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The truth is, I’m kind of a fake introvert. On those ubiquitous personality tests I hover right on the line between the two extremes. Nonetheless, a big social event like a SCBWI national conference can be overwhelming, and all the networking can push a pseudo-introvert like me to the point of social burnout. I’ve collected some tips below that have helped me have the best possible experience at one of these events. (If you want to learn more about what a SCBWI conference is, click here.)
Promo postcards and portfolio page, ready to go.
The seeds of a great experience are sown long before you get to the conference.
Try to read at least one book by every speaker. It makes their keynote more illuminating.
To be a real overachiever, come up with a question or two you’d want to ask each faculty member. If you ever end up sharing a table with them or in a Q&A session, you’ll be ready to participate.
If you’ve been to prior conferences, go through the contacts you made back then and refresh your memory. For extra credit, check out their websites to see what new stuff they’ve been up to. There’s nothing worse than introducing yourself to someone only to hear “um, we met last year.” (Sorry about that, Rodolfo.)
If you’re attending sessions with assignments, make sure to do your homework ahead of time.
2. Stuff you should probably bring with you
In addition to your underwear and toothbrush and so forth, don’t forget the following:
Your portfolio/dummy books/whatever.
Postcards and/or business cards.
A sketchbook/notebook and something to write with.
A copy of any of your recently published books that you want to show to your friends.
Copies of other people’s books that you want to get signed.
Warm things (it’s ALWAYS cold in the hotel. Plus it’s New York in February.)
Earplugs for sleeping if you’re sharing a room with friends.
Sleep mask (ditto to above.)
3. Networking tips for introverts, or something
I probably shouldn’t be giving advice at all in this area.
Try to avoid looking at your feet while talking to people.
Resist the urge to apologize for your work.
Be genuinely interested in other people.
Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself.
Don’t be one of those annoying, pushy people who stalk the faculty members.
Sit in the front. You can see so much better. Actually, never mind. DON’T sit in the front, because I want to sit there.
4. Chilling Out
For an introvert, a big conference in New York City is remarkably taxing. While the whole point of the conference is to network and go to keynotes blah blah blah, it’s okay to take some time to get away from it all in order to survive.
Use the gym or pool if there is one to get away from people for a little while.
Have your own room if you can afford it. This helps a ton, but it’s like $400 a night so I get it.
Skip a keynote if you have to. Or two.
Leave the hotel and go somewhere else. Cafes are good.
Have you been a national conference or book fair? What tips would you suggest? Feel free to share in the comments!
You know when you see a book cover and it brings tears to your eyes because it's just so perfect? Well, that's how I felt when Limitless Publishing sent me the cover of Into the Fire. Deranged Doctor blew me away. I mean this is Cara. Right down to the freaky red streaks she has in her hair and her sapphire eyes. And that Phoenix emblem! Oh wait…you haven't seen it yet! ;) Okay, check out the GORGEOUS new cover!
In one month’s time, seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman will die and be reborn from her own ashes…
Her life of secrecy has never been easy. She’s watched her younger brother, Jeremy, burn and rise again in a coming-of-age process called rebirth. And just like her brother, when her time comes, she won’t remember anything from her first life other than she’s a Phoenix—a member of a small group of people descended from the mythical Phoenix bird.
The last thing she needs to worry about is falling for the new guy in town—Logan Schmidt.
Cara is drawn to Logan in a way she can’t explain, but she’s not exactly complaining. Everything is perfect…except it’s not. Once she’s reborn, she’ll forget Logan. And to make things worse, a Phoenix Hunter is on the loose, and Cara’s involvement with Logan is bringing out her Phoenix qualities—the very qualities that will draw the Hunter right to her.
Desperate times call for desperate measures…
Afraid of hurting Logan, Cara breaks it off for good. But her attraction to him runs deeper than a typical high school crush. She wants him—needs him. And if he proves willing to stay by her side, their love might destroy them both.
Can Cara hide from the Phoenix Hunters long enough to survive her rebirth? And if so, will it mean a new beginning with Logan—or the beginning of the end?
So, what do you think? I can't tell you how much time I've spent staring at this cover. The book is now up on Goodreads, so you can add it to your shelf here. Want the book to arrive on your Kindle on release day? Preorder it here NOW.
