What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(tagged with 'Free Fall Friday')

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
<<November 2014>>
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
      01
02030405060708
09101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Free Fall Friday, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 89
1. Free Fall Friday – October Results

 illustrationppinsk

This illustration was sent in by Patricia Pinsk. She works primarily with water colour, ink, digital photography, coloured pencil and collage. Patricia holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Vancouver’s Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now called Emily Carr University of Art and Design), as well as a Certificate in New Media from Vancouver Film School. Web: www.patriciapinsk.com/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/patriciapinskillustration?ref=hl Twitter: @patriciapinsk

Here are the first page critiques brought to you this month by Liza Fleissig from the Liza Royce Agency.

The Tattletail’s Claw: A CreatureNet Chronicle by Jody Staton – Middle Grade Novel

“Be Careful What You Wish For”

“. . .and that, Clawdia,” says Hershey’s voice in my head, “is why you must never let two-leggers know what we are.”

I lick a paw, and swipe it across my whiskers. Curled up on his wide brown rump, warmed by his body heat, I’m lulled half to sleep.

Zzzzt! A huge horsefly dive-bombs us. Wide awake now, I swat with a paw, and miss. Hershey flicks his long black tail. Whipping horsehairs send the fly tumbling. It buzzes around his legs, he stomps a hoof. His rump becomes an earthquake. I leap to my feet, teetering because I dare not dig into his hide the few claws I have left. We are next to a water trough, and I jump over it to a split-rail fence.

“Sorry about that,” he says. He ducks his head—in apology, I think. No, he’s just rubbing his head against the edge of the trough, scratching the lump that mars his forehead. Then, stern, like the police horse he used to be, Hershey demands that I repeat what he just told me.

I blink. “About the interstellar ark?”

“Wrong. About how two-leggers wouldn’t understand. How can you teach these stories to other Listeners if you don’t know them well yourself?”

I twitch my question-mark tail. “Why? Yesterday you said how few of us—”

“Lunchtime, Clawdia.” A human voice cuts me off. From the back porch of the Schwartz Veterinary Clinic, across a gravel drive from Hershey’s farm, it’s a young voice. And familiar!

“Dookie! I knew she’d come again this summer.” Forget Hershey’s lectures—my favorite person is here! I leap from the fence, streak across the drive. Dookie jumps from the porch, falls over a small bush, picks herself up, and races toward me. We meet in a mess of legs and arms, fur and tight curls, purrings and kisses.

Here is what Liza had to say: 

Staton, The Tattletail’s Claw

The writing itself is nice, with many nice details (like “I lick a paw and swipe it over my whiskers” and “his rump becomes an earthquake”). But my first impression is one of confusion—there are a lot of elements that are unexplained, and it’s rather difficult to paint a picture or figure out what’s going on.

The very first sentence is a difficult and awkward way to begin a story—with dialogue in the midst of being spoken. Perhaps the writer is trying to created intrigue, but younger readers will be confused. For one, we do not yet know they are animals and two, “two-leggers” will be an unfamiliar term.

It takes quite a while to figure out what kind of animals these are, which also causes confusion—you don’t want readers to be wondering about this so much that it detracts from what’s happening in the story.

Other questions: The cat says, “I dare not dig into his hide the few claws I have left”—why is this? Is this a detail we need to know right now, on the first page? Then, the horse says, “How can you teach these stories to other Listeners if you don’t know them well yourself?” First of all, what stories? Secondly, who are the Listeners? Third, why does the cat not seem to care about the stories (and why does the horse)? Again, you want to create intrigue, but you don’t want to leave the reader with so little to work with, and here there are just too many unanswered questions.

If this is a story about talking animals, then it’s a story for young readers. The sentence structure is a bit too complex, and combined with the above questions, I think younger readers are going to feel lost (what is an “interstellar” ark, for example?) We need to have a simpler, cleaner and more appealing introduction to the story. The set-up needs to be such that young readers want to keep on reading. The detail with Dookie is very sweet—perhaps concentrate on this as an introduction—and maybe the fact that these animals can talk is enough of a mystery that the reader will be excited to find out more.

___________________________________________________________

Daddy, What’s a Redneck? by Erika Wassall Picture Book

Little Lainey squatted, tugged on the pant legs sticking out between the two tires and asked, “Daddy, what’s a Redneck?” (illus: Daddy is underneath a vehicle working on it.)

Daddy laughed. He opened his mouth to answer, but stopped short.

“Hand me that yellow screwdriver and I’ll tell you,” he said. “Your great-granddaddy was a Redneck. He worked out in the cotton fields all day, with the sun beating on the back of his NECK.” Daddy slid out from underneath the engine and smiled. “What happens to your nose and shoulders when you’re out in the sun all day?”

Little Lainey’s eyes lit up, “They get all RED!” she cried.

Daddy nodded. “Exactly! Back then, working in the fields meant you couldn’t go to school. Calling someone a Redneck could have been hurtful, meaning they weren’t very smart. People started to think that folks who worked with their hands all day were fools.”

Little Lainey stared at Daddy’s grease covered hands and sternly shook her head. “But Daddy! Your hands can fix everything! They’re the smartest hands I know.”

“Darn right!” said Daddy. “Folks often try to find ways to put others down. That doesn’t make them right. People all across the country are proud to be Rednecks.” (illus: Daddy’s leaning over so we can see his red neck)

“Why?” asked Little Lainey, as she watched the rainbows dance on the top of the oil pan.

Here is what Liza had to say:

Wassall, Daddy, What’s a Redneck?

Opening paragraph is sweet. I just don’t know how much this topic is going to interest readers. Does this make a story? What is the story here? Dad is answering a question, but what is the story? Why does the little girl ask this question in the first place?

My concern is that the title feels like a joke and it’s hard to take the story seriously upon first hearing what the title is. In fact, there may be a lot of people who take offense before they even have a chance to read the story.

Dad’s answers to the little girl’s question are nice, but there’s a lot that feels a bit too adult here and which young readers might have a hard time understanding: “Folks often try to find ways to put others down” etc.

General kid appeal: a little low. It’s hard to imagine a kid wanting to read this based on the first page (and keep going back to it). Feels a bit too earnest and “issue” driven. Combined with the title, I don’t think this would be something an editor would request over other things currently being shopped.

___________________________________________________________

JEREMY’S SLED By Sue Heavenrich – Picture Book

Jeremy pulled his new sled out of the car. He squeaked his boots on the fresh snow. “Sugarhouse Hill, here I come!”

“We still need noisemakers for our New Year’s party,” said Dad. “Stick to the small hill until I get back from the store.”

“Okay,” said Jeremy. He waved to Dad and then plodded up the hard-packed path. But instead of stopping where he should have, his feet took him up, up, up to the top of the highest hill in the whole park.

“Just one run,” Jeremy whispered. He climbed into his sled. It teetered, it tottered, it wibbled and wobbled, then –

WHOOSH! Off he flew down, down, down to the line of straw bales that stopped runaway sleds. Jeremy slipped through a gap…

…. and tangled the leash between a woman and her dog.

“Sorry!” Jeremy yelled as the dog flew into the air and landed in the sled. The sled sped across the slick road, down a slope and onto the pond.

“Sliding through!” Jeremy shouted. The sled knocked a puck into the net and flipped a hockey player into the sled.

“Hang on!” The sled slid through a flock of ducks, hit a bump and flew

through the air…

… scared a squirrel out of a tree, knocked a hat off a snowman,

and barely cleared the back fence of the zoo.

Here is what Liza had to say:

Heavenrich, Jeremy’s Sled

I like the fun of the sled ride gone out of control—readers will think this is super fun and entertaining. The beginning is slow, though. Why do we need the earnest, adult details of dad telling Jeremy that he’s going to the store and stick to the small hill? Why not just have Jeremy at the big hill pondering it “mom and dad always tell me to stick to the small hills, but just once I’d like to try the big one” or something like this.

The wild sled ride itself seems to need to be slowed down a bit, too much happens too quickly. The writer could have a lot of fun here by making each thing that winds up in the sled a more fun acquisition.

The title needs to be more interesting and compelling, something that reflects the fun that both Jeremy and the reader are in for. The language as well, while nice, is not really reflective in rhythm and language of a wild sled ride. Writer should look at some comparable picture books for examples.

