in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1551 Blogs, Most Recent at Top [Help]Results 1,001 - 1,025 of 615,583
A CONVERSATION WITH DANIEL MENAKER (TUE, 2/24 AT NOON)
We hope you’ll join us next Tuesday, February 24th, for a noontime
conversation with DANIEL MENAKER. Over the course of his career, Daniel
has been the fiction editor of THE NEW YORKER and Executive
Editor-in-Chief at Random House. Now he works with Stonybrook
Southhampton’s MFA program and consults for Barnes & Noble—so rest
assured, this is a man who knows his books. The conversation will be
moderated by BETH KEPHART. RSVP now to email@example.com or call us
at 215-476-POEM. We’d love to see you here, next Tuesday.
All the best,
The Kelly Writers House
The Sylvia Kauders Lunch Series presents:
A CONVERSATION WITH DANIEL MENAKER
Hosted by BETH KEPHART
Tuesday, Feb. 24th | 12:00pm | Arts Café
Kelly Writers House | 3805 Locust Walk
No registration required - this event is free & open to the public
DANIEL MENAKER is a fiction writer and editor, currently working with
the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton and as a consultant for
Barnes & Noble Bookstores. Daniel was a fiction editor at THE NEW YORKER
for twenty years and had material published in the magazine frequently.
In 1995 he was hired by Random House as Senior Literary Editor and later
became Executive Editor-in-Chief.
By: Raquel Fernandes,
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, Arts & Humanities
, TV & Film
, academy awards
, Alejandro G. Iñárritu
, Jennifer Fleeger
, Sounding American
, Damien Chazelle
, Henri Bergson
, Add a tag
Among this year’s Oscar nominees for Best Picture were two films with drum scores: Whiplash, in which a highly regarded but abusive conductor molds an aspiring young jazz musician into the genius he was meant to be, and Birdman, in which an aging film actor who was never a genius at all stars in a play and possibly flies. In spite of their innovative soundtracks, neither film received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score.
The post Great man drumming: Birdman, Whiplash, and myth of the male artist appeared first on OUPblog.
It is easy to underestimate wordless (or nearly wordless) picture books. At first glance, they can seem simplistic and their educational value can seem limited since so much focus is placed on reading in the classroom, but if used in the right way they can contribute to a number of learning objectives across a wide range of grade levels. The books below illustrate some of the types of wordless books that are available and offer some suggestions for how to make them part of your lesson plans.
The Arrival by Shaun Tan
This book tells a universal tale of immigration through pictures of a man travelling to an alien world in search of work and a better life. The retro-futuristic setting, sepia-toned images, and alien language will make this book relatable to any reader. Geared towards middle school or older readers, this book could be used in a social studies or history class while reading about the immigrant experience in the U.S. and could just as easily be used in a literature class to teach students how to “read” images.
Robot Dreams by Sara Varon
It might seem surprising to say that a wordless book about a robot and a dog who are friends packs an emotional punch, but that is certainly the case here. Varon successfully uses images to pull readers into the story and vividly convey emotions without the need for dialogue. The bright colors of the drawings will make this book appealing and accessible to readers in third and fourth grade, where it can be used to prompt discussions around friendship and how art can prompt an emotional reaction.
The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg
Though not completely wordless, this book from famed writer and illustrator Chris Van Allsburg is definitely not a typical picture book. It consists of a series of drawings, each of which has a title and a caption and no further words associated with it. While the drawings all share an odd, off-kilter quality that makes them mysterious and not quite of our world, they are not explicitly connected to one another. As such, they make ideal short story prompts for virtually any age. This book could be used as inspiration for creative writings projects from grade school through high school. If you don’t believe me, you need look no further than the new version of the book published in 2011 under the name The Chronicles of Harris Burdick, which included a story written by a best-selling author to accompany each of the pictures.
Mirror by Jeannie Baker
Here the wordless format is combined with a unique physical format that has readers unfolding each side of the book to reveal side-by-side images of two families, one living in Sydney, Australia and the other living in a small town in Morocco. This layout juxtaposes life in these two locations, showing readers the differences but also the important similarities between the two families. This is an ideal book for younger readers from preschool through early grade school, who will delight in pointing out the similarities and differences between the images. It would work well for teaching vocabulary related to the images as well as for larger discussions about cultural differences around the world.
I hope these ideas will encourage some readers to reconsider the place of wordless books in their classes, but beyond this, I would also love to hear how readers have already been using them. I hope you’ll consider sharing your favorite wordless books and how you use them in your curriculum in the comments!
The post Using wordless books in the classroom appeared first on The Horn Book.
We are so proud of all of you for being brave enough to enter your work and hope you've already gotten something out of the contest. But we had to pick the top 50 and here they are.
If any of the titles below are yours, please send your revised (if you choose to do so) pitch and first page (no more than 250 words, without cutting off a sentence) in the same format as you sent your initial pitch. Do so by 6PM EASTERN. You will have 12 hours to revise and send. I'm sorry our schedule is a little off, but one of our judges was ill and could not comment until today.
