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1. No Entry Fee: The Payton James Freeman Essay Prize

The Payton James Freeman Essay Prize – “The Payton Prize”

$500, Publication, and a public reading and talk at Drake University

The Freeman Family and the Drake University Department of English invite you to submit outstanding unpublished non-fiction essays of up to 3500 words on the subject [[AFTER THE UNHAPPY ENDING]].

Students and faculty of Drake University will read all entries and choose the finalists. The winner will be selected by final judge Cheryl Strayed.

The winner will be awarded $500, published in The Rumpus, and brought to Drake University in February 2015 to read from the winning essay and speak at a public event. There is no fee.

Payton James Freeman was a bright, loving child whose ability to move — even to smile — was stolen by a disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Diagnosed as an infant, Payton was expected to live perhaps six months. Instead he fought for five and a half years as his parents worked with doctors and scientists, fundraising in hopes of a cure. SMA ultimately took his life, but his story lives on in all those who continue striving against uncountable odds, and who struggle to put life’s most complex and trying events into words.

SMA is the #1 genetic killer of children under age two. The Freeman Family would like you to learn about SMA and remember Payton as you submit your essays and as we read and celebrate the winning essay.

HOW TO SUBMIT
Submit one essay of up to 3500 words via Submittable. Deadline September 30, 2014. Winner and finalists will be announced in December of 2014.

Authors must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and must agree to attend and participate in the reading at Drake University in February 2015 to receive the award. Current students and employees of Drake University, The Rumpus, and/or Cheryl Strayed are ineligible for the award.


Filed under: opportunity, Places to sumit, Writer's Prompt Tagged: $500 prize and publication, After the Happy Ending, Drake University, Non-fiction, Submit your essays, The Payton Prize

2 Comments on No Entry Fee: The Payton James Freeman Essay Prize, last added: 8/18/2014
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2. Free Fall Friday

CALL FOR ILLUSTRATIONS: Still need illustrations for the month of April/May. Would love to show off your illustrations during one of my daily posts. So please submit your illustrations: To kathy (dot) temean (at) gmail (dot) com. Illustrations must be at least 500 pixels wide and include a blurb about you that I can use. 

ANYONE HAVE AN EASTER ILLUSTRATION? Would love to use it for Easter.

GUEST CRITIQUER’S for APRIL 2014 – Jenna Pocius and Samantha Bremekamp

Jenna PociusJENNA POCIUS, Assistant Editor, Bloomsbury

Jenna Pocius is an Assistant Editor at Bloomsbury who works on everything from picture books to YA. Before joining Bloomsbury, she worked for Abrams BFYR. She has edited numerous books including Dragon’s Extraordinary Egg by Debi Gliori, A Soldier’s Secret by Marissa Moss, and the upcoming Mad Scientist Academy series by Matthew McElligott. She’s most interested in YA with strong voice and emotional depth, and she is particularly interested in contemporary realistic fiction, magic realism, and well-crafted fantasy and science fiction with a contemporary voice. She’s interested in middle grade that is quirky and character-driven, particularly girl-centered stories. And she loves picture books that are poignant and sweet or humorously clever. She is also a sucker for dog stories.

samanthafor litagency bioSamantha Bremekamp is starting out as an agent at Corvisiero Literary Agency. She started her career in publishing in 2008, and quickly realized that she preferred working directly with authors from the other side of the industry. She runs critique groups and writing groups for fun, as she also loves to write and help others to fulfill their writing ambitions. She is fully aware of how hard of an industry it really is in this day and age.

Her favorite writing is children’s, middle grade, young adult, and new adult. There is something so pure about each building block of life these book groups represent. Although there may be a difference between a three year old and a 33 year old, maybe, Samantha finds that all of life’s challenges in these age groups really show the potential for amazing growth in a character.

Samantha’s background is in English literature, communications, and Spanish. She really thinks that if a writer is confident and believes in their work, their work will show that without having to showboat to prove it via a pitch.

Follow Samantha on Twitter at @LiterallySmash

Samantha loves reading Children’s, MG, YA, and NA fiction. She is open to any genre within those age groups, but prefers speculative fiction, mystery, and quirky romance.

Below is the April picture prompt for anyone who would like to use it. 

albaas-chapter1-b

The above illustration was done by Elizabeth Alba. She works in watercolor and gouche. Elizabeth was featured on Illustrator Saturday in March. Here is the link: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/illustrator-saturday-elisabeth-alba/

Here are the submission guidelines for submitting a First Page in April: Please “April First Page Critique” or “April First Page Picture Prompt Critique” in the subject line. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it is as picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top.

Please attach your first page submission using one inch margins and 12 point font – double spaced, no more than 23 lines to an e-mail and send it to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail and then also attach it in a Word document to the email.

DEADLINE: April 24th.

RESULTS: May 2nd.

Use inch margins – double space your text – 12 pt. New Times Roman font – no more than 23 lines – paste into body of the email

You can only send in one first page each month. It can be the same first page each month or a different one, but if you sent it to me last month and it didn’t get chosen, you need to send it again using the April’s directions. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the same submission. It can be a first page from a work in process or you can use the picture prompt above.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: opportunity, submissions, Writer's Prompt Tagged: Bloomsbury Children's Books, Corvisiero Literary Agency, Elizabeth Alba, First Page Critique, Free Fall Friday, Jenna Pocius, Samantha Bremekamp

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3. Free Fall Friday – Zack Clark Guest Critiquer

zack clarkI am so happy to let you know that Zack Clark, Assistant Editor at Scholastic will be September’s Guest Critiquer. He edits mostly middle-grade adventure and fantasy, but also likes fast-paced, plot-driven YA novels.

Zack Clark is an Assistant Editor at Scholastic. He’s an adventure addict, having cut his editorial teeth on the GUARDIANS OF GA’HOOLE series by Kathryn Lasky. He’s also edited the ANIMORPHS relaunch, KILLER SPECIES by Michael P. Spradlin, INFESTATION by Timothy J. Bradley, and was the lead editor for the recently launched SPIRIT ANIMALS multiplatform series, editing the books and writing and editing the online game. He’s had the incredible privilege of working with such authors as Brandon Mull, Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant, Maggie Stiefvater, Garth Nix and Sean Williams, Shannon Hale, and Ben Mikaelsen. His tastes tend toward genre fiction—fantasy, sci-fi, and adventure are all good. Plot-driven narratives with clear hooks will draw him into a world, and rich, conflicted characters will keep him there.

CALL FOR ILLUSTRATIONS: Please remember to send in your illustrations for August. It is a great way to get seen and keep your name out there to get noticed. Send them to Kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail.com with August Illustrations in the subject area. Please submit .jpgs at least 500 pixels wide.

randy_gallegos_emperor_of_the_merfolk

For writers who like having a picture prompt may use the above illustration by Randy Gallegoes for inspiration. Randy was featured on illustrator Saturday August 3rd. http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/illustrator-saturday-randy-gallegos/

WRITERS Sending in a First Page: Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “September First Page Critique” or “September First Page Picture Prompt Critique” in the subject line. Make sure you have your name on the submission, a title, and indicate the genre.

See Results Next Friday.

The four chosen and their critiques will be posted on September 27th.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Editor & Agent Info, opportunity, Places to sumit, Writer's Prompt Tagged: Assistant Editor, First Page Critique, Free Fall Friday, Scholastic, Zack Clark

1 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Zack Clark Guest Critiquer, last added: 9/20/2013
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4. Free Fall Friday – Zack Clark Guest Critiquer

zack clarkI am so happy to let you know that Zack Clark, Assistant Editor at Scholastic will be September’s Guest Critiquer. He edits mostly middle-grade adventure and fantasy, but also likes fast-paced, plot-driven YA novels.

