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1. Transliterating Accents (If that's the right word)

Hey Glen me again. I'm struggling with the dialogue of one of my characters in a story. Most of the characters, and the setting, are English and thus

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2. Lauren Rille – Getting Technical About Emotion

The first half of always awesome Lauren Rille of Simon & Schuster's afternoon session went over Bigger Picture Stuff for getting your picture book sketches and layout in good, overall shape before you move on to final art. But here are a few Smaller Picture Stuff details from the second half of her talk:

Once global pacing, tone, palette, etc., are established in your story art, then you can go through and focus on all of those big picture things again, but page by page.

Simon's New Bed by Christian Trimmer and illustrated by Melissa van der Paardt has a fantastic example of how you can push POV/perspective in just one spread to completely change the entire emotional tone of the story:


Lauren shares the initial sketch of the scene where dog Simon comes into the room ready to use his new dog bed for the first time... And cat Miss Adora Belle...

The editorial team likes this sketch very much, but they ask Melissa to push the drawing even farther, to visually interrupt what had been a light and breezy, happy day of anticipation for Simon in these two earlier spreads:
And "stop the music" as Lauren says in the spread in question. And Melissa comes back with this:
Environment is the same, characters are the same, but look at all you can achieve with just a shift in camera angle!

And even with the POV change, the editorial team wants things to go one step further. Since this scene is the big shifting moment in the story's emotional arc so far, changing up the lighting and palette compared to the earlier spread will help underscore the change in the story's tone even more.
So good!

Thanks to Lauren and S&S for letting us use these images from her actual slides!

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3.

Susan B. Anthony and Fredrick Douglas are buried here in Highland Cemetery, Rochester, New York. Lovely Warren is the first women mayor of the city and left this next to Susan's grave site thanking her.

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4. Neal Shusterman: Making Meaning: The writer's struggle to find order in the chaos, and stories worth telling

Neal Shusterman is the New York Times best-selling author of the National Book Award-winning CHALLENGER DEEP, which was a Cooperative Children's Book center choice, a YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults pick, and on twelve state lists; THE SCHWA WAS HERE; and the Unwind dystology, among many other books.

The first story Neal ever remembers writing was in third grade, a Halloween story that he received a D- on.

When he was 14, JAWS came out. He wanted to be Steven Spielberg with Peter Benchley. Books that were influential to him as a kid: The Lord of the Rings, Lord of the Flies, The Shining. Neal wrote a book in high school that his teacher sent to a contest. He didn't win, but his teacher saw enough potential to send it in.

After graduating high school is when Neal really got into telling stories. As a camp counselor he was able to tell stories to quiet kids at night. First he started with movies he'd seen, but then he made up his own. When he went to college that year, he wrote the story that was popular with the kids that summer. He even sent it out to publishes (at 19). Every single publisher  rejected it. Neal says for good reason. It was awful.

The next summer he had another story the campers loved. Neal did the same thing when returning back to college. He wrote the story and this one got him an agent. Unfortunately, his agent couldn't sell it. The story was not ready.

Ten years later he looked at the story again and knew what he needed to do. The same story, but all new words. This one was published.




His next book also received many rejection. Neal put it away and came back to it many years later and was able to rework it. It too sold.



When writing you have to do what works for you.

Be a well-rounded writer. Don't just focus on your strengths, focus on your weakness. If there is something you know that you need to do better, focus on it.

There's no such thing as writers block. Writers block is writing. A lot of times writing is like banging your head against the wall. If you call it writers block, it gives you permission to walk away. You have to work your way through it. It's part of the process.

Don't get stuck on just one book.

Be sure to get feedback from people who will be honest with you, especially other writers.

"Your work is never good enough, no matter how much you've been published." What's great as a writer is that you're always growing. Let yourself grow. On your next book, always asks what you can do better.

Why do we write? It's all about the reader. Deep down we all have something to say.



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5. Harry Potter And The Cursed Child - No Longer Available On iBooks!

Okay, I didn't pre-order. I don't do that. Not for an ebook. Even when I was buying the print books I'd turn up on the day at Dymock's and there would be copies available.

But these days I buy mostly ebooks. You can simply log into your  account and buy. It downloads for you. You have a new book to enjoy! Why would you need to pre-order? It's electronic, right? They don't need to reprint, send them to the warehouses, send them to the shops.