I will then post the top 50 pages/pitches on our contest website as soon as possible for comment.
|A SIGN OF MAGIC |
|ANYTHING BUT ALIVE |
|AURUM: BOOK ONE OF THE GOLDEN REBELS SERIES |
|BIXBY TIMMONS AND THE GRAND MASTER'S RIDDLE |
|BLUE GENES |
|CHILDREN OF TOKUA |
|COWARDS AND CAPES |
|DAMSEL IN DISTRESSED JEANS |
|DARCY TOWERS |
|FIGHT FOR THIS |
|FOREST OF SHADOWS |
|HERITAGE OF HATE |
|IF ONE OF THEM IS DEAD |
|IMPERFECT LIVES |
|INTERNATIONAL INTRIGUE – THE GHOST OF EDINBURGH CASTLE |
|LISTEN TO ME |
|LOST PEARLS OF INDARNINI |
|MUSE POWERS IN DANGER |
|MYSTERY AT GEEK CAMP |
|NANNY MORTO |
|NIKITA WHITFIELD AND THE BUTTERFLY EATER |
|RETTA VS. MUTANTS |
|SEARCH FOR THE SAMPO |
|SUMMER THUNDER |
|THE BATTLE OF WONDERLAND GARDENS |
|THE CHRONICLES OF WHAT HAPPENED, BY CAM HANSON |
|THE DARKADDERS |
|THE FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHT CLUB |
|THE GREAT WOODS |
|THE HUNT FOR THE HEAVENLY HORSE |
|THE KIDNAPPER'S CONUNDRUM |
|THE LAND OF JOY AND SORROW |
|THE LEDGE |
|THE MIDNIGHT FLIGHT OF THE SALEM MAGI |
|THE OTHER SIDE OF NORMAL |
|THE PRINCESS AND THE PEASANT |
|THE SECRETS WE KEEP |
|THE SINNER ROSE |
|THE SIX |
|TRACKER 220 |
|WHATEVER IT TAKES |
|WHO IS BERKLEY ADAMS? |
|XAVIER AND THE MYSTERIOUS BLACK SPACESHIP |
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Add a tag
From his childhood, Martin "Marty" Filchock knew he had a talent for cartooning — and he knew he loved it.
He loved it so much, he did it for almost 90 years.
Mr. Filchock, 100, died Sept. 5, having been in hospice care after a series of strokes. He continued drawing for all but the past few months of his life, said his daughter, Joanne Filchock.
Mr. Filchock's "life goal was to be the oldest actively working American cartoonist, and he reached that goal," she said.
A self-taught artist who was considered a pioneer for his Golden Age comic books work, Mr. Filchock drew the Mighty Man! comics in the late 1930s and drew several comic book strips for The Funny Pages and Centaur Comics. From the 1950s to the 1980s, he drew gag cartoons that he sold to a number of national magazines. He also illustrated books and drew for the Rogersville Review newspaper in Hawkins County, where he lived before moving to Knoxville two years ago to live with his daughter.
He was well known for his "Check and Double Check" puzzle in Highlights for Children magazine, which he drew for more than 40 years. His daughter said he loved children, and was extremely affectionate, generous and supportive as a father and grandfather. He also loved his dogs, boxer-black Lab mixes he named for his features: Check, Double Check and Puzzles.
"He was hilarious, constantly cracking jokes," Joanne Filchock said. "People flocked to him because of his sense of humor."
He had stories to tell as well, she said. Born in Pennsylvania, Mr. Filchock worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps and traveled the country by boxcar during the Great Depression, adventures that spawned his characters Obo Ossie and the C.C. Kid (for "civilian conservation.") He pitched semi-professional baseball for a time and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He drew gag comics for Army magazines while in the service. During Joanne Filchock's childhood, he was her primary caregiver, she said. During his senior years, he was caregiver for wife Sylvia for 15 years before she died of Alzheimer's disease.
Joanne Filchock said some of her father's original work, drawn before he became ill, are still being published for the first time.
"I knew from my earliest memories that he was talented" as an artist," she said. As a father, grandfather and friend, "he was just delightful."___________________________________________________________________________1. The Ultimate Centaur Collection, combining vols. 1 & 2, Black Tower, 2010 2. The Ultimate Owl Collection, Black Tower
Question: I have an idea that I have been turning over in my head for quite a while. The main characters are a boy and a girl, who are very close. However,
Nonfiction Picture Book 10 for 10 is...TODAY!
January announcement is here
, but I'm sure Twitter is exploding with more current tweets. Gather your 10 favorite nonfiction picture books and share them with the world!
By: Ella Sharp,
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, Psychology & Neuroscience
, Chinese Psychology
, Eastern Psychology
, Michael Harris Bond
, Oxford Handbook of Chinese Psychology
, Western Psychology
, Add a tag
With China’s continued emergence as an economic and political superpower, there is a growing need for those in the West to understand the distinct way in which the Chinese people view the mind and its study. Although Chinese philosophy is steeped in considerations of the nature of the mind, psychology as it is understood in the West was not a discipline practiced in China until its introduction in the 19th Century.
The post Chinese New Year and psychology [infographic] appeared first on OUPblog.