Zack Clark is an Assistant Editor at Scholastic. He’s an adventure addict, having cut his editorial teeth on the GUARDIANS OF GA’HOOLE series by Kathryn Lasky. He’s also edited the ANIMORPHS relaunch, KILLER SPECIES by Michael P. Spradlin, INFESTATION by Timothy J. Bradley, and was the lead editor for the recently launched SPIRIT ANIMALS multiplatform series, editing the books and writing and editing the online game. He’s had the incredible privilege of working with such authors as Brandon Mull, Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant, Maggie Stiefvater, Garth Nix and Sean Williams, Shannon Hale, and Ben Mikaelsen. His tastes tend toward genre fiction—fantasy, sci-fi, and adventure are all good. Plot-driven narratives with clear hooks will draw him into a world, and rich, conflicted characters will keep him there.

CALL FOR ILLUSTRATIONS: Please remember to send in your illustrations for August. It is a great way to get seen and keep your name out there to get noticed. Send them to Kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail.com with August Illustrations in the subject area. Please submit .jpgs at least 500 pixels wide.

randy_gallegos_emperor_of_the_merfolk

For writers who like having a picture prompt may use the above illustration by Randy Gallegoes for inspiration. Randy was featured on illustrator Saturday August 3rd. http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/illustrator-saturday-randy-gallegos/

WRITERS Sending in a First Page: Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “September First Page Critique” or “September First Page Picture Prompt Critique” in the subject line. Make sure you have your name on the submission, a title, and indicate the genre.

See Results Next Friday.

The four chosen and their critiques will be posted on September 27th.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Editor & Agent Info, opportunity, Places to sumit, Writer's Prompt Tagged: Assistant Editor, First Page Critique, Free Fall Friday, Scholastic, Zack Clark

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5. Free Fall Friday – March First Pages and Call for Illustrations

BELOW IS THE MARCH FIRST PAGE PICTURE PROMPT for anyone who would like a little inspiration to spark their first page.

markgatortrain

Always thought there was a story with this picture illustrated by Mark Meyers. Mark spends his days drawing and painting pictures filled with kids, escaping circus monkeys, and everything in between. He was featured on Illustrator Saturday. Here is the link: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/illustrator-saturday-mark-meyers/

I was not able to confirm our guest critiquer for March in time for this post.

Here are the submission guidelines for Sending in a First Page.
To send in a First Page: Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail.

Put “February First Page Critique” or “March First Page Picture Prompt Critique” in the subject line. Make sure you have your name on the submission, a title, and indicate the genre.

You can only send in one first page each month. It can be the same first page each month or a different one, but if you sent it to me last month and it didn’t get chosen, you need to send it again using the March directions. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the same submission. It can be a first page from a work in process or you can use the picture prompt above.

Please include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it is as picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top.

CALL FOR ILLUSTRATIONS: Thank you to everyone would sent in an illustration last month. I still have a few in the folder that I plan to use, just looking for the right post, but I am running low, so please look to see if you have anything that you would like me to show off. I am looking for illustrations that would go well with the month or any illustration that might go with a writing or illustrating post. Same as always: At least 500 pixels wide, sent to kathy (dot) temean (at) gmail (dot) com, and include a blurb about you. Thanks!

Talk Tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, inspiration, opportunity, Places to sumit, submissions, Tips, Writer's Prompt Tagged: March First Page Critique, Mark Meyers, Picture writing prompt

0 Comments on Free Fall Friday – March First Pages and Call for Illustrations as of 3/7/2014 2:04:00 AM
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6. Free Fall Friday – April

The New Jersey SCBWI June Conference opened for registration yesterday and it is already one third full, so don’t wait too long to register.  Here is the link: https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1427434

CALL FOR ILLUSTRATIONS: Still need illustrations for the month of April. Would love to show off your illustrations during one of my daily posts. So please submit your illustrations: To kathy (dot) temean (at) gmail (dot) com. Illustrations must be at least 500 pixels wide and include a blurb about you that I can use. Thanks!

Below is the April picture prompt for anyone who would like to use it. Guest Critiquer will be announced next week.

albaas-chapter1-b

The above illustration was done by Elizabeth Alba. She works in watercolor and gouche. Elizabeth was featured on Illustrator Saturday in March. Here is the link: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/illustrator-saturday-elisabeth-alba/

Here are the submission guidelines for submitting a First Page in April: Please “April First Page Critique” or “April First Page Picture Prompt Critique” in the subject line. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it is as picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top.

Please attach your first page submission using one inch margins and 12 point font – double spaced, no more than 23 lines to an e-mail and send it to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail and then also attach it in a Word document to the email.

DEADLINE: April 24th.

RESULTS: May 2nd.

Use inch margins – double space your text – 12 pt. New Times Roman font – no more than 23 lines – paste into body of the email

You can only send in one first page each month. It can be the same first page each month or a different one, but if you sent it to me last month and it didn’t get chosen, you need to send it again using the April’s directions. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the same submission. It can be a first page from a work in process or you can use the picture prompt above.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Competition, inspiration, opportunity, Places to sumit, Writer's Prompt Tagged: 2014 NJSCBWI Conference, April First Page Critique, Elizabeth Alba, Free Fall Friday

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7. Free Fall Friday – Kate Sullivan

katesullivanIMG_0952smallerIf you are writing a book, you have the chance for editor Kate Sullivan from Little, Brown, & Company to read and critique your first page.

Kate Sullivan is an editor for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, working primarily on commercial and literary Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction. She is the editor of Ash by Malinda Lo, an ALA William C Morris YA Debut Award finalist and Lambda Award for YA nominee. Kate also works with international bestselling authors Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Cornelia Funke, and Darren Shan. Upcoming, she has a YA steampunk series by New York Times bestselling adult author Gail Carriger, and a MG fantasy epic cowritten by New York Times bestselling authors Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong.

She is primarily looking for novels that make her laugh aloud on a crowded subway, are smart without being boring, feature monsters, or have strong, defiant characters (who may or may not have a penchant for monstrous behavior). Previous to working at LBYR, Kate worked at Walker Books for Young Readers, where she worked on picture books, MG, and YA.

For the writers who liked the First Page Picture Prompt, you can use the illustration below by Versper Stamper to inspire a new first page. www.vespersongs.com/ .  Everyone else is free to send in any first page they have written.

vesperfinding-final

1. If you are a published author, you have a chance to be the Featured Author of the Month – be interview and get your book or book seen.

2. Illustrator’s have a chance to be featured on Illustrator Saturday.

3. Illustrators who have already been featured on Illustrator Saturday, Illustrators who want t be considered for Illustrator Saturday, or Illustrators just starting out and do not have enough artwork to be featured, can still get their artwork or new illustrations seen by professionals in the industry by participating.

In order to narrow the submissions down, I have come up with the following:

1. If you choose to follow me or are already following me, you will get your name put into the basket.

2. If you put a link up on your blog or website, you will get your name put in the basket. If you have both, you can choose to put a link on both and get your name in twice.

3. Do two Tweets about a post on my blog and get your name in the basket. This can be repeated three additional times for a total of four times in the basket. Tweets must be done on separate dates.

4. Post something on Facebook and get your name in the basket.

5. Do it all and you will have your name in the basket eight times. On November 24th I will put all the names in the basket and I will pull out ten names and read the first pages that go with the name. Out of those ten, I will pick 4 to send to our quest critiquer for November.

Here is what you need to do:

WRITERS: Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “December First Page Critique” or “December First Page Picture Prompt Critique” in the subject line. Make sure you have your name on the submission, a title, and indicate the genre. Also let me know which steps you took, so I will know how many times to put your name in the basket. If you end up doing more things to get additional entries, then e-mail me by December 19th (This is a few days earlier, because of the holidays) with the updated number you have completed. Please let me know what you have done and when, so I can check it out.

