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1. Working Out the Details

erikaphoto-45Hello again! Jersey Farm Scribe here on…

PATIENCE: Working out the Details

Speaking from my own personal situation, I just did a major revision on my chapter book. It brought my story a bit more full circle, drawing some of the ending and pulling piece of it into the beginning.

Exciting stuff and I love the way it’s reading now.

But that was a pretty major revision for me, and I’m realizing that in some ways, it’s set me back a good bit. There are parts that don’t flow as well now, character reactions that don’t make sense and redundancies that are just plain annoying.

While I knew it would happen, to be honest, it’s quite frustrating.

Grumble, grumble… I JUST went over all this stuff…

There is a part of me that instinctively desires to push things back the way they were so I can make certain scenes read through properly again.

Plus, I have this crazy voice in the back of my head. It keeps thinking about the SCBWI conference I attended at the end of June, the people I talked to, the editors and agents who showed interest and who I have this amazing opportunity to submit to. And the voice says:

YOU MUST SUBMIT IT NOW!! 

Voice absolutely hates the idea of letting too much time go by. It thinks that the agents and editors will wonder… what took so darn long???

And while you may get different opinions from different people, the logical side of my brain knows that Voice is simply wrong. They knew I had revisions to do, and I’m talking an extra month or two, not years.

Agents and editors, of all people, KNOW how long revisions can take. All the ones I spoke to, not only understood, but respected writers for taking the time to do revisions correctly and present the absolute BEST manuscript possible.

Now, don’t get me wrong, deadlines are important, and being realistic is important. In this case, there is no “deadline”. But still, I don’t want the agents and editors who were open to seeing my work to wait an entire year to see it. Largely because the chances of them still remembering who I am drop pretty dramatically. And if at all possible, I definitely want that little light to go on.

But revisions often lead to more revisions, and I think it’s important to ride that train until it naturally evens out and becomes the story that it’s meant to be.

So whenever making a major revision, keep in mind that you may end up producing more necessary changes than you expect. And don’t be afraid to change things that may cause large re-writes or entire character redevelopment.

After every major revision, I remind myself that I need to take the time to do what I call domino revisions

How did my revision affect the arc and rhythm of the story? Is there too little or too much action at any particular point now? Does a chapter break or mini climax need to be altered?

How did it affect the characters? Experiences shape our interpretation of everything around us. If a character’s experience changed at in my revision, their reactions to things later on may need to change as well.

Did my revision involve the scene, timeline, family dynamics… anything where I need to check for congruence throughout the rest of the manuscript.

The list goes on.

Manuscripts develop like the people created on their pages. Growing up can take much longer than we’d like, and the stage before we become adults can be the most frustrating part.

Who hasn’t met a teenager who makes dramatic changes? It’s not easy. But whether they stick with those changes or not, they are often a big part of what shapes them as an adult.

Our manuscripts need a lot of patience, as they are becoming the living beings they are meant to be. But you know what…. they’re worth it!

Thank you Erika for another great article to help all of us improve our skills.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, article, authors and illustrators, Process, revisions, Writing Tips Tagged: Erika Wassell, Jersey Farm Scribe, Revision Tips

3 Comments on Working Out the Details, last added: 7/29/2014
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2. No Fee Short Story Contest

KendraShedenhelm_YouTheMagician_Space

Kendra Shedenhelm sent in this “out-of this world” illustration from an upcoming book she illustrated titled, “You, the Magician.” You can visit her site at http://kendrashedenhelm.com/.

Creative Writing Institute’s

International Short Story Contest Now Open

No Entry Fee

DIRECTIONS: Read all guidelines (rules) carefully.

CASH PRIZES!

First place: $200 USD or a free writing course with a personal tutor, valued at $260, + publication in our anthology and eBook.

Second place: $100 USD or a credit of $150 toward a writing course with a personal tutor, valued at $260, + publication in our anthology and eBook.

Third place: $50 USD or a credit of $100 toward a writing course with a personal tutor, valued at $260, + publication in our anthology and eBook.

Plus: seven additional Judge’s Choice stories will receive publication in our anthology & Ebook, entitledWhat Could Possibly go Wrong?

ONE submission per person

  • When you’re ready to submit, scroll to the bottom of the page at http://CreativeWritingInstitute.Submittable.com/submit and click on SUBMIT. Entries will only be accepted on that form. Fill out your name and address, and follow the prompts to a space where you can copy and paste your document into it.  Do NOT send attachments or emailed entries as these will NOT be accepted.
  • Especially note our requirements for G-rated literature. Please see #1 below for further definition.
  • By entering this contest, you are saying this story has not been previously published, you grant minor editing rights for publication, and Creative Writing Institute has first, non-exclusive, electronic rights and First North American Print Rights to publish the winners and Judge’s Choice stories in our anthology, “What Could Possibly go Wrong?” All Rights return to the author upon publication.

This is a themed contest. Your story must be original and unpublished (except on personal blogs, critique groups, or personal web pages) and must be between 1,000 and 2,000 words.

Your story may be any genre, but these exact sentences must appear together in the story:

I have a list and a map. What could possibly go wrong?

Accepting submissions until midnight, August 9, 2014, USA Eastern Standard Time.

  • Entries will only be accepted through the submission form. As you go through the submission process, there will be a space for you to copy and paste your document into. Do NOT send attachments or emailed entries as these will NOT be accepted.

ENTRIES MUST FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES OR BE DISQUALIFIED.

1. Any genre: Horror, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Humor, Romance, Children, etc., No erotica, profanity, swearing, or gore. (Swearing includes but is not limited to the following: hell, damn, bitch, taking God’s name in vain, and other similar words.) This is a “G” rated contest. One swear word will disqualify your entry. Good writers can make their point by showing the character’s attitudes. Questions? Query the head judge at cwicontests@gmail.com.

2. Entries must be 1,000 to 2,000 words. (This is a strict word count, but don’t count the title or personal information in the word count.) Place the word count at the top of page 1 before submitting.

3. One entry per person, please.

4. By entering this contest, you are stating that the story is your own copyright. You are stating that it has NOT been previously published by a professional or semi-professional publication. You are stating that you grant minor editing rights for publication, and if chosen, Creative Writing Institute has first, non-exclusive, electronic rights and First North American Print Rights to publish the winners and Judge’s Choice stories in our anthology, “What Could Possibly go Wrong?” All Rights return to the author upon publication.

5. Entries will be judged on originality, creativity, style, and technique.

6. Be sure that your entry has been proofread and edited. Points will be deducted for poorly structured sentences, spelling mistakes, and grammatical errors. Your entry should reflect your commitment to writing.

7. Read tips and tricks on how to win a contest on http://www.cwinst.com .

Winners will be notified by email on or before September 12, 2014.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Competition, Contest, opportunity, Places to sumit, writing Tagged: Cash Prizes, Creative Writing, No Entry Fee, Publication in anthology, Publication in ebook, Short Story contest

0 Comments on No Fee Short Story Contest as of 7/28/2014 2:32:00 AM
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3. The Future of the Independent Book Store

One of the questions I asked Editors and Agents was about the Indy Book Stores. Over the last year, I’ve heard so many writers and illustrators voice their concern about the stores future. We’ve seen some of our favorite book stores shut their doors and every publishing professional knows how lost we would be without them out there to help promote our books, so I had to ask.

First slide responses from editors:
indyeditors
Second slide shows agent responses.
indyagents

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, Book Stores, Editors, Publishing Industry, stats Tagged: 2014 NJSCBWI Conference, Agent Responses, Editor Responses, From State of the Market Report, Future of Indy Book Stores

3 Comments on The Future of the Independent Book Store, last added: 7/27/2014
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4. Illustrator Saturday – Colleen Kosinski

 

colleen_baby_cropped_300x300Colleen Rowan Kosinski has always been involved in creative projects. She is an alumna of Moore College of Art and graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in Visual Arts. While in college, Colleen worked with The Robert Wood Johnson Hospital as part of her curriculum. She developed, designed and constructed step-by-step instruction booklets to be used by nursing staff. After graduation, Colleen worked as a jewelry designer. While working as a designer she won a scholarship to the Gemological Institute of America and earned a certificate in Colored Stones. Colleen, having a great interest in science, volunteered at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, PA. She worked with Dr. John Gelhaus in the entomology department rendering illustrations of insects for scientific publications. She also worked at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA, were she designed illustrations for a cookbook featuring Ben Franklin’s favorite dishes.

After the birth of her first child, Colleen opened her studio and virtual gallery. She has been working as a visual artist, with clients all over the United States, for the past eighteen years. You can visit her site at http://www.myartsite.com. She specializes in pet portraiture and still life. Her mediums of choice are oil or pastel.

Colleen resides in Cherry Hill, NJ with her husband, three sons, doberman pinscher, rottweiler, and miniature dachshund and volunteers at the local animal shelter. During the summer you can usually find her nursing a sick squirrel or robin back to health.

Here is Colleen explaining her process:

This painting example was created for the NJSCBWI 2014 Conference. I knew I wanted a dreamy, fairytale-ish feel. I wanted the viewer to wonder what would happen next. I also wanted to include the theme of the Jersey shore.

First I researched elements I needed for this particular piece of work, ex. I needed to research old-fashioned bathing suit attire, seagulls, and Victorian style homes in Cape May for this piece.

Next, I drew (in pencil) each element that was to be included in the artwork. I scanned in the early sketches and placed everything in the space to see if worked. I’d drawn a lifeguard chair and the Cape May lifeguard boat but they didn’t fit in the composition, so they were cut.

Then, I went back and shadowed each drawing in pencil.

I scanned each shadowed piece into the computer and placed them on the page.

All the shadowed pieces were built as their own layers. I then painted in colors, using varying opacities and brushes.

colleenstep_1_pencil_sketch_cape may girlOriginal pencil sketch

colleeenstep_2_scan_and_cut_cape may girl

Scanned image, cut out, cleaned up and contrast adjusted.

colleenstep_3_color_layers_cape may girl

Colored layers built up.

colleenstep_4_highlights_shadows_cape may girl

Shadows and highlights are added last.

colleenseagull_pencil_sketch

colleenseagull_full_colorI brought the colored drawings back into the original composition.

colleencapemayflag sketch

colleencape may flag_full_colorI adjusted scale and brightness.

colleencape may houses_pencil_sketch

I then layer in shadows into the final composition and sometimes I add various textures into the composition.

colleencape may girl 3_head_tilt

Finally, when the painting looks finished to me, I put a bump map of a watercolor texture over the entire painting. This makes the work look less “computer-like”. Copyright ©artshow colleenscbwi entry 2_6

After critiques by my trusted artist friends, I add my finished piece to my portfolio. For example, they suggested her head should be tilted toward the bird so I made the adjustment as seen here.

colleendiving girl comp5

How long have you been illustrating?

I’ve been drawing forever. I participated in my first “show” when I was thirteen (and won first place.) I’ve been seriously working on illustrating for children for the past three years.

What made you choose to get your degree in visual Arts at Rutgers University?

I was originally granted a full scholarship to Moore College of Art when I happened upon a portfolio day after a Saturday class at the Philadelphia College of Art. I attended my freshman year, but then transferred to Rutgers to follow my boyfriend. I know. I know. But we’ve been married now for 27 years. : )

colleenbeach girls14

What were you favorite classes?

I loved figure drawing, creative writing, and anthropology. I’d always try to convince my professors to hold class outside on beautiful days. All except figure drawing. Naked models posing outside in the middle of campus would have been frowned upon—but would probably have drawn quite a crowd.

Did the School help you get work?

Actually, Moore College of Art helped me get my first internship as a scientific illustrator for the entomology department of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.

colleenriver of wishes9hair lowered a smidge3tdep5_6_14_3NO-WORDS

What was the first painting or illustration that you did where someone paid you for your artwork?

In high school the teachers would commission me for artwork.

What type of job did you do right after you graduated?

After college I worked in a jewelry store and did some jewelry design. I was fascinated with gemstones and won a scholarship to study colored stones with The Gemological Institute of America.

 

colleenmermaid comp 8Do you think the classes you took in college influenced your style?

The figure drawing classes may have helped a bit but my style has organically evolved over the years.

When did you do your first illustration for children?

I started working on children’s books illustrations about three years ago.

colleenswimming with the fish7

How did that come about?

I had worked as a fine artist for many years, but stopped drawing to seriously study writing. I’ve written screenplays, YA novels, and MG novels, along with picture books. NJSCBWI was holding their first illustrators showcase three years ago and I decided to participate and developed a character, which then became a story.

When did you decide you wanted to illustrate books?

After all the positive feedback at the NJSCBWI conference.

colleengoldilocks comp_v7

How did you get interested in writing novels and when did that happen?

I had a friend who worked in the SAG office in Philadelphia. I had an idea for a movie and asked her how I could try to sell my idea. She told me I’d need to write a screenplay. I bought books on the mechanics of writing screenplays and started networking with other screenwriters. I decided to try to convert one of my screenplays into a novel. Then I wrote bad novel after not as bad novel until I finally had one that I thought was good enough to submit. But it really wasn’t. So I kept writing more and more. I think my eighth book was the charm and is now being read by several editors.

