Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Honors and Awards for Marin Younker, Andy Musser, & Ben Clanton!

We are behind on our celebrating! We forgot to share a few member triumphs. Without further adieu, behold the awesomeness.

​Yay, Marin!

The Virginia Library Association awarded a 2017 Jefferson Cup honor to Bleed, Blister, Puke, and Purge: The Dirty Secrets Behind Early American Medicine by J. Marin Younker. The winners were Cat Winters' The Steep and Thorny Way (Young Adult Readers) and I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy (Young Readers). 

Since 1983, the award recognizes books for youth and teens in the areas of American biography, history, or historical fiction with the intent to promote America's past, as well as quality writing.

More about the award and 2017 titles here.

Way to go, Andy!

Andy Musser won a Portfolio Honor at the 46th Annual SCBWI Summer Conference this month!

Congratulations, Ben!

And a mere couple days ago, Ben Clanton won an Eisner for Best Publication for Early Readers for Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea! 

We love good news! WE WANT EVEN MORE. We love to celebrate our community. Share it with us at wwa@scbwi.org and we'll share it with the group.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Picture Book Illustration class with Craig Orback


Children's book illustrator Craig Orback is offering a group class starting  September 9th. Work on your own picture book project (create a dummy book to send to a publisher or agent), and/or create new portfolio pieces.

Craig will be available for one online feedback session each week for attendees. Send your work on a Monday and Craig will have a detailed response back to you by Friday, if not sooner. The class can join in with feedback online as well. Craig will be working on a new picture book biography on "Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz for Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, and will share progress/sketches with you. 

An art room at Daniel Smith art supply in Bellevue (near Bellevue Colleges north campus) is 

The class dates will be Saturdays, 2:00-5:00, September 9th, 23rd, October 7th, 21st & November 4th 

If interested, please send 1/2 the payment ($120) now, and bring the rest on the first day of class. Or send the full amount ($240) now to:

Craig Orback
2001 120th PL SE #9-304
Everett, WA 98208

Email Craig at craig@craigorback.com if you have any questions.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Upcoming Events for July and August

July 23
Lynn Brunelle has some craft projects for Big Science for Little People at University Bookstore.

July 28
Chris Colfer visits Jackson High School to talk about The Land of Stories: Worlds Collide. This is a ticketed event, via UBS.

July 29
Play Truth or Dare with YA authors like J. Anderson Coats, Lish McBride, Breeana Shields, and more at the new Brick & Mortar Books in Redmond.

August 1
Suzanne Kaufman gets Confiscated! Help Suzanne launch her newest picture book at Secret Garden!

August 3
#1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot rolls into the U district University Bookstore for Royal Crush, the third installment in her middle grade Princess Diaries spin-off.

August 16
Danielle Davis talks about her middle grade debut, Zinnia and the Bees, at the Seward Park Third Place Books.

Double-check times and dates with bookstores before you set out for events. If you snap a great picture, tag us at @scbwiwwa on Instagram and/or Twitter, and we'll try to repost. If we missed something, or you have an event coming up, let us know at wwa@scbwi.org!

Support book culture.
Support independent bookstores and libraries.
Support authors.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Apply now for our Fall 2017 Inside Story!

Inside Story is our region's biannual celebration of new books. It was started in 1999 by Laura Kvasnosky and George Shannon. Their goal was to create a community of people who share a love of children's books -- writers, booksellers, teachers and librarians. 

Mark your calendars for our Fall 2017 Inside Story, to be held on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at the downtown Bellevue Library (1111 110th Ave. NE) from 2:00pm until 4:00pm.

* Meet and greet local authors and illustrators.
* Hear 2-minute "behind the scenes" stories from each author or illustrator. 
* Answer trivia questions and win prizes.
* Purchase autographed books. 
* Mingle with your fellow children's book lovers.

If you are a Western Washington SCBWI PAL member with a NEW book out this summer or fall, apply NOW to be a presenter. You'll find the application here.

In order to present at this Inside Story, you must be able to answer YES to each of the following:

1) You are a CURRENT SCBWI member at the PAL (published and listed) level and your profile at SCBWI.org is updated to reflect this.

2) You live in the official Western Washington region.

3) Your publisher is on SCBWI's list of PAL publishers (Found here.).*

*Exception: If your self-published book is a continuation of a PAL published series and/or a Spark Award winner, you are still eligible to participate in Inside Story.

4) Your book is brand new (released between May 2017 and November 2017) and has never been published before. (Reprints/new editions do not qualify for Inside Story.)

5) Your book is readily available through normal trade channels (e.g., Baker & Taylor).

Deadline to apply: Friday, September 15, 2017.  

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Featured Illustrator: Alexander Mostov

Alexander Mostov is our Featured Illustrator for July/August! 
He was the 1st Place Runner-up at the 25th SCBWI Western Washington Conference for Writers and Illustrators this past spring. Alexander is a full-time freelance illustrator living in Seattle working for a variety of clients including local and national magazines, advertising agencies, publishers, and motion graphic studios. He originally graduated with a degree in architecture but quickly realized it didn’t satisfy his creative pursuits.