Published Children’s Book Writers: You can also participate by doing one or more of the five above steps to get your name in the “Book Feature” hat. If your name is drawn, I will do a post featuring your book, an interview, bio, and pictures of the cover and interior art (if that applies). Author Susan Hood was the winner for October. Ann Rinaldi was the winner in November.

Please put “December Children’s Book Promo” in the subject area and let me know the steps you took, so I can put the correct amount of slips in the basket. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Deadline November 24th.

ILLUSTRATORS: If you are an illustrator, you can participate and choose to get featured on Illustrator Saturday or get your new book featured by following the five steps for the writers. Please put “December Illustrator Feature” in the subject area. I will need to know what steps you completed to get into the basket and I will need a few illustrations or if you want to promote your book, then send the name and cover along. Also include a promotional blurb. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com.

Call for illustrations for December (You do not have to be narrowed down to send in a piece of art for December). I’m looking for Christmas, Chanukah, New Years, and or a winter scene illustrations. You do not have to wait, I will post the illustrations as they come in. I would like to have them no later than November 25th, since it is hard to find the right place for your work, instead of squeezing it in at the end of the month. I would love to have something to go with the election on Tuesday. Please make sure the illustration is at least 500 pixels wide and include a blurb about yourself and a link to see more of your work. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com and put “December Illustration” in the subject box.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

101-Websites-225x300
IT IS TIME TO NOMINATE WRITING AND ILLUSTRATING www.kathytemean.wordpress.com for the WRITER’S DIGEST’S 101 BEST WEBSITES FOR WRITERS!

If you have enjoyed the articles and information you received everyday this year, please help by dominating my blog. Submit an email to writersdigest@fwmedia.com to nominate my blog www.kathytemean.wordpress.com

I would greatly appreciate your help.

Thanks!


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Editors, need to know, opportunity, submissions, Writer's Prompt Tagged: Ash by Malinda Lo, Kate Sullivan - editor, Little Brown BFYR, Vesper Stamper

2 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Kate Sullivan, last added: 12/21/2012
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8. Free Fall Friday – Last Day to Submit

Janie Hauber 2013smallI am sorry that I forgot to chose the winner for Susan Deitwiler picture book give-a-way. Now, I am busy at a writer’s retreat. I want to do it right, so I will announce it on Monday – Promise! Please check back.

I’d like to introduce you to JANINE HAUBER, Agent, Sheldon Fogelman Agency. She has agreed to be Guest Critiquer for March. She will read and critique 4 first pages and will be part of the faculty at the New Jersey SCBWI Conference in June.

This is a great way to do your homework and get a feel for Janine. Check out the other faculty who have been Guest Critiquers:

Jenne Abramowitz Senior Editor, Scholastic

Heather Alexander Associate Editor at Dial BFYR

John Cusick, Agent, Greenhouse Literary

Liza Fleissig, Agent, Liza Royce Agency

Rachel Orr, Agent, Prospect Agency

Janine has been with the Sheldon Fogelman Agency since 2010, where she has worked with award-winning clients such as Jerry Pinkney, Peggy Rathmann, Karen Beaumont, Mo Willems, Diane Stanley, and T. A. Barron. As foreign rights manager, Janine has licensed translation rights in more than 20 languages and represented the agency and its clients at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

She’s actively building her own list and is open to representing picture books, middle grade books, young adult books – all types of children’s books of all genres.

WRITERS Sending in a First Page: Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “March First Page Critique” or “March First Page Picture Prompt Critique” in the subject line. Make sure you have your name on the submission, a title, and indicate the genre. Also let me know if you were able to post of facebook or Tweet. That will get your name in the basket an additional time, when I am choosing the four pages. If you don’t have either of these, just leave a comment and let me know. If you end up doing more things to get additional entries, then e-mail me a note by March 23rd. The four chosen and their critiques will be posted on March 29th.

bettonfloating500

The above is the First Page Picture Prompt for March. Illustrated by Jen Betton. Jen was featured on illustrator Saturday if you would like to see more of her work. http://wp.me/pss2W-6bk You can also visit her website: www.jenbetton.com or her blog: www.jenbetton.blogspot.com

AUTHORS: If you have a new book coming out and want to be considered for a post, please e-mail me at: Kathy.temean (at) gmail.com

Call for illustrations for March: You can send anything, but I am especially looking for illustrations that reflect the month of March. Last month I did not get many of your illustrations. I hope you will send something in. You do not have to wait, I will post the illustrations as they come in. Please make sure the illustration is at least 500 pixels wide and include a blurb about yourself and a link to see more of your work. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com and put “March Illustration” in the subject box.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Competition, inspiration, opportunity, Writer's Prompt Tagged: Call for Illustrations, First Page Critiques, First Page picture prompt, Janine Hauber, Sheldon Fogelman Agency

1 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Last Day to Submit, last added: 3/22/2013
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9. Free Fall Friday – Meredith Mundy

meredith-mundy-headshotsmallMEREDITH MUNDY, Executive Editor, Sterling Children’s Books has agreed to being April’s Guest Critiquer. If you haven’t met Meredith, you can meet her at the New Jersey SCBWI Conference in Princeton, NJ this June. She is a wonderful editor and a lovely person. She knows her stuff.

Meredith Mundy has been with Sterling Children’s Books for 8 years, following 11 years at Dutton Children’s Books. She is nuts about character-centered picture books (recent projects include The Big Bad Wolf Goes on Vacation by Delphine Perret, A Pirate’s Twelve Days of Christmas by Philip Yates, and Ten on the Sled by Kim Norman), but she is also seeking everything from funny, original board books to unforgettable middle grade novels to YA fiction. (No vampires, angels, mermaids, or werewolves, please, and she doesn’t usually acquire historical fiction.) While she enjoys editing nonfiction, she wouldn’t be the right editor for poetry collections or a project geared primarily toward the school and library market.

WRITERS Sending in a First Page: Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “April First Page Critique” or “April First Page Picture Prompt Critique” in the subject line. Make sure you have your name on the submission, a title, and indicate the genre. Also let me know if you were able to post of facebook or Tweet. That will get your name in the basket an additional time, when I am choosing the four pages. If you don’t have either of these, just leave a comment and let me know. If you end up doing more things to get additional entries, then e-mail me a note by April 20th. The four chosen and their critiques will be posted on April 26th.

detwilermouse7

This first page picture prompt was done by Susan Dietwiler. Susan was feature on March 9th. You can use this link http://wp.me/pss2W-6jt to view her artwork.

AUTHORS: If you have a new book coming out and want to be considered for a post, please e-mail me at: Kathy.temean (at) gmail.com

Call for illustrations for April: You can send anything, but I am especially looking for illustrations that reflect the month. I hope you will send something in. Last month, I did not receive very many. This is a good way to get your work seen. Don’t wait, I will post the illustrations as they come in. Please make sure the illustration is at least 500 pixels wide and include a blurb about yourself and a link to see more of your work. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com and put “April Illustration” in the subject box.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Editor & Agent Info, opportunity, submissions, Writer's Prompt Tagged: First Page picture prompt, Meredith Mundy, Sr. Executive editor, Sterling Publishing, Susan Dietwiler

10 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Meredith Mundy, last added: 4/17/2013
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10. Free Fall Friday – Interview

MelissafaulnerMELISSA FAULNER, Editorial Assistant, ABRAMS Books for Young Readers and Amulet has agreed to share her expertise with us and critique the four winning first pages for us in May.