Are you open to illustrating a picture book for a writer who would like to self-publish?

I think I’d rather work on my own books or be paired with an author from a traditional publisher.

colleenflying girl comp4

Have you worked on illustrating a book dummy to help market your illustrating skills?

Yes.

Since you already are writing novels, have you thought about writing and illustrating you own picture book?

I’ve written quite a few PBs and I have one finished dummy and one in process.

colleenbad luck boy new comp6

Do you have an artist rep.? If not, would you like to have one?

I’m presently not represented, but would love to work with an agent interested in an author/illustrator. I’m a hard worker and not afraid of revisions.

What types of things do you do to market your work?

I show at conferences, tweet, network on FB, display my work on the SCBWI illustrator showcase, and I have a website—ColleenRowanKosinski.com

colleenjaquar11What is your favorite medium to use?

I’m currently working with a combination of pencil sketching and digital painting. I also love oils, and soft pastel.

Has that changed over time?

Many years ago I worked primarily in pen and ink and watercolor. I did a lot of hand-numbing stippling with a rapidograph pen. I transitioned to pastel. Sold quite a few, then fell in love with oil painting. Oil painting is a long process because of the practice of building layers of colors and the drying times involved. That’s why I love digital so much now. I approach color the same way I did in my oil painting but have zero drying time!

colleentweed_composition_v6

Do you have a studio in your house?

I don’t have a designated studio. Because of very bad back issues I have trouble sitting for long periods of time in a regular chair, but I’ve found a recliner takes the stress off of my lower back so you can usually find my there, either writing, sketching or working digitally. I do have an office with my supplies, a desk, computer, scanner, printer and bookshelves from floor to ceiling.

What is the one thing in your studio that you could not live without?

My laptop computer.

colleenHanging Around4

Do you try to spend a specific amount of time working on your craft?

I work every day for at least eight hours or more. I try to attend at least one SCBWI conference a year and as many other workshops that I can fit into my budget and schedule.

Do you take pictures or do any types of research before you start a project?

Yes, I take pictures and research reference images online.

colleenskunk girl_portfolio3

Do you think the Internet has opened doors for you?

Definitely. I used to have to find reference photos by paging through books and magazines for hours. The Internet also helps me network with other writers, illustrators, agents, and editors.

What do you feel was your biggest success?

I don’t know if I’ve experienced a “big” success yet. I just keep doing what I’m doing while constantly trying to improve.

colleenfox running picture 16Do you use Photoshop with your illustrations?

I actually use GIMP, which is a free version of Photoshop. I did finally bite the bullet and start subscribing to Photoshop (you can’t buy it outright anymore, you must pay a monthly fee.) I’m experimenting with it but feel more comfortable with GIMP.

Do you own or have you used a Graphic Drawing Tablet in your illustrating?

Yes, I use a Wacom pad when creating my artwork.

colleen02_2ps_mother_and_baby_all_the_layers4

Do you have any career dreams that you want to fulfill?

I dream of finding an agent who knows the craft and market, and being traditionally published. I guess if I want to dream big, I’d love to win a Newberry or Caldecott.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a story called Lydia Light Takes Flight. The character I created for the 2014 NJSCBWI Conference Art Competition inspired the story. The text is finished and I’m currently working on the dummy. It’s a lyrical story with a fairytale’ish feel. I also have a couple PB biographies ready to go, and two other lyrical PB texts. Editors are reading my older MG novel and I’m hoping one of them will make an offer soon.

colleen06_2ps_fire_all_the_layers4

Any words of wisdom on how to become a successful writer or illustrator?

I don’t know if I can really speak to being successful, but I can say that you have to be a fighter. Don’t wallow in rejection and keep moving forward. Be open to critique and learn from it. Lastly, be involved in the kidlit scene. It’s a wonderful, supportive community.

colleencozette and the black umbrella7

 

Thank you Colleen for taking the time to share your process and journey with us. We look forward to hearing about your future successes.

To see more of Colleen’s illustrations you can visit her at: www.ColleenRowanKosinski.com Twitter: @writergirlrowan 
Facebook: Colleen Rowan Kosinski

Please take a minute to leave a comment for Colleen, I know she would love to heard from you and I always appreciate it. Thanks!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, demystify, How to, illustrating, Illustrator's Saturday, Interview, Process Tagged: Colleen Kosinski, Illustrator Saturday, Moore College of Art, Rutgers University

9 Comments on Illustrator Saturday – Colleen Kosinski, last added: 7/26/2014
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5. Free Fall Friday – Possible Opening & Kudos

amal10_small
Another wonderful illustration by Amal Karzai. Thought it showed the feeling of this post. Website: http://www.amalillustration.com Blog: http://amalimages.blogspot.co.uk/

There might be a spot opening up at the Avalon Full Manuscript Critique Writer’s Retreat. If you are one of the people who have been kicking yourself for not getting in for this opportunity to get a critique with Agent Ammi-Joan Pacquette from Erin Murphy Agency or Agent Heather Alexander from Pippin Properties, send me an email and I will get back with you.

WOO HOO! It seems like a number of you jumped on the post where I told you about Schoolwide.com had a call out for submissions, because I’ve heard from a number of writers this week who have heard back from them. Most have received very nice letters showing interest in their manuscript and asking for revisions, which is great and could be a start of something big, but Sheila Fuller had her book ALL NIGHT SINGING accepted. Congratulations Sheila!

Christopher Behrens’ finished his book, found an illustrator whose work has been on The Today Show, used Jim Whiting and Writer’s Digest for editing, then self-published his book Savanna’s Treasure this past spring.

Kirkus gave him a good review in June and now The Community Life Newspaper wrote an article the book.  If you would like to read the article, here is the link: http://www.northjersey.com/arts-and-entertainment/books/longtime-dpw-employee-pens-first-children-s-book-1.1052358

Savanna’s Treasure is available everywhere online and in all formats, including the ebook.

Two of the comments from Kirkus:

“…story enriched by an inspiring animal alliance….a good fit for early readers.” —Kirkus Reviews

 

Good job Chris!

 

Check back next Friday for the First Page Results.

 

Talk tomorrow,

 

Kathy

Filed under: authors and illustrators, Conferences and Workshops, Illustrator Sites, Kudos, opportunity Tagged: Amal Karzai, Christopher Behrens, Free Fall Friday, Schoolwide.com, Sheila Fuller

6 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Possible Opening & Kudos, last added: 7/25/2014
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6. Price Drop – Revise Your Novel in a Month

jillandmarthaSince, agent Jill Corcoran is such a good marketer, I am sure most of you already know about the video series that author of the PLOT WHISPERER, Martha Alderson and literary agent Jill Corcoran released three months ago.

You can watch the first video in the series for free, which I did last week. It was very good and since I watched it, I’ve been wondering how I could come up with the money to rent the rest of the series.

Today, Martha and Jill lowered the price to $75.00 to rent the 8 part series for a whole year, so now I can afford to buy the series and learn from what they have put together.

If you are a picture book writer, they even have something for you. You can pre-order: How to Write & Sell A Picture Book- Pre-Order and SAVE $25 https://vimeo.com/ondemand/writesellpicturebook

Here is the information for the Revising Your Novel in a Month: http://vimeo.com/ondemand/reviseyournovelinamonth

In this 8 Video (5.5 hours) Series, Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson and Literary Agent Jill Corcoran provide step-by-step instruction on how to revise your
• Concept
• Structure and design
• Tension and conflict
• Character growth and transformation
• Pacing
• Cause and effect
• Meaning
• Hook
• Polish
• Prose
in preparation for a major rewrite of your novel.

To complete the course in a month, watch two videos a week. Or, work at your own pace and take more or less time on the step-by-step exercises. You decide your revision pace as you explore and complete each video exercise based on your own individual needs in preparation for a major rewrite.
• 8 videos (available for viewing as many times as you would like for 1 year)
• 30 writing exercises- one for each day of the Revise Your Novel Month

apathtopublishing.com/for-those-who-purchased-aptp-videos/

PlotWriMo: REVISE YOUR NOVEL IN A MONTH
I. TRAILER
a. Introduction
II. OVERALL STORY LEVEL
a. Video #1: HOW TO REVISE + CONCEPT & CHARACTERS
• Welcome
• How to Approach Revision
• Organization
• Concept
• Characters
• Story Titles
III. PLOT AND STRUCTURE LEVEL
a. Video #2: TRANSFORMATION + GOALS
• Review
• Layers of Plot
• Transformation / Change
• Goals
b. Video #3: CONCEPT + ENERGETIC MARKERS
• Review
• Concept
• Energetic Markers
• Plot Planner
IV. SCENE LEVEL
a. Video #4: SCENES AND THEMES
• Review
• Scene and Summary
• Themes
• Character Motivation
• Antagonist
b. Video #5: CLIMAX
• Review
• Preparation
• Anticipation
• Event
• Reaction
• 3 Major Plot Lines
• Antagonist Crisis
c. Video #6: BEGINNING & END
• Review
• Beginning
• Traits, Skills, Knowledge, Beliefs
• Cause and Effect
• Antagonists
V. WORD LEVEL
a. Video #7: MANUSCRIPT VOICE + CHARACTER & ACTION
• Voice
• Transformational Journey
• Backstory Wound
• Subplots and Theme
• Crisis

b. Video #8: FIRST PAGES + FINAL TEST
• Every Word Perfect
• Sentence structure
• Dialog
• Prepare for Rewrite
• Rewrite
• Concept
• Structure and design
• Tension and conflict
• Character growth and transformation
• Pacing
• Cause and effect
• Meaning
• Hook
• Polish
• Prose
To complete the course in a month, watch two videos a week. Or, work at your own pace and take more or less time on the step-by-step exercises. You decide your revision pace as you explore and complete each video exercise based on your own individual needs in preparation for a major rewrite.
• 8 Instructional videos (available for viewing as many times as you would like for 1 year)
• 30 writing exercises- one for each day of the Revise Your Novel Month
Who will benefit from PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month:
• Writers seeking to write a great novel
• Writers with a draft of a novel and uncertain how to proceed
• Writers with story problems
• Writers who feel blocked
• Writers who wish to move from where they are to where you wish to be
• Writers committed to improving your craft
• Writers interested in digging deeper into your story
• Writers needing help organizing for a major rewrite

Dolly D. Napal watched the series and said, “Don’t let the title fool you. This is not only a revision course. It’s a fully comprehensive writing course for PB, MG, YA, and Adult writers, at any point in their career.”

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, Agent, Author, opportunity, Process, reference, revisions, video Tagged: Jill Corcoran, Martha Alderson, Novel Revsion Video series, Plot Whisperer

3 Comments on Price Drop – Revise Your Novel in a Month, last added: 7/25/2014
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7. Women In Nature Books: Call For Submissions

Women in Nature: An Anthology, is the first book in the WIN-Women in Nature Series.  The WIN series are collections of stories from women all across the North American continent… and beyond!  These are true stories about the varied ways in which these women relate to ‘nature’ and our natural environment.  Each book also contains complete chapters by prominent and passionate women, experienced in related aspects of ‘nature’.  Subsequent WIN books will include: WIN on Dwelling; WIN on Indigenous Ways; WIN on Food, WIN on Adventure; WIN on Water;  WIN on Healing; WIN on Children; and more!

 

OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS!
We have received some amazing stories for our first WIN – Women in Nature book.   

We are looking for good fun engaging stories!  Inspiring, uplifting, adventurous, funny, stories … of your relationship with ‘nature’!

 

CALL FOR  Your True Nature Stories!!!

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

Picture

From wilderness living to urban gardening, we want your personal stories that reflect a transforming or transcending connection to ‘nature’.  We are looking for stories that can open our perspectives conceptually, or ‘show us how’ to do something experientially.  We’re talking about living with the earth, not on her.  How do women connect with nature, and the reciprocal and essential relationship with the earth and all that is in it?

Guidelines:

  1. Your story must be true.
  2. Your story should be told in first person
  3. Good quality writing is as essential to your story, as is your story.
  4. Your story should relate to a personal experience that then translates into insight, advice, creative ideas, or transcending awareness!
  5. Your (funny, somber, endearing, emotional or otherwise) story should be between 750 – 2000 words
  6. If your story is chosen, you will be given author exposure, as well as varied options for compensation including copies of the book, discounts, (and other monetary and non-monetary rewards to be further specified.)
  7. We are currently accepting stories from women (as this is a women’s anthology) from ages 18 and on…. however, we are open to stories from men… about women.

Submissions should include: Your story and a brief (50 word) author bio..

SUBMIT TO SPECIFIC WIN BOOKS AS FOLLOWS:


FOOD
The objective of the WIN – Women in Nature on Food book, is to generate an awareness of the food we eat, where it comes from, and how what we eat affects all life on this planet.
We are looking for your true stories about food, particularly stories that celebrate sustainable and organic food and food sources as they relate to our natural environment.  We also welcome stories that reflect the emotional relationship humans have with food, as well as stories that encourage an awareness of connection.