And now, about an hour after this book became available to buy in ebook, I received the message,"This item is no longer availabłe."

Maybe it's my baby boomer ignorance of the technology others my age invented. How on earth can you run out of e-copies?

Or maybe I'm just a cynical person who thinks that this is a marketing thing. Allow so many downloads, then withdraw it. Keep them hungry. Then put it back, perhaps for a higher price. That'll learn 'em for not pre-ordering!

I'd very much like to read this book. I loved all the novels and I've heard good things about the play. I have the highest respect for the author, who deserves her high income.

But at this stage I may just add my name to the reserve queue at the local library and wait for my turn. Even if it takes months. I used to do that for new Terry Pratchett books - borrow, read, then buy in paperback. If it's good enough for Terry Pratchett, it's good enough for Ms Rowling.

Sorry, Joanne! And happy birthday.

Happy birthday also to my former student Dylan Cohen, now at university! And to young Natasha, my book clubber now in Year 12. It will be her eighteenth birthday? 

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6. Ingredients of a Successful Picture Book Panel: Susan Rich and John Parra

John Parra is asked what he thinks makes a good picture book:

"When I feel like I get to a magical sweet spot in the [sketch] work that I can translate into the [final art] work... when I can feel like something magical is happening... that's what I'm looking for personally and professionally, even before an audience sees it.

Not everything you do will work or be interpreted by an audience they way you wished it would, but when you do get positive responses, you know it's good."

Susan Rich is asked the same question, and she says she asks herself three questions (which she says are stolen from The Horn Book) when reading the picture book:

"The picture book presents a what if..."

A then what that follows well from that what if...

And then you can step back and say so what."

"We expect picture books to be read a gazillion times, it has to stand up to weary parents and antsy toddlers over and over..."

Susan also addresses what makes a commercially successful book to her:

"... I hope they are paving the way for me to publish more books by those creators, I'm looking for sales and critical acclaim, that it connects with some demographic in an important way and that we can build on that with more books from those creators.

Curricular or seasonal hooks can make your books easier to get BUT I would never recommend starting from there. You can think about that at the query or later at the marketing level."

John says to follow your own voice, and don't worry about commercial vs. personal work, make it personal. Make it unique to your voice, and that's what's going to define you in your career. Be the first-rate you and not a third-rate Jon Klassen.

Susan says the best picture book texts have room for an illustrator to bring it to life, but also are manuscripts meaty enough to provide pacing and carry through with a full, narrative story, which is why poetry is not always a natural fit for picture books even if it's a completely beautiful and lyrical poem.

Laurent asks them about books they loved as kids:

John mentions Virginia Lee Burton's LIFE STORY.

Susan Rich loved C D B! by William Steig (link only goes to the colorized version :( )

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7. Fantastic Beasts: Ezra Miller is a Bigger Fan than We Thought

Ezra Miller has put more thought into being sorted into a house than many fans have realized. “It means too much to me…I respect the sorting process…I know the Sorting [Ceremony] was written by J.K. Rowling, but I still can’t risk it. What if I get Slytherin? I couldn’t live with myself. I need to be in Gryffindor. If I didn’t get Gryffindor, I wouldn’t know who I was anymore.”

To Ezra, sorting has been such a pinnacle of his growth and career that he says, “I just can’t accept a sorting unless it’s by Helga Hufflepuff or Godric Gryffindor directly. I can’t take it unless it’s signed off by all four founders of Hogwarts. I mean, J.K. Rowling is all four founders of Hogwarts..She’s all of them. But I certainly can’t think about that too much…It’s too much, I’ve spent too much of my life caring about it.”

 

Being an avid Harry Potter fan has been taken to the next level by Ezra, who will be playing the character Credence in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He has been so involved in the character and everything related to JK Rowling’s world that he went into super fan mode when he was actually able to meet her. “Meeting her was unreal. I had so many questions. Talking to the person who created the world I’ve spent so much time in…it just didn’t feel real.”

This all inevitably leads to the fact that Ezra is amazingly dedicated to not only his role, but the entire magical world of Harry Potter. And that, is why we love him.

Read the interview in its entirety on Pottermore.

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8. LA Portfolio Showcase 2016!