Melissa was kind enough to answer a few questions I thought you might be interested in reading. Here they are:

1. This is the first time we have had someone from Abrams BFYR. Could you share what makes Abrams different from other publishers?

Abrams is a smaller, boutique publishing house, so we’re able to provide a level of personal attention to authors and illustrators that a lot of larger houses aren’t able to achieve. Because of our size, we don’t really have a “mid-list.” Abrams’ is also deeply rooted in design and art having begun as an art book publisher, so there is a strong visual sensibility to every book we publish.

2. Do the editors at Abrams work as a team or do they chose books independently?

While editors do acquire books individually, we very much work as a team on projects. We have weekly editorial meetings where we discuss potential acquisitions with the entire department before taking them to an acquisitions board meeting. It’s also not unusual for editors to ask other editors to read manuscripts or look over covers just to get a second opinion, or to bounce around ideas.

3. Does Abrams try to stick to a certain ratio or PB, MG, YA, Fiction, and non-fiction with each catalog?

We generally try to have as balanced a list as possible for each season (we have two a year). We’ve always had a very strong non-fiction publishing program in both our Books for Young Readers and Amulet imprints, which is really great since so many publishers are now looking to acquire more non-fiction.

4. What is the ratio of debut authors to published author on your list?

It’s generally a fairly even split, though some seasons it may weigh more heavily in one direction or the other. We’re equally enthusiastic about bringing new talent to Abrams as we are about developing and nurturing our house authors.

5. The industry has been changing quite rapidly, do you think the mid-list authors are finding it harder to stay on the list?

I think at a lot of larger houses, authors are finding that they have to be a stronger advocate for themselves. Most aspiring authors know it’s essential to have built a strong platform before their book has been acquired, but it’s also essential to maintain that engagement and build even after their book has published. It can be daunting, but today, authors are fortunate to have so many avenues of engagement to pursue.


May’s submission deadline will be May 22nd, due to the Memorial Day.

Below is this month’s picture prompt for those of you who like them. This illustration is by Maria Bogade. She was featured on Illustrator Saturday on Feb. 9th 2013 and I missed showing off this illustration. Thought it might provide some inspiration for a story. You do not have to use it. Feel free to submit a first page from a work in progress.

bogadeMariaBogade_Coverillustration2011

WRITERS Sending in a First Page: Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “May First Page Critique” or “May First Page Picture Prompt Critique” in the subject line. Make sure you have your name on the submission, a title, and indicate the genre. Also let me know if you were able to post of facebook or Tweet. You will get your name in the basket for each time you comment, tweet, or mention on facebook, giving you a better chance of being picked. If you end up doing more things to get additional entries, then e-mail me a note by May 20th. The four chosen and their critiques will be posted on May 31st.

Call for illustrations for May: Thank you to everyone who sent in an illustration for April. There are a couple that I didn’t get up. I promise I will use them in the days to come.

You can send anything, but I am especially looking for illustrations that reflect the month. I hope you will send something for May. This is a good way to get your work seen. Don’t wait, I will post the illustrations as they come in. Please make sure the illustration is at least 500 pixels wide and include a blurb about yourself and a link to see more of your work. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com and put “May Illustration” in the subject box.

IN DOYLETOWN,PA – Tomorrow:

Princess Party postcard

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Editor & Agent Info, Interview, opportunity, publishers, Writer's Prompt Tagged: Adrams BFYR, Call for Illustrators, First Page Critique, Free Fall Friday, Melissa Faulner

3 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Interview, last added: 5/11/2013
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11. Free Fall Friday – Kudos and Industry News

MelissafaulnerKUDO’S:

BETH FERRY’s PIRATE’S PERFECT PET, in which a captain, who considers himself practically perfect in every way, decides that he’s just missing one thing — the perfect pet — and goes on a wild search to hunt that pet down, was sold to Mary Lee Donovan at Candlewick, by Elena Mechlin at Pippin Properties.

INDUSTRY NEWS:

Emily van Beek has been promoted senior vice president at Folio Jr., the children’s division of Folio Literary Management.

Joe Perez has joined the Random House Publishing Group as senior art director. Previously he was art director at Portfolio.

At AtheneumEmma Ledbetter has been promoted to assistant editor.

Christina Pulles moves up to assistant editor at Simon & Schuster Children’s.

Congratulations everyone!

Remember that the deadline is May 22nd to submit a first page to win a critique with MELISSA FAULNER, Editorial Assistant, ABRAMS Books for Young Readers and Amulet.

Last week Melissa answered a few questions. Here they are, again:

1. This is the first time we have had someone from Abrams BFYR. Could you share what makes Abrams different from other publishers?

Abrams is a smaller, boutique publishing house, so we’re able to provide a level of personal attention to authors and illustrators that a lot of larger houses aren’t able to achieve. Because of our size, we don’t really have a “mid-list.” Abrams’ is also deeply rooted in design and art having begun as an art book publisher, so there is a strong visual sensibility to every book we publish.

2. Do the editors at Abrams work as a team or do they chose books independently?

While editors do acquire books individually, we very much work as a team on projects. We have weekly editorial meetings where we discuss potential acquisitions with the entire department before taking them to an acquisitions board meeting. It’s also not unusual for editors to ask other editors to read manuscripts or look over covers just to get a second opinion, or to bounce around ideas.

3. Does Abrams try to stick to a certain ratio or PB, MG, YA, Fiction, and non-fiction with each catalog?

We generally try to have as balanced a list as possible for each season (we have two a year). We’ve always had a very strong non-fiction publishing program in both our Books for Young Readers and Amulet imprints, which is really great since so many publishers are now looking to acquire more non-fiction.

4. What is the ratio of debut authors to published author on your list?

It’s generally a fairly even split, though some seasons it may weigh more heavily in one direction or the other. We’re equally enthusiastic about bringing new talent to Abrams as we are about developing and nurturing our house authors.

5. The industry has been changing quite rapidly, do you think the mid-list authors are finding it harder to stay on the list?

I think at a lot of larger houses, authors are finding that they have to be a stronger advocate for themselves. Most aspiring authors know it’s essential to have built a strong platform before their book has been acquired, but it’s also essential to maintain that engagement and build even after their book has published. It can be daunting, but today, authors are fortunate to have so many avenues of engagement to pursue.


May’s submission deadline will be May 22nd, due to the Memorial Day.

Below is this month’s picture prompt for those of you who like them. This illustration is by Maria Bogade. She was featured on Illustrator Saturday on Feb. 9th 2013 and I missed showing off this illustration. Thought it might provide some inspiration for a story. You do not have to use it. Feel free to submit a first page from a work in progress.

bogadeMariaBogade_Coverillustration2011

WRITERS Sending in a First Page: Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “May First Page Critique” or “May First Page Picture Prompt Critique” in the subject line. Make sure you have your name on the submission, a title, and indicate the genre. Also let me know if you were able to post of facebook or Tweet. You will get your name in the basket for each time you comment, tweet, or mention on facebook, giving you a better chance of being picked. If you end up doing more things to get additional entries, then e-mail me a note by May 20th. The four chosen and their critiques will be posted on May 31st.

Call for illustrations for May: Thank you to everyone who sent in an illustration for April. There are a couple that I didn’t get up. I promise I will use them in the days to come.