 

SUBMIT YOUR STORIES ON FOOD TO    carly.womeninnature@gmail.com     DEADLINE foe submissions 1 September 2014

 

ADVENTURE
The objective of the WIN – Women in Nature on Adventure book is to encourage awareness, respect and intimacy as we seek out adventure.  We are looking for your true stories about your adventures in, and more significantly ‘with’, nature.  Adventures – hiking, climbing, deep sea diving, dog sledding, kayaking, spelunking, wilderness research, horseback riding, swimming, mountaineering, skiing, surfing – can unfortunately sometimes become an activity of disregard and disrespect.  We are looking for experiences that celebrate and appreciate the beauty and awe of the natural environment – and instill an intimacy and awareness of reciprocity – while experiencing all of the challenges, adventures, and inspiration nature has to offer!

 

SUBMIT YOUR STORIES ON ADVENTURE TO    carol.womeninnature@yahoo.com      DEADLINE foe submissions 1 September 2014
 
CHILDREN
The objective of the WIN – Women in Nature on Children book is to encourage the engagement of children with the natural environment, and to nurture an understanding of their existential and intimate relationship with all living things. We are looking for your true stories about children and their relationship with nature. We welcome stories about your childhood experiences in nature, as well as stories about getting children into nature, and your experiences observing children in nature. All stories should move beyond children merely playing an activity outdoors and should focus on the interaction with nature.
 
SUBMIT YOUR STORIES ON CHILDREN TO   
roslyn.womeninnature@gmail.com       DEADLINE for submissions 1 September 2014
 
HEALING
The objective of the WIN – Women in Nature on Healing book is to encourage an understanding of our reciprocal relationship with the nature, and how the health of the earth and our own health are intimately intertwined.  We are looking for your true stories about healing, both the healing of nature and how nature heals us.  This includes both physical and emotional healing through anything from plants and animals, to the healing power of simply being in nature’s bliss.

SUBMIT YOUR STORIES ON HEALING TO    carol.womeninnature@yahoo.com        DEADLINE foe submissions 1 October 2014

GENERAL – For stories that do not fit into any of the above categories, please submit through our standard contact form below.
And, watch for more WIN titles and varying submission deadlines.

IDEAS… to get you started
We are looking for any  personal story that connects you to ‘nature’.organic or urban gardening  FOOD
foraging for wild edibles  FOOD
camping under the stars  ADVENTURE
live trapping bugs and setting them free outside
kayaking and white water rafting  ADVENTURE
rock climbing and mountaineering  ADVENTURE
nurturing a wounded critter  HEALING
painting your house with natural pigments  DWELLING
natural everday living stuff  CHILDREN
hiking and backpacking  ADVENTURE
mushrooming  FOOD
natural horseback riding  ADVENTURE
collecting rainwater  FOOD
composting  DWELLING/HEALING/FOOD
passive solar heating  DWELLING/ENERGY
getting fire from friction  DWELLING/ENERGY
building a natural shelter  DWELLING
cooking on an open fire  FOOD
hunting and fishing  FOOD/CHILDREN
creating an outdoor labyrinth  HEALING
braintanning hides  DWELLING
working with animals  ANIMALS/HEALING
water – rivers, snow, streams, oceans  WATER/HEALING
shearing and spinning wool  ANIMALS/DWELLING
teaching children about nature  CHILDREN
research field work  ADVENTURE/HEALING
building a sweatliodge  HEALING
sleeping outside on your back deck  CHILDREN

etc…. etc
 
A story about anything that
connects you
to the earth!

 
Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Author, Book, need to know, opportunity, Places to sumit Tagged: Anthology, Book Series, Call for Submissions, Get published opportunity, Women in Nature

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8. New Literary Agent Looking to Build List

whitleypiccroppedWhitley Abell joined Inklings Literary Agency in 2013. Before joining Inklings, she completed successful internships with Carol Mann Agency and P.S. Literary Agency. She is based in St. Louis, MO, where she daylights as a production manager for several medical and S & T journals. She graduated in 2011 BA in English and Creative Writing, and again in 2012 with a MAT in Secondary English Education, which basically means she can tell you anything there is to know about feminist literary theory and the Common Core Standards.

Whitley is primarily interested in Young Adult, Middle Grade, and select Upmarket Women’s fiction. She likes characters who are relatable yet flawed, hooks that offer new points of view and exciting adventures, vibrant settings that become active characters in their own right, and a story that sticks with the reader long after turning the last page, be it contemporary or historical, realistic or supernatural, tragic or quirky.

She loves mythology and literary re-imaginings, heartbreaking contemporary novels, historical suspense, and craving cute romantic comedies for YA through adult (ex: Sophie Kinsella, Lauren Morrill, Stephanie Perkins).

She is not interested in vampires, werewolves, angels, zombies, dystopian societies, steampunk, or epic fantasy. Please no paranormal / fantasy for adults. Submission guidelines:

They accept electronic submissions only. Do not call the agency to query, or to inquire about querying. Do not use the postal service to mail your submissions.

To query, type “Query (Agent Name)” plus the title of your novel in the subject line, then please send the following pasted into the body of the e-mail to query(at)inklingsliterary(dot)com:

  • A query letter that includes:
  • The title, genre, and word count of your project.
  • A brief blurb about the story.
  • A brief bio including any publishing credits.
  • The first 10 pages of your manuscript
  • A brief synopsis (1-2 pages)

Your subject line should look like this (If you were querying Michelle and the name of your book is “One Thousand Ways to Drink Coffee”):
Query Michelle: ONE THOUSAND WAYS TO DRINK COFFEE.

They will not open unsolicited attachments, so make sure you send all of the above pasted into the body of the email.

Their response time varies for queries, but they do answer all queries that come in while we are open to submissions.

Email Alex: alex@inklingsliterary.com

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


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9. YA Digital Book Publishers

Here is a list of publishers who look to publish digital books. I thought you might like to keep this list for future reference, a good list to research. Note: The number of deals are only the ones reported to Publishers Marketplace.

yadigitalpublishersyadigitalpublishers2a
yadigitalpublishers3

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: list, Places to sumit, publishers, Publishing Industry, reference, Young Adult Novel Tagged: 2014 State of the Market Report, YA Digital Publishers

3 Comments on YA Digital Book Publishers, last added: 7/22/2014
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10. Elizabeth Law’s: Ten Dreaded Manuscript Errors

elizabethlawreadsI wanted to make sure everyone that reads this blog did not miss this post that Elizabeth Law wrote for her blog, “Into the Words” last week.

Elizabeth has had quite a stellar career in the children’s publishing industry. She was trained by editor Deborah Brodie at Viking Children’s Books. She worked at Viking Penguin, and at Penguin’s divisions Puffin Books and Frederick Warne & Co, for 18 years, leaving to become Associate Publisher of Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers.  And in 2007 she became the first publisher of Egmont USA and helped create a company from the ground up. Since 2013 she’s worked for herself, with writers and artists and people who just love children’s books as much as she does. If you talk to Elizabeth she will tell you, “It may be the best job I’ve ever had.”

Elizabeth Law will also tell you, “Really great books last forever, really great books take a lot of effort to get that way, and it never, ever works to publish something just because you think it will be popular.  If you, personally, don’t like a book, it is not going to succeed.  Please don’t try to write something that you don’t really care about because ‘it’s the kind of thing that’s hot right now.’  As Rocky said to Bullwinkle, ‘That trick never works.’”

HERE IS AN EXCERPT:

Ten Things That Make an Editor Stop Reading Your Manuscript

#1.   NOTHING AT STAKE FOR THE READER  This is a BIGGIE, because readers, and maybe even your editor, will forgive a multitude of sins if you’ve got this one working. Is there something in your story we’re rooting for?  A character we care about whose situation we can relate to?  Don’t give us a kid who has a lot of things to say about his life, his parents, his school, his crush, but doesn’t have any problem that pulls us through your book.

#2.  THE VOICE IS TOO YOUNG, OR TOO OLD, FOR THE AGE OF KID YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT.  Think carefully about what your character would notice at his or her age. And please don’t try to sound cute.  Deliberately misspelling something to appear childlike,  or having your character say, for example, pasgetti instead of spaghetti, may cause an editor to turn off his computer and start rummaging for an Advil.

#3. TRYING TO SOUND HIP, STREET OR ETHNIC IF THAT’S JUST NOT YOUR THANG.  We editors implore you to cut this one out! I’ve seen Italian mothers come out with sentences that are practically “Mama mia, that’s a spicy meatball” or an Asian kid in a lunchroom say “my grandfather says, reading enriches a man, conversation makes a man shrewd.” Really? A kid in the school cafeteria would say that?

Today this mistake turns up most often when writers try to write in what I’ll call Black or Latino street lingo.  We need diverse books, absolutely.  We all agree on that.  But you don’t have to try to right every wrong in your own novel.  If you can’t comfortably and naturally write in a particular dialect, don’t do it.

#4. DIDACTICISM’S HEAVY HAND.  This used to be the number one mistake children’s book editors saw, and it’s still very common. There’s nothing wrong with teaching if that’s the intent of your book.  But, let me be clear: in fiction, your job is to tell a story.  Do you pick up your favorite mystery or thriller writer because of the moral lesson or educational value you’re going to get from the book?  Or do you read it to be entertained?  Guess what, that’s what young readers want, too.

#5.  WAITING FOR THE STORY TO START.  I’ll give it maybe ten to twelve pages, but if you’re setting up a situation and showing us character and then telling us about the town your story takes place in and nothing has happened, I’m out.  Editors often refer to this as the infodump at the beginning of the book.   Take a look at Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch.  The author does a masterful job of evoking the world that Theo lives in, but first, the book opens by showing Theo, years later, in a hotel in Amsterdam, in a lot of trouble and remembering the day, as a child, he lost his mother.  So when Tartt cuts back to that day, we’re happy to read each detail because we know something big is coming.

(By the way, THE CONVERSE OF THIS TIP IS TRUE, TOO.  You don’t have to grab us with too much at the beginning.  I often worry that a downside of all the ten-page critique or “first pages” sessions held at conferences is that writers end up front-loading a story with too much action.)

#6.  IN HISTORICAL FICTION, DESCRIBING A LOT OF STUFF YOUR CHARACTER WOULDN’T ACTUALLY NOTICE.  Roger Sutton puts it this way, “There was this great article in School Library Journal by Joan Blos called ‘Bunches of Hessians’ where she talks about the various mistakes that are made in historical fiction. She said to take something from a historical novel–for example, a mother making dinner–and translate it into contemporary fiction. And then she wrote this hilarious passage about ‘Mother stood in front of the white box and carefully adjusted the black dial.’ It has to be natural to the person telling the story. They shouldn’t be noticing things that only an outsider would be paying attention to.”

#7.  In fantasy, sci fi, paranormal and dystopian, MAKING UP CONVENIENT RULES FOR YOUR WORLD THAT APPEAR AS THE STORY PROGRESSES. I see this most often in the genres I’ve listed, but all fiction can suffer from it.  The world you are writing about has to have an internal logic or rules of its own. The reader (and editor!) can tell when you are just adding a new character/planet/magical property/suddenly appearing warring army to get yourself out of a jam.

Many years ago, I read a brilliant article on this subject by Newbery-winning author Lloyd Alexander called “The Flat-Heeled Muse.” I’ve reread it several times, and it has so much to say about good writing that I recommend it for anyone reading this blog post.

Click this link to read the rest of Elizabeth’s wonderful post.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, article, children writing, Editor & Agent Info, How to, writing, Young Adult Novel Tagged: 10 things to make an editor stop reading, editorial Consultant, Elizabeth Law, Ten Dreaded Manuscript Errors

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11. Illustrator Saturday – Angela Padrón

angelapicAngela was born and raised in Freehold, NJ but moved to Florida in 2002. For over 15 years, Angela taught bilingual, ESL, Spanish, and Art in public schools before becoming a freelance writer and illustrator. She writes and illustrates board books, picture books, chapter books, and middle grade novels, and loves to include humor, characters of color and cultural themes in her stories. She’s a big fan of Bruce Coville, Mary Pope Osborne, Alma Flor Ada, Roald Dahl, Shel Silverstein, Mo Willems, Bob Shea, Mark Teague, Jarrett Krosoczka, David Shannon, Eric Carle, Leo Lionni, and Amy Bates, among others.

Angela also writes and edits content for educational publishers and works as an adjunct professor at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. She holds five college degrees, including an MFA in Illustration from Academy of Art University in San Francisco. In addition, Angela has been a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators SCBWI since 2004 and is one of the artists at Studio 18 in the Pines in South Florida.