(AF, If we were married, we would totally FAIL this anniversary thing. How did we miss 10 years last year????Well, if you're having fun, you must not notice where the time goes. Or something like that. Happy Blogversary.)
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Best known for her role as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter, Emma graduated from Brown University and attended Worcester College, Oxford. She received a BAFTA Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year in 2014. In the same year she also became a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador advocating equality and promoting education for girls.
Emma Watson also lived in the Oxford area before being cast in the Harry Potter films.
The appointments were announced by the college’s principal, Alan Rusbridger, former editor-in-chief of The Guardian. Rusbridger writes,
We canvassed names from our own governing body, of people of distinction whom we admired and whom we felt could add to the intellectual and cultural life of LMH. A small sub-committee then whittled down the names to arrive at the list we are announcing today – which spans science, medicine, the performing arts, literature, feminism, politics, law and policing.
Of the eleven people honored, Rusbridger claims that only one is a serious academic. All are leaders in their respective fields, including artist Cornelia Parker, musician Neil Tennant (of the Pet Shop Boys), and film director Beeban Kidron.
Lady Margaret Hall hopes that Emma Watson and the other fellows will feel free to drop by the college, join the students and professors for meals in the dining hall, and participate in at least one structured event/appearance/lecture at the college over the course of the three years of the fellowship. The point is for both the students and the visiting fellows to grow in their knowledge and gain new perspectives.
Please join us in congratulating Emma Watson on this most recent honor!
The REFORMA Children In Crisis (CIC) Project was created by librarians who witnessed an inhumanity and felt compelled to act. There are several articles out there that introduce the great work of this project. However, for this piece, I wanted to bring in a perspective that captured the spirit of the movement — the very personal connection the members have to the work they do. Ricardo Ramirez is a Senior Library Assistant for Youth and Spanish Services at Butte County Library in Chico, California. Below is a personal narrative about his experience.
I started working on the REFORMA CIC in the summer of 2014. It was during my second semester as a MLIS student at SJSU, and in the very early stages of being a parent, that the contemporary plight of refugees from Central and Latin America came to the forefront of my attention. Because at the time I did not have a television, it was from following social justice non-profits on Facebook and being networked on social media with activists and educators, that I began to learn the issues affecting these refugees, and moreover, the fact that so many of them were unaccompanied children from some of world’s most dangerous regions. The keyword here, is children, very much like my own child, who would like to climb up on my lap while I did my graduate research. I was not surprised to learn that this type of child migration existed, but it was shocking none the less, and especially painful to see the conditions in which they were detained by immigration agencies. At the time I had just finished a pair of papers, Counter-Storytelling in Young Adult Literature and Braided Histories: Beyond Collected Biographies in Children’s Literature, both of which explored how “non-traditional” narratives can provide young people in hostile environments valuable resources and emotional support. A flicker of hope and inspiration occurred: I am a position to offer some type of support…
Before I had submerged myself in statistics of the crisis, before I understood the demographics of the refugee children, there were a handful of photographs that moved me. It is important for me to mention this because I was in the early stages of raising my own child and also deeply involved in the early learning programming at my library, and from that particular vantage point at that time in my life I was constantly motivated to explore how young minds could be shaped by positive learning environments and play. The photographs that I saw of the refugee children were in stark contrast to what I saw on a daily basis, and what my ideals were for creating spaces where children and families can thrive and explore. Far from learning environments, most child refugees from Central America are detained in spaces that are dark and heartbreaking. I held my own child as I encountered these images, and I knew that the one thing I could do for them was to extend my hand and my heart. I imagined a consortium of librarians and educators providing school, storytimes, and performance. I had witnessed on a daily basis how a genuine smile, a song, a story could brighten the spirit of child who was attending their first storytime, or listening to their parent hum a melody they had never heard before. As I daydreamed about all of this, in Austin, San Diego, Miami, Fresno, and in other parts of the country, librarians, the kind who have spent their entire library careers as advocates for the underserved and unrecognized, gathered their energy and came together to form what would become the REFORMA Children in Crisis Task Force. Somehow, because I raised my hand when they called for members, I was pulled in by their gravitational force, and have been along for the ride ever since.
