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1. ‘Last Train Home’ by Gerhard Human

A personal animation project by Gerhard Human.

The post ‘Last Train Home’ by Gerhard Human appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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2. Justin Chanda: The State of the State of the Industry


Justin Chanda presents his keynote address at #LA16SCBWI


Justin Chanda is Vice President & Publisher of the four flagship children's imprints at Simon & Schuster: S&S Books for Young Readers, McElderry Books, Atheneum, and the new Salaam Reads. He oversees the publication of two hundred and fifty titles per year ranging from the youngest picture book to the edgiest YA. Justin continues to edit, working with the likes of Jon Sciezka, Loren Long, Kenneth Oppel, Patricia MacLachlan, Peter Brown, Michael Ian Black, Karma Wilson, Dan Krall, Morgan Matson, Mike Lupica, and Debbie Ohi. He is also the publisher of Saga press, a newly minted adult Sci-Fi-/Fantasy imprint. Follow him on Twitter @jpchanda

Some highlights from Justin's upbeat speech...

Justin covers statistics:

•Children's print books are up over last year
•Teen title sales (especially ebook sales) are down
•2015-2016 have been terrific years for Indie Bookstores

Justin covers trends:

"Trends are the mortal enemy of authentic writing"
#EndTheTrend

And offers some excellent advice:

"The story comes first.
Your story, authentically told, in your own way."

His keynote discusses so much more, including the role of teachers and librarians who "are on the front lines of…getting the right book to the right kid." And how blockbusters "are not the true measure of a book's worth - nor should they be."

Final quote to share, from Justin's significant focus on diversity and how it is so necessary and needed in children's literature:


"Variety is the the true business of children's books, and business remains good."

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3. FRENTE FAVELA BRASIL – nova política, novo Brasil.



Jessé Andarilho de Antares, poeta-escritor, fala sobre o novo partido Frente Favela Brasil. Clica pra ouvir. Novo movimento político que se coloca à frente da nova política brasileira, protagonizado por negros com origem nas favelas.
Importante entender: o Brasil é negro. Foi e é construído pelo trabalho negro e, infelizmente, com custos altos para essa população. São hiper-explorados – a relação de mais valia é maior quanto mais escura a pele – são as maiores vítimas de mortes violentas e violações de direitos humanos.
Ao mesmo tempo, é na efervescência cultural que brota desta dor as mais belas manifestações de arte, educação e cultura. Favelas são laboratórios de humanidades. Ali a sociedade impera sobre o mercado (monopólio dos ricos, voluntariamente segregados da vida comum), a economia é solidária e em muitos pontos mais forte do que o mundo do financismo.
Não vejo nada que se compare à força que emerge das favelas, num compasso organizado, quase como uma canção de guerra, seja no funk ou no jongo ancestral (que quando se unem são imbatíveis).
Sentada, silenciosa, no meio daquela festa onde se marcava um momento histórico, na favela mais antiga do Brasil – Morro da Providência, construída por ex-combatentes de Canudos – não fiz mais do que vibrar com a energia transformadora daquelas pessoas, de peles coloridas e utopias, agora possíveis.

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4. Fiction to Nonfiction and the New Mashups in Between


Four industry stars with four different points of view talked to us about groundbreaking nonfiction.

  • Steve Malk is a literary agent at Writers House, representing some of the biggest names in the business.
  • Susan Campbell Bartoletti writes poetry, short stories, picture books, and novels and nonfiction for young readers. 
  • Linda Sue Park is a Newbery Award winner (for A SINGLE SHARD), and the author of a NYT bestseller called A LONG WALK TO WATER as well as WING & CLAW and YAKS YAK.
  • Elizabeth Partridge has written more than a dozen books, including MARCHING FOR FREEDOM and biographies of Woody Guthrie and Dorothea Lange.


Susan Campbell Bartlett's career opened up when she started to do nonfiction. She learned everything she needed to know about nonfiction in a great 11th-grade English class: taking notes, research, writing. She's written about growing up in coal country, Hitler youth, the Irish potato famine, and the Ku Klux Klan, and Typhoid Mary.

Some of the best advice she's ever received, from Patti Lee Gauch, is to reach inside of yourself and find a personal story.