It’s a sign you like a series when you’re willing to try to overlook—albeit to ultimately still be largely infuriated by and not be able to forget—an incredibly annoying error on page one of the latest release. The series? Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines. The new book? The Ruby Circle. The error? Having Adrian (the male protagonist) […]
Sorry it's been a week since I last looked in. I am working hard every day on my mural. I did get to escape the computer on Saturday though - everything stops for SketchCrawl day!
This month, Urban Sketchers Yorkshire met up with our counterparts in Nottingham, for a drawing day at Nottingham Castle. There were a few sketchers from the Manchester and Birmingham groups too, so it was really lovely to meet lots of new people.
The train from Sheffield arrived half an hour before the one from Manchester, so I did this quickie of the station front, while we waited. By the time I got underway, I only had 20 minutes, so I was really pleased with the results. I think, because of the silly amount of time, I had such low expectations that I was really relaxed. No time to think either, so I was working on instinct, by-passing my brain (often a good thing with my brain).
Fired up with this success, I decided to brave the cold at the castle and draw outside. Several people did the same as the views across Nottingham were spectacular. I avoided the really long views and drew the interesting aerial view down over the surrounding streets, continuing in my concertina sketchbook with the tinted paper, flowing on from the drawing I did on Castleford.
Nottingham Castle isn't a real castle - the real one was blown up hundreds of years ago. The new one is a museum and art gallery, so I headed inside and had a quick whizz round to warm up my fingers and toes. Then it was time for some lunch and chin-wagging with my new chums.
After lunch I was sufficiently thawed to try again outside. It was cold, but there was very little wind, so it was possible to stand it for about an hour. I did this view of the front entrance.
Once more chilled to the bone, it was wonderful to walk through the automatic doors and feel the wall of heat kick in! The gallery was a really lovely space, so I sat in there for my last sketch of the day, working with my Koh-i-Noor rainbow pencil and some white pastel:
This was a continuation in the concertina sketchbook and flowed on from the earlier drawing:
It also filled the very last section of the book - a rather satisfying end to the day - so it's now complete:
You can't really see the drawings properly here but, if you are interested, you can enlarge it sufficiently for a good look on my Flickr page. This lovely book was made for me as a present by one of my group (thanks again Lucie!), but I have also made concertina books for myself. They are very easy. If you want to have a go, this post shows you how.
One bibliophile (known as obviousplant on Reddit) decided to play around with the section labels at a bookstore. This person posted several photos on Imgur to showcase his antics. What do you think?
The standardized testing workbooks became the “anxiety-inducing books.” The cookbooks were renamed as guides for “meals you intend to make, but never will.” The romance titles are characterized by the “dudes who lost their shirts” on the cover designs. (via Bored Panda)
By: Elizabeth Gorney,
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, Trans Bodies Trans Selves
, Psychology & Neuroscience
, Social Work
, Genny Beemyn
, Laura Erickson-Schroth
, lesbian gay bisexual trans queer
, LGBT History Month
, Resource for the Transgender Community
, Add a tag
Today, there are countless ways to identify as trans, with new ways being created all the time, mostly by younger trans people. Gender was never a binary, and that has become especially evident in recent years.
The post Transgender culture and community, now and then appeared first on OUPblog.
Question: How am I going to divide the chapter when there are different pov of different characters, four the most Answer: The rule of thumb is that you
Okay. For this month’s Fuse #8 TV I decided to premiere a new series.
Reading (Too Much Into) Picture Books
Ladies and gentlemen, I like a good conspiracy theory. Nothing makes my heart go pitter pat faster than an opinion about a picture book that takes a right hand turn into Crazyville. Trouble is, there just aren’t enough out there. Sure, you can tell me that Horton Hears a Who is anti-abortion and Rainbow Fish is pro-Communist but sometimes it feels like I’ve heard them all. Time to shake things up a little!
Announcing a series where I make up crazed interpretations of classic picture books. This month: Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley. We all know it. We love it. Now what’s the kookiest theory you can come up with for it? I say my own and it’s a doozy. I’m weirdly proud about it.
After that I interview the very fun, funny, and infinitely patient Chris Grabenstein. Chris has a new middle grade novel out this year called The Island of Dr. Libris. He entertains my questions and then pulls out this Jim Henson story that will seriously make your eyes water. I’m not even kidding about that.
Sara Megibow is a literary agent with nine years of experience in publishing. She started at Nelson Literary Agency, LLC in 2006 and is happy to announce her move to KT Literary. Sara specializes in working with debut authors in middle grade, young adult, new adult, romance, erotica, science fiction and fantasy and represents New York Times bestselling authors Roni Loren and Jason Hough and international bestselling authors Stefan Bachmann and Tiffany Reisz. Sara is LGBTQ-friendly and presents regularly at SCBWI and RWA events around the country.
To find out more about Sara check out these links:
submissions guidelines here:
“What I’m Looking For” post here:
Publishers marketplace here:
1. Since you started agenting what do you think the biggest change has been? How have you adjusted your agenting style to compensate?
Great question and thanks for inviting me here! I love Adventures in YA Publishing - y’all do great work!
