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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Kidlit Author/Illustrator Events, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 130
1. KidLit Author Events Dec.1-7

A BEAR'S YEAR: Kathy Duval; Illustrated by Gerry Turley

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving, and now it’s time to get ready for more holiday parties. The party I am looking forward to the most this season is our SCBWI Houston holiday pot luck dinner on Monday, December 7 at 7:00 at the Tracy Gee Community Center. Along with book and art sales and great food, we’re doing something special this year; we’re celebrating the launch of Kathy Duval’s newest picture book, A BEAR’S YEAR. Everyone who pre-ordered it from Blue Willow bookshop will get a little gift from Kathy. Please join us!

In addition to our SCBWI party, a lot of other events are keeping Kathy quite busy. The next morning, Wednesday, December 2, she’s doing storytime at Katy Budget Books from 10:00 to 11:00. Next week she’s visiting two schools:
December 8 at James Randolph School in Katy, and another on December 11 at Patterson Literature Magnet School. In between, she’ll be Skyping with St. John Vianney School in Brookfield Wisconsin on December 7. Go Kathy!

In this morning’s Publisher’s Lunch I read some good news for Mary Lindsey, the local author of SHATTERED SOULS. Mary’s first three books in the HAVEN series, following a community of shifters and spell weavers whose ancestors fled persecution during the Wurzburg and Bamberg witch trials of the 1600s, sold to Liz Pelletier at Entangled Teen.

In other news for local authors, Russell Sanders has a new YA novel, COLORS, releasing this winter. Mark your calendars for his launch at River Oaks Bookstore on February 6.

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2. KidLit Events November 24-December 1

Happy Thanksgiving!BIZZ & BUZZ MAKE HONEY BUNS, by Dee Leone, Illutrated by Maritie

 

Houston is settling down for a relaxing holiday week, so there’s not many book events going on, but here’s one event that is a day-long celebration:

NOVEMBER 28, 11:00 AM- 2:00 PM
Katy Budget Books
Dee Leone, PB AuthorTHE NINTH REGION: WAR WITH THE ICE LADY by D. Scozzari

Dee Leone, author of BIZZ & BUZZ MAKE HONEY BUNS will be joining Katy Budget Books as they celebrate Indies First on Small Business Saturday. Bizz and Buzz are two bees who want to make honey buns. So, they ask their friend Bear for his recipe. Although the directions seem simple, Bizz and Buzz make mistake after mistake, like finding a little “flower “instead of adding a little “flour.” What will “bee”-come of the honey buns?

Other children’s authors appearing later in the day are D. Scozzari with her middle reader series THE NINTH REGION, and Kay Clinton and Dwayne Bohac with their picture book, MERRY CHRISTMAS, Y’ALL! MERRY CHRISTMAS, Y'ALL By Dwayne Bohac, Kay Clinton

As you are thinking about the upcoming holidays and pondering what to put on your wishlist, you might want to review the upcoming writing conferences, workshops and retreats. Click on the menu bar above to find out where the agents, editors, and art directors (now listed with editors) will be in 2016. If you prefer to attend writing events at home in your pajamas, be sure to take a look at the extensive list of online courses being offered.

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3. KidLit Events October 28-November 3

THE THREE BEARS' HALLOWEEN, by Kathy Duval, illustrated by Paul MeiselTHE RUNAWAY PUMPKIN PIE MAN by Vicky Town , Illustrated by Roberta BairdTHE LITTLEST WITCH'S STORY, written by Rusty Fischer ; illustrated by Joel CookLITTLE BAT DOES NOT LIKE THAT by Arlene Grazaino

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bats, pumpkins, witches, and gingerbread!

The authors and illustrators of SCBWI Houston have you covered for Halloween. Check out these funny, not-so-spooky titles for your your little ones! THE THREE BEARS’ HALLOWEEN by Kathy Duval (illustrated by Paul Meisel); THE RUNAWAY PUMPKIN PIE MAN illustrated by Roberta Baird (written by Vicky Town); THE LITTLEST WITCH’S STORY illustrated by Joel Cook (written by Rusty Fisher); LITTLE BAT DOES NOT LIKES THAT! written and illustrated by Arlene Graziano.

