Welcome!

Welcome to the Bookshelf Detective, a site for readers and writers of children's literature. Thank you for visiting, and please let me know how this blog served you.
Cheers,
Kim Tomsic

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Smattering of Advice: How Writers Can Prevent Hours of Rewriting

A SMATTERING OF FIVE-MINUTE ADVICE that can save you hours of rewrite time:

I’m a big SAVE THE CAT groupie and the book's author Blake Snyder often quotes sources of inspiration. One of these sources is Robert McKee and his book, STORY. Of course I had to read it. 


The full title is STORY: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting.  Screenwriting translates to story writing or books in my mind, and McKee is brilliant on the subject—talk about having Ah-ha moments! Sometimes ideas are simple, but we as writers get lost either in language, ideas, humor, etc, and we forget to focus on the structure.

McKee says every scene in your story must have a value at stake. 


At The beginning of each scene ask yourself what value is at stake in my characters life. A value could be love, life, acceptance, a belief system, family foundation, friendships, etc. Determine the value at stake in the scene and then ask: How is the value charge at the beginning of the scene different from that value changed by the end of the scene. Think of these charges as positive or negative charges. 

Different scenes can have different values at stake, but the charge always has to change in every single scene or the scene has no place in your story.

TAKE AWAY:
********If the value condition does not change from the beginning of the scene to the end of the scene then nothing meaningful in the scene took place.********** If that's the case, delete or rewrite the scene.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top Thirteen Books of 2013 for Kid Lit Fans



Top Thirteen of 2013
What would a Bookshelf Detective be without a neatly compiled list of best-of-the-year books? Lame. So please enjoy my favorite (mostly kid lit) picks of 2013. Some books listed here debuted in 2013; others I simply discovered in 2013.  In this list you’ll find out why I picked the book; what you won’t find are jacket flap descriptions, however I've provided a hyperlink to jacket copy if any of my hype grabs your interest.

Most “Important” Story of the Year: YAQUIDELGADO WANTS TO KICK YOUR ASS by Meg Medina (March, 2013 Candlewick). Medina delivers this story in a way that keeps pages turning swiftly. This is the kind of book we all look for—a face-paced story that makes us laugh and cry. YAQUI DELGADO WANTS TO KICK YOUR ASS is important, relevant and well written; so much so that YALSA has it listed as one of the top 100 books of the year. I predict that it will receive a Printz nomination (The American Library Association will release the nominations as well as the winner in late January 2014).  

Best Couples Story: ELEANOR AND PARK by Rainbow Rowell (Feb. 26, 2013 St. Martin Press). I loved this story for the sheer spit and fire of the characters. This is the book I bought as a gift for all my friends. Yep. It’s that good. It also received a YALSA nomination, and it is my second prediction for a Printz nomination.

Sweetest Book for the Middle Grade Reader who is an Animal Lover: THE FIVE LIVES OF OUR CAT ZOOK by Joanne Rocklin (Amulet, 2012) winner of the SCBWI Golden Kite Award.    


Cleverest Picture Books: Two of the following books take the hilarious approach regarding what happens when a pencil or crayon take on the protagonist role. If you love one, you’ll definitely love the other. The third book has a cover that simply calls you to read the story.
·        LITTLE RED WRITING by Joan Holub and Illustrated by Melissa Sweet (September 2013 Chronicle Books).  
·        THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT by Drew Daywalt, Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (June 2013 Philomel).
·     
   MUSTACHE BABY by Bridget Heos illustrated by Joy Ang (May 2013 by Clarion Books).

Best Book for Authors: SAVE THE CAT by Blake Snyder (January 2005 Michael Wiese
Productions). Yep. I’m a little late at jumping in on the Save the Cat craze, but I swear this is the best book for plotting and structure I’ve ever come across. After reading this you’ll know why movies are satisfying, or you’ll know why a movie you wanted to love failed to deliver. Writers should read this to find holes in their plot, or missing structure elements. A few simple fixes can transform a story experience.

Best Book for High School Boys: ROCK ON by Denise Vega (March 2012 Little, Brown
Books for Young Readers). ROCK ON (nominated for the Colorado Book Award) has great page turns; characters you want to follow and a compelling plot. And it has the bonus of a cool cover, one a boy can carry on the bus or in class. That said, girls will love this story, too.