___________________________________________________________

Rule Breaker by Angela Larson & Zander Mowat, Middle Grade Novel

Detective Derk’s Spy Manual for the Disgruntled made surveillance sound a lot easier than it was. Knelling on a bent knee, peering around a corner with a mirror, Aaron Adams switched the mirror from one hand to the other. This was just long enough for him to shake out his arm, which had started to go numb. He resumed his position, but his back and knee still ached. For the whole lunch period he’d been looking down the long hall that leads to the school’s cafeteria. He’d been on surveillance since Monday and now that it was Friday, he was losing hope that this would work. An internal debate started to brew in his mind, was it worth skipping lunch again, after the lack of success all week. Then, his target, his jerk older brother Roger Adams, turned the corner.

Roger strolled down the hall in his ‘I’m too important to walk any faster’ mode and pulled what appeared to be a coin from his pocket. Roger never has change, this doesn’t make sense, thought Aaron. Roger walked toward a row of old-fashioned vending machines. These ancient relics had been in the school forever, since a time when their Principle attended here as a kid. They were always full of candy bars, but no one carries change anymore except old people, like Aaron’s rusty teachers.

Aaron’s arm was starting to shake by the time Roger stopped in front of the vending machines. He took slow steady breaths; this was described in Detective Derk’s manual as something you should do if you ever need to steady yourself. He kept the mirror focused on his target.

Roger slid a quarter into a slot, pressed a button and the sound of the candy hitting the tray echoed down the hall. I KNOW he doesn’t carry money.

Aaron leaned so far forward the mirror started to fog from his breath. Before the image…

Here is what Liza had to say:

Larson & Mowat, Rule Breaker

Writing is a bit awkward and clunky—the very first paragraph is actually quite a mouthful to read aloud, and I worry that readers’ introduction to this story will not be as compelling as it needs to be in order to hook readers and get them interesting in reading further. Words like “disgruntled” and “knelling” (is this an error?? didn’t make sense) further confusing the narration.

Kids will find spying fun, but why is one brother spying on another? I think we need a better sense of this. And why is one brother spying on another brother at school (when he can spy on him at home)? In other words, I worry that this may come across as a plot that’s not so exciting (as opposed to having Aaron spy on someone more interesting, like a school enemy, for example).

Words are misspelled throughout (knelling rather than kneeling, Principle rather than Principal) and grammar is shaky. As an agent, this isn’t something I request to see further.

____________________________________________________________

Thank you Liza for sharing your time and expertise with all of us. It is much appreciated.

Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 


Filed under: Advice, Agent, inspiration, Process, revisions, Tips, writing Tagged: First Page Critiques, Free Fall Friday, Liza Fleissig, Liza Royce Agency

3 Comments on Free Fall Friday – October Results, last added: 10/31/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
2. Free Fall Friday – Heads Up

The Paper Lantern Lit people at The Studio have given us the opportunity to get a free sample of four teen novels about friendship, adventure, and the devastating consequences of falling in love. I’ve already downloaded my free copy. Don’t miss out – Links below:

samplebooksAmazon Link – for Kindle users

Barnes and Noble – for Nook users

__________________________________________________________

The four winning first pages will be sent to Liza Fleissig this month for her critique. PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO HAVE YOUR CRITIQUE POSTED.

Here are the guidelines for submitting a First Page in October: In the subject line, please write “October First Page Critique” and paste the text in the email. 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.

Plus attach your first page Word doc. to email. Format using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double space – no more than 23 lines. Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Guidelines must be followed. Four first page will be critiqued and the results posted.

DEADLINE: October 24th.

RESULTS: October 31st.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 


Filed under: Book, opportunity, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Beautiful Girl, Doll House, Eternal Night, First Page Critique opportunity, Free Book Sampler, Free Fall Friday, The Boyfriend Thief

1 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Heads Up, last added: 10/17/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
3. Free Fall Friday – October – Liza Fleissig

lizaimgsmallLiza Leissig of the Liza Royce Agency has agreed to be our First Page Guest Critiquer for October.

Liza Fleissig, with her partner Ginger Harris-Dontzin, opened the Liza Royce Agency (LRA) in early 2011. Prior to that she had represented a large number of adult based fiction and non-fiction writers.

I invited Liza and Ginger to the New Jersey SCBWI Conference and introduce many of the writers to her that year in June 2011. Liza took on a number of those writers and has successfully placed 31 children’s manuscripts with publishers since then. She has proven herself as a real go getter.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business with a BS in Finance, and the Benjamin N. Cadozo School of Law with a JD, Liza brings 20 years of litigation and negotiating experience to the field. On the children’s side of publishing, being a mother to a preschooler girl and a pre-teen boy, she is interested in everything from picture books to middle grade and young adult. She is open to anything that really speaks to her.

Liza Fleissig
Liza Royce Agency LLC
1049 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10028

The four winning first pages will be sent to Liza for her critique. PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO HAVE YOUR CRIQUE POSTED.

Here are the guidelines for submitting a First Page in October: In the subject line, please write “October First Page Critique” and paste the text in the email. 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.

Plus attach your first page Word doc. to email. Format using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double space – no more than 23 lines. Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Guidelines must be followed. Four first page will be critiqued and the results posted.

DEADLINE: September 24th.

RESULTS: October 31st.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, children writing, Contest, Editor & Agent Info, opportunity, Places to sumit Tagged: Free Fall Friday, Liza Fleissig, Liza Royce Agency, October First Page critiques

5 Comments on Free Fall Friday – October – Liza Fleissig, last added: 10/10/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
4. Free Fall Friday – NaNoWriMo – PiBoIdMo

Here are the guidelines for submitting a First Page in October: In the subject line, please write “October First Page Critique” and paste the text in the email. 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.

Plus attach your first page Word doc. to email. Format using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double space – no more than 23 lines. Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Guidelines must be followed. Four first page will be critiqued and the rtesults posted.

DEADLINE: September 24th.

RESULTS: October 31st.

ILLUSTRATORS: Illustrations needed for this blog.

IF YOU LIVE IN THE AREA DON’T MISS THE OPPORTUNITY BELOW:

NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo Kick-Off night.

charandtarae4aaf098-734e-4498-8916-4daf380d2799

FREE EVENT!* 

Monday, Oct. 6, 2014 – 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Adams House, Princeton Theological Seminary, Library Place. Princeton.

Cost: * FREE SCBWI Members / $35 Non-SCBWI Members

Join presenters—and published authors—Charlotte Bennardo and Tara Lazar for tips, tricks and ways to prepare for November’s National Novel Writing Month or Picture Book Idea Month.

A great way to light the motivational fire under your writing buns!

If you’re a novelist and want to finish up that first draft, try out a new story idea, and beyond, come and meet Charlotte Bennardo and learn how to prepare for thirty days and thirty nights of literary abandon! The goal of National Novel Writing Month is to write 50,000 words of your novel. That’s it plain and simple. So, join to chat about novel writing and learn how to stay on target, keep track of your word count, receive motivational tips, ask questions, and more!

For more about NaNoWriMo, visit http://nanowrimo.org

New to generate some new ideas? Read on …

If you are a picture book writer (and/or illustrator), PiBoIdMo is for you! 

Founded online by http://taralazar.com the goal of PiBoIdMo, during the month of November, is for each participant to jot down one new picture book concept daily in their personal “idea notebook”. To help you along on this journey, each day http://taralazar.com will feature published authors and illustrators blogging about their sources of inspiration. The ideas you create this November will fuel your writing for the coming year.

Click here to register for the NaNoWriMo/PiBoIdMo event

About Charlotte: 

As the co-author of the YA Sirenz Series (Sirenz, Sirenz Back in Fashion- Flux) and Blonde Ops (Thomas Dunne 2014) Charlotte also writes solo novels (MG, YA) which she is working on and shopping around. She has written numerous articles for publications like NJSCBWI ‘Sprouts’, Centauri, Happy, Working Mother and other magazines, and given numerous workshops at the NJSCBWI annual conferences. She’s looking for her backyard squirrel who lost his home when the tree was trimmed (He answers to “Jack.”)