Here’s this week’s Halloween special events:

OCTOBER 30: FRIDAY, 6:00 PM UNSPOKEN, by C.C.Hunter
Katy Budget Books
C.C. Hunter

New York Times Bestselling author C. C. Hunter will talk about her book UNSPOKEN  and what’s next for the Shadow Falls series. Be one of the first twenty fans to purchase a copy of UNSPOKEN at this book signing and get a free Born to Read T-shirt. Pre-orders will count towards the T-shirt giveaway, but you must be present at the event to receive one.

OCTOBER 31, SATURDAY, 11:00 AM-1:00 –PM
Barnes & Noble, River Oaks
Roberta Baird, Illustrator

THE RUNAWAY PUMPKIN PIE MAN, illustrated by Roberta BairdBarnes & Noble presents a special Halloween Storytime with local illustrator and artist Roberta Baird featuring THE RUNAWAY PUMPKIN PIE MAN:  Run, Run, Run, as fast as you can—catch that pie! He’s dessert!

A silly Halloween take on the classic Gingerbread Man, this adorable tale follows a sassy Pumpkin Pie Man as he rolls through town. A gaggle of witches, a hoard of black cats, Count Dracula, werewolves, trick-or-treaters, and a flock of ghosts all chase after the Pumpkin Pie Man.

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4. KidLit Author Events Nov. 3-10

I ♡ critique days! It’s especially nice when we take the time to chat a while before getting into the nitty-gritty of critiques. It seems that having these warm-up talks makes giving and getting critiques a little easier. Plus, it’s just fun to spend a little time catching up with each other. It will soon be the holiday season which is a pretty barren time for author events. Since critique groups often slow down in this busy time as well, I’m storing up my groups’ comments on my current WIP so I’ll have fun revisions to work on in this lean time.

But we’re not there yet, so here’s what’s going on around Houston this week:

NOVEMBER 5, THURSDAY, 2:30-4:00 PMHOME ON THE MOON by Marianne Dyson
NASA Johnson Space Center
Marianne Dyson, NF Author

Children’s author, science fiction writer, book reviewer, and former NASA flight controller Marianne Dyson will be speaking to NASA Alumni League about A PASSION FOR SPACE and doing book signing. Marianne will share stories from the first Space Shuttle flights such as the missing tiles on STS-1, the failed fuel cell on STS-2, a space sick crew on STS-3, the first secret payload on STS-4, a fire in Mission Control on STS-5, the Challenger disaster, and future missions to the Moon and Mars. Copies of her memoir, A PASSION FOR SPACE , will be available for sale and signing as well her children’s books. Event is free and at the Gilruth Center, Lone Star Room. Public is welcome, no badge required. Access via Space Center Blvd.

NOVEMBER 5, THURSDAY, 5:00 PM
Outreach Center of West Houston, 725 Bateswood Dr.
Tim Green, J.A. White, Tom Watson, Nate Ball, Annabeth Bondor-Stone, Connor White—MG Authors

The Class Acts tour hits Houston as authors Tim Green, J.A. White, Tom Watson, Nate Ball, Annabeth Bondor-Stone and Connor White play games and talk about their books. To go through the signing line and meet the authors for book personalization, please purchase one of their books from Blue Willow Bookshop. At the time of your purchase, you will be issued a signing line card that indicates your place in line. Your book and signing line card can be picked up at the event.

KIDOWNER by Tim GreenTHE THICKETY: WHISPERING TREES by J.A. WhiteSTICK DOG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOVEMBER 7, SATURDAY, 10:00 AM- 4:00 PMWritespace
Writespace
Young Writers Fiction Intensive
COST: $85.00;  Limited to 20 Students Ages 14-19

Instructor Cassandra Rose Clarke will discuss the basics of writing fiction, including getting ideas, creating characters, and telling an exciting story. We’ll talk about some of our favorite works of fiction and discuss what makes those stories tick. And finally, we’ll work through lots of exciting in-session writing exercises that will help spark creativity. With any luck, students will walk away from the workshop ready to tell stories of their own. All fiction genres are welcome, and come prepared to write, read, and have fun!

NOVEMBER 8, SUNDAY, 2:00-5:00 PMHouston YA/MG
Houston YA/MG Writers Write-In
La Madeleine, Town & Country Village
Cost: FREE; All are welcome!

