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Results 1 - 25 of 2,000
1. Harts Pass No. 286

Happy (almost) Valentine's Day!

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2. THE CROW'S TALE by Naomi Howarth

The Crow's Tale by Naomi Howarth came out last year (2015) from Frances Lincoln Children's Books. That's a publisher in London.

The complete title of Howarth's book is The Crow's Tale: A Lenni Lenape Native American Legend. 

In her "About the story" note, Howarth writes:

The Rainbow Crow -- a Pennsylvania Lenni Lenape Indian legend--is the perfect example of a story that was first told to explain the mysteries of the natural world. When I came across this beautiful tale, my imagination was immediately soaring with Rainbow Crow across wide winter skies and landscapes. The tale has been passed down through generations of Lenni Lenape Indians, mostly orally, and I have tried to remain true to the narrative, although I have visualized the Creator as the Sun, as I wanted to make the Sun a character in his own right.

On her website page for the book, I see this:
Inspired by a Lenape Native American myth, this beautiful debut picture book shows how courage and kindness are what really matter.

Yes, courage and kindness matter, but so do other things. Clearly Howarth felt that she was doing a good thing with this story.

I have several questions.

What is the source Howarth used for this story? She doesn't tell us, which means we can't tell if her source is legitimate, or, if it is amongst the too-many-made-up stories attributed to Native peoples. Without that information, teachers are in a bind. Can they use this book to teach students about Lenni Lenape people and culture?

Is Howarth's story a Lenni Lenape one if she changed a key part of it? She tells us that she visualized Creator as the sun. Could she (or anyone) do that--say--with the Christian God and still call that story a Christian one? Maybe, but I think most people would say that doing so would be tampering with a religion in ways that border on sacrilege. How do the Lenni Lenape people visualize Creator? Did she talk with them, to see if she could depict Creator as the sun?

By "them" I mean--did Howarth talk with someone who has the authority to work with her on this project? Increasingly, tribal nations are working to protect their stories by setting up protocol's researchers and writers should use if they're going to do anything related to their people, history, culture, etc.

As we might predict, Howarth's book is well-received in some places. This morning I read that this story is on the shortlist for a 2016 Waterstones Children's Book Prize. If you're in the UK, or if you know people in the UK who are on the committee, please ask them these questions. You could ask Howarth, if you know her, or her editor (I don't know who that is). Asking questions is what leads to change.

Published in 2015, The Crow's Tale by Naomi Howarth is not recommended.


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3. POET: THE REMARKABLE STORY OF GEORGE MOSES HORTON by Don Tate

It's black history month and my friend Don Tate has a truly special book out that I have to share with you. It's called POET: THE REMARKABLE STORY OF GEORGE MOSES HORTON and it's published by Peachtree. (Gads, they do some good-looking books!) I emailed Don for a full on guest post, but he is riding high right now, super busy. As he said, "...things are so crazy right now. I'm on deadline to finish sketches for this next book before next Wednesday (when my travel schedule kicks in), and I have to start over on the sketches." So, I asked him some quick questions...
Me: How did you learn about George Moses Horton
Don: I wish I had a more interesting or profound answer to this question, but I learned about Horton through a writing partner, Chris Barton. I started researching Horton on that same day. I knew from day one that Horton's story would be loved by readers, but because of my heavy illustration schedule, I didn't know when I'd find time to write it. And then I had this fear that someone else might publish the story before I had a chance to start writing, so I found the time. Several years and many, many revisions later, the book was acquired by Peachtree Publishers.
Me: What was your medium for this book?
Don: Initially I wanted to illustrate "Poet" digitally. I'd just purchased a Cintiq, and I was anxious to put it to use. I did all of the line work on my Cintiq, but I think it freaked out my art director, who had another look in mind. She loved my hand drawn artwork, as done in the book "Hope's Gift," so I decided to use the same medium, acrylic watercolor washes and ink (Micron) lines on watercolor paper. Acrylic dries hard and allows for layering without disturbing under painting. And I used colored pencil in places. I also wanted to find a way to include Horton's poetry, since I'd not included any in the text (intentionally). So I hand lettered portions of his poetry and worked them into the illustrations using Photoshop. I did eventually get to put that Cintiq to work on my following book, "Whoosh!"
Me: With your busy schedule, how do you fit in creative time?
Don: Balancing creative time with travel can be a challenge. To help, I recently purchased a Surface Pro 4. It's a tablet that allow me to sketch on it using Photoshop or Manga Studio. I completely sketched and laid out my last two books on it. It's not great for creating final art, but totally saved me with my last two books. I also have a great booking agent who helps with the details of travel, so that I can spend that time in creative mode. I take it one day at a time.
Me: what are you working on next?
I have five more books under contract, and one to be announced soon. Most of them are nonfiction and involve little-known historical figures. I'm especially excited about an opportunity to work with Eloise Greenfield. That will be so cool!

Learn more about Don at http://dontate.com.

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4. CREATING AN ELEVATOR PITCH


Shared from Kathy Temean's newsletter. 

