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|Early picture book script, 1996|
|Childhood photo of me working on a travel journal.|
|Me as a student, 2003 or so|
Wait there is ONE MORE CON for New Yorkers! It’s called WinterCon and it will be held December 6th in Queens at the Resorts World Casino NY, which I’m told has a huge exhibition space. The event is put on by the folks behind EternalCon. It looks to be a pretty simple comics, cosplay and SF show, with comics guests Neal Adams, Herb Trimpe, Billy Tucci and so on, and as well as Yaya Han.
Given the shopping focus for December, I’ve often thought this could be a successful time slot for a simple show, especially for those who subscribe to the “one for you, one for me,” gift buying strategy. The casino runs free shuttles to the venue from various boroughs and there is free parking, as the flyer says, so getting there shouldn’t be too hard.
I’ll be curious to see how this show does.Add a Comment
Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Melissa Edwards of The Aaron M. Priest Literary Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.
About Melissa: Melissa is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and Vanderbilt Law School. She is a member in good standing of the New York State bar. While Melissa began her career as a commercial litigation attorney, she always maintained aspirations to work in publishing. At present, Melissa handles foreign rights for Aaron Priest and is actively reading to develop her own list.
Melissa is seeking: Melissa’s taste ranges in genre from classic Victorian literature to hard-boiled crime dramas. She is interested in reading international thrillers with likeable and arresting protagonists, lighthearted women’s fiction and YA, female-driven (possibly small-town) suspense, and completely immersive fantasy. Ultimately, Melissa is looking for a book that will keep her glued to the couch all day and night, and continue to occupy her thoughts for weeks later.
How to submit: Submit a one-page query letter via e-mail that describes your work and your background to queryedwards [at] aaronpriest.com. Do not send an attachment, but if interested, you can paste into the body of the email the first chapter of your manuscript.
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It’s been a long, long year of cons, with new ones springing up every where. The CAF season is winding up with Comic Arts LA on December 6th. A nice posted by Sophia Foster-Dimino has just been unveiled, and the exhibitor list is here. LA hasn’t been entirely successful for indie comics centered events, but with the very vibrant animation scene going on and so many cartoonists moving there to work in animation, I’m guessing the time is now for this.
Of course, con season isn’t REALLY over as you can see from this list. And there’s the Mumbai Film and Comics Convention December 19th, and the winter Comicket kicking off December 28th, and even more events listed here. AND see the next item.Display Comments Add a Comment
It never hurts to ask nicely if you want someone to review your book.
Follow the links to highlightsfoundation.org
It's a l--o--n--g story!
Deedy (Dorothea Jensen) actually wrote down the story in 1991 of how I was packed by accident inside a bookcase and delivered to children by Santa and then they had to figure out how to use their imaginations to get me back home. She called my story The Elf on the Shelf. Yes, in 1991. She even formally copyrighted it in 1999. (Of course, it was actually under copyright in 1991. That's twenty three years ago!)
Then much, much later she realized that those kids in my story were actually her grandboys, Alex and Owen. By the time my tale was ready to be published, she found out that someone else had used that title!
So Deedy had to make up a new title for my story, Tizzy, the Christmas Shelf Elf.
I really don't like it that much, as it is a little tricky to say. (Try saying it 10 times really fast and you'll see what I mean.)
So what do we Izzies think of this other interloper so-called Elf on the Shelf?
We have our Opinion but don't like to talk about it.
(Those of you who have read Blizzy, the Worrywart Elf might remember that Bizzy let slip his opinion on this subject in that story.)
Bizzy is sometimes a Bit Indiscreet. But we love him anyway.
Anyway, I just wanted you to know how my book got its name.
And now you do.
Tizzy (The Actual Original Genuine Elf on the Shelf)
If you’re writing a novel, you have something you want–or maybe need–to say. Something that’s important to you. Keep going! Keep writing, listening to your heart and letting the words flow from your heart to your fingertips, and out into your pen or your keyboard.
When you’re writing a first draft (or editing a second or fifth or tenth draft), there’s often a point about mid-way or three-quarters of the way through when you start to feel exhaustion from working so hard, or you may even start doubting your work. But don’t listen to that. You have something you need to say. Something that will matter to other people. So keep writing. Keep letting the words spill out onto the page. Someday, that novel may reach other people and change their lives for the better. Someday, your words may help others know that they’re not alone, or things can get better, or they may just help someone else escape from something painful in their life for a while and gain a little good feeling.
So keep going. Don’t stop now. You can do it!
Love from a fellow book lover and writer.