HERE IS ANGELA explaining her process:

The idea that I had for “The Hero in You” (written by Ellis Paul) was to have the historical figures in the songs portrayed as children. So here’s how I completed the Jackie Robinson illustration for “The Hero in You”

angelaprocess1

I wanted Jackie to be hitting the ball so I initially came up with this sketch.

angelaprocess2

The art director liked the pose but wanted the uniform to look more of the time period of Jackie Robinson rather than a modern look. Also he wanted a crowd and stadium in the background and a more humble rather than determined look on the face. Here is the adjusted sketch.

angelaprocess3

Next I recopied each part of the sketch so the lines were clean –the stadium/crowd, the ball, Jackie, and the ump and catcher are all drawn separately so I can work with each component individually in the final illustration. I use vellum because I think it’s the best way to see through to your sketch. Also the pencil goes on real smooth and it’s easy to erase on.

I scan in each part, change the outline from black to brown, reconstruct the sketch in Photoshop and change each layer to multiply so I can see through them.

angelaprocess4
I like to fill my sketch with textured papers, either ones that I have painted with acrylic or gouache or printed papers from Michael’s scrapbooking section. I can scan a bunch of different colors or textures and adjust the colors in Photoshop which gives me flexibility when completing the illustration.

angelaprocess5

I started with the background – the bricks of the stadium. I added the lines of the bricks and used a slight drop shadow to get the indentation in the bricks.

angelaprocess6

Then I worked on the stadium and the crowd, using textured papers to fill the areas rather than digital paint.

angelaprocess6a

I lightened the background so that it wouldn’t overpower Jackie.

angelaprocess8

Then I colored in baseball and added shadow, followed by Jackie, the ump, and the catcher.

angelaprocess8a

I added some shadows and highlights to the figures, texture to the bat, and rosy cheeks to finish the illustration.

angelaprocess9Final Illustration

angelabeachsketch

How long have you been illustrating?

First I want to say thank you, Kathy, for interviewing me for your blog. It’s my first blog interview and I’m super excited to share my background, work and ideas with you and your readers. I applaud you for having the blog and taking the time to showcase illustrators’ work.

So let’s get the interview started… Technically, I’ve been illustrating since I was about seven years old. Somewhere in storage there is a Snoopy book written and illustrated by me that I did in first grade! However, I started developing a serious interest in illustrating children’s books when I joined SCBWI in 2004.

Angela Padron NJ SCBWI art show FINAL

You bio says you have five college degrees, could you tell us about the four you worked for before you decided to go for your MFA?

I’ve always loved school. As a kid I couldn’t sleep the night before the first day of school because I was so excited to go. That passion for learning carried over after high school (if I could earn a living being a college student I would take that job in a heartbeat!) Even though I initially studied Art and Education, at some point I felt like taking music classes and earned an A.A. in Music. Then I finished my B.A. in Art and began teaching Art. Soon after I found an interest in English as a Second Language (ESL) Education and Bilingual Education. I received a grant to study at graduate school and earned a M.A. in Instruction and Curriculum with a focus on Bilingual/Bicultural Education. Although I loved teaching students English, I put Art on the back burner for almost 10 years to focus everything on my job. When I moved to Florida, I had in mind to become a Reading Specialist for ESL students, so I completed another graduate degree, an Ed.S. which is a Specialist’s Degree, in Reading Education. Although that goal didn’t work out, while studying Reading Education I fell in love with children’s books. It finally hit me that I could use my love for creative writing and art to write and illustrate books – I felt like it was a roundabout way to teach students. Finally I had found the right professional focus for my talents. So I took the plunge and enrolled in the online MFA program at Academy of Art University in San Francisco to study illustration.

Angela Padron illustrator intesive FINAL

What made you choose to get an MFA in Illustration from Academy of Art University in San Francisco?

When I finally knew children’s book writing and illustrating was where my true passion resided, I researched different ways to learn more about this field. I joined SCBWI and read lots of information online, read books, received critiques, etc. But since I am a nerdy student at heart, I knew that attending a class and having an instructor and classmates to provide insight, advice, and critique was the best thing for me. There were not many options when it came to studying illustration on the graduate level because I was married with two stepsons and a baby on the way. So the only option for me was to study online. Academy of Art University was the only school I could find with a legitimate MFA program in illustration. I enrolled in my first semester in 2007 and actually took a trip out to San Francisco to check out the campus. I fell in love and knew it was the right decision. I wish I could have studied there in person – maybe one day I’ll be able to live out there and take or teach a class. It took me four years to finish but it was worth every minute (and every penny that will take me 30 years to pay off!)

angelaapadron illus 5

What were you favorite classes?

One of my favorite classes in college was actually Physics of Exploration that I took as an undergraduate. We learned how the Space Shuttle and Hubble Telescope worked as well as some really cool stuff. But of course I loved my creative writing classes and illustration classes the most. I had a few courses just in Children’s Book Illustration and Narrative Illustration. Those two really helped me a lot with the storytelling aspect of illustration as well as the right steps to take when illustrating (from research to thumbnail to rough sketch, to final sketch, to value rough, to final art). I also took some Animation classes, which were fabulous for character development and storyboarding/sequencing illustrations.

angelabiglove

Did the School help you get work?

No, I was lucky enough to develop a freelance business doing writing and editing for educational publishers as well as teaching part time at some community colleges and elementary schools. Being an online student, AAU as well as most schools doesn’t really have career services for online students.

angelabiglove2

What was the first painting or illustration that you did where someone paid you for your artwork?

In 2012 I received an email from TSI Graphics, a company that was hired by McGraw-Hill to find illustrators for some leveled readers in Spanish. I completed three illustrations for the first book and then eleven illustrations for a second book.

angelabus2

What type of job did you do right after you graduated?

I was still teaching part time and working as a freelance writer and editor for educational publishers. I was lucky enough to get some freelance work in 2007 and it developed into more work throughout my studies and continues until today. I also continue to teach at the college level on a part time basis.

angelabenfranklin

Do you think the classes you took in college influenced your style?

I was very confused with “style” as a student. I knew the illustration styles of others that I liked but I didn’t want to copy anyone. It took me a while to develop a style that was a bit different and stood out over the traditional style of illustration. However, I’m now experimenting with some new techniques that are affecting/changing my style a bit. So I feel like I’m in between finding a signature style and one that can get me some work.

angeladedicationpage

When did you do your the first illustration for children?

After the McGraw-Hill job, I didn’t get any other work until 2013.

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How did that come about?

Right after graduating with my MFA in 2011, I prepared a TON of promo packages and sent them out to different Art Directors at publishing companies. It wasn’t until 2013 when I received two emails within a span of a month to illustrate from two different companies to illustrate books. They both told me they received my information in 2011 and held onto it for two years. Wow!

angelamartha

When did you decide you wanted to illustrate books?

After completing my degree in Reading Education in 2005, I fell in love with children’s books. It finally hit me that I could use my love for creative writing and art to write and illustrate books – I felt like it was a roundabout way to teach students.

angelamybody

Was MY BODY BELONGS TO ME the first picture book that you illustrated?

Yes, it was.

angelaheroinyou

How did that contract come your way?

One day in 2013 I received an email from the Art Director at Free Spirit Publishing asking if I were available to illustrate a book. I said “Absolutely!” That company was one of the companies to whom I sent promo material in 2011 and they finally contacted me two years later for a project.

angelamothersdaybigger

Congratulations in your new book THE HERO IN YOU coming out the 1st of September.

Thank you!I did love illustrating MY BODY BELONGS TO ME but I’m even more excited about THE HERO IN YOU, mainly because it’s about famous people in history and to this nerd learning about history –or pretty much anything – is my cup of tea!

Angelalicksbigger

How did you get the contract with Albert A. Whitman?

It happened the same as Free Spirit Publishing – out of the blue I got an email asking if I were available for the project. So I was working on it the same time I was illustrating MY BODY BELONGS TO ME. I actually had to make the tough decision to quit a teaching job in an elementary school in order to pursue these projects. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get my name on a book. I mean, two books!

angelatimetogo

Have you worked with educational publishers?

Yes, as an illustrator, writer, and developmental editor.

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Do you have any desire to write and illustrate your own book?

Absolutely! I would love to be known as an author/illustrator. Besides picture books, I also write chapter books and middle grade novels. I hope to illustrate my chapter book if it ever gets published, as well as the cover for any middle grade novel. However, I do feel that my illustration style may not fit some of the stories I write. So I am open-minded to the idea of someone else illustrating my books if an editor/publisher felt strongly that another person’s style would suit the book better. Very much like David LaRochelle has done with some of his stories.

angelasobig

Do you have an artist rep.? If so, who? And how did you connect with them?

At this time I don’t have an agent. However, I did have an agent in 2012. I can explain how I landed that contract… I subscribed to agent Jill Corcoran’s blog. At the time, she was working with Ronnie Herman at the Herman Agency. On her blog she posted that Ronnie was looking for an intern to help layout some books in Photoshop to make some book trailers. It was either in house or remote. I applied for it and didn’t get it but I asked Ronnie if I could submit my stories and portfolio to her and she said yes. At the time, I had an editor interested in one of my stories. Long story short, Ronnie liked my work and signed me for 18 months. I had never met Ronnie and only spoke with her one time on the phone during the 18 months. We got along fine, but for one reason or another, it didn’t work out with Ronnie and I chose not to renew the contract.

If not, would you like to have one? After already having had an agent, I learned that you can have a good rapport with your agent but he/she may not be the best fit professionally. So as much as I would like to have another agent in the future, right now I’m patiently taking the time to research agents more than I did before in order to find the one who is the perfect fit for my personality, interests, writing and illustration styles, and professional goals. In the meantime, I am sending out my stories to editors that I’ve met at conferences to try and get some interest. When looking for an agent, it can really help you if you can tell him/her that you have an editor interested in your work already.

AngelaPadron Little Nose2

What types of things did you do to market your work?

I have a website, a facebook page, and a blog. I’ll be preparing some promo packages again in the next few months with some tear sheets and postcards to mail out to art directors as well as editors – last time when I sent out packages I only targeted art directors, but this time I’ll be sending out to editors as well, especially those I’ve met at conferences.

angelatoes

What is your favorite medium to use?

Anything messy like charcoal and pastels are my favorite. I also love collage and have developed a “digital collage” style where I paint tissue paper or other textured paper with gouache or acrylic paint. (I’m a huge fan of Eric Carle and Leo Lionni and the textured papers they used.) I then scan those papers into the computer and use them to fill my sketches. In the past I’ve added drop shadows to make the pieces look like cut paper. That works well if you’re looking for a graphic style of illustration. For looser, freer work, I use watercolor, pastels and colored pencils combined with some digital collage. In addition, I love to create batiks (wax resist and dye on fabric) and am trying to figure out a way to be able to use a batik combined with Photoshop to create some illustrations. No matter what technique I use, though, my sketches are all done by hand in pencil and scanned in. I don’t like drawing with the tablet; I only use the tablet as my tool to fill in my sketches.

angelaig

Has that changed over time?

Definitely. Towards the end of my MFA, I had developed the cut-paper digital collage style with drop shadows and stayed with that for a while. Then I began using the textured collage papers with my outlined sketch just for a different (and quicker) spin on the technique. About a year ago, I was experimenting with watercolor and pastels on printmaking paper and found a softer look was better for some of my illustrations. That combined with using Photoshop to overlay my sketch and some textures gave a nice look that I’ve been using a lot more lately. It gives me the flexibility to use my favorite medium – pastels – with my second favorite medium – the computer (or as I often call it “the machine that helps me fix any errors much quicker than redoing the entire illustration over again.”)

angeladogboy

Do you have a studio in your house?

My dining room table is often my “house studio” these days. However, I do have a studio space near my house. It’s called Studio 18 in the Pines – it has about 20 studios for artists and a large gallery for exhibitions. I use it when my son is in school or camp as well as sometimes on the weekends.

angelasled

What is the one thing in your studio that you could not live without?

My laptop and Intuos tablet for sure. But also my Nu-Pastels by Prismacolor – love them! I have my studio space mainly to do my batiks, however. I can’t melt wax or hang dripping dyed fabric in my house that’s for sure!

angelashoe

Do you try to spend a specific amount of time working on your craft?

I write and illustrate whenever I can between my freelance projects and life. I’ve been trying to commit a certain number of hours per week for just writing and illustrating but something always comes up and reduces that time. Each Monday I try to restart the week with that thinking – I know one of these days I’ll figure out how to do it.

angelaball

Do you take pictures or do any types of research before you start a project?

Yes! I have people pose for me or I go to places like the beach or zoo to take pictures. I also do some research online for photos if I can’t take the photos myself; I copy and paste every relevant image I can find into a Word document, then narrow them down to the ones I think will be most beneficial and print them out. I refer to photos all the time when illustrating.

angeladancer

Do you think the Internet has opened doors for you?

It’s my best friend! Without it, I couldn’t have studied for my MFA at Academy of Art University. I wouldn’t be able to research photos or companies to send my illustration samples to, and I wouldn’t have email to get offers for projects. And of course reading fantastic blogs like yours helps inspire and teach me, too!

angelagirl

What do you feel was your biggest success?

