This movie is my childhood.Add a Comment
This movie is my childhood.Add a Comment
This Is the Story of You, my Jersey shore storm mystery, is (I have heard it said) printed and on its way to me. Story has received two stars in these early days (Kirkus and School Library Journal) and kind words from BookPage and Publishers Weekly. It is a Junior Library Guild selection and will be featured in an upcoming story on environmentally aware novels for younger readers in The Writer Magazine.
2016 Is a Leap Year!
After February 29, 2016, the next leap day will not happen again until 2020! Imagine how much you will have changed and grown by then! A fun way to track your changes through the next four years is to create a leap year time capsule.
A time capsule is a collection of items that are stored away as a method of communication to the people of the future. In this case, the people of the future will be YOU in four years. To create the perfect time capsule, you will need a few things—a small sturdy box or metal tin, a piece of paper and pen, and few of your favorite items that can fit inside the box.
On the piece of paper, write your name, date, and answers to the following questions:
1. What is your favorite food?
2. Who is your best friend?
3. What are you most thankful for?
4. Where do you see yourself in four years, or what will your goals be?
5. What is one piece of advice you want to give to your future self?
6. (Optional) Get your friends involved and ask them to write down one good quality they love most about you and why.
When you are done, fold up your paper into a tiny square, seal it with a kiss, and toss it inside your small box. Feel free to add anything else that is significant to you. For example, in my box, I am adding the front page of a local newspaper, my most recent movie ticket stub, a photo of me and my best friends, a piece of jewelry, and my favorite flower.
After you’ve finished stuffing your box, seal it, and make a note on the surface saying, “Do NOT open until 2/29/2020.” In four years, dig out your box and read what you wrote. It will be interesting to see how much you’ve changed since then.
What will you add to your time capsule? Drop a Comment to give your ideas. I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!
-SandyAdd a Comment
"Since today is Valentines' day, you have to love what you do. We're all up here because we love what we do... love your work, love meeting the people."
A special message from all the authors and illustrators gathered this morning...
Lin Oliver introduces the amazing staff of the SCBWI. A much deserved standing ovation received.
Ginger Clark has been a literary agent with Curtis Brown since 2005. She represents many genres and categories of books in addition to representing the British rights for Curtis Brown's children's list. She's lots of fun on Twitter, and from there you may have learned she's really into wombats and Peter Capaldi, but aren't we all?
Sarah Davies and Ginger Clark tag team on describing how a rolling auction works. All of the bidding publishers give their bid, and then the lowest bidder is asked if they can match the highest bid, and the other bidders are approached in turn, and this can go around a few times, perhaps up to seven rounds.
Compared to a best bids auction, where Ginger asks for editors to name their ultimate bid and no additional rounds of bid-taking happen.
For most books Ginger has sold she's initially sent out the submission to 12 editors. In special cases she's sent the submission out to upwards of 27 editors (and she notes that 25% of those 27 were at Penguin Random House, which is the strange reality of big houses merging into even bigger houses these days).
The most important 'gets' in a contract to Ginger are:
Translation rights, British rights, audio rights, joint vs. separate accounting on multiple book deal royalties (you want separate accounting!!) Ginger will only take joint accounting deals unless there are no other offers OR the publisher is offering them an insane amount of money. Other than that, deal-killers are up to the client, says Ginger.
Ginger's last bit of advice:
When picking an agent, pick someone you think will be a great advocate for you and will be a great, professional advice-giver—don't pick someone only because you think they could be your best friend, or that reminds you of your mom or Peter Capaldi, or because they own a wombat.
|(l-r) Peter Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker; wombat from How To Negotiate Everything|
Each year the SCBWI sponsors two student writer scholarships to the Summer and Winter Conferences for full-time university in and English or Creative Writing program.
Question: I've created a character which feels real. I know what he wants, why he wants it, I know all his little secrets. I pretty much know everythingAdd a Comment
Valentine's day, 2014 was the first day I published by web comic "King Bronty, The World's Greatest Dinosaur Knight!"