Linda Sue Park loves writing historical fiction, and she loves grounding it and basing it in fact. She writes stories like she cooks: there is no recipe. Her tinkering, especially with real life events she works into her books, makes the narratives better. She ended up writing fiction because she loves to change things.

A LONG WALK TO WATER is one of her mashups. It's historical fiction based on the true story of a friend of hers who was one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. She interviewed her friend for hours and read his own writing. But the part of his life that she was writing about happened more than 20 years ago, so to make it a dramatic narrative, she wrote in scenes and added dialogue. Even though she interviewed him and got quotes from him, she considers the reproduction fiction. It's recreated from old conversations, and she doesn't think it's truly nonfiction to work this way.

Linda Sue also makes composite characters out of multiple people. Their stories are true, but the combination makes it fiction. Readers have been moved by the book nonetheless, and have raised more than $1.5 million for a water charity in Sudan. The realness of the book is what resonates with readers.

She's working on a mashup with several authors, including Jennifer Donnelly, M.T. Anderson, Candace Fleming and others about Henry VIII. It's called FATAL THRONE and will be out sometime after next fall.

Elizabeth Partridge loves to write biographies. She likes characters who are difficult. This gives grit and multiple layers to work. MARCHING FOR FREEDOM was a challenging book to write because her main characters were all earnest, hardworking, amazing kids and young adults. It's about the march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965, and she wanted to choose a new POV from Martin Luther King Jr's. She found photographs of kids who'd participated in marches and tried to find names of people to interview.

A New Yorker article led her to some kids who'd taken part, and before long, she'd found six or seven kids, whom she interviewed in Selma. "If I wanted this to remain nonfiction, I would have to quote them exactly."

Steven Malk has always loved nonfiction. He was a history major in college, and when he gets to read away from work, he reads all nonfiction. Nonfiction has morphed and taken on a broader definition. There's room for more voices. "It's an interesting time." He talked about Deborah Wiles documentary novels REVOLUTION and COUNTDOWN. "She's doing something very unique."
Other writers/artists to watch are Deborah Hopkinson, Kadir Nelson, Eugene Yelchin and Matt dela Pena, Stephanie Hemphill (and more—he's an encyclopedia of books and creators).

He likes it when books open up conversations about what's fiction and nonfiction. He's a bit looser about it. As long as people are reading, that's a good thing. He grew up in his parents' bookstore, and wasn't snobby about what people were reading.

What's the line between fiction and nonfiction? 

Susan Bartoletti - a book like TERRIBLE TYPHOID MARY is nonfiction. When Mary is thinking, Susan couches it in "might have thought." -

Linda Sue Park - "Facts don't interest me very much. I'm interested in truth." Facts are one tool to getting at the truth. At a Library of Congress event she met a man who wanted to read only fiction, because all nonfiction becomes untrue with future discoveries. This fascinated her, even as she depends on nonfiction writers' work to do their own.

Elizabeth Partridge - She has a hard line between fiction and nonfiction. "I will not make up anything. I will twist myself in knots to not make up something." The weather can be particularly difficult. But she's loving the mashups that are getting more and more out there. She loves how in LOVING VS VIRGINIA the author went inside the characters' heads and told the story in poetry.

"We think of nonfiction of being dry and dates and names and places. But if you can find the emotional spine of your book, it will be powerful."

Steve Malk - You need to own what you're doing. You can't say it's nonfiction if you're making up dialogue. If you say you're writing nonfiction but you don't have sources and you're making things up, it makes you look unprofessional. You need to be very clear to an agent or publisher what you're trying to do. Authors notes and backwater can be helpful, but you have to be able to articulate it for yourself when you are submitting. Don't leave that up to the publisher.

We're also starting to see nonfiction back matter in fiction books, Susan said. That's an interesting mashup.

You have to be honest with yourself about your research and what you're writing. You can't rely on your publisher to vet your work.

"If you're passionate for your topic, you want to get it right. You would be unsatisfied fudging it," Linda Sue said.

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5. Fiction to Nonfiction and the New Mashups in Between


Four industry stars with four different points of view talked to us about groundbreaking nonfiction.