Grab your laptop or notebook and join us for an afternoon of writing! We’re a group especially for those writing for the middle grade and young adult age groups. We are passionate about helping writers connect with each other, improve their craft, and learn how to market themselves and their work.Our events are always free and are a great place to get plugged into Houston’s writing community. Members include both published authors and those yet to be published from all over the Houston area. Anyone is welcome!

Read3ZeroAlso, it looks like there might still be time to sign up for Read3Zero’s 6th ANNUAL iWRITE LUNCHEON & BOOK SIGNING on November 14. Tickets are $150 per person. Help celebrate their 6th Anniversary of publishing children in the 3rd-12th grade, thereby furthering READ3Zero’s mission to encourage children to read and write daily.

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5. KidLit Events November 12-17

Yes, I am hiding my head in shame for being so late with this post. I have nothing to say for myself, except, here is the rest of this week’s events:

TODAY! NOVEMBER 12, Thursday, 10:00 AM
A BEAR'S YEAR: Kathy Duval; Illustrated by Gerry Turley
Blue Willow Bookshop
Kathy Duval, PB Author

Join local author Kathy Duval for a special story time as she read her new picture book A BEAR’S YEAR. In this gorgeous, lyrical celebration about the passing of seasons, readers will follow a mother bear and her cubs through the course of a year. Deep in her den under a snowflake blanket, Mama snuggles her newborn babies. When spring arrives, the bears awaken and emerge from their lair, and as the weather warms to summer, Mama teaches her young ones to fish, gather berries, and dig for roots. Then, in fall, the leaves turn gold, food grows scarce, and the family prepares for hibernation and the coming winter.

TODAY! NOVEMBER 12-NOVEMBER 15, SUNDAYTHE JOLLY DINOSAUR CARNIVAL by Lynn Abrams, Illustrated by Bill Megenhardt
ERJCC, 5601 S Braeswood Blvd.
Lynn Abrahms, PB Author

Local author Lynn Abrams has been selected to be one of the “Local Literati” who will be featured at the 43rd annual ERJCC Book & Arts Fair. Her new picture book, the fifth in her Ten Dinosaurs series, THE JOLLY DINOSAUR CARNIVAL, will be available in the children’s section of the book store for the duration of the Book Fair. The previous books in the series will also be available. In THE JOLLY DINOSAUR CARNIVAL, The Ten Dinosaurs and their friend Turtle are holding a Carnival. They are having lots of fun playing games, having their picture drawn, and going on cool rides. But one Dinosaur is missing and will only be found at the end of the book.

TODAY! NOVEMBER 12, Thursday, 7:00 PMNEED by Joelle Charbonneau
Blue Willow Bookshop
Joelle Charbonneau, YA Author

Joelle Charbonneau will discuss and sign her new novel for young adults, NEED. Teenagers at Wisconsin’s Nottawa High School are drawn deeper into a social networking site that promises to grant their every need . . . regardless of the consequences. Soon the site turns sinister, with simple pranks escalating to malicious crimes. The body count rises. In this chilling YA thriller, the author of the best-selling TESTING trilogy examines not only the dark side of social media, but the dark side of human nature?

 

NOVEMBER 14, SATURDAY, 11:00 AMTHE RUNAWAY PUMPKIN PIE MAN, illustrated by Roberta Baird, written by vicky Town
Blue Willow Bookshop
Four Authors from Pelican Publishing

Blue Willow Bookshop celebrates 4 Houston-based authors from Pelican Publishing. Jo and Josephine Harper, authors of WHISTLING WILLIE FROM AMARILLO, TEXAS, Roberta Baird, illustrator of RUNAWAY PUMPKIN PIE MAN, and Marci Izard, author of NOURISHING YOUR WHOLE SELF: A Cookbook with Feelings, will meet and greet customers.

 

NOVEMBER 14, SATURDAY, 10:00 AM-1:00 PMRead3Zero
READ3Zero 6th Annual iWrite Luncheon and Book Signing
Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar St, Houston
TICKETS: $150 per person
Sponsorship Opportunities Available

The READ3Zero Non-Profit Literacy Organization will hold the 6th Annual I Write Luncheon & Book Signing at the Hilton Americas in Downtown Houston. You are invited to celebrate our 6th Anniversary of publishing children in the 3rd-12th grade, thereby furthering READ3Zero’s mission to encourage children to read and write daily.