My answer to this question starts with the iPad. In April 2010, Apple introduced the iPad. In September 2011, amazon introduced the Kindle. On Christmas Day 2011, publishing changed. This is a gross overgeneralization but go with me. On that Christmas many people received iPads and Kindles as gifts and began to buy ebooks en masse. Part of the ebook excitement revolved around the devices themselves and part of the excitement revolved around the new prices attached to books. When I started working in publishing in 2006, ebook sales were less than 1% of the book market by units sold. By early 2012, after the iPad Christmas, ebooks were on their rapid journey to the 30% of the market (by unit) which is where they have been hovering for a few years now. I get that 30% number from this Forbes article from Feb 2014:
In my opinion, the greatest change in publishing since I started agenting has been the rapid expansion of the ebook market. How has my job changed based on this growth? I’ve broadened my agenting strategy to consider print books and ebooks and their different opportunities and impacts on my clients’ careers. When I put a book on submission, for example, I consider if it will make more money with an ebook-only deal or with a print + ebook deal. When talking to our publishing partners about an upcoming book release there is a distinct strategic difference in sales and marketing for print books vs. ebooks. In publicity and promotions, the ways to attract buyers’ attention differs for print purchases and ebook purchases. In short, my agenting style has changed since 2006 in how I strategize for print books AND ebooks.
Let’s narrow the scope a bit though. This post is for Adventures in YA publishing so I want to make sure to speak specifically about the changes in the ebook market as it relates to young adult novels. Today, in February 2015, my young adult client books still sell better in print. There is an argument which says teens don’t own the devices to read ebooks and another argument which says teens don’t have the credit cards to buy ebooks even if they do own the devices. There is some truth in those arguments although I would want to see cold hard data before inking my name to any statistics. I will share percentages for my clients as examples though:
BREAKING BEAUTIFUL by Jennifer Shaw Wolf (April 2012, Walker/ Bloomsbury) - a serious contemporary young adult mystery - has sold 75% in print and 25% in ebook to date.
THE PECULIAR by Stefan Bachmann (September 2012, Greenwillow/HarperCollins) - a steampunk gothic middle grade fantasy - has sold 90% in print and 10% in ebook to date.
CATCHING JORDAN by Miranda Kenneally (December 2011, Sourcebooks Fire) - a contemporary young adult romance with a heroine who plays football - is considered my one big cross-over success at 50% ebook and 50% print. We say “cross-over success" because we assume those higher ebook sales are coming from adults buying the book.
These are only three examples out of hundreds of thousands so take these numbers with a grain of salt. In general, in my experience, I want a young adult novel to have a solid print strategy as, while the ebook market is exploding, the print book market still seems to be the bread and butter for this genre. Unlike in 2006, my agenting style in 2015 includes evaluating client strategy with ebooks in mind. Strategy includes looking at formats (print, ebook, audio book, etc), distribution, sales & marketing, publicity & promotions and subsidiary rights. I also need to share all this information with clients to keep them up to speed on the publishing industry and opportunities for their careers. Exciting times, yes?
2. What has never changed?
I’m sure every agent would answer this differently as we all have different experiences of publishing. For me, what has never changed is my enthusiasm for long-term commercial and artistic success in the book world. I just love this industry and am happy to be a part of it! I’m positive that authors will continue to write jaw-droppingly, breath-stealingly great books and I’m also optimistic that they will continue to be able to make money on those books. I’m excited about bookstores and libraries and Scholastic Book Fair. I’m inspired by authors, librarians, booksellers, kids, teachers, parents, sales reps, editors, publishers, publicists and my fellow agents. People are buying books, reading books, talking about those books and to that I say HUZZAH! What has never changed is my love of authors and their books.
3. What is your favorite part of the job?
I have several! My absolute favorite part of this job is working with my amazing, talented, inspiring, incredible authors. They are rockstars and they deserve all praise and thanks! My second favorite part of the job is celebrating when new fans fall in love with my clients' books and talk/write/post about those books. Third favorite is walking into the bookstore and seeing client books on the shelves. I have a fourth, fifth and sixth favorite too but I’ll leave those for another interview. ;)
By: Julia Callaway,
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, Health & Medicine
, Science & Medicine
, Kenneth M. Ludmerer
, Let Me Heal
, medical education
, medical school
, residency training
, The Opportunity to Preserve Excellence in American Medicine
, Time To Heal
, Add a tag
Considerable variation in quality exists among residency programs in the United States, even among those in the same specialty, such as surgery, pediatrics, or internal medicine. Some are nationally and internationally renowned, others are known regionally, and still others are known only locally.
The post Why are some residency programs better than others? appeared first on OUPblog.
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, fairy stories
, fairy tales
, Hansel and Gretel
, little red riding hood
, Marina Warner
, once upon a time
, sleeping beauty
, social media campaign
, Add a tag
What are the strange undercurrents to fairy tales like 'Hansel and Gretel' or 'Little Red Riding Hood'? In November 2014, we launched a #fairytalesexplainedbadly hashtag campaign that tied in to the release of Marina Warner’s Once Upon a Time: A Short History of the Fairy Tale. Hundreds of people engaged with the #fairytalesexplainedbadly hashtag on Twitter, sparking a fun conversation on the different ways in which fairy tale stories could be perceived.
The post Fairy tales explained badly appeared first on OUPblog.
"Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up."
-Pablo Picasso"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."
Authored by Sara O'Leary and illustrated by Julie Morstad.