  • Steve Malk is a literary agent at Writers House, representing some of the biggest names in the business.
  • Susan Campbell Bartoletti writes poetry, short stories, picture books, and novels and nonfiction for young readers. 
  • Linda Sue Park is a Newbery Award winner (for A SINGLE SHARD), and the author of a NYT bestseller called A LONG WALK TO WATER as well as WING & CLAW and YAKS YAK.
  • Elizabeth Partridge has written more than a dozen books, including MARCHING FOR FREEDOM and biographies of Woody Guthrie and Dorothea Lange.


Susan Campbell Bartlett's career opened up when she started to do nonfiction. She learned everything she needed to know about nonfiction in a great 11th-grade English class: taking notes, research, writing. She's written about growing up in coal country, Hitler youth, the Irish potato famine, and the Ku Klux Klan, and Typhoid Mary.

Some of the best advice she's ever received, from Patti Lee Gauch, is to reach inside of yourself and find a personal story.

Linda Sue Park loves writing historical fiction, and she loves grounding it and basing it in fact. She writes stories like she cooks: there is no recipe. Her tinkering, especially with real life events she works into her books, makes the narratives better. She ended up writing fiction because she loves to change things.

A LONG WALK TO WATER is one of her mashups. It's historical fiction based on the true story of a friend of hers who was one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. She interviewed her friend for hours and read his own writing. But the part of his life that she was writing about happened more than 20 years ago, so to make it a dramatic narrative, she wrote in scenes and added dialogue. Even though she interviewed him and got quotes from him, she considers the reproduction fiction. It's recreated from old conversations, and she doesn't think it's truly nonfiction to work this way.

Linda Sue also makes composite characters out of multiple people. Their stories are true, but the combination makes it fiction. Readers have been moved by the book nonetheless, and have raised more than $1.5 million for a water charity in Sudan. The realness of the book is what resonates with readers.

She's working on a mashup with several authors, including Jennifer Donnelly, M.T. Anderson, Candace Fleming and others about Henry VIII. It's called FATAL THRONE and will be out sometime after next fall.

Elizabeth Partridge loves to write biographies. She likes characters who are difficult. This gives grit and multiple layers to work. MARCHING FOR FREEDOM was a challenging book to write because her main characters were all earnest, hardworking, amazing kids and young adults. It's about the march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965, and she wanted to choose a new POV from Martin Luther King Jr's. She found photographs of kids who'd participated in marches and tried to find names of people to interview.

A New Yorker article led her to some kids who'd taken part, and before long, she'd found six or seven kids, whom she interviewed in Selma. "If I wanted this to remain nonfiction, I would have to quote them exactly."

Steven Malk has always loved nonfiction. He was a history major in college, and when he gets to read away from work, he reads all nonfiction. Nonfiction has morphed and taken on a broader definition. There's room for more voices. "It's an interesting time." He talked about Deborah Wiles documentary novels REVOLUTION and COUNTDOWN. "She's doing something very unique."
Other writers/artists to watch are Deborah Hopkinson, Kadir Nelson, Eugene Yelchin and Matt dela Pena, Stephanie Hemphill (and more—he's an encyclopedia of books and creators).

He likes it when books open up conversations about what's fiction and nonfiction. He's a bit looser about it. As long as people are reading, that's a good thing. He grew up in his parents' bookstore, and wasn't snobby about what people were reading.

What's the line between fiction and nonfiction? 

Susan Bartoletti - a book like TERRIBLE TYPHOID MARY is nonfiction. When Mary is thinking, Susan couches it in "might have thought." -

Linda Sue Park - "Facts don't interest me very much. I'm interested in truth." Facts are one tool to getting at the truth. At a Library of Congress event she met a man who wanted to read only fiction, because all nonfiction becomes untrue with future discoveries. This fascinated her, even as she depends on nonfiction writers' work to do their own.

Elizabeth Partridge - She has a hard line between fiction and nonfiction. "I will not make up anything. I will twist myself in knots to not make up something." The weather can be particularly difficult. But she's loving the mashups that are getting more and more out there. She loves how in LOVING VS VIRGINIA the author went inside the characters' heads and told the story in poetry.

"We think of nonfiction of being dry and dates and names and places. But if you can find the emotional spine of your book, it will be powerful."

Steve Malk - You need to own what you're doing. You can't say it's nonfiction if you're making up dialogue. If you say you're writing nonfiction but you don't have sources and you're making things up, it makes you look unprofessional. You need to be very clear to an agent or publisher what you're trying to do. Authors notes and backwater can be helpful, but you have to be able to articulate it for yourself when you are submitting. Don't leave that up to the publisher.