NOVEMBER 15, SUNDAY, 2:00-5:00 PMHouston YA/MG
Houston YA/MG Writers Write-In
La Madeleine, Town & Country Village
Cost: FREE; All are welcome!

Grab your laptop or notebook and join us for an afternoon of writing! We’re a group especially for those writing for the middle grade and young adult age groups. We are passionate about helping writers connect with each other, improve their craft, and learn how to market themselves and their work.Our events are always free and are a great place to get plugged into Houston’s writing community. Members include both published authors and those yet to be published from all over the Houston area. Anyone is welcome!

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6. KidLit Events November 17-24

Congratulations to SCBWI-Houston authors Marianne Dyson, Marilyn Evans and Sara Joiner!

WELCOME TO MARS: Buzz Aldrin & Marianne DysonEach of them has a book  included in the National Science Teachers’ list Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K–12: 2016. The notes below are abbreviated excerpts from the authors’ or publishers’ websites. Follow the links to see the whole story!

Marianne’s Dyson and her famous co-author Buzz Aldrin made the list with their new book WELCOME TO MARS: MAKING A HOME ON THE RED PLANET. As NASA prepares for a future mission to Mars, moon explorer Buzz Aldrin offers valuable insights, based upon the latest thoughts on what it will take for human habitation on Mars to become a reality. Visit MArianne Dayso’s website for a free download of an eight-page teacher’s guide for grades 2-8. Individual downloads for each grade level are also available.

SPIT & STICKS By: Marilyn Grohoske Evans; Illustrated by: Nicole GsellMarilyn Grohoske Evans debut picture book SPIT & STICKS: A CHIMNEY FULL OF SWIFTS AFTER THE ASHES by Sara Joinerrelates the life cycle of swift birds and its analogy with a human family. Informative text tells the story of the diligent swifts alongside wordless illustrations of the family on the farm. This parallel story of two very different, but both growing, families follows the changes in each as summer gives way to fall and the humans wave good-bye to the departing swifts—until next year.

Librarian Sara K. Joiner made the list with her debut middle grade novel  AFTER THE ASHES. In this riveting coming-of-age survival story, a stubborn and intellectual teen must fight for her life when the mighty volcano Krakatau erupts and puts her hometown on the Javanese coast in mortal danger. Set against the backdrop of one of the most spectacularly horrifying natural disasters in human history, this debut novel is by turns exciting, funny, tragic and poignant.

Here’s this week’s events:

NOVEMBER 17, 24 & DECEMBER 1, TUESDAYS, 7-8:30 PMWritespace
WRITESPACE
YOUNG WRITERS CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP (Ages 14-19)
COST: $75.00; Limited to 12 High School Students

In this workshop, instructor Elizabeth White-Olsen will examine aspects of craft that go far beyond high school. Students will venture deep into the process of creating stories and study crucial components of craft such as character motivation, gesture, point of view, scene-building, as well as learn to fulfill the famous writing adage, “show, don’t tell.” Along with exploring fiction, we will study poetry and poetic techniques.

NOVEMBER 19, SATURDAY, 9:30-12:00DEVOTED by Jenifer Mathieu
Writespace
Realistic YA with Jennifer Mathieu
COST: $30-$45

Writing Real Teenagers for Real Teenage Readers (and Adult Readers, Too!)
Realistic young adult fiction is filling the bestseller lists, and books by Rainbow Rowell, John Green, and E. Lockhart are captivating the attentions of readers both young and old.  But how can an adult writer craft an authentic teenager as protagonist?  How do we as grown ups write stories full of the tension, excitement, longing and frustration that come with being 16?

This three-hour workshop focuses on writing realistic contemporary fiction for young adults.  We’ll spend time in class studying a mentor text and discussing how and why it works, including analyzing the voice, characterization, setting, structure, pacing and plot.  Participants will have time to write in class, applying our conversations to an existing work in progress, or they may choose to respond to an exercise or two.  Sharing is optional but encouraged.  Participants will leave with a reading list of some of the best contemporary young adult fiction from recent years as well as resources on the querying and publishing process.

Note: This workshop is geared toward writers of contemporary, realistic YA, rather than toward writers of paranormal and fantasy YA.

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7. KidLit Author/Writing Events August 11-18 + Happy Book Birthdays!