About Tara:
Street magic performer. Hog-calling champion. Award-winning ice sculptor. These are all things Tara Lazar has never been. Instead, she writes quirky, humorous picture books featuring magical places that adults never find. Her debut picture book, THE MONSTORE, is available now from Aladdin/Simon & Schuster. Tara has several more books being released in the coming years with Random House, Sterling and Disney-Hyperion. Tara is the founder of PiBoIdMo, Picture Book Idea Month, an online picture book writer’s event held every November at taralazar.com or piboidmo.com.

This year’s event marks the 6th year of PiBoIdMo, and more than 1200 writers are expected to register.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, children writing, Contest, Events, inspiration, opportunity Tagged: Charlotte Bennardo, First Page Contest Critique, Free Fall Friday, NJSCBWI Free Event, Tara Lazar

0 Comments on Free Fall Friday – NaNoWriMo – PiBoIdMo as of 10/3/2014 2:31:00 AM
Add a Comment
5. Free Fall Friday: July – Jenny Bent & More

HAPPY 4TH!

artshowclairLousyDay

This wonderful illustration is by Claire Lordon, who exhibited her work at the New Jersey SCBWI Art Show. If you would like to see more of Claire’s art here is her website: www.clairelordon.com

jenny_bentIt is my pleasure to let you know that Jenny Bent has agreed to be our critique our first pages in July. Each month four first pages are picked for critique.

See Bottom of Post for submission Guidelines.

Jenny represents literary and commercial adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction. She also represents nonfiction in the areas of memoir, humor and select narrative nonfiction.

In 2003 Jenny joined Trident Media Group, where she was promoted to Vice President before leaving to found the Bent Agency in 2009. She lives in Brooklyn in an apartment full of books and while there are not quite so many lazy reading afternoons, she manages to fit one in now and then.

My list is varied and includes commercial and literary fiction as well as memoir and select humor titles. In adult fiction, I particularly enjoy women’s fiction and crime/suspense. I also love novels—for grown-ups or children—that have an element of magic or fantasy to them or that take me into a strange and new world, whether real or imaginary. All of the books that I represent speak to the heart in some way: they are linked by genuine emotion, inspiration and great writing and story telling. I love books that make me laugh, make me cry, or ideally do both.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Thought the writers on the West Coast might be interested in this Writer’s Retreat.

It certainly had two great industry professionals on the faculty with:

Editor Melanie Cecka is Associate Publishing Director at Knopf Books for Young Readers.

Agent Scott Treimel heads the full service S©ott Treimel NY Agency, established 1995. The agency represents exclusively children’s books and it give the attendees a chance for a full novel critique.

FEES: Basic seminar is $769 (Early Bird, extended to July 5th); adults’ critiques are additional (15 to 30 pages, or full novel; all $3 per page). Basic fee includes Thursday through Saturday nights’ beachfront, double-occupancy lodging and most meals.

WHOLE-NOVEL SEMINAR & RETREAT

12th Annual Pacific Coast Children’s Writers Workshop:

October 17-19, 2014 Coastal Santa Cruz, CA.

http://www.childrenswritersworkshop.com/

______________________________________________________________________________________

Here are the submission guidelines for submitting a First Page in July:

Please “July First Page 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: July 24th.

RESULTS: August 1st.

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 July’s directions. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the same submission.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 


Filed under: Agent, Conferences and Workshops, Editor & Agent Info, opportunity, Places to sumit Tagged: Claire Lordon, First Page Critiques, Free Fall Friday, West Coast Writer's Retreat

2 Comments on Free Fall Friday: July – Jenny Bent & More, last added: 7/4/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
6. Free Fall Friday – KUDOS

artshowvesperdowntheshore-sat

Two awards forVESPER STAMPER for her fun beach illustration. She was the Winner of Published illustrator AND Member’s Choice Awards for Down the Shore … Girl w. Umbrella piece she submitted for the NJSCBWI Artist Showcase.

Colleen Brand submitted a book to Schoolwide.com when she saw the info here and let me know that  they just accepted MY MOTHER’S DAUGHTER (a picture book) for their digital education library.

Lisa Yoskowitz will join Little, Brown Books for Young Readers as executive editor on July 21. Previously she was senior editor at Disney-Hyperion.

At Chronicle Books,Kelli Chipponeri has been promoted to editorial director, children’s.

Paul Whitlatch is joining the Hachette Books imprint as senior editor, starting July 21.

At Harlequin, Erika Imranyi has been promoted to executive editor, Mira.

Leon Husock joins L. Perkins Agency as an associate agent specializing in speculative fiction, as well as young adult and middle grade novels. He was an associate agent at Anderson Literary Management. Rachel Brooks will be joining the agency as a junior agent handling romance, young adult and new adult fiction and select picture books.

Lee Harris will join the Tor.com novella and ebook imprint as senior editor in “late summer.”

Pam van Hylckama Vlieg has left Foreword Literary Agency and joined D4EO Literary Agency, where she will continue to build her list.

Congratulations, everyone!

Remember, Agent Jenny Bent is doing four of our first page critiques this month. Below are the guidelines:

Here are the submission guidelines for submitting a First Page in July:

Please “July First Page 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: July 24th.

RESULTS: August 1st.

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 July’s directions. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the same submission.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Editor & Agent Info, Kudos, Publishing Industry, success Tagged: Colleen Brand, Free Fall Friday, Lisa Yoskowitz, Vesper Stamper

2 Comments on Free Fall Friday – KUDOS, last added: 7/18/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
7. Free Fall Friday – Possible Opening & Kudos

amal10_small
Another wonderful illustration by Amal Karzai. Thought it showed the feeling of this post. Website: http://www.amalillustration.com Blog: http://amalimages.blogspot.co.uk/

There might be a spot opening up at the Avalon Full Manuscript Critique Writer’s Retreat. If you are one of the people who have been kicking yourself for not getting in for this opportunity to get a critique with Agent Ammi-Joan Pacquette from Erin Murphy Agency or Agent Heather Alexander from Pippin Properties, send me an email and I will get back with you.

WOO HOO! It seems like a number of you jumped on the post where I told you about Schoolwide.com had a call out for submissions, because I’ve heard from a number of writers this week who have heard back from them. Most have received very nice letters showing interest in their manuscript and asking for revisions, which is great and could be a start of something big, but Sheila Fuller had her book ALL NIGHT SINGING accepted. Congratulations Sheila!

Christopher Behrens’ finished his book, found an illustrator whose work has been on The Today Show, used Jim Whiting and Writer’s Digest for editing, then self-published his book Savanna’s Treasure this past spring.

Kirkus gave him a good review in June and now The Community Life Newspaper wrote an article the book.  If you would like to read the article, here is the link: http://www.northjersey.com/arts-and-entertainment/books/longtime-dpw-employee-pens-first-children-s-book-1.1052358

Savanna’s Treasure is available everywhere online and in all formats, including the ebook.

Two of the comments from Kirkus:

“…story enriched by an inspiring animal alliance….a good fit for early readers.” —Kirkus Reviews

 

Good job Chris!

 

Check back next Friday for the First Page Results.

 

Talk tomorrow,

 

Kathy

Filed under: authors and illustrators, Conferences and Workshops, Illustrator Sites, Kudos, opportunity Tagged: Amal Karzai, Christopher Behrens, Free Fall Friday, Schoolwide.com, Sheila Fuller

6 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Possible Opening & Kudos, last added: 7/25/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
8. Free Fall Friday – Holly McGhee

Holly_McGheeI am very happy to announce that Agent Holly McGhee has agreed to be our Guest Critiquer for August. Holly McGhee opened Pippin Properties in 1998, after being an executive editor at HarperCollins and has built one of the most prestigious Literary Agencies in the Children’s Book Industry.

Holly says, “At Pippin we embrace every artistic endeavor, from picture books to middle-grade novels, nonfiction, young adult, graphic novels. We don’t follow trends—we encourage our clients to follow their hearts. Our philosophy, the world owes you nothing, you owe the world your best work, hasn’t changed, but as an agency we have evolved to keep pace with our clients.”