Pub. date: May 2015
Unwrapping even more to peek inside...
This amazing little book will surely fuel the imagination of any child. Sadie is a little girl whose enormous imagination takes her to magical worlds where she lives under the sea as a mermaid, is raised as a boy by wolves, attends the tea party in Alice in Wonderland and even interacts with the characters and happenings in fairytales. She befriends her clothes in her closet chatting away to them, hangs out in treetops with her friends the birds, and has a special pair of wings that transport her anywhere she wants to go making sure she gets back to her home safely. What more could a girl ask for? Life is fun, exciting, and full of possibilities. She is also a very crafty little girl who makes boats out of boxes to sail her to new adventures and castles out of cushions. The sky's the limit .... her imagination can take her anywhere she wants to go.
She loves to read books best of all, but even more than that, she loves to imagine herself right inside of the storybook plot. The beautiful, whimiscal illustrations have her plunge into the depth of the storyline making her feel happy and free.
She imagines on a grand scale, she plays with all her heart, and she literally loses herself in her make-believes worlds. She revels in the prospects of her next imagination explosion. I love the book and highly recommend it.
Sara O'Leary is a writer of fiction for both adults and children. She is the author of the award-winning series of Henry books: When You Were Small, Where You Came From and When I Was Small all illustrated by Julie Morstad. A graduate of the UBC Creative Writing Program, she has taught screenwriting and writing for children at Concordia University in Montreal. Sara was named for a grandmother who was called Sadie all her life. She is happy to have a child to name after her.
Julie Morstad is an author, illustrator and artist living in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her most recent book for children, How To, marks her authorial debut, and has received starred reviews in Kirkus, School Library Journal and Quill & Quire, as well as a Governor General's award nomination. Books she has illustrated for children include When You Were Small, recipient of the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award; When I Was Small, winner of the Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize; and Singing Away the Dark, which was shortlisted for a number of children's literature prizes.
Read on and read always!
It's a wrap.
This morning Megan Frampton stopped by the virtual offices to chat about her latest release When Good Earls Go Bad. Be sure to enter the giveaway, too!
Thanks for the chance to stop by here today! I’m excited about the release of When Good Earls Go Bad, my Victorian Valentine’s Day novella.
The novella’s hero, Matthew, has never done that before (you know what I mean), and so I was thinking about things I had never done before that likely most people have.
I have never seen Titanic, ET, or The Sound of Music.
I have never worn yoga pants outside.
I have never understood the Pythagorean Theorem.
I have never driven a stick-shift.
I have never played Spin the Bottle
I have never successfully made pancakes.
I have never seen American Idol.
I have never had a job where I had to wear typical office garb.
I have never read To Kill a Mockingbird
I have never done calculus.
Thanks again for having me today!
When Good Earls Go Bad:
A Victorian Valentine’s Day Novella
Dukes Behaving Badly # 1.5
By: Meghan Frampton
Releasing February 3rd, 2015
Megan Frampton’s Dukes Behaving Badly series is back, though this time it’s an earl who’s meeting his match in this delightfully fun and sexy novella!
What’s a lovely young woman doing asleep in his bed? Matthew, Earl of Selkirk, is shocked to discover it’s his new housekeeper! She’s a far cry from the gray-haired woman he expected. Matthew is no fan of surprises, and Annabelle Tyne is pure temptation. Perhaps he shouldn’t have had her hired sight unseen.
Annabelle, co-owner of the Quality Employment Agency, is no housekeeper, but she wasn’t about to lose a potential client simply because there was no one to fit the bill. Imagine her shock when the Earl arrives at his London townhome and she’s awoken in the night by the most attractive man she’s ever seen.
Matthew is a man who lives life by the rules, but sometimes rules are made to be broken…and being bad can be very, very good.
Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/12/when-good-earls-go-bad-victorian.html
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22495005-when-good-earls-go-bad?from_search=true
Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/127805-dukes-behaving-badly
Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes | iTunes | Kobo
Megan Frampton writes historical romance under her own name and romantic women’s fiction as Megan Caldwell. She likes the color black, gin, dark-haired British men, and huge earrings, not in that order. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and son.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Rafflecopter Giveaway (Three Digital Copies of WHEN GOOD EARLS GO BAD)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The post Guest Post and Giveaway: Megan Frampton, Author of When Good Earls Go Bad appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.
Change is in the air with SLP. More people are getting outside the box and re-examining the worn-out paradigms of how we engage kids in the summer. These posts look at aspects of SLP and ask us to think bigger, deeper and wider - and share experiences along the continuum for change.
In Wisconsin, we underwent a sea-change in our reportable statistics
for youth programs over the past few years.
In the past, only summer reading program attendance was recognized and counted. You did a winter reading program? Too bad. Not reportable. You did a fall or spring reading program? So sad.
But after discussions with youth librarians around the state, Youth Services and Special Needs consultant Tessa Michaelson Schmidt and her Department of Public Instruction (DPI) colleagues took a different approach - one based on what is really happening in libraries around the state and what research indicates are ways in which programs in libraries are evolving. Now we can count any reading program - summer or not (referred to as "literacy offerings").
