Monday, January 25, 2016

Meeting recap: Dynamic duo!

Last Wednesday, our lucky meeting attendees luxuriated in the wealth of information and expertise of our presenters, G.G. Silverman and Holman Wang. It was one of those evenings where everyone walked out breathing, "Wow!"

G.G. Silverman put us through the paces of self-publishing.

G.G. Silverman condensed years of tireless research, experience, diligence, and intelligence into a riveting 25-minute whirlwind talk on Marketing Your Self-Published Work. Her self-published YA novel, VEGAN TEENAGE ZOMBIE HUNTRESS, has almost made back her initial investment. Her prescription for successful marketing is a complex and thorough process, which is too specific to restate, but G.G. has generously offered a link to her outline, which she is making available to all. Even those who didn't get the benefit of her wonderful live talk can find her knowledge really useful, for both self-publishing and traditional publishing.


Holman Wang dazzled the audience with his felted board-book characters, his journey through his craft, and the fascinating process of being part of the STAR WARS world and dealing with a large franchise and its constraints and rewards. Holman's story was both fascinating and awe-inspiring. His work takes patience, passion, and perseverance. The visual results were such a treat to see, and the examples of characters from his upcoming planned books, THE NUTCRACKER and THE WIZARD OF OZ, were a delight. The sheer amount of work that goes into every single scene of his books, on which he collaborates with his twin brother Jack, is staggering. Seeing the process from the conceptual side was revelatory and absolutely incredible.

Holman Wang took us through the Cozy Classics and into Epic Yarns.

Coming to a bookstore near you: Dorothy, Clara, and friends!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

WWU Children's Literature conference and nErDcamp!

The WWU Children’s Literature Conference is an annual event in Bellingham, WA. This year features Peter Brown, Melissa Sweet, Cynthia Lord, and Gene Luen Yang. It is always a great day, and I hope you can attend. More info here.

I also wanted to let you know about our second annual companion event, nErDcamp Bellingham. On Sunday, February 28, the day after the conference, we will hold another day of learning and sharing with teachers, librarians, authors, and anyone else who is interested. This event is like a marriage between two incredible movements: Edcamp and #nerdybookclub. You may know of one or both of these, but let me give you a quick synopsis, just in case.

Edcamps are “unconferences,” where the day’s sessions are determined on the day of the event, and taught or led by the attendees. They are always free, and draw a wide range of enthusiastic and focused learners.

#nerdybookclub is an online movement of passionate educators and book lovers. It is a celebration of books, reading, writing, readers, and writers.

So, nErDcamp Bham aims to be a literacy-focused Edcamp, combining the grassroots enthusiasm of Edcamps and the passionate advocacy of #nerdybookclub.

We would love, love, love to have you join us at nErDcamp. It will be an amazing day of sharing, learning, and growing. Everyone there will be there because they love literacy and learning, and want to grow. If you came, you could join in a session or choose to lead one, just like all attendees. You would not be expected to give any type of talk or presentation, unless you wanted to!

There is just one catch. Since nErDcamp is entirely free, we would not be able to provide any honorarium or stipend for attending. nErDcamp is a zero-budget endeavor--I’m sure you understand.

If you would like to attend, please visit the blog and register for the event. Thank you for considering being a part of our first nErDcamp! I hope to see you in February!


Adam Shaffer
nErDcamp Bellingham founder
4th grade teacher
Irene Reither Elementary

Reminder: Monthly meeting WEDNESDAY!

Mini Session: Marketing Your Self-Published Work with G.G. Silverman. G.G.’s self-published YA novel, VEGAN TEENAGE ZOMBIE HUNTRESS, became a Kindle Top 10 Bestseller in the Humorous Teen Books category and was also featured on Amazon’s list of “Hot New Releases.” An active blogger ( and savvy online presence, G.G. is readying a short story collection for self-publication, which you can be sure will showcase her love of all things horror and her sharp wit.

Main Session: Holman Wang presents The Making of "Star Wars, Epic Yarns." Come and learn how Holman and Jack Wang spent 12 months creating the most labor-intensive board books in history! (And how they got the rights from Lucasfilm Limited.) Check out their work at

Call for diverse submissions

Samantha Clark, the Austin, Texas SCBWI Regional Advisor has opened submissions for their Scholarship of Creators of Diverse Characters, which is open to all writers and illustrators who are creating diverse characters in a current manuscript.
The scholarship is only open to SCBWI members, and the winner gets free entrance to the Austin, TX 2016 Writers & Illustrators Working Conference on May 14. (The winner does not have to be from Austin -- last year's winner was from California -- but the award does not include airfare and hotel.)
The deadline to apply is February 5 at 5pm Central time.