This week I want to wish a Happy Book Birthday to two books which debut on the 15th:

I THOUGHT THIS WAS A BEAR BOOK by Tara Lazar and Benji DaviesI THOUGHT THIS WAS A BEAR BOOK

by author Tara Lazar and illustrator Benji Davies

After an unfortunate bookcase collapse, Alien suddenly finds himself jolted out of his story and into a very strange world, complete with talking bears. Desperate to return to his book, Alien asks the Bear family for help so he can get back to his story and save his beloved Planet Zero from total destruction before it’s too late.

Mama Bear and Papa Bear try all kinds of zany contraptions (with some help from their nemesis, Goldilocks) without much luck. Baby Bear might have the perfect solution to get the Alien out of the woods and back to his planet…but will anyone listen to the littlest voice in the story?

 

and

FOR THE RIGHT TO LEARN by Rebecca Langston-GeorgeFOR THE RIGHT TO LEARN:

MALALA YOUSAFZAI’S STORY

by Rebecca Langston-George, Illustrated by Janna Bock

from Capstone Press

She grew up in a world where women were supposed to be quiet. But Malala Yousafzai refused to be silent. She defied the Taliban’s rules, spoke out for education for every girl, and was almost killed for her beliefs. This powerful true story of how one brave girl named Malala changed the world proves that one person really can make a difference.

 

Announcing a new page:

Houston’s Young Writers & Readers!

The community of the Greater Houston Area has always supported the arts, but recently, the programs for young people who desire to explore creative writing has exploded. To spread awareness of these exciting opportunities, I’ve added Houston’s Young Readers & Writers. Most of these programs take place in the summer, but we are fortunate to have venues for these events throughout the year. As well as the writing workshops, we have many events geared toward readers, including three major events: Teen Book Con, Tweens Read, and the Houston Public Library’s annual BOOKS ALIVE! This new page will alert the Greater Houston Area and beyond to events before it’s too late for young readers and writers to register. Check it out!

 

GHOST HORSE by Tom McNeelyThis week’s Author Event:

August 15, Saturday, 3:00 PM
Blue Willow Bookshop
Tom McNeely, MG/YA Author

Tom McNeely will discuss and sign his book, GHOST HORSE. Set amidst the social tensions of 1970’s Houston, Ghost Horse tells the story of eleven-year-old Buddy Turner’s shifting alliances within his fragmented family and with two other boys–one Anglo, one Latino–in their quest to make a Super-8 animated movie. As his father’s many secrets begin to unravel, Buddy discovers the real movie: the intersection between life as he sees it and the truth of his own past. In a vivid story of love, friendship, and betrayal, Ghost Horse explores a boy’s swiftly changing awareness of himself and the world through the lens of imagination.

 

Three writing events in Houston this week:

AUGUST 11, TUESDAY, 6:30-8:30 PM
The Houston Writers’ Guild
Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Rd.Houston Writers Guild
Julian Kindred: Bringing Structure to the Organic Writer: Helping “Pantsers” Give their Plots Direction
Cost:$10 Members; $20 Nonmembers; $5 Students w/ID.

Writers tend to fall into one of two categories: gardeners and architects. This former group is also sometimes called “pantsers” for the way they write “by the seat of their pants.” This workshop is for this group, for whom writing is an almost external force and aims to help these writers explore methods for giving their work a cohesive plot, solid ending and overall sense of structure. Exercises will include methods for predicting character reactions and utilizing a fluid plot outline.

AUGUST 11, TUESDAY, 7:00 PMWritespace
Writespace
Elizabeth White-Olsen: Critiquapalooza
Cost: $25-$35

Have you ever wondered what a critique from a professional editor is like? Do you wish you could have an editor’s support and feedback, but you don’t feel ready to incur the cost? Or, are you just starting out and you would like to know what aspects of craft to consider when you’re writing a novel? Join us for Critiquapalooza, a fast and fun, yet in-depth look at dozens of craft elements essential to creating great stories. At Critiquapalooza you’ll learn what an editor looks for when he or she is determining whether to publish a submission.

AUGUST 18, TUESDAY, 7:30 PMRWA-Logo-200
Bay Area RWA
Kirkmont MUD Building, 10102 Blackhawk Road
Fern Brady: Conflict

In this presentation Fern will discuss how the four types of conflict can be integrated within individual scenes to add depth and tension.  Come prepared with your work in progress, if you want to try the technique out as a revision strategy or come ready to write. The objective is for each participant to be able to use the strategy and discuss its impact on the story.