Among Holly’s celebrated clients are Kate DiCamillo, David Small, Doreen Cronin, Jandy Nelson, Kathi Appelt, Harry Bliss, Peter H. Reynolds, Sujean Rim, Jon Agee, and Holly’s very own big sister, Alison McGhee. Holly lives with her husband and three children fifteen miles west of the Lincoln Tunnel, and she also writes under the pen name Hallie Durand.

Here are the submission guidelines for submitting a First Page in August:

Please “August First Page 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: August 21st.

RESULTS: August 29th.

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 August’s directions. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the same submission.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, authors and illustrators, Editor & Agent Info, opportunity, Publishers and Agencies, submissions Tagged: First Page Critique, Free Fall Friday, Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties

1 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Holly McGhee, last added: 8/11/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
9. Free Fall Friday Plus Alert

Writer Scam Alert!

The SCBWI put out this alert with writers. Didn’t want you to miss it:

Agents have been writing to us about a new type of “scam” they are seeing: agent middleman services. These are companies that, for a fee, will query agents for you. Agents overwhelming ignore queries from these companies. If you are having trouble getting an agent to represent you, your best plan of attack is to work on your manuscript and research the field. Join a critique group, attend an SCBWI event and make sure you are querying the right agents by searching though the agent directory in The Book. Paying a third party to query for you is not a fast track, it is just a waste of your money. How Not to Seek a Literary Agent: The Perils of “Middleman” Services

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

I know I’ve written about this before. But I’m seeing an increasing number of these kinds of “services,” and they are all worthless.

What am I talking about? Agent middleman services–services that, for a fee, purport to contact agents on your behalf with the aim of snagging representation and, hopefully, a publishing contract.

A particularly egregious example: Bookmarq.net’s Finding a Publisher service. (All errors courtesy of the original.)

Worth reading the full article. Here’s the link:

http://www.victoriastrauss.com/2014/08/12/how-not-to-seek-a-literary-agent-the-perils-of-middleman-services/

_________________________________________________________________________

Agent Holly McGhee is our Guest Critiquer for August. Holly McGhee opened Pippin Properties in 1998, after being an executive editor at HarperCollins and has built one of the most prestigious Literary Agencies in the Children’s Book Industry.

Holly says, “At Pippin we embrace every artistic endeavor, from picture books to middle-grade novels, nonfiction, young adult, graphic novels. We don’t follow trends—we encourage our clients to follow their hearts. Our philosophy, the world owes you nothing, you owe the world your best work, hasn’t changed, but as an agency we have evolved to keep pace with our clients.”

Among Holly’s celebrated clients are Kate DiCamillo, David Small, Doreen Cronin, Jandy Nelson, Kathi Appelt, Harry Bliss, Peter H. Reynolds, Sujean Rim, Jon Agee, and Holly’s very own big sister, Alison McGhee. Holly lives with her husband and three children fifteen miles west of the Lincoln Tunnel, and she also writes under the pen name Hallie Durand.

Here are the submission guidelines for submitting a First Page in August:

Please “August First Page 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: August 21st.

RESULTS: August 29th.

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 August’s directions. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the same submission.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, need to know, writing Tagged: Agent Holly McGhee, Agent Middleman Services, First Page Critique, Free Fall Friday, Pippin Properties, Victoria Strauss, Writer Alert

2 Comments on Free Fall Friday Plus Alert, last added: 8/15/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
10. Free Fall Friday

CALL FOR ILLUSTRATIONS: Need illustrations for this blog. I 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 yourself that I can use.

Below is the September picture prompt for anyone who is inspired to use it for their first page.

Anne_Belov_Ellie_and_edmond_and_pandas 100 r  copyThe above illustration was sent in by Anne Belov. She was featured on Illustrator Saturday http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/illustrator-saturday-anne-belvo/ She works in oils, egg tempera, and works with printmaking.

Here are the submission guidelines for submitting a First Page in April: In the subject line, please write “September First Page Critique” or “September First Page Picture Prompt Critique” and paste the text in the email. 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.

Plus attach your first page to the email. Please format using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double spaced, no more than 23 lines. Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Remember to also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail, plus attach it in a Word document.

DEADLINE: September 19th.

RESULTS: September 26th.

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 for this month. 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.

I will post this months Guest Critiquer next week.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, inspiration, opportunity, submissions, Writer's Prompt Tagged: Anne Belov, Call for Illustrations, First Page Critique, Free Fall Friday, Picture Prompt

2 Comments on Free Fall Friday, last added: 9/7/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
11. Free Fall Friday – First Page Guest Critiquer – Kudos

Below is a double page spread from A LOVE LETTER FROM GOD that Laura Watson illustrated.

LauraWatson_LoveLetter_beach_800

I received a wonderful update note from Laura Watson who was featured on Illustrator Saturday last year. http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/illustrator-saturday-laura-watson/

Here’s what Laura wrote:

“I wanted to thank you again for the wonderful profile you did on me last fall. It led to at least one awesome job, that I know of, and tons of great exposure. Thank you so much!”

“I have a couple of recent projects that are now printed:

Farm Friends for I See Me! Inc. Personalized Children’s Books (http://www.iseeme.com/my-farm-friends-personalized-book.html#Tab-A-2 ) and A Love Letter from God by P.K. Hallinan (for Ideals Children’s Books.”

“I’ve also been working on projects for Capstone, Orca Books (in Canada) and a couple of self-publishing clients too. This has been my busiest year ever, so far. Just pausing to catch my breath and update my portfolio, etc. this week.”

Laura, congratulations on all your recent successes. I’m so happy I contributed to a good year.

cropped-creativity-cookbook-header-600dpi

Donna Taylor launch two blogs with week. Thought you might like to check them out. She has some give-a-ways on both blogs that you may like. They end Sunday night at midnight. 

http://writersideup.com and http://2creativitycookbook.com

Rachel_Brooks_LPA_photo_17781343_stdAgent Rachel Brooks from the L Perkins Agency has agreed to be September’s First Page Critiquer.

Before joining the L. Perkins Agency, Rachel worked as an agent apprentice to Louise Fury. In addition to her industry training, Rachel has a business degree and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English from Texas A&M University-CC.

WHAT RACHEL LIKES: She is excited about representing all genres of young adult and new adult fiction, as well as adult romance. While she is looking for all sub-genres of romance, she is especially interested in romantic suspense and urban fantasy. She is also on the lookout for fun picture books.

She’s a fan of dual POVs, loves both print and ebooks, and has a soft spot for marketing savvy writers.

Below is the September picture prompt for anyone who is inspired to use it for their first page.

Anne_Belov_Ellie_and_edmond_and_pandas 100 r  copyThe above illustration was sent in by Anne Belov. She was featured on Illustrator Saturday http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/illustrator-saturday-anne-belvo/ She works in oils, egg tempera, and works with printmaking.

Here are the submission guidelines for submitting a First Page in April: In the subject line, please write “September First Page Critique” or “September First Page Picture Prompt Critique” and paste the text in the email. 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.

Plus attach your first page to the email. Please format using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double spaced, no more than 23 lines. Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Remember to also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail, plus attach it in a Word document.

DEADLINE: September 19th.

RESULTS: September 26th.

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 for this month. 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: Agent, authors and illustrators, inspiration, Kudos Tagged: Anne Belov, Donna Taylor, First Page Critique, Free Fall Friday, L Perkins Agency, Laura Watson, Rachel Brooks

2 Comments on Free Fall Friday – First Page Guest Critiquer – Kudos, last added: 9/12/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
12. Free Fall Friday

IF metamorphosis final b

Dow Phumiruk is an aspiring children’s book illustrator.  She won the 2013 SCBWI On-the-Verge Emerging Voices Award that promotes diversity in children’s books.  Please visit her newly organized portfolio site at www.artbydow.blogspot.com.  The Emerging Voices Award 2014 opened for submission on September 15! Scroll to see Monday’s post about it.

ANNOUNCING THE WINNER OF DARLENE BECK-JACOBSON’S WHEELS OF CHANGE is: Drum roll please… Donna Taylor from Writer’s Side Up. Congratulations! Donna. Please send Darlene or me your email address so Darlene can send out your book.