I initially started with a kingbronty.com address but it became easier, and more fun, to use my blog and YouTube as King Bronty's home.
Here is the beginning of King Bronty, I hope you'll enjoy King Bronty!
Renowned artist and storyteller, Dr. Lorenzo Pace created a series of poignant picture books – the African American Quartet – that pay homage to black history and the power of the human spirit. Pace’s debut, Jalani and the Lock (Rosen), was inspired by the lock that bound his enslaved great-great grandfather and was handed down to him. The three others – Marching With Martin, Harriet Tubman and My Grandmother’s Quilts and Frederick Douglass and the North Star – explore the lives of these pivotal historic figures. Dr. Pace, whose monument Triumph of the Human Spirit in New York City’s Foley Square honors the enslaved Africans originally buried there, uses words and mixed media artwork in his children’s books to bring to life stories from the past.
We are proud to celebrate Dr. Lorenzo Pace on Day 14.
Journey to Publishing
It began with a lock. A cold, hard, more than 150-year-old iron lock. A legacy of man’s inhumanity to man. When my father passed away in Birmingham, Alabama in 1991, I left New York and went South to bury him. My Uncle Julius shocked me and the rest of my family by giving me a lock that had shackled my great-great grandfather Steve Pace in chains. Steve Pace had passed down the lock to other Pace men. I accepted the lock but really didn’t want it. I didn’t know what to do with it, so I put it in my closet in Brooklyn.
Not long after that, my daughter, who was about 8, came home and said, “Daddy, kids are making fun of me because of my hair, my nose, and my lips.” I asked why. She said they told her it was because she was from slaves. I said, “Wow, baby. You don’t have to be ashamed of your looks.” I told her she came from beautiful people, strong, creative, and resourceful people.
Our conversation inspired me to explore the lock. The lock was calling out, “Hey, come deal with me.” So I explored the lock and my great-great-grandfather’s story. Turns out, after emancipation, Steve Pace purchased more than 500 acres of land and shared it with his family. His third eldest son was in the first class at the Tuskegee Institute. He was a minster and the church he founded still exists and will soon be on the National Register of Historic Places. Soon, I found myself writing Jalani and the Lock, to explain to my daughter and other children our history and the triumphs that are the essence of it.
I finished writing and illustrating and shopped for a publisher for five long years. One day a buddy in Chicago referred me to Rosen Publishing. I met with the publisher. He loved the content. He loved the illustrations. He agreed to publish it. It came out in 2000.
I’ve traveled the world with Jalani and the Lock and the book has been translated into Spanish, French, and Dutch. Last year, Jalani and the Lock was re-printed as part of a series I wrote and illustrated called the African American Quartet. The Quartet includes: Marching with Martin, Frederick Douglass and the North Star, and Harriet Tubman and My Grandmother’s Quilts. The Quartet came about after the publisher and I began talking about ways to build on Jalani’s story and bring it into the 21st century.
All of the books relate to my personal experiences. I marched with Dr. King in Chicago when I was a teenager. I grew up seeing Frederick Douglass on my grade school walls. I grew up hearing about Harriet Tubman from my grandmother. She and my mom were quilters. I learned that quilts sometimes had anti-slavery sayings woven into them, and there is a legend that the enslaved put Underground Railroad symbols and routes in their quilts. There’s also an Underground Railroad station in my Brooklyn, NY neighborhood. For all these reasons, I wove photos of my family’s quilts into the book’s illustrations.