We're also starting to see nonfiction back matter in fiction books, Susan said. That's an interesting mashup.

You have to be honest with yourself about your research and what you're writing. You can't rely on your publisher to vet your work.

"If you're passionate for your topic, you want to get it right. You would be unsatisfied fudging it," Linda Sue said.

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6. Face=Lift 1323


Guess the Plot

Susurrus

1. In a land that draws magic from childbirth, a sorceress uses her own pregnancies to become powerful enough to destroy entire nations. But she wants even more power, the kind of power she can get only if she gives birth to quintuplets.

2. Stuttering Sirius is the name the school kids call him. This poor janitor has kept the halls clean for years. One day, an evil portal appears and unleashes all manner of evil and filth. Can Sirius overcome his stuttering to properly speak the incantation to close the portal?

3. Siri is seriously silly. She's a fan of Dr. Suess and speaks in a sing-song manner. In fact, singing is her passion, but the glee kids as well as the rockers at her posh private school mock her sunny, childish, lyrics. When Siri finds a magic portal in the music room she's transported to Susurrus, a saccharine-sweet land straight out of a Disney musical. Siri's now the star of an all-singing, all-dancing life. But the inhabitants of Susurrus have an evil goal -- reduce Siri to a one-dimensional caricature and steal her emotions. Will Siri succumb to the siren song of Susurrus?

4. The Pharaoh Susurrus lived his life quietly and unobtrusively and intended to spend his death the same way. But when a nosy archaeologist opens his crypt and starts taking selfies with Susurrus's mummified remains, well, what's a decent mummy to do other than go on a murderous rampage?

5. The Susurrus is the geeky dinosaur down the block that all the other kids avoid. He doesn't care since he's heard whispers from space. Madness? Aliens? Or the end of life on the planet?

6. Lassys the water nymph in the stream behind Wendy's bedroom hates people. At night she whispers to Wendy, instructing her to take people off into the woods and leave them in the deep sinkholes created by the stream. Wendy thinks she's going crazy. The city wants to dam the stream and fill those sinkholes in. Does Lassys have to do all the dirty work herself? Or will the satyr Susurrus lend a hand?

7. "Kill, kill, kill," whispers the wind near Joy's office. "Kill, kill, kill," whispers the wind outside her bedroom. And if Rafe leaves the toilet seat up one more time, she's going to do like the wind says.



Original Version

Dear Agent,

I am seeking agency representation. Due to your interest in [theme or genre], I hope that you'll be interested in my adult literary fantasy, Susurrus. It is a standalone novel complete at 83,000 words, and could be described as combining the lyrical voice of Patricia McKillip with the unrelenting intensity of Stephen Donaldson. [In short, my writing combines what's best about Patricia and Stephen, while eliminating what, quite frankly, they suck at.] [It's probably best, if opening with something other than the plot, to keep it brief, something like:  My standalone novel Susurrus is an adult literary fantasy complete at 83,000 words. Anything important I left out may be placed in the next-to-last paragraph with your credits, after which you may delete the last paragraph. And the next-to-last paragraph.] 

In its hot, harsh voice, the wind whispers soft, cool lies. In a desert of mirage and misdirection, [Did you hire Patricia McKillip to write your plot summary in her lyrical voice?] a sorceress searches for lost magic, and finds only sand. Once, she had dark power; once, she led a brutal empire; once, she was the Blood Queen. [Then Stephen Donaldson took the reins, and it all went kablooey.] [Don't mind me; I jest. The truth is, I'm embarrassed to admit I've never even heard of McKillip or Donaldson.] And yet — no evil sorceress is born evil.

Orphaned young, teenaged Iskra wants to learn magic and she wants a home. In a desert land that draws magic from childbirth, she tries to use her own pregnancy to heal her foster father’s illness. Untrained, she fails, and both the child and her foster father die. She’s left with a unique talent for magic, but with each new power she learns comes personal disaster. [This sounds like the plot of Superman, issue #1, wherein Superman kills his foster father, Mr. Kent, by throwing a baseball right through him while they're playing catch, and then burns Smallville to the ground with his new heat vision.] [I won't mention what happened when he woke from his first erotic dream, except to say that Mrs. Kent was not happy with the roof repair bill.] When a new tragedy leaves her half-drowned on foreign shores, [Too late, she discovered that having Aquaman's ability to talk to fish didn't necessarily mean she could also breathe underwater.] she finds a human lover soul-bound animal companion that at last make her happy. [A human lover soul-bound animal companion? Is that one thing or two?]

