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1. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Need to keep kids busy and happy over the holiday? Here are a few ideas. I was surprised by how many of these I’ve done (and forgotten about) over the years.

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2.

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Today, Publishers Weekly’s Children’s Bookshelf  had two articles  article discussing places to get a MFA in writing for young people, here, and here. These articles highlight three universities but here is a list of thirteen universities offering MFAs in writing for young people.

As we get into the holiday season, there will be fewer author/illustrator events, and today I only have one to share with you.

Meanwhile, the late winter/early spring conference info is rolling in. So if you are looking for an agent, take a peek at what’s lined up for spring so far in Conferences: Agents, or if you’re interested in meeting editors, hop over to Conferences: Editors. Most of the new entries on  Conferences: Indies/SP are save-the-date, but the details should be coming soon. Organizations are quickly adding their information now, so I will be updating all of these pages daily, along with the Conferences: Illustrators page and the Workshops/Retreats page. Check back often!

This week:

November 24, Monday, 4:00 – 6:00 PM BIZZ & BUZZ MAKE HONEY BUNS by Dee Leone
River Oaks Barnes & Noble
Dee Leone, PB Author

Picture Book Author Dee Leone will be signing her book BIZZ & BUZZ MAKE HONEY BUNS (Penguin Young Readers Group) during the Wharton Dual Language Academy book fair. Dee will be there from 4:00 to 6:00, but the book fair lasts all day, and the schools will get credit for books bought that day that are turned in with a slip.

Bizz and Buzz are two bees who want to make honey buns. So, they ask their friend Bear for his recipe. Although the directions seem simple, Bizz and Buzz make mistake after mistake, like finding a little flower instead of adding a little flour. What will bee-come of the honey buns?

 

 

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3. KidLit Author/Illustrator Events Nov.11-17

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It’s another full weekend, and what better way to spend a chilly Saturday than hanging out with authors and their books? Perhaps all the bookstore-hopping will inspire you to join the NaNoWriMo write-in on Sunday!

November 15, Saturday, 9:00 AMKREMLIN KERFUFFLE by George Arnold
Barnes & Noble, Westheimer
George Arnold, MG Author

Author George Arnold signs his new book for young readers, KREMLIN KERFUFFLE: KOSHKI OF THE CIA , the seventh book in his ‘Cats of the CIA‘ series.In this seventh story in the Cats of the CIA set, Buzzer Louis, Cincinnati the dancing pig, Dusty Louise, and the kitten twins—Luigi and Luisa—are dispatched secretly to Moscow to help the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) track down the opium smuggling panda from China, Ar-Chee. In Moscow, our secret agents confront a spy-turned-traitor, turned-patriot named Natasha, who presents an ongoing puzzle for them. With the help of Boris Alexandrovich, head of the FSB, and Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation, our heroes set a trap for the panda. A trap designed by Luigi and Luisa that’s sure to snare Ar-Chee.

In the process of tracking down Ar-Chee, the heroes learn to speak considerable Russian. You will, too, with a 750-word and–phrase vocabulary and pronunciation guide in Russian, built right into the story.

November 15, Saturday, 9:00AM– 6:00 PM RETURN TO SLEEPY HOLLOW by Dax Varley
Houston Book Rave

Houston Book Rave is a unique experience where readers  can meet with their favorite authors in person. YA authors Rose Garcia, Dax VarleyRachel Harris, Cheyanne YoungBrooklyn SkyeJordan DeenJulie CrossLara Chapman, Ted GoegleinVenessa Kimball, Joy Preble and Colleen Houck will be in attendance. There will also be a Special Discussion Panel with Jennifer L. Armentrout and cover model Pepe Toth between 4:00-5:00PM. There will also be entertainment, exclusive giveaways, exclusive early book releases and delicious food.

November 15, Saturday, 10:00 AM
Writespace
Houston YA/MG Writers Workshop
Cost: FREE

Getting to the Heart of Your Story: Strategies for Pitching and Summarizing
What is the heart of your story? One skill all writers need is the ability to distill stories into the basic elements, whether it’s to submit to an agent or editor, or to re-focus before starting a revision. In this meeting, the Houston YA/MG Writers will be looking at three examples of this: the short pitch or logline, the query description, and the one-page synopsis. We’ll study examples (both what to do and not to do) and learn some tips and tricks for working with our own manuscripts.

November 15, Saturday, 2:00-4:00 PM    THE DRY by Rebecca NolenCream Cape and the Case of the Missing Hamster by Mandy Broughton, Dee Densmore-D'Amico (Illustrator)
Barnes & Noble River Oaks
Three Children’s Authors

Dee Leone (BIZZ AND BUZZ MAKE HONEY BUNS), Mandy Broughton (THE ALPHABET GIRLS Series), and Rebecca Nolen (THE DRY) will be signing their books as part of a book fair to benefit River Oaks Elementary School. The school getsBIZZ AND BUZZ MAKE HONEY BUNS by Dee Leone credit for any books bought all that day that are turned in with a slip designating it is part of the book fair.

November 15, Saturday
SketchCrawl

For illustrators who would like to participate in a SketchCrawl, this month’s location is Trader’s Village: 25th Annual Native American Championship Pow Wow. For information, contact the SCBWI Houston Illustrator Coordinator, Diandra Mae at: scbwi (dot) hic (at) gmail (dot) com.

November 16, Sunday, 2:00-5:00 PM
Town & Country La Madeleine, 770 W Sam Houston Pkwy N
NaNoWriMo Write-Ins

Join the Houston YA/MG Writers for a NaNoWriMo write-in (even if you don’t write YA or MG)! Bring your muse, writing materials, and enough money for a cup of coffee. We’ll have 50 minute silent writing sessions with 10 minute chat breaks. No commitment required; come when you can, leave when you must. Words written and sessions attended will be counted. At the end of NaNo, the highest word counts and attendance will be rewarded! Look for the group sitting near the back staring at their laptops!

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4. KidLit Author Events Nov. 5-10

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We have another crowded weekend, with several events happening Saturday, including opportunities at writing conferences. Good luck to all who are toiling away on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) or PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month)!

November 5, Wednesday, 7:00 PM MORTAL HEART by Robin LaFevers
Blue Willow Bookshop
Robin La Fevers, YA Author

In MORTAL HEART (Harcourt Brace and Company), the powerful conclusion to Robin LaFever’s NYT bestselling His Fair Assassins trilogy, Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own. She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind, doesn’t mean she has.

November 6, Thursday, 4:00-6:00 PM TAKE ME TO YOUR BBQ by Kathy Duval; illustrated by Adam McCauley
Barnes & Noble, Vanderbilt Square
Kathy Duval, PB Author

Picture book author Kathy Duval will be reading and signing at St. Vincent’s Family Night. In TAKE ME TO YOUR BBQ (Hyperion/Disney) aliens have landed on Willy’s farm and they’re not leaving without a square dance and a square meal! So fire up that grill, lay on the barbeque sauce and snatch up that fiddle. Told in verse, this rollicking story puts a twist on the typical encounter with the third kind.

Kathy will also be appearing for this special story time:
November 7, Friday, 4:00 PM
Barnes & Noble, River Oaks
Kathy Duval, PB Author

November 8, Saturday, 9:00 AM-4:30 PM Sarah Cortez, Councilor of the Texas Institute of Letters
Houston Writers’ Guild Conference
Hilton Houston Westchase
Price: $50 members/$60 nonmembers/$30 student members

All-day workshop: How to Finish Your Novel with Sarah Cortez. Daunted by characters who won’t cooperate inside your plot? Foiled by narrative arcs that don’t end, lost their tension or, worse yet, fail to deliver reader satisfaction?  Come to the Houston Writers Guild, November Fall Mini-Conference session conducted by award-winning teacher/writer/editor Sarah Cortez to learn tips used by professional novelists in these exact situations and more.

November 8, Saturday, 9:00 AM.-4:30 PM Jodell Sadler, Literary Agent
A& M United Methodist Church, College Station
SCBWI Workshop with Agent Jodell Sadler
Cost: $125 for SCBWI members, $150 for non-members

Pick up the Pace!—A Workshop with Agent Jodell Sadler of Sadler Children’s Literary: Story pacing can make the difference between a “nice try” rejection and a publishable manuscript. Whether you’re working on page turns in a 500-word picture book or end-of-chapter cliff-hangers in a 50,000-word novel, Jodell Sadler has tips and tools to help pick up the pace. Join SCBWI Brazos Valley for a day-long workshop focused on pacing and strong writing skills. Register through the event website.

November 8, Saturday, 10:00 AM-Noon
Maud Marks Library (1815 Westgreen Blvd, Katy
Katy Kritique Group and The Space City Scribes
Writing Workshop—Nuts and Bolts of Indie Publishing

Join the writers of the Katy Kritique Group and The Space City Scribes for a free workshop! They’ll help those wanting to independently publish and will provide information on sales channels, covers, editing, marketing and more.

November 8, Saturday, 10:00 AM- NOON, & Sunday, November 9, 2:00-4:00 PM Teen and Middle Grade Authors
Larry J. Ringer Library, College Station
Teen & Middle Grade Authors Event

Teen and tween aspiring authors and adult authors who write for teen and middle grade audiences, talk about their books and about other teen and middle grade fiction, book signings. More info about this event here.

November 8, Saturday, NOON #HASHTAGGED by Kimberly Hix Trant
Barnes & Noble, College Station
Kimberly Hix Trant, YA Author

Join KBB to celebrate the release of Kimberly Hix Trant’s first book #HASHTAGGED (Tate). #hashtagged is a chilling new science fiction novel about a daughter’s journey through her father’s past and into a frightening future. This future is something that Oliver Smith has seen firsthand and for which he has been preparing his daughter, Madeline. After Ollie’s death, Maddy must follow a trail of secrets that leads her into the arms of her first love, Jagger, the only person that can truly help her fight against a future world governed by artificial intelligence.