That same discussion with frontline library youth staff and careful thought resulted in some deep thoughts and research into reading programs - summer, spring, winter or fall. Last year, DPI published an amazing document put together by Tessa - Offering Library Reading Programs: Top Ten Tips for Librarians
- that is quietly knocking the socks off librarians in our state. Reading choice?!?! No prizes?!?! Aligning the reading program with the schools' and public library's mission?!?! Oh yeah, baby!
Best of all the links here point us to research
to buttress what we are doing when we start changing how we go about evolving our summer library program. Research and writing on change ease our work in evolving library reading programs by guiding us into tested "this is why this works" and give us needed ammunition to change hearts and minds of our co-workers and management.
This document and the research links can serve us as we shake up our SLP.How about you? What have you been thinking about summer reading/library program? Join our conversation in the comments, on your blog or as a guest post writer (send guest posts to me lochwouters at gmail dot com). For additional thoughtful posts, stop by the Summer Reading Revolution Pinterest board or read other posts in this series
Shaking Up SLP - QuestionsShaking Up SLP - Workshop PowerShaking Up SLP - School PowerShaking Up SLP - Facing Down Fear
The Power of Perseverance, by C. Taylor-Butler
The Inspiration for the Story
I’m a child of science fiction.I grew up on Star Trek, Lost in Space, The Twilight Zone, and Outer Limits. I buried my head in Alfred Hitchcock anthologies and Ray Bradbury stories. I was the weird nerd kid who loved math, science and puzzles, but grew up in a neighborhood where I had to hide being smart. Then I went to MIT to study engineering and found myself surrounded by nerds who were Big Bang Theory decades before there was a television show. I still meet children who, years later, think they are outliers. So I was inspired to write a book about a kid who dreams of playing basketball and sees it as his ticket out of his monotonous suburban neighborhood, until he is given a challenge by his uncle and finds himself at the center of a larger mystery. My file cabinet and hard drives are filled with real-life mysteries scientists have yet to solve. I’m intrigued by unbreakable codes and puzzles. I love conspiracy theories about why there are odd monuments scattered across the globe. In a sense, in writing Tribes I was telling myself a story and letting the characters take me on an adventure. I wrote it for children who are left out of the inner circles of many popular books and have no real characters to call their own. I knew ancient civilizations such as the Maya and Sumerians were doing complex math and science long before the Europeans. One one day I stumbled on to a book about hieroglyphics and that became the beginnings of my character’s journey.
I’m not a fan of simple stories with neat and tidy resolutions. While in the throes of writing Tribes I told one of my editors at Scholastic Magazine how much my family had loved Phillip Pullman’s Dark Materials Trilogy. The editor, Dara Sharif, introduced me to the works of L.A. Banks whose adult paranormal series at St. Martin’s Press was addictive. She was a gloriously detailed researcher who drew vivid scenes set in real places and based many of her character’s belief systems on real world religions. Her books are definitely not for kids, but I found in her a kindred spirit and she was a very gracious person to talk to. She passed away and I think it’s a loss for the world. Her advice on craft should have been recorded for those who follow in her footsteps. What works for me about Pullman’s and Bank’s works are the multiple “tribes” they write about and how adept both are at maintaining distinct voices and behavioral patterns for each one. I also took class with Tess Gerritsen one year and realized her method of creating voice was a good template for me to follow. To give myself permission to write scenes out of order and explore character motivations without worrying about where it all fit. That allowed me to explore each of my characters – even the adult ones – in more depth even if those passages might not make it into the book. Like the rhythms in music, I included a variety of voices in the ensemble cast to allow each reader to find someone they could identify with on an emotional level.
It took a village to raise this author. My journey started with the Highlights Foundation. In 2001, I attended their week long writing conference in Chautauqua, NY. I was assigned to work with James Cross Giblin who had written a nonfiction book, “The Riddle Of The Rosetta Stone.” Poor guy. I arrived with a huge binder of science facts and twenty chapters of my fantastical adventure. I regaled him with stories about all the interesting things the characters would do and how they got from point A to point B. He said, “This is fascinating. But what is the story about?”
I was confused by that question. As a new author I thought I’d had a handle on the plot, but I needed a deeper understanding of my character’s conflicts and motivations. Still, he told a colleague, Patti Gauch, that I was on to something.
My second “victim” was Jerry Spinelli, Newbery Award winning author of Maniac Magee and amazingly patient guy. During the course of the week he gave me advice that turned out to be prophetic. I worried that no one would buy a book featuring children of various ethnic backgrounds. He told me to stop worrying about the market and write the book I truly cared about. He said “That’s the only book that matters.”
That year, I enrolled in “The Heart of the Novel”, a Highlights workshop with Patti Gauch who has mentored a number of award winning authors. After editing several chapters and giving me writing challenges to ponder, she asked. “What’s the book about?” I told her about the fantastical adventures and how my character solved the mysteries that unfolded and she looked “perplexed. “No,” she said. “That’s what happens to the character, but it’s not what the book is about. It’s about a boy who wants his uncle’s approval and is never going to get it.”
I stopped cold. In such a simple summary she had nailed the emotional arc of my book. It was right there on the page. But I didn’t have the language to describe it. From there I made the edits to refine the trajectory. Patti called the writing “skilled and confident.”