The next time magic brings tragedy, it’s not her fault; the thralls of a tyrannous wizard kill her family. Iskra embraces the destructive potential of her power to take a bloody revenge, destroying the wizard's entire nation. Now the feared Blood Queen of an empty land, she searches out more and more magic and territory, becoming colder and more isolated in the process. [Does she have to give birth to get more magic?] When she arrives to conquer her late foster-father’s small, weak country, its leaders trap her in an endless mirage. To escape, she will have to face her own illusions.

I've had short fiction published at [venues], and in anthologies such [anthology]. A full publication history is available at [website].

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,



Notes

I'm not sure I want Iskra to escape the mirage if she's now a feared Blood Queen capable of destroying entire nations and gleefully conquering small weak countries. Are we supposed to cheer her on?

Wait, is the book called Suserrus instead of Sorceress because the people all mumble?

In the first plot paragraph Iskra is trapped in a mirage. Then we find out what led to this situation. At the end of the query, she has yet to progress beyond being trapped in the mirage. Maybe if you start with the backstory you'll have room at the end to add something about Iskra's plan to escape the mirage and what will happen if she succeeds and what will happen if she fails. So that we care which one happens.

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7. Panning for Gold!


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

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


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8. My Thoughts on Call The Midwife, series 3

 Call the Midwife, series 3
1 Christmas special + 8 episodes

Jenny Lee = Jessica Raine
Trixie Franklin = Helen George
Cynthia Miller = Bryony Hannah
Chummy (Camilla Fortescue-Cholmondeley-Browne) = Miranda Hart
Sister Julienne = Jenny Agutter
Sister Monica Joan = Judy Parfitt
Sister Evangelina = Pam Ferris
Shelagh Turner = Laura Main
Dr. Patrick Turner = Stephen McGann
Timothy Turner = Max Macmillan
PC Peter Noakes = Ben Caplan
Fred Buckle = Cliff Parisi
Alec Jesmond = Leo Staar
Tom Hereward = Jack Ashton
Patsy Mount = Emerald Fennell
Sister Winifred = Victoria Yeates

Season three is the last season with Jenny Lee. That may be one of the more notable things about this season in retrospect. (We also see a lot less Chummy after this season. I know she makes no appearance at all in series 5, and, I'm not sure how much she's around in series 4. But I think she is some at least.) 

Shelagh. Last season's finale saw Shelagh become engaged in Dr. Turner. In the Christmas Special, these two were due to be married near Christmas. But DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA. This episode has so much drama. Much of it being caused by the discover of an unexploded German bomb left over from the war. And then there's POLIO. This is such a heart-felt episode. How is it possible to care so much about fictional characters on a TV show?

Episode one. New Nonnatus House. New Sister midwife. I really, really like Sister Winifred although it takes a few episodes to come into her own and feel like she BELONGS. In this episode, Chummy helps deliver a baby in an emergency, and is asked to come back to work part-time as a midwife.

Episode two. Cynthia and Sister Evangelina are in conflict over "new" methods to help mothers during childbirth...Jenny gets a promotion....and viewers meet Doris a pregnant woman who is between a rock and a hard place.

Episode three. Trixie and Sister Julienne temporarily take on prison duties and serve pregnant prisoners. Sister Julienne becomes especially close to one of the young girls, and, becomes a character witness of sorts. The young woman desperately wants to keep her baby and not be forced to give it up for adoption. Trixie--well, good news, she meets Tom...and the bad news, well, she gets LICE. Shelagh and Dr. Turner learn that she cannot have children. Already several episodes this season are about adoption. So it's easy to see where this might be heading.

Episode four. The beginning of the end for Jenny's time at Nonnatus House. Alec Jesmond is in a horrible accident. PC Peter Noakes is one of the first responders, also, I believe Dr. Turner is as well. They know him as Jenny's boyfriend, making it even more difficult. They KNOW it is really bad. Bad news, the two had been fighting that day. Good news, they do get the chance to make up.