Addressing the literacy and information needs of these children is a part of a complex issue. Children and teens who are fleeing from violent regions face extreme hardships that can cause a lifetime of trauma. Books and outreach are an important step. Librarians like Ady Huertas and David Lopez, two all-star members of the CIC Task Force, have provided outreach to detention centers and refugee shelters by providing books and programming, as well as giving tours of their libraries, library card sign ups, and summer reading programming. In both cases, they were supported by their local REFORMA chapters and members into action. Ady Huertas’ proximity to the US-Mexican Border Region and her connections with Tijuana librarians like Rosa Maria Gonzalez, has enabled our outreach to expand not only to refugee children, but also children and families who are living in extreme geographic and socio-economic isolation.
It is eye opening work, that can be exhausting. But what it has done for me is to be constantly vigilant for causes of the underrepresented and populations of young people that have experiences that we may be unprepared to deal with. Challenges exist. At the core of the CIC is a continual fundraising and advocacy effort for a cause that is perpetual and variable from region to region. Add to this, working against a strong re-emergence of hostility towards migrants and refugees, librarians who serve youth and families have a strong responsibility to be inclusive to new communities and be prepared to provide resources that are focused on their evolving needs. Yet librarians and educators must also be able to create programs for all in their service areas that reinforce community building and positivity towards new immigrants. This can be as simple as taking the time after a storytime to personally welcome a new family with warmth and gratitude because they are spending their family time with you.
The most important thing about all of this, for us as information professionals and resource providers to children and families, is that refugee children are living their lives in a state of uncertainty. They don’t know if they will ever find a safe refuge, here or anywhere else. All take great risks to migrate towards safety despite increased violence and persecution on their route to the United States. Refugee children from Central America, much like their counterparts from distraught regions in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, have no other option but to keep moving away from violence. There is no home to return to. In the past few years many of us have been inspired by public libraries that open their doors to act as a refuge for communities in pain. At the same time, we are heartbroken by imagery of children in detention and being passed from nearly capsized fishing boat into the hands of rescue. What is at the heart of the CIC mission is that some relief is possible in this, be it through the gift of a book that a child can take with them on their journey, or in the outreach that we can offer as they prepare to resettle into a new life that has more hope for them.
In 2011, The Brown Bookshelf celebrated Renée Watson as an up-and-coming voice in the world of children’s literature, with two titles debuting the previous year: A Place Where Hurricanes Happen, a picture book illustrated by Shadra Strickland and published by Random House; and What Momma Left Me, a middle grade novel published by Bloomsbury. Since that time, she has become a celebrated author who has gone on to produce other stellar titles, including the picture book Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills(illustrated by Christian Robinson, Random House 2012) and her first YA novel – which happens to be today’s featured title –This Side of Home(Bloomsbury 2015).
In This Side of Home, high school seniors Maya and her twin sister Nikki, find themselves in the unusual predicament of being at odds over the gentrification of their neighborhood. Nikki is excited about the new changes—pretty shops and boutiques replacing abandoned storefronts—while Maya is disturbed by all the “upgrades” that seem to be only for the benefit of the new people coming in, as opposed to the residents who have been there all along. For the first time, the sisters must, as the publisher puts it, “confront their dissenting feelings on the importance of their ethnic and cultural identities and, in the process, learn to separate themselves from the long shadow of their identity as twins.” Complicating matters even more, Maya finds herself becoming attracted to the new white boy who has moved in across the street, which understandably creates a sense of internal conflict.
Watson’s timely and conversation-provoking young adult novel has been well received, garnering starred reviews by Booklist and The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (BCCB). Please join us in celebrating This Side of Home on Day 6 of 28 Days later!
Read what Renée Watson has to say about This Side of Home:
To be honest I think comics have died for me. Its not comic reading fans now its "I want to be trendy" and screw fans for every penny possible while insulting them.
I'm not just talking about comic publishers but the gutter slime distributors and even the comic shop owners who only want Marvel and DC shit on their shelves and fuck anything that isn't making them a lot of money.
The festered turds who trade on Amazon and Ebay and over inflate already over inflated prices on "rare"/"Vintage"/ "Must have" issues that are anything but. These comics were printed in huge numbers. But these people get away with it because "chumps pay cash".
Books don't achieve the huge bids a dealer wants then there's an excuse why that book hasn't been on sale or listed even though it has been listed and you've been in contact with the seller. Or their little helpers who move in quick before the bidding stops and, uh, "out bid" you...a week later the same book is listed again.
Today is Take Your Child to the Library Day! Get out those library cards at get thy self and children (don’t have any, borrow one or more from a mom needing a break), and get to the library. Check out the new books, the old books, storyhour, and everything else your local library offers. Today’s …
Author and illustrator Kelly Light shows Storymakers host Rocco Staino how to draw the fierce and fantastic cat from Louise Loves Art.
Ready! Set! Draw! is the drawing tutorial show for anyone who aspires to draw like their favorite kid lit illustrators. In each episode a bestselling and/or award-winning artist draws a character from their book. Budding artists will enjoy creating their very own versions of familiar and new characters.
Did you, a child, or student draw their own cat using this video? Please share your images with us via Facebook or Twitter!
Louise Loves Art – Meet Louise. Louise loves art more than anything. It’s her imagination on the outside. She is determined to create a masterpiece—her pièce de résistance! Louise also loves Art, her little brother. This is their story. Louise Loves Art is a celebration of the brilliant artist who resides in all of us.
ABOUT KELLY LIGHT
Author and illustrator Kelly Light grew up on the New Jersey shore surrounded by giant pink dinosaurs, cotton candy colors, and Skee-Ball sounds. She was schooled on Saturday-morning cartoons and Sunday funny pages. She picked up a pencil, started drawing, and never stopped. Kelly has illustrated Elvis and the Underdogs and Elvis and the Underdogs: Secrets, Secret Service, and Room Service by Jenny Lee, and The Quirks series by Erin Soderberg.
Kelly is an International Ambassador of Creativity for The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity! The Center is a non-profit founded by Chuck Jones, the animator, artist and director of so many of the cartoons that we think of when we just think the word “cartoon”. In his lifetime, Chuck enjoyed talking to and encouraging younger artists. The center continues in this spirit to ignite creative thinking through free art classes for kids, creativity workshops, presentations and talks for kids and adults meant to inspire and enlighten. The center also has outreach programs to local schools who have lost their art funding and visits senior citizen centers to provide drawing and creativity exercises for greater mental and emotional health.
I’ve been trying some new stuff for the last month or so here at the studio and I think it’s about time to let the cat out of the bag. For many years I worked traditionally, mostly with watercolor and airbrush. I don’t really miss the airbrush, that thing was a crazy amount of work and to be honest Photoshop just does a better job. The watercolor though, that’s a whole different story. I love the spontaneity of working in watercolor but trying to capture that look and feel digitally has been a challenge. I could never really get the subtle variations I wanted so it inevitably wound up on the back burner saved for another time. I supposed I could have just dragged out my old set of Winsor Newtons and scanned them but I really wanted to see if I could make this happen digitally. Here’s a little peak at what I’ve been up to. I’m pretty happy with the direction things are headed. Hopefully, as I get used to the brushes and how to mimic the translucency that make watercolor so special, things will only get better.
Because this was a book written for entertainment and pleasure I did not want it cluttered with footnotes.
I reckoned that as long as readers were being carried along by the story, they did not want to be distracted by an annotator plucking at their sleeves, and explaining the countless Buddhist, Daoist and other references.
Those who do want the scholarly paraphernalia can always turn to Anthony C. Yu's version.
(As you know, I can never get enough scholarly paraphernalia, so, yeah, I do lean towards the Yu-translation.)
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ऐसा भी होता है कई बार कुछ ऐसी बात हो जाती है जो भुलाए नही भुलती. हमेशा हमारे दिमाग में ताजा रहती है. बहुत समय बाद एक व्यक्ति से मिलना हुआ. पहले तो पहचान नही पाई पर जब याद आया तो हम दस मिनट तक हंसते ही रहे… !!! हंसते ही रहे !!! असल में […]
Jamie S. Rich, Senior Editor at Vertigo is resurrecting his interview series Back to the Gutters from it’s grave. New episodes start Wednesday February 17th and have a slew of guests from Vertigo projects and beyond including Benjamin Dewey (I Was the Cat), Sierra Hahn (BOOM! Studios Editor), Robbi Rodriguez (Spider-Gwen), Jeff Parker (Aquaman), Ibrahim Moustafa […]
रक्तदान और जागरुकता Blood Donation की जागरुकता लोगो में बढ रही है और स्वैच्छिक रक्तदान के प्रति लोगो को जागरुक कर रहे हैं. सुरत में पिछले दिनों सुरत रक्तदान केद्र और रिसर्च सैटर द्वारा स्वैच्छिक रक्तदान कैम्प आयोजको की वर्कशाप का आयोजन किया गया तमे केम छो सूरत शहर के बारे में … डायमंड और […]
The Secret to Letting Go
by Katherine Fleet
Release Date: February 1, 2016
About the Book
One summer can change everything...
Haunted with guilt after his girlfriend’s death, Daniel Hudson has no interest in committing to anyone. At the end of the summer, he’ll be leaving Florida for a new...
I was very much looking forward to this, and it has a lot of elements/aspects that appeal to me, but I found it fell surprisingly flat.
Wray seems to have taken his time writing it (his last novel came out in 2009) and I wonder if he just spent too much time on it -- not so much in polishing it (though the writing certainly feels very worked-over) but in playing with it, resulting in (among very much else) things like that piece ascribed to Joan Didion.
(I am still desperately hoping that's some kind of inside joke between Wray and Didion, but I'm thinking ... probably not so much.
(Among those he mentions in the Acknowledgements are Ursula LeGuin and Murakami Haruki -- but not Didion.))
by Veronica Rossi
Release Date: 2/16/16
About the Book
Riders. A new fantasy adventure from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Veronica Rossi.For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it...
On February 2, more than 3,000 Donald Trump supporters crammed into an athletic club in Milford, New Hampshire to hear the Republican candidate speak. The place was buzzing with excitement. Before Trump came on, a group of people went onto the stage and delivered speeches. This included some of Trump’s campaign managers and former United States Senator Scott Brown.
This rally was important because it was right after the Iowa Caucus, in which Trump finished second. Trump said that he was pleased with the final standing in Iowa, although he has complained elsewhere that the process was unfair.
At the rally, Trump promised to make “big, big cuts in taxes to the middle class.” When asked about his position on gun control, he said, “We’re going to protect ourselves by protecting the Second Amendment.” The Second Amendment says that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”
ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION One main topic was illegal immigration. Trump said that he did not oppose immigration. Rather, he just wants immigrants to settle in the U.S. legally.
One Trump supporter with whom I spoke said, “I like his immigration policy. He wants to secure the borders and make people come in the way they used to. You come in, get a job, you support yourself, and you contribute to this country.”
Trump stood by his decision to not participate in the final Republican debate before the Iowa Caucus. That decision was said to have contributed to his defeat to Ted Cruz. Trump said that he had been proud to hold a fundraising event for veterans at the same time as the debate, raising 6 million dollars.
“I like how he is trying to support the country,” said Pearse Wojczak, a young Trump fan from Connecticut, “and how he is trying to protect us.”
Trump ended the rally with a look toward the New Hampshire Primary, saying, “I expect to win.”
It's interesting in a way that Art Trails in Bristol -where local artists from different areas open up their houses to exhibit their art- and we have them in South and North Bristol as well as areas such as St. Werburgh's- tend to ignore comic artists and their work.
I've mentioned before that there seems to be an almost entrenched "look down their noses" attitude amongst what might be called the "arty set" toward comic artists. I've encountered this on more than a few occasions myself!
Comics are popular. Whereas mum and dad are a little worried about dragging the kids along to look at art in someone's home or leave the kids somewhere while they do the trail, comics are a family thing.
Perhaps art trail organisers who are finding it difficult to draw enough people to their events ought to consider a central comic based event? Or not.
But I thought I'd try to see how many comic creators there are in Bristol. I know the main ones but I think there are more than about four -even Small Press creators. So, if you are a comic artist living in Bristol leave a "Hello" and a link to your blog or whatever. Let's see how many are out there.
As a footnote I'm betting with myself that no one bothers!