Illustrating THE HERO IN YOU so far has been the best illustration experience of my career. I would love to work with the art director at Albert Whitman & Co. again – he was a real cheerleader when I got stuck on an idea or was struggling to get one of the illustrations done on time. He also gave me a lot of creative flexibility to come up with the idea for the illustrations. I really think the book is going to sell well because of the content, the songs, and the ability to relate the book to the Core Curriculum Content Standards in schools.

angelashutthedoor

Do you use Photoshop with your illustrations?

Photoshop is my lifesaver. I use it to touch up illustrations so I don’t have to redo anything. I also love to illustrate in pieces – meaning, I usually illustrate each character separate from each other and the background, then scan them all in and place them together in Photoshop like a puzzle. It allows me the flexibility to move things around and resize them if necessary.

angelakitchen

Do you own or have you used a Graphic Drawing Tablet in your illustrating?

Yes Intuos tablet – I’d be lost without it.

angelapuppyshirt

Do you have any career dreams that you want to fulfill?

I definitely want to have books published that I have written and illustrated in all types of genres – board book, picture book, chapter book and middle grade novel. That would be my dream.

angeladuck

What are you working on now?

The question really should be what am I NOT working on now – my SCBWI critique group members can attest that I am non-stop at trying to write a good story. I have a few book dummies to touch up and finalize to have ready to submit to agents and editors. I also am finishing to write my first chapter book and then would like to draw some black and white illustrations for that book. I actually came up with another picture book idea this morning while walking my puppy so I hope to get the idea down in writing this week.

angelalittle annie

Do you have any material type tips you can share with us? Example: Paint or paper that you love – the best place to buy – a new product that you’ve tried – A how to tip, etc.

I water down gouache and acrylics to paint on tissue paper – very carefully as to not rip it. Scan those into Photoshop and use them to fill your sketch – you get the same effects if you were to paint the textures right on your illustrations. I love to paint watercolor on Rives BFK paper – very heavyweight printmaking paper that absorbs the watercolor with a soft texture. I also love Arches hot pressed watercolor paper for more detailed work. Nu-Pastels by Prismacolor are so great – the feel like hard pastels but go on like soft pastels – they still smudge but not as much as very soft pastels. Prismacolor colored pencils are my favorite – love the soft leads. And finally Prismacolor Col-Erase pencils. They’re colored pencils that can be erased pretty well – they’re great for outlining or sketching. Some animators use the different colors to show the progression of their sketches.

angelacharacterb&W

Any words of wisdom on how to become a successful writer or illustrator?

You have to be a student of the business. Research research research – not just for photo reference but also look at the new books that are out. Go to the library and spend an hour or two a week just looking through books and studying others’ illustrations – their techniques as well as their compositions. See what types of stories are selling. Read lots of books – reading with my son is the biggest help when learning about books. Go to conferences and workshops. Take online classes. Join critique groups and embrace feedback and different points of view. Have a style but be flexible so you can get work if you’re just starting out, like me. Always be drawing and illustrating something to keep your skills and ideas fresh. And never stop dreaming!

angelaNEW monkey graphic small

Thank you Angela for taking the time to share your process and journey with us. We look forward to hearing about your future successes.

To see more of Angela’s illustrations you can visit her at: http://www.angelapadron.com/

Please take a minute to leave a comment for Angela, I know she would love to heard from you and I always appreciate it. Thanks!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, authors and illustrators, Illustrator's Saturday, inspiration, Interview, picture books, Process Tagged: adjunct professor at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Angela Padron, Studio 18 in the Pines in South Florida.

10 Comments on Illustrator Saturday – Angela Padrón, last added: 7/19/2014
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12. Free Fall Friday – KUDOS

artshowvesperdowntheshore-sat

Two awards forVESPER STAMPER for her fun beach illustration. She was the Winner of Published illustrator AND Member’s Choice Awards for Down the Shore … Girl w. Umbrella piece she submitted for the NJSCBWI Artist Showcase.

Colleen Brand submitted a book to Schoolwide.com when she saw the info here and let me know that  they just accepted MY MOTHER’S DAUGHTER (a picture book) for their digital education library.

Lisa Yoskowitz will join Little, Brown Books for Young Readers as executive editor on July 21. Previously she was senior editor at Disney-Hyperion.

At Chronicle Books,Kelli Chipponeri has been promoted to editorial director, children’s.

Paul Whitlatch is joining the Hachette Books imprint as senior editor, starting July 21.

At Harlequin, Erika Imranyi has been promoted to executive editor, Mira.

Leon Husock joins L. Perkins Agency as an associate agent specializing in speculative fiction, as well as young adult and middle grade novels. He was an associate agent at Anderson Literary Management. Rachel Brooks will be joining the agency as a junior agent handling romance, young adult and new adult fiction and select picture books.

Lee Harris will join the Tor.com novella and ebook imprint as senior editor in “late summer.”

Pam van Hylckama Vlieg has left Foreword Literary Agency and joined D4EO Literary Agency, where she will continue to build her list.

Congratulations, everyone!

Remember, Agent Jenny Bent is doing four of our first page critiques this month. Below are the guidelines:

Here are the submission guidelines for submitting a First Page in July:

Please “July First Page Critique” in the subject line. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it is as picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top.

Please attach your first page submission using one inch margins and 12 point font – double spaced, no more than 23 lines to an e-mail and send it to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail and then also attach it in a Word document to the email.

DEADLINE: July 24th.

RESULTS: August 1st.

Use inch margins – double space your text – 12 pt. New Times Roman font – no more than 23 lines – paste into body of the email

You can only send in one first page each month. It can be the same first page each month or a different one, but if you sent it to me last month and it didn’t get chosen, you need to send it again using the July’s directions. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the same submission.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Editor & Agent Info, Kudos, Publishing Industry, success Tagged: Colleen Brand, Free Fall Friday, Lisa Yoskowitz, Vesper Stamper

2 Comments on Free Fall Friday – KUDOS, last added: 7/18/2014
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13. Pitch is Concept

artshow jasonSHORE sketch 6

This Team Sand Castle Contest was illustrated by Jason Kirschner and won Honorable Mention Unpublished Illustrator Award at the NJSCBWI Artist Showcase. http://www.jasonkirschner.com/jasonkirschner.com/Home.html

erikaphoto-45Hello all! Jersey Farm Scribe here. Last time we talked I was giving you my take away on how to Attack a Conference. I promised I’d tell you some of the specific, tangible things I learned at the NJ SCBWI.

So here is one of the biggest:

Pitch/Concept

It seems so simple. But I hadn’t thought of it like this before.

Pitch IS Concept.

I took Jill Corcoran’s workshop on concept and selling through to readers. I wasn’t sure what I expected, but I knew Jill is revered for her grasp of plot and revisions. I’ve been over her website A Path to Publishing, quite a few times, and gotten invaluable information from her blog, so I was ready to see what she had to say in person.

One of the first things that struck me was how interchangeably she seemed to use the words “pitch” and “concept.”

To me, pitch was what you practice saying over and over to be prepared to present my idea to one of the editors and agents walking around. It was what I put in the beginning of my query letter. That elevator, two or three sentence wrap of what my book was.

Concept was…. actually, to be honest I hadn’t really thought about it.

As Jill said in the workshop, and as she explains in the beginning of her free video on PlotWriMo (Revise your novel in a month), the CONCEPT is how you’d convince someone to read your book.

Okay, so that means it’s what’s the book about, right?

Well… yes and no.

If I want to go see a movie, and I have to convince other people to want to go see it, what would I say? What makes it special? What draws me to want to see it? Why should someone else want to see it?

That’s more than going over the plot. It’s more than what happens, or who the main characters are. It’s what gives the movie meaning, substance, interest and originality.

And that’s not easy to do in a few sentences!! As Kathy has said, write it all out first. go back to cut and condense.

But how do we know if we’re cutting the right things?

In the workshop, a few of us read our “pitch” to Jill. And a common theme in her response was, “You’re not really TELLING me anything. I know you think you are. But you’re not.”

A lot of it came down to specifics. The pitch has a reader. That reader needs to know what’s going on. It’s a book about heroism! Great. But how so? The kids are going to save the world? Excellent. But WHY? What’s wrong with the world in the first place? Shelby finds herself confused and alone. Okay. But why? And who isn’t? So what’s so special about her confusion?

So how to attack punching up the concept/pitch? I learned to do three things:

1) How will a publisher SELL the book? I hadn’t really thought about this before either. At all. It was especially meaningful for me, because I have a chapter book with a surprise ending. Sure, a surprise can be great. But TOO much surprise makes for a pretty weak back flap on the back of book! How do you sell that?

I don’t want a publisher sitting there thinking. “Yeah, it’s great. But I can’t TELL potential readers why it’s so great or else it’ll ruin the whole thing!”

You’re looking for a pretty serious commitment from someone, whether it’s an agent, editor, publisher, or even the final buyer of the book. Whatever is going to make them go: THIS IS IT! This is the next book I want to my devote time and money to! That’s your concept. That’s your pitch.

Then it’s time to examine it closer:

2) One line at a time:

I read each sentence of my pitch at a time. Then ask myself, WHY?

Four fearless friends save a town from despair.

Okay. There is some element of plot in there. But honestly, the fact is, there is probably millions of stories this could be describing. So let’s see… why? Why do they do it?

What drives them to do it? How much despair are we talking about? Can I express that level of despair in just a few more words?

3) One WORD at a time:

Once I have the sentences I want to say on paper and I’m confident with WHAT they say, it’s time to look at HOW they say it. Am I using the right words?

We only have so many words we get to use in a pitch. And let’s be honest, as someone brought up in the comments of my last pitch, being specific leads to a longer pitch. It’s just a fact. So every word is even more important. Let’s look at the beginning of that same line:

Four fearless friends…….

Four: Does it really matter that there are four of them? Probably not. Maybe I can replace it with something more meaningful.

Fearless: Really? I couldn’t have done better than that? How did I ever think that sounded good?

Etc….

Every single word gets analyzed, condensed, replaced, sometimes even re-envisioned entirely, which ends up leading me back to step one and starting all over again.

Pitch.

…….Sigh. It’s definitely not my favorite part of the process.

But Jill’s workshop really made me feel like now, I have a plan of attack, a process, specific, tangible things to look for, to look at and to strikethrough.

And again, you know I’m a big believer that, well…. our manuscripts are worth it!

Thank you Erika for another great article to help all of us improve our skills.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, article, demystify, How to, Process, Writing Tips Tagged: Erika Wassall, Jill Corcoran, Path to Publishing, Pitch is Concept

8 Comments on Pitch is Concept, last added: 7/18/2014
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14. Ebook Sales and Who is Reading YA

art showAngie Kidd ShinozakiFrog on a Log

Angie Kidd Shinozaki entered this cute summer frog in the NJSCBWI Artist Showcase.

ebooksales
whoreadsya

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: illustrating, need to know, Publishing Industry, Young Adult Novel Tagged: 2014 NJSCBWI Conference, 2014 State of the Market Report, Angie Kidd Shinozaki, Ebook Sales and Growth, Kathy Temean's State of the Market, Who'es Reading YA?

8 Comments on Ebook Sales and Who is Reading YA, last added: 7/16/2014
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15. Ebook influences on Book Sales

art show falkenstern_scbwi

The art show that took place at the NJSCBWI Conference continues with this evening illustration done by Lisa Falkenstern.
ebookinfluences


Filed under: illustrating, inspiration, need to know, Publishing Industry Tagged: 2014 State of the Market Report, ebooks fluences on book sales, Kathy Temean's State of the Market, Lisa Falkenstern

1 Comments on Ebook influences on Book Sales, last added: 7/15/2014
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16. TRENDS: Editor and Agent Market Survey Answers

artshow colleenscbwi entry 2_6
The Artist Showcase from the NJSCBWI Conference continues with this wonderful illustration of the sand and the surf in Cape May, NJ by illustrator Colleen Rowan Kosinski. Colleen is an author/illustrator that has worked as a fine artist for over fifteen years and has artwork hanging in homes across the country. She is a member of the SCBWI and, along with writing and illustrating picture books, she writes MG and YA novels. She is a graduate of Rutgers University. Website: www.colleenrowankosinski.com

MY STATE OF THE MARKET REPORT and AGENT/EDITOR SURVEY CONTINUES BELOW:

agent trends
editors trending

Check back tomorrow for more from answers to question asked in the 2014 State of the Market Report I gave at the NJSCBWI Conference the other week.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, Conferences and Workshops, Editors, need to know, Publishing Industry Tagged: 2014 NJSCBWI Conference, 2014 State of the Market Report, Colleen Rowan Kosinski, kathy temean, Presentation

2 Comments on TRENDS: Editor and Agent Market Survey Answers, last added: 7/14/2014
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17. Genres: Trends From Editors/Agents Survey

artshowAngela Padron NJ SCBWI art show FINAL

The NJSCBWI Art Show Continues: I think you will enjoy this cute little sea monster in this illustration by Angela Padron. Angela was born and raised in Freehold, NJ but moved to Florida in 2002. For over 15 years, Angela taught bilingual, ESL, Spanish, and Art in public schools before becoming a freelance writer and illustrator. Now she writes and illustrates children’s books, including board books, picture books, chapter books, and middle grade novels.