Episode five, Shelagh is back working in an administrative role at least. And sister Julianne and Jenny are both away. Nurse Patsy Mount, now a midwife, joins Nonnatus House full-time. Sister Evangelina has a jubilee party. But she has to be tricked into attending. This celebration is all the more meaningful the second time around. (If you've seen season five, you know exactly why). The pregnancy case is very troubling in this episode.

Episode six, Trixie goes on her first date with Tom. But it does not go according to plan. Shelagh and Dr. Turner begin to look into what it would take to adopt a child...and viewers get to know a little more about the newest midwife, Nurse Mount.

Episode seven, this one has DRAMA and then some. Chummy's mother comes to town. Chummy, at first, thinks this is a visit. But several things soon come to light. Her parents are separated now, her mother doesn't have much money, and she is in a LOT OF PAIN, as she has terminal cancer. Chummy has about a hundred emotions at any given moment. And it's up to Peter to know what to do. His strength in this episode and the next are AMAZING. He is such a good, good guy. Sister Julienne and Cynthia, not to be left out, deal with a VERY VERY VERY mentally troubled woman after delivery.

Episode eight, Shelagh and Dr. Turner get GREAT news during this episode. But poor Chummy spends this episode in turmoil and angst. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Sister Monica Joan in this episode. And Jenny is supportive as well. These two cluster around Chummy and her mother and it's just beautiful to watch. Painful but beautiful. Jenny--who came back in episode seven--decides to stop being a midwife and switch to what we would now call hospice care. She does help deliver a baby in this episode, I believe, and her patient's cousin, I believe, is PHILIP WORTH, her future husband. This is young Jenny's last appearance in the show.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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9. Neal Porter: On Picture Books

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

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



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




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



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

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


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

"Do I have to publish this book?"

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

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10. The Journey That Saved Curious George

The Journey That Saved Curious George. Louise Borden. 2016. HMH. 96 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: For many years, I was intrigued by the story of Margret and H.A. Rey's flight from Paris on bicycles in June 1940.

Premise/plot: This children's nonfiction book is just right for elementary readers. It begins by providing background and context for young readers. Hans Augusto Reyersbach and Margarete Waldstein grew up in Germany. Both were Jewish. At some point in the 1920s, he moves to Rio de Janeiro. She follows a little while after. They meet again there, and fall in love. Paris is one of the stops on their honeymoon--they are Brazilian citizens now--and Paris is where they decide to remain. They work many happy years together in Paris. But their work--and their lives--are threatened when World War II goes from being something you read about in the papers--to something happening a few miles outside the city limits.

As Jews, they are at great risk if they remain in Paris and Paris is captured by the Nazis. But. For better or worse. They waited a little too long to leave the city...in an easy way. The last rush sees them desperate to find two bicycles. I believe the book says he had to build the bicycles himself from parts. But it isn't just a story about saving the authors' lives, it's a book celebrating the manuscript that would become Curious George. That was one of the possessions that they took with them--on their bikes. Of course what you may not know is that "George" wasn't George just yet. The monkey was originally called Fifi. And publishers had already agreed to publish the book before they made their flight...

The book focuses on H.A. and Margret Rey, their work as writers, and how the war effected their lives.

My thoughts: This is a very enjoyable read. I loved how the author was able to reconstruct their lives and give readers a behind-the-scenes look into the writing and illustrating of books. The book felt personal, but, always appropriate.

I would definitely recommend this one.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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12. Viking


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13. THINGS THAT COME IN THE MAIL


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14. Lin's Welcome and the Conference Faculty Parade





Lin Oliver kicks off the #LA16SCBWI conference by sharing with us all about the 952 attendees  - 1/3 published, repping 47 states and 15 countries

She then introduces the conference faculty, who parade in to "We Are The Champions" and then share their words: one word, designed to inspire…

Here's a taste...

Neal Schusterman: Epiphany

Emma Dryden: Empathy

Justin Chanda: Inclusivity

Stacey Barney: Perseverance

Bonnie Bader: Hook

Peter Brown: Awk-ward!