Since I know so many in the audience love Eileen Spinelli, I thought you would want to read this interview Lora over at Words On A Limb had with Eileen. Here is the link:Eileen Spinelli Interview

joycebook

Joyce Wan just received her advance reader’s copy of her new picture book, THE WHALE IN MY SWIMMING POOL, which will hit book shelves in April 2015! A WHALE of a tale that is sure to evoke giggles from little guppies! ♥

At Running Press Kids, Lisa Cheng has been promoted to senior editor.

At Simon & Schuster Children’s, Jenica Nasworthy has been promoted to assistant managing editor.

Co-founder of start-up Ruckus Media and one-time president of Simon & Schuster Children’s Rick Richter is joining Zachary Schuster Harmsworth as an agent, working in their Boston office. Richter will represent children’s books as well as narrative nonfiction focused on history and military history.

Longtime editor Tom Miller will join Sanford J. Greenburger Associates as a literary agent on September 15. He will represent primarily nonfiction projects in the areas of diet and wellness, psychology and self-help, business, popular culture, spirituality, cooking, and narrative nonfiction. Most recently, he was an executive editor at McGraw-Hill.

Annie Nybo has been promoted to assistant editor at Margaret K. McElderry Books.

PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT A FIRST PAGE FOR CRITIQUE IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO HAVE THE CRITIQUE POSTED. Thanks!

Rachel_Brooks_LPA_photo_17781343_stdAgent Rachel Brooks from the L Perkins Agency has agreed to be September’s First Page Critiquer.

Before joining the L. Perkins Agency, Rachel worked as an agent apprentice to Louise Fury. In addition to her industry training, Rachel has a business degree and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English from Texas A&M University-CC.

WHAT RACHEL LIKES: She is excited about representing all genres of young adult and new adult fiction, as well as adult romance. While she is looking for all sub-genres of romance, she is especially interested in romantic suspense and urban fantasy. She is also on the lookout for fun picture books.

She’s a fan of dual POVs, loves both print and ebooks, and has a soft spot for marketing savvy writers.

Here are the submission guidelines for submitting a First Page in September: In the subject line, please write “September First Page Critique” or “September First Page Picture Prompt Critique” and paste the text in the email. 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.

Plus attach your first page to the email. Please format using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double spaced, no more than 23 lines. Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Remember to also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail, plus attach it in a Word document.

DEADLINE: September 19th.

RESULTS: September 26th.

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 for this month. 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: Agent, Kudos, opportunity, Places to sumit Tagged: Agent at L. Perkins Agency, Dow Phumiruk, Editor Tom MIller joining Sanford J Greenbuger as Agent, Free Fall Friday, Publishing Industry promotions, Rachel Brooks, Simon & Schuster Children's

8 Comments on Free Fall Friday, last added: 9/19/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
13. 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
Display Comments Add a Comment
14. Free Fall Friday – News and Call for Illustrations

Literary agent Frances Black and media relations executive Debra Caruso have announced the formation of E-Lit Books. The epublishing company is focused on helping issue titles by their clients when they are unable to find acceptable homes with major publishers. “We have so many wonderful authors whose manuscripts are not getting attention from the big publishers, but that doesn’t mean they’re not writing great books,” Black says in the announcement. She adds that the inclusion of “media relations, both social and traditional, will be the ‘it’ factor in our delivery system.”

At Henry Holt, Serena Jones has been promoted to senior editor, while Paul Golob moves over as executive editor while continuing to manage the imprint’s relationship with the New York Times. Both Jones and Golob will report to Gillian Blake.

At Harlequin, Tina James has been promoted to executive editor, Love Inspired.

Jessica Regel has joined Foundry Literary+Media as a domestic agent and Foreign Rights Associate for the agency’s children’s list, further growing Foundry’s Books for Young Readers department. She spent the past 11 years as an agent at Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency.

Shannon Hassan will join Marsal Lyon Literary Agency at the end of August. Previously she was an agent at the Warner Literary Group.

HarperCollins Canada will handle sales and distribution for UK-based children’s publisher Usborne Publishing Ltd.

Rachel Hecht is re-joining Mary Anne Thompson Associates as executive director of Children’s/YA scouting. In addition, the scouting firm has been appointed North American scout for Baltos Lankos in Lithuania, covering the adult market.

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/

I do not have the Guest Critiquer confirmed yet to announce, but you can start sending in your first pages for September’s critique.

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.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: September 19th.

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

Talk Tomorrow,

Kathy

 


Filed under: Artist opportunity, inspiration, News, opportunity Tagged: E-Lit Books, First Page Critique, Free Fall Friday, Jessica Regel, Rachel Hecht, Randy Gallegoes

0 Comments on Free Fall Friday – News and Call for Illustrations as of 9/6/2013 3:05:00 PM
Add a Comment
15. Free Fall Friday – Zack Clark

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.

Check back next Friday to read Zack’s bio.

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/

I do not have the Guest Critiquer confirmed yet to announce, but you can start sending in your first pages for September’s critique.

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.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: September 19th.

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

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Editor & Agent Info, opportunity Tagged: Assistant Editor, Free Fall Friday, Free First Page Critique, Randy Gallegoes, Scholastic, September Guest Critiquer, Zachery Clark

0 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Zack Clark as of 9/13/2013 1:14:00 AM
Add a Comment
16. 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
Display Comments Add a Comment
17. 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

0 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Zack Clark Guest Critiquer as of 9/20/2013 3:32:00 AM
Add a Comment
18. Free Fall Friday – Results

randy_gallegos_emperor_of_the_merfolk

The above picture prompt was used for the story below:

he Neptune Diet by Karen Fortunati – MG Fantasy

What is this?  Some kind of underwater optical illusion?  Because I’m ripped.  Totally freaking cut.  Even with my vision blurred by these crappy goggles in the steamy murkiness of the hot tub, there’s no doubt about it.  My brand new biceps, triceps and deltoids bulge and clench as I wave my hands through the white froth.  Whoa! These beauties, usually held hostage under a thick layer of “baby fat,” now rise up separate and defined, dancing under my skin.  Where did they come from?

Lungs ready to burst, I stick my nose and mouth out of the water and the chill of the October afternoon hits my face.

“Teddy!  Get out of there!” Mom yells from the open sliding door.  “You’re just getting over your cold.”  Her orange crocs move across the splintery deck, towards me.

I rise from the water like a Greek god.  And wait for her screams.  What did you do to yourself?  What did you take?  Steroids?  No baby! You’re only in eighth grade!   

            But there’s not one lousy scream. Instead she tosses a towel next to the hot tub.  It lands on the empty Twinkie box and dented can of Diet Mugs Root Beer.

            “Well, mother?” I ask.  “Notice anything about your favorite son?”  I twirl, allowing her to visually feast on my eight-pack abs, whittled waist and pecs of steel.

Mom ignores my physique.  Instead, open-mouthed, she points to the carved stick of driftwood lying next to the hot tub.  The one I dropped as I got out of the water.  The one I borrowed yesterday from the maritime exhibit at Harriman House as Mom was giving a tour.  But just as I’m about to explain my temporary need for “Neptune’s Walking Stick,” I catch sight of my reflection in the slider.   What the?  My body has morphed back to its normal, depressing, pudgy shape.

Below are Zack’s comments:

The Neptune Diet

There’s definitely some cool stuff going on here. The magic piece of driftwood that gives one a godlike physique has fun potential, both for comedy and complications. As a fantasy nerd, I’m already wondering what the rules for the driftwood might be, and imagining the ways Teddy can get in trouble with it. You have some nice details in there, too: the crocs on Teddy’s mom, the food laid outside the hot tub, all do a nice job characterizing this family. As a first page, though, I think there’s definitely some fine tuning to do. This feels almost like the first page of a second or third chapter. I imagine that, because you’re writing with an image as a prompt, you want to dive right in to the exciting part—Teddy discovers the power of the driftwood and becomes the figure we see in the illustration—but there’s some narrative work still to accomplish. The driftwood is going to be life changing for him, so I’d like to get a brief view of the life that will be changed, and witness Teddy “borrowing” the driftwood from the exhibit. There’s obviously a story there—is it funny, ominous, both? I wouldn’t just bury it in exposition. Even the first line, “What is this?” seems to reference something we’re missing, rather than giving us something intriguing to chomp onto. I’d suggest leading with the hook—since this is in first person, maybe Teddy talking about how his life went to hell (or was saved, whatever the angle is) because of a piece of wood—and then spending the rest of the time showing us how he got there.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Marooned by BettelynnMcIlvain – MG

Cycle 22: Planet Earth.