Creating an Elevator Pitch – Erika Wassall

erikaphoto-45Erika Wassall the Jersey Farm Scribe here on
Creating an Elevator Pitch
Whether you’re getting ready for a conference, prepping ideas for a Twitter party, or just want to put your best foot forward to anyone who asks about your book, having a quick, engaging and powerful elevator pitch is important.
First of all… what IS an elevator pitch anyway?
________
El-e-va-tor pitch
noun — informal
* A succinct and persuasive sales pitch
* A short summary used to quickly and simply define a process, product, service, organization, or event and its value
________
The idea here is that in the 20-30 seconds of an elevator ride, you could present your idea. Us humans are fickle creatures with VERY short attention spans. We make snap judgments, and unless we’re already intrigued, we’re likely to have already mentally moved on.
Job interviews. “Objectives” at the top of resumes. Sales positions. Convincing a spouse of what restaurant to go eat at. Convincing a boss about your new idea. Impressions are made quickly. Not that minds can never be changed later. But the fact remains…
The first 20 seconds is your BEST opportunity to make a good impression.
All right. So that’s the basic CONCEPT.
Uh, that’s it??? Hello? E-Z!!! I know my book. I know what makes my story special. Of COURSE I can describe it in 3-4 sentences!!! I wouldn’t even need to practice.
……here we go……
A young girl is caught in between…
Wait. No! It’s so much more than that. Let me start again.
When insomnia brings Tris to the brink of desperation…
Ugh, that sounds so cliché!
Conception is reality. Tris must prove her sanity and win the right to live out her dreams in more ways than one.
Yuck. That says ab-so-lutely NOTHING. Okay. So this is harder than it sounds.
Elevator Pitch Tips:
Don’t Over Pack the Pitch:
For me, the biggest tip I ever got for an elevator pitch is not to try to shove my entire story in there. This was a HUGE relief. If the plot line is too complex to explain in a few lines (or the tiny 140 characters we Twits get), don’t even try. Concentrate instead on the unique voice. Have the pitch portray the main character’s biggest flaw or most powerful victory. Highlight a powerful scene or even quote a climatic moment.
Feel Free to Ruin:
If pitching to an agent, there’s nothing wrong with giving away the end. They’re professionals. Trust the story, and be confident that the writing and development along the way will keep them engaged even if they know the twist end. (Obviously keep in mind different agents may feel differently about this. Always research agents for preferences)
OBSESS over Nouns:
Obsess over every word really, but look extra closely at those nouns. Could they be more powerful? More emotional? More visual? Even in our limited word count, can we do more showing and less telling?
Show Uniqueness in Specifics:
Agents hear a LOT of pitches. Being conceptual isn’t enough. We must express specific aspects of THIS book that make it different from the other 400 they may have received, over the past 48 hours. The idea may be excellent, creative and powerful. But from their perspective, they’ve likely heard it before. As humans, they’re naturally assessing it, lumping it in with other things similar. Specifics are your weapon here. Use details, voice, character, setting, etc, to make THIS particular story stand out from that crowd.
PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE:
Say it out loud. A lot. Then say it some more. The manner in which it rolls off the tongue is important, as is confidence in delivery. Bonus: Once you have it down, you may be surprised at how frequently the opportunity is presented for you to use it.
Our manuscripts are complex. They cannot be put in a box. No 20 second opportunity can fully grasp the extent of their awesome. Don’t let that goal overpower you. Instead create intrigue, and answer the question of why they should want to hear or read more.
Your manuscripts are worth it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Erika Wassall is a writer, a farmer and a liver of life. She is a member of SCBWI and a proud Mad Scientist, bringing science experiments right into children’s classrooms, and hearts. She has a small farm in New Jersey with sheep, chickens, pigs and vegetables. Check out her new website at www.TheJerseyFarmScribe.com where as a first generation farmer, she often takes the long way, learning the tricks of the trade on The Farm. On her website is also The Shop page with tips and a free Q/A from her husband’s mechanic shop, and The Writer page where she shares stories, experiences and characters from the heart. Follow her on Twitter at @NJFarmScribe. She’d love to hear from you!
Look for Erika’s articles every other Wednesday on Writing and Illustrating. Thank you Erika for another great post.
Talk tomorrow,
Kathy

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5. MasterClass to Host the ‘Co-Author a Book With James Patterson’ Writing Competition

Patterson_square_cropsmallMasterClass, an internet educational platform, will host a contest for aspiring writers to collaborate with bestselling author James Patterson. This competition will only be open to students who enroll in Patterson’s MasterClass writing course.

Patterson gave this statement in the press release: “There are a lot of people who have the talent, but haven’t been shown the door to walk through. I’ve been surprised and impressed by the passion, devotion and talent of my students. They inspired me to want to help guide one of them through the publishing process. I’m looking forward to reading the submissions that are skillful, fast-paced and unpredictable.”

The submission deadline has been set for March 22 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Patterson will select the winning co-author on May 24. Contestants who are chosen as semifinalists and finalists will also receive a cash prize. Follow this link to learn more information and read up on all the rules.

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6. When Revision Doesn’t Work

I used to think professional workshops were where you would go to get answers, but now I know that the best ones are where you find more questions.

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7. Mary Ann Naples Joins the Disney Book Group as VP and Publisher

Disney Publishing Logo (GalleyCat)Mary Ann Naples has been hired as a vice president and publisher at the Disney Book Group. Her start date has been scheduled for Mar. 14.

Prior to this development, Naples was a senior vice president and publisher at Rodale Books and Rodale Wellness. In her new role, she will serve as a representative to a variety of different members of the industry, work with authors, and oversee business strategy moves for the group.

Naples gave this statement in the press release: “I am thrilled to join the Disney Book Group with its spectacular track record of success, its world-class brands, franchises, authors and illustrators, and its amazing team. Disney has always been at the forefront of innovation and creativity, and I can’t wait to build on the great work already done in the book group.”

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8. Red Light/Green Light Contest: Announcing the Top 50 Submissions!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Below are the top 50 entries in our Red Light/Green Light contest, where writers are vying for the prize of a phone call with fabulous agent Patricia Nelson at Marsal Lyon Literary.


Be sure to check back next Thursday, when we'll post our agent judge's top 25 selected entries!

CONGRATS to all who made it in, and good luck going forward!