Picture Book that Keeps Me Returning: STUCK by Oliver Jeffers (September 2011 Philomel). This author/illustrator cracks me up. And by the way, he’s the same guy who illustrated The Day the Crayons Quit.

Five-Year-Old Nephew’s Favorite Book of the Year: GUESS AGAIN by Mac Barnett (September 2009 by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers). This book is like shampoo instructions—read, giggle, repeat. Every time my nephew and I arrive on the last page, he flips the book back to page one. Author Mac Barnett is also the author of one of my favorite books that appeared on last year’s award circuit—EXTRA YARN…such a cute book. If you read, I can’t wait for you to discover Little Louis.

Books I Bought for my Ten-Year-Old Niece: I can’t mention my nephew without a shout-out to my niece. Here are the must reads I purchased for her this year:


·        A SUMMER OF SUNDAYS by Lindsay Eland(July 2013 Egmont). Sweet story with a fun mystery, and also it’s the best book for a middle child!

·        DESTINY REWRITTEN by Kathryn Fitzmaurice (February 2013 Katherine Tegen Books). A book that somehow connects Danielle Steel with Emily Dickinson—certainly a laugh for parents. But eight to twelve-year-olds will love this book because the main character takes the reader on a fun adventure.

·        SAVVY by Ingrid Law (May 2008 Dial Books). Not only did this book receive a Newbery Honor in 2009, but it was also one of the books my son read and loved when he was in fifth grade.

Best Self-Help Book: A MILLION MILES IN A THOUSAND YEARS by Donald Miller (Thomas Nelson 2009) Read this book! If you’re lucky it will transform the way you think. Parents who are reading this blog looking for great books for your kids must stop here and get this book as their own personal read.


Most Out-of-the-Box Middle Grade Book of the Year: Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (September 2013 Candlewick Press). This book is nothing if it’s not fun to read—I mean who doesn’t love a cynic, a squirrel that reads and writes, and a boy who claims blindness? Put it in front of your reluctant reader and they will definitely give up the “reluctant” part of their title.


Most Out-of the Box YA I Read This Year: EVERY DAY by David Levithan (August 2012 Knopf Books) same author of this year’s buzz book, Two Boys Kissing. Although EVERY DAY isn’t the best book I’ve ever read, I’m always of fan of David Levithan’s writing, and I was a huge fan of his unique approach to delivering a story—the sixteen-year-old protagonist wakes up in a different body every single day. It’s a little TIME TRAVELERS WIFE meets GROUND HOG DAY, and yet it’s completely different.

Best Book I found via Tweet: DAIRY QUEEN by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (2006 HMH Books for Young Readers). Word of mouth is one of the most influential marketing tools, so I’m here to confess I buy books when I hear Twitter buzz (it’s how I found PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ).



And here’s a bonus!




Book I’m Most Looking Forward to This Year: NINJA, NINJA, NEVER STOP! by Todd Tuell (Spring 2014 by Abrams, Appleseed).

Friday, December 13, 2013

Top Ten Gifts to Give to the Writer in Your Life

Wow! You must really love the writer in your life. How do I know? Because you used your Google Machine (or Bing) to help find a gift for an author. Now Relax. Rest easy, because you've arrived at the write right spot (and I promise, no more puns).

Top Ten Gifts for the Writer in Your Life
1.  Dragon Software: Dragon Software is home speech recognition software for your P.C. It's amazing! Simply speak and the words appear on your screen. "Transfer words into text at the speed of thought." The words appear three times faster than you can type. Cost - $99.00

2.  Moo Cards: Moo Cards are beautiful and affordable business cards. Even if the writer in your life has not established a business, it's still important to have business cards printed. Writing is typically done alone, so when the author steps out of their creativity cave and attends a conference, it's nice for them to share contact information (whip out Moo card here). Stay connected with peers. On the card include important information and don't forget to list Twitter name and blog page address. Also, don't make the mistakes I made, which means don't choose red print unless you expect all your future friends to have had lasiks.
Cost - Approximately $25.00

3.  Membership! I'd like to steal a phrase from American Express, "Membership has its privileges." It's so true. Membership example: If the person you are buying for writes for the children's market (ages one month to eighteen years old; think board books to Hunger Games or Good Night Moon to Twilight) then a membership in the S C B W I would be the best possible gift you could give this person. SCBWI stands for Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and please know that Judy Blume was one of the first members in this forty-year-old organization. With membership you receive a bi-monthly magazine on the children's market, discounts to conferences, scholarship opportunities and a lot of how-to information. Cost - $75.00 per year.
(If your author writes for another industry, find the appropriate membership for the genre)