November 8, Saturday, 2:00-4:00 PM SPACE CTY 6, Anthology
Katy Budget Books
Multi-Author Event

Space City Scribes, an author collective of Houston indie authors, introduce their new anthology, SPACE CITY 6: HOUSTON STORIES FROM THE WEIRD TO THE WONDERFUL, a collection of short stories with a Houston flair.

Attending YA/MG/PB authors: Monica Shaughnessy , Mandy Broughton, Ellen Leventhal, Ellen Rothberg, Artemis Greenleaf, and Kaleigh Castle Maguire.

November 10, Monday, 5:00 PM EVERBLAZE by Shannon Messenger
Blue Willow Bookshop
Shannon Messenger, MG Author

Shannon Messenger will discuss and sign EVERBLAZE, the third book in the KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES series.

Sophie Foster is ready to fight back. Her talents are getting stronger, and with the elusive Black Swan group ignoring her calls for help, she’s determined to find her kidnappers—before they come after her again. But a daring mistake leaves her world teetering on the edge of war, and causes many to fear that she has finally gone too far. And the deeper Sophie searches, the farther the conspiracy stretches, proving that her most dangerous enemy might be closer than she realizes.

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5. KidLit Events Ocotber 28-November 4

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With NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) kicking off this weekend, there’s a lot of support opportunities for those of you (not me!) who are planning to tackle the challenge of writing a full 50K word novel in one month. I’ll cheer you on while I finish revisions on my current WIP. Meanwhile, there are plenty of other events going on this week. Please remember to check the sponsoring bookstore or organization’s website for full details.

October 28, Tuesday, 7:00 PM FROM SEA TO SHINGING SEA by Callista Gingrich; Illustrated by Susan Arcerio
Blue Willow Bookshop
Callista Gingrich, Children’s Author, with Newt Gingrich, Adult Nonfiction Author

In FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA, Callista Gingrich shares a new adventure into American history with Ellis the Elephant as he explores the untamed wilderness with Lewis and Clark! He learns about the Louisiana Purchase, the two explorers’ epic journey across the North American continent, and the amazing discoveries and innovation it sparked.

Appearing with Callista will be bestselling author Newt Gingrich with his new adult nonfiction title, BREAKOUT.

November 1, Saturday, 10:00 AM-Noon, & 1:30-4:30 PM Kathy Duval, PB Author
Writespace
Kathy Duval: Picture Book Workshop
PRICE: $ 85.00

Kathy Duval, author of TAKE ME TO YOUR BBQ (DISNEY/HYPERION) will present a picture book workshop: Make It Shine!: Polish Your Picture Book Manuscript to Its Full Potential.
A successful picture book is an art form combining lyrical language and dynamic images, each dependent on the other.  To compete, your work must shine, as well as follow the conventions of today’s crowded market. This hands-on revision workshop will take a fresh look at your characters, setting, plot, and picture book language. Participants will complete exercises to polish their prose, as well as create a dummy to see how your text fits into a picture book format. Feedback in small groups will help you take your picture book to the next level.

November 1, Saturday, 9:00 AM-1:00 PM Read3Zero
Hilton Americas
Read3Zero 5th Anniversary Luncheon

Houston non-profit literacy organization, READ3Zero, will honor students nationwide at a memorable Luncheon and Book Signing event for this year’s winners of the I Write Short Stories For Kids By Kids contest and celebrate the organization’s 5th  anniversary. The event will feature the works of 55 published student authors and illustrators. The Keynote speaker will be Neil Bush, chairman to the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, and the event will be emceed by Deborah Duncan of Great Day Houston. Click here for more details and to purchase tickets.

November 1, Saturday, 2:00 PM
Barbara Bush Library
CC Hunter, YA Author
Kickoff National Novel Writing Month with a talk by NYT bestseller C.C. Hunter!

November 2, Sunday, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM Matthew Salesses, Author
Writespace
Novel Workshop: The Three Inciting Incidents
COST: $10
NOTE: Register in this workshop and when you attend on Nov. 2nd, you will receive your 10$ back in a 10$ coupon for another Writespace workshop!

In this two-hour course, novelist Matthew Salesses will give a craft lecture on “the three inciting incidents” to support National Novel Writing Month writers, as well as NaNoWriMoall Houston writers seeking to start new projects. After Matthew’s one-hour lecture, each writer will bring his/her novel concept to the table and get some help with development.

November 2, 16, 30, Sundays, 2:00-5:00 PM
Writespace
NaNoWriMo Write-Ins
Cost: Free

Come write with us and keep on-track with your word count goals!

November 3, Monday, 7:00 PM IN THE AFTERLIGHT by Alexandra Bracken
Blue Willow Bookshop
Alexandra Bracken, YA Author

Alexandra Bracken will discuss and sign IN THE AFTERLIGHT, the finale in the DARKEST MINDS series for young adults.

Alexandra Bracken is the New York Times bestselling author of THE DARKEST MINDS and NEVER FADE. Ruby can’t look back. Having suffered an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government’s attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. Ruby tries to keep their highly dangerous prisoner in check, but with Clancy Gray, there’s no guarantee you’re fully in control, and everything comes with a price.

When the Children’s League disbands, Ruby becomes a leader and forms an unlikely allegiance with Liam’s brother, Cole, who has a volatile secret of his own. There are still thousands of other Psi kids suffering in government “rehabilitation camps” all over the country. Freeing them–revealing the government’s unspeakable abuses in the process–is the mission Ruby has claimed since her own escape from Thurmond, the worst camp in the country.

But not everyone is supportive of the plan Ruby and Cole craft to free the camps. As tensions rise, competing ideals threaten the mission to uncover the cause of IANN, the disease that killed most of America’s children and left Ruby and others with powers the government will kill to keep contained. With the fate of a generation in their hands, there is no room for error. One wrong move could be the spark that sets the world on fire.

November 4, Tuesday, 7:00 PM The Strange Maid: Book 2 of United States of Asgard, by Tessa Gratton
Blue Willow Bookshop
The Roadside YA Tour

The Roadside YA tour hits Houston when authors Tessa Gratton, Julie Murphy and Natalie Parker discuss and sign their newest novels for young adults.

Tessa Graton will present THE STRANGE MAID: BOOK 2 OF THE UNITED STATES OF ASGARD. Signy Valborn was seven years old when she climbed the New World Tree and met Odin Alfather, who declared that if she could solve a single riddle, he would make her one of his Valkyrie. For ten years Signy has trained in the arts of SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY by Julie Murphywar, politics, and leadership, never dreaming that a Greater Mountain Troll might hold the answer to the riddle, but that’s exactly what Ned the Spiritless promises her. A mysterious troll hunter who talks in riddles and ancient poetry, Ned is a hard man to trust. Unfortunately, Signy is running out of time. Accompanied by an outcast berserker named Soren Bearstar, she and Ned take off across the ice sheets of Canadia to hunt the mother of trolls and claim Signy’s destiny.

Julie Murphy will present SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY. When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, she vows to spend her final months righting Beware the Wild, by Natalie Parkerwrongs. So she convinces her best friend to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge as it is about hope. But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission, and now she must face the consequences of all she’s said and done.

Natalie Parker will present BEWARE THE WILD. The swamp in Sterling’s small Louisiana town proves to have a power over its inhabitants when her brother disappears and no one but Sterling even remembers that he existed. Now Sterling, with the help of brooding loner Heath, who’s had his own creepy experience with the swamp, must fight back and reclaim what–and who–the swamp has taken.

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6. KidLit Events Oct. 21-Nov. 3

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We have a great variety of events happening this week. Take in an author’s visit, a writing workshop, a literacy fundraiser or a poetry presentation. As always, please visit the sponsoring bookstore or organization’s website for full details.

October 22, Wednesday, 5:00 PM UNDIVIDED by Neal Schusterman
Blue Willow Bookshop
Neal Shusterman, YA Author

Neal Shusterman will discuss and sign UNDIVIDED, the last book in the bestselling UNWIND Dystology for young adults. Teens control the fate of America in the fourth and final book in the NYT bestselling Unwind dystology. Proactive Citizenry, the company that created Cam from the parts of unwound teens, has a plan: to mass produce rewound teens like Cam for military purposes. And below the surface of that horror lies another shocking level of intrigue: Proactive Citizenry has been suppressing technology that could make unwinding completely unnecessary. As Conner, Risa, and Lev uncover these startling secrets, enraged teens begin to march on Washington to demand justice and a better future.

But more trouble is brewing. Starkey’s group of storked teens is growing more powerful and militant with each new recruit. And if they have their way, they’ll burn the harvest camps to the ground and put every adult in them before a firing squad—which could destroy any chance America has for a peaceful future.

October 23, Wednesday, 7:00 PM DINOTOPIA by James Gurney
Geren Auditorium, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University
James Gurney, Author/Illustrator

Illustrator event! Join SCBWI-BV, as we attend a free lecture, featuring  James Gurney, author and illustrator of the DINOTOPIA series. James Gurney specializes in painting realistic images of scenes that can’t be photographed, from dinosaurs to ancient civilizations. He is also a dedicated plein air (outdoor) painter and sketcher, believing that making studies directly from observation fuels his imagination.This is sponsored by The Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA) at Texas A&M University.

October 23, Wednesday, 10:30 – 12:30 and 12:30 to 1:30
The George Bush Library and Museum, College Station
Wayne Edwards, The Family Poet
Free. For grades 3-8 and adult learners; Reservations are advised.  