Below is the slide I made up after tallying the answers to the survey I sent to a total of 38 editors and agents. I asked each whether they thought the genres below where increasing, decreasing, or staying the same and if they expected this to continue for the next year.

GenreTrends

Check back tomorrow for more details.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, Conferences and Workshops, Editors, inspiration, need to know, Publishing Industry Tagged: 2014 NJSCBWI Conference, Angela Padron, State of the Market Report

5 Comments on Genres: Trends From Editors/Agents Survey, last added: 7/14/2014
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18. Illustrator Saturday – Andreja Peklar

andrejapicAndreja Peklar was born in Ljubljana, Slovenija.

After studying Art history and philosophy she graduated in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana.

She devoted herself to illustrating for children and her work can be seen in several picture books, text books, popular science books and magazines.

She also designed and illustrated educational material for children for several museums in Slovenija.

Her work was exhibited at various exhibitions in Slovenija and abroad (Biennial of illustration Bratislava, Golden pen Belgrade, Bibliotheque nationale de France, Paris, Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, New York).

Andreja Peklar has also received several Slovenian and foreign awards. Some of her books have been included in The White Ravens selection.

Recently she has been focusing on writing and illustrating her own books for children. She lives and works as freelance illustrator in Ljubljana.

Here is Andreja explaining her working process:

The theme of this illustration was POTTER – it was made for partly fiction partly educational book about ancient crafts.

I start with the research. I browse a lot on internet and in different books. In this case I have searched in some historic and archeological books.

andrejapotter1Then I put some different ideas on a paper. I draw rough sketches with the chalk or very soft pencil.

andrejapotter2

From one idea to another …

andrejapotter3

… and finally there is a sketch I will use for the illustration.  If the sketch is too small I photocopy it to the final size. I always draw illustration a little larger than it will be printed in a book.

Then I place a scetch (or a photocopy) on a light box and copy it to paper – usually Canson Montval 300gr aquarel paper. If I work out of studio I use “natural” light box – I tape a scetch on a window glass (this “tehnique” works only from dawn to dusk!)

andrejapotter4

I tape the final drawing on a plexiglass board and begin with colouring. I usually work with Ferrario’s Tiepolo tempera. First I put very bright colours using quite wide brushes.

andrejapotter5

Then I add some structures with painting knives searching for the right atmosphere…

andrejapotter6

… finishing some details …

andrejapotter7

… to the final illustration.

andrejapotter8

And this is how the illustration has been placed in a book.

andrejaIs this gmajl

How long have you been illustrating?

I have been illustrating for about 20 years now.

andrejaarchers2

How did you decide to attend the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana?

I studied philosophy and art history at first. But I have always wanted to draw. And way back in the primary school a few of us, teenagers have founded an “art group”. We were so keen that the municipality of our town has given us a nice studio in the attic of the town’s gallery (I am exhibiting my illustrations in that same gallery right now – how nostalgic!). I have spent so much of my teenage and student time there – painting, drawing, chatting about art … beautiful time … so switching to Academy of Fine Arts was somehow a logical continuation.

andrejababy

What were you favorite classes in college?

I have studied painting, not illustration and my favourite technique was graphics – engraving, lithography. I intend to incorporate more graphics into my illustration work right now – doing some monotypes already.

andrejaceremony

Did the School help you get work?

No, not really. We have not received “education” for living in real world. I had to learn it by myself. But on the other hand at the Academy we were taught a lot of different skills and techniques and given a lot of time to experiment. And this was a kind of help to begin living as an artist.

andrejahoundsandrabbit

What was the first painting or illustration that you did where someone paid you for your artwork?

My first illustrations were black and white drawings for my friend’s book of poems when I was in high school. They were done in the name of a friendship, of course. But the first artwork I was paid for was the illustration for an old Chinese board game called Jungle.

andrejamusiconknee

What type of job did you do right after you graduated?

Right after I graduated I did quite a lot of drawings for stained glass, I also painted glass, taught drawing classes for a while, designed, but quickly I began illustrating.

andrejarace

Do you think the classes you took in college influenced your style?

No, not directly. In my opinion you hold your expression within and the style emerges later while working.

andrejabattle

When did you do your first illustration for children?

Very soon after having graduated. It was an illustration for a series “Adventures of Goga The Millipede” for the children’s magazine Ciciban.

andrejadinner

How did that come about?

Well, it was quite funny. My husband’s daughter (she was 7 years at the time) came to me one evening and asked me to draw 6 elephants, 6 giraffes, 6 badgers, 6… and I drew and drew… Next morning she took these drawings to school and showed them to her teacher Majda Koren, who by chance was also the editor at our main children’s magazine (and a very good author too!). And I got the job!

andrejathequeen

When did you decide you wanted to illustrate a children’s book?

The very first time I thought to be an illustrator was when I was about 10 years old. I admired the Slovenian illustrator Marija Lucija Stupica very much and therefore decided to become one myself. Then I forgot this for a while and wanted to be an archeologist, a psychologist, a chemist … gradually I came back to illustrating. Sometimes things just come to you, you don’t have to interfere much …

andrejaknightandlady

How long did it take you to get your first picture book contract?

A few years after I started to illustrate, I suppose.

andrejaknighthand

What was your first book that you illustrated?

It was a book about old Romans.

andrejaholdingthemoon

How did you get the opportunity to exhibit at the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, New York?

I saw a call for entry to the 50th Annual Exhibition on internet and sent my illustration. I was very happy that it had been chosen for the Annual!

andrejaknightflags

Have you illustrated any books for the American Market?

No, I have not.

andrejapleading

Have you worked with educational publishers?

Yes, quite a lot. I’ve illustrated a lot of educational books about history for schools and museums.

andrejavenice

How many children’s books have you illustrated?

All together about 50.

andrejabath

Your bio says you are writing and illustrating your own books. Are any of them finished?

Yes, two of them have already been published. I have some new projects in my mind, they are actually in different stages.

andrejajewelry

Have you done any illustrating for children’s magazines?

Yes, from the very beginning I have been illustrating for different children’s and teenage magazines.

andrejalookingatmoon

Do you have an Artist Rep. to represent you? If so, who? If not, would you like to find one?

No, I don’t have an Artist Rep. I have been trying to find one from time to time but there are so many! And somehow I never have enough time to search among them to find one who will be just the right one!

andrejamoon

What types of things do you do to find illustration work?

At the very beginning of my career I visited some publishing houses to show them my portfolio. After a time they usually searched me when they wanted to engage me. I also sent some submissions and query letters from time to time. And I go to Bologna Book Fair every year. I have to admit – it is more for a pleasure of seeing all these beautiful books than for business.

andrejamoonbird

Do you think living in Slovenia causes you to work harder to find work?

Slovenia has a long tradition of printing way back to the 16th century albeit is a small country, which has a bright side as well as a darker one. Practically everything I do publishers can see and if they are interested they contact me. But on the other hand our market is small so there are not many publishing houses, less editions, less numbers of print runs etc. You have to work on a lot of different projects to survive. Still, I would like to be focused more on a specific kind of illustration work that I prefer.

andrejasleepingonroof

What is your favorite medium to use?

I love tempera, it is soft and not glossy. I also like black ink for drawing expressive wide strokes with brushes or delicate drawings with fine pen.

andrejawhiteandblue

Has that changed over time?

Yes, I like to experiment with different mediums to find a technique to go along with a particular atmosphere or feeling of a text I am illustrating.

andrejawithhen

Do you have a studio in your house?

I have a “room of my own” in our apartment, yes. But I am still dreaming of a laaaaarge studio with a very high ceiling…

andrejalightinhand

What is the one thing in your studio that you could not live without?

Some brushes with specific sizes and shapes and a music background.

andrejaatdoor

Do you try to spend a specific amount of time working on your craft?

Yes I do, but when it comes to deadlines – it is day and night.

andrejabear

Do you take pictures or do any types of research before you start a project?

I do research, for non-fiction or educational books a lot of research: from internet, books, magazines. I also have my “treasure box” in which I keep photographs, cuttings from papers, magazines, ideas, inspirations …

andrejarabbitscissors

Which illustrated book is your favorite?

If I think about my books it is “The boy with a little red hood”, which I have written and illustrated. If I talk about others there are so many, so different: “Die Nacht” by Wolf Erlbruch, “Stuck” by Oliver Jeffers, “This is not my hat” by Jon Klassen, “If I were a book” by Andre Letria, “I am not a little red riding hood” by Linda Wolfsgruber, “The three golden keys” by Peter Sis and many many more.

andrejagirl

Do you think the Internet has opened doors for you?

Yes, definitely. Sometimes I actually don’t understand how we have been working and communicating in those days before!

andrejaeatingwithfrog

Do you use Photoshop with your illustrations?

I use Photoshop for my work as well.

andrejacrying

Do you own or have you used a Graphic Drawing Tablet in your illustrating?

Yes, I have Intuos 5, love it!

andrejanightcapfrog2

Do you have any career dreams that you want to fulfill?

To make more of my own books (good ones, of course!)!

andrejarelaxingfrog

What are you working on now?

I am illustrating for a children’s magazine and preparing to continue working on my own book.

andrejamoomhair

Do you have any material type tips you can share with us? Example: Paint or paper that you love – the best place to buy – a new product that you’ve tried – A how to tip, etc.

Usually I am working with Canson Montval paper and Ferrario Tiepolo tempera. My favourite place to buy materials is Boesner in Austria. But you have to experiment and search for some new materials all the time!

andrejawindowlady

Any words of wisdom on how to become a successful writer or illustrator?

Work hard, be honest with your work and believe in it! And if you think you can’t find an inspiration, just sit at your working table and begin drawing … the inspiration will soon come …

andrejachickenleg

AWARDS

• The International Golden pen of Belgrade Award, 2007 (for the book Varuh)

• The most original Slovene picture book Award 2006 (for the book Fant z rdečo kapico)

• The most original Slovene picture book nomination 2006 (for the book Mojca Pokrajculja)

andrejabed2

andrejaTULIPA2

Thank you Andreja for taking the time to share your process and journey with us. We look forward to hearing about your future successes.

To see more of Andreja’s illustrations you can visit her at: http://www.andrejapeklar.si/home.html

Please take a minute to leave a comment for Andreja, I know she would love to heard from you and I always appreciate it. Thanks!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, awards, bio, Illustrator's Saturday, inspiration, Interview, picture books Tagged: Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana., Andreja Peklar, Ljubljana, Slovenija

2 Comments on Illustrator Saturday – Andreja Peklar, last added: 7/12/2014
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19. Schoolwide Submission & TeenSpeak Novel Workshop &

rebeccaCaridad_DownTheShore_web
The art show exhibit continues with this illustration created by Rebecca Caridad. Hope some of you get to enjoy the sun, sand, and fun by the ocean. Here is Rebecca’s link: rebeccacaridad.crevado.com

Back in April I had a post about Schoolwide, Inc.call for submissions: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/educational-publisher-looking-for-submissions/

Susan Tierney is the Acquisitions and Development Editor at Schoolwide, Inc. She contacted me saying they are still receiving submissions, but they have updated their policy and would like authors to submit their work to us via their submissions manager, at http://www.schoolwide.com/publishing. Authors should no longer email Susan directly with submissions. You need to use their our website. Manuscripts are uploaded directly into their database and enter the editorial review process from there.

Illustrators who wish to contact Susan may continue to do so, providing links to their portfolios, and an idea of their fees if possible, at Susan’s Schoolwide email address: stierney@schoolwide.com.

They are currently looking to build a network of illustrators for their new digital K-8 library, for everything from picture books and story art to spot illustrations, from project – based arrangements to royalties.
_________________________________________________________________

I know many of you have teens who want to write and are encouraging them to do so. Here is a Novel Workshop on the West Coast whose purpose is to foster our future authors. Here is the information:

TeenSpeak Novel Workshop

Convenes October 17-19, 2014 in coastal Santa Cruz, CA.

 

TeenSpeak offers a rare opportunity for international teens to interact with top level East Coast editors and agents, and adults who write for the teen/tween market. Open to 10 teens in an intimate setting, the event dovetails with 20 supportive adults in a concurrent, partly overlapping workshop.

 

FACULTY: Core teen instructor is Helen Pyne, MFA (Vermont College of Fine Arts), a former Doubleday children’s/YA book editor. Along with adult enrollees, teens enjoy novelcrafting sessions with Knopf Associate Publishing Director Melanie Cecka (also an award-winning children’s book author) and agent Scott Treimel (former children’s book editor), president of Scott Treimel New York. 

 

CONTENT: TeenSpeak workshop focuses on craft through dramatic improv and other vehicles. Teens receive in-person, mini critiques with editor and agent—and full critiques from their own instructor, and volunteer adult enrollees.

