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1. Editors' Panel: Three Books I Loved Publishing and Why - Sara Sargent & Reka Simonsen



Reka Simonsen, executive editor
at Atheneum Books for Young Readers




ENCHANTED AIR by Margarita Engle - This book shows how Engle became a writer and how she reconciled both sides of her cultural background to feel whole. "The writing is just gorgeous. It's moving. It makes me feel something. But it's very accessible and it's honest." Rena found Margarita in the slush pile years ago, and loved seeing how her writing developed.


THE WICKED AND THE JUST by J.A. Coats
"The best historical fiction feels relevant now." I think Jillian is really one of the best. She tells from both sides a story about colonialism and indigenous culture, and blends light and dark. The lightness in the book gives a way out of the darkness and she creates strong, well-drawn characters who are believable and understandable, even if you don't always like them. "Her writing just blows me away. She's another one of those people who's so smart you almost can't have a conversation with her without feeling a little overwhelmed."

GLASS SLIPPER GOLD SANDAL by Paul Fleischmann and Julie Paschkis
This has two things I love in one book: It's a multicultural approach to something familiar, and takes an incredible job with a story everyone knows, but also personalizes it for each culture. It shows readers there is more than one side of each story, and more than one way to tell a story. You can look at the world in many different ways. It also created amazing illustration opportunities.





Sara Sargent, executive editor at HarperCollins Children's Books

Sara chose three books to highlight. 

CRUEL BEAUTY by Rosamund Hodge - a mashup of Beauty and the Beast with classical mythology. The world is complex and Sara and Rosamund had different ideas about resolving these things. "Where we ended up was such the perfect marriage of my editorial guidance ... and staying true to what she really wanted to do with the book." 

She felt like it added something new to the canon of Beauty & the Beast retellings. 




THE MUSEUM OF HEARTBREAK by Meg Leder
"There are a lot of reasons people become YA editors... I really love romance." This book made Sara feel understood like no other book had. That's a key reason people read YA. "There was something about this book that I absolutely couldn't pass up." 

LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE by Gina Ciocca
She had to pass on the book. She was a new editor in her first job, and she couldn't get the rest of the team behind it. Two years later, she was at a new job and asked the agent, John Cusack, to send the manuscript again. They loved it, and the book became a huge lead title on the Simon Pulse list. (The process was agony for the author.) 

"If you touch us in some way or inspire us, we don't forget about it, and we are the most die-hard champions of the things you write." 













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2. Editor’s Panel: Three Books I Loved Publishing and Why: Kat Brzozowski

Two titles that Kat loved publishing:



Fear Street series
R.L. Stein




When the Moon was Ours
Anna Marie McLemore


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3. Editor Panel – Neal Porter and Matt Ringler


Neal with Jessixa Bagley at her book launch
(photo stolen from Jessixa's Facebook)
Neal Porter of Neal Porter Books (an imprint of Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan) shares his three favorites:

GIANT SQUID by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann (out September 2016)






__________________________________________
__________________________________________
__________________________________________

Matt with a band, not his boy band. Photo stolen from Matt's Twitter feed.

Matt Ringler of Scholastic has these three favorite books:









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4. The Editors Panel: Alvina Ling & Melissa Manlove's Books They Loved Publishing


A dive into what the editors really love (and acquired!)

Alvina Ling is VP and Editor-in-Chief at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers where she’s worked since 1999. She oversees Little, Brown’s core publishing program (including picture book, middle grade, and young adult), and edits children's books for all ages. She has worked with such authors and illustrators as Peter Brown, Bryan Collier, Ed Young, Grace Lin, Wendy Mass, Justina Chen, Chris Colfer, Laini Taylor, Libba Bray, Barry Lyga, Holly Black, and Matthew Quick. She is the co-founder and former chair of the CBC Diversity Committee. She is on Twitter as @planetalvina.

The books Alvina shares about are:

For Picture Books, "Thunder Boy, Jr." by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Yuyi Morales



for middle grade, "The Year of the Dog" by Grace Lin



And for YA, "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" by Laini Taylor





Melissa Manlove is an Editor at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. She has been with Chronicle for 12 years. Her acquisitions tend to be all ages in nonfiction; ages 0-8 for fiction. When acquiring, she looks for fresh takes on familiar topics as well as the new and unusual. An effective approach and strong, graceful writing are important to her. She has 17 years of children’s bookselling experience.

