Thursday, September 30, 2010

Andrea K. Lawson Art Opening

Fellow SCBWI member, Andrea K. Lawson has an art opening this Saturday October 2, at the Northwind Art Center.
Transforming Gesture
Paint and metal become form.
Transforming the gesture into evocative works of art, three artists express their reactions to motion, form and time in paintings, and jewelry explosive with color, passion and intellect. Truthfully present in the moment, each artist explores her unique vision with a common thread.

Transforming Gesture will be on view October 1-November 1. Artist Reception first Saturday art walk, October 2, 5-8 p.m. Refreshments and live music by Buzz Rogowski. Sunday, October 10 dancers Nala Walla and Maureen Freehill will respond to the Transforming Gestures art exhibit with a unique performance art installation piece. They will create a Butoh-esque dance inspired by art, nature and fertility. Afterwards there will be an informal art talk, question answer session with the artists.

For Northwind Art Center directions, hours, and information, please visit their website. For more information on Andrea, visit her blog, and website.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Our Fabulous Fall Retreat Editors...

Considering going to the Fall Retreat? Curious about who's speaking at the retreat? Here's a blog post by fellow SCBWI member, Amanda Humann, about our Fall Retreat Editors. Her post shares links on both Jill Santopolo, Executive Editor at Penguin's Philomel Books imprint, and Nancy Mercado, Executive Editor at Roaring Brook Press. Thanks Amanda!!

Application deadline extended for Fall 2010 "Weekend on the Water" Retreat

GREAT NEWS! We've extended the application deadline for SCBWI Western Washington's Fall 2010 Retreat for Writers and Writer-Illustrators of Children’s Books, "Weekend on the Water." This event will take place Friday, November 5, to Sunday, November 7, 2010, at the luxurious Alderbrook Resort & Spa, nestled on the scenic shores of Hood Canal less than two hours west of Seattle. Don't miss your chance to spend the weekend learning from not one, but two, executive editors from NYC's big six publishers!

In an intimate, craft-focused retreat, Jill Santopolo, executive editor at Penguin’s Philomel Books imprint, and Nancy Mercado, executive editor at Macmillan's Roaring Brook Press, will bring their considerable editorial and teaching experience to bear on the idea of “connections,” with a focus on plot, putting emotion on the page, and the all-important revision. 

Selected writers will spend the weekend alternating between sessions with Jill and Nancy, including a group first-page intensive, with time built in for individual writing, group critiques, walks, kayaking, swimming, resting, and networking.

Retreat fees range from $535 to $550, depending on whether you are a member of SCBWI International (members receive a $15 discount). Prices include all workshops and activities, one first-pages intensive, two nights’ lodging with one roommate, five catered meals, Internet access, and endless inspiration from the spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains and the Hood Canal—a glacier-carved fjord more than 60 miles long.

The application and submission deadline is now October 8, 2010. You will not be considered for the retreat if you don’t meet the deadline for the online registration AND manuscript submission. No exceptions.

View complete information, application details, and deadlines for WEEKEND ON THE WATER by clicking on the link below:

To promote, or not to promote?

Shrinking Violet Promotions recently ran an interesting guest post/rant about authors using social media outlets for book promotion. According to author Sarah Prineas...

Ideally, I think, social sites are for friendly conversation and debate, for sharing good news and bad news, for meeting new friends, for posting amusingly captioned cat pictures. The community we’re building is a community based on friendship. Now, we humans have verrrry sensitive antennae when it comes to our social interactions. We can tell when somebody is being friendly versus when they’re trying to sell us something. When authors intrude on social spaces with their self-marketing it can make our antennae twitch like crazy. 
Granted, if you’re a writer and you’re blogging about your life and what you think about, of course some of your blogs or tweets are going to be about your book, or about your happy book news. That’s fine. That’s not what I’m talking about. 
No, I’m talking about the blogs and twitter-feeds that may be partly social, but which pollute the social ether with self-promotion and book marketing. They exist, mostly, to sell books.
Unfortunately for them, author shilling does not sell books. 
It just doesn’t. 
Read the whole thing here, then tell us what YOU think! 

Dish Up Literacy!

Save the cooking for another night and help out Page Ahead! Tomorrow night, Thursday, September 30th, you can stop by Smokin Pete's BBQ, Tutta Bella, or another participating eatery, and they'll donate at least 20% of the proceeds. Help one of our favorite local organizations and spare yourself of having to do the dishes.

More details can be found here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Corporate Essentials for Artists

Do you sell your art, but not know the difference between a sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation? Think you need to grow your sales before you form your business? Whether you are thinking about starting a business, have started your business (but haven’t formed an entity), or if you are just looking for an overview of the different options available, this workshop is for you. Andy Shawber and Jerry Chiang will discuss the various types of legal entities and the relative merits of each. They will cover the distinction between nonprofit and for-profit entities, the steps to obtain tax-exempt status, and how the formation of a legal entity can facilitate the protection of intellectual property interests. This is a practical workshop - the presenters will walk the audience through the specific steps to forming a legal entity, with an overview of the necessary documentation and a real-time web-based demonstration. Bring your questions!

This takes place Wednesday, September 29, from 12 – 1:30 p.m. (registration begins at 11:30 a.m.) at the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich Rosati (701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 5100, Seattle, WA 98104). Cost in advance: $35 Attorneys and Paralegals; $10 Artists and Students, and at the door: $40 Attorneys and Paralegals; $15 Artists and Students. To register, visit Brown Paper Tickets, or call: 800.838.3006. To pay at the door, RSVP to Washington Lawyers for the Arts at 206.328.7053.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Next Northern Network Schmooze

SCBWI WWA's Northern Network extends you an invitation to attend the October Schmooze.

Northern Network Schmooze

Wednesday, October 6, 7:00-9:00 pm

Barnes & Noble, Bellingham, Washington

Finding the Time”

Is it challenging to find the time to work on your writing or art? What gets in the way? How do busy people do it? Where do they find the time? What are their secrets? Please join us for an encouraging evening as we discuss these questions and more.

No RSVP required. We will be meeting at Barnes & Noble again (in the café). Questions or comments? Please contact Northern Network Coordinator Angelina Hansen at yascribe (at) comcast (dot) net.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Great revision example

It's usually fascinating to see before-and-after shots of published books, and even better when you can hear why the author made the changes he or she made. Check out this example from the Story Sleuths blog about the opening to Jennifer Holm's TURTLE IN PARADISE, which changed pretty drastically along the road to a final draft. Fun!

Events, Classes, and More!

There's so much going on this Fall. Make sure you check out these upcoming events and classes.

Writing for Teens and Tweens Online Class Scheduled to Start Soon!

Looking for feedback on and help shaping the young adult or middle-grade novel you're working on? The next session of Ann Gonzalez's online craft and workshop class is set to start this coming Sunday, September 26. It's only $125 for eight weeks and comes with a money-back guarantee. To enroll or for more information please contact Ann at
Liz Mills will be at Mockingbird Books (7220 Woodlawn Ave NE) this Saturday, September 25, at 11 a.m. Mills will be reading (and singing!) her new picture book THE SPOOKY WHEELS ON THE BUS. The event is billed as a "sing-along good time for children 3-5."
Illustrator Craig Orback has two new Children's Book Illustration classes starting soon in Bellingham. He is the illustrator of over fifteen books for children including the picture books THE CAN MAN and NATURE'S PAINTBOX: A SEASONAL GALLERY OF ART AND VERSE. He has been teaching illustration and painting classes locally for nine years. To learn about his work visit his website.

Children's Book Illustration I: Immerse yourself in the world of children’s book illustration in this introductory course. Through in-class assigments using a variety of media, you will learn basic techniques to complete illustrations for young readers. Also learn the business side of children’s book illustration, including what it takes to get your work seen by the right people. Character consistency, portfolios, contracts, and other topics are also covered. Basic drawing skills are helpful but not required.

Children's Book Illustration II: Craig Orback invites you to explore in greater depth your passion for children's book illustration. In this intermediate course, you will learn, step-by-step, how to create a children's picture book dummy that, when finished, can be submitted to publishers for possible publication. From developing an initial story board to completing full page sketches, this is the perfect course if you have a children's story you have longed to illustrate and potentially publish!

For cost, times, and to register for either class (they are listed under Orback), please go here.
The Magic of Writing for Children classes (taught by Peggy King Anderson) begin this week at Bellevue College, North Campus. There are still a few slots left in both the Beginning and the Intermediate/Advanced class. Sign up by going online here. If you have questions, feel free to email Peggy:

Peggy "hopes to see some of you there for eight weeks of writing fun, as we work hard and write fast!"
Doug Keith and Rollin Thomas are teaching a three term course Introduction to Children's Picture Book Illustration at Pratt Fine Arts Center starting Wednesday Sept. 29, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. for eight weeks. Go here to learn more and register. The cost is $370, which includes learning about picture books and graphic novels. The class is limited in size with only a few positions left, so please sign up soon if you are interested. Contact Rollin by phone (206-282-8088) or email: for more information.
Leapfrog: Hop Your Way To a Well-Crafted Picture Book

Writing Workshop lead by Author/Illustrator, Richard Jesse Watson, this Saturday and Sunday, September 25 and 26, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The cost is $150 and will be held at The Writers' Workshoppe. Visit their website for more information.

Loosen your imagination and tighten your writing. Discover Watson's approach to unleashing creative potential. Join this seasoned author/illustrator as he demonstrates the interactive leapfrog method to story development. By alternating between words and pictures you will bound ahead in your narrative skills. Watson will give you tools to ignite your passion. Everyone has stories to tell. Come find out how to make your stories compelling. For more information on Richard Jesse Watson, visit his website.

Kid Lit Event

Thanks to all of you who came to the SCBWI picnic on August 11 at the Cowen Park shelter. We had gorgeous weather, lots of desserts to go around, and awesome prizes. Our next Kid Lit event will be on Tuesday, September 28, at Third Place Pub in Ravenna from 7 to 9 p.m. This is a chance to practice your networking skills with other members long before the spring conference. Don't be shy; bring your pitch, introduce yourself to a stranger, and talk about what you've been doing in the Kid Lit world. Local booksellers and librarians are invited as well, so be prepared with questions for them. A monthly Kid Lit Pub Night is in the works, so if you have suggestions for future locations in your area, please contact Brenda Winter Hansen:

A Special Evening with Author Jane Yolen

Join the UW Information School and the UW Alumni Association for a special evening with award-winning author Jane Yolen. Often called the Hans Christian Andersen of America, Yolen is one of the most prolific contemporary writers of children's stories. She has written more than 300 books including Owl Moon, The Devil's Arithmetic, and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?
The evening will include a tribute to the life and career of beloved UW Information School Professor Emeritus Spencer G. Shaw, an internationally-known librarian, storyteller and educator. The event is October 14, from 7 – 9 p.m. Please visit the event website for more information, and to RSVP by October 13.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What a Wednesday! Check Out These Free Events!!

You're invited to celebrate the publication of YOU WILL NOT COME BACK UNCHANGED, featuring poetry and prose written by K-12 students in the 2009-10 WITS program. Come celebrate this Wednesday, September 22, at the Seattle Art Museum, Plestcheeff Auditorium. There will be a reading by the authors at 7 p.m., with a reception to follow with sweets from Cupcake Royale. This event is free and open to the public. For more information about the event visit the WITS website, or the Seattle Art Museum calendar link.

Also this Wednesday, Author (and fellow SCBWI member) Lauren Goldman Marshall reads from her new book: MY BEAUTIFUL BOW: AN ADOPTION STORY, at Secret Garden Books in Ballard. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. Lauren will read her book, answer questions, and sign books for sale. For more information visit Secret Garden's website, or Lauren's website.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

More Fall Classes & Events

Field's End, A Writer's Community, on Bainbridge Island, is offering Fall Writing Classes. The Classes: Saying the Unsaid class taught by Michael Overa, and Reading Like a Writer, taught by Julie Larios, who is a children's book author as well as adult poet. For more information on these classes, and other Field's End information, visit their website.
Mary Kole of Andrea Brown (who is fellow SCBWI Krista Quinby's agent) is hosting a Webinar. The Webinar is titled, Publish Your Children, Tween, Teen Fiction in Today's Market. The Live Webinar is Thursday, September 23, and cost is $79. Here's the link for more information, and registration.
Interested in a low-residency MFA in Creative Writing with a Children's/Young Adult track right here in your own backyard? Whidbey Writers Workshop, a program of the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts offers one. For more information, visit their website.

Good News for Margaret Nevinski.

Congratulations to Margaret Nevinski, who is excited to announce the publication of her young adult short story, THE EVE OF ST. AGNES, in the current issue of the literary journal Hunger Mountain online. In this story, 17-year-old Courtney dreams about her future husband on January 20, the Eve of St. Agnes, only he's the geekiest guy in her school. Can one girl on her own fight against the power of dreams? At the end of the story, there's an interview with Margaret about her creative process. Check out her short story on the Hunger Mountain website.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Noa Wheeler Mentions

Henry Holt Editor Noa Wheeler kicked off our 2010-2011 SCWBI Professional Series Programming last night. She gave the packed room several writers-are-like comparisons, and invaluable insight from an editor. In her talk she mentioned several books, and websites. If you didn't make the meeting, or didn't take notes, here are those mentions for you.

MOON BEAR by Brenda Z. Guiberson
VOLCANO WAKES UP by Lisa Westberg Peters
CLEMENTE! by Willie Perdomo
SLEEPY, OH SO SLEEPY by Denise Fleming
CHARLES AND EMMA by Deborah Heiligman
TUCK EVERLASTING by Natalie Babbitt
THE LOTTERY by Shirley Jackson
THE GOLDEN COMPASS by Philip Pullman
THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins
THE WESTING GAME by Ellen Raskin


Remember to mark your calendars for Tuesday October 12, 2010 for our FALL AGENT PRESENTATION with Anna Olswanger, a literary agent with Liza Dawson Associates in New York. Join Anna for THE PSYCHOLOGY OF WRITING AND ILLUSTRATING CHILDREN’S BOOKS.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Richard Jesse Watson Exhibit

The Telling Image: Art of the Book
Art Exhibit at Bainbridge Public Library

Come see an exhibit of Richard Jesse Watson's original book illustrations. Check out selected works from THE BOY WHO WENT APE, THE MAGIC RABBIT, THE WATERFALL'S GIFT, THE LEGEND OF ST. CHRISTOPHER and THE HIGH RISE GLORIOUS SKITTLE SKAT ROARIOUS SKY PIE ANGEL FOOD CAKE.

The show runs through September 26. More info at his website.

Professional Series Meetings Starts Tonight!

The 2010-2011 Regional Programming starts tonight! There is no Mini Program, the Main program begins at 7:00 p.m.

Main Program: FALL EDITOR PRESENTATION AND ART SHOW with Noa Wheeler, editor at Henry Holt. Tonight, check out our local illustrators’ great work while you mingle before the meeting, then listen as Noa shares her expertise from an editor’s point of view. She’ll discuss FINDING YOUR PROFESSIONAL WRITER (OR HOW IS A RAVEN LIKE A WRITING DESK?). Flexibility and revisions may be a theme, since she says, “Sometimes I end up scrapping what I'm working on and going in a whole new direction!” Regardless, we’re sure to hear a brilliant presentation. Noa has worked with award-winning authors and illustrators such as Bryan Collier, Denise Fleming, and Peter McCarty. Recent titles include the critically-acclaimed Charles and Emma by Deborah Heiligman and The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jackie Kelly (a Newbery Honor book).

For more information, registration for programming, directions, fees, etc. visit the SCBWI Western Washington website! Hope to see you all there!

Monday, September 13, 2010

SCBWI Spokane Conference

Our fall conference is an intimate event where participants can easily meet and network with publishing professionals. Our speakers include Kendra Marcus, founder of BookStop Literary, Annette Pollert, editor at Simon Pulse, Author/Illustrator Teri Sloat, Author Deb Lund and Novelist and Non-fiction writer Claire Rudolf Murphy. Our presentations include: The Picture Book in 2010, Silencing your Inner Critic, First Page critiques and a masters class on Marketing Your Work/Keeping Your Vision and more.

Step in the Write Direction
September 18, 2010
Northwest Museum of Art & Culture

For a registration form or further information, e-mail
For those wishing bed & breakfast accommodations with local SCBWI members, we still have several rooms available.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Kirby Larson Book Launch

Don't have anything to do this Saturday? Trying to avoid the Fisher scone lines at the Puyallup Fair? Come support your fellow SCBWI member Kirby Larson at her latest book launch. Kirby's book, THE FENCES BETWEEN US, is the first new Dear America title in five years. Come hear Kirby, get your book signed, and enjoy homemade cookies at Lake Forest Park Third Place Books, this Saturday September 11, at 6:30 p.m. In the spirit of the time period of the book, the bookstore staff, and Kirby, will be decked out in 40's garb. Feel free to get dressed up in your fedoras, or platform heels! Find out more about Kirby on her website.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fall Classes

Kids aren't the only ones who get to return to school this fall. Here are a few classes taught by our own SCBWI members.

Lois Brandt is teaching "Write a Novel in a Month" class at Bellevue College. The class is Saturdays, October 9-December 4, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Is writing a novel one of your life-long dreams? Join this 8 week Bellevue College class as it hooks up with 100,000 writers worldwide for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The first classes prepare you for the noveling process, with practice in characterization, setting, plot, voice, and dialogue. Then we're off and writing our 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 $179.
Questions? Contact To register go to this Bellevue College continuing education link. For more about Lois, visit her website.
Lisa L. Owens is teaching "Navigating the Children's Writing Biz" class. Classes are online, Fridays, October 29 – November 19.
This four-week online course demystifies the business side of children’s publishing and provides writers with concrete steps for exploring the field and creating a personal path to publication. Lisa has written more than 70 books and stories for young readers, and has worked in children's publishing as everything from proofreader to senior editor.
For a full course description and registration info, click here.

Lisa also runs the Editorial Freelancers Association education program, and they have a Seattle-area Artist's Way Class starting September 23. Visit the catalog page here, or the write-up about the full education program here. They also have online classes in proofreading and freelance writing. To learn more about Lisa, visit her blog and author site.
Margaret Nevinski is teaching a "Creative Writing Workshop" for ages 8-12. Classes are Thursdays, Sept. 30-Nov. 18, from 4-6 p.m. Cost is $85.
If you like to create characters, invent plots, and have fun with words, this workshop is for you! Margaret Nevinski helps young writers tap into their creativity and strengthen their writing. We'll share our work out loud to get feedback from our fellow writers. Discover more about the craft of writing while creating the spectacular stories only you can write. Bring a notebook, a pen, and your imagination.
Margaret is also teaching a "Creativity for Writers" class. Classes are Thursday, Oct. 7-Nov. 18, from 7-9 p.m. Cost is $65.
The creative spark lies at the heart of all writing, whether we write for adults or children. Margaret Nevinski offers playful, useful ways for writers to tap into the wellspring of ideas. We'll explore prompts, journaling, collage, music, poetry, and exercises using the five senses to spark our imaginations and access our creative voices. For beginning and experienced writers in all genres. Come prepared to be inspired!
To register for either of Margaret's classes, visit Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District website or call 206-842-2306, ext. 16. For more about Margaret, visit her website.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Good News for Wendy Wahman

Congratulations to Wendy Wahman! Wendy has signed with agent Robin Rue, with Writers House! Wendy's book A CAT LIKE THAT comes out Spring 2011. You can find more about Wendy, who is an author/illustrator, at her website. Are you on Facebook? Wendy's debut novel, DON'T LICK THE DOG, has a facebook page.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Looking For a Low-Residency MFA?

Spalding University in Kentucky offers a four-semester, brief-residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing with a study track in writing for children and young adults. Choose semesters in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, playwriting, and/or screenwriting; the program does not segregate children’s writers but encourages them to study alongside other writers. At the beginning of each semester, students and faculty work together at a 10-day residency, after which they return home to correspond one-on-one with a faculty mentor for the rest of the semester. Semesters begin in spring, summer, and fall. For more information, visit their website.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Nearby SCBWI Event

Up for a road trip next weekend for another great SCBWI event? Grab a writing buddy and head over to Boise next weekend for SCBWI Utah-South Idaho's annual conference. They have an amazing faculty lined up for what will surely be a fantastic event. Check out all the details below:

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
Writing With the Stars:
A Conference for Readers, Writers,
and Teachers of Children's Literature

Saturday, September 11, 2010
Boise State University
1910 University Dr
Boise, ID 83725
Student Union Building, Jordan C Ballroom
8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Cheryl Klein, senior editor at Scholastic
Jill Corcoran, agent at the Herman Agency
Chris Crutcher, author, educator and family therapist known for his realistic fiction. Some of his books are Running Lose, The Crazy Horse Electric Game, and The Sledding Hill
Kelly Milner Halls, a nonfiction writer for young readers. Books include Dinosaur Parade, Saving the Baghdad Zoo, and Dinosaur Mummies
Amy Allgeyer Cook, debut novel The Invisible Sister
Syndey Salter, author of My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters, Jungle Crossing, and Swoon at Your Own Risk, regional advisor for Utah/Southern Idaho SCBWI
Laura Bingham, author of Älvor
Sarah Tregay, debut novel Love and Leftovers will be published by Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins

Features This Year:

*Book signing by authors, Friday evening, September 10, at the Rediscovered Bookshop from 6-8 pm, 180 N. 8th Street, between Main and Idaho.

Graduate and In-service Credit
Through Boise State University, earn either graduate or in-service credit.

Credit requirements include:

* attendance at the Friday night book signing at The Rediscovered Bookshop from 6-8 pm
* attendance at the 8:30 am credit meeting on Saturday
* reading one book from each author
* and a reflection paper.

To register for graduate credit, go online to; or; follow the instructions on registering for classes. The class number for graduate credit is ED-LTCY 594, Section 001-WRK (78697).

You may register for in-service credit at the Friday night book signing.


In addition to payment for credit, you must register for the conference and pay the fee for registration.

First page Critiques
First page critiques include up to th e first 250 words of your manuscript. No need to format with title. Just the first 250 words. These will be critiqued in public during a breakout session by both our editor and agent. You will be able to hear how editors and agents respond to that first page.

* Submit your your first page along with your registration form and payment. Electronic submissions are not accepted.

Registration Instructions:

Print registration form, fill out, and send with check for total fees to:

Neysa Jensen
1809 North 7th St.
Boise ID 83702

Registration Fees and Deadlines:
General registration:

* SCBWI members: $105
* non-SCBWI member: $125
* BSU students: $55

Manuscript critique: $45
First page critique: $10

Registration form:
Name: ______________________________________________________________

Address: ____________________________________________________________



SCBWI member: Yes___ No___ BSU student: ______

General registration: Quantity________ Total________

Manuscript critique: Total_________

First page critique: Total _________

Grand total of all fees____________

Please make checks out to SCBWI Utah/southern Idaho
Sorry, we are unable to process credit cards at this time.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Need Inspiration? Empathy? A Good Laugh?

The writing life has long been documented on film, and Christina and Jason Katz have compiled a list of Movies About Writers, and The Writing Life. It currently features 228 films listed in chronological order (there is a link to contact them to add movies left out). For more information about Christina, check out her website.