And now, presenting:

THE TOP 50 ENTRIES
Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Terry Bell
Young Adult Fantasy
1
Pa was taking too long to cut the boys’ throats.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Amber Duell
Young Adult Fantasy
2
War is beautiful chaos.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
D Lollis
Middle Grade Contemporary
3
"Mom, Brandon is smelling his dirty underwear—again," my older sister Bethany yelled as I crawled on the cold marble tile of the third floor laundry room.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
KD Proctor
New Adult Romance
4
If it’s possible for a tray of pastries to blackmail me, I think I might need to file a restraining order against The Steamy Bean’s cinnamon chip scones.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Kara Reynolds
Young Adult SciFi
5
The universe should have a rule that bad news can't arrive over breakfast, but it doesn't.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Mary Hallberg
Young Adult Paranormal
6
As Penny walked inside the funeral home doors, the cold air stung her skin.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Traci Kenworth
Young Adult Fantasy
7
Of all the things Karrie Hunter's mother missed about Earth, color remained the biggest.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Ellie Luken
Young Adult Fantasy
8
Only fools or the desperate wandered beyond the city walls by themselves.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Jennifer Schafer
Young Adult Contemporary
9
Dad says the empty spaces in our lives, like moments of silence in music, amplify or accentuate the importance of the people we hold closest.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Devyn B. Makin
Young Adult Magical Realism
10
Routine is what predators look for in their prey.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Laura McFadden
Young Adult Contemporary
11
I tug out two wipes and inhale the sharp bleach and lemon scent.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Sarah Vance-Tompkins
Young Adult Magical Realism
12
Not every fairy's tale begins with once upon a time.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Gabby Gilliam
Young Adult Other
13
My name is a bit of a joke, a cruel trick of nature to punish my parents.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
VV Sinnott
Young Adult Magical Realism
14
My parents were whispering in the living room, a sure sign they were talking about something they didn’t want me to hear.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Dill Werner
Young Adult SciFi
15
I was born to a woman who never loved me.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Michele Blood
Young Adult Contemporary
16
A bead of sweat nestled itself beneath the bandages pinching Alex's skin.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Anikó Rajci
Young Adult Fantasy
17
The thick string of dark red fury slips out of my fingertips in quick waves.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Olivia Hinebaugh
Young Adult Magical Realism
18
There wasn’t a funeral.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Angela Dahle
Middle Grade Fantasy
19
There aren't any unlucky numbers, only unlucky people.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Mare Hagarty
Young Adult Paranormal
20
The first time I saw her, she was a pink and black blur, all sharp edges and hollows.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Heather Lea
Young Adult Dystopian
21
Though humanity watches with apprehension and bated breath, I find myself drawn to this mysterious matter blanketing our world in gray.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Laurine Bruder
Young Adult Fantasy
22
Ivy Greenhill's mind ticked as the prison wagon trundled along the dirt road.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Gillian Libby
Young Adult Romance
23
I didn’t know it was possible to screw over your entire family after you’ve been dead for two hundred years, but it turns out you’re never too dead to ruin a legacy.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Dana Nuenighoff
Young Adult Fantasy
24
Purple mountains jutted into the sky before me as I choked back tears and instead a smile spread across my ocean-weathered face: the Pass.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Patricia Nesbitt
Middle Grade Historical
25
Last year, when I was nine, things were a good sight better.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Tiffany Dawn Munn
Young Adult Fantasy
26
Alorna Mirone studied her tiara, her nose crinkled in an expression of distaste.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Joan Albright
Young Adult Steampunk
27
Silas clung to his tiny chainskiff, arms wrapped around the rail while it rocked and pitched and finally settled against the chain that held it in the sky.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
PJN
Young Adult Fantasy
28
Four years ago no one knew my name.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Carol Baldwin
Young Adult Historical
29
Dead bodies don't bother me none.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Mae Parker
Young Adult Fantasy
30
Henbane Tower pierced the night like a dagger thrust into the heart of my kingdom.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Holly Pettit
Young Adult Historical
31
In the dark part of the city – the Soviet sector – a garden party was just breaking up.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Cindy Williams Schrauben
Young Adult Paranormal
32
It's a challenge to breath in a vacuum.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Cass Newbould
Young Adult Fantasy
33
Heat, intense but not unpleasant, hits my face as flames flicker along the wooden floor of my bedroom.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Lana Pattinson
Young Adult Historical
34
Ominous clouds hovered over the loch, and Rowan Sinclair was about to lose his chance at freedom.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
KPKnupp
Young Adult Suspense
35
For the first time since the accident, she felt comfortable in her own skin.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
TL Sumner
Young Adult Contemporary
36
I could do anything for fifteen seconds.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Gabi Snyder
Middle Grade Contemporary
37
After the funeral, I fall asleep and dream of snow.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Leslie Hauser
Young Adult Contemporary
38
They say music is the key to the soul or maybe it’s the heart.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Jennifer Pickrell
Young Adult Contemporary
39
I couldn’t stop staring at Chase Lewis.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Holly M. Campbell
Young Adult Paranormal
40
The man standing in the kitchen had not been dead long.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
ML VIllax
New Adult Fantasy
41
I hated Mother’s day, always had, always would.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Jodi Cardillo
Young Adult Contemporary
42
I hate it when bad music gets stuck in my head.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Marcy S. Hatch
Young Adult SciFi
43
I paddle out, breathing evenly in the early dawn, mist rising from the water.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Hess Oster
Middle Grade Other
44
Once there was a man who loved children.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Marva Dasef
Middle Grade Fantasy
45
A dark figure dropped silently from the window ledge to the alley below.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Cassidy Taylor
Young Adult Fantasy
46
Sounds of revelry drift up to Ruby's sitting room, but she wants no part of it.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Jenny
Middle Grade Fantasy
47
Deep in the forest, where the trees grew crooked and the wind whispered tales of woe, there was a tower, and in the tower there lived a girl.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Mary Bartek
Middle Grade Contemporary
48
Applause for the previous speaker was still dying down when the headmaster returned to the podium on the auditorium stage.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Lizz Huerta
Young Adult Fantasy
49
The stink of the Fire Warrior reached Indir before he spoke.