This was my first year taking part in #NaNoWriMo (though I’ve written and published 6 books), and I LOVED it.
I love writing quickly. I always write first drafts of my books quickly; I think it keeps me firmly in my writing mode, where I’m deeply connected to my creativity, inner voice, and what I need to say, rather than my editor mode, where I’m looking at the language and content and picking it apart to make it stronger and better. I think first drafts are meant to be written quickly, so we stay in the hearts and minds of our characters and the writing. At least, that’s what works best for me.
So whether you normally write quickly or not, #NaNoWriMo may be the perfect time to jump into writing flat-out fast, getting all the words out on the page before the editor in your head chimes in. The perfect time to keep the words flowing forward.
Write what you want, what you need. Enjoy it! And if you reach your 50,000-word goal for #NaNoWriMo this year, take heart in seeing “winner” pop up after you validate your manuscript, or watching the video of other writers cheering and clapping you on. Writing can be such a solitary endeavor; I wish we always had “winner” pop up and a cheering crowd for every new book and every new draft we completed. But we can imagine our own cheerleaders, or let our friends know and celebrate with them.
Keep writing. Enjoy the process. You can do this!
And then take a well-deserved break. I know I am. (smiling)Add a Comment
This week, I’m especially thankful – thankful I have a solid roof over my head and a home with windows and doors, and readily available food hand-picked from a market, proper medicine and supplies, running water and yes, definitely yes, flushing toilet facilities and a roll of paper always at an arm’s reach to me.
I’m equally thankful I’ve seen with my own eyes, through experiential and cultural travel, a part of the world along the Caribbean Coast, in developing Nicaragua – so now I know what it means to call myself truly fortunate.
I’m thankful for the opportunities, present and past, I’ve had bestowed upon me simply because I’m a red, white and blue, flag-waving American, and thankful to know I could, if I had to, live without surplus and modern conveniences, electricity and things that don’t really matter if it came down to instinctual survival. I am heartened and enlightened to know there are nations of people everywhere, especially in developing countries, that know far more about survival than many of us ever could. And, it is they that have much to show us on what that really means, and globally, we can each benefit from showcasing our cultural differences in a non-exploitative, educational way.
I’m thankful to know I can survive under dire circumstances because I’ve seen people, with my own eyes, who have literally nothing and yet maybe, in some ways, they have everything they could ever want and need, because they know how to live and thrive in some of the poorest conditions on the planet and still know what it means to be a part of a community and to love and support their families.
I’m thankful that I can now put my personal judgements and biases aside, because I’ve seen impoverished children, far more impoverished than I ever was growing up – living below the poverty line in Midwestern America. While many of the people I met may be lacking in opportunity, Nicaraguan children still smile and are happy, because they are each cared for by an entire village of people, and causes, who invest their hearts and souls into their wellbeing and care, despite economic conditions.
Mostly, I am thankful that I have stumbled upon the Finding Corte Magore project which has put me on a personal path to growth and the opportunity to work and mindshare with some of the smartest and caring people I can ever hope to know. I am thankful that we have “found” Corte Magore and that I have had the great pleasure of coming to know the Campbell family, and their beautiful, private island of Hog Cay, Nicaragua, and that I have personally earned their family’s trust and support in the Finding Corte Magore project. It’s a huge undertaking and I’m comforted to know, it will take our own village of incredible people, to raise this project to be everything it promises to be.
See you on Corte Magore!
The Finding Corte Magore Project
Coming Soon on Hog Cay, Nicaragua
Tonia Allen Gould
And here’s the official word on that new comic arts festival that people were alluding to at ICAF: Cartoon Crossroads Columbus or CXC, which will be a lot more than a CAF, really. The event will debut in 2015 as a two-day event (held October 2-3) and then grow into a four day festival in 2016. The show has a four person executive committee consisting of Cartoon Books’ Jeff Smith and Vijaya Iyer, Comics Reporter’s Tom Spurgeon and Billy Ireland Library founder Lucy Caswell. Smith is the Artistic Director, while Spurgeon will be the Festival Director. Can you say heavy hitters?
You can read more about the event in the PR below. Obviously using the Billy Ireland library for a CAF-type event is a no brainer and given the muscle behind the show, it sounds like it will quickly move into a pre-eminent spot on the calendar. But, there is still the crowded calendar to contend with. There’s an existing show in Columbus, SPACE, which, while small, has roots that go back to the birth of the CAF with the Spirits of Independence tour. SPACE has staked out the spring slot, leaving October for CXC. While that’s a very crowded time slot, CXC is well placed to take advantage of cartoonists who may want to continue their tour after SPX, and perhaps on to the revamped APE.