You can send anything, but I am especially looking for illustrations that reflect the month. I hope you will send something for May. This is a good way to get your work seen. Don’t wait, I will post the illustrations as they come in. Please make sure the illustration is at least 500 pixels wide and include a blurb about yourself and a link to see more of your work. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com and put “May Illustration” in the subject box.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Editors, Interview, opportunity, Places to sumit, Writer's Prompt Tagged: Abrams BFYR, Call for Illustrators, First Page Critiques, Free Fall Friday, Melissa Faulner

1 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Kudos and Industry News, last added: 5/17/2013
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12. Free Fall Friday

johnReturn_of_the_Wizards
The above illustration is by John Manders. He was featured on May 25th without his interview. Here is the link to read john’s interview answers that were added this week : http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/illustrator-saturday-john-manders/

anna2CALL FOR ILLUSTRATIONS: Please remember to send in your illustrations for June. It is a great way to get seen and keep your name out there to get noticed.

Anna Olswanger has agreed to be our Guest Critiquer for June’s First Page. Deadline will be June 18th, so I wanted to give you an early heads up. For those who like the picture prompt, you will find it at the bottom of this post.

Anna Olswanger is a literary agent with Liza Dawson Associates in New York. Anna has been a literary agent since 2005 and has sold to Boyds Mills Press, Marshall Cavendish, Dutton, HarperCollins, McElderry, Pomegranate, and Random House Children’s Books, among other publishers. Specializing in: middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction, some adult fiction and nonfiction, children’s illustrated books, and Judaica.

Anna is particularly interested in working with author-illustrators.Anna enjoys discovering new authors and illustrators. She is looking for “voice,” the sound and rhythm of an author that could be no one else’s, and has a special interest in children’s picture books (author-illustrators only), adult nonfiction, Judaica, animal stories, and ghost stories. Contact her at queryanna@LizaDawsonAssociates.com.

In addition to being an agent, she is the author of the picture book Shlemiel Crooks, a Sydney Taylor Honor Book and a Koret International Jewish Book Award Finalist.

You may have attended some of her workshops, like Why Was My Manuscript Rejected? 3 Agents, 3 Opinions, with two other agents (see www.3LiteraryAgents.com). Writers in the Northeast may also know Anna, because she coorinated the Jewish Children’s Book Writers’ Conference at the 92nd Street Y for many years. In addition, she founded the website http://www.Host-a-Jewish-Book-Author.com

Anna’s own website is www.olswanger.com.

Submission Guidelines for Anna Olswanger:

I only accept email queries (no snail mail queries, please.)

Please insert (cut and paste) the first five pages of your manuscript into the body of your email. (I’m leery of opening attachments from addresses I don’t know.)

Queries to: queryanna@LizaDawsonAssociates.com

shawnaghost4

June’s Picture Prompt illustration was created by Shawna JC Tenney. She was recently featured on Illustrators Saturday. http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/illustrator-saturday-shawna-jc-tenney/

WRITERS Sending in a First Page: Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “June First Page Critique” or “June First Page Picture Prompt Critique” in the subject line. Make sure you have your name on the submission, a title, and indicate the genre. 

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: JUNE 17th .

The four chosen and their critiques will be posted on June 28th.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Contest, opportunity, Places to sumit, Writer's Prompt Tagged: Anna Olswanger, First Page Critique, Liza Dawson Associates Literary Agency, Picture Prompt

2 Comments on Free Fall Friday, last added: 6/12/2013
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13. Free Fall Friday – Frist Page Critique and Call for Illustrations

anna2CALL FOR ILLUSTRATIONS: Please remember to send in your illustrations for June. It is a great way to get seen and keep your name out there to get noticed. Send to Kathy.temean(at)gmail.com. Please submit .jpgs at least 500 pixels wide.

Anna Olswanger has agreed to be our Guest Critiquer for June’s First Page. For those who like the picture prompt, you will find it at the bottom of this post.

Anna Olswanger is a literary agent with Liza Dawson Associates in New York. Anna has been a literary agent since 2005 and has sold to Boyds Mills Press, Marshall Cavendish, Dutton, HarperCollins, McElderry, Pomegranate, and Random House Children’s Books, among other publishers. Specializing in: middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction, some adult fiction and nonfiction, children’s illustrated books, and Judaica.

Anna is particularly interested in working with author-illustrators.Anna enjoys discovering new authors and illustrators. She is looking for “voice,” the sound and rhythm of an author that could be no one else’s, and has a special interest in children’s picture books (author-illustrators only), adult nonfiction, Judaica, animal stories, and ghost stories. Contact her at queryanna@LizaDawsonAssociates.com.

In addition to being an agent, she is the author of the picture book Shlemiel Crooks, a Sydney Taylor Honor Book and a Koret International Jewish Book Award Finalist.

You may have attended some of her workshops, like Why Was My Manuscript Rejected? 3 Agents, 3 Opinions, with two other agents (see www.3LiteraryAgents.com). Writers in the Northeast may also know Anna, because she coorinated the Jewish Children’s Book Writers’ Conference at the 92nd Street Y for many years. In addition, she founded the website http://www.Host-a-Jewish-Book-Author.com

Anna’s own website is www.olswanger.com.

Submission Guidelines for Anna Olswanger:

I only accept email queries (no snail mail queries, please.)

Please insert (cut and paste) the first five pages of your manuscript into the body of your email. (I’m leery of opening attachments from addresses I don’t know.)

Queries to: queryanna@LizaDawsonAssociates.com

shawnaghost4

June’s Picture Prompt illustration was created by Shawna JC Tenney. She was recently featured on Illustrators Saturday. http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/illustrator-saturday-shawna-jc-tenney/

WRITERS Sending in a First Page: Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “June First Page Critique” or “June First Page Picture Prompt Critique” in the subject line. Make sure you have your name on the submission, a title, and indicate the genre.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: JUNE 17th .

The four chosen and their critiques will be posted on June 28th.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Editor & Agent Info, opportunity, Writer's Prompt Tagged: Anna Olswanger, Call for Illustrations, First Page Critiques, Free Fall Friday, Liza Dawson Associates, Shawna JC Tenney

0 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Frist Page Critique and Call for Illustrations as of 6/14/2013 12:31:00 AM
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14. Free Fall Friday

CALL FOR ILLUSTRATIONS: Please remember to send in your illustrations for July. It is a great way to get seen and keep your name out there to get noticed. Send them to Kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail.com. Please submit .jpgs at least 500 pixels wide.

johnreturn_of_the_wizards

For those writers who enjoy doing the picture prompt for their first page, above is July’s Picture Prompt illustration which was created by John Manders. He was featured on May 25th. Here is the link: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/illustrator-saturday-john-manders/

WRITERS Sending in a First Page: Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “June First Page Critique” or “June First Page Picture Prompt Critique” in the subject line. Make sure you have your name on the submission, a title, and indicate the genre. 

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: JULY 18th .

The four chosen and their critiques will be posted on July 26th. I will announce who our Guest Critiquer is next Friday.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Artist opportunity, authors and illustrators, Contests, inspiration, opportunity, Writer's Prompt Tagged: First Page Critique, Free Fall Friday, John Manders

5 Comments on Free Fall Friday, last added: 7/5/2013
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15. Free Fall Friday – May – Kudos

Our Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman sold their BLONDE OPS, pitched as The Devil Wears Prada meets James Bond for teens, featuring a fashion magazine intern in Rome who uncovers a plot to kidnap the First Lady, to Kat Brzozowski and Peter Joseph at Thomas Dunne Books, for publication in 2014, by Natalie Fischer Lakosil at the Bradford Literary Agency (World).  Congratulations Nat and Char!

Liza Royce Agency just sold two picture books written by Tori Corn.  I wonder which one will be considered her debut book?  Way to go, Tori!

At Simon & Schuster Children’s, Angela Zurlo has been promoted to production manager for the Books for Young Readers and Paul Wiseman imprints, effective June 1. Navah Wolfe and Julia Maguire have been promoted to associate editor, BFYR. In addition, Richard Ackoon moves up to executive coordinator, Laura Roode has been promoted to associate art director, and Krista Olsen moves up to design associate.