Comic poet Wayne Edwards will present his latest book of rhyming poetry for children, KIDS ONLY LAND. Through discussion of the three R’s of rhyming verse – Rhyme, Rhythm, and Repetition – he helps inspire interest in both reading poetry for pleasure and writing one’s own as a form of art. His humorous illustrations of poems engage and delight all ages. Contact bushlibrary.tamu.edu or email bush.education@nara.gov, or 979 691 4006 for telephone reservations.

October 25, Saturday, 1:00-4:00 PM Jessica Cappelle
Writespace
Jessica Cappelle: Workshop—Worldbuilding
PRICE: $ 35.00

Jesicca Capelle will lead a workshop at Write Space: How to World-build in Every Genre: World-building is a term that many people associate with science fiction and fantasy, but all novels require careful crafting of the world of the characters. This workshop will take writers through the process of creating a world that feels “real,” whether that world might be down the street or across the universe. We’ll look at using actual and imagined settings in realistic fiction, recreating the past for historical fiction, transforming landscapes based on alternate history and future developments, and venturing to new planets and high-fantasy worlds. We’ll learn what to consider when crafting both the society and culture of a setting and the environment of the characters’ daily lives. Lastly, we’ll discuss the importance of knowing much more about your world than readers will ever see, as well as how to decide what details to share without “dumping” too much on readers. Come prepared to apply these lessons to your own writing through exercises designed to help you connect more deeply with the details of your story’s world. We will discover how to craft “believable” worlds through careful study of excerpts from adult and children’s books in many genres including well-known works such as The Help, Gone Girl, The Hunger Games, Water for Elephants, The Hobbit, and The Graveyard Book.

October 28, Tuesday, 7:00 PM FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA by Callista Gingrich; Illustrated by Susan Aciero
Blue Willow Bookshop
Callista Gingrich, Children’s Author, with Newt Gingrich, Adult Nonfiction Author

Callista Gingrich will meet and greet customers and sign her new book, FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA. Callista Gingrich shares a new adventure into American history with Ellis the Elephant as he explores the untamed wilderness with Lewis and Clark. He learns about the Louisiana Purchase, the two explorers’ epic journey across the North American continent, and the amazing discoveries and innovation it sparked.

Appearing with Callista will be author Newt Gingrich with his new adult nonfiction title, BREAKOUT.

November 1, Saturday, 10:00 AM- Noon, & 1:30-4:30 PM Kathy Duval
Writespace
Kathy Duval: Picture Book Workshop
PRICE: $ 85.00

Kathy Duval will present  Make It Shine!: Polish Your Picture Book Manuscript to Its Full Potential. A successful picture book is an art form combining lyrical language and dynamic images, each dependent on the other.  To compete, your work must shine, as well as follow the conventions of today’s crowded market.

This hands-on revision workshop will take a fresh look at your characters, setting, plot, and picture book language. Participants will complete exercises to polish their prose, as well as create a dummy to see how your text fits into a picture book format. Feedback in small groups will help you take your picture book to the next level.

November 1, Saturday, 10:00 AM-1:00 PM
Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar Street
Read3Zero 5th Anniversary Luncheon
Price: Ticket costs vary. Click here for more details and to purchase tickets.

Houston non-profit literacy organization, READ3Zero, will honor students nationwide at a memorable Luncheon and Book Signing event for this year’s winners of the I Write Short Stories For Kids By Kids contest and celebrate the organization’s 5th anniversary. The event will feature the works of 55 published student authors and illustrators. The Keynote speaker will be Neil Bush, chairman to the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, and the event will be emceed by Deborah Duncan of Great Day Houston.

November 3, Monday, 7:00 PM IN THE AFTERLIGHT by Alexandra Bracken
Blue Willow Bookshop
Alexandra Bracken, YA Author

Alexandra Bracken, NYT bestselling author of THE DARKEST MINDS and NEVER FADE, will discuss and sign IN THE AFTERLIGHT, the finale in the DARKEST MINDS series for young adults. Ruby can’t look back. Having suffered an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government’s attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. Ruby tries to keep their highly dangerous prisoner in check, but with Clancy Gray, there’s no guarantee you’re fully in control, and everything comes with a price.

When the Children’s League disbands, Ruby becomes a leader and forms an unlikely allegiance with Liam’s brother, Cole, who has a volatile secret of his own. There are still thousands of other Psi kids suffering in government “rehabilitation camps” all over the country. Freeing them–revealing the government’s unspeakable abuses in the process–is the mission Ruby has claimed since her own escape from Thurmond, the worst camp in the country.

But not everyone is supportive of the plan Ruby and Cole craft to free the camps. As tensions rise, competing ideals threaten the mission to uncover the cause of IANN, the disease that killed most of America’s children and left Ruby and others with powers the government will kill to keep contained. With the fate of a generation in their hands, there is no room for error. One wrong move could be the spark that sets the world on fire.

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7. KidLit Author Events October 14-21

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We have three great authors coming to Houston this week and a free writing workshop, plus a fist-time event which we hope will become an annual tradition. As always, please check the sponsoring bookstore or organization’s website for the latest, most accurate information.

October 16, Thursday, 7:00 PM CLARIEL: THE LOST ABHORSEN by Garth Nix
Barnes & Noble The Woodlands
Garth Nix, YA Author

Join Garth Nix to discuss CLARIEL, his thrilling prequel the Old Kingdom series. Clariel is the daughter of one of the most notable families in the Old Kingdom, with blood relations to the Abhorsen and, most important, to the King. She dreams of living a simple life but discovers this is hard to achieve when a dangerous Free Magic creature is loose in the city, her parents want to marry her off to a killer, and there is a plot brewing against the old and withdrawn King Orrikan. When Clariel is drawn into the efforts to find and capture the creature, she finds hidden sorcery within herself, yet it is magic that carries great dangers. Can she rise above the temptation of power, escape the unwanted marriage, and save the King?

October 16, Thursday, 7:00 PM AFTERWORLDS by Scott Westerfeld
Blue Willow Bookshop
Scott Westerfeld, YA Author

Scott Westerfeld will discuss and sign AFTERWORLDS, his newest novel for young adults. Darcy Patel has put college on hold to publish her teen novel, AFTERWORLDS. With a contract in hand, she arrives in New York City with no apartment, no friends, and all the wrong clothes. But lucky for Darcy, she is taken under the wings of seasoned and other fledgling writers who help her navigate the city and the world of writing and publishing. Over the course of a year, Darcy finishes her book, faces critique, and falls in love.

Woven into Darcy’s personal story is her novel, AFTERWORLDS, a suspenseful thriller about a teen who slips into the “Afterworld” to survive a terrorist attack. The Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead, where many unsolved—and terrifying—stories need to be reconciled. Darcy’s heroine Lizzie falls in love, but a new threat resurfaces, and Lizzie’s special gifts may not be enough to protect those she cares about most.

October 18, Saturday, 10:00 AM NANOWRIMO
Writespace
Houston YA/MG Writers Workshop
FREE

Whether you’re participating in National Novel Writing Month or not, fall is a great time to get started on a new project. For the October meeting, we’ll discuss how to plot a new project, including three-act structure, brainstorming, and outlining. We’ll even have some advice for the “pantsers” in the group, and tips and tricks to stay motivated all the way to “The End”. Come ready to discuss what’s worked for you (or not worked for you) in the past and get ready to pick up some new techniques!

October 19, Sunday, Noon-5:00 PM
Rice Village: Greenbriar to Kirby, Rice to University
Better Block Houston

Join local authors to celebrate Houston by re-imagining our public spaces. The Better Block project provides a one-day living workshop of how a “Complete Street‟ works, by actively engaging the community, helping them to visualize better outcomes for the future, and empowering them to provide feedback in real time. Better Block is a fun and interactive demonstration of a “Complete Street” —and what it can do for a neighborhood.

October 19, Sunday, 3:00 PM; Doors open at 2:30 PM MUTATION by Roland Smith
Johnston Middle School, 10410 Manhattan Drive, Houston
Inprint Cool Brains! Series: Author Roland Smith

Inprint Cool Brains! Series presents Roland Smith, author of numerous picture books and young adult books, including the I, Q series, the Storm Runners series, Jack’s Run, Zach’s Lie, Peak, and the riveting Cryptid Hunters saga. In MUTATION, the final thrilling title in Roland Smith’s popular Cryptid Hunters series, monsters of legend come to life!

Marty and his best friend, Luther, have managed to rescue Marty’s cousin Grace from the clutches of the nefarious pseudo-naturalist Noah Blackwood, but their most dangerous mission lies ahead of them. Marty’s parents have been missing in Brazil for months and their trail has all but run cold. With time running out, Marty and the Cryptos Island crew race off for Brazil—where they discover that Noah Blackwood has twisted the natural order of things beyond their wildest, most terrifying dreams.

*Please note that the book signing will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please see Inprint’s Event Page.

 

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8. KidLit Events Oct. 7-14

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Just a few things to tell you about today:

October 10, Friday, 4:00 PM &
October 11, Saturday, 10:00 AM KREMLIN KERFUFFLE by George Arnold&
October 12, Sunday, 10:00 AM
Barnes & Noble River Oaks
George Arnold, MG Author

George Arnold presents the seventh story in his The Cats of the C.I.A. series. In KREMLIN KEFUFFLE: KOSHKI OF THE C.I.A., Buzzer Louis, Cincinnati the dancing pig, Dusty Louise, and the kitten twins Luigi and Luisa are dispatched secretly to Moscow to help the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) track down the opium smuggling panda from China, Ar-Chee. In the process of tracking down Ar-Chee, our heroes learn to speak considerable Russian. You will, too, with a 750-word and -phrase vocabulary and pronunciation guide in Russian, built right into the story.