Melissa's books she shares with us - and the stories behind them - are:

"Picture This" by Molly Bang



"President Squid" by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Sara Varon




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5. Editor's Panel: Three Books I Loved Publishing and Why: Kate Sullivan



Kate Sullivan is Senior Editor at Delacorte Press. Kate share her picks.




ASH by Malinda Lo



ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE by Gail Carriger



 RAPTURE PRACTICE by Aaron Hartzler

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6. Editor’s Panel: Three Books I Loved Publishing and Why: Stacey Barney


Two titles that Stacey loved publishing:


Ballerina Misty Copeland Shows a Young Girl How to Dance Like the Firebird




Kristin Levine



Heather Bouwman


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7. Jack Canfield 7-minute Videos to Help Writers

http://www.bestsellerblueprint.com/how-to-write-a-book/index-cos-head.php

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8. Books For and About Diverse Kids: John Parra, Don Tate, Lisa Yee, Stacey Barney, and Pat Cummings

Right to Left: Pat Cummings, Stacey Barney, John Parra, Don Tate, and Lisa Yee

In this discussion-based breakout session, we have multiple perspectives from different parts of the children's literature community:

Pat Cummings, author/illustrator of over thirty-five books for young readers (and Board member of SCBWI, the Authors Guild, and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, among others.)

Stacey Barney, Senior Editor at Penguin/Putnam Books for Young Readers

John Parra, Golden-Kite winning illustrator.

Don Tate, author and illustrator, winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award.

Lisa Yee, author of 16 books and winner of the very first Sid Fleischman Humor Award.


Some highlights:

Stacey Barney:
"Write organic stories." Sometimes she finds that it's almost as if writers are checking off boxes for diversity with their diverse cast of characters, but "character shouldn't feel like categories."

John Parra:
"Be respectful. Show it to others who are part of those communities. Make sure authentic is how it's portrayed."

Don Tate:
"Study. Research. Vet. ...Make sure you're not exploiting the topic."

Lisa Yee:
You can write outside your experience "but you have to get it right."

The panel are telling us fascinating stories, like Lisa sharing how her Millicent Min (in 2003) was the first middle grade book with a photo of an Asian American kid on the cover.

Don shares about doing a school visit when he was asked by a 5th grade class if he only illustrates Black people, and how he asked the two African American boys in the class if they felt like they've read books that represented them - and they said no. So he turned to the rest of the class and explained that he's made it his mission, he's built his whole career, to create positive portrayals of people that look like those two boys… and the whole class clapped.

Stacey tells us about teaching (elementary and preschool and high school), and reading picture books to the kids, and how she made an effort to choose picture books that reflected their experience. "Kids are kids."

Pat speaks of her school visits, and how kids pick up books out of curiosity. She shares how she was asked once by a British author why she only does books with Black characters. Pat countered, asking the British author why they only created books with British characters…

John speaks of how he sees diverse books being published, but the awards and reviews and the best lists of the year aren't that diverse. After they've published, how do they get recognized and supported?

They cover editorial staffing (and the importance of diversity in staffing across departments, including marketing, publicity and sales), being vetted by additional experts, and much, much more.




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9. Panning for Gold!


I finally realized what doing research for writing historical fiction is like: panning for gold!

Here is the 7th part of the television interview I did with Kevin Avard on Gate City Chronicles. If you cannot see the video on your mobile device, go here to watch it.


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10. Barney Saltzberg: Writing A Simple Picture Book Isn't Simple




Barney Saltzberg is an author/illustrator and musician, including the best-selling Touch and Feel Kisses series.


"Creating a simple picture book isn't simple, it's complicated."

Barney mentions that if you don't know Peggy Rathmann, you should. She once told him it takes 3 minutes to read a picture book that takes 3 years to create.

Kids always ask, "Is this a hard job?" And Barney tells them that he used to have all his hair.

Picture books may be short but they are one of the most difficult to master. They are works of art.









Barney recommends Ann Whitford Paul's WRITING PICTURE BOOKS.




Two of Barney's former students share their journeys of the many years it has taken them to bring a picture book to life. For one, it's taken 6 years to create a 100 word picture book. Not simple, it's complicated.

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11. Waiting for the Bus

While waiting for the bus, a woman
Started to converse.
She sensed I wasn't in the mood
But then, what made it worse

Was when she mentioned that she came
From having radiation.
I couldn't just ignore her, having
That as information.

We both wore baseball caps, but then
She pulled hers off to show
Me that the little hair upon her head
Had started, now, to grow.

Our conversation on the bus
Touched down on this and that - 
The neighborhood, the weather, food;
We had a pleasant chat.