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8. KidLit Author Events & Happy Book Birthday

Happy September! This is the month that always makes me want to buy boots and sweaters, even though in my part of Texas neither of those things is really necessary more than one or two weeks out of the year, and then not until January. Being the first of the month, I’ve added a slew of September book babies to the slider on my conference pages. Check it out to get a peek at all the delicious new reads!

Happy book Birthday!

Happy book Birthday!

Happy Book Birthday

this week to

Linda Joy Singelton’s Cinderella-inspired YA, NEVER BEEN TEXTED,

to Dax Varley’s YA horror novel, BLEED,

and to Josh Funk’s LADY PANCAKE & SIR FRENCH TOAST, illustrated by Brendan Kearney.

 

NEVER BEEN TEXTED by Linda Joy SingletonNEVER BEEN TEXTED: When Ashlee’s stepdad completely forgets her birthday she takes matters into her own hands to get the one thing she really wants: her own cell phone. But text messages start rolling in from a broken-hearted boy, and though Ashlee knows not all stories end happily, she’s determined to make hers the best it can be. Balancing a bit of magic, the love of a pet dog, the support of a well-meaning and meddling friend, and the dream of a sweet romance, Ashlee must decide whether or not to pursue a boy who’s been recently entangled with her high school’s most vicious girl.

BLEED by Dax VarleyBLEED: Life is a nightmare for Miranda Murphy. Without knowing when or why, blood oozes from her palms—an anomaly that makes her feel like a freak. But her abnormality is now the least of her worries. She’s just enrolled at “Suicide High.” Three deaths in three months—one occurring just days before her arrival. When she bumps into a cute boy named Jake, things don’t appear so glum. Especially since Jake’s a psychic who can predict the immediate future. But his gift of sight can’t prepare her for the horrors that await. Through Jake, Miranda meets three other extraordinary students: Topher, who can heal by touch; Sam, who eats the sins of the dead; and Xyan, who speaks and understands all languages. It’s then that Miranda learns the secret behind why she bleeds. When it becomes evident that supernatural forces are at play, the five determined friends team up. Now it’s up to them to destroy the evil infecting their school. Head over to Dax’s website to read an excerpt!

LADY PANCAKE & SIR FRENCH TOAST: A thoroughly delicious picture book about the funniest “food fight!” ever! Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast have a beautiful friendship—until they discover that there’s ONLY ONE DROP of maple syrup left. Off they go, racing past the Orange Juice Fountain, skiing through Sauerkraut Peak, and reeling down the linguini. But who will enjoy the sweet taste of victory? And could working together be better than tearing each other apart? The action-packed rhyme makes for an adrenaline-filled breakfast . . . even without a drop of coffee!

Now for this week’s Greater Houston Area events:

WritespaceSEPTEMBER 5, SATURDAY, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Writespace
Writers’ Workshop with K.J. Russell
COST: $30 Members, $45 Non-members

Dialogue: Let Your Characters’ Words Bring Your Story to Life! Tell your exposition to take a break and let your characters do some of the talking for you! There’s no better tool to give your fiction and nonfiction a unique new voice and grounded perspective than well-crafted dialogue. Cut back on static narration and character description by letting the characters demonstrate themselves and the world around them. In this workshop, K.J. Russell will discuss the many uses of dialogue, what craft problems dialogue can solve, and how to execute it with a confidence that will lend your story the kind of life that readers are looking for.

SEPTEMBER 8, MONDAY, 7:00-9:00 PMSCBWI
SCBWI Houston
Tracy Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter Drive
Cost: FREE

A panel of local SCBWI members will discuss the topics covered in the recent annual SCBWI International Conference in Los Angeles.

 

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9. KidLit Events & Happy Book Birthday!