The inspiration for my books has come first from my personal history. It occurred to me that if these stories are in my family, they’re probably in most African American families. I’m inspired by John Coltrane and Charlie Parker. I listen to them as I write and create. They are such innovators, constantly bringing out new ways of thinking in their music. They make we want to go to a higher plane as an artist. Alex Haley inspires me because of his groundbreaking research on our history. He made me want to dig deeper and deeper. The artist and author Faith Ringgold also inspires me. I love Maya Angelou’s books, period. Her gift for playing with language is second-to-none. There are so many great writers, but those who tell our stories –new stories, uplifting stories –inspire me most. I’ve also gotten motivated by the books of Caroline Brewer. She’s been under the radar because of her focus on literacy, but is about to come into greater recognition. She has some very intense and motivational books on the African American experience, like a fun but educational picture book on President Obama’s 2008 election, Barack Obama: A Hip Hop Tale of King’s Dream Come True. And the next book, a middle grade novel, is intense, fun, and motivational, too.
I just go. If I have a character or concept, I just begin to feel the energy that goes into how to tell a
complete a story and how to illustrate it. I go out and get all kinds of materials that I think can help. I go to the art store. I look for materials in the street, in my environment, and just go.
I’ve illustrated my Quartet books using mixed media and collage. I will use an old dress from a thrift store with a particular pattern or color, beads, paper sacks, kente cloth, animal print, newspaper print. I also use acrylic paint, watercolors, colored pencils, markers, glitter, whatever makes a page pop. I let everything around me speak to me and then I put the pieces together.
The most important thing that I do as I work is have fun. I also know I can get kids on color. They love color and so do I. I approach my art in the same way I approach living: be sure to have some fun and add lots of color.
Publisher’s Weekly called the first edition of Jalani and the Lock “a stunning debut.” NBC News cited Harriet Tubman as one of the top 14 books to read in February 2015. The School Library Journal met me at my Brooklyn studio last year to do a piece on the art I created for the books. Booklist offered these words below about the new quartet.
“Perhaps the most personal entry in celebrated sculptor Pace’s ambitious African
American Quartet is this first-person remembrance of what Martin Luther King Jr. meant to Pace while growing up in Alabama and Chicago. The design of the book, and indeed the entire quartet, features two-page spreads of wild, almost Basquiat-like art incorporating paint, jewelry, paper, plastics, and anything else that captures Pace’s fancy. On the left-hand page goes the prose, which, though simple, is packed with restrained emotion: “Many years ago, in 1949, to be exact, when I was a little boy in Alabama, I saw signs that I did not understand.”
State of the Industry
Walter Dean Myers and Chris Myers said it best in their New York Times pieces a couple of years ago. The publishing industry is not doing enough to reflect the rich and deep and vibrant diversity of this country. There are so many children who need to see themselves in books. Books are game-changers. And yet, authors of color can’t depend on the industry to do it all. The efforts of sites like thebrownbookshelf.com are critical to helping put the spotlight on authors and illustrators of color. Whatever we can do to support one another makes us more powerful.
Find out more about Dr. Lorenzo Pace here.
Jane speaks eloquently of how re-inventing a career in the arts every seven to ten years is a way to keep your writing fresh and alive. And yet, how difficult it is when then re-invention is forced on you.
So, to help honor the contribution of mid-list authors in general, and celebrate two mid-list authors in particular, Jane announces this year's winners:
Karen Coombs and Sallie Wolf
Every year I promise myself that this is the year I'll start watching more grown-up movies, instead of just flocking to the same action and superhero movies. And every year I remember why that's a difficult promise to keep--because unlike TV, the Israeli movie market is still stuck in the 80s, with screens devoted almost exclusively to either blockbusters or middle-of-the-road pablum aimed atAdd a Comment
Lin Oliver introduced Gary Schmidt as not just a writer's writer—but as a writer's writer's writer. Gary has won two Newbery Honors, and all of his books are perfect, literary gems.
The last time Gary was here, he found out his back was bleeding just before he went on stage. Today, he's wearing a dark shirt—just in case.
He started by noting how wonderful it is to gather like this with other writers and illustrators, who generally work alone. "To be with each other is really quite an amazing gift, isn't it?"
Children's writers have the same mission. "We all do our best work for kids. That's why we get along so well."