All the information is on their website:

Thursday, January 14, 2016

SCBWI-Oregon's Barbara Herkert comes to town


Author and SCBWI-Oregon Illustrator Coordinator Barbara Herkert shares her new  
picture books, Mary Cassatt: Extraordinary Expressionist Painter and Sewing Stories: Harriet 
Powers' Journey from Slave to Artist.
WHEN:  Friday, January 29 at 7PM
WHERE: Secret Garden Books

Becoming a better neighbor through fiction

Middle-grade author Sonja Anderson (SOPHIE'S QUEST) will be speaking on Friday, February 5 from 5-7pm at the Westwood Village Barnes and Noble. The group Words, Writers, and West Seattle, is sponsoring this monthly event, and part of the proceeds will support the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. She’ll be speaking on “Becoming a Better Neighbor through Fiction,” as I discovered in the process of writing her newly published children’s novel, Sophie’s Quest (Sunberry Books, UK, 2015).

Great news for Kiki!

 Author Kiki Hamilton is proud to announce that her YA novel, THE MIDNIGHT SPY (first book in a series), was named one of the BEST BOOKS OF 2015 by Kirkus Reviews!

Hamilton's popular books include the four-book FAERIE RING series, and the contemporary novel THE LAST DANCE.

Congratulations, Kiki! Well deserved!

Toni Yuly book launch party

 Please help Toni Yuly celebrate the launch of her third book, CAT NAP!

CAT NAP is the third in a trio of books written and illustrated by Toni.  (EARLY BIRD and NIGHT OWL are books 1 and 2.) For a sneak peek into her picture-booking process, titled "Warming Up For a Cat Nap," click HERE!

There will be cupcakes and coloring and cat naps for those who want them!
WHEN: Sunday, January 31st at 3pm

WHERE: Elliott Bay Book Company

To read more about Toni go to her website.

Reminder: Kid Lit Drink Night Jan. 14!

Don't forget: There are friends and libations waiting for you all!  Come on by!

Call for artists

We have a call to artists for several installations at our new library on Camano Island, and one of them is for the children’s room with a budget up to $12,500. Apparently, we’ve only received one submission. It seems to me that it would be relevant to SCBWI artists. It looks like we’d prefer something three-dimensional, but perhaps some SCBWI illustrators also work in that format, or might be interested in submitting something else anyway. Could either of you pass this along to SCBWI, if it hasn’t gone through the group already – or let me know whom I should contact if you think that would be the better approach.  The deadline for proposals is Jan. 29, more info at the link below.
Jackie Parker
Lead Librarian for Readers’ Services
Sno-Isle Libraries
425-778-2148 x 3036

Interview with MT Anderson: THIS MONDAY

From Joni Sensel:

Tim Wynn-Jones’ Vermont College of Fine Arts  interview with M.T. Anderson about the writing of Symphony for the City of the Dead (which is awesome) will be live-streamed, and anyone interested is welcome to watch. NF folks might be especially interested. Here’s the link and details:

Tim’s interview with Tobin on Monday, January 18, at 4:15 pm Eastern can be viewed here.  (

They "highly suggest setting up the links a day or two ahead to be sure the pages work with your browser. (Chrome and Firefox are best; Safari sometimes has trouble.) There won’t be much but an “offline” message before the event, but you can confirm the page works.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

G.G. Silverman: Three truths, one lie

Don't be afraid! 
G.G. Silverman is going to take the fear
out of marketing your self-published work. 

Already an accomplished author (Vegan Teenage Zombie Huntress, anthologized short stories, and many more publications), a one-woman marketing/branding/advertising specialist, and instructor at Sanford-Brown College, G.G. is going to be our first speaker at next Wednesday's monthly meeting. And she has a few things to say! Her debut has almost earned back her investment as a self-pubbed author, which is a major benchmark.

G.G. Silverman, marketing maven and self-published author.

Three Truths and One Big Fat Lie:

A Massachusetts native, G.G. wanted to share a little about herself.

• She practices archery on a compound bow, in case of the zombie apocalypse.
• She once cut herself with a butter knife.
• She can do fifty one-armed push-ups.
• She can curl her tongue into an O-shape and whistle.