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9. Nancy Castaldo: The Terrifying Path to Publication and How it Ends


In her mini keynote, Nancy Castaldo spoke a lot about presenting to children and sharing what inspires her stories: childhood experiences and present passions. 

She also spoke about the process of research for writing “Sniffer Dogs: How Dogs (and their Noses) Save the World," which also included a lot of talk about, um, dogs sniffing poop! Who’da thought!

When talking about her author journey, she spoke about the rocky rejection path that sometimes lead writers to feeling insecure. But take heart, she also reminded us that celebrated authors like Jane Yolen still receive rejection. “We are not alone, rejection happens to all of us,” she said.


Castaldo shared many inspiring quotes, including this one from Junot Diaz: “A writer is not a writer because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, or because everything she does is golden. A writer is a writer because, even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.”

So, how does the path to publication end? Well, you had to be there.

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10. Sharknado

I saw that today the Sharknado movies started running, and I watched some of the good parts of 1 and 2 . The ending of S2 (NYC) is fun--the Today show scenes, etc.. Sharknado 4 is on tomorrow night; S3 precedes it.. Planet of the Sharks is on at 1 am tonight, and I missed it the other day. (I wanted to see the beginning of the planet being inundated by water because of the melting glaciers.) So I may look at the beginning; I have to get up in the morning or I'd sleep in.

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11. Carole Boston Weatherford: The Power Of Premise

Carole Boston Weatherford giving her keynote

Carole Boston Weatherford is an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of over forty books, mostly for young people. Her books have won two NAACP Image Awards, two Caldecott Honors, and a Coretta Scott King Award. Her best-known titles include Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom; Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement; Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-ins; and Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America. Her latest release is You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen, a collaboration with her son, debut illustrator Jeffery Weatherford. She is an English professor at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. Visit https://cbweatherford.com.

Lin's introduction includes calling Carole "a national treasure… She's an historian, she's a story-teller."

Carole jumped right in to share that:

"The premise may be the most important 25 words you write."

Whether you call it an elevator pitch, log line, or T.V. guide pitch, the aim is the same - to distill your storyline to one easily understood sentence that conveys what the protagonist has to overcome. The premise is a promise your manuscript will deliver on.

Brief. Provokative. Contains character, conflict, and a hook that you and your readers can be passionate about, and reveals something about the larger world.

She shared premises of different children's books (picture books through YA, fiction and nonfiction) to see if we, the audience, can guess the book - showing us what good premises accomplish.

Carole then told us about the organic way she came up with the premises for some of her books, how those premises shifted and developed and coalesced. Books she spoke about included:

Freedom on the Menu



A Negro League Scrapbook



And

Moses



We heard poems, and stories, and as Carole's whole talk proved,

"There is power in knowing your premise."


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12. And Then Again... A Glitch?

I decided to try one more time, after having reserved the book at my local library. This time it worked. What do you think, readers? An electronic glitch? Too many people downloading The Cursed Child at once?

Maybe I'm too cynical. Then again, if I was, I wouldn't have tried again.

But I've just finished the first part, up to Intermission. I'd love to see how they got all the effects on stage, but a review in the Age says they did. Will the play ever be performed here? Well, it took The Mousetrap a long, long time to get out of London. I wasn't born when it started. I might have to be taken to the theatre in a wheelchair if this play takes as long!

So for now, the script only.

Back to my read!

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13. This week on Now and Then

So I thought I would share what I've posted on my new-ish blog, Now and Then. I hope you'll visit and leave a comment or two.

First, on Sunday I shared two posts. The first was looking at Country Pride songs, now and then. The two songs were "Song of the South" by Alabama and "Chicken Fried" by Zac Brown Band.  Preparing for that post, I learned there were FOUR different versions of Song of the South. The song started out its life--in 1980--as a slow, soulful ballad. It haunts, trust me. But by the time Alabama recorded it in 1988, it was a happy-clappy, peppy, rallying song to get a crowd going. I ask you to decide Who Sang It Best?!

 On Monday, I turned to gymnastics. I shared Mary Lou Retton's uneven bar performance from 1984 U.S. Nationals...and also Madison Kocian's Uneven Bars from just a few weeks ago. Uneven Bars is one of the events you can CLEARLY see just how different the sport has become.

On Wednesday, I went for fashion. I shared "teen party" fashion from 1959 and 1988.