Ellen Hopkins: Metamorphosis

Alvina Ling: Breathe


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15. ऐतिहासिक सड़क जाम

ऐतिहासिक सड़क जाम कुछ समय पर गुडगांव नाम परिवर्तन के लिए सुर्खियों मे रहा था और आज एतिहासिक जाम के लिए गुरुग्राम ने सुर्खिया बटोरी. ट्विटर यूजर्स ने फोटो पोस्ट करते हुए लिखा कि एक दिन में गुड़गांव वेनिस बन गया. गुड़गांव में शाम 4 बजे के आसपास तेज बारिश के बाद  भयंकर और एतिहासिक […]

The post ऐतिहासिक सड़क जाम appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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16. Sales Figures

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

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

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17. Tell a Tale

He lives to tell a tale,
In a body so frail,
Ever young heart,
Experience of a new scale,

He lives to tell a tale,
To those wandering seeds,
That needs water to sprout,
That needs to check the deeds,

He lives to tell a tale,
Like, ‘Alice in a wonderland’,
Stitching the belief in love,
Gifting this age, a brand,

He lives to tell a tale,
He knows, sharing is caring,
He instills the smile around,
Signifying the importance of baring,

He lives to tell a tale,
Every color is so different,
And the world needs more,

‘Rainbow of unity’, not a dent.  

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18. Muggle Mob

A Flash Mob in New York City Celebrates a New Harry Potter Story
by Adedayo Perkovich

In New York City, Harry Potter fans stopped traffic! More than 300 people streamed out of Scholastic’s headquarters onto Broadway, the street in front of the building. Scholastic employees and their children were part of a flash mob celebrating the July 31 publication of a new Harry Potter story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two.

Watch the Muggle Mob video.

Scholastic is the United States publisher of the best-selling Harry Potter series by British author J.K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of a wizard named Harry Potter and his classmates at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The eighth Harry Potter story is a script book based on a play that’s opening in London, England, on July 30. The play is by Jack Thorne and is based on an original story by Rowling, Thorne, and John Tiffany.

SHARING THE MAGIC

I had no idea what to expect as I entered Scholastic in the morning. Scholastic editors and artists whispered excitedly as they flooded down the escalator. The only word I caught was “Muggle.” In the auditorium, we were each given a copy of one of the original books in the series and a paddle announcing the publication of The Cursed Child.

Billy DiMichele, vice president of creative development at Scholastic, said that we were about to become a “Muggle Mob.” We would celebrate the upcoming release of The Cursed Child by doing a giant read-aloud in the middle of Broadway.

“This means that [we] can continue to share the magic with new generations of children,” DiMichele said.

LUCKY READERS

Excitement continued to build as we rehearsed our movements and practiced reading aloud. Abram Chen, 10, said that he was thrilled “that there is going to be a new book to read.” Abram considers himself to be a Hufflepuff, his favorite house at Hogwarts.

As for editorial assistant Patrice Caldwell, she is “absolutely Slytherin,” she said. “It’s kind of cool to be here and imagine what it felt like when the first seven books came out,” Caldwell added. “This is a way to delve back into that world.”

After a few run-throughs, we calmly strolled outside with our paddles hidden inside our books, pretending to be tourists and typical passersby. Suddenly, music started playing and we rushed into our places in the middle of Broadway. (The street had been blocked off by the police for the event.) Then we read aloud from the Harry Potter books.

Our voices rose along with the music. Right on cue, we faced the Scholastic building and looked up. A giant, billowy banner began to drop, revealing the cover of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

We held up our paddles and cheered. Then we went into the crowd of observers and gave away copies of the original books to happy readers.

Lesley Little saw everything from the sidewalk. “This is fantastic,” she said. “I can’t wait to see the new play. I’m going to get to see it in London in September.” Suzanne Lewis, a Gryffindor, added, “This was a lot of fun. I could tell, even from blocks away, that something wonderful was happening.”

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19. Waiting for the Bus

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

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

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

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

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

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20. The Hotel is A-BUZZ as the 2016 SCBWI Summer Conference is about to begin

The art deco goodness surrounds the check-in desks



Everyone taking their seats



The Texas Regional Team with flags!

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

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

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

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22. Pam Muñoz Ryan Keynote: One Writer's Confessions

Pam Muñoz Ryan is one of the most lauded writers in the business. Her most recent book, ECHO, was a Newbery Honor and the winner of the Kirkus Prize.