October 11, Saturday, 10:00 AM-Noon
Maud Marks Library, Katy
Katy Kritique Group and The Space City Scribes
Writing Workshop—Traditional Publishing from the Author’s Perspective
Price: FREE

Join the writers of the Katy Kritique Group and The Space City Scribes for a free workshop! They’ll guide new writers through the traditional process, from establishing a platform to querying agents to working with editors.

October 14, Tuesday, 7:00 PMTHE ELF ON THE SHELF: A BIRTHDAY TRADITION by Carol Aebersold, Illustrated by Chanda Bell
Barnes & Noble The Woodlands
Carol Aebersold, Children’s Author

Carol Aebersold presents THE ELF ON THE SHELF: A BIRTHDAY TRADITION. In Santa’s Christmas village, the elves have their own special way of celebrating birthdays—a tradition that goes back thousands of years. Now, at the request of children around the world, Santa has given special permission for his scout elves to share that tradition with the families who love them. But an elf cannot come to a birthday party unless it is invited.

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9. KidLit Author Events Sept. 29-Oct. 6

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I had such a great time at the TweensRead festival this weekend! This is the third time I’ve been to this event, and WOW, the crowd has grown! Every session was jam-packed with kids eager to hear from the twenty authors who participated, including local author Varsha Bajaj. Most sessions were standing room only. According to Valerie Koehler’s newsletter for Blue Willow Bookshop (which handled books sales for the event) over 1700 people attended, and 70% were tweens.

We’ve got more good stuff happening this week, both thanks to our good friends at Blue Willow Bookshop:

September 30, Tuesday, 7:00 PMRUMBLE By Ellen Hopkins
Blue Willow Bookshop
Ellen Hopkins, YA Author

Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many books for teens, including CRANK, IMPULSE, and TILT, as well as the adult novels TRIANGLES and COLLATERAL.

In her new novel, RUMBLE, Matthew Turner doesn’t have faith in anything. Not in family–his is a shambles after his younger brother was bullied into suicide; not in so-called friends who turn their backs when things get tough; not in some all-powerful creator who lets too much bad stuff happen; and certainly not in some “It Gets Better” psychobabble.

No matter what his girlfriend, Hayden, says about faith and forgiveness, there’s no way Matt’s letting go of blame. He’s decided to “live large and go out with a huge bang,” and whatever happens happens. But when a horrific event plunges Matt into a dark, silent place, he hears a rumble…a rumble that wakes him up, calling everything he’s ever disbelieved into question.

October 1, Wednesday, 5:00 PM JANITORS BK 4: STRIKE OF THE SWEEPERS by Tyler Whitesides
Blue Willow Bookshop
Tyler Whitesides, MG Author

Tyler Whitesides will discuss and sign STRIKE OF THE SWEEPERS, his newest novel in the JANITORS series for kids. The stakes have never been higher, and you’ve never seen squeegees do this before! It is a wild and slightly unsanitary ride as Spencer, Daisy, and the rebels find themselves chased by Mr. Clean’s new and terrifying breed of toxite: the Sweepers. Time is short. With the fabled Manualis Custodem in hand, Spencer must figure out how to summon the founding witches if they ever hope to mop up and save education.

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10. KidLit Author Events September 23-29

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September 21-27 is Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read! My childhood would have been grayer without so many of the books that were banned in other places, including CHARLOTTE’S WEB, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, A WRINKLE IN TIME, THE OUTSIDERS, and oh, OH!—THE CALL OF THE WILD, my all-time favorite book! Thank you to the librarians, teachers and parents who fought back!

September 27, Saturday, 9:30 AM- 5:00 PM
TweensRead Book FestivalTHE MISSING: REVEALED by Margaret Peterson HaddixBROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson
South Houston High School

3820 Shaver St, South Houston, TX
FREE! Register Online

An all-day celebration featuring keynotes with Jacqueline Woodson (BROWN GIRL DREAMING; Nancy Paulsen Books) and Margaret Peterson Haddix (THE MISSING series; Simon & Schuster). Topic panels include National Book Award winner William Alexander; Lou Anders, MG author, Hugo award winning editor and a Chesley Award winning art director; plus MG authors Jonathan Auxier, Varsha Bajaj, Megan Frazer Blakemore, Jessica Brody, Jennifer Brown, Matthew Cody, Stu Gibbs, Jimmy Gownley, S.E. Grove, Bruce Hale, Karen Harrington, Jennifer Holm, Jaleigh Johnson, Varian Johnson, Kirby Larson, M.A. Larson, Natalie Lloyd, Matt London, Megan Shull, Obert Skye, Greg Leitich Smith, Matthew Ward, Tom Watson, and Jennifer Ziegler.

September 27, Saturday, Noon-4 p.m. Ramos Family Writer's Workshop
Lone Star College-Montgomery Campus Building D-Theatre
3200 College Park Drive, Conroe, TX
The Ramos Family Writer’s Workshop for Children, Teens, & Adults!
Price: $20 online, $25 at the door; Register Online

The Ramos Family Writer’s Workshop for Children, Teens, & Adults features NY Time Bestselling Authors C.C. Hunter   & Dianna Love! Plus Children’s Authors Marie Elena Cortes & Kimberly Morris. All proceeds benefit the Montgomery County Book Festival-a 501c3 organization.

September 27, Saturday, 2:00 PM THE A-WORD by Joy Preble
Champions Forest Barnes and Noble
Joy Preble, YA Author

Joy Preble will be the guest author for the Banff School Book Fair. She’ll be talking about THE A-WORD and THE SWEET DEAD LIFE as well as her next novel which will be coming in 2015.

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11. KidLit Events September 16-23

We have a lot of exciting events this we, from early readers to young adult, authors and illustrators. There is also a free writing workshop, so take notes and mark your calendars. While you’ve got your calendar out, be sure to put a big circle around September 27th for Tweens Read 2014!

September 17, Wednesday, 5:00 PM  LOUISE LOVES ART by Kelly Light
Blue Willow Bookshop
Kelly Light, Author/Illustrator

Kelly will also be appearing at Barnes & Noble, The Woodlands, September 18, Thursday, at 7:00 PM

For fans of Olivia and Eloise, this stunning debut from Kelly Light is an irresistible story about the importance of creativity in all its forms.

Meet Louise. Louise loves art more than anything. It’s her imagination on the outside. She is determined to create a masterpiece–her piece de resistance!

Louise also loves Art, her little brother. This is their story.

 

September 18, Thursday, 5:00 PM THE ODD SQUAD, KING KARL by Michael Fry
Blue Willow Bookshop
Michael Fry, Cartoonist/MG Author

Michael Fry will discuss and sign KING KARL (Disney-Hyperion), his newest novel in the ODD SQUAD series for kids. Nick, Molly, and Karl have nowhere to turn but to each other in KING KARL, the latest Odd Squad adventure, and they’ll need every ounce of wit, resourcefulness, and help they can get in order to rise above their biggest challenge yet.

Visit Michael Fry’s website to read the first four chapters of KING KARL.

September 18, Thursday, 6:30 PM MADE FOR YOU by Melissa Marr
Murder By The Book
Melissa Marr, MG, YA & Adult Author

Melissa Marr will sign and discuss MADE FOR YOU (Harper Collins). Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital to discover an attempt has been made on her life. But who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? Before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive.

Visit Melissa Marr’s website to read an excerpt of MADE FOR YOU.

September 20, Saturday, 10:00 AM
Writespace
The Houston YA/MG Writers
Writing Workshop: “More Than Words: Crafting Dialogue with Impact”

Join the Houston YA/MG Writers and YA author Kathleen Bagley for this free workshop! Dialogue is the backbone of character, but it is also notoriously hard to get right. It can be too long, too short, too wordy, too sparse, and, worst of all–sometimes dialogue just doesn’t work. But how does one know if one’s dialogue is working? In this hands-on workshop/lecture, Kathleen will show you several examples of dialogue that DOES work, and we’ll focus on what is done right. I’ll also show you how to cut out lengthy, unnecessary dialogue, and, most importantly of all, how to work with the most important aspect of dialogue: what is left unsaid. (Bring a writing utensil, because you’ll definitely be writing and sharing.)

September 20, Saturday, 1:00 PM SHATTERED by Mari Mancusi
Blue Willow Bookshop
Mari Mancusi, YA Author

Mari Mancusi will discuss and sign SHATTERED ( Sourcebooks Fire), her newest novel for young adults. Trinity, Connor, and Caleb are holed up in an abandoned West Texas farmhouse. Their only problem is Emmy, a baby dragon who is growing like crazy. When Emmy is caught on tape and the video goes viral, they find themselves on the run again. Their only hope comes from an old map leading to a man who has come from the future to help them.

September 23, Tuesday, 5:00 PMHALF A WORLD AWAY by Cynthia Kadonata
Blue Willow Bookshop
Cynthia Kadohata, MG Author

 Cynthia Kadohata—author of the Newbery Medal–winning book KIRA-KIRA, the National Book Award winner THE THING ABOUT LUCK, the Jane Addams Peace Award and Pen USA Award winner WEEDFLOWER—will discuss and sign new novel for children HALF A WORLD AWAY. (Atheneum Books for Young Readers).

Eleven-year-old Jaden is adopted, and he knows he’s an “epic fail.” He’s sure that’s why his family is traveling to Kazakhstan to adopt a new baby—to replace him. And he gets it. He is incapable of stopping his stealing, hoarding, lighting fires, aggressive running, and obsession with electricity. He knows his parents love him, but he feels…nothing.