On Thursday, I created a playlist for Western Barbie. She came out in 1981, I believe. Perhaps 1980. But around there. The assumption being, that "Western Barbie" was a *real* person listening to and loving music. I also shared Western Barbie's commercial.

On Friday, I shared a GUESS WHO game with Country Music is.... I shared thirty lines from thirty different country songs. Read together, I think, you get a great glimpse of what country music is all about.

And today, I shared a picture of a DOLL you won't really see being marketed today. The "selling feature" of this one from 1964, is I CRY REAL TEARS WHEN YOU SPANK ME. And the doll's bottom, reads the word HERE.

This week's posts, show a bit more variety than last week's posts.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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14. VIDEO: Dover's 75th Birthday

Dover recently celebrated their 75th birthday. And while the video is rather dry, it is a fascinating history. Click the image to watch on YouTube.

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15. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 201 - 7.29.16


Not at the beach... but down in Los Angles for the 45th annual SCBWI Summer Conference. Soaking up writing and illustrating inspiration and trying to paint a few polar bears while I'm at it!

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16. Twenty Years Later

Now Playing -  Blood Dirt Love Stop by The Heavy Life -   Today was my 20 year high school reunion. First off - I'm getting old. Second, I'd really never planned on attending at all anyway - high school was not remotely a pleasant experience or a highlight for me - I was the fat nerdy kid in the corner with a book and worse grades than he should have had that got teased quite a lot for

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17. The Picture Book Panel Begins!


Moderated by Laurent Linn (standing), the panelists, left to right, are: author/illustrator Jessixa Bagley, illustrator John Parra, editor Susan Rich, author/illustrator Barney Saltzberg, and author/illustrator Don Tate.

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18. Philosopher of the month: René Descartes

This August, the OUP Philosophy team honors René Descartes (1596–1650) as their Philosopher of the Month. Called “The Father of Modern Philosophy” by Hegel, Descartes led the seventeenth-century European intellectual revolution which laid down the philosophical foundations for the modern scientific age. His philosophical masterpiece, the Meditations on First Philosophy, appeared in Latin in 1641, and his Principles of Philosophy, a comprehensive statement of his philosophical and scientific theories, also in Latin, in 1644.

The post Philosopher of the month: René Descartes appeared first on OUPblog.

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19. Ingredients of a Successful Picture Book: Jessixa Bagley and Don Tate



Jessixa Bagley and Don Tate took part in our panel on picture books. Jessixa is the Golden Kite winner for picture book texts, and Don has won numerous awards for his critically acclaimed texts and illustrations.

What makes a picture book successful? 

There's a sense of completion to it, Jessixa said. It doesn't assume that the reader has knowledge about the subject. There's nothing left hanging. It's like an amuse bouche, a perfect bite. She's also drawn to books with a really deep meaning—a meaning that can be joyful too.

Don loves it when people can flip through his book and know the story by the pictures. He loves making emotional connection with readers. We connect with our readers through emotions. Page turns help guide readers from left to right through the story. "I like it when the illustrator has really done their job ... and you want to linger and live in that space for a while."

When it comes to developing stories for markets 
Don doesn't illustrate books differently on whether they're commercial or more for libraries. Don loves to illustrate books about little-known historical figures, which typically puts his books into the school/library market. This lets him do more school visits.

Jessixa also doesn't think about making books directly for markets, and thinks that books with emotional content can be really useful in school markets.

What collaborations help? 
Don is in several critique groups. They help him make his manuscripts stronger for agents.

Jessixa says you should treat your work like a baby egg. Nurture it until it gets a little more solid, and then you can share it. You won't be as hurt by the feedback. It won't be as bruising. It will be able to hatch. "We've all had the experience where you work on something really hard and you show it to someone and they don't respond to it, and you're gutted."

Advice: 
Don: Be sure to keep your stories child-focused. It's important to engage a child by beginning in childhood. Children like to see themselves represented on the first page of a book. He's not a fan of labeling books by gender. Sometimes, books appeal more to boy than to girls. But you don't need to labels. "Let the readers find them where they will."

Jessixa wasn't a girly girl. She wasn't a tomboy. She was just herself, so she gravitated toward identity-neutral things. There is universality to her work that she wants to extend. "I have a hard time with the fact that there are pink LEGOs and those are the girl LEGOs."

"Allowing the space to have things appeal to more people, whether it's gender or diversity, is going to make us all a lot stronger."




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20. बीमार का हाल अच्छा है

क्लिक कीजिए और सुनिए दो मिनट और 11 सैकिंड की ऑडियो   बीमार का हाल अच्छा है उनके देखे से जो आ जाती है उनके आने से जो आ जाती है चेहरे पर रौनक वो समझते हैं कि बीमार का हाल अच्छा है. अगर आप भी किसी बीमार से मिलने जा रहे हैं तो इसे जरुर सुनिए कुछ देर […]

The post बीमार का हाल अच्छा है appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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21. Ingredients of a Successful Picture Book: Barney Saltzberg

Barney Saltzberg is a writer/illustrator and musician. He has written and illustrated close to fifty books for children, including the best-selling Feel and Touch series, which has over one million copies in print.

What is a successful picture book (professionally and personally)?

Barney believes the rhythm of a page turn is so important. It's like music. Also the element of surprise. He wants to write a book that resonates every time.

Picture books are often placed in different categories whether more commercial sales or school and library. What considerations do you make when writing your books?

Barney says he doesn't think about that when he writes the books that I write and the marketing department and schools find where it fits.

On ways you get feedback on your work:

You have to be careful of who you share your work to and at which stage. While Barney did have a critiques earlier in his career, he now has authors/illustrators that he turns to for feedback when needed.

Barney tries not to go into the book store a lot. There are times he see another book and thinks, Wow, I wish I wrote that. As writers, we're trying to find our voice but if we compare ourselves with others, it's going to be a problem.


People like to classify picture books (boy books/girl books). How do you feel about that?

"We live in a world where Toys R Us has a girl aisle and a boy aisle and it drives me nuts."

Barney's next book is called WOULD YOU RATHER BE A PRINCESS OR A DRAGON? Barney's answer is that you can be both. Barney thinks parents will have some issues with this one.


Hey, all...can't wait for this one!

Favorite picture book childhood:



ARE YOU MY MOTHER? by P.D. Eastman

"I remember thinking it was hilarious when I was a kid."

Barney says there's a sense of humor and a sense of angst in the story, and the book works on so many levels. As a kid it appealed to his elevated sense of humor, that he as a kid got this inside joke. Having been lost as a child, there's a sense of wanting to find out what happens.

Final thought:

When getting feedback that Barney doesn't think works for him, he always takes the opportunity to sleep on it first before reacting and making a decision about it.

Don't wait for inspiration, make yourself go to work every day.


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22. Best Books of July 2016

July 2016: 10 books and scripts read

Non-Fiction Pick
Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

Fiction Picks
You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan
Tell Us Something True by Dana Reinhardt

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23. Certain Songs #607: The Hold Steady – “The Sweet Part of The City”

Hold steady - heaven is whenever Album: Heaven is Whenever
Year: 2010

The difficult fifth album. It’s tripped up more than one great band. You start your career with four absolute winners in a row, but while it’s only cool and logical to wanna mix things up, you get too far away from your strengths for your own good.

It happened to the Ramones with End of the Century. It happened to X on Ain’t Love Grand. It happened to Pavement with Terror Twilight. And it happened to The Hold Steady with Heaven is Whenever.

The culprit, I think, was the production, which was simultaneously too thin and too overburdened, like they couldn’t figure out how to fill the space that used to be taken by the departed Franz Nicolay’s keyboards.

I enjoyed nearly all of the songs, but I loved very few of them.

And the only absolute winner was the opening, “The Sweet Part of The City,” which fades in with gently keening slide guitars and wafts gently as Craig Finn reminisces about living in what a friend of my once called “the cool part of town.”

We were living it
We delivered it
We didn’t feel a thing
We were living in

The sweet part of the city (ooooooh)
The parts with the bars and restaurants (ooooh)
We used to meet underneath the marquees
We used to nod off in the matinees

It’s slow and gentle, and while there isn’t a crunchy guitar in sight, there are loads and loads of spooky noises and sleigh bells and descending guitar riffs. It probably shouldn’t work, but it’s absolutely lovely.

And I remember being so thrilled by this song when I first heard it: it wasn’t like any other Hold Steady song I’d ever heard, and yet it felt exactly like them. Of course, that was partly because of the words, which ended with a prototypical Craig Finn lyric.