A tidbit we discovered was
Our ages were the same.
Her stop came first - we said goodbye
With no exchange of name.

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12. The 2016 SCBWI Member of the Year is...

Florida RA Linda Bernfeld!

As Lin said of Linda, "She's launched more careers... than you could count."



The standing ovation for Linda


Congratulations, Linda!


A well-deserved honor


On a personal note, I'm so delighted for Linda, who gets the crown after me…






Okay, while it doesn't come with a Tiara, winning SCBWI Member of the Year is a huge honor, and I'm so happy for you -- Congratulations!

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13. How Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj Made The Independent Short ‘Borrowed Time’ Inside Pixar

Making an independent animated short is hard. But what if you had the power of Pixar’s animation toolset and renderfarm behind you?

The post How Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj Made The Independent Short ‘Borrowed Time’ Inside Pixar appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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14. Saho Fuji – The Picture Book Process: A Complete Overview

Saho Fujii shares some details about the picture book making process for illustrators. Here are some highlights:

DEADLINES:
Wild fact: She has two books coming out this fall that have been in production for five and ten years! She says these are exceptions, most books take a year or two.

At Little Brown, there are two book seasons, and each have pretty standard deadlines for art.

Spring books: Sketches are due: 4/1 and final art is due 8/1

Spring books: Sketches are due: 10/1 and final art due 2/1 of following year...

These are standard schedule dates in the LB contract an illustrator receives!

I might have to lie down.

Changes to the schedule can be made, but an illustrator must tell their editor/art director production team as soon as possible if they need more time.

TRIM/PAPER/PAGES:
Trim size is chosen, as are paper types (dependent on book age range and category) and pagination lengths.

CONSISTENCY:
Saho is looking for character and setting consistency at the sketch stage to be sure those are consistent in the final art.

COLOR: 
Even at the sketch stage when there may be no color, Saho is aware of potential issues, for example, when working on Jerry Pinkney’s TORTOISE AND THE HARE, Jerry had mentioned he wanted the story set in the dessert. But the art team expressed concern the pages would be monochromatic, and that the main characters would blend into the background too much. So Jerry added colorful props and accessories to the tortoise and hare, as well as colorful, extra cast members to help vary the palette more.

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15. The “Fantastic Beasts” Cast Talks to Pottermore about their SDCC 2016 Experience

The main Fantastic Beasts Quartet (similar to the Trio–Harry, Ron and Hermione),  Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler, sat down with Pottermore for an exclusive interview. The group was gathered in their bus at Comic Con in San Diego, which took place this last weekend, and discussed their weekend with the PMC.

The leader of the Quartet, Newt Scamander (or Eddie Redmayne in the No-Maj world) answered first, telling Pottermore:

‘I feel like what’s extraordinary about Comic-Con is that so much energy comes into the city for four days and you feed off that,’ says Eddie. ‘So, your adrenaline is pumping and pulsating through your body and you kind of feel elated. Slightly like you’re floating on a different planet. You almost can’t take it in; it’s too much visual stimulus.

‘You see people everywhere dressed in costume – I saw a guy dressed as Newt Scamander. I was like “I love it!” And there’s this Funko toy… That’s kind of amazing, although I think I’m going to take mine home and put freckles on it.’

 

9201_Fantastic_Beasts_Newt_POP_GLAM_HiRes_1_

The Fantastic Beasts limited edition Newt Scamander POP made its debut at SDCC. It is currently available through the Barnes and Noble website (here), and should be reaching other venders soon.

Katherine Waterston, who plays Newt’s future wife, Tina, said that, for her, SDCC and conference experiences were about the fans. She told Pottermore,

‘I’ve had conversations where someone is shaking and sweating because they know I’m in Fantastic Beasts. So I keep thinking of those people I know who love it so much, when I’m looking at this sea of smiling faces.’

Dan Fogler is the only one of the Quartet with Comic Con experience, talked about his previous visit to San Diego. Apparently, it was at that uneventful (for him, he said) Comic Con that he received a phone call letting him know he was a part of Fantastic Beasts!

The casts opinions on all the secrecy surrounding the films, and more can be found here, on Pottermore.

 

 

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16. Sid Fleischman Award: Molly Burnham for TEDDY MARS

The Sid Fleischman Humor Award this year goes to the wonderful Molly Burnham, who wrote TEDDY MARS: ALMOST A WORLD RECORD BREAKER.