Still, year after year I had no takers. I had a lot of compliments including “very well written,” and “fun and exciting.” I also had a lot of detractors that included, “The character isn’t likeable,” or “No market for a book like this.” One editor was honest enough to admit that such a book would be housed in the African American section of a bookstore which would kill its sales.
Bernette Ford, CEO of ColorBridge Books acquired five of my books for very young readers for various clients. When she heard of my distress regarding Tribes and its lack of acceptance in publishing she said, “Keep going until you find the editor who understands what you are doing.” Dara Sharif said the same thing. And so did many teachers and librarians I’d encountered – so many in fact – that I needed a page to acknowledge them. One year, a librarian, Anitra Steele, ran a list of books in print and mailed it to me with a note that said, “I can’t find anything like what you are doing. Keep going.”
I met my current editor, Eileen Robinson, when she was at Children’s Press. She asked me to write nonfiction for her beginner reader series and I declined. I wasn’t skilled in that market. But if you’ve ever met Eileen she’s a feisty spitfire of a person and she doesn’t take no for an answer. That “push” proved to be prophetic as non-fiction became a career boost for me. I went on to publish almost eighty books, most nonfiction, but every editor I’ve ever worked with knew that Tribes was “my one true love.”
Years later, Eileen left Scholastic. She read the manuscript and suggested colleagues who acquired middle grade works. But by then I was burnt out on rejections. Honestly, the sometimes snarky comments from editors can be soul crushing. As was their the constant underlying reminder that white children won’t read a book that features kids of color so what was the point of taking it to acquisitions? So I thanked Eileen but declined her offer of help and put the series in a drawer. I took it out only to do a workshop with Jane Yolen. Over the course of a weekend Jane and two librarian’s from Chicago asked, “Why isn’t this sold yet?” The librarians said “We have boys looking for books like this right now.” And I said, “I’m now writing this book for me.” and told them most major publishers reiterated that there was no market for a book like this. Jane offered her assistance, my agents (plural) didn’t follow up. So I left them. It was liberating.
A few more years passed and Eileen started Move Books. She called and said “Send me that middle grade manuscript.” In fact, she was emphatic about it. And as I said, when Eileen wants something she doesn’t back down until she gets it. She didn’t strike me as the science fiction sort but I said, “Okay.” She said she still remembered it after all these years and felt passionate about it. She sent it out to beta readers for a second opinion – middle grade librarians. I put a fake name on the book so no one could research my publication background. I wanted an unbiased opinion. The assessments came back positive. One librarian even line edited the book and pointed out things she loved about it, places where she laughed, and places where students would have questions. And so the book was acquired. In fact, Move Books took the entire series.
Here’s how I knew Move was “the one” in terms of publishers. When it came time to edit, Eileen asked “What does this mean?” and “Is this important?” She was careful to understand what something meant, or what breadcrumbs I was dropping for the next books. She understood every joke, every change in speech pattern and every nuance. And when asked to cut pages I used advice I’d gotten from seasoned authors like Gregory Maguire and Linda Sue Park and let go of my affection for the scenes and decided to be ruthless. Eileen put some of the cuts back in and said “You can’t cut that. It’s too important to the story.” or “That eliminates the set up for the next mystery.” She said “just tighten so that every word matters.” My edits at Patti’s workshop had gone the same way. I’d cut or change something and she’d ponder it and sometimes she’d say, “No. I think I liked it better the way you had it.” (Not all the time, mind you, but occasionally she would hand me a “win” and I’m better for the tutoring because I was able to submit a tight draft.)
Move Books did me the honor of selecting Patrick Arrasmith as the illustrator. He is just as passionate about the series and he’s a genius with scratchboard. We let him play with the imagery and I’ve been blown away with how the art expands my ideas. The full cover reveal is beyond beautiful.
After almost 14 years of hard work, endless submissions and rejections, I found the editor who understood me and realized that the book mattered in the greater scheme of things for a child of color wanting a book that let them see themselves as heroes.
Kirkus Reviews said, “Well-written and well-paced: a promising start to what should be an exciting and unusual sci-fi series.” (Science fiction. 10-14)
It’s getting better for mainstream books about children of color. But the industry is still not there yet. I take solace in the fact that there are more mainstream television shows being celebrated and they are leading the way. I hope that success model extends to publishing. One where we can eschew the race based angst and stop assuming every child of color lives in impoverished crime filled areas in favor of a broader definition of their lives. They live and dance to multiple rhythms. Their lives and environments are not ubiquitous. Shouldn’t those children be reflected in the upper bandwidth of life’s journeys?
can be found here and
The Lost Tribes online.
The Multiversity: Mastermen #1
Story : Grant Morrison
Art: Jim Lee
Inks: Scott Williams, Sandra Hope, Mark Irwin, Jonathan Glapion
Color: Alex Sinclair
Publisher: DC Comics
Multiversity has been one elaborate Grant Morrison wet dream. We’ve seen the most abstract of ideas become solid concepts under the writer’s architecture of strange Earths. In Mastermen, he doesn’t just bring us an Earth where Superman’s rocket landed in Nazi Germany; he brings Jim Lee along to make the series best incomplete story yet.