Author:
Genre:
Entry #:
Entry:
Amanda Perry
Young Adult Fantasy
50
The ship screams in protest as it skips over treacherous waves.

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9. Upcoming Workshops


I'll be participating as an instructor in three upcoming workshops this year. All are for experienced painters, taught by a top-flight group faculty. 

James Gurney painting a watercolor demo at SKB Foundation Workshop
The SKB Workshop happens September 18-27 in Dubois, Wyoming. It has lots of demos, lectures, outdoor painting and group meals. And many of the costs are subsidized by a benefactor, so it's one of the most reasonable workshops you can be part of. Here's the announcement and here's a page with more information. Besides me, the faculty features mostly wildlife artists and landscape painters, including John and Suzie Seerey-Lester, John Hulsey and Ann Trusty, Mort Solberg and many others.

Registration just opened yesterday, and it's nearly full already, so if you're interested, here's the link to the registration


I'll also be one of the presenters at the Portrait Society of America's annual Conference in Washington DC, this April 14-17. This gathering is one of the best for oil demos, lectures, and networking among the attendees and the 30-or-so leading instructors.

Here's the registration for the Portrait Conference


From June 30 to July 3, I'll be in Montreal for the Syn Studio Gathering of Masters. The program is intended for artists who work in the game and film categories, team-taught by people like Terryl Whitlatch and Raphael Lacoste, me, and several others, not all of whom have been announced. This is the one to attend if you're in the concept art field, or want to get into it. Here's the description:
Syn Studio’s Gathering of Masters is a small, laid back festival with lots of socializing and interaction between the invited guests and and participating artists. A mix of talks, workshops and fun activities, it is a gathering where artists share their knowledge, connect with each other and work together to develop and push the boundaries of their illustration, design and art direction skills. There will be 8-10 speakers and 100 tickets sold so it will be an intimate event where participants can have direct access to the speakers and be part of the conversation.
Register now if you're interested in any of these, and I look forward to seeing you.

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10. Taraji P. Henson Lands Role in the Hidden Figures Movie

Taraji P. Henson (GalleyCat)Taraji P. Henson will play the mathematician Katherine Johnson in the Hidden Figures movie. In the past, the actress (pictured,via) was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in the film adaptation of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

According to Variety, the story for this film adaptation comes from Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. HarperCollins will publish this nonfiction book on Sept. 6.

Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter: “Ted Melfi will direct the film about a group of black women who provided NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions. Fox is planning to release the film Jan. 13, 2017, to coincide with the Martin Luther King holiday weekend.” (via Bustle)

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11. WHAT LIGHT Cover Reveal

Release date:
October 11, 2016

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12. Books from my Bookshelf - Potter Pinner Meadow by Mollie Kaye

Potter Pinner Meadow is a recent addition to my bookshelf found at the Oxfam Bookshop in Shaftsbury, Dorset. I was lucky enough to buy this and a second book by the same author for just a few pounds. I've uncovered a few hidden gems from this charity shop so if you are ever in the area, it might be worth calling in.



  Gold Hill, Shaftsbury

Dating back to the Saxon era and boasting amazing views of the Blackmore Vale Shaftsbury itself is well worth a visit. Gold Hill is a steep cobbled street in the town famous for its picturesque appearance. You may well recognise it as the setting for a film version of Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd, and advertisements for Morrisons and Hovis bread.

Filmed more than 40 years ago the Hovis advert is now one of the most famous scenes in British TV history.  Image: Mail Online

Anyway, I digress;

Potter Pinner Meadow by Mollie Kaye with decorations by Margaret Tempest Published in 1937 by Collins, London.

Mollie Kaye also known as M. M. Kaye is best known for her immensely popular novel The Far Pavilions. I’ve added some factual information about her and the illustrator Margaret Tempest at the end of this post.



Potter Pinner Meadow was a very select neighbourhood and only the VERY BEST people had their houses there. Aloysius Pricklewig J.P. lived in a roomy hollow under a bank. Mr. Pricklewig was a hedgehog. His bristles were always coming through his coats, so he continually had to darn them or to order new ones.



Mr. Pricklewig was by no means the only inhabitant of that very select neighbourhood.  The Whiskertips, a family of aristocratic field mice owned a smart apartment on the sunny side of the hawthorn hedge.  Mrs. Beatrice Brownwing, the speckled thrush occupied a cosy nest, while Timothy Tidmarsh the Dormouse lived in a small but cosy house among the roots of the big Elm tree. 




The fly in the ointment came in the guise of Farmer Wraggs and his dog Tatters. Farmer Wraggs had a sour face, a mouth that turned down at the corners and a fringe of sandy whiskers. He also had a habit of poking around among the tree roots and slashing at the hedges with his stout hickory stick while Tatters growled and barked.   


Whenever Farmer Wraggs came stumping up the meadow everyone locked their doors and pulled down the blinds. Even Mr. Pricklewig put out a Not - At - Home sign and closed the shutters when farmer Wraggs was about. However, there was one person who didn't mind at all because he was nearly always fast asleep in his bed. 




While Timothy Tidmarsh slept the rest of the inhabitants of Potter Pinner Meadow attended an Indignation Meeting to complain about the state of affairs. Wonderful plans were discussed, and long speeches were made beginning with “Tatters Must Go” but all Timothy ever said was “SSSNOORE”. 



One fine spring evening Timothy woke from his afternoon nap put on his second best coat, and set off to buy his supper. When he arrived at the shop it was full of customers all complaining about Mr. Waggs. Not wishing to get involved Timothy decided to enjoy a little snooze. “That Dormouse has no public spirit said Mrs. Beatrice Brownwing. I was telling him only yesterday how dreadfully I have been disturbed by that farmer person and would you believe it all he said was I don’t see much of him myself!”