But when they get to Kazakhstan, it turns out the infant they’ve chosen has already been adopted, and literally, within minutes, they are faced with having to choose from among six other babies. While his parents agonize, Jaden is more interested in the toddlers. One, a little guy named Dimash, spies Jaden and barrels over to him every time he sees him. Jaden finds himself increasingly intrigued by and worried about Dimash. Already three years old and barely able to speak, Dimash will soon age out of the orphanage, and then his life will be as hopeless as Jaden feels now. For the first time in his life, Jaden actually feels something that isn’t pure blinding fury, and there’s no way to control it, or its power.

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12. Houston Area Writers’ Groups

Looking for a writing group in or around Houston? I don’t recall what made me start looking for these groups, but once I got started, I was amazed at how many organized writing groups there are in and around Houston. The groups listed here range from large organizations like SCBWI and The Writers’ Guild to small critique groups, and most of them  have writers of various genres. Many are open to new members, so if you see one in your area that looks like it might be a good fit for you, give them a holler.

Bay Area Writers League (BAWL)
Clear Lake Area Writers (CLAW)
CyFair Writers
Dawn Ireland’s Critique Group
Get Trapped In A Book Writers Group
Houston Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers
Houston Storytellers’ Guild
Houston Writers’ Group at Rice Village
Houston YA/MG Writers
Houston Writers’ Guild
Island Scribes
Monday Night Writers Houston
Mystery Writers of America
Northwest Houston Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers Workshop
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
Texas Comic Creators Consortium
The Final Twist Writers
The Woodlands Writers Guild
The Write Stuff Houston
West Houston Writers Group
White Oak Writers
Write Inside the Loop
Writers and Storytellers Conroe Group
Writers of the Woodlands
Writers on the Storm, ACFW

Don’t quite fit with any of these groups? Grab a few friends and make your own! Name yourselves and get a blog. If you know of others (that have an internet presence) in or near Houston, let me know. I’ll revisit this page from time to time with updates.

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13. KidLit Events September 9-15

There are three exciting events happening this week, including two writing workshops and a much-anticipated YA event with three popular authors—all on the same day! Eek! Choose wisely!

Sept. 13, Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-Noon
Maud Marks Library, Katy
Katy Kritique Group and The Space City Scribes
Writing Workshop—Story Structure 101
Price: FREE

Join the writers of the Katy Kritique Group and The Space City Scribes for a free workshop! They’ll cover plotting, beginning with a discussion of the three-act structure and moving into the story needs of various genres. This is the first in a series of free writing workshops from these authors.

Sept. 13, Saturday, 1:00-3:00 p.m.REBORN (Shadow Falls: After Dark Series #1) by Christie Craig writing as CC Hunter
Houston Writers’ Guild
Grace Methodist Church, 1245 Heights Blvd., Houston
Price: $35 for members, $45 for non-members

New York Times Best Selling author, Christie Craig, will cover two topics in her upcoming 2 hour workshop. The topics are “Rejection” and “Blame it on the Parents: Characterization and Motivation.” Christie Craig writes her popular SHADOW FALLS Young Adult series under the name CC Hunter.

Sept. 13, Saturday, 2:00 p.m. ILLUSIONS OF FATE by Kiersten WhiteISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Stephanie Perkins
Blue Willow Bookshop
YA Panel: Three YA Authors
Price: FREE

Kiersten White and Stephanie Perkins will be in conversation with THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE author Jennifer Mathieu to discuss and sign their newest novels for young adults.

Kiersten White will be discussing ILLUSIONS OF FATE. Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets the gorgeous, enigmatic Finn, who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status . . . and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, and the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess them. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits, can stop him.

Stephanie Perkins will be discussing ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

 

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14. KidLit Events Sept. 2-9

Fall events are off and rolling! Here’s what’s going on this week:

September 6, Saturday, 2:00 PMTHE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS by Skylar Dorset
Blue Willow Bookshop
Skylar Dorset, YA Author

Debut author Skylar Dorset will discuss and sign her novel for young adults, THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS. In Selkie’s family, you don’t celebrate birthdays. You don’t talk about birthdays. And you never, ever reveal your birth date. Until now. The instant Selkie blurts out the truth to Ben in the middle of Boston Common, her whole world shatters.

Because her life has been nothing but a lie—an elaborate enchantment meant to conceal the truth: Selkie is a half-faerie princess. And her mother wants her dead.

September 8, Monday, 7:00 PMARMY CAMELS: TEXAS SHIPS OF THE DESERT by Doris Fisher
Tracy Gee Community Center
SCBWI Houston
Doris Fisher, Children’s Author

Doris Fisher, won the Crystal Kite Award for the Texas/Oklahoma Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators region this year for her book, ARMY CAMELS, TEXAS SHIPS OF THE DESERT. Doris will talk a little about her writing journey, so don’t miss hearing her story. Also, local writers who attended the National SCBWI Conference in Los Angeles this month will share what they learned from the many breakout sessions and keynotes.

September 9, Tuesday, 6:00 P.M.A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT by Sandy Hall
Katy Budget Books
Sandy Hall, YA Author

Teen librarian Sandy Hall signs her debut YA romance novel, A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT, which was selected as the first novel to be published by Swoon Reads, a crowd-sourced teen romance imprint. This sweet romance between two college students is told from 14 different viewpoints. The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together.

Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out. But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it.

Please remember to check the website of the sponsoring bookstore or organization for the most up-to-date information on these events.

 

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15. KidLit Author Events Aug. 19-25

Things are a little quiet while we all gear up for getting back to school, but here are a couple of things worth spreading the word.

There’s still time to enter the 2014 Houston Writers Guild Fall Contest! Entry fee $35 for fiction/nonfiction. $25 for poetry. Open to all writers, regardless of publishing status. Winners will be announced at the annual Fall Conference. $75 prize awarded to first place in each category. Entering is easy. For more information visit http://houstonwritersguild.org/contests. Deadline is September 1. Stay tuned to their facebook page for information on the Fall Mini Conference on November 8.

August 23, Saturday
10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. TAKING OFF by Jenny MossSPACE STATION SCIENCE by Marianne Dyson
Clear Lake Freeman Library
Multi Author Event

Marianne Dyson and Jenny Moss  will join fourteen other authors for a day of celebration at the Clear Lake Freeman Library 50th Anniversary Event. Panel discussions and presentations by local authors will cover topics such as, “Finding Your Own Voice”, “What’s new in Publishing/Self-Publishing” and “How I Got Published” just to name a few. Representatives from four of the library’s book groups will be here so you can meet with and learn more about them. Ten percent of the proceeds from book sales will go to the library.

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16. Updating

I’m reworking some behind the scenes details on my website right now, so I may not get around to posting the week’s events for a few days. Meanwhile, the conference pages are still available. I hope everything will be up and running soon.

Until then, remember to read to babies, or let them read to you!

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17. KidLit Author/Illustrator Events July 29-August 4

Our local bookstores are hosting several events this week to keep us reading and out of the heat, plus there may still be room in Houston’s new writers’ workshop venue, Write Space, for this week’s class. Here’s the details:

July 30, Wednesday, 30, 10:00 a.m.  MY BROTHER BOUGHT A PET SNAKE by Deborah Masterson
Katy Budget Books
Deborah Masterson, PB Author/Illustrator

Deborah Masterson joins Storytime to read MY BROTHER BOBBY BOUGHT A PET SNAKE. Bobby buys a pet snake, and now he has a big problem. Can you help him figure out what to do?

Kirkus says, “This cleverly illustrated picture book will have readers pondering their own endings and possibly inventing further adventures for Bobby and Sue.”

August 1, Friday, 3:00-7:00 p.m. THE DRY by Rebecca Nolen
August 2, Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Kroger #017, 1440 Studmont St.
Rebecca Nolen, MG Author

Multi-age group author Rebecca Nolen will be signing books, including her middle grade fantasy, THE DRY. West Virginia, 1895. A deadly dry spell has left the earth parched and souls desperate. Crops are failing. Cities are starving. A missing newspaper man doesn’t account for much in times so terrible, except to the twelve-year-old son he left behind. When Elliot Sweeney discovers the search for his father has been called off, he boards a train alone to find him.

His quest leads Elliot into the depths of an abandoned mine, with a peculiar pocket watch, a blind burro, and a gutsy girl at his side. He discovers a world he never dreamed of, even in his worst nightmares, and lands smack in the middle of a war between two kingdoms. Monstrous insects, smiling villains, and dark riddles are everywhere. Deciding who to trust may prove to be his greatest challenge, while the fate of the world above hangs on Elliot’s choice.

August 2, Saturday, 10:00-5:00 p.m. I'M NOT SAYING, I'M JUST SAYING by Matthew Salesses
Write Space
Workshop: Revision Made Simple
Matthew Salesses, Author
Cost: $95.00

This revision workshop is led by Matthew Salesses, author of I’M NOT SAYING, I’M JUST SAYING (Civil Coping Mechanisms). Revision is often held up as the key to good writing. But rarely does an author or editor walk you through concrete strategies for how to revise. There are, however, some real steps one can learn. In this 6-hour course, we will go over 20 of these steps and will emulate some of them with our own stories in class. Students should bring with them the first two pages of a story they want to work on.