The Earth as we know it is vastly different. On Earth-10 our Clark Kent never existed; instead the baby from Krypton became the right hand of the Furor, a Nazi ultimate weapon known as Overman. Even the Justice League is made up of Axis variants of DC’s mightiest heroes. Though when you read it, Leatherwing doesn’t stray far from the tactics of the Batman we know. Telling the rewritten history of Earth in one issue is a monumental task. One that Morrison takes strategic liberties with and it doesn’t always pay off. In fact without spoiling the story details, the sequence of events goes: rocket landing in Germany, skip ahead 17 years, Overman and the Nazis conquer America, skip ahead 60 years and to the formation of the Freedom Fighters as they begin the liberation of Germerica. Key events in Overman’s upbringing and the war are left out. Though they never feel vital, it certainly would have been an interesting part of the overall story.
Jim Lee brings action packed fury he’s become iconic for. The entire spectacle missing from his WildC.A.T.s collaboration with Morrison is here and it’s just gorgeous. Using four inkers on the book doesn’t turn out to be the hindrance it could have been. You’ll notice differences in the style from page to page, but never so much that it takes you out of the narrative. We’ve seen Jim Lee draw Superman and the rest of the Justice League a ton of times over the last few years, but he manages to make the redesigns in Mastermen feel like it’s Batman #608 all over again.
Mastermen is a sprint through erupting volcanoes in the middle of a gunfight with doves flying everywhere. You’ll never quite catch a break until you’re slammed into the brick wall ending. If the book’s mission was to sell Earth-10 as an interesting world you’d want to know more about then it’s a win. If the aim was to tell a complete story… then it’s missing a few pages. Ultimately it’s Jim Lee and Jim Lee books are like pizza. Even when you had your heart set on something else, pizza never sounds like a bad choice.
Also what’s up with Batman not skipping leg day here:
In the multiverse there’s an Earth where celebrities leak nude photos of you on twitter and we’re all still on dial-up internet because AOL enslaved us with that horrible modem noise.
By: Sharon Ledwith,
View Next 25 Posts
I want to thank and welcome very good friend and fantastic MG/YA author, Lisa Orchard for sharing her personal experiences on writing a book series and showcasing her young adult contemporary series the Starlight Chronicles with us on my blog today. On a side note, Lisa is one tough cookie for not only recently battling breast cancer and going through chemotherapy, but continuing to follow her heart and do what she loves: write wonderful books. So without further ado, let’s get this interview rolling…
Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write the Starlight Chronicles series, Lisa? From my own teenage desires to be a singer in a band.J Say what? You wanted to rock out in a band? You’re braver than me! So, how many books are you planning to write in this young adult contemporary fiction series? That’s a good foundation for a series, Lisa. What sets the Starlight Chronicles series apart from other series in the same genre? It deals with some teen issues as well as being entertaining to the young adult reader. How long did it take for you to start and finish each book from the Starlight Chronicles series?
Well the first three books were written as one book, so it took me about six to nine months to write the one book. I’ve started book four, but because of my chemo journey I’ve had to put that one on hold.
Take all the time you need to get your health back, this world needs authors like you! Can you tell us some of your favorite book series, Lisa? I loved the Nancy Drew series growing up! A more recent series that I enjoyed was the Hunger Games Series. Wonderful choices! Do you have any advice for other writers striving to write a series? Keep writing and keep your characters consistent so that they’re recognizable in each story. Sage advice, my friend. What’s next for Lisa Orchard the author? To be honest, I’m not really sure. I’m still recovering from chemo. I’d like to finish book four of the Starlight series fairly quickly and I have a couple of new ideas for a stand-alone book that I’ve been tossing around. Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series—IF you could time travel into Earth’s past, WHO would you love to meet, and WHY? The younger Harper Lee so we wouldn’t have to wait so long for her second book! I’d tell her where it is! Lark Singer’s relationship with her mother is prickly to say the least. As she enters a musical competition that could launch her career, Lark also searches for answers her mother would rather keep hidden. Throw into the mix the fact her best friend Bean has been acting strangely, and Lark finds herself launched into uncharted territory. Will her quest for answers sabotage her musical aspirations? Lark Singer is seventeen years old and already on the way to a brilliant music career. As she and her band, Starlight, gear-up for an upcoming, life-changing band competition, though, life seems to be throwing her a few curve balls. The mysteries of her past seem to be unraveling, and she’s no longer certain she wants to know those answers, or how knowing about her past will affect her difficult relationship with her mother. And when her best friend, Bean, changes things between them, all her plans for a musical future are placed in jeopardy. How can she balance her unraveling personal life to keep her musical goals on track? Everything is on track for Seventeen-year-old Lark Singer and her band Starlight. They have a great shot at winning the competition that can launch their musical career. But when Lark discovers they will be competing against her old nemesis Duane McIntyre things really heat up. How far will Lark go to win, and what will it cost her in the end? Lisa Orchardgrew up loving books. She knew she wanted to be a writer by fifth grade, but didn’t pursue publication until after having children. That’s when the Super Spies series was born. She has just finished a Coming of Age Young Adult Novel and when she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, running, hiking, and reading. Barnes and Noble: “coming soon”Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/starlight-27