When Timothy woke up he was rather bored by all the talk of farmers and dogs, so taking up his basket he started off for home.  He was hardly more than half-way up the meadow when he heard sounds of barking. He stood still and listened.  The barking seemed to come from the direction of the big elm tree. Continuing with caution he was faced with a dreadful scene! For where there had been a cosy home for a dormouse, there was nothing but a broken mess of bits and pieces. Of Timothy's beautiful furniture and his comfortable four-poster bed there was not a trace.  



Timothy put his pocket hankie over his nose and wept most bitterly. The sounds of his woe were so loud that everyone in Potter Pinner Meadow came hurrying to see whatever was wrong. At first, they all said "I told you so" and "serve you right," but afterwards they were sorry.  That night Timothy slept on Mr. Pricklewig's sofa and the next morning all the inhabitants of Potter Pinner Meadow, including Timothy attended another Indignation Meeting.

This time it was decided that Timothy should make his way to Black Bramble Wood and consult Old Madam Mole. It was already afternoon by the time Timothy came in sight of the wood the sky was cloudy and dark, and a cold wind was rustling through the grass. Black Bramble Wood looked damp and dark and dangerous. Timothy shivered in his shoes and wished he was snug in his comfortable bed, but when he remembered he no longer had a comfortable bed it made him so angry he got quite brave.


Old Madam Mole rocked backwards and forwards in her rocking chair and began to think.  “Fetch me the little green bottle from the cupboard” she said.  “The next time you see Farmer Wraggs, empty the contents over him.  Be careful not to miss and remember the effect only lasts for one day.” 

Back at Potter Pinner Meadow, Timothy and his friends were busy building him a new home when a young rabbit came dashing down the meadow crying “He’s coming!” quick as a flash Mrs. Brownwing circled high above Farmer Wraggs and sprinkled the magic potion over him.  At once, he began to shrink and grow smaller and smaller until eventually he turned into a frog!  Tatters began barking at his former master. “Down, Tatters, down!” cried Farmer Wraggs but “croak, croak, croak” meant nothing to Tatters who kept on barking. The poor farmer became so frightened he jumped high into the air and landed in a bed of nettles.