SERPENTINE by Cindy PonHappy Birthday

today to

Cindy Pon

for her new YA novel

SERPENTINE

 

This book is getting awesome reviews from from the big reviewers and has been selected as a Junior Library Guild selection for Fall 2015. See what other YA fantasy authors have to say about it:

“Vivid worldbuilding, incendiary romance, heart-pounding action, and characters that will win you over–I highly recommend Serpentine.” Cinda Williams Chima, bestselling author of the Seven Realms and Heir Chronicles fantasy novels

Serpentine is unique and surprising, with a beautifully-drawn fantasy world that sucked me right in! I love Skybright’s transformative power, and how she learns to take charge of it.” ~Kristin Cashore, New York Times bestselling of the Graceling Realm Series

Serpentine’s world oozes with lush details and rich lore, and the characters crackle with life. This is one story that you’ll want to lose yourself in.” ~ Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of Legend and The Young Elites

Hop over to Cindy’s website to find out more about it and get an eyeful of Cindy’s beautiful artwork!

 

The Essential Workshop for Fiction Writers

If you haven’t signed up for this workshop with Kimberly Morris yet, I think there are still a few spots available. This is a one-day workshop on Saturday, September 26. Join us for 25 years of Kimberly’s professional writing experience distilled into 4 hours of intuitive, entertaining, and easy-to-digest instruction that you can immediately apply to a new or stalled manuscript. This workshop is for writers of any genre of fiction; chapter books, middle grade, young adult and adult. Go here for more information and to register!

 

Here’s this week’s Houston area events:

 

SEPTEMBER 8, TUESDAY, 7:00-9:00 PM ABBY SPENCER GOES TO BOLLYWOOD by Varsha Bajaj
SCBWI Houston
Tracy Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter Drive
Cost: FREE

A panel of local SCBWI members will discuss the topics covered in the recent annual SCBWI International Conference in Los Angeles. Also, this is the night local author Varsha Bajaj is presented with SCBWI’s Texas/Oklahoma Region Crystal Kite Award for her 2014 debut MG novel, ABBY SPENCER GOES TO BOLLYWOOD. The Crystal Kite is a peer-given award to recognize great books from 15 SCBWI regional divisions around the world.

 

SEPTEMBER 10, THURSDAY, 5:00 PMTUCKY JO AND LITTLE HEART by Patricia Polacco
Blue Willow Bookshop
Patricia Polacco, PB Author/Illustrator
Cost: FREE! In order to go through the signing line and meet Patricia Polacco, please purchase TUCKY JO AND LITTLE HEART from Blue Willow Bookshop. Please see Blue Willow’s event page for more information.

Patricia Polacco will share her new picture book for children, TUCKY JO AND LITTLE HEART. Tucky Jo was known as the “kid from Kentucky” when he enlisted in the army at age fifteen. Being the youngest recruit in the Pacific during World War II was tough. But he finds a friend in a little girl who helps him soothe his bug bites, and he gets to know her family and gives them some of his rations. Although the little girl doesn’t speak English, Tucky Jo and Little Heart share the language of kindness. Many years later, Tucky Jo and Little Heart meet again, and an act of kindness is returned when it’s needed the most in this touching picture book based on a true story.

 

SEPTEMBER 12, SATURDAY, 9:30 AM-5:00 PMChris Rogers, Author, Instructor
Writespace
Novel Workshop with Chris Rogers
Cost: $75 Members, $95 Non-members

This workshop will take you quickly through the basics of novel structure and will equip you to create an intriguing plot, wonderful characters and page-turning suspense. Topics we will cover include: The 12-Step Story Plan; Dramatic & Reflective Structure; Plot, Point of View & Characterization; Suspense, Tension & Conflict; Subplot & Pacing; Emotional Connections

This workshop will meet you wherever you are in your novel writing process, so feel free to come with a completed novel draft, with a completed first chapter, or without a particular plan in mind, but open to new possibilities.

 

SEPTEMBER 13, SUNDAY, 2:00 PMFANCY NANCY SOCCER MANIA, Illustrator: Robin Preiss Glasser; Author: Jane O Connor
Blue Willow Bookshop
Robin Preiss Glasser, Illustrator
Cost: FREE! In order to go through the signing line and meet Robin Preiss Glasser for book personalization, please purchase NANCY CLANCY: SOCCER MANIA from Blue Willow Bookshop. See Blue Willow’s event page for more information.

Robin Preiss Glasser, illustrator of the wildly popular FANCY NACY series, will share her new book, NANCY CLANCY: SOCCER MANIA. Normally Nancy doesn t like dressing like everyone else. But wearing a soccer team uniform well, that’s different. