Sunday, December 20, 2015

Peddles comes to town

Elizabeth Rose Stanton has a new book coming out––and is throwing a shindig to celebrate!

 Elizabeth writes, "I will be celebrating my latest picture book, PEDDLES (Simon & Schuster), at a launch party on FRIDAY, January 8 at 7pm at he University Bookstore (U District) in Seattle!
Suggested attire: striped socks and/or cowboy boots!

But wait, there's more! "Also, I'm super pleased to announce that both Peddles and Henny will be published in Mandarin Chinese this coming year! I don't have the exact pub dates yet, but they should be out before the end of next summer."

Great news, Elizabeth! See y'all at the University Book Store for the PEDDLES party and launch!

Oh, what a night! - part two

And then there was Joni.
(Yes, she's in shadow. But, one might argue, her power point was off the hook. Because, Joni.)

Joni Sensel, goddess of the liminal.
We came, we heard, we left with full bellies and brains.

Joni's presentation, the evening's main attraction, was a brilliant exploration of liminal settings in storytelling. By "liminal" Joni meant "transitional," from the Latin limen, or, literally, threshold. She carefully delineated the ways in which settings of stories can provide extra meaning or tension by placing scenes in transitional places: a car, the water's edge, a cliff, an elevator, etc. The dynamic of a scene when the characters are located in a semi-permanent setting sets off their own transformation, and so their quests/journeys are deepened.

In short, this was a heady, dizzy, and mind-blowing theme. We all spent about 15 minutes on our own works in progress using this idea and plugging it into our major scenes and conflicts. There certainly were some epiphanies crackling all around the auditorium.

We are so lucky to have Joni back, and luckier still that her brain opened up and let us have a peek at its machinations. It was a truly sensational talk, and it is sure to reverberate for attendees for months to come. Yes, folks, it was THAT GOOD.

So, yes, it was quite a night––celebratory, revelatory, and gustatory!

Oh, what a night! - part one

Last Wednesday night Demaray Hall was jumping! It was merry, it was lively, and crumbs were flying everywhere. After sampling the SEVENTEEN delectable offerings, judges Dana Arnim, Kevan Atteberry, and Emily Russin couldn't be reached for comment, as they were all too busy swigging from a giant milk carton and making no sense whatsoever.

Our annual Cookie Contest crowned two worthy winners:

For Most Beautiful Cookie, Kathy Manchip emerged victorious with her stunning Holly Jolly Iced Sugar Cookies. They tasted wonderful –  almost too beautiful to chomp into (but we did)! Congratulations, Kathy! Her beautiful recipe is below.
Holly Jolly Sugar Cookies

- A batch of sugar cookies using your preferred recipe. (I cut out rounds, but any shape with enough surface area would work well.)
- A batch of royal icing using your preferred recipe. (Leave most of it white and color a small amount green.)
- Small red sugar beads/balls. (You can get these at Jo-Ann's or online.)
- Two piping bags and two round tips, one larger and one small.

- Fill the piping bag with the royal icing, one color for each bag. Attach the tips, using the smaller round tip on the green bag.
- Pipe a border of the white royal icing onto the cookie, and flood it. There are many online videos for how to do this if you haven't tried it before.
- While the icing is still wet (it will form a crust pretty quickly, so work fast) and using the green icing, pipe a small, elongated blob onto the surface of the white icing. Do them at an angle to each other like the hands of a clock.
- Take your tooth pick and drag the edges of the green blob outward to create the spikes of the holly leaf.
- Also while the icing is still wet, drop three red sugar beads/balls onto the surface of the cookie where the leaves almost touch.

- Allow the royal icing to dry and harden for at least a few hours.

Too beautiful to eat? Kathy Manchip's Holly Jolly cookies.

Judge Atteberry with cookie artiste Kathy.

For Most Delicious Cookie, Lois Brandt's Giant Turtle Cookie confections were a huge hit. Here's the sinfully scrummy recipe:

Lois Brandt's Turtle Cookies made our taste buds sing!

Lois loves her new signed print by David Weisner!


1 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
8 T. (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
1 large egg, separated, plus 1 additional egg white
2 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. pecans, finely chopped

Caramel Filling:
14 soft caramel candies (I used Kraft Traditional Caramels)
3 T. heavy cream

Chocolate Drizzle (optional):
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli baking chips)
1 tsp. shortening or butter


Prepare the Cookies: 

1.  Combine flour, cocoa, and salt; set aside.

2.  With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla; mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture until just combined.

3.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.

4.  Whisk egg whites in a bowl until frothy.  Place chopped pecans in another bowl.  Roll chilled dough into 1 ½ inch balls, dip in egg whites, and then roll in pecans.  Place balls about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, make an indentation in the center of each dough ball.  Note that the original recipe called for smaller 1 inch balls.  The caramel/chocolate ratio will be higher (it was too sweet for me). 1 inch balls gives you a batch of about 24 cookies.

5.  Bake at 350 degrees until set, about 15 minutes. (About 12 minutes for 1 inch cookies)

Prepare the Caramel Filling: 
6.  Microwave caramels and cream together in a small bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.

7.  Once cookies are removed from the oven, gently re-press the indentations.  Fill each indentation with about 1/2 teaspoon of the caramel mixture. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. If you are going to use the drizzle, put waxed paper under the wire rack to catch stray chocolate.

Prepare the Chocolate Drizzle (optional): 
8.  Place chocolate and shortening in a small zip-top plastic bag.  Set bag in a bowl of warm water to soften.  Gently knead the chocolate with your fingers until melted and smooth, placing back in the warm water for a minute or two as needed. Make sure chocolate is well-kneaded, otherwise you get a constipated plastic bag.

9.  Snip a very small hole in the corner of the plastic bag.  Drizzle chocolate over your cooled Giant Turtle Cookies.

Makes about 12 2-inch cookies or 24 1-inch cookies.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wednesday Meeting!


In case you didn't recognize it, that's the sound of cookies. Being eaten. Potentially by YOU!

In case you didn't remember, it's THIS WEEK. Wednesday, December 16, to be exact.

In case you didn't read your email, the fabulous JONI SENSEL will be speaking about Setting!

In case you can't make it, fear not:We'll miss you! We will eat your cookies.


P.S. Don't forget to bring your books for the annual Book Exchange! Take as many as you bring, and let's rotate our collections. All leftover books will be given to charity.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Cookie Meeting is coming....

...and bringing the incredible JONI SENSEL with it!


It's less than a week away.

It's going to be fabulous.

It's going to send your taste buds into orbit.

It's going to challenge and inspire you.

It's going to be loud.

It's going to be fascinating.

It's going to involve a lot of crumbs.

It's going to involve a lot of friends.

It's going to be AMAZING.

What: SCBWI-WWA Monthly Programming Meeting
When: Wednesday, December 16 at 7pm (6:30 if you want more cookies!)
Where: Seattle Pacific University, Demaray Hall


Good news times TWO!

This has been a great week for two of our members, who've been honored in different ways:

First, Rory Shay, who is a newly settled SCBWI-WWA member from one year ago, just shared that a post she wrote on perseverance in publishing is up on the national SCBWI web page!  She writes, "It’s scary to know that so many people will now be able to see my terrifying tale of publishing, but hopefully it’ll help people too!" Welcome, Rory, and congratulations on your national spotlight!

And if that wasn't cool enough, Karen Meissner was selected Highlight's Author of the Month for her story, "An Honest Mistake," published in their November 2015 issue. It is the second time she has been so honored. Fantastic, Karen––and cheers to you on your latest recognition!

For members who have good news to share, please send it to us at the Chinook! It's going to be seen, appreciated, and celebrated. And, it will spread far and wide since our posts automatically end up posting on our SCBWI-WWA Facebook group page, which has members from all over the planet.
Please send all good news to Great news! Great work!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

This Thursday! Kid Lit Drinks!

Come one, come all! 

Eastsiders, this is especially for YOU!!

Come for cocktails, conversation, and community!

This Thursday, December 10.

Get out of this weather, get into the groove!

That is all.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Joni on location! Be there!

Spooky spaces... dangerous places… awe-inspiring locations. They’ve got something in common, and with a little insight, you can use that secret to make your stories and illustrations more gripping. Come to our Professional Series Meeting next Wednesday, December 16, when our featured speaker and amazing former Regional Adviser Joni Sensel will hand over a (slightly) magic secret to creating settings that will give your work extra oomph. 
Set the scene with Joni Sensel!
Just a few of the books she’ll be using as examples include The Dark by Lemony Snicket, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, and The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein. If you already have these books at home, take another quick glance to see if you can spot what they have in common. (Which is pretty cool when you realize one is a fictional picture book, one is a novel, and one is nonfiction.) If not, several of these and other exemplary titles will be for sale that night by our pals at Secret Garden––so you can learn about that common magic and then pick up the books to see it in action yourself. (And grab some holiday gifts while you’re at it!)

Finally, a wee bit of advance prep will help you get the most of out the night, which is going to be partly discussion and partly a mini-workshop. So come with either a short list of your WIP’s most important settings or have those locations (and times) in mind.

Plus don’t forget it’s our annual cookie contest that night! Enter to win or just plan to enjoy your fellow creators’ labors! Cookies and magic — what more could you ask for this time of year?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Give the gift of writing!

Has your family started asking you what you want for the holidays?

Maybe you should start hinting about a novel revision class.

Lois Brandt’s novel revision class starts January 20th at Bellevue College (North Campus). 

Novel Re-Vision: Editing Your Manuscript for Story   
Tuesdays, January 11th – March 1st
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Do you have a completed draft novel? Wondering what to do next? This class walks writers through the novel revision process. In-class exercises and critiques help students recognize the sections of their manuscripts that convey story and those that don’t. During the course students will compile a list of edits necessary to revise their novel. Prerequisite: a completed draft novel. Fee: $195.00

For more information, please follow this link to the Bellevue College website:

If you have any questions about whether this is the right class for you, please feel free to email Lois (

Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday: S is for Seattle!


Author Maria Kernahan and publisher Michael Schafbuch of Dry Climate Studios will be there tohelp celebrate the debut of our city's alphabet book, S IS FOR SEATTLE.

When: Friday, December 4 at 7pm
Where: Secret Garden Books