The big fish the planet’s inhabitants call whales were particularly annoying this morning. Their curiosity will be my early demise. I can only hope that the calls they make to one another satisfy spotted sonar. Clearly I am being hunted.

Cycle 23: Planet Earth.

A lone whale calf I have named, Grail, has been following me. He has soulful eyes and a talent for getting into trouble. This morning small cans of explosives were released from my hunters. To me, puffs of smoke disturbing the currents.  “Away!” I yelled as Grail swam into the field of eruptions. Had I not grabbed him, the youngster would have died. Bubbles from my warning rose to the surface. The ships are now sure of my existence – at least in their waters. At dusk, out of range, I rise to the land.

Cycle 25: Planet Earth.

My plans to make ground have been foiled. Not by the ships I left in the middle of the ocean, but by two earth children who clearly love the sunset. My last trip here I learned about these creatures. I was much younger then, much smaller.  I could move about undetected, splashing in the waves near the beaches as if I was a hallucination from the sun in their eyes. This trip I picked a jagged mountainous coast to come ashore.  Who would have thought children could climb these rocks? I have decided to stay in the water using the towering boulders dotting the coast as shields. At least for a while.

“Look, Austin! Whales!” the young girl points as if her arm is an arrow.

“Whales? Naw. Whales never come this close to shore. Not this time of year. Not at this hour,” the boy calls to her.

“I’m going to swim out to them!” she shouts, deftly jumping from rock to rock until she reaches the edge of a calm pool feeding into the sea.

Here is Zack’s comments:
Marooned
Lots of interesting elements at play: the alien that’s being hunted by someone, the sweet bond that it forms with a whale calf, and then throw two spunky kids into the mix. All the pieces are here, but I think you need to do a bit more work up front figuring out (and showing us) who and what this narrator is. We don’t yet even have a name to go on, or any details about what it looks like or what it’s doing here. It even took me a while to figure out that it was deep underwater. (Swimming? Wearing a suit of some kind?) It seems to know some things about Earth, but misses others—like understanding sonar, but confusing whales with fish. I think in your own mind you need to have a clear vision of where this being came from. Most of its reference points seem to be human. Does it have fish on its own world? What makes the whale’s eyes seem “soulful”—does it have a concept for soul, or does it mean the whale seems intelligent? Is it familiar enough with “arrows” that it would compare a girl’s pointing arm to one? Creating a completely alien creature and plopping them into our world is tough, especially when that alien is the narrator. They need to be both believably different from us, and yet familiar enough that we can understand them. I think I’d suggest actually showing us the creature’s arrival for your first chapter. Set the stakes and make it clear the alien is marooned early in, then slow down and make a bit more of its escape from the ships that hunt it. Does it have a ship of its own somewhere? Did it crash land? I’m sure there’s an exciting opening chapter in all that.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Who Stole Ben Franklin?  By Susan E. Harris  Middle Grade Mystery for Boys

There might have been a bag of jewels and coins, or an ancient Hindu dagger or even a set of swords.  John had seen endless possibilities before opening the footlocker.  But now it was open and…

“There’s a uniform.”  His cousin pulled out an olive green jacket and pants.  “Ewww, and it smells like stinky feet.  Get it?  Footlocker?  Feet?”

“Yep.  I get it, Will.”  John felt a small trickle of disappointment.

Evidently the smell didn’t really bother Will because he yanked the jacket on.

There’s got to be some kind of treasure.  But the next item John found was a pair of brown lace up boots.  “Speaking of stinky feet—”

“Hey, let me have those.”  Will tugged them from John, stuck his feet in and tromped around the kitchen.  Dirt fell off in puffs, leaving a faint trail behind.  “I really wish we could have watched that old Indiana Jones movie.”

John nodded.  He’d been looking forward to the movie himself.  What could be better then adventure, treasure and mystery?  But a fierce summer storm had hit that morning and knocked the power out.  John and Will had made a trip to the basement to find the portable DVD player in hopes of still watching the movie.  Instead, they’d found a plywood box with metal bands on the corners and faint letters spelling out U.S. Army on the lid.

Will continued to stomp.  “Anything else?”

“Just these letters.”

“Letters?!”  Will snorted.  “Boring.”

John didn’t disagree and yet he was still curious.  Picking up the bundle, he untied the string.

Here is Zack’s Comments:

Who Stole Ben Franklin?
Nice first page. John and Will are clearly drawn and distinct. Your writing is clean and you’ve got lots of great details interspersed throughout. And I’m definitely interested in what’s in the bundle of letters. (Though I wonder if you could have some kind of hint up front that these are more than meets the eye. Some symbol or scribbled phrase that has the whiff of mystery?) I was a little curious why John expected there to be treasure here. Whose basement are they in? John’s? Will’s? What gave him the idea that he’d find a bag of jewels in this footlocker? I’d also suggest maybe giving Will a better zinger to lead with, rather than the foot pun. (Since no one actually called it a footlocker in dialogue, I was a little confused where the stinky feet joke came from.) This is your first chance to impress, so show off Will’s best cornball material. Lastly, considering the power is out, it might be worth spending a little more time with mood-setting descriptions. I imagine the basement is pretty dark, and they are searching around with flashlights. What does that look like? Can they hear the storm raging outside? Doesn’t have to be a lot, but I think you’ve got a nice set up here, and it can only get better with some moody sensory elements.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————

QUEEN OF THE WHALES by Liliana Erasmus – MG Fantasy

There was a pool, not a large one, a regular swimming pool: rectangular with glazed blue tiles, stainless steel ladders and underwater lighting that illuminated the tropical patio at night. Magaly stood on the edge, gazing into the clear, bottomless water. Did she just see what she saw? The warm pavers underneath her bare feet were real and so was the island breeze that swept through her hair and the smell of chlorine she was inhaling through her nose. She lifted her cotton slip, got down on her knees, then bent forward to take a better look. The shadows were still floating in the depth of the pool, some disappearing and others growing towards her or emerging. This wasn’t real, it couldn’t be.

She looked around. The garden was deserted. Except for the large cacti, the flowering agave plants, the lounge chairs, the clicking and chirping of geckos and other night time critters, there was no one to help her understand what was going on. Screwing up her eyes against the bright water and blinking, she started to realize that there was something she could do. By standing up and backing away very slowly, she was able to flee the sight, enter the villa that belonged to the pool, wake everyone up – if there was anyone inside – and demand an explanation. It was the most logical thing to do.

Magaly stood up, but instead of running and screaming her way to the house, she walked straight to the ladder on the right. Hands on the handles, one foot on the step, another in the water and no way back.

Here is Zack’s comments: 

Queen of the Whales
Well, I’m very curious what’s at the bottom of the pool! Great job setting the suspense. There are lots of wonderful details here, too. I can totally picture the shifting water and feel the island breeze. I also like how much attention you gave to this being a normal, ordinary swimming poolclearly whatever is happening inside the pool is very extraordinary. It was funny having Magaly think of all the ways she should be responding to what she’s seeing , and then promptly ignore them. My biggest comment here would just be to keep on eye out for language economy. A good editor would be able to help you with this, but I found myself tripping over a few parts. 