It’s a long way from Cedar-Riverside to Cedars-Sinai
Three times St. Paul to Cheyenne
And it’s a long way from Sacramento, too
We were bored, so we started a band

We like to play for you
We like to pray for you
We like to pray for you
We like to play for you

It’s a near-perfect way to start an album, and it probably amplified my disappointment — which I should point out is relative, not absolute — with the rest of Heaven is Whenever, which despite things like the chorus of “The Weekenders,” the lyrics of “Heaven is Whenever” and the massive ending of “A Slight Discomfort,” never had a song that gelled quite as well.

“The Sweet Part of The City” performed live in 2010

Every Certain Song Ever
A filterable, searchable & sortable database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

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The post Certain Songs #607: The Hold Steady – “The Sweet Part of The City” appeared first on Booksquare.

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24. ‘Cursed Child’ Gala Performance and Book Release Round-Up

With today marking one of (if not the most) important days for Potter fans since the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, the world is abuzz with excitement surrounding the impending release of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts 1 & 2 script book, as well as the opening night gala performance of the play itself.

After appearances by Sadiq Khan (the Mayor of London), Andrew Scott (Sherlock), Dan Fogler (Fantastic Beasts), and others, J.K. Rowling herself arrived on the red carpet outside the Palace Theatre in London to celebrate the momentous occasion of the play’s opening performance–one she hasn’t experienced the likes of since the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.

CC_Red_Carpet_J.K._Rowling

Her first step onto the red carpet (in fabulous gold shoes with butterflies at the heels) is the immediate cause for celebration, as is made obvious by the cheers of the crowd.

Of the occasion, she says:

“‘What we’d really like most of all is to bring people into the theatre who’ve never been to the theatre before. I will be so proud to think that kids from my kind of background, who didn’t come from particularly theatre going families, might learn what theatre’s all about through this show. That would be incredible.”

After the excitement of the red carpet arrivals, Pottermore took us backstage with Sam Clemmett (Albus Potter) to see what went on behind the scenes of the opening performance of Cursed Child.

Check out his video diaries for more:

And a final video, where Sam prepares to meet fans at the stage door:

In celebration of the script book release, Pottermore wrote up a memory-filled look at Potter midnight book releases in the past, recalling nights filled with anticipation as fans lined up dressed as their favorite characters, wand in-hand as they counted down the minutes with their fellow Potter aficionados.

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To quote the article:

“Midnight launches belong to the Harry Potter fandom. They’re a beautiful, crazy, sentimental thing and they have been since 31 July 2000, when Goblet of Fire went on sale at 12am in the UK, and then the US.”

For those of us longing for the midnight book release parties of the past, Barnes & Noble stores around the U.S. will be hosting midnight parties, and GeekyCon guests with day passes will be lucky enough to attend a midnight release party with fellow fans in Florida, as well.

Whether you choose to go all-out with your fellow Potter fans at a midnight release party or you grab your copy of Cursed Child in the quiet hours of the morning of the book’s release, we all get our chance to celebrate the next chapter in the story of Harry, his family, and his friends. The magic lives on for all of us today.

Read more from all three stories on Pottermore.

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25. Jessica Bagley / Neal Porter: The Picture Book Process Through Collaboration


Jessica Bagley and Neal Porter’s breakout session rolled out in perfect sync. Bagley spoke about the process of creating her debut picture “Boats for Papa,” while Porter injected tidbits of his picture book-making philosophies along the way. 

Bagley spoke about her early years as a picture book author-illustrator, feeling utterly alone and isolated. She made a lot of mistakes along the way, she admitted, thinking she could figure this business out on her own. Finally, she joined the SCBWI where her career began to make a change. Since then, she has soared!


One morning while in bed, during the time when she wrote “Boats for Papa,” Bagley experienced an Oprah-like “Ah-ha” moment. She realized that her little picture book was actually the story of her own life—proving that real life shapes great stories.

Bagley went on to discuss her process of making picture books, from thumbnail sketches to final art. Neal Porter injected his thoughts along the way. An important one:


—Have a sense of who you’d like to have publish your books. Do your research. It is important to know Porters list, the kinds of books he publishes. Be sure you're agent knows his list, too, as he often receives manuscripts from agents that aren’t a good fit for his list. 

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