 

In reciprocity, teens offer adults target-reader feedback. After teens edit selected adults’ partial and full novels, they hear our editor and agent critique the same manuscripts. Lively discussion follows, for the benefit of all: “I loved the teens’ insights at this workshop,” says ErinClarke, executive editor atKnopf Children’s Books. Well before the event, teens are offered tools to sharpen their critiquing skills, and may be paid for a job well done.

 

FEE: $549 covers up to three nights’ beachfront condo lodging with chaperone, kid-friendly meals, all critiques, and focus sessions.

 

TeenSpeak Scholarship Fund: This year’s donations will honor renowned children’s author, Elaine Marie Alphin. Teens (and adults) will apply exercises in her book, Creating Characters Kids Will Love. To contribute any amount to support a young person passionate about writing, contact us via the website, where you’ll find mixed testimonials from scholarship beneficiaries and other enthusiastic teens. (Alternately, ask about possible jobs for teens or parents, or split payments.) Teens appreciate your generous donation!

 

ENROLLING: Recommended enrollment date for maximum options: July 20. Details and contact: www.ChildrensWritersWorkshop.com(click FOR TEENS). TeenSpeak is an outgrowth of the Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Workshop, established 2003. Don’t delay; we fill fast!

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“At these two workshops, I learned to create realistic characters and got tips
on my college essays. It’s exciting to know there’s a job market out there
for something I love so much!”— Jacqueline, age 17 (now at Stanford)

 
Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Conferences and Workshops, Editor & Agent Info, opportunity, Places to sumit Tagged: Acquisitions and Development Editor, Rebecca Caridad, Schoolwide, Susan Tierney, Teen Writing Workshop

1 Comments on Schoolwide Submission & TeenSpeak Novel Workshop &, last added: 7/6/2014
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20. Smudge by Smudge Writing Comparison

SMUDGE BY SMUDGE BY Katia Rania

floydIMG_1417 (2)Writer illustrator Floyd Cooper awed the crowd of writers and visual artists at the SCBWI New Jersey conference on Saturday, when he stood before us all with an eraser in one hand. He had painted a flat rectangular surface with a thin layer of brown. He held that up before us, then proceeded to create right before our eyes.

A smudge of an eraser left a faint whitish dot at the top of the canvas. Another smudge created a thin path of lightness. Then, the artist’s hands moving faster and faster, a smudge here, a smudge there, and just like that, we all could see shapes lurking behind the brown shadows. With each new smudge the shapes grew fuller, bursting out of their flat confines.

“This little shape can become inspiration,” Floyd said. “It can lead to something, become a door.”

More smudges, and the shapes connected into a face of a man. More smudges, and the man sported a Native-American style feather atop his head.

The way Floyd worked reminded me of the famous quote attributed to Michelangelo, about how he would chip away at what wasn’t his statute, until he was left with what was. And whether you are a sculptor, a visual artist or a writer, if you have been through draft after draft after draft, then you might recognize this process in your own work.

After all, is this not what we do?

When we first approach our story-to-be, much of that fictional world is covered by darkness. We stand before it, blind. Some of us write character sketches, free write or outline, others plunge right into a draft, not daunted by not knowing. Either way, we grope toward the truths of our stories. Until – in this draft, in that passage, in this questionnaire, we stumble at a kernel of truth, a discovery that illuminates the darkness a little. Now going forward might be just a little easier. As we follow our smudges where they lead us, we can’t help but see new shapes.

We writers wield erasers too. As we kill our darlings and prune our weeds, we get rid of the false, the shallow, the surface, the un-true. And what we are suddenly left with – is our story.

Thank you, Floyd, for not only the sheer pleasure of watching you work, but also for the reminder to us all to keep doing what we’re doing, to keep searching, keep revising, keep on going, smudge by smudge.

katia Paramount building close-upAnd Thank you Katia for sharing your thoughts with us and making us think.

<Katia Raina came to this country from the former Soviet Union at the age of 15, and quickly fell in love with the English language. Once a newspaper reporter, now Katia is an intern for a literary agency, with plans to continue her career on that side of the publishing desk as well. In addition, Katia writes young adult novels and poetry. Enrolled in her final semester at the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults, Katia loves sharing what she is learning with faithful readers and friends over at her blog, the Magic Mirror. You can find her there at http://katiaraina.wordpress.com

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: article, authors and illustrators, inspiration, Process Tagged: Floyd Cooper, Illustrating to Writing commparison, Katia Rainia, Smudge by Smudge

3 Comments on Smudge by Smudge Writing Comparison, last added: 7/9/2014
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21. Interview With Shannon Wiersbitzky: What Flowers Remember

I see you have published two middle grade books with namelos. Did you sign a two book deal when you sold  THE SUMMER OF HAMMERS AND ANGELS?

No. My initial contract with Namelos only included my first book. I didn’t even know there would be a sequel!

Can you tell us the story behind how you sold your first book and the journey you took to get there?

Writing IS a journey isn’t it! I’ll say that it was a ten year path of discovering my voice and what kind of narrative suits me best. When I began writing books for children, I focused first on picture books. Then I began to dabble in novels. I met my editor, Stephen Roxburgh, at a picture book workshop at Highlights in 2009. He had just started Namelos earlier that year. We hit it off and after the workshop I sent him the manuscript for THE SUMMER OF HAMMERS AND ANGELS. We’ve been working together ever since.

Was that your debut book?

Yes. While I’ve had a variety of picture books garner significant interest over the years, HAMMERS was the first book I had published. It was a real thrill to see it in print. I’ve got a copy hanging on the wall in my writing studio. My husband had it framed.

How well did the book sell?

The book has sold well. I don’t know an exact number of copies. It always helps when a novel gets noticed by organizations and award committees, and THE SUMMER OF HAMMERS AND ANGELS did. It was nominated for the William Allen White award, and was a recommended title by the Kansas NEA Reading Circle. Scholastic bought copies for its book club too. Anytime a story is recognized, it’s an honor.

Has the publishing of WHAT FLOWERS REMEMBER, increased the sales of THE SUMMER OF HAMMERS AND ANGELS?

Yes, I think the benefit of having multiple books out is that people naturally see or seek out your other titles. At least they do if they like what they read!

Had you written WHAT FLOWERS REMEMBER when you sold the first book?

No, I hadn’t. In fact, after HAMMERS came out, when asked if there might be a sequel, I confidently said that Delia’s story was finished. Ha! That just shows you that characters are really in charge, not the writers.

How did the idea of the book come to you?

In terms of the actual time and place when I realized Delia had another story to tell, I was literally on a flight from PA to CA. I’d written a novel dealing with Alzheimer’s several years earlier (it was terrible and I never tried to publish it) and all of a sudden, I realized that I’d given the story to the wrong character. It was Delia’s story to tell. I plotted out the entire novel on the back of a single sheet of paper and about six months later I started writing it.

The inspiration to write about Alzheimer’s came from my own life. My grandfather had the disease and ultimately he forgot me. He and I were very close and it broke my heart to realize I had been erased. I wanted to capture the truth of that in a story.

Sadly, dementia is so common, and we have a real lack of stories that deal with it in an honest way. For some reason, we don’t talk about Alzheimer’s as openly as we do other diseases. Kids (and adults) need to be able to have everyday conversations about what they might be experiencing with their own grandparents or others in their life. My hope is that books like FLOWERS can help.

Do you have an agent? If so, who? If not, would you like to find one?

I don’t have an agent. I’ve worked directly with Stephen and his Namelos team for both books. I would like to find an agent, but it hasn’t been my focus lately. It’s so difficult to find someone that exactly fits your personality and writing style!

I have some picture book and early reader manuscripts I’d love to see published, and down the road, there may be other novels that aren’t right for Namelos, but are right for another publisher. Reviewers have compared my writing to Chicken Soup for the Soul and Patricia MacLachlan. If you know of any agents that might lean that way, let me know!

What type of things have you been doing to promote your books?

I have a full-time job that is fairly demanding, so I try to pick and choose things I can tackle in odd hours or that don’t require a full day. I regularly do web interviews with bloggers or write guest posts. I’ve visited local schools and done Skype visits with classrooms. There have been radio interviews. I’ve done a few book signings too.

Did namelos help market your book and get reviews?

Absolutely! They work the official reviewers and send copies out to various awards committees and all that usual stuff that publishers do. Stephen Roxburgh is highly regarded in the industry, so books he publishes typically do get picked up for review by folks like Kirkus. That’s a big plus.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on a few things. I’m editing a new novel which is totally different from my first two. High action, high comedy, high levels of exaggeration. I think I needed a break from the realistic fiction. I’m working on a few picture books as well. I’d love for them to find a good home. And I’m jotting notes for a novel that I haven’t started yet, but that I’ve been thinking about for two years. As soon as I can get the action manuscript out the door, this one is next in line. I like to have a host of projects in the hopper. My brain seems to work best that way.

 

Giveaway Notes

Happy to do a givewaway! Just let me know the name and address of the winner.

 

Book Notes: What Flowers Remember

Most folks probably think gardens only get tended when they’re blooming. But most folks would be wrong. According to the almanac, a proper gardener does something every single month. Old Red Clancy was definitely a proper gardener. That’s why I enrolled myself in the Clancy School of Gardening. If I was going to learn about flowers, I wanted to learn from the best.

Delia and Old Red Clancy make quite a pair. He has the know-how and she has the get-up-and-go. When they dream up a seed- and flower-selling business, well, look out, Tucker’s Ferry, because here they come.

But something is happening to Old Red. And the doctors say he
can’t be cured. He’s forgetting places and names and getting cranky for
no reason. As his condition worsens, Delia takes it upon herself to save
as many memories as she can. Her mission is to gather Old Red’s stories so that no one will forget, and she corrals everybody in town to help her.

What Flowers Remember is a story of love and loss, of a young girl coming to understand that even when people die, they live on in our minds, our hearts, and our stories.

*Note: A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book are donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.

 


 

Review Excerpts

“There are echoes of Patricia MacLachlan in the book’s period flavor (the story seems to be set thirty years or so in the past), the tenderness, and the deft writing that keeps a heart-tugging plot lovely as well as brimming with sentiment. Delia’s move from grief for what she’s losing to a deeper understanding of her old friend is smoothly depicted…. The story will bring new perspective for readers struggling with their own beloved elders, and the liquid joy of a serious tearjerker to anybody who likes a poignant human drama.”

–The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Recommended

 

“Wiersbitzky organizes the book gracefully by naming the chapters after months of the year. …The ebb and flow of life is shown, grief is addressed, and the power of what one person can do is celebrated. Teachers may wish to consider this book for reading lists in middle school.”

–Children’s Literature

 

“What do flowers remember? The stories of the people who cared for them, of course, as Wiersbitzky’s sensitive novel compassionately conveys.” – Kirkus Reviews

 

“Fans of wholesome, uplifting stories similar to Canfield’s Chicken Soup for the Soul collections, will best enjoy this gentle reminder of the goodness of life and people.” — Voice of Youth Advocates

 

Author Notes & Links: Shannon Wiersbitzky

Website: www.shannonwiersbitzky.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ShannonWiersbitzky

Twitter: @SWiersbitzky

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ShannonWiersbitzky

Shannon Wiersbitzky is a middle-grade author, a hopeless optimist, and a lover of the outdoors. The Summer of Hammers and Angels, nominated for the William Allen White award, was her first novel. Born in North Dakota, Shannon has called West Virginia, Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Michigan “home” at some point in her life. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two sons, one rather dull fish and her always entertaining dog Benson.


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22. NJSCBWI Conference Thoughts

amalia fish with girl

This fun and colorful illustration is what Amalia Hoffman entered in the NJSCBWI Art Show. Here is the link to her website: http://www.amaliahoffman.com

Amalia wrote the following about her time at the conference.

The last weekend of June, I attended the New Jersey SCBWI conference in Princeton, NJ.

This is really a great conference. So much to do and you get to pitch your idea to an agent, dine with the faculty, view the great illustrations and display your art if you are an illustrator.

But the best part is that you get to meet groovy super creative people, some of which could become your pals forever.

Of course, you can’t do it all. I had a hard time choosing where to go and what to do.

I can only say that going to this conference is like going to a great restaurant – wonderful creative menu but you can’t do it all.

On Saturday,I started with a first page appetizer with Susan Dobinick from FSG and Carter Hasegawa from Candelwick. Of course, I was eager to know what they thought of my first page but it was also very useful to hear what they said about other writer’s first pages.

For main course, I chose Kathy Temean who gave a great session on how to sell more books. She actually took the time to look at each participant’s web site and / or blog and gave suggestions and recommendations. She inspired all of us.

Carter Hasegawa gave a great presentation on narrative Nonfiction. It really helped me realize how to improve my non fiction manuscript. He brought lots of books with him and we teamed and made comments why these were fantastic books. Yes, he did mention that the book were heavy but it was well worth the schlepping.

For desert, Rachel Orr gave an informative presentation about plotting.