Today’s the last day to send in your first page inspired by Kathleen Kemly’s May’s Picture Prompt. You will find Agent Melissa Sarver critiques of four submissions on next Friday’s post. Kathleen’s art work was featured on Illustrator Saturday a few weeks ago. http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/illustrator-saturday-kathleen-kemly/

Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “May 26th First Page Prompt” in the subject line.

ILLUSTRATORS: Here is your chance to show off a little. I am looking any subject matter as long as it has a few flowers in the illustration. I will post some as they come in during the month, but I will definitely post all by May 31st, so I need to receive your illustrations no later than May 25th. Please make sure the illustration is at least 500 pixels wide and includes a blurb about you and a link to see more of your work. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com and put “May Illustration” in the subject box.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Editor & Agent Info, inspiration, opportunity, Writer's Prompt, writing excercise Tagged: Agent Melissa Sarver, Blonde OPS, Charlotte Bennardo, First Page picture prompt, Kathleen Kemly, Natalie Zaman
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16. Free Fall Friday – Mellisa Sarver

Melissa Sarver, agent at Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency is our quest critiquer for May.  She is a graduate of Boston University and brings with her the experience she received by working with several agencies: Waxman Literary Agency, Brick House, and Imprint Agency (now FinePrint).

She looks for contemporary/realistic fiction, both literary and commercial; mysteries; urban fantasy; magical realism, and issue-based stories. She’s drawn to dark tales with brilliant prose and strong voice as well as quirky stories with a fresh sense of humor, and heartbreaking romances. She especially enjoys multicultural stories and similarly emotional stories with dystopian themes. She also considers Middle Grade fiction and Picture Books and you will meet here at the conference next weekend.

Melissa picked four first pages to read from what was submitted in May.  Here they are: 

Marty Preston

Untitled MG for the May 26th prompt.
I didn’t want to dress like a boy for Colonial Day, but I had no choice. Mom was working crazy hours, and couldn’t shop for my outfit until the night before. There was nothing left in my size at Old Navy─that’s where all my friends’ mothers bought colonial dresses for them. So I was stuck wearing soccer socks that I dyed with tea bags, a plain yellow pajama top, and my brother’s baseball pants, cinched at the waist and rolled up to my knees. In 90-degree heat.

“I’m sorry, sweetie. I blew it.” Mom shook her head, mad at herself, when I came downstairs the morning of Colonial Day in my makeshift get-up. “I should’ve ordered something online.”

“It’s okay.” I forced a smile. “It’ll all come together once I put the tricorne hat on at school.”   Of course, the hat would cover the colonial-esque hair ribbon, the only girl item I was wearing.

Things hadn’t been easy since Dad lost his job, so I kept my disappointment to myself. But the truth was, I really wanted one of those frilly white sundresses. Especially because my colonial family included Doug Hollis, the cutest boy in the seventh grade, at least in my opinion. (My best friend Jenna thought Ryan Tapler was the cutest.)

“That doesn’t look as bad as you made it sound.” Jenna whispered, when I took my seat next to hers in homeroom. She had on the exact dress I would’ve liked.

“I feel like a goofball,” I said. “I debated blowing off the theme. But I decided not to be  a party pooper.” Maybe I made the wrong decision. No other girls were dressed like boys.

After the flag salute, we shuffled outside.  First stop, mock trial. Jenna’s fat her played the judge, and her mother was the accused pig thief. “Guilty as charged! To the stocks!” Jenna’s dad said. Everyone laughed and we  lined up to have our photos taken in the pillory.

“Who’s the funny-looking boy in the stockade?” Tony Parisi said, in his usual snide tone.

“Shut up, Parisi,” Doug said. “Even in a boy outfit, Candace is pretty.”

My eyes widened. I planned to shout it from the rooftops later. Doug Hollis thinks I’m pretty.

MELLISA:

I think this is a great introduction to a sweet middle grade novel filled with young romance but also dealing with some very real issues of unemployment and busy working parents trying to make ends meet.  The main character deals with some of these issues in an age-appropriate way by being honestly disappointed but not overly bratty or immature in response.  I’m not sure the dialog works in all places: “blowing off t

1 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Mellisa Sarver, last added: 6/1/2012
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17. Free Fall Friday – New Prompt

Can you believe it is June already. The Picture Prompt below was illustrated by Nancy Cote. She was featured on last Saturday.

Please use it to help inspire a first page. I will announce the our Guest Critiquer next week. The deadline for submitting a first page for critique is June 23rd. I will post four of the pages along with the agents comments on June 29th.

Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “May 26th First Page Prompt” in the subject line.

ILLUSTRATORS: This month I am looking for illustration that will show off some summer fun. Here is your chance to show off a little. I will post the illustrations as they come in during the month, but I will definitely post all by June 30th, so I need to receive your illustrations no later than June 26th. Please make sure the illustration is at least 500 pixels wide and includes a blurb about you and a link to see more of your work. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com and put “June Illustration” in the subject box.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: inspiration, opportunity, Writer's Prompt Tagged: Free Fall Friday

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18. Free Fall Friday – Guess Critiquer Announced

Agent Susan Hawk at The Bent Agency has agreed to be our Guess Critiquer for June.  Susan worked for over 15 years in marketing children’s books, most recently as the Marketing Director at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, and previously as the Library Marketing Director at Penguin Young Readers Group. While at Penguin, she also worked for a time in Dutton Editorial, acquiring books for their list. Susan handles books for children exclusively: picture books, chapter books, middle grade and YA, fiction and non-fiction. In middle-grade and YA, she’s looking for something that makes her laugh out loud.

In middle-grade and YA, I’m looking for something that makes me laugh out loud. She’s a sucker for bittersweet, and she can’t resist a character that comes to understand how perfectly imperfect the world is. She wants a book to stay with her long after she finishes reading it, and she’s looking for powerful, original writing. She’s open to mystery, scifi, humor, boy books, historical, contemporary (really any genre). Her favorite projects live at the intersection of literary and commercial. In non-fiction she’s looking for books that relate to kids’ daily lives and their concerns with the world. In picture books, she’s looking particularly for author-illustrators, succinct but expressive texts, and characters as indelible as her childhood favorites: Ferdinand, Madeline, George and Martha.

WRITERS: You only have today and Saturday June 23rd to use the above illustration to inspire a first page.  I will post four of the pages along with the agents comments on June 29th.

Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “June 23rd First Page Prompt” in the subject line.

ILLUSTRATORS: You still have until June 26th to submit an illustration for June.  I’m looking for illustrations that will show off some summer fun. Here is your chance to show off a little. I will post the illustrations as they come in during the month, but I will definitely post all by June 30th. Please make sure the illustration is at least 500 pixels wide and include a blurb about yourself and a link to see more of your work. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com and put “June Illustration” in the subject box.

Here is some deeper information about Susan Hawk and what she’s looking to acquire.  I found this on her blog:  http://susanhawk.blogspot.com/2012/03/wish-list.html

 
I long for a gorgeous, literary novel for middle grade or YA. In the past couple of years a few books stick with me: Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu, Chime by Franny Billingsley, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (though this is an older title, I read it recently and fell deeply in love). One thread of commonality between these books is that though they are all wonderfully written, none of them are short on plot: Things happen. There are mysteries to solve. No one’s sitting around luxuriating in doing nothing except come up with some fabulous prose. So, I’m looking for a stop-me-in-my-tracks-beautiful, character driven novel that doesn’t stint on plot.
 