"What do any of us have to share, really, other than our own truths?"

Pam talked to us about her path into writing. She didn't realize, at first, the people could be authors. She worked as a teacher first. "As a writer, I was a very late bloomer."

She published her first children's book when she was 43, and she was not an overnight success. Learning to embrace failure is vital—this was among the first of the confessions she shared with us about her life as a writer.

"Any success I've had in publishing is the tip of the iceberg of accumulated failures," she said.
"This profession is often frustrating work. But let's face if. If you are not struggling to achieve something in your life, if nothing is a challenge ... then you're setting your goals much too low."

When she was a child reader, she didn't know that her story wasn't represented in books. She wasn't self actualized enough. But her life might have been changed had she seen her own diverse background represented in a book. She hears from readers who are Latino and from those who aren't who are so glad to see Latino characters in books.

Censorship is still a surprise to her. "I never thought I'd be censored. I was wrong." ESPERANZA RISING has been censored, and even though it's been in print for years, people are still trying to ban it. The content was called "contentious, unacceptable, and dangerous" by a parent watchdog group. Kids have to get a signed permission slip from their parents before they can read the book.  (Rita Williams Garcia was also targeted.)

Some other confessions: She doesn't keep a journal. She doesn't blog (though she loves reading them). Not doing this sort of thing makes her feel guilty.

She also doesn't keep track of how many drafts she writes, how long her manuscripts are, or how many times she works in a day. She can't distinguish the writing and revision. "It's all revision," she said.

Nor does she have a muse. Momentum is far more important than inspiration. "I know where to find momentum. It's there, in the revisiting, day after day, the failing and starting over. It's there in the re-reading and rewriting."

Another confession: She doesn't write every day. She schedules her life so that there is time for "Mr. Writing." But sometimes, life doesn't allow that. "Like Ross and Rachel, we take a little break."

And finally, she has one agenda when she sits down to write. Consciously, she has an agenda, and one agenda only. "My most ardent rule, my intention and my hope ... is this. I want the reader to want to turn the page."



Pam Munoz Ryan 
Follow Pam on Twitter.

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23. Photo





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24. New Attendees Orientation

Just prior to the conference opening, I had the pleasure of welcoming those attending for the first time.


Suddenly, we all have a few hundred new friends. If ever you've been worried about attending this conference for first time, know that you are not alone and you will be welcomed.

Thanks for the great morning, new friends. #bird


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25. Drew Daywalt - Does This Keynote Make My Butt Look Big?

You know and love his delightful picture book, The Day the Crayons Quit, and its sequel, but did you know that Drew spent years working in film, particularly horror films?

Maybe because he grew up in a haunted house in western Ohio?He has the pictures to prove it! (They are very good photos.) Besides domestic hauntings, Drew saw STAR WARS when he was 7 and knew at that moment he wanted to make stories for the screen. He went to Emerson College and became a film major... But he happened to take a writing class from Jack Gantos (!) who told Drew he had a voice for kid's books. But Drew didn't listen. Yet.

Eventually he DID start writing for kids, on TV shows like Buzz Lightyear and Timon and Pumbaa.

But the world of Hollywood and screenwriting is pretty cutthroat and in a down moment, Drew gave writing a non-screen story a try and was looking around his office for inspiration when he saw something. He still has the box of crayons that inspired hims to write The Day the Crayons Quit, a box that was magically on his adult man desk with his other, adult man office supplies.

It may seem like Drew's NYT Bestseller List success was overnight, but like most overnight successes, it took ten years: In 2003 he submitted the manuscript to his agent, a manuscript which did not get picked up until 2009, and which was finally published in 2013.

The librarian who asked Drew to do his first school visit is in the audience! He loved the experience so much, and the children's book industry is so unlike the butt-kicking world of screenwriting, that he's very much embraced his new found title as Children's Book Writer. Drew loves that the children's book industry takes stands, finds the meaningful in the meaningless.

Some final quotes from Drew:

"Every story has been told, that's what you hear every day in Hollywood and here, but it's your story that matters, your voice—your princess story, your pirate story..."

"When you write something and you hand it to something, it's like standing there, buck naked saying, 'HEY! You like it?'"

Thanks, Drew, we like it!

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