4. Conference. There is probably no better gift than enrollment in a conference. Conferences are attended by editors from leading publishing houses, agents from dream-teams, industry professionals (i.e. reps from places like Dryden Books or Harold Underdown's PC Editorial Services) and respected authors (I've met Judy Blume, Richard Peck, Sherman Alexie, M.T. Anderson and Libba Bray to name a few).
     At the conference, attendees not only learn from the best, they also have the opportunity to attend master classes taught by industry professionals. Furthermore the writer will make connections with people with whom they would generally not have access. Many editors who say they are closed to submissions will accept a query or chapter submissions from a writer they meet at a conference; same goes for agents.
Average cost of a conference $400 plus transportation plus hotel accommodations

5.   Book: Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. Not only is Donald Maass the author of seventeen books, he is also a literary agent. His book, Writing the Breakout Novel, is regularly discussed in critiquing groups as THE book to get.  Cost - $16.99

6. Book. Another great book to wrap for the writer in your life is called Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Rennie Brown and Dave King. Available at Tattered Cover Bookstore. Cost- $13.99

7. Subscription. A subscription to Writer's Digest magazine comes with the option to receive it in either printed or digital format. It's packed with sage advice and also comes with a free copy of The Writer's Digest Guide to Creativity. Furthermore advise your writer to follow Chuck Sambuchino's blog: Guide to Literary Agents.
Cost:  subscription $19.96 for print and $16.06 for digital; Chuck's blog subscription: free

8.  Subscription: Buy your writer a subscription to a professional organization such as Publishers Marketplace so they can have online access to critical information. Publishers Marketplace web page says, "Welcome to biggest and best dedicated marketplace for publishing professionals to find critical information and unique databases, find each other, and to do business better electronically. A service of Publishers Lunch, the most widely read daily dossier in publishing and known as "publishing's essential daily read," Publishers Marketplace really works in part because it is driven by the attention of over 40,000 publishing professionals who read Lunch every day."
Cost: $20.00 per month.  Publisher's Lunch is a newsletter you can sign up for and receive for free; what you won't be able to do is search the data base unless you pay the $20.00 per month membership fee.

9. Gift Card: Nothing gets the creative juices flowing like sitting in an Indie bookstore, sipping fresh brewed tea (or a latte) and being surrounded by thousands of wonderful books. Give your writer a gift card to their favorite (or your favorite) independent bookstore, and if the writer has children then also give them the gift of time to use the card; offer a few hours of babysitting. Colorado Recommendations: Tattered Cover Book Store and Boulder Book Store
Cost: $20.00 - your limit plus time

10. Massage: Sitting hunched over a computer for hours while banging out the next great novel takes its toll on the back. Buy the author a massage, and if you really want to help with their creativity, add on a bonus scalp massage. Don't forget to include extra funds for the gratuity.
Cost: $60.00-$200.00

Bonus: If you are feeling extra generous, buy your writer the opportunity to have their manuscript professionally critiqued with a book doctor such as Emma Dryden or Harold Underdown. Costs vary so visit their links.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Books to Buy for Boys...Especially the Reluctant Reader




Black Friday shopping in the bookstore? Ahhhh, my kind of person! But maybe you're not a bookstore troll; you just need help with gift shopping. Perhaps you need a way to ignite a non-reader with a spark of reading interest. If your reluctant reader happens to be an 8-14 year old boy, I have a couple of solid suggestions. THE BIG SPLASH and THE FOURTH STALL are sure winners. Both books feature boy protagonist in mafia-esque humorous situations. The authors pack the pages with great writing, authentic voices, outrageous comedy and page-turning intrigue.

It's no wonder these books are award winners. THE BIG SPLASH was nominated for the Edgar Award in 2009 and THE FOURTH STALL won the Sid Fleischman award for comedy in 2012.

Jacket Flap:

THE BIG SPLASH
The treacherous, hormone-soaked hallways of Franklin Middle School are the setting for this sharp, funny noir novel about tough guys and even tougher girls. The Frankis in the clutches of a crime syndicate run by seventh-grader Vinny Mr. Biggs Biggio, who deals in forged hall passes and blackmarket candy. Double-cross him and your number is punched by one of his deadly water gun-toting assassins. One hit in the pants and you are in the Outs forever. Matt Stevens is a proud loner with his own code of justice. He's avoided being pulled into Vinny's organization until now: Mr. Biggs has offered him a job he can't resist, even if it means bringing down one of his oldest friends. Nominated for an Edgar Award in 2009, The Big Splash revitalizes the noir novel while delivering a terrific, addictive mystery that crackles with wit and excitement.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810970670
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 622,609
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 640L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

THE FOURTH STALL
Do you need something? Mac can get it for you. It's what he does—he and his best friend and business manager, Vince. Their methods might sometimes run afoul of the law, or at least the school code of conduct, but if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can pay him, Mac is on your side. His office is located in the East Wing boys' bathroom, fourth stall from the high window. And business is booming.
Or at least it was, until one particular Monday. It starts with a third grader in need of protection. And before this ordeal is over, it's going to involve a legendary high school crime boss named Staples, an intramural gambling ring, a graffiti ninja, the nine most dangerous bullies in school, and the first Chicago Cubs World Series game in almost seventy years. And that's just the beginning. Mac and Vince soon realize that the trouble with solving everyone else's problems is that there's no one left to solve yours.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061994975
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/3/2012
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 50,786
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Monday, November 4, 2013

National Book Award Young People's Literature Nominees


from the 2013 National Book Award announcement site

UPDATE:  wINNER:        tHE tHING ABOUT LUCK by cynthia Kadohata

FINALISTS:

Kathi AppeltThe True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)
 Meet Bingo and J’miah, raccoon brothers on a mission to save Sugar Man Swamp in this National Book Award finalist from Newbery Honoree Kathi Appelt.
Cynthia KadohataThe Thing About Luck (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)
 There is bad luck, good luck, and making your own luck—which is exactly what Summer must do to save her family

Tom McNealFar Far Away (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House)
 Amazon's page has it listed as a "dark, traditional fairytale in the tradition of Neil Gaiman.
Meg RosoffPicture Me Gone (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Group USA)
 Amazon, "Unforgettable page turner about the relationship between parents and children, love and loss."

Gene Luen YangBoxers & Saints (First Second/Macmillan) 
Graphic Novel:  China,1898. Bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants.

LONGLIST:

- Kate DiCamilloFlora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures (Candlewick Press)
- Lisa Graff, A Tangle of Knots (Philomel, A division of Penguin Group USA)
- Alaya Dawn JohnsonThe Summer Prince (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic)
- David LevithanTwo Boys Kissing (Knopf Books for Young Readers/Random House)
- Anne UrsuThe Real Boy (Walden Pond Press/an Imprint HarperCollinsPublishers)

JUDGES:


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

High School Students help College Student in Haiti


High School Students Help College Girl across the Globe

September 2013 it will all begin again, but to understand the “it” allow me to take you through a story that began last June.

Christla Pierre is an aspiring
nursing student at the
University of Notre Dame d'Haiti
June 2012. Imagine the heat and humidity in Port au Prince Haiti. Christla, a promising young college student, hopes a breeze will come through the open window as she studies in the 12x12 bedroom she shares with four girls. The only furniture in the room is a single mattress, so Christla leans against a wall and focuses on completing her assignments. Her stomach growls from missing yet another meal, but she forces herself to ignore the pangs and continues to review her lessons. Christla is determined to become a nurse.
Julia Noelle Tomsic
is a founding member of TFOHI
and has served the charity
for four years
Meanwhile in America, three high school students in Boulder team together and create a fundraiser for The Friends ofHaiti Inc. (TFOHI). The Colorado teens (Julia Noelle Tomsic, Amanda Becker, and Allison Sawyer) hold a street-wide yard sale, and neighbors down the block chip in to raise money.
Fast forward to September 2012. Christla grows worried. Her finances have run out and the anxiety is real and urgent, because she has to either pay for her education or lose her spot at school. Christla’s parents are rice farmers in faraway Pignon. They earn approximately $30.00 per week. When they can, they send food to thank the family with whom Christla lives, but her parents cannot pay the tuition bills at The University de NotreDame d’Haiti. The new semester starts in one month, and the clock is ticking for Christla to find a solution. Christla doesn’t know about TFOHI and TFOHI doesn’t yet know about Christla’s needs.
Christla petitions the University; she reminds them of her hard work and excellent grades. Then she waits for a reply.
Amanda, Allison and Noelle
 Back in Colorado, the three high school students organize another fundraiser—Yoga for Haiti. Little do the teens know that while they’re making phone calls, planning venues, hanging flyers and executing the yoga events in Boulder, Christla is growing more and more worried about being ejected from school.
The University advises Christla to reach out to a charity called The Friends of Haiti Inc. (TFOHI). It’s her Hail Mary opportunity to stay in school. She writes an urgent letter to TFOHI making her desperate plea for assistance. The executive director of the charity, Joseph Provost reviews her letter, authenticates her application, and speaks with the dean of the school of nursing. Everything checks out, yet there’s still a looming problem. All funds in the charity have been committed to other students.
But as all good stories worth telling have a silver lining, this one does, too. When Yoga for Haiti concludes, the high school teens celebrate because people in Colorado were very generous. The surplus from the extra fund raising effort by the teens in Colorado rolls in, and it equals just enough to take care of Christla’s tuition, stipend and supplies for an entire year.
Thanks to the teens, people in Colorado, and generous corporate sponsors (Ben Oliver of Four Star Realty, Rock CreekSpine and Rehabilitation Clinic, Boulder Shares, Kammer and Westover DDS, and Twirl) Christla’s bills were paid covering the 2012-2013 school year. Christla worked hard, earned excellent grades, and now she is another year closer to her nursing degree. In addition to the obvious good news, you should also know that Joseph and Rev. Susan Provost visited Christla in February. They delivered new mattresses, clothes and food to her and her roommates.  
            It’s exciting to reflect back and consider how three high school girls in Colorado helped a college student across the globe. Like the three teens, Christla is simply a girl who wants to pursue her dream. The trickle down goodwill of this story will continue, because when Christla achieves her goal, Haitian citizens will be helped. Christla will stay in Haiti to work in the grossly understaffed hospitals.
We hope to repeat last year’s success with another Yoga for Haiti fundraiser in September. Yoga for Haiti will take place in Colorado during the month of September 2013, and we hope to once again raise enough money to cover Christla’s education expenses.  Please join us at:

Lifetime Fitness in Westminster on Saturday September 21, 2013 at 10:45am
Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place on Sunday September 22, 2013 at 10:45am

Yoga Workshop (time and date TBD)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Gripping, Entertaining and Relevant--Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass is a Must Read


Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina is a riveting story that doesn't let you walk away until the last page is turned. New girl Piddy is the unfortunate target in the cross hairs of high school bully Yaqui. Survival stakes are on the table, so readers can expect raw tension, high school drama, and relatable, real-life ups and downs. You’ll laugh, cry, cringe, mourn and celebrate with each plot turn. Medina writes authentic, believable characters and handles this story of bullying in an absorbing way. She takes us places and forces us to look at things that make some people squirm. But beyond compelling entertainment, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass is also an important piece of modern literature. It could be shelved next to Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak and would also be enjoyed by the same readers of Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King.

We all know bullying is a hot button right now. The subject gets center stage on the talk show circuit, in the news and in schools across America. I applaud leaders for no longer brushing bullying aside as a rite of teenage passage. And I applaud Medina for not handling the topic in a preachy way, but instead as an experience from the point of view of the mark. It’s a book that will make readers think long after the story is over.

Every student in every grade at my daughter’s school had to read Dear Bully as one of their summer reading assignments. Ninth graders at my son’s school read Speak. It won’t be long until teachers and librarians start recommending Medina’s work. In the meantime with such an inviting title, teens will gladly pick up a copy of Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass without ever being told to do so.

Jacket flap

"One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she’s done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn’t Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn’t kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she’s never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy’s life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away? In an all-too-realistic novel, Meg Medina portrays a sympathetic heroine who is forced to decide who she really is."

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (March 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763658596
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763658595

If you'd like to read more books featuring diversity in YA, please visit the Diversity in YA blog. 