I’ve always loved rich, atmospheric historicals that f

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19. Free Fall Friday – Guest Critiquer Susan Hawk

I know all of you expected to read the first pages submitted and what Susan Hawk had to say about each of them, but Susan’s computer crashed and it’s at the doctors. So I am going to put up July’s Picture Prompt today, instead of next Friday and post Susan’s comments for June on July 6th. On the bright side, this give you more time to write. Here is the First Page Picture Prompt created by illustrator Brian Bowes for July:

Brian Bowes was featured this year on Illustrator Saturday.  http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/illustrator-saturday-brian-bowes/ I think all of Brian’s illustrations could tell lots of stories, so I think you will have fun writing for this one. You can see more of Brian’s work by visiting his website: www.studiobowesart.com

WRITERS:  Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “July 23rd First Page Prompt” in the subject line.

ILLUSTRATORS: You still have until July 26th to submit an illustration for June. I’m looking for illustrations that are “Out of this world”.  I am going to let you interpret that and use your imagination.  So show off a little and send it something for July. I will post the illustrations as they come in during the month, but I will definitely post all by July 31st. Please make sure the illustration is at least 500 pixels wide and include a blurb about yourself and a link to see more of your work. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com and put “June Illustration” in the subject box.

Check back next week for Susan Hawk and June’s first page critiques.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Competition, inspiration, opportunity, Writer's Prompt Tagged: Agent Susan Hawk, Brian Bowes, First Page picture prompt 0 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Guest Critiquer Susan Hawk as of 1/1/1900
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20. Free Fall Friday – Susan Hawk

Here are the first pages submitted and critiqued by Agent Susan Hawk:

The Dream Pond – MG by Eileen Balesteri 

“She’s not coming.” Emily whispered to Teague with a nervous fidget. 

“You worry too much,” he said, gently patting the tops of her knuckles, still gripped tightly on the boat’s ledge.

Emily’s older sister, Abigail, lived by her own rules, always thinking outside of the box.  That’s probably why she discovered the Dream Pond, first.

 “She’s always late.”

“I know,” Emily said, “But this time feels different.  We went straight to bed after our grandparents left Abbie’s birthday dinner, so she has to be dreaming by now, right?”

“Has anything changed at your house since last month’s full moon?”  Teague asked.  “No.  We did everything the same as we always do.  Abbie held me when we went to sleep, just like the first time she brought me here.” 

Abigail had told her about the Dream Pond months before they discovered it was actually real.  She described the peaceful, watering hole, inhabited by kids with different accents and unusual animals. When the magic of the place opened up, the wise owls would spout poetry, and the birds sang full operas in flight as they dipped and swirled in and out of the warm, clear water.

Abigail hadn’t really meant to bring her along that first time.  Emily had been unable to sleep after watching a scary movie one night, so her older sister let her share her tiny, twin bed.   They had no idea that her sister’s embrace would somehow pull Emily into Abigail’s dream, leading her to this extraordinary haven.

When Emily showed up at the Dream Pond with Abigail and the others that first night, they knew there was something special, something real about this place.  That was when they decided to exchange addresses and numbers from their different homes all over the world. 

Teague lived in England, and it was his letter that they received first in the waking hours. 

Susan Hawk:

I liked the tension here, the anxiety that Emily is feeling as she waits for her sister is palpable.  I’m also interested in Teague and Emily’s relationship.  I have the sense that he’s older than she is, given that he’s reassuring her and trying to ease her anxiety.  I’m intrigued by the idea of a Dream Pond, a meeting place for kids from across the world, who are then able to communicate in real life as well. 

I’m confused about some of the mechanics of this place.  I’m not sure how Abigail could have told Emily about the Dream Pond before knowing that it’s real.  Did she dream, or imagine, it into existence?  I’m also unclear how Emily traveled there the first time (by going into Abigail’s dream?), and if she still travels to the Pond in this fashion (if she must go via Abigail’s dreams, how can she get there before Abigail does?). 

Though I’m curious about the answers to these questions, I think you might save explanations for later in your story.  Here, in the opening, focus on the immediate problem that your character is facing, and what is motivating them in this moment, so that the reader connects to your story right away.

____________________________________________________________________ 

Untitled by Barbara Gold

 Black sky moved over us. Soon the moon would be h

7 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Susan Hawk, last added: 7/8/2012
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21. Free Fall Friday – Guest Critiquer Announced

Agent at Sheldon Fogelman Agency has agreed to be our Guest Critiquer for July. Sean works on children’s books for all ages at the Sheldon Fogelman Agency in NYC. His clients include Zachariah O’Hora, Hyewon Yum, Mark Fearing and Hillary Homzie.

He is drawn to flawed, multi-faceted characters with devastatingly concise writing in YA, and boy-friendly mysteries or adventures in MG. In picture books, he looks more for unforgettable characters, off-beat humor, and especially clever endings. He is actively looking for new clients, but he is not currently interested in high fantasy, message-driven stories, historical fiction or query letters that pose too many questions.

Here is the prompt for July:

Brian Bowes was featured this year on Illustrator Saturday. http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/illustrator-saturday-brian-bowes/ I think all of Brian’s illustrations could tell lots of stories, so I think you will have fun writing for this one. You can see more of Brian’s work by visiting his website: www.studiobowesart.com

WRITERS: Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “July 23rd First Page Prompt” in the subject line.

ILLUSTRATORS: You still have until July 26th to submit an illustration for June. I’m looking for illustrations that are “Out of this world”. I am going to let you interpret that and use your imagination. So show off a little and send it something for July. I will post the illustrations as they come in during the month, but I will definitely post all by July 31st. Please make sure the illustration is at least 500 pixels wide and include a blurb about yourself and a link to see more of your work. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com and put “June Illustration” in the subject box.

Hope you submit something.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Artist opportunity, authors and illustrators, inspiration, opportunity, Writer's Prompt Tagged: Agent Sean McCarthy, First Page Critique, Sheldon Folgelman Literary Agency, Writing Picture prompt
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22. Free Fall Friday

You still have a few days to submit you first page picture prompt for agent Sean McCarthy from Sheldon Fogelman Agency to critique. 

Illustrators:  No one has sent anything for me to show off.  Was “Out of this World” to hard? Heck, any animal doing human things could be considered “Out of this World”.  I hope you will send something in, because it give you a chance to be seen and everyone loves the artwork. 

A little bit about Sean McCarthy:  He is drawn to flawed, multi-faceted characters with devastatingly concise writing in YA, and boy-friendly mysteries or adventures in MG. In picture books, he looks more for unforgettable characters, off-beat humor, and especially clever endings. He is actively looking for new clients, but he is not currently interested in high fantasy, message-driven stories, historical fiction or query letters that pose too many questions.

Here is the prompt for July:

Brian Bowes was featured this year on Illustrator Saturday. http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/illustrator-saturday-brian-bowes/ I think all of Brian’s illustrations could tell lots of stories, so I think you will have fun writing for this one. You can see more of Brian’s work by visiting his website: www.studiobowesart.com

WRITERS: Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “July 23rd First Page Prompt” in the subject line.

ILLUSTRATORS: You still have until July 26th to submit an illustration for June. I’m looking for illustrations that are “Out of this world”. I am going to let you interpret that and use your imagination. So show off a little and send it something for July. I will post the illustrations as they come in during the month, but I will definitely post all by July 31st. Please make sure the illustration is at least 500 pixels wide and include a blurb about yourself and a link to see more of your work. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com and put “June Illustration” in the subject box.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: opportunity, Places to sumit, Writer's Prompt Tagged: Brian Bowes, Call to Illustrators, First Page picture prompt, Free Fall Friday, Sean McCarthy
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23. Free Fall Friday – Sean McCarthy

Agent Sean McCarthy was nice enough to read five of the first page prompts sent in for review. I thank him and I hope some of you take the time to thank Sean, too. He was very generous with his time.  It’s easy to see that Sean is someone who really cares about improving the quality of children’s books.