I had to miss some of the goodies because I had a very wonderful one on one critique with Emily Feinberg from Roaring Brook Press.

On Sunday, I had a wonderful first course treat as Kathy Temean delivered a very informative session on the state of the market. I don’t know how long it took her to prepare all this, we were lucky to have her put all the ingredients together.

The next course I tasted was Natalie Zaman’s session. Natalie reviewed each participant’s non fiction proposal. It was very helpful to hear her suggestions on how to write the kind of proposal that will get a publisher convinced that you could write and deliver.

Unfortunately, I missed some of Katie Davis’s presentation on how to use video to explode your career because I had an agent pitch but Katie gave a few links to websites and lots of information to a newbie like myself.

There was so much to whet my appetite and, oh, I forgot, the food was yummy too!

__________________________________________________________

Kathleen Bakos said, “I am quite happy to say I’ve attended my first NJ SCBWI conference. I left there in the midst of multiple epiphanies about how to change my stories for the better. There were so many ideas popping in my head while I drove home, I had to record them with Siri in my notes app on my phone so I wouldn’t forget them! Kudos and thanks to all the SCBWI organizers for featuring an awesome faculty and for a well organized conference. My favorite workshops were humor cells, great novel beginnings and endings, and the character development double session. I walked away with many a gold nugget to chew on! Write on!”

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: article, authors and illustrators, Conferences and Workshops, illustrating Tagged: 2014 NJSCBWI Conference, Agent Rachel Orr, Carter Hasegawa, Conference Thoughts, Emily Feinberg Roaring Brook Press, Susan Dobinick

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23. Book Give-a-Way & Interview With Shannon Wiersbitzky: What Flowers Remember

Shannon_Wiersbitzky_Author_Photo_2012Shannon Wiersbitzky is a middle-grade author, a hopeless optimist, and a lover of the outdoors. The Summer of Hammers and Angels, nominated for the William Allen White award, was her first novel.

Born in North Dakota, Shannon has called West Virginia, Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Michigan “home” at some point in her life.She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two sons, one rather dull fish and her always entertaining dog Benson.

I interviewed Shannon about her new book WHAT FLOWERS REMEMBER, and asked her if she would do a give-a-way of the book for anyone who leaves a comment. If you tweet or post something about the book on facebook or your blog, you will receive an extra entry to increase your chances to win.

Book Notes: What Flowers Remember

shannonflowersMost folks probably think gardens only get tended when they’re blooming. But most folks would be wrong. According to the almanac, a proper gardener does something every single month. Old Red Clancy was definitely a proper gardener. That’s why I enrolled myself in the Clancy School of Gardening. If I was going to learn about flowers, I wanted to learn from the best.

Delia and Old Red Clancy make quite a pair. He has the know-how and she has the get-up-and-go. When they dream up a seed- and flower-selling business, well, look out, Tucker’s Ferry, because here they come.

But something is happening to Old Red. And the doctors say he
can’t be cured. He’s forgetting places and names and getting cranky for
no reason. As his condition worsens, Delia takes it upon herself to save
as many memories as she can. Her mission is to gather Old Red’s stories so that no one will forget, and she corrals everybody in town to help her.

What Flowers Remember is a story of love and loss, of a young girl coming to understand that even when people die, they live on in our minds, our hearts, and our stories.

*Note: A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book are donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.

In addition to win and read a good book, I think you will find Shannon’s answers to my interview questions below interesting.

I see you have published two middle grade books with namelos. Did you sign a two book deal when you sold  THE SUMMER OF HAMMERS AND ANGELS?

No. My initial contract with Namelos only included my first book. I didn’t even know there would be a sequel!

Can you tell us the story behind how you sold your first book and the journey you took to get there?

Writing IS a journey isn’t it! I’ll say that it was a ten year path of discovering my voice and what kind of narrative suits me best. When I began writing books for children, I focused first on picture books. Then I began to dabble in novels. I met my editor, Stephen Roxburgh, at a picture book workshop at Highlights in 2009. He had just started Namelos earlier that year. We hit it off and after the workshop I sent him the manuscript for THE SUMMER OF HAMMERS AND ANGELS. We’ve been working together ever since.

Was that your debut book?

Yes. While I’ve had a variety of picture books garner significant interest over the years, HAMMERS was the first book I had published. It was a real thrill to see it in print. I’ve got a copy hanging on the wall in my writing studio. My husband had it framed.

How well did the book sell?

The book has sold well. I don’t know an exact number of copies. It always helps when a novel gets noticed by organizations and award committees, and THE SUMMER OF HAMMERS AND ANGELS did. It was nominated for the William Allen White award, and was a recommended title by the Kansas NEA Reading Circle. Scholastic bought copies for its book club too. Anytime a story is recognized, it’s an honor.

Has the publishing of WHAT FLOWERS REMEMBER, increased the sales of THE SUMMER OF HAMMERS AND ANGELS?

Yes, I think the benefit of having multiple books out is that people naturally see or seek out your other titles. At least they do if they like what they read!

Had you written WHAT FLOWERS REMEMBER when you sold the first book?

No, I hadn’t. In fact, after HAMMERS came out, when asked if there might be a sequel, I confidently said that Delia’s story was finished. Ha! That just shows you that characters are really in charge, not the writers.

How did the idea of the book come to you?

In terms of the actual time and place when I realized Delia had another story to tell, I was literally on a flight from PA to CA. I’d written a novel dealing with Alzheimer’s several years earlier (it was terrible and I never tried to publish it) and all of a sudden, I realized that I’d given the story to the wrong character. It was Delia’s story to tell. I plotted out the entire novel on the back of a single sheet of paper and about six months later I started writing it.

The inspiration to write about Alzheimer’s came from my own life. My grandfather had the disease and ultimately he forgot me. He and I were very close and it broke my heart to realize I had been erased. I wanted to capture the truth of that in a story.

Sadly, dementia is so common, and we have a real lack of stories that deal with it in an honest way. For some reason, we don’t talk about Alzheimer’s as openly as we do other diseases. Kids (and adults) need to be able to have everyday conversations about what they might be experiencing with their own grandparents or others in their life. My hope is that books like FLOWERS can help.

Do you have an agent? If so, who? If not, would you like to find one?

I don’t have an agent. I’ve worked directly with Stephen and his Namelos team for both books. I would like to find an agent, but it hasn’t been my focus lately. It’s so difficult to find someone that exactly fits your personality and writing style!

I have some picture book and early reader manuscripts I’d love to see published, and down the road, there may be other novels that aren’t right for Namelos, but are right for another publisher. Reviewers have compared my writing to Chicken Soup for the Soul and Patricia MacLachlan. If you know of any agents that might lean that way, let me know!

What type of things have you been doing to promote your books?

I have a full-time job that is fairly demanding, so I try to pick and choose things I can tackle in odd hours or that don’t require a full day. I regularly do web interviews with bloggers or write guest posts. I’ve visited local schools and done Skype visits with classrooms. There have been radio interviews. I’ve done a few book signings too.

Did namelos help market your book and get reviews?

Absolutely! They work the official reviewers and send copies out to various awards committees and all that usual stuff that publishers do. Stephen Roxburgh is highly regarded in the industry, so books he publishes typically do get picked up for review by folks like Kirkus. That’s a big plus.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on a few things. I’m editing a new novel which is totally different from my first two. High action, high comedy, high levels of exaggeration. I think I needed a break from the realistic fiction. I’m working on a few picture books as well. I’d love for them to find a good home. And I’m jotting notes for a novel that I haven’t started yet, but that I’ve been thinking about for two years. As soon as I can get the action manuscript out the door, this one is next in line. I like to have a host of projects in the hopper. My brain seems to work best that way. 

Review Excerpts

“There are echoes of Patricia MacLachlan in the book’s period flavor (the story seems to be set thirty years or so in the past), the tenderness, and the deft writing that keeps a heart-tugging plot lovely as well as brimming with sentiment. Delia’s move from grief for what she’s losing to a deeper understanding of her old friend is smoothly depicted…. The story will bring new perspective for readers struggling with their own beloved elders, and the liquid joy of a serious tearjerker to anybody who likes a poignant human drama.”

–The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Recommended

“Wiersbitzky organizes the book gracefully by naming the chapters after months of the year. …The ebb and flow of life is shown, grief is addressed, and the power of what one person can do is celebrated. Teachers may wish to consider this book for reading lists in middle school.”

–Children’s Literature

“What do flowers remember? The stories of the people who cared for them, of course, as Wiersbitzky’s sensitive novel compassionately conveys.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Fans of wholesome, uplifting stories similar to Canfield’s Chicken Soup for the Soul collections, will best enjoy this gentle reminder of the goodness of life and people.” — Voice of Youth Advocates

Shannon Wiersbitzky Links:

Website: www.shannonwiersbitzky.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ShannonWiersbitzky

Twitter: @SWiersbitzky

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ShannonWiersbitzky

Shannon thank you for sharing your journey with us and introducing us to your book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 


Filed under: Author, awards, Book, children writing, Contest, inspiration, Kudos, Middle Grade Novels, opportunity Tagged: book give-a-way, Leave Comment, Shannon Wiersbitzky

14 Comments on Book Give-a-Way & Interview With Shannon Wiersbitzky: What Flowers Remember, last added: 7/10/2014
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24. The New Vision Award – Get Published

AiWS final

Another great illustration from the Artist Showcase at the NJSCBWI Conference. It was created by Lynnor Bontigao and is titled, “Alice’s Adventure in WonderShore”. You can visit Lynoor at: www.lynnorbontigao.com

Tu Books is accepting submissions for their second New Visions Second Annual New Vision Awards. The New Visions Award, established in 2012 by the Tu Books imprint of LEE & LOW BOOKS, is given to a middle grade or young adult fantasy, science fiction, or mystery novel by a writer of color. It’s a fantastic chance for new authors of color to break into the world of publishing for young readers.

Eligibility and Contest Submission

The New Visions contest is open to writers of color who are residents of the United States and who have not previously had a middle grade or young adult novel published.

The Award winner receives a cash prize of $1000 and our standard publication contract, including our basic advance and royalties for a first time author. An Honor Award winner will receive a cash prize of $500.

Manuscripts will be accepted through October 31st, 2014. See the full submissions guidelines here.

Spread the Word

Did you know that last year, books written by authors of color made up less than seven percent of the total number of books published (see these CCBC stats)?

Change requires more than just goodwill; it requires concrete action. We were heartened by First Book’s recent commitment to purchasing 10,000 copies of select books from “new and underrepresented voices” and the success of the passionate #weneeddiversebooks movement.

Likewise, the New Visions Award is a concrete step toward evening the playing field by seeking out talented new authors of color who might otherwise remain under the radar of mainstream publishing.

We hope you’ll help us spread the word by forwarding on this email; sharing the contest on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr; and of course, letting people know through good old word-of-mouth.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, awards, Competition, Middle Grade Novels, opportunity, Places to sumit, Publishers and Agencies, Young Adult Novel Tagged: New Vision Award, Tor Books

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25. Free Fall Friday – Kudos

dorrisbeach_RGB

Here is another fabulous illustration from the NJSCBWI Artist Showcase done by Doris Ettlinger. Doris has illustrated over 25 picture books, you can visit her at: www.dorisettlinger.com, facebook/dorisettlingerstudio, and etsy/DorisEttlingerStudio

Anna Olswanger has opened her own agency. Olswanger Literary LLC. People can visit my page at: http://www.olswanger.com/agent.shtml

Illustrator Hazel Mitchel signed a contract to be represented by Literary Agent, Ginger Knowlton of Curtis Brown Ltd., New York City

Illustrator Michelle Kogan has Two Paintings on Exhibit at the United States Botanic Garden, DC through November 2014. They are Wildlife Comes to Lake Shore Drive and Rogers Park Dunes Restoration and Piping Plover, watercolor and watercolor pencil.

Amalia Hoffman won the 21st century Children’s Nonfiction Conference Illustration Award in June.

If you sent me a success story and I didn’t put it up, please send it again to me. The last month has been extremely busy and I feel like I missed someone.

________________________________________________________________

Remember, Agent Jenny Bent is doing four of our first page critiques this month. Below are the guidelines:

Here are the submission guidelines for submitting a First Page in July:

Please “July First Page Critique” in the subject line. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it is as picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top.

Please attach your first page submission using one inch margins and 12 point font – double spaced, no more than 23 lines to an e-mail and send it to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail and then also attach it in a Word document to the email.

DEADLINE: July 24th.

RESULTS: August 1st.

Use inch margins – double space your text – 12 pt. New Times Roman font – no more than 23 lines – paste into body of the email

You can only send in one first page each month. It can be the same first page each month or a different one, but if you sent it to me last month and it didn’t get chosen, you need to send it again using the July’s directions. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the same submission.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, awards, inspiration, Kudos Tagged: Amalia Hoffman, Anna Olswanger, Doris Ettlinger, Hazel Mitchell, Jenny Bent, Michelle Kogan

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