As soon as Tatters went away the animals began to lecture Farmer Wraggs on his disgraceful behaviour. He was made to spend the day mending Timothy Tidmarsh’s broken china. He was also forced to darn Mr. Pricklewig’s coats and iron his waistcoats.  It didn’t take long for Farmer Wraggs to promise to mend his ways, and that was exactly what he did.  


~~~~~~~~~~

M.M. Kaye, (born Aug. 21, 1908, Simla, India—died Jan. 29, 2004, Lavenham, Suffolk, Eng.), British writer and illustrator who captured life in India and Afghanistan during the Raj in her immensely popular novel The Far Pavilions (1978). The daughter of a British civil servant working in India, Kaye spent her early childhood there. She was sent to boarding school in England at age 10. After graduating from art school in England, she found work as an illustrator and soon began to write. She married a British army officer in 1945. Before achieving worldwide success with The Far Pavilions she wrote a number of children’s books (as Mollie Kaye), several detective and historical novels and three volumes of autobiography. [Encyclopaedia Britannica.]

M. M. Kaye dedication from Potter Pinner Meadow.


Margaret Mary Tempest, (May 15, 1892, Ipswich, Suffolk, Eng. – died 1982, Ipswich, Suffolk, Eng.),  British writer and illustrator attended Ipswich Art School and later moved to London to study at the Westminster School of art from which she graduated in the summer of 1914. She went on to the Royal Drawing School but was already planning the formation of a society of women illustrators with twenty other talented girls from the School of Art. Between 1919 and 1939 they put on annual exhibitions and ran a successful business, selling their work and producing commercial material including Christmas cards. She began illustrating Little Grey Rabbit books in 1929 and continued to do so into the 1960s, by which time 34 titles had appeared. [I’ve included images of all the Little Grey Rabbit books in three previous posts – here, here and here] Margaret also wrote and illustrated children's books of her own, with characters called Curley Cobbler and Pinkie Mouse. She illustrated books by M. M. Kaye, Rosalind Vallance, Elizabeth Laird, and many other authors. She also found time to design postcards for the Medici Galleries. Between the wars she lived in London during the week, and apart from her illustration work she taught drawing to the children of most of the aristocratic houses in London. In 1939 Margaret returned to the Ipswich area and  married her cousin, Sir Grimwood Mears, a former Chief of Justice in Allahabad, in 1951. Sir Grimwood died in 1963 at the age of 93. Margaret died in 1982 aged 90 and by then she had become afflicted with Parkinson's Disease and could no longer draw. [The Ipswich Society.]

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13. Ranking of my blog in search Engine

Ranking of my blog in search Engine आज गूगल सर्च करते हुए मैने अपने ब्लॉग monicagupta.info पर किए गए Reviews  और Stat पढे.. !!!  ये भी पता लगा कि कितना alexa rank कितनी है और ट्रैफिक कितना और कहां कहां से आता है ….  

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14. Happy Valentine’s Day from Cat and Liz’s Book Snuggery!

Here Comes Valentine Cat

By Deborah Underwood; pictures by Claudia Rueda

 

Can a cranky cat have a change of heart towards an assumed canine enemy on Valentine’s Day?

You bet this Cat can.

If you’ve enjoyed Deborah Underwood’s New York Times Bestseller listing of cat conversations with a seemingly not to be moved feline, as in Here Comes Easter Cat, Here Comes the Tooth Fairy Cat, and Here Comes Santa Cat, then you are in for a sweet treat on this day for love.

Or, at the very least, in Cat’s case, a day of like!

Who of us does not appreciate a valentine sent from the one we’ve loved, liked or befriended?

But, what if the inference is made by young Cat that a valentine sent to a less than friend, following a volley of a tossed bone and ball, headed over Cat’s fence, is well deserved?

Cat’s crossed arms, picket signs with a dog in full growl mode, plus virulent valentines sent in response to the canine, are all signs of no relent mode on Cat’s part or heart.

Why things have even taken the shocking turn of rocket draft designs and a subtle crafting by Cat, that speaks of sending the canine skyward!

BUT, what if the soft-voiced and subtle offstage querier asks pointed questions of Cat, allowing the thrown bone and ball to be seen and felt in a whole new light? Might the missiles instead be proffers of friendship?

I love the dialectic that occurs between a soft spoken off stage friend and Cat. It’s always permeated not with judgment of Cat’s feelings, but rather, a sort of “Do you think you’ve looked at all the possible responses here?”

And the author sometimes even agrees with Cat’s frustration with the yowling of the neighboring dog, as in:

 

 

       Wow. He is kind of loud, isn’t he?

 

 

Parents and young readers are in for a gentle primer here on the phrase “Never Assume” in the handling of what kids may take as the supposed motivation for actions they interpret as, well, less than friendly.

But then, on a bit of further reflection, bingo, it turns out to be quite another. And that goes for cat, canine or human behavior!

I love the listening ear of Cat’s confidante that serves alternately, and gently, as commiserator, sympathizer, yet also redirector of behaviors, as in:

 

                Gee, Cat. Do you think

                Dog was howling because

                he’s…lonely?

 

                 Aw, Cat!

 

                It’s not too late to be his friend!

 

 

Cat tries yet another neighborly Valentine, prompted by a sweet entreaty from dogdom. Cat’s valentine too, this time out, has less sass, and it reads:

 

 

               Roses are red

               Violets are blue

               Dogs are annoying

 

               What?!

 

 

               except for you

 

 

Behavioral change is possible…in kids and cats. And with the ever cranky, but cute Cat to lead the way, Deborah Underwood and the spot on expressions for Cat, provided by Claudia Rueda, make the learning and laughing curve fun for young readers and parents.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Cat and Liz’s Book Snuggery!

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15. New look and new update

Welcome everyone I just want to let you know that my blog will be getting a new look. It will continue on it's mission to share the best reviewed books both self published and traditional published. Right now I am not working with any publishing company. My first new post will be about the SCBWI winter conference which starts Tommorrow. Look for the blog to be more interactive with videos, author interviews and much more. I will try to keep it updated more regularly. Please continue to give me your support. We are back. Thanks everyone   

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16. Book Launch: Been There, Done That

BeenThere

Have you ever walked through the woods and wanted so badly to see animals only to be disappointed that none were around? That is the premise of Jen Funk Weber’s new children’s book Been There, Done That: Reading Animal Signs.  

In the book, Cole is visiting his friend Helena and he really wants to see wild animals. They take a hike and Helena shows Cole signs that animals are around even they are not standing in front of him.

This book shows that there is more to spotting signs of wildlife than seeing paw prints across the hood of your car or the imprint of little bird feet in the sand. In fact, tracks are a very little part of spotting signs of wildlife.

Author Jen Funk Weber has a lot of practice tracking animals. Although the animals in Been There, Done That are residents of the Pacific northwest and up through Alaska, Jen has tracked animals around the world. Read this wonderful account of leopard tracking in Africa!

jenfunkweberTo celebrate the launch of Jen’s new book we asked her a few questions about writing and tracking animal signs.

What was your incentive to write this particular book?

Having worked as a natural history guide in Alaska, I know that people want to see exciting things when they take the time and make the e ort to get out in nature, but that’s not the way nature works. Flowers and wild animals don’t perform on command. In fact, most wild animals prefer to avoid humans.

But things are happening all the time in nature, and there are clues all around that can help us “see” what’s happening, even if we don’t actually witness it. It’s fun looking for these clues and trying to figure out what happened. It’s like snooping on neighbors, except the animals don’t seem to mind. If we spend enough time out there, we might get lucky and see some of those really exciting, once-in-a- lifetime events.

beenthere_pic2And, of course, hiking, searching for animal signs, and watching wildlife are some of my favorite things to do, but you guessed that, right?

When are you most creative?

Around 4 a.m. No, really. I love getting up in the wee hours to write. Picture this: It’s zero degrees outside, snowy, and dark. But it’s warm enough inside—at least it is at my desk, two feet from the heater. e sky is full of stars and maybe northern lights. It won’t get light for hours. I turn on colored lights that rim the ceiling and light fragrant candles on the windowsills. I make a pot of jasmine tea. I sit. It’s quiet and still. I imagine. I write.

Okay, it’s not always that way, but sometimes it is.

As for what sparks my creativity; that would be new ideas and experiences. It can be something as small as a headline or a fascinating fact, or it can be a trip to someplace new, or it can be thinking about something in a new way, i.e., a new perspective. Every new thought or experience gets processed into past thoughts and experiences, and this synthesis triggers the creative process.

For instance, while converting feet to meters, I wondered why the US has never really converted to the metric system. When I was a kid, we were told we needed to switch because the whole country would soon switch.

beenthere_pic1I began to wonder why time has never been converted to the metric system, even where the metric system is used. Instead of 24 hours in a day, we could have 10 or 100 some-other-unit-of- measure.

Now I’m motivated to do some research about metrics. An old idea—converting to the metric system—leads to creative thinking when applied in a new way—to time.

Read our full interview with Jen on the Been There, Done That homepage!

Also enter to win our Goodreads giveaway that opens on February 15th!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Been There, Done That by Jen Weber

Been There, Done That

by Jen Weber

Giveaway ends February 29, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


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17. The Underwoods Face Off in the New House of Cards Trailer

Netflix has unveiled a new promotional piece for the forthcoming season of House of Cards. The video embedded above offers glimpses of the wicked Frank Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey) and his estranged wife Claire Underwood (played by Robin Wright).

Entertainment Weekly reports that “the upcoming season will feature the Underwoods pursuing separate paths to power, and the 60-second trailer offers a peak at the Machiavellian schemes, sexually charged rendezvous, and violent outbursts along the way. It also glimpses new cast members including Ellen Burstyn, Joel Kinnaman, and Neve Campbell.”

USA Today reports that the thirteen new episodes of season four will be posted online on March 4. Click on these links to watch the first teaser, the second teaser, and the third teaser. (via Gizmodo)

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18. Author Interview: Martine Leavitt on Calvin

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

From Macmillan: "Martine Leavitt has written several award-winning novels for young adults, including My Book of Life by Angel (FSG, 2012), which garnered five starred reviews and was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist; Keturah and Lord Death (Boyds Mills, 2012), a finalist for the National Book Award; and Heck Superhero (Boyds Mills, 2014), a finalist for the Governor General's Award. She lives in Alberta, Canada."

Congratulations on the release of Calvin (FSG, 2015)! Could you tell us about the book?

Thank you, Cynthia! It is the story of a seventeen-year-old boy who has a schizophrenic episode in school. He can hear the voice of a tiger named Hobbes.

He decides that Bill Watterson could cure him of his mental illness if he would draw one more comic strip, Calvin healthy and without Hobbes. He gets it into his head that he can make Watterson draw this comic if he goes on a pilgrimage to show his true intent and devotion.

He decides to walk across Lake Erie in winter – a deadly thing to attempt.

Why did you write Calvin?

A single neuron in the back of my brain pulsed with sadness for many years, perhaps all my conscious life, because there is such a thing as mental illness. Then one day it touched me, a form of mental unwellness, and it touched my family. Now I was sorry for myself as well as those who suffered with worse than I. Self-pity, sadly, has always been a motivating factor in my life.

Anyway, that single neuron pulsed away even more persistently, hoping for something, the way we send radio waves into space hoping to contact life on other planets.

One day as I was rereading my Calvin and Hobbes collection, it occurred to a single neuron in the front of my brain that Calvin, in the wrong hands, could be thought of as a maladaptive daydreamer, or as schizophrenic. That neuron in the front of my brain made instant contact with the lonely neuron in the back of my brain, and it was like Adam touching the finger of God in the Sistine Chapel.



Okay, it wasn’t that grand, but you get the idea. A sort of electronic storm was fired up between the two neurons, and they went on like that in their little electronic way for a while. Not enough to make a book quite yet, but something was happening.

And then I read online about a man named Dave Voelker who walked across frozen Lake Erie (to a place near Cleveland, where Watterson was once reported to live – coincidence? I think not), and I suddenly had a story wishing to be told. And that is why I wrote Calvin.

This is your tenth book. Does it get easier?

You would think, wouldn’t you. But in fact, no. Every book is a new adventure is insecurity and inadequacy. Every book asks something of you that no other book has asked.



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19. Evangeline Parsons-Yazzie on Winning the American Indian Library Association's 2016 Youth Literature Honor Award for Young Adults

I'm pleased to share Evangeline Parsons-Yazzie's response to the news that Her Land, Her Love had been selected by the American Indian Library Association for one of its honors.