In her holiday greeting to followers, friends, and fans, G.G. shared updates from her current writing projects, including:
  • Book 2 (Stoners Vs. Moaners) recently came back from my editor and I have to take one last pass at edits, but I'm thinking it'll release in late spring.
  • A possible collaboration in an anthology of post-apocalyptic zombie stories.
  • A few short stories come out in 2015 in various places. They're in different styles and genres, as I love stretching my wings and trying new stuff. Some are dark with a horror vibe, the rest vary from gothic to sci-fi to literary. My fave is an emotional futuristic robot story that was reprinted by Pop Seagull in their ROBOTICA anthology, which just came out this fall. Links to all my shorts can be found here:

G.G. will speak NEXT WEDNESDAY, January 20 at SPU's Demaray Hall at 7pm. Come learn, appreciate, and let her motivate you. (And that lie? Well, she confesses she's not so great at those push-ups. She needs both arms....)


Winner! Winner! Winner!


to the fabulous, talented, and dedicated


WINNER OF THE American Library Association's
(awarded for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience)

for her amazing book,

(illustrated by Sean Qualls) 

Laurie's book was honored at this Monday's live ALA broadcast, along with winners
in other categories of children's books. To see all the honorees, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

December meeting footnote

If you missed the December meeting, well, we're sorry, because it was spectacular! Not only did we have the annual holiday cookie contest, the book swap, some creative caroling, and a bit of comfortable mingling, but we also welcomed back our own Joni Sensel to SCBWI-WWA. Joni presented a talk titled "Here Abide Monsters," which was based on her Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA thesis, about using in-between spaces to create tension and suspense in our writing. Joni explained that spaces that are between--such as hallways, stairs, cliffs, even graveyards and key dates and times--make us uneasy because danger can come from more than one direction and the rules we are used to following may be in flux. They can also, however, represent opportunity or freedom, so there's a natural tension between risk and reward. She presented advice, examples, a handout, and an exercise to help us think about applying these concepts to our works in progress. I know many of us went away inspired to put these new ideas into practice!

And, looking ahead to our January meeting, stay tuned for previews on our fabulous pair of presenters, Holman Wang and G.G. Silverman. Wednesday, January 20 at 7pm! Be there!

Query contest for diverse stories

Join the fray!

As of January 1, WRITE IN THE MARGINS features a contest for stories featuring characters with historically underrepresented backgrounds. To see the full scoop, click here.

Ten finalists will be chosen for agent feedback and the whole shebang, so enter! Good luck, all!

SCBWI's Spanish-language bulletin

La Cometa, the SCBWI Spanish-language bulletin is out! 
Spearheaded by Malena Alzu (Regional Advisor Spain) and Judy Goldman (Regional Advisor Mexico), number 38 of this publication has excellent resources and information for everyone.

Apart from the usual big section with news about the children's book world in Spain and Latin America, book fairs and events reports, we have an excellent interview with Adriana Domínguez, agent at Full Circle Literary (generously giving wonderful tips for latino writers & illustrators!), an article by César López about the Book Launch Party and its many benefits, another about writing in English from a Spanish view by Carmen Ferreiro (Latino Books into Movies Awardwinner) and a couple of interviews, one with a children's literature expert and another with a famous author from Ecuador. It is a very exciting and interesting issue in which SCBWI members from Mexico, Spain, US and the International chapters have collaborated.

To read it, visit CLICK HERE
To subscribe, CLICK HERE.

Kid Lit Drink Night THIS THURSDAY!


If your New Year’s Resolution is to spend more time talking shop and life with your fellow illustrators and writers, join us this Thursday (1/14) for the first KidLit Drink Night of 2016!

We’ll meet from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Nickerson Street Saloon and Grill, 318 Nickerson Street, for no-host beer, wine, soft drinks, coffee and really good bar food.

See you there!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Martha wins!

Good year and good news to all!

Martha Brockenbrough, whose wonderful THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH has garnered stars, praise, and shortlists for months, has been awarded a 2016 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award!

To see all the winners, and to read more in detail, click here.

Needless to say, it's a HUGE honor, and we are falling over ourselves to wish Martha many high fives and congratulations.

Happy 2016!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

FREE Deb Lund workshop THIS SATURDAY!

From Stasia Ward Kehoe's blog. For more information about Deb, click here.

Everything you wanted to know about sex...

...and YA but were afraid to ask!
J. Anderson Coats, Martha Brockenbrough, Jeanne Ryan, Lish McBride, and Rory Shay are doing a book panel this Saturday night  on sex. Yep, it’s going to pretty much be a high school sex class where teenagers are allowed to ask anything they want. They’ll talk about everything subversive related to YA books, from how far the thrills and chills go to the degree of intimacy. Please come on out and heckle/ask questions! 

WHAT: YA After Hours: The Secret World of YA: Sex, Scandal, and Shame
WHEN: Saturday, January 9 at 6pm
WHERE: University Book Store, U-District


Monday, January 4, 2016

Northern Network Meeting THIS WEDNESDAY!

Queries About Queries

So you're all ready (fingers crossed) to send out that polished manuscript. Who do you send it to? One at a time? Mass mailings? And what's all this about a query letter? What's the difference between that and a cover letter?

Come find out at our January meeting!

Date: Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Time: 7:00 p.m.

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

Questions? Call Rebecca Van Slyke at (360) 354-5797, or email at [That’s rebecca(underscore)vanslyke(at)hotmail(dot)com.]

Workshop with Lois Harris

Lois V. Harris will offer a workshop, “Writing for Children: Guidelines for Seven Major Categories of Children’s Books,” at Skagit Valley College, Mount Vernon campus, February 18, 2016 and February 25, 2016, 6:30 to 8 PM. Learn about each category and how to write back matter. Tweak your manuscript and share your results. Cost: $49. Register for CENGL 054B online or call tol-free 1-877-385-5360.

Kid Lit Drink Nights: Eight dates!

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to be more organized? Your Kid Lit Drink Night hosts, Kevan Atteberry and Lois Brandt, are here to help.

Below are the next 8 Kid Lit Drink Nights. Put these on your calendar today!

Some venues are listed, some will be announced. Kid Lit Drink Nights normally start at around 6:30. If you have a suggestion for a venue, please email Lois directly (

UPCOMING: January 14 at the Nickerson Street Saloon! Cheers!

January 14th Nickerson Street Saloon and Grill, 318 Nickerson Street, Seattle, 6:30pm

February 11th (Venue TBD Eastside – North)

March 10th (Venue TBD South of Seattle)

April 14th Issaquah Brew Pub

May 12th (Venue TBD Seattle)

June 9th (Venue TBD North Seattle – Shoreline)

July 14th Roanoke Inn, Mercer Island

August 11th Kidlit Family Night! Redhook Ale Brewery, Woodinville

Saturday, January 2, 2016

January author/illustrator events

YA = young adult
MG = middle grade
ER = easy reader
PB = picture book
NF = nonfiction

GN = graphic novel

Friday, Jan 8, 7PM
BOOK LAUNCH PARTY: Elizabeth Rose Stanton, Peddles (PB)
University Book Store, U-District

Saturday, Jan 9, 6PM
YA After Hours: The Secret World of YA––Sex, Scandal and Shame
Featuring Martha Brockenbrough, J. Anderson Coats, Lish McBride, Jeanne Ryan, Rori Shay
University Book Store, U-District

Tuesday, Jan 12, 7PM
Ruth Wariner, The Sound of Gravel (YA)
Third Place Books, Ravenna

Wednesday, Jan 13, 7PM
Monica McDowell, The Girl With a Gift (YA)
Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park

Thursday, Jan 14, 7PM
Caroline Allen, Air (YA)
Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park

Monday, Jan 18, 7PM
Sam Lansky, The Gilded Razor (YA)
Elliott Bay Book Company

Tuesday, Jan 19, 7PM
Salina Yoon, Be a Friend (PB)
Secret Garden Books

Thursday, Jan 28, 7PM
Charlie Jane Anders, All the Birds in the Sky (MG)
Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park

Friday, Jan 29, 6PM
BOOK LAUNCH PARTY: Jennifer Longo, Up to This Pointe (YA)
University Book Store, U-District

Friday, Jan 29, 6:30PM

Margaret Peterson Haddix, Haddix Redeemed (MG)
Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park

Sunday, Jan 31, 3PM
BOOK LAUNCH PARTY: Toni Yuly, Cat Nap (PB)
Elliott Bay Book Company

January meeting deets

Happy New Year, all!

Our first meeting of the year is almost upon us––and it's gonna be a doozy! Check it out. See you THERE!