August 2, Saturday, 4:30 p.m. UNHINGED: SPLINTERED BOOK 2 by A.G. Howard
Murder By the Book
A.G. Howard, YA Author

A.G. Howard will sign and discuss her young adult novel, UNHINGED (Amulet). In this second book of the Splintered series, Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole. She was crowned Queen of the Red Court and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the boy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly appealing Morpheus. Now all she has to do is graduate high school. That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland–where she (partly) belongs. Could she leave Jeb and her parents behind again, for the sake of a man she knows has manipulated her before? Will her mother and Jeb trust her to do what’s right? Readers will swoon over the satisfying return to Howard’s bold, sensual reimagining of Carroll’s classic.

August 4, Monday, 7:00 p.m. LUX: OPPOSITION by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Blue Willow Bookshop
Jennifer Armentrout, YA Author

Jennifer Armentrout will kick off her tour for OPPOSITION, the fifth book in the LUX series from Entangled Teen. Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came. She can’t believe Daemon stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred. Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

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18. KidLit Author Events July 22-28

The dog days of summer are perfect for curling up with a good book in an air-conditioned room with a big window looking out over the beautiful Texas greenery. (Whew–was that enough prepositional phrases in one sentence?) I braved the heat Saturday morning to work in my yard, but ran head-first into a patch of poison ivy, so now I’m just staying indoors and trying not to scratch the rash. For those of you who don’t look like you’ve got a case of the measles, here are a few events going on around town you might want to look into:

July 23, Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.THE SWEET DEAD LIFE by Joy Preble
Katy Budget Books
Joy Preble, YA Author

Joy Preble joins the Young Adult Book Club to discuss THE SWEET DEAD LIFE. The angel book gets a Texas makeover from the author of the Dreaming Anastasia series.

“I found out two things today: One, I think I’m dying. And two, my brother is a perv.” So begins the diary of Jenna Samuels, who is having a very bad year. Her mother spends all day in bed. Dad vanished when she was nine. Her older brother, Casey, tries to hold together what’s left of the family by working two after-school jobs—difficult, as he’s stoned all the time. To make matters worse, Jenna is sick. Really sick. When she collapses one day, Casey tries to race her to the hospital in their beat-up Prius and crashes instead.

Jenna wakes up in the ER to find Casey beside her, looking pretty good. Better than ever, in fact. Downright… angelic. The flab and zits? Gone. Before long, Jenna figures out that her brother didn’t survive the accident at all, and she isn’t just sick; she’s being poisoned. Casey has been sent back to help Jenna find out who’s got it out for her, a mystery that leads to more questions about their mother’s depression and their father’s disappearance.

July 24, Thursday, 10:00 a.m. THE WAR WITH THE ICE LADY by D. Scozzari
Katy Budget Books
Donna Scozzari, MG Author

Author Donna Scozzari  joins KBB’s Summer Middle Reader Book Club —Ages 8 to 12—to discuss her book THE NINTH REGION: WAR WITH THE ICE LADY, the first in a fantasy adventure series for early to mid chapter book readers. Gloria and Nathan are twin Kermode bears on a quest to rescue their big brother Nettle from the heartless Ice Lady. Leaving home in the dead of winter when the twins should be sleeping with their parents, they attempt to rescues their brother and the others that have been taken. Soon they learn that the world outside their hamlet is not a safe place and more than a match for them.

July 26, Saturday, 2:00 p.m.THE DRY by Rebecca Nolen
Barnes & Noble River Oaks
Rebecca Nolen, MG Author

Get Pop-Cultured: Local Sci-Fi & Fantasy Author Showcase! Join Rebecca Nolen, author of THE DRY, in celebration of Houston’s local Science Fiction/Fantasy authors.

In THE DRY, a deadly dry spell has left the earth parched and souls desperate. Crops are failing. Cities are starving. A missing newspaper man doesn’t account for much in times so terrible, except to the twelve-year-old son he left behind. When Elliot Sweeney discovers the search for his father has been called off, he boards a train alone to find him.

His quest leads Elliot into the depths of an abandoned mine, with a peculiar pocket watch, a blind burro, and a gutsy girl at his side. He discovers a world he never dreamed of, even in his worst nightmares, and lands smack in the middle of a war between two kingdoms. Monstrous insects, smiling villains, and dark riddles are everywhere. Deciding who to trust may prove to be his greatest challenge, while the fate of the world above hangs on Elliot’s choice.

 

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19. Kidlit Events June 10-16

We have two events happening this week, one YA and one picture book. But this isn’t any ordinary picture book signing—this is a very special event in support of the Ronald McDonald House featuring a special book from Newbery Honor and National Book Award Finalist Kathi Appelt. Your place in line will be assigned when you purchase the book from Blue Willow Bookshop, so if you don’t want to wait in what I expect will be a very long line, hurry to buy your copy ahead of time! See you there!

June 10, Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. TROUBLE by Non Pratt
Blue Willow Bookshop
Non Pratt, YA Author

Non Pratt will discuss and sign TROUBLE, her debut novel for young adults. From Publishers Weekly: Friendship, betrayal, lust, and love are recurring themes in U.K. editor/publisher Pratt’s first novel exploring the trials of a British teen after she finds out she is pregnant. Reluctant to reveal the identity of the baby’s father, 15-year-old Hannah is surprised and relieved when her new friend, Aaron, offers to pretend he is responsible. But Aaron’s motives run deeper than wanting to help Hannah: part of him hopes that acting nobly might make up for previous actions that ended in tragedy…

June 14, Saturday, 1:00 p.m. MOGIE THE HEART OF THE HOUSE
Blue Willow Bookshop
Kathi Appelt, Children’s Author

Newbery Honor and National Book Award finalist author Kathi Appelt  will discuss and sign her newest picture book, MOGIE: THE HEART OF THE HOUSE.

Mogie is a real-life Labradoodle with a special talent: he always knows just what a sick kid needs! Give that dog a puddle and he’d splash. Give him a whistle and he’d roll over. Give him a rule and he’d break it.

One day a passel of puppies was born. Each puppy was designated for a Very Important Job, like Service Dog, or Search and Rescue Dog, or Groomed for the Show Ring Dog. Each puppy, that is, except Mogie. Mogie was a ball-chasing, tail-wagging, moon-howling pup. Not the kind of pup for any of those jobs! But there is a place that is just right for Mogie: a very special house where sick children and their families can stay while they undergo long-term treatment. A place with children who NEED a ball-chasing, tail-wagging, moon-howling pup. And there’s one little boy in particular who needs Mogie. And Mogie is about to prove he’s the best darn pooch in the passel. Based on a true story, this heartwarming picture book is published in conjunction with the Ronald McDonald House.

Note: In order to go through the signing line and meet Kathi Appelt for book personalization, please purchase MOGIE: THE HEART OF THE HOUSE from Blue Willow Bookshop. At the time of your purchase, Blue Willow will issue a signing line ticket that indicates your place in line. Your book and signing line ticket can be picked up at the event.

June 14, Saturday, 4:00 p.m. 
River Oaks Bookstore
Quinn Holliday, Author & Ryan Shaw, Illustrator

Join the Quinn Holliday, author of MACGYVER THE BEST BIG BLACK DOG for a reading and signing. Ryan Shaw the illustrator will be drawing for the kids as well!

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20. Kathi Appelt and Mogie + KidLit Events June 17-24

MogieThis weekend was the occasion of a very special event at Blue Willow Bookshop. Newbery Honor and National Book Award finalist author Kathi Appelt held the Houston launch for Ronald McDonald House Houston’s tour for their picture book celebration of MOGIE, THE HEART OF THE HOUSE. Kathi was accompanied by three other celebrities, the RMHH Executive Director Leslie Bourne, the RMHH Director of Development Mikki Donnelly, and the RMHH Key Comfort Ambassador himself, Mogie!

Before Kathi got started telling about meeting Mogie Mogie the Ambassadorand writing his story, Mogie put his ambassador skills to work. He graciously greeted each person who walked through the door, making us all feel welcome and wanted.

Blue Willow Bookshop was fill to the brim with Kathi’s fans, Mogie’s fans and people who love picture books. After Kathi’s brief, sweet talk about Mogie and the wonderful kids she met at the Ronald McDonald House, everyone filed into line to get their copies of the book personalized. Every book was signed by Kathi and stamped with Mogie’s PAW-tograph.

The book: Mogie is a real-life Labradoodle with a special talent: he always knows just what a sick kid Celebritiesneeds! Give that dog a puddle and he’d splash. Give him a whistle and he’d roll over. Give him a rule and he’d break it.

One day a passel of puppies was born. Each puppy was designated for a Very Important Job, like Service Dog, or Search and Rescue Dog, or Groomed for the Show Ring Dog. Each puppy, that is, except Mogie. Mogie was a ball-chasing, tail-wagging, moon-howling pup. Not the kind of pup for any of Signature and Pawtographthose jobs! But there is a place that is just right for Mogie: a very special house where sick children and their families can stay while they undergo long-term treatment. A place with children who NEED a ball-chasing, tail-wagging, moon-howling pup. And there’s one little boy in particular who needs Mogie. And Mogie is about to prove he’s the MOGIE, THE HEART OF THE HOUSEbest darn pooch in the passel. Based on a true story, this heartwarming picture book is published in conjunction with the Ronald McDonald House.

For more adorable pictures of Mogie and his RMHH family take a look at this article from The Houston Chronicle.

Follow Mogie: Twitter Facebook Website
Follow author Kathi Appelt: Twitter Facebook Website
Follow illustrator Marc Rosenthal: Twitter Facebook Website
Follow Ronald McDonald House Houston: Twitter Facebook Website
Follow Blue Willow Bookshop: Twitter Facebook Website

And now, this week’s event:

June 21, Saturday
THE TINY PRINCESS AND THE MISSING CHOCOLATES by Nancy Shakespeare, Illustrated by Katie ClouetteThe Storybook Cottage, Katy, TX
Nancy Shakespeare, PB Author

Join Nancy Shakespeare at The Storybook Cottage to celebrate the release of her new picture book, THE TINY PRINCESS AND THE MISSING CHOCOLATES. When the Tiny Princess’ chocolates go missing, it is up to Tatum to find them. On a quest to find her sweets, she discovers something even more important than her delicious chocolates.