For example, the sentence: “The warm pavers underneath her bare feet were real and so was the island breeze that swept through her hair and the smell of chlorine she was inhaling through her nose.”
There are so many rich sensory details here, but the sentence runs long. It’s trying to do too much in one breath. I’d chop it up a bit, and even cut the nose stuff, since we can infer that she’s smelling with her nose. “The warm pavers underneath her bare feet were real. So was the island breeze that swept through her hair, and the smell of chlorine.” It might also be good to clarify what you mean by “real.” I assumed you meant Magaly was assuring herself that she wasn’t dreaming, but that’s not totally clear from the text.
Thank you, Zack, for sharing your expertise with all of us. The time you spent is appreciated so much.
Talk tomorrow,
Kathy

Filed under: Advice, Tips Tagged: First Page Session, Free Fall Friday, Scholastic, Zack Clark

2 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Results, last added: 9/29/2013
Display Comments Add a Comment
19. Free Fall Friday – Guest Critiquer and Winners Announced

CALL FOR ILLUSTRATIONS: Please remember to send in your illustrations for October. 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 October Illustrations in the subject area. Please submit .jpgs at least 500 pixels wide.

emilys13croppedEmily Seife associate editor at Scholastic Press, has agreed to be our Guest Critiquer for October’s First Page winners. She works with award-winning authors such as Cynthia Lord, Philip Reeve, Daphne Benedis-Grab, James Proimos, and many others. She is an editor on the Infinity Ring multiplatform series, and is the author of The Hunger Games Tribute Guide. Emily is especially looking for: Young adult and middle grade fiction: stories with a strong voice and emotional core, contemporary humor, magical realism, mystery. She says she is not a good fit for: high fantasy, paranormal.

kristiPenguinChaChaCover500

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/illustrator-saturday-kristi-valiant/

hazelOne Word Pearl Cover

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/09/14/illustrator-saturday-hazel-mitchell-2/

cherry money babyClick this for the original link for Book and Agent John Cusick’s Interview.

If you didn’t win, check back on Sunday for a chance to get your hands on Cherry Money Baby.

Winners please send me your physical address, so your book can be sent to you.

You can still leave a comment for a chance to win the following books:

Click this link for Dianne Ochiltree’s Firefly Night. Winner announced on Sunday.

Click this link for Pink Cupcake Magic written by Katherine Tegan and illustrated and given away by Kristin Varner. Have to Dec. 1st to leave a comment on this link.

shawnadb29e71ae31d781af37fb29dbb5a5c18

For writers who like using a picture prompt, you may use the above illustration by Shawna JC Tenney for inspiration. Shawna was featured on illustrator Saturday April 20th. 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 “October First Page Critique” or “October First Page Picture Prompt Critique” in the subject line. Make sure you have your name on the submission, a title, and indicate the genre.

DEADLINE: October 24th

RESULTS POSTED: November 1st.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: opportunity Tagged: dianne Ochiltree, Editor Emily Seife, First Page Critiques, Free Fall Friday, Hazel Mitchell, John Cusick, Katherine Tegan, Kristi valiant, Scholastic, Shawna JC Tenney

2 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Guest Critiquer and Winners Announced, last added: 10/16/2013
Display Comments Add a Comment
20. Free Fall Friday – Editor Announced

CALL FOR ILLUSTRATIONS: Only one illustrator sent in something for March. Surely you have something to show off, so please look to see if you have an illustration 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!

I am pleased to announce that Susan Dobinick, Assistant Editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux has agreed to be our Guest Critiquer for March.

susan-dobinick

Susan wants to work on everything. Right now she is especially looking for funny middle grade girl novels. In the young adult realm, I’d like to see books that tackle big social issues but aren’t preachy. With picture books, I like short and funny; I prefer quirky stories over cuddly. Across all formats, I’m a fan of books that have depth but are accessible—so that both kids and critics will love them.

Susan assists two children’s trade imprints. She works with fiction and nonfiction, ranging from picture to young adult books. Her specialties include children’s trade publishing, picture books, chapter books, middle-grade books, young adult books, educational publishing, textbooks, and teacher editions. She holds a B.A. in English from Chicago Goucher College.

Susan is Edith Cohn’s editor for Spirits Key, which is coming out in September. Edith has a nice interview with Susan on her blog. Here is the link:

http://edithcohn.wordpress.com/interviews/interview-with-my-editor/

Here are the submission guidelines for submitting a First Page in March: 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.

DEADLINE: March 21st.

RESULTS: March 28th.

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.

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.

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/

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Editor & Agent Info, Middle Grade Novels, opportunity, picture books, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Chicago Goucher College., Farrar Straus Giroux, First Page Critiques, Free Fall Friday, Susan Dobinick

0 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Editor Announced as of 3/14/2014 2:27:00 AM
Add a Comment
21. Free Fall Friday – Results

susan-dobinickSusan Dobinick, Assistant Editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux is our Guest Critiquer  for March. Read the four winners and read Susan critique below:

Susan assists two children’s trade imprints. She works with fiction and nonfiction, ranging from picture to young adult books. Her specialties include children’s trade publishing, picture books, chapter books, middle-grade books, young adult books, educational publishing, textbooks, and teacher editions. She holds a B.A. in English from Chicago Goucher College.

Susan is Edith Cohn’s editor for Spirits Key, which is coming out in September. Edith has a nice interview with Susan on her blog. Here is the link:

http://edithcohn.wordpress.com/interviews/interview-with-my-editor/

 

ELLIE AND THE KING by Anita Nolan MG Novel

“I’m adopted. It’s the only possible explanation.”

The Piercing Pagoda kiosk at the mall provides excellent cover for my friend Lindsey and me while a group of kids from school—the popular ones—stroll past, but I duck lower anyway. I don’t know why I worry. I’m one of the more invisible people at school. But if anyone connects me with the man dressed as Elvis standing across the way, my name will be texted to every student in Cranford Middle School, and possible the entire state of Pennsylvania.

Lindsey glances at the older ladies—it’s always older ladies—lined up to meet my dad, and shakes her head. “There’s only one problem with the adoption theory, Ellie. How do you explain your eyes?”

That is the problem. I’ve tried to convince myself that I look nothing like my father—and I don’t—except for my dark green eyes, complete with little blue flecks. I guess the adoption theory can’t be right, but as Dad bursts into song, I wish it were.

The kids from school hang at the edge of the crowd, pointing at Dad and laughing. My faces flushes. I have a hard time swallowing. I wish he would keep the Elvis stuff out of the mall and away from anyone I know.

Gram says I shouldn’t be embarrassed. Everyone has a few skeletons in their closets. Unfortunately, my skeleton is the one dressed in gold lame singing Love Me Tender in front of the Cinnabon.

All Lindsey and I wanted to do was buy a few yards of silky white polyester. It wasn’t our idea to turn a trip to the mall into a media event. But apparently Dad decided to promote the upcoming Philly Salutes Elvis Tribute, so here he stands, dressed like Elvis, talking like Elvis, and acting like Elvis. Dad’s best friend, Norm, who is also Lindsey’s father, pretends to be Dad’s bodyguard—as if he needs one. But Elvis always had a bodyguard, so Dad does too.

HERE’S SUSAN DOBINICK:

Ellie and the King

I like the voice in this—the writing feels very authentically middle grade girl to me. I am not sure the author is choosing the right place to focus this energy, though, especially at the beginning of the book. Ellie is the one who I am interested in, but her dad is stealing the show (as, of course, an Elvis impersonator is apt to do). I think it is common for kids to be embarrassed by parents and there is certainly room for books that talk about navigating these relationships, but I want the child protagonist to be at the forefront here. More Ellie and Lindsey, please! What are they going to do with that fabric? Then, once we know and love Ellie, we can see more about the relationship with her father and relate more to her embarrassment. I also would caution against leaning too heavily on Elvis as a joke throughout the whole book—I am not sure that kids would love that joke as much as adults—so be sure to keep the ways in which Dad embarrasses Ellie relatable to people who don’t know much about Elvis.

*******

 

HALF-TRUTHS by Carol Baldwin                    Young Adult/Historical Fiction

Women can’t be scientists. At least that’s what Daddy always tells me.

But now I have proof he’s wrong.

I pick at the frayed edges of The Story-Lives of Great Scientists and stare out the kitchen window. If Marie Curie could make exciting scientific discoveries, why can’t I?

But I know better. Only a few colored kids make it to college. And if they do, it’s just to colored schools to become teachers. Not to big universities where important scientists get their start.

Science has always been my favorite subject. My best friend Darla rolls her eyes when I say the PTA should buy more microscopes for chemistry and biology. She thinks the money should go towards a gym. We can’t ever agree on that one.

I look at the clock above the kitchen sink. It’s four already. Any minute my big brother Sam will push through the screen door wondering what’s for supper. Momma, Daddy, and Big Momma will come in talking about work and expecting to smell dinner cooking.