At any rate, given the massive comics related resources located in Columbus, this is an exciting development, and another step on the growing importance of the CAF circuit for comics.
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The Columbus, Ohio based Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) has announced its formation and intention to stage a four-day, yearly comics festival beginning in Fall 2016. The group also announced the CXC Launch Event for October 2-3, 2015. The CXC Launch Event will be a two-day show split between the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (October 2) and the Columbus Cultural Arts Center (October 3). The October 3 portion of the event will be a one-day comics expo featuring up to 35 exhibitors. The four-person Executive Committee for Cartoon Crossroads Columbus is: * Lucy Caswell, Founder, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum * Vijaya Iyer, President and Co-Publisher, Cartoon Books * Jeff Smith, Award-Winning Cartoonist and Co-Publisher, Cartoon Books * Tom Spurgeon, Editor and Co-Publisher, The Comics Reporter Smith will further assume the title of President and Artistic Director. Spurgeon will serve as Festival Director, and will relocate to Columbus in early 2015. ”We’re extremely excited to try and bring a first-class comics festival to Columbus, Ohio,” said Jeff Smith. “I’ve attended and enjoyed so many great shows over the years, and hope that CXC can take its place alongside them.” ”I share with the council members a belief in the comics art form and a love for the American Midwest as a great place for comics,” said Tom Spurgeon. “We also share a passion for the professional development and infrastructure issues facing so many cartoonists. We hope that CXC can become a positive force for a better community and more effective industry.” The group’s organizational status, its advisory council members, its initial sponsorships, details on the 2015 Launch Event including exhibitor application information and initial plans for the 2016 Festival and beyond will be announced in early 2015. A placeholder site can be found at cxcfestival.tumblr.com A twitter account can be followed @cxcfestival.
Today’s guest blogger is Robyn Douglas from Down East Dog Scouts Troop 159 in Hancock County, ME.
I want to tell you about Cirra. In her six years as a reading buddy, Cirra has given hundreds of books to kids. She’s helped dozens of children improve their reading and comprehension. She loves to sit quietly and listen. She is everyone’s best friend.
Cirra is a therapy dog and a member of Downeast Dog Scouts Troop 159. I’m her handler. Being part of the Children Reading to Dogs program is one of the most rewarding things Cirra and I have ever done.
Many of the kids that participate in our program are struggling readers and are too embarrassed to read aloud, but not with Cirra. When she walks into a school or library, the kids can’t wait to pet her and read with her.
If they stumble over a word or two, Cirra doesn’t mind. I tell them that she would love to learn the troublesome word, and the kids have fun teaching it to her.
By reading with her, Cirra’s buddies become stronger readers. They build self-confidence, empathy and a love of learning. It’s so wonderful to see them take that leap.
At the end of five reading sessions, kids receive a book of their own from Cirra. One boy was so grateful, he promised to treasure it forever and read it to his own grandchildren some day.
Some kids just need a little something extra to get them reading, and having books is the first step. Your support of First Book makes moments like these possible. Please consider making a gift today.Add a Comment
Cynthia Leitich Smith
|Vermont College of Fine Arts|
|With fellow YA author Amy Rose Capetta|
Bedbug and Mouse are excited to announce that Facebook users can now find Bedbug Books via a new store at Facebook. Jumping Bedbugs, how convenient is that? The store is new, so more books will be added over time but already, Bedbug and Mouse books are there! If you are at Facebook, visit Studio Seven Store. hit the Shop tab to see all the book listings. check out the Christmas deals!Add a Comment
Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. One of my favorite Thanksgiving stories to share is Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes. This simple story is told in rhyme and features a boy and a girl sharing the things that they are grateful for. It is a great book to read before talking to little ones about the things they are thankful for in their lives. Preschoolers will enjoy looking at the beautiful, detailed illustrations and can relate to the children in the story.
Posted by: Liz
Hmm, not sure if this is a pardon my dust situation or what, but yeah, pardon the lack of articles from me recently, but work has been work, and I’ve done a terribad job of managing my time. That, and been reading Game of Thrones. Hopefully that time has past though, and I can manage my ... Read moreDisplay Comments Add a Comment
Here’s a letter that did not have to travel very far. However, it’s a little tough to read, but I’m sharing it anyway. So there:
Wow, thanks for the letter and thanks, too, for reading so many of my books. You inspire me to write more. Here are three titles that are coming out in the near and distant future: Scary Tales: Swamp Monster (Spring, 2015), The Fall (Fall, 2015), and Dead, But Cautiously Optimistic (Spring, 2016).
I hope that by now you’ve been able to track down a copy of Bystander. Usually I describe that book as best for grades 5-up, but I’d never stand in the way of a motivated reader. I have a deep affection for Six Innings, and I’m proud that it was named an ALA Notable Book. I poured a lifetime of baseball obsession into that single book, while also writing about my own son’s struggle with a serious illness.
I have to confess that I always feel a shiver of uneasiness when asked about writing advice. I know many authors who give it confidently and freely. In my case, despite all these books, I still feel like I’m someone who should be taking advice rather than giving it.
But, okay, fair enough: I must know something. Right? So read, read often and read widely. Read for pleasure, yes, but also read like a writer. By that I mean, pay attention to what’s happening on the page. Be aware that there’s a real person, an author, behind those scenes on the page, making choices with every word, every sentence. If you are excited, or scared, and laughing out loud — if you feel anything at all while you read — go back and try to figure out what the writer did to cause you to feel that way. We learn best by reading other writers.
Also, of course, you’ve got to write. And by that I mean, write anything at all — notes, poems, song lyrics, snippets of dialogue, true stories, anything at all. Purchasing your own blank journal. I love those ordinary composition notebooks you can find at CVS. It’s so important to have a place you can go with your thoughts. Remember that it’s impossible to write without deep thought. Writing is an act of concentration and focus. You’ll need to give yourself the greatest gift of all: time to think. Space to feel. It requires that you turn off the television, shut down the computer, put away the phone and games. Hey, I love all that stuff, but in order to write, you must go inside your own skull for entertainment.
At your age, I think it’s best to concentrate on short pieces. Little stories. Scenes. It’s very common for young writers to imagine a great, long, complicated story that would require a 100,00 words to tell properly. Problem is, 99% of the time those ambitious stories are never completed.
I believe there’s value in finished work, and sometimes that’s a matter of adjusting your goals. Imagine that you were beginning to learn carpentry. You’d need to familiarize yourself with the tools of the trade. A hammer, some nails, a screwdriver, scraps of wood, a monkey wrench, etc. You’d begin, I’d hope, by attempting to build something relatively simple: a birdhouse, perhaps. You wouldn’t attempt a structure that was, say, a 2,000 square-foot log cabin for a family of five. Same thing with writing. Explore the tools. Play around with them. Write a scene with a heavy use of dialogue. Put together characters on a park bench, get them talking about something, anyway.
Also: slow down. That’s one I have to keep learning in my own writing, over and over again. Don’t be in a hurry to get to the next scene, and the next, and the next. Instead, take your time with the scene you are writing. Go deeper, think harder. Find the details that are worth sharing. Decelerate.
Anyway, Tyler. Do you see what I mean? It’s so hard for me to say anything that’s truly helpful. I wish I could give you the magic key, but I can’t. In the end, writing is all about you and the blank page. No one can really help all that much. I wish you the best of luck in your writing life. If somebody like me can do it, I’m sure that you can, too.
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In traditional print books there are usually pages of “front matter.” For Indie authors, here’s a useful article from PW Select, a publisher’s digital magazine, on what front matter consists of and where it goes.
On the other hand, I’ve heard some say that with ebooks they’re putting the front matter at the rear of the ebook in order to give their book the best chance of capturing a reader’s interest with the story, not book information. That makes sense to me—with a print book it’s easy to quickly flip to the first page of chapter one, but with ebooks that takes laborious scrolling.
For what it’s worth.
© 2014 Ray RhameyAdd a Comment
Constantine’s production has been halted at 13 episodes, Deadline reports, but it may not be gone for good.
While NBC recently made a similar decision on freshmen comedy series Bad Judge and A to Z, I hear the circumstances are different. While Bad Judge and A to Z had been de facto cancelled, Constantine remains in contention for a second-season renewal.
NBC had to make a decision whether to keep Constantine in continuous production with little ratings information. While the series began production on a standard fall premiere production schedule, its launch was delayed until late October when NBC’s Friday genre block usually debuts, so the network had to make a call whether to order additional episodes after only four episodes had aired vs. at least seven, which is the norm for freshman series.
You've one final week to complete NaNoWriMo, though of course you can keep writing into December and all the way into 2015. Whatever you've written this month has moved you nearer to your goal of writing a story with a plot from beginning to end. Remember to celebrate all you have accomplished rather than moan over what you haven't. Even if you don't get to the 50,000 words, everyone who takes part is a winner.