The award, named for the beloved writer Sid Fleischman, is given to the year's best funny book. Sid was one of the founding members of the SCBWI. Lisa Yee won the award the first time it was given, and she presented the honor to Molly, a debut novelist.

"Are you freaking out? If you're not, there's something wrong with you," Lisa said to Molly. "There are 1,000 people staring at you. THAT'S 2,000 EYEBALLS."

TEDDY MARS is about  boy obsessed with breaking world records. He'll try anything to reach his goal. "Funny, charming, and with its share of pigeon-poop jokes, this is a must-read for anyone who's ever felt out of place."

"When I found out I won this award, I immediately felt I wasn't funny any more," Molly said. (Everyone laughed immediately, proving the Molly is bonkers.)

She cried when she found out she won the Sid Fleischman award. "It's been a faraway dream that I would someday be worthy of this award. This dream ... started when I was a little kid. It means so much, and I am—to borrow a word from Road Dahl—ridonkuloulsly blissful."




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17. The Editors' Panel Begins!



Moderated by Emma Dryden (standing, far left), the panel shares three books that they acquired (and why):

Seated, from Left to Right:

Stacey Barney, Senior Editor (G.P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin)

Kat Brzozowski, Associate Editor (St. Martin's)

Alvina Ling, V.P. and Editor in Chief (Little, Brown)

Melissa Manlove, Editor (Chronicle)

Neal Porter, Publisher (Neal Porter Books)

Matt Ringler, Senior Editor (Scholastic)

Sara Sargent, Executive Edtior (Harper Collins)

Reka Simonsen, Executive Editor (Atheneum)

Kate Sullivan, Senior Editor (Delacorte)

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18. Illustrators! Share your #LA16SCBWI Conference Journal Images...

It's an open call. Are you an illustrator attending #LA16SCBWI?

If you'd like to share a photo of your conference notes/sketches, you can leave a link here in comments, or tag your image on either twitter or instagram with #LA16SCBWI.

We can't wait to see - and share - what inspires you, and how you express it!

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19. Happy Feline Friday! Why am I always the first to arrive for band practice?

Happy Feline Friday! Feline Friday is a Kitty meme I found on my buddy Sandee of, Comedy Plus'  blog and Sandee discovered on her buddy Steve of  Burnt Food Dude's,  blog, which is where the meme originated.  -Us bloggers "pay it forward." -

Why am I always the first to arrive for band practice?



Feline Friday is a fun meme that is easy to join. All you have to do is post a silly or cute picture, video, or cartoon of a kitty Cat, perhaps your own. Then, paste a copy of the link to your post to Mister Linky's link list. The code for the link is available on Comedy Plus and Burnt Food Dude. (Just click on the links above for both blogs.)

I'm not sure why, but I couldn't add the link list...:(  Although, luckily you can find it on Burnt Food Dude or Comedy Plus. This is the first time I've had a problem with it, and I'm so sorry.)


     In any event, have a happy, fun, and worry-free day!
    And thank you for stopping by A Nice Place In The Sun.







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20. Dreamworks Animation To Launch Around-The-Clock Arabic Channel in The Middle East

Around-the-clock Dreamworks Animation in Arabic is now a reality.

The post Dreamworks Animation To Launch Around-The-Clock Arabic Channel in The Middle East appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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21. Sales Figures

How much do the sales of a previous book impact your ability to get your next book published.

http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2016/06/more-on-sales-figures-on-your-permanent.html

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22. Jenni Holm: It Takes a Family

Jennifer L. Holm is a New York Times best-selling author and recipient of three Newbery Honors.

Lin introduces one of her favorite authors, who excels with both novels and graphic novels (written with her brother Mathew).

When Jenni's ballerina dreams fell apart at a very young age, she decided she wanted to be writer.

Much of her writing has been inspired by her own family.

Jenni's dad was her inspiration for OUR ONLY MAY AMELIA after finding her great aunt's diary in her grandmother's attic.


But Jenni tells us, when you write a book about your dad's family, you did it wrong. You should have written one about your mom's first.

PENNY FROM HEAVEN was inspired by her mom's family.


Jenni's next book TURTLE IN PARADISE came out of writing PENNY FROM HEAVEN and was inspired by her son.



Jenni didn't want to forget her husband in all this inspiration. In BOSTON JANE, Jane falls in love with a sailor who has a scar on his cheek. This was the time she was falling in love with her husband. 


Jenni circles back to her physician father, who always talked about science, as the inspiration for THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH. 


SUNNY SIDE UP was inspired by her gramps, who is "still alive and kicking at 101."



FULL OF BEANS, Jenni's upcoming novel comes back to Key West (where TURTLE IN PARADISE is set) and it's a book her son asked her write.



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23. THINGS THAT COME IN THE MAIL


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24. Sara Sargent: Cutting Edge Young Adult Fiction


Sara Sargent is an executive editor at HarperCollins Children's Books. She's published Deb Caletti, Jennifer Echols, Julie Cross, Aaron Karo and Martina Boone, and she acquires everything from picture books through young adult.

YA editors are wondering what's next when it comes to trends. Books that are hitting shelves today were acquired 12 to 24 months ago. It's true that you shouldn't write to trends. Today's trends will be over when your book comes out. Also, books that aren't written from the heart won't be as good.

"My list is only as good as the books you write."

Sara started at HC a year ago to develop books teens really want to read. She wanted to know what made teens tick, and what drives their purchasing habits. "What could I do to make sure the books I was publishing today reflected the teens of today?"

Publishers were publishing books for millennials and Gen Z—the one that follows millennials. Here's some marketing data:
  • First generation to be majority nonwhite
  • Average attention span is 8 seconds
  • They use on average five devices (phone, laptop, desktop, tv, table) 
  • More tolerable of gender diversity than previous generations
It's good to research teens to understand what they want. There are a number of things to research: their music, their pop culture interests, their ideas about sex and identity, what they worry about, what their school lives are like (among many other things). 

What makes her reject a manuscript?
One that feels like it's a book the authors are writing for the teens they were. You need to make it your business to know what would make a teen want to buy it. 

Immerse yourself in teen culture. Watch a lot of YouTube. See what kids are watching. Read advertising industry articles. Subscribe to the AdWeek emails—they have lots of interesting articles on the topics. Download apps. Books are competing with other media for attention, and it's important to know your competition. 

She creates separate social media accounts she uses to follow people. You can use it just for work to follow celebrities and such. See what they're talking about and how they're galvanizing their fans. 

"We need to cozy up to our audience. We need to understand and know them, and—dare I say—love them." 

What does cutting edge mean? 
Among other things: Something that pushes the envelope as a taboo, something that experiments with form, something that makes adults uncomfortable, one that turns traditional relationships upside-down, one that portrays a broader set of experiences. "Innovative and pioneering. Those are great words." 

Rethink storylines. Surprise her. "I know I'm reading something cutting edge when I can feel my brain carving a new path, rather than going on autopilot."

Something innovative builds on the pre-existing canon. "Read, read, and read some more." 

You want to find a new way to express something universal. 

Find her online at sarasargent.wordpress.com and on Twitter and Instagram as @Sara_Sargent.

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25. Neal Porter: On Picture Books

Neal Porter is the publisher of the Neal Porter Books imprint of Roaring Brook Press. He has been in the book publishing business for decades. His work has spanned both the editorial process and the marketing departments of the industry. Neal has worked with a number of Caldecott Medal–honored illustrators, including Eric Rohmann, Ted Lewin, Laura Vaccaro Seeger, and the 2011 Caldecott Medal winner, Erin Stead, in her book A Sick Day for Amos McGee. He received an Eric Carle Honor in the category of Mentor in 2015.

Neal starts off his breakout session by saying that he's actually re-named his speech, "Three Reasons I Love SCBWI"



And tells us in some depth about publishing "The Iridescence of Birds," a picture book about Henri Matisse, written by Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Hadley Hooper. (The SCBWI connection? He and Patricia we speaking about it at a SCBWI Summer Conference and when he asked her what she was working on, she said 'I just wrote a picture book no one will ever publish.) Well, Neal did!




He also describes the story behind his publishing Antoinette Portis' "Best Frints in the Whole Universe."



Antoinette is actually in the audience, and Neal calls her up to to do a short interview within the session, which is proceeded by Antoinette reading it out loud to us…  They discuss some of the editing process for the book - about the emotional exchange between the characters and some of the story beats.

Neal finishes his presentation about books he discovered at SCBWI and then published with Miranda Paul's "Water is Water" (he met Miranda at a 2012 SCBWI conference critique.)


Miranda is also in the audience, and Neal calls her up as well! They discuss the process and evolution of the rhyming nonfiction picture book. Neal shares Miranda's cover letter that she submitted with the manuscript, and he tells us his ultimate litmus test, the question he asks himself all the time:

"Do I have to publish this book?"

In all three of these cases, the answer was YES.

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