~~~~~

Evangeline said:

On Friday February 5th, when I was first told by my publisher, Eric Lockard of Salina Bookshelf, Inc., that my novel had been selected by the American Indian Library Association as an Honor Book in the Young Adult category, I held my breath and asked Eric to repeat the news to me.  I wanted to hear the news several more times but my memory has been doing that for me.  

A heart-felt appreciation and deep gratitude is what I feel toward the awards committee who selected my novel, Her Land, Her Love as an Honor Book. I am still in awe of the the beautiful blessing that the people on the committee have bestowed upon my novel.  

Her Land, Her Love is my first novel and one that I cherished through the years as I wrote and rewrote it.  I wrote it at a time when I was going through a divorce, obtaining my doctorate degree, raising four children under the ages of ten, and a first year of teaching at Northern Arizona University. At the time, I desperately needed strength so I turned toward the stories my maternal grandmother and my father had told me regarding the Navajo Long Walk which is a painful time in Navajo history. I began writing and gained strength from the stories of my elders.  So, not only has the committee blessed me, you have also blessed the Navajo elders with whom I consulted to obtain the truth about the Long Walk.  Since the story reflected a painful time in history, I decided to weave in a love story to lighten the topic and to hold the attention of my readers.  

I also praise and thank the Lord for the gift of writing that He instilled within me. It has been five days since I heard the news and I am still smiling!

Once again, I thank the American Indian Library Association's awards committee for the honor of their recognition for my work.  

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20. #STBAblogtour16 DAY FOUR

A little catch-up today with the Shanghai Sukkah interviews, and two new Blog Tour stops: Everybody Says Shalom and Stones on a Grave.

Be sure to check out yesterday's interview on The Hired Girl, and get the rest of the blog tour schedule here.

Catching up from WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2016
 
Shanghai Sukkah by Heidi Smith Hyde, illustrated by Jing Jing Tsong
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Younger Readers Category
At Kristi's Book Nook
Author & Illustrator Interviews  


THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2016
 
 
Everybody Says Shalom by Leslie Kimmelman, illustrated by Talitha Shipman
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Younger Readers Category
At Book Q&A's with Deborah Kalb
Author Interview

   
Stones on a Grave by Kathy Kacer
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Teen Readers Category
At Randomly Reading
Author Interview and Book review


 

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21. Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City by Will Mabbit, illustrated by Ross Collins, 304pp, RL 4



Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City is the second book in Will Mabbitt and by Ross Collins's superb new series and, if possible, it's even better than the first, The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones. In the first book, Mabbitt introduced our hero who is conscripted into the life of a pirate because she was caught doing THE DEED (picking her nose and eating it) and allowed to stay (despite being a girl) because she can read. The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones is a panoramic sweeping story packed with richly detailed and very imaginative characters and places. With Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City, the story becomes more personal and urgent for Mabel.