This is a free event and the Princesses will enjoy one hour of pampering; including brush-on glitter, nail painting, a tea party with pink lemonade & Princess cookies and story time with the Author. To register, please send an email to shakespearestories@gmail.com. Space is limited.

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21. Anna Staniszewski: THE PRANK LIST Blog Tour

THE PRANK LIST by Anna Staniszewski

Today, I am so excited to welcome back Anna Staniszewski! Anna visited this blog when she was wrapping up her My Very UnFairytale Life series and wrote a great post about character development in Give Your Main Character a Mirror. Anna’s newest book, the second in her Dirt Diary series, THE PRANK LIST, launches July 1. From Anna’s blog, here’s a bit about THE PRANK LIST:

Rachel never thought she’d fight for the right to clean toilets, but she has to save her mom’s business. Nothing can distract her from her mission – except maybe Whit, the cute new guy in cooking class. Then she discovers something about Whit that could change everything. After destroying her Dirt Diary, Rachel thought she was done with secrets, but to save her family’s business, Rachel’s going to have to get her hands dirty. Again.

I loved THE DIRT DIARY, so I was delighted to have an opportunity to read an ARC of THE PRANK LIST. These books are so much fun! In an interview on The Book Cellar, you mention that you usually come up with the premise for a story before plot or characters. What inspired the premise for THE PRANK LIST?

At the end of The Dirt Diary, there’s talk about Rachel taking a pastry class at a local bakery. That idea stuck in my head, and I wondered what would happen if Rachel got to the class and it wasn’t at all what she thought it would be. As for where the “prank war” idea came from in the story, I thought it would be interesting to bring in a rival cleaning service so we could see how far Rachel is willing to go to save her mom’s business.

The main character in your book, Rachel, loves to bake. Details like her first disaster with the caramel squares—a pan of goo on one side and crunchy crystals on the other—sound so authentic. Did Rachel get her love of baking from you?

Sadly, Rachel’s baking mishaps in this book are very much inspired by my own. I love eating baked goods, but I’m not a very good cook. My big problem is that I’m impatient, so anything that takes more than a half hour is a deal-breaker for me. Rachel is the kind of baker I wish I could be!

On Stephen Macquignon’s blog, you wrote about thinking visually in novels. One of your tips was to repeat an image for emphasis. Can you tell us about an important image from THE PRANK LIST?

Good question! I wanted Rachel to feel taunted by the rival cleaning business’s vans (red and black ones painted to look like ladybugs) that seem to follow her all around town. Every time she sees one, she feels like it’s mocking her, and she becomes more and more desperate to succeed.

I loved Rachel’s best friend Marisol when we met her in THE DIRT DIARY, but I loved her even more in this book. Without giving away spoilers, can you tell us a little about Marisol’s role in this story?

Marisol tends to be the voice of reason in Rachel’s life, but at the same time, she would do anything to help Rachel. So in this book, it was interesting to explore how far Marisol is willing to veer away from her moral compass in order to help her best friend.

You recently wrote a guest post for Janet Fox, Creating a Believable Tween Voice, in which you urged writers to focus on emotions. Does Rachel, the main character in your story, have a particular emotion that defines her or drives her actions?

Rachel always means well and she tries to do the right thing, but she often lets her good intentions get her into trouble when she starts feeling desperate and frantic. That’s when things get out of control and she winds up making decisions that aren’t necessarily the right ones.

Another fun element of voice in this story is Rachel’s exclamations, like “Oh my goldfish,” and “Crabgrass!” Did you have to try out a lot of sayings before finding the ones that seemed natural to Rachel?

Coming up with funny sayings has become a bit of a game in my house. I’m always testing new ones out on my husband, and he’s even started a list of ones that he thinks I might like.

Anna, thank you for stopping by today!

You can find out more about Anna on the other stops on her blog tour, including her guest posts, I Sold My Book: Now What?, What to Expect After the Sale, and an interview with Nancy Tandon on her writing process for THE PRANK LIST.

Anna StaniszewskiAbout Anna:
Born in Poland and raised in the United States, Anna Staniszewski grew up loving stories in both Polish and English. Currently, she lives outside Boston with her husband and their crazy dog. When she’s not writing, Anna spends her time reading, daydreaming, and challenging unicorns to games of hopscotch. She is the author of the My Very UnFairy Tale Life series and the Dirt Diary series. Her newest book, The Prank List, releases on July 1st from Sourcebooks. You can visit Anna at www.annastan.com.

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22. Book Release: DEADWOOD + KidLit Events June 23-July 1

DEADWOOD by Kell Andrews (Spencer Hill Press)Book Release Day!

 Kell Andrew’s

DEADWOOD

Sometimes a lucky ritual becomes a curse.

Seventh-grader Martin Cruz hates his rotten new town, Lower Brynwood, but with his mom fighting a war in Afghanistan, he has no choice but to live with his crazy aunt. Then he gets a message from a tree telling him it’s cursed—and so is he.

It’s not just any tree either, it’s the Spirit Tree, an ancient beech the football team carves for good luck before the season opener. But every year they lose. Now the Spirit Tree is dying, and the other trees in the park are toppling around it like dominoes. The town is plagued with unexplainable accidents and people begin to fade, drained of life.

Martin must team up with a know-it-all soccer star, Hannah Vaughan, if he has any chance of breaking the curse. If they fail to save the Spirit Tree, it could mean the destruction of Lower Brynwood and a permanent case of bad luck.

BIZZ AND BUZZ MAKE HONEY BUNS by Dee LeoneJune 26, Thursday, 10:00 a.m.
Blue Willow Bookshop
Dee Leone, PB Author

Join author Dee Leone for a special story time/book launch for BIZZ AND BUZZ MAKE HONEY BUNS! Bizz and Buzz are two bees who want to make honey buns. So, they ask their friend Bear for his recipe. Although the directions seem simple, Bizz and Buzz make mistake after mistake, like finding a little “flower “instead of adding a little “flour.” What will “bee”-come of the honey buns?

RIVER ROYALS by Katie Clark & Sarah Wynne

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23. July Writing Workshops

We don’t have a lot of author/illustrator events for readers this month, but for writers, it’s a windfall! In case you haven’t heard, we have a new writers’ workshop venue in town Write Space, and they are launching their events this summer with a lineup of workshops for writers of children’s and young adult books.

Also, I want to pass on the news that the Houston Writers Guild Fall Contest is open for submissions July 1 – September 1, 2014. The contest is open to all writers (regardless of publishing status) with original, unpublished work. First place in each category wins $75. Winners will be announced at the 2014 Houston Writers Guild Winter Conference (November 8; details TBA). Everyone will receive score sheets with feedback via email after the winners are announced.

Please note that the first workshop listed is for children; all others are for adults writing for children.

July 12, Saturday, 10:00–3:00 p.m. LITTLE MISS MOLLY by Melissa Williams
Houston Children’s Museum
Melissa Williams, PB Author
Workshop For Kids Ages 8-14
Cost: $135.00

Exercise Your Imagination at the Houston Children’s Museum with Melissa Williams, author of the picture book series, IGGY THE IGUANA, TURTLE TOWN and LITTLE MISS MOLLY! Workshop Includes: Take Home Brainstorming Notebook; 16×20 Painted Canvas; Lunch; Goodie Bag. Register online here.

July 12, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE by Jen Mathieu
Write Space
Jen Mathieu, YA Author
Workshop: How to Find Your Character’s Voice
Cost: $45.00

Jen Mathieu, author of the runaway hit, THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE, will lead this writers’ workshop. Heart-stopping plots and detailed settings are important to any memorable story, but a character who becomes real in the heart and mind of the reader leaves a permanent mark. In this three-hour workshop, we’ll spend some time reading and dissecting examples of terrific character voice and complete several writing exercises intended to help develop a character whose story demands to be told. All levels of experience are welcome. Students will leave with a handout of exercises for uncovering a character’s personality, motivations, fears, and dreams as well as a list of suggested readings. Please bring a laptop or notepad and pen/pencil, depending on which instrument you feel most comfortable using for quick writing exercises.

July 19, 10:00-4:30 p.m. TAKE ME TO YOUR BBQ by Kathy Duval; illustrated by Adam McCauley
Write Space
Kathy Duval, PB Author
Workshop: Make It Shine! Polish Your Picture Book
Cost: $85.00

Five hundred words— no problem, right? Wrong!
A successful picture book is an art form combining lyrical language and dynamic images, each dependent on the other.  To compete, your work must shine, as well as follow the conventions of today’s crowded market.

This hands-on revision workshop led by Kathy Duval, author of TAKE ME TO YOUR BBQ (Hyperion/Disney) and THE THREE BEARS’ CHRISTMAS and THE THREE BEARS’ HALLOWEEN (Holiday House), will take a fresh look at your characters, setting, plot, and picture book language. Participants will complete exercises to polish their prose, as well as create a dummy to see how your text fits into a picture book format.  Feedback in small groups will help you take your picture book to the next level. Participants will be asked to bring three copies of the same completed picture book manuscript. You will be notified closer to the workshop date about the other supplies you will need for making a dummy.

July 19, Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ACCIDENTAL ACTION STAR by Emily Evans
Houston YA/MG Regular Meeting
Community Room at the H.E.B. at 9710 Katy Freeway
Emily Evans, YA Author
Workshop: Tips, Tricks, & Secrets of the Millionaire Author
Free!