As a reminder the illustration on the left done by Brian Bowes was the picture prompt for this month.

Here are the first pages and Sean’s comments:

COPERNICA by Lauri Meyers 

            I banged my foot on the side of the blaster to put out the fire.  Old One-Eye got too close that time.  Good thing I didn’t skip the fire retardant dip today or I would have been toast. My brother would have been mad if he had to tell mom I got fried to a crisp getting birthday cake.

            Mom was still going to be steamed when she figured out we made the supply run.   I hoped she would ease up when our little brother got to taste chocolate cake for the first time.  Mom told me I had a chocolate cake when I turned four.  I think it was sweet and maybe a little spicy.  I would remember it this time.  Everything tastes sweeter when you battle a dragon for it.

            “On your left!” Alistar yelled before a swift turn right.

            “Whoa where did the second dragon come from?” I said adjusting my hold.  It was one thing to die getting cake.  It was another thing to die because you are daydreaming about cake.  I checked my supply bag.  The cake was safe. The medical supplies we picked up were good too.  The magazine in my pants was poking me in the ribs after the quick move.  Alistar would lecture me if he knew I had extra cargo. I would have to hide it from my friends too.  I didn’t want to get it back with crumpled pages, circled outfits, and drool on the pictures of stars.  I was going to know 10 years ago styles better than anyone.

            One crazy scientist and a dragon egg was enough to seriously disrupt the fashion industry.  Who knew dragons didn’t need a mate to reproduce? One became hundreds in a few years. We are pretty safe in the country, but London is lost.  I don’t know if the dragons figured out how to cross the ocean, but there hadn’t been yankee doodle rescue attempts in a few years.

            “Hold on, Nic!” Alistar shouted before dropping under the bridge.  I tightened my grip.  No one called me Copernica anymore.  You don’t want to get chomped because someone politely used your full name before getting to the part about the fire-breathing dragon standing behind you. 

Here’s Sean:

With dystopian manuscripts, it’s crucial to immediately establish how the character’s world is different from the current landscape, and to set the manuscript apart from other books within the genre. I liked that you took chocolate cake and fashion magazines, and transformed them into something exotic. This, along w/ the dragon references, let’s the reader know what kind of story to expect. 

With that being said, the amount of information that’s being presented to the reade

2 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Sean McCarthy, last added: 7/27/2012
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24. Free Fall Friday – Guest Critiquer Announced

Editorial Consultant Sarah Cloots has agreed to critique our August Writing Picture Prompt. 

Sarah Cloots is a graduate of Rice University and the Columbia Publishing Course; as well as the New York University courses MBA Fundamentals, Fundamentals of Copyediting, and Writing for Children; and MediaBistro’s YA Novel Writing. She was an editor at Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books, for four and a half years. 

She began her publishing career as a reporter for The Kingwood Observer newspaper and as an intern at Bloomsbury Children’s Books. She has worked on books for young readers of all ages, from board books through young adult novels.  Here it the link to her website:  http://clootsamini.com

Here is the First Page Picture Prompt for August. It is by Courtney Autumn Martin. I thought this illustration had many stories wanting to be told. I will announce our Guest Critiquer next Friday. Courtney was featured on Illustrator Saturday last January. Click here to look. Or visit her website at: http://www.slumberlandstudio.com or her blog: http://blog.slumberlandstudio.com .

WRITERS: Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “August 23rd First Page Prompt” in the subject line.

ILLUSTRATORS: You still have until August 24th to submit an illustration for August. I’m looking for illustrations where a light source illuminates something in the picture. Examples: A street light, a flashlight, light from a TV or computer, candles, the moon, the sun, etc. Use your imagination to create something new or send something that you already finished. Show off a little and send it something for August. You do not have to wait, I will post the illustrations as they come in during the month, but I will definitely post all by Aug 31st. Please make sure the illustration is at least 500 pixels wide and include a blurb about yourself and a link to see more of your work. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com and put “August Illustration” in the subject box.

Look forward to seeing something from you.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, children writing, opportunity, submissions, Writer's Prompt Tagged: Children's Book Editor, Courtney Autumn Martin, editorial Consultant, Free Fall Friday, Sarah Cloots 2 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Guest Critiquer Announced, last added: 8/10/2012
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25. Free Fall Friday – Something for Everyone

Each Month I try to give Writers and Illustrator a chance to be noticed and further their craft.

If you are one of the writers who liked the First Page Picture Prompt, you can use the illustration below by Versper Stamper to inspire a new first page. www.vespersongs.com/

vesperfinding-final

1. If you are writing a book, you have the chance for editor Kate Sullivan from Little, Brown, & Company to read and critique your first page.

2. If you are a published author, you have a chance to be the Featured Author of the Month – be interview and get your book or book seen.

3. Illustrator’s have a chance to be featured on Illustrator Saturday.

4. Illustrators who have already been featured on Illustrator Saturday, Illustrators who want t be considered for Illustrator Saturday, or Illustrators just starting out and do not have enough artwork to be featured, can still get their artwork or new illustrations seen by professionals in the industry by participating.

In order to narrow the submissions down, I have come up with the following:

1. If you choose to follow me or are already following me, you will get your name put into the basket.

2. If you put a link up on your blog or website, you will get your name put in the basket. If you have both, you can choose to put a link on both and get your name in twice.

3. Do two Tweets about a post on my blog and get your name in the basket. This can be repeated three additional times for a total of four times in the basket. Tweets must be done on separate dates.

4. Post something on Facebook and get your name in the basket.

5. Do it all and you will have your name in the basket eight times. On November 24th I will put all the names in the basket and I will pull out ten names and read the first pages that go with the name. Out of those ten, I will pick 4 to send to our quest critiquer for November.

Here is what you need to do:

WRITERS: Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “December First Page Critique” or “December First Page Picture Prompt Critique” in the subject line. Make sure you have your name on the submission, a title, and indicate the genre. Also let me know which steps you took, so I will know how many times to put your name in the basket. If you end up doing more things to get additional entries, then e-mail me by December 19th (This is a few days earlier, because of the holidays) with the updated number you have completed. Please let me know what you have done and when, so I can check it out.

Published Children’s Book Writers: You can also participate by doing one or more of the five above steps to get your name in the “Book Feature” hat. If your name is drawn, I will do a post featuring your book, an interview, bio, and pictures of the cover and interior art (if that applies). Author Susan Hood was the winner for October. Ann Rinaldi was the winner in November.

Please put “December Children’s Book Promo” in the subject area and let me know the steps you took, so I can put the correct amount of slips in the basket. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Deadline November 24th.

ILLUSTRATORS: If you are an illustrator, you can participate and choose to get featured on Illustrator Saturday or get your new book featured by following the five steps for the writers. Please put “December Illustrator Feature” in the subject area. I will need to know what steps you completed to get into the basket and I will need a few illustrations or if you want to promote your book, then send the name and cover along. Also include a promotional blurb. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com.

Call for illustrations for December (You do not have to be narrowed down to send in a piece of art for December). I’m looking for Christmas, Chanukah, New Years, and or a winter scene illustrations. You do not have to wait, I will post the illustrations as they come in. I would like to have them no later than November 25th, since it is hard to find the right place for your work, instead of squeezing it in at the end of the month. I would love to have something to go with the election on Tuesday. Please make sure the illustration is at least 500 pixels wide and include a blurb about yourself and a link to see more of your work. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com and put “December Illustration” in the subject box.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, demystify, How to, inspiration, need to know, opportunity, submissions, Writer's Prompt Tagged: Kate Sullivan - editor, Little Brown & Co

2 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Something for Everyone, last added: 12/7/2012
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