When we see Mabel again, she is in her room, scratching her armpit and staring at a "funny-looking thing, all fat and helpless. Like a beetle grub. Kind of slimy, but kind of cute, too." It's Mabel's baby sister Maggie, and mere minutes after this sweet scene of sibling love, Maggie is taken out of her room by a nasty tasting, powerful creeping vine. Mabel grabs on to the last bit of the disappearing vine and finds herself in a wardrobe in another time and place - the Noo World, specifically, the City of Dreams, a sort of post-apocalyptic, dangerous civilization built upon the remains of New York City.


 Mabel in in America - and once again having an adventure in her pajamas, and this time bunny slippers as well. Once she gets her bearings, she heads off to the dwelling of Mr. Habib, a beak-collecting fortune teller who might be able to tell her where to find Maggie. Mable almost gets her nose snipped off to add to the collection, but she does get a lead and soon she in afloat again. This time, she has secured a position on a little paddle steamer, the Brown Trout, upon which she will be cruising down the Great Murky River to the Forbidden City, rumored to be under the thrall of a wicked sorceress. This expedition is being headed (and funded) by Professor Carruthers Badger-Badger, Phd and Timothy Speke, an otter who enjoys sketching and loves his damson jam. They are journeying to the Forbidden City to find a diamond the size of a gorilla's fist, seen in a faded advertisement from a magazine.

Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City finds the return of old friends, some of whom are now enemies, a flock of zombified egrets under the sway of the Witch Queen, a sunken high school full of skeleton students and the Scuttling Death, rival adventurer Sir Gideon Scapegrace and an epic climactic scene that will have you on the very edge of your seat as Mable prepares to make a huge sacrifice.

Not to fear, there will be another book in the Mabel Jones series! Without giving too much away, Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City ends with her staring out over the vast wasteland that was once New York City, picking her nose and wondering what happened to all the "hoomans."




The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones

A few of the many books by Ross Collins!






Source: Review Copy






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22. Giveaway: Nothando's Journey by Jill Manly (US Only)

Nothando's Journey by Jill Manly Release Date: February 2016   About the Book Nothando’s Journey is a journey in self-discovery told through the eyes of a young girl named Nothando. The book tells of the Reed Festival, an important celebration in Nothando’s country of Swaziland in Southern Africa. Nothando and her brother...

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23. Puddle Jumpers - a bookwrap










Let's go......our rain dance awaits!  What fun to skip and splash  together as the rain covers our face with tiny droplets of encouragement.  Put on your galoshes, grab your umbrella and slicker and play with me.  Lets let our imaginations dictate our play and let's boogie in the rain.....wanna? 





Unwrapping...









Authored by Anne Margaret Lewis

Illustrated by Nancy Cote

Ages 3-6



Unwrapping some very sweet illustrations...


















































Unwrapping my review...



Written in rhyme this celebration of a rainy day will have you looking for your rain gear ready to get wet and party!  

A little boy and his mother head out on a showery day and he receives specific instructions from mom: "No! No jumping puddles! / You must keep clean today!" Unable to control himself his imagination kicks in and propels him into a joyous romp that entails a huge puddle strategically positioned ... right under his nose.   The puddle whispers:  "Jump, Puddle Jumper, Jump."  Now who could resist that right?  Would you jump? Here I go.............

With a huge grin of ecstasy the little guy disregards his mother's advice and takes off on a wet n' wild adventure frolicking with a frog, a crocodile, a penguin, a toucan and more.  Action words pour forth : leap, dance, swing, scurry and jump, just to name a few that lend a perfect opportunity for the engaged little reader to get up and do the same.  The author has included a variety of creatures that swim, fly and waddle along.  The best part?  I loved the twist at the end when the little boy looks up and who does he do a rain dance with?  Surprise!!!  Mom can I have this dance?  

The illustrations are big, colourful and playful.  The expressions of the little boy are so endearing and friendly.  The whole vibe of the book is pure bliss and it gives the reader permission to go out on a rainy day and experience that "Singing-in-the-Rain", floating on cloud nine good feeling.   I highly recommend it. 





About the author...







Anne Margaret Lewis is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than ten children’s books. She enjoys working with fun fictional characters and carefully weaving important lessons into her stories. A graduate of the University of Michigan, she lives with her husband and four children in Traverse City, Michigan.






About the illustrator...

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24. Our Open Call #NY16SCBWI Conference Illustrator Journals!


For the last few conferences, we've been asking a handful of illustrators to share a page from their conference journals/sketchbooks of something that inspired them during the conference. (You can see some recent entries here.)

The idea is that it gives illustrators a spotlight, and shares a multi-faceted visual take on all the craft, inspiration, business, community and opportunity of an SCBWI conference!

This time around, we're changing it up, opening it up, to ANY and EVERY illustrator attending #NY16SCBWI who wants to take part.

Just add a link to your image that you've posted somewhere online here in comments. It's that easy!

Remember to SIGN your artwork
(including your website so you can be contacted if someone falls in love with your illustration.)

Ready? Set? Illustrate!


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25. Íslensku bókmenntaverðlaunanna

       As Vala Hafstad reports at Icelandic Review, Icelandic Literature Prizes Presented, as the country's major literary awards have been handed out, with Hundadagar, by Einar Már Guðmundsson (several of whose works have been translated into English) taking the fiction prize -- beating out, among other finalists, Hallgrímur Helgason and Jón Kalman Stefánsson. See also the Forlagið publicity page for the book.
       The prize is worth an impressive(-sounding) ISK 1 million -- though apparently that's now only the equivalent of ca. US$7,800.

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