Friday, July 19, 2013

Children's Book Festival




The first annual BOULDER CHILDREN’S BOOK FESTIVAL benefitting the “I Have A Dream Foundation” will be held at Barnes & Noble, 2999 Pearl Street, in Boulder on Saturday, August
17, from 1- 4 p.m.  Colorado authors and illustrators will read from just released and recent titles, sign books, and teach fun book-related crafts, writing exercises and provide curriculum-based information for teachers and librarians. Exciting give-aways and drawings throughout the afternoon. Children from toddlers to teens, parents, teachers and librarians are invited to meet and interact with some of the most talented authors and illustrators in Colorado.

The following authors and illustrators will share their picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction:
Leslie Ann Clark
Kerry Lee MacLean
Claudia Mills
Cathy Morrison
Nancy Oswald
Kathleen Pelley
Phyllis Perry 
Pat Postek
Natasha Wing

*Leslie Ann Clark, Ingrid Law, Kerry Lee MacLean, Elaine Pease and Phyllis Perry are all from Boulder County.

This event is free.
For more information contact Jeff Oliver at Barnes & Noble, 303-444-0845.

1 – 2:30
Phyllis Perry - Colorado History using: A Kid’s Look at Colorado, Bold Women in Colorado History, Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Colorado History

Lindsay Eland – Reading and signing A Summer of Sundays.

Elaine Pease – Art project – Creating a sea urchin from Even Sharks Need Friends

Ingrid Law - a short reading, with Q&A, as well as a door prize and a drawing for teachers, offering a free 30-60 minute session in their classroom.

Leslie Clark – Art activity

Natasha Wing – Art Activities

Pat Postek – Signing and Reading



2:30 – 4

Kathleen Pelly – Reading

Phyllis Perry - Panda's Earthquake Escape - Teach a few
Chinese words

Lindsay Eland – Reading and signing A Summer of Sundays.

Elaine Pease – Reading from Ghost Over Boulder Creek

Claudia Mills – Reading with a signing to follow.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Letters and Lines Coming this Fall

This beautiful illustration is by SCBWI member Brooke Boynton Hughes


Attention Plucky Few:  Letters and Lines Conference Coming this Fall
September 28th and 29th The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is excited to announce the annual Letters and Lines Conference will take place at a new location, the Denver Marriott West in Golden, Colorado. Letters and Lines will be an intimate conference where participants can mingle with a panel of publishing super stars. The faculty includes three editors, two agents, a Newbery winning author, a distinguished and award winning author/illustrator, several local celebrity illustrators and authors, and a queen (okay, maybe not an official queen, but a PR Maven) .
Many dream of writing or illustrating a children’s book, but few have the courage to pursue the goal. If your interest is piqued, then count yourself as one of the plucky few. Maybe you’ve written several manuscripts, or maybe you have ideas bursting in your head, ready to be committed to paper. Since you’re spirited enough to be on this path, why not help your dream come to fruition? Attending a conference is the quickest way to fast track your goals. Conferences are an opportunity to make connections, get useful feedback, and learn the ins and outs of the publishing industry. 
If you’re still reading this post, then maybe you’re at the point when you’re wondering what the heck happens at a conference. Letters and Lines will be packed with various sessions—some structured as lectures; others structured in an interactive format with instant advice.
 or take a brief glimpse of what’s on the menu:
Execute your fantasy novel
Examine the nature of a character driven Picture Book
Hear agents and editors read and give feedback to participants’ first pages
The secret to picture book writing
How to create a storybook App (w/app genius Julie Hedlund)
The eBook
Spotlight on an illustrators career
Taking your novel from concept to completion
First impressions: illustrator participants get immediate feedback
How to weave character with plot and setting
The nitty gritty of framing a story
And much much more! In addition to the great classroom and interactive session, participants can also preregister for a one-on-one personal consultation with a publishing professional. This experience alone makes the entire conference worth the effort. Writers get the first ten pages of their manuscript read and critiqued by either an agent, editor, or published author. Illustrators can also sign up to receive a professional one-on-one critique.
Still want to know more…like who will be there?
·                      Newbery Award winner Linda Sue Park
·                     Arianne Lewin, executive editor, G. P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Young Readers Group)
·                     Kelly Barrales-Saylor, editorial director, Albert Whitman & Company
·                     Wendy Loggia, executive editor, Delacorte/Random House
·                     Brianne Johnson, agent, Writers House
·                     Sara Megibow, agent, Nelson Literary Agency
·                     Bitsy Kemper, author and PR Queen!
·                     Award winning Illustrator/Author Michael Garland
·                     A full list of local authors and illustrators (see brochure for details)