Can you briefly explain your creative process, favorite mediums, etc?
I work in several different mediums and am constantly experimenting with new ones. For commercial work, I usually work in a 2-step process where I first create ink drawings on bristol board and use a light table to create graphite and charcoal textures on top of them. I then scan all of these drawings onto my computer and use Photoshop to color and collage them until I am happy. I also work in gouache, which is probably my favorite medium, especially for achieving a naive, “kid-friendly” aesthetic. Recently I have begun playing with colored pencil and pastel pencil as well.

Where do you find your ideas? Do you have a process?
Books, movies, people, and increasingly the internet. I am constantly consuming images, both illustrations and photos. Pinterest is a valuable tool for me, and I would recommend using that or some other platform to organize and record inspiration. Also, I try to keep one of the pocket size Moleskine with me at all times in case an idea comes to me.

How do you deal with creative blocks?
Whenever I have an idea for an illustration, I sketch it on a little scrap of paper laying around. I have a collection of these scribbles in my apartment and studio. If I am stuck on a project, I look through the old scraps of paper and more times than not something from those will be usable. Additionally, walking and listening to music is usually helpful.

Who are your illustrator heroes?
I am a big fan of Miroslav Šašek and his ‘This is...’ series. I find the way he alternated between contrasting brush techniques very inspiring. I also love the work of Russian Folktale illustrator Ivan Bilibin, although his style is very different from my own. My favorite children’s book illustrators include Jan Brett and, of course, Ezra Jack Keats. There are also many contemporary illustrators I am regularly inspired by including Eleanor Davis, Carson Ellis, and Christian Robinson.

Did you have any favorite children’s books as a child?
Yes! My mom and grandma read lots of children’s books to me growing up. Reading was a big part of my early education. A few that stand out as favorites are Caps for Sale; The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear; Goodnight Moon; and Animalia.

Which literary character would be your BFF?
It would have to be Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes.

What’s inspiring you and your work right now?
I have been reading a lot of books by Murakami recently. He writes in a style of magic realism that I find comparable to my style and subject matter. I am always so disappointed by the cover artwork on his books, which I find to be a huge missed opportunity for whimsical illustrations. I am always buying new plants (to the chagrin of my girlfriend/roommate), which provide inspiration as I incorporate a lot of plants in my drawings.

Any words of wisdom you want to share?
One valuable lesson I have learned is to focus on pushing through and getting projects finished. Like many illustrators, I am a perfectionist and could spend an infinite amount of time trying to make one drawing perfect. I find it to be much more useful and productive to create as much as possible. You usually end up learning more that way. Also, you are probably more concerned with those nitpicky details in your drawings than anyone else will be.

Thank you, Alexander!

You can view Alexander’s portfolio at alexandermostov.com.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

46 Free Writing Classes at Sno-Isle Libraries

SNO-ISLE LIBRARIES NEWS RELEASE: New classes at Sno-Isle Libraries have the write stuff

For the second year in a row, local writing and publishing experts are teaching dozens of classes on how to write, revise and publish that book that’s bottled up inside your head.
“In 2016, we presented 31 classes in our first ‘Write Now,’ series,” said Jackie Parker, Lead Librarian for Reader’s Services at Sno-Isle Libraries, which is sponsoring the classes. “The participants said they loved it; 95 percent said they learned helpful new stuff and 8 out of 10 said they were more confident about becoming involved in the writing community.”

“This year, we’ve lined up 46 classes that will run from July 11 to Dec. 4,” Parker said. All the classes are free and subjects range from choosing the right words to choosing the right agent. “We wanted classes that would help aspiring authors get started and accomplished authors get better,” she said. 

Camille Griep is scheduled to kick-off the series with “Breaking the Rules of Writing 101” at 6 p.m., July 11 at the Granite Falls Library“I start by talking about all things you hear from agents; what authors should do and shouldn’t ever do,” said Griep, a published author and editor of “Easy Street,” a literary magazine. “Then we discuss why authors break the rules, why it works and doesn’t drive readers crazy. We use real world examples.”
Some attendees will come with their manuscript and a problem, Griep said, adding, “It can become a collaborative brainstorming session.”

A number of the classes are focused on what it takes to get published with tips coming from the likes of Beth Jusino and Terry Persun. Jusino is a publishing consultant for both traditional and self-publishing authors and author of The Author's Guide to Marketing. She is a member of the Northwest Independent Editors Guild and has taught at writers’ conferences across the country. Jusino’s class, “You Wrote a Book - Now What? Understanding Today’s Publishing Choices ,” will take a look at a modern writer’s publishing options, from “Big 5” traditional publishers to small presses to self-publishing to hybrid and other emerging models.  Jusino is also presenting a second class, “Self-Editing Tips for Self-Publishing Writers,” where attendees will walk through a 46-point checklist of things to look for in their own work, from first draft to final layout.

Persun will teach “Get Published, Stay Published.” A prolific author and presence on Amazon, Persun’s class will cover everything from organization through how to contact editors and how to maintain a steady flow of content for publication. “Writing, like any other art, requires skill and creativity,” Persun says and attendees will hear the five specific things that can help writers get into the game and stay there.

Parker said she is excited about the opportunities for writers in the range of subjects and the expertise of presenters in this year’s “Write Now” series. “We know that writers almost always start out as big readers and that readers often want to be writers,” Parker said. “Whether you’re struggling with page one or you have a full manuscript in your hands, be it fiction, children’s, nonfiction, or if you just want to write your family’s history, there’s a session for you.” 

Due to space limitations, some events require registration and are underlined in the online events calendar.