“Gloria!” I yell out the window to my younger sister. “Get yourself in here and wash up the breakfast dishes!”

She looks up from the tea party she’s having with her Shirley Temple doll. “Let me finish pouring tea. I’ll be in soon!” She waves away a chicken that’s wandered over.

I doubt that’s going to happen. It’ll be me, not Gloria, catching heck if Big Momma comes home to a sink full of dishes. Sometimes I feel like everyone’s maid—something I swear I’ll never be. I wish I could spread a pair of wings and fly away.

HERE’S SUSAN DOBINICK:

Half-Truths

Well, this has a lot of interesting premises that drew me in right away. I’m a sucker for a strong female protagonist. I especially love books with characters who overcome societal expectations to succeed—and you just know that this character is going to find a way to succeed. I do think the author is putting all of her cards on the table right away, and I would like to see some of this develop more slowly—so, for example, she thinks that she can prove her father wrong that women can’t be scientists, but then shoots herself down quickly because people of color can’t even go to college. What would it be like to see her keep with the Marie Curie excitement a little longer, and then feel her disappointment when she comes to this second realization?

My caution with YA historical fiction is that it can be a bit of a tricky sell—when I am looking at these submissions, I am looking for historical plus a big hook; day to day life is a bit harder to reach a wide audience.

*******

 

MRS. HENNESSEY’S HENS     by Susan E. Harris     Picture Book

Mrs. Hennessey had six speckled Sussex hens. They were cheerful and chubby. Curious and cuddly. Feathery and friendly. So friendly they were more like dogs than hens.

When Mrs. Hennessey ate breakfast on the patio, the hens ran to greet her.

When she enjoyed a cup of tea under the stars, they nestled at her feet.

And when Mrs. Hennessey took her daily walk, they always wanted to walk with her.

But Mrs. Hennessey worried. “You may think you’re dogs but you’re not. You are hens! And it isn’t safe for hens to take a walk.”

One day, Mrs. Hennessey left for her walk. “My, what a windy day,” she said and headed down town. <Gate stays open and hens follow>

At the post office the wind blew hard. “Goodness,” said Mrs. Hennessey, “there goes all the mail! I must go help the mailman. Never mind. Those little dogs fetched his mail. But I’m glad my girls are home. I’m sure those dogs would’ve chased them.” She started her walk once more.

At the library Mrs. Hennessey stopped. The librarians were hanging a banner. The wind blew harder still and pulled the banner from their hands.

“My, how I wish I could help them,” said Mrs. Hennessey. “Never mind. Those little dogs caught the banner! And look how they’re hanging it on the library. But I’m glad my girls are home. I wouldn’t want them flying so high.”

She bought an apple-tart from the bakery and went to sit in the park.

In the park some children were flying a kite. The wind blew it’s hardest yet and sent the kite into a tree.

“I’m sure those little dogs will help the children. After all, they can fly.” Mrs. Hennessey thought about what she’d said. “Wait a minute! Dogs can’t fly!”

HERE’S SUSAN DOBINICK:

Mrs. Hennessey’s Hens

You know, it’s funny—my colleagues and I were just talking about liking chicken books the other day. I think the sentence length here is really spot on for picture books, and the author has a good sense of how to move the story along. I am having a logic problem, though—is Mrs. Henessey actually mistaking her hens for dogs? I just don’t know that a pet owner, especially one who clearly loves her pets so much, would make that mistake, even if she is absent-minded—and though picture books are fun places for fantastical adventures, I am a stickler for logic, so I would rather see a story that really embraces hens being hens. (Of course, I suppose the hens could dress in dog costumes—but I still am not sure that the costumes would be that believable to hide that the dogs were really hens…)

*******

 

THE THREE WIGGLY WORMS BLUFF by Wendy Greenley     383 word Picture Book

“Melting snow is swamping the soil! Time to head to higher ground,” said Papa Worm.

Papa, Mama and Baby Worm squirmed to the surface and wiggled up the grassy slope to face—the dreaded sidewalk.

“Ow! It’s rough,” said Baby.

“Go as fast as you can.” Mama gave him a pat. “And keep a lookout for birds.”

Baby wiggled as fast as he could.

But he was only halfway across when a robin swooped down.

“I’m going to slurp you up and take you to my babies!” the robin squawked.

“I’m a baby myself. Barely a bite, and not worth your flight. Mama is coming, she’s more than a morsel. Why don’t you wait for her?” said Baby.

The robin thanked Baby and sent him on his way.

When the coast looked clear, Mama wiggled as fast as she could.

But she was barely halfway across when the robin hopped out from a bush.

“I’m going to slurp you up and take you to my babies!” the robin squawked.

“I’d make an adequate dinner, but if you want to treat your babies to a feast you might want to wait for Papa worm. He’s coming next,” said Mama.

The robin thanked Mama and sent her on her way.

Papa did calisthenics, warming up his wiggle. Between the birds and the pavement heating up, He needed to be fast!

Papa wasn’t halfway across when the robin landed in his path.

HERE’S SUSAN DOBINICK:

The Three Wiggly Worms Bluff

I like that this has a good seasonal hook—I could imagine a class of kids reading it right at the end of winter or the beginning of spring. I also think it builds in a satisfying way—it’s an old and simple trick, but using patterns of threes (three characters, three problems, etc.) tends to work well, especially in picture books. I am not sure why the family keeps throwing each other to the mercy of the bird, though—the baby can’t actually want the mama to be eaten, or the mama for the papa to be eaten, right? I think you could get rid of the worms suggesting the bird eats the others and still have each worm outsmart the bird in a different way.

*******

I want to thank Susan for sharing her time and expertise with us. These type of critiques can help all of us improve our writing skills. We really appreciate you helping take us to the next level. Thanks again!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 


Filed under: Advice, Editors, inspiration, Middle Grade Novels, picture books, revisions, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Farrar Straus and Giroux, Free Fall Friday, March First Page Critiques, Susan Dobinick

2 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Results, last added: 3/31/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
22. 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

0 Comments on Free Fall Friday – April as of 4/4/2014 12:59:00 AM
Add a Comment
23. 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

0 Comments on Free Fall Friday as of 4/18/2014 2:01:00 AM
Add a Comment
24. 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. 

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,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, authors and illustrators, Editor & Agent Info, opportunity, Places to sumit Tagged: Bloomsbury Children's Books, Corvisiero Literary Agency, Free Fall Friday, Jenna Pocius, Samantha Bremekamp

2 Comments on Free Fall Friday, last added: 4/25/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
25. Free Fall Friday – Quinlan Lee

quinlanStop back next Friday to read the four first pages that agent Quinlan Lee at Adams Literary will critique this coming week.

Quinlan is a published author of numerous books for young readers and more than 15 years of business and project management expertise. She has been a part of the Adams Literary team since 2008, representing clients in all genres from picture books to YA. She enjoys meeting others who share her love of children’s literature and is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and a founding board member of the Charlotte Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA).

You can meet her at the New Jersey SCBWI June Conference this year.

Quinlan graduated from Tulane Univeristy and has lived all over the United States—from the mountains of Western Colorado to the Garden District of New Orleans to downtown Chicago—and for the past eleven years she’s been raising her family in Charlotte with her husband, Steve. She has three children who keep her busy with book clubs, homework and identifying creatures in the creek behind their home.

In other news:

At Simon & Schuster Children’s, Alyson Heller has been promoted to editor at Aladdin. In addition, Krista Vossen has been promoted to art director, while Michael McCartney moves up to associate art director and Karina Granda has been promoted to designer.

At Macmillan, Jill Freshney has been promoted to the new position of senior executive managing editor at Macmillan Children’s.

Liesa Abrams has been promoted to associate editorial director,  Aladdin and Simon Pulse.

At Putnam, Liz Stein has been promoted to associate editor.

At Random House Children’s Books, Sharon Burkle and Lora Grisafi have both been promoted to associate art director, while Krister Engstrom moves up to senior designer.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, Editor & Agent Info, opportunity Tagged: Adams Literary, Aladdin, Alyson Heller, Free Fall Friday, Krista Vossen, Quinlan Lee, Simon & Schuster Children's

1 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Quinlan Lee, last added: 5/23/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts