden
              2214 NW Market St
              Seattle, WA 98107

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

November Monthly Meeting

Main Presentation

Ben Clanton. Let's INTERPLAY! (A.K.A. When Words and Pictures Meet)
This hands-on workshop (yes, there will be drawing and writing games!) will cover how illustrations can parallel, augment, and/or contradict the text in a book, AND how the text can set up fun and/or interesting illustration opportunities. Writing illustration notes, working out pagination, and learning from mentor texts will also be explored.

Mini Presentation

Dan Gemeinhart, Crunchy and Chewy: How to combine great plot and killer emotion in MG. Like a Snickers bar, great middle grade novels have both "crunch" (A high-stakes, exciting plot) and "Chew" (A gooey, compelling emotional center). Learn to combine these elements to create a novel that will please both readers and agents. Learn to hone the emotional heart of your story, and bring it forward into action for one delicious, satisfying narrative.

When:  November 9, 2016
            7:00 - 9:00

Where: Demaray Hall
             3307 3rd Ave. W.
             Seattle, Washington 

Even if you are not working on a PB or MG, there is certainly something for everyone to glean from what is sure to be an awesome presentation. And, you get to see your fellow SCBWI friends and make new ones. Oh, and don't forget the yummylicious snacks!

Happy Writing and Illustrating,


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Story Times at Seattle Public LIbrary! In case you missed this previous post:

Beginning this Saturday, November 5, 
join us Saturday mornings at the Central Library
Children’s Center for a special series of story times.
Meet our local picture book authors & illustrators!
Start the weekend off with songs, stories, and silliness!

And the opening act is none other than,

(insert drum roll)

Our very own Dana Arnim and Dana Sullivan!

11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5
Dana Sullivan and Dana Arnim
Dana Sullivan is the writer and illustrator of two books
“Ozzie and the Art Contest” and “Kay Kay’s Alphabet Safari.”

Dana Arnim is the illustrator of “Bartholomew Quill, A Crow’s Quest to
Know Who’s Who,” written by Thor Hanson.

Now you don't have to wait until our monthly meeting on Wednesday November 9th to see our two Danas.

Here is the lineup for November and December where you'll see more of our local picture book authors for Picture Book Author Story Times in November & December:

11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12
Julie Paschkis

Julie Paschkis is an artist who has illustrated over 25 books. Her most recent
illustrations can be seen in First Light, First Life: A Worldwide Creation Story,
written by Paul Fleischman and published in 2016.

11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19
Bonny Becker

Bonny Becker is the author of the best-selling Mouse and Bear books, and won
the 2010 Washington State Book Award for her middle grade novel, “The Amazing
Ms. Plum.” Her most recent title is the 2016 “The Christmas Crocodile,” illustrated
by David Small.

11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3
Jessixa Bagley

Jessixa Bagley is a Seattle based artist and children’s book author/illustrator, with two critically acclaimed books, “Boats for Papa” and “Before I Leave.” Her upcoming picture books include Laundry Day (2017) and Vincent Comes Home (2018).

11 a.m. Saturday December 10
Tony Yuly

Toni Yuly works as a full time artist, designer and writer. Her picture books for young children include “Early Bird,” “Night Owl,” and her most recent “Cat Nap.”  Her newest book, “Jellybean Tree,” comes out in 2017.

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 Children’s Book Fair with Local Authors and Illustrators. Meet, mingle and make crafts with our local children’s book authors and illustrators! This event is free and open to all families.
Books will be available for sale and signing for a perfect winter gift.

Central Library | 1000 Fourth Ave. |