Pre-published? Traditionally published? Indie Published?

Employ millionaire-author strategies now so your future is more “party at the Capital” and less “welcome to the Hunger Games.” Houston YA/MG’s own Emily Evans will lead the discussion. Emily has made $150 K indie-publishing her YA novels. Where’d she go wrong? What’s she doing right? Emily will brush off her psych degree and analyze marketing trends, best-seller habits, and pretty much anything else you want to throw out there. So change out of those writing pajamas and join us…

Saturday, July 26, 1:00-4:00 p.m.THE A-WORD by Joy Preble
Write Space
Workshop: The Power of Point of View
Joy Preble, YA Author
Cost: $45.00

Joy Preble, author of  the Dreaming Anastasia series (Sourcebooks) and the Sweet Dead Life series (Soho Press), will lead this workshop. Point of view is one of the most important choices an author can make because it impacts how readers see and respond to the story. Through whose eyes is the story being told? Through the eyes of a character as he experiences the story’s events (1st person present), through an unnamed narrator (3rd person omniscient), or through a narrator who shares the thoughts of just one character (3rd person limited)?

If a story doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, often the problem lies in point of view. For instance, perhaps we aren’t telling the right character’s story. Or, we are telling the right character’s story, but we aren’t telling her story in the right point of view. When the story is told (before or after events), why it is told, and who does the telling are all powerful decisions each writer must make. It’s easy to give attention to the more glamorous aspects of craft such as character arcs, plot, and tension, but profound discoveries await those willing to explore point of view.

All levels of experience are welcome in this hands-on workshop. To help free up our stories, we will read and analyze examples of point of view in successful novels, and then apply our newfound knowledge to our own writing.

Come prepared to write, revise, and experiment. Please bring the first three to five pages of a novel or short story you’re working on, as well as a laptop or a notepad and pen or pencil.

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24. KidLit Author Events July 8-14

VOICES OF PEARL HARBOR by Sherry Garland, Illustrated by Layne JohnsonI hope everyone enjoyed celebrating our Independence Day. My family had a great time in Fredericksburg at the National Museum of the Pacific War. Although I expected it to be there, it was still a thrill to see Sherry Garland and Layne Johnson’s gorgeous book VOICES OF PEARL HARBOR prominently displayed in the children’s book section.

Here’s what’s going on this week:

July 8, Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.UNCAGED by John Sandford and Michelle Cook
Murder By The Book
John Sandford and Michelle Cook, YA Authors

John Sandford and Michelle Cook will sign and discuss UNCAGED (Knopf for Young Readers) the first book in their new Singular Menace series. In UNCAGED, Shay Remby arrives in Hollywood with $58 and a handmade knife, searching for her brother, Odin. Odin’s a brilliant hacker but a bit of a loose cannon. He and a group of radical animal-rights activists hit a Singular Corp. research lab in Eugene, Oregon. The raid was a disaster, but Odin escaped with a set of highly encrypted flash drives and a post-surgical dog.

When Shay gets a frantic 3 a.m. phone call from Odin—talking about evidence of unspeakable experiments, and a ruthless corporation, and how he must hide—she’s concerned. When she gets a menacing visit from Singular’s security team, she knows: her brother’s a dead man walking.

What Singular doesn’t know—yet—is that 16-year-old Shay is every bit as ruthless as their security force, and she “will” burn Singular to the ground, if that’s what it takes to save her brother.

Sneak a preview peek here!

July 9, Wednesday, 10:00 a.m.BIZZ AND BUZZ MAKE HONEY BUNS by Dee Leone
Katy Budget Books
Dee Leone, PB Author

Local author Dee Leone will visit KBB for a special story time with her new book BIZZ AND BUZZ MAKE HONEY BUNS (Grosset & Dunlap). Bizz and Buzz are two bees who want to make honey buns. So, they ask their friend Bear for his recipe. Although the directions seem simple, Bizz and Buzz make mistake after mistake, like finding a little “flower “instead of adding a little “flour.” What will “bee”-come of the honey buns?

July 12, Saturday, 2:00 p.m. OVETA CULP HOBBY: COLONEL, CABINET MEMBER, PHILANTHROPIST by Debra Winegarten
Blue Willow Bookshop
Debra Winegarten, MG Nonfiction Author

Join author Debra Winegarten for a discussion of her new biography OVETA CULP HOBBY: COLONEL, CABINET MEMBER, PHILANTHROPIST. Oveta Culp Hobby (1905-1995) had a lifetime of stellar achievement. During World War II, she was asked to build a women’s army from scratch – and did. Hobby became Director of the Women’s Army Corps and the first Army woman to earn the rank of colonel. President Eisenhower chose her as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, making her the second woman in history to be appointed to a president’s cabinet. When she wasn’t serving in the government, Hobby worked with her husband, former Texas governor William P. Hobby, to lead a media empire that included the Houston Post newspaper and radio and TV stations. She also supported the Houston community in many ways, from advocating for civil rights for African Americans to donating generously to the Houston Symphony and the Museum of Fine Arts.

This first biography of a remarkable woman has been written for middle school readers. It traces her life from her childhood in Killeen to her remarkable achievements in Washington, DC, and Houston. Debra Winegarten provides the background to help young adult readers understand the times in which Hobby lived and the challenges she faced as a woman in nontraditional jobs. She shows how Hobby opened doors for women to serve in the military and in other professions that still benefit women today. Most of all, Oveta Culp Hobby will inspire young adults to follow their own dreams and turn them into tangible reality.

July 13, Sunday 2:00 p.m. KATHY'S ADVENTURES by Ricci Ivers Casserly
Barnes & Noble, The Woodlands
Ricci Casserly, Children’s Author

Join Ricci Casserly  as she signs KATHY’S ADVENTURES  (Tate) the story of a little girl named Ricci and her favorite doll, Kathy. Ricci and Kathy are the best of friends, and Ricci will do anything to care for Kathy. But as time passes, Ricci plays with Kathy less and less. One day when Ricci goes to her grandmother’s house to see Kathy, Kathy is gone. Come along with Ricci as she learns never to give up hope and follows her dreams of reuniting with her best friend.

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25. YA & KidLit Author Events July 15-21

Sometimes even big events sneak up on me. The Mississippi Mud Bash happening at Murder By the Book this week took me by surprise. So here’s a heads up for a major event coming up in September; Tweens Read 2014 will be held September 27 at South Houston High School in Pasadena, Texas.

This week’s events:

July 19, Saturday, 2:00 p.m.
Barnes & Noble, Vanderbilt Square
Three YA Authors, plus sci-fi workshop for kids

Solar Nova Author Panel: Join us for signings from local authors Brandy Truly  (THE SONAR TRILOGY), Jacqueline Patricks (FAIRYTALE APOCALYPSE ) and K.M. Montemayor  (THE CIRCLE). The authors will supply helpful advice for aspiring authors. Includes a sci-fi workshop for kids ages 8 and up.

SONAR: THE CRASHING by B. Truly FAIRYTALE APOCALYPSE by Jacqueline PatricksTHE CIRCLE by K. M. Montemayor

 

 

July 19, Saturday, 4:00 p.m.THE PROVIDER: Katie Lea Yates
Katy Budget Books
Katie Lea Yates, YA Author 

Katie Lea Yates signs her young adult book, THE PROVIDER.
The book: Finishing eighth grade and getting ready for high school is hard enough. Finding out that you can jump into the pictures you’ve drawn and become ruler of thousands of people makes it just a tiny bit tougher. Thankfully, I’m not alone. There’s a whole group of us. They’re very cool, and I love living with them. But it seems that I brought back a little more than my memories when I jumped into that first drawing-now I’m able to create things, or bring things from somewhere else, or . . . well, it’s complicated. And unfortunately, somebody might want us all dead.

July 20, Sunday, 3:00 p.m.THE MURDER COMPLEX by Lindsay Cummings
Murder By the Book
Mighty Mississippi Book Blast, Six YA Authors

Lindsay Cummings: THE MURDER COMPLEX (HarperCollins), an action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller. Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision. The plot thickens when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or is it part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES by Rachel HarrisRachel Harris: A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES (Entangled). Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, Alessandra D’Angeli is lost. Until the stars hear her plea. One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything BURN OUT by Kristi Helvigshe’s come to love?

Kristi Helvig: BURN OUT (Egmont). The last girl on Earth…just got company. Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth’s final years, a teenage girl yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns “red giant,” but discovers her fellow survivors are even deadlier than the hostile environment.

Julie Murphy: SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY (HarperCollins) WhatSIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY by Julie Murphy if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you? When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission. Now Alice must face the consequences of all she’s done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?

THE BREAK-UP ARTIST BY PHILIP SIEGELPhilip Siegel: THE BREAK-UP ARTIST (Harlequin Teen). Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash.
Some work at the mall. Becca Williamson breaks up couples. Becca knows from experience the damage that love can do. After all, it was so-called love that turned Huxley from her childhood best friend into a social-world dictator, and love that left Becca’s older sister devastated at the altar. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, Becca strikes back—for just one hundred dollars via PayPal, she will trick and manipulate any couple’s relationship into smithereens. One night, Becca receives a mysterious offer to break up the most popular couple in school: Huxley and the football team’s star player, Steve. To succeed, she’ll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date—starting rumors, sabotaging cell phones, breaking into cars…. No one said being the Break-Up Artist would be easy.

THE ART OF LAINEY by Paula StokesPaula Stokes: THE ART OF LAINEY (Harper Teen). Soccer-star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back. And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. and decide to use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few “dates”, it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

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