It's the coldest Valentine's Day in 100 years, but the SCBWI Portfolio Showcase winner announcement warms our hearts. It is with great excitement that we announce this years winners. Congratulations to all!
Alessandra Balzer is the Vice President and Co-Publisher of Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins, publishing picture books to novels from teens.
On the process of acquisitions:
Auctions are rare. Many of B+B's favorite books come traditionally. If Alessandra loves a book, she shares it with her team and they look at it closely. If the team is on the same page, she brings it to the acquisitions board. Many details are looked at in the meeting and it's approached as a business decision.
On coping with losing something you love:
It is what it is. You do your best. If you don't get it, you move on.
Do you ever offer notes on a manuscript before making a decision?
It depends. When it's done, there's no guarantee, and a lot of time is put into it. Alessandra has done it when it's worked out, and she's done it and then had to reject the project.
On deal-breakers in a offer:
As an editor it's difficult because there is a passion part and a business part. It can be helpful when the house has a policy when it comes to contracts which can take some challenges away because certain pieces don't need to be negotiated.
On junior-level editors taking on projects:
When a more junior level editor brings a proposal to an acquisitions meeting, the rest are behind them and advocating for the project as well.
Do your best work, and don't write to what's selling or to trends. Write your passion.
This year's illustration inspiration is based on Phillip Pullman's version of Red Riding Hood. Tomie received over 400 entries this year!
While the award is presented today, the announcement happened a little bit ago, be sure to check out the fantastic unofficial gallery put together by Diandra Mae.
The task for this year's award was about UNIQUE VISUALIZATION of the MAIN CHARACTER.
As I warned, "So often, I have seen illustrators resort to generic depictions of the star of the story—too 'designed,' too ordinary, too much like characters already seen in media, especially on TV and video games."
That said I have chosen the following illustrators:
On the African savanna Elephants are gentle giants that have an incredible impact on the ecosystem. Once Upon an Elephant by Linda Stanek debuts this week, and the amazing facts about elephants are sure to make any child want to know more about how they can help this important animal.
Learn how this book came to life from the author Linda Stanek:
It’s funny how researching one thing can lead to something else. While working on a book for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium about their baby elephant, Beco, elephant expert Harry Peachey mentioned the words “keystone animal” to me. Keystone animal? I was embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know what that was. When he explained that these are animals so critical to maintaining their ecosystems that without them, other species would die, I was shocked. This was important stuff! How did I not know about it? If didn’t know about this, then who else didn’t know as well? And what an important concept to share those who would inherit this fragile Earth—our children.
That was the beginning of Once Upon an Elephant. What if, I thought, elephants were only “Once Upon a Time?” It was a heartbreaking thought. And if they did, indeed, become extinct, what else might become once upon a time as well?
After writing this manuscript, I shared it with my friend, Harry and got his thumbs-up. Then, I sent it to a handful of publishers. Within two weeks (which is quicker than lightning, in publishing-time) Arbordale made me an offer. And even more quickly, I accepted.
Two days later, I got an offer for Once Upon an Elephant from another publisher. “Drat!” my sister said. “You could have an auction!”
But I was satisfied. I knew that Arbordale produces beautiful books. And, I appreciate that they place their books not only in bookstores, but in museum, aquarium, and zoo gift shops as well—where interested readers are likely to be found. When they signed Shennen Bersani to illustrate it, I was even happier. She crafted the amazing images to make this book complete, allowing me to share with children the concept of the keystone animal, and my love of elephants.
Learn more! Teaching activities, quizzes and other printable activities are available on the book’s homepage, check it out!
Enter to win your own copy of Once Upon an Elephant on Goodreads!
|Jacquelyn Mitchard delivering her keynote|
"[Atticus] would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning."
Here is a piece that I did for Illustration Friday a bit ago entitled “Artificial”. I remember I really enjoyed creating this one. It is fun to add humor into your work. Happy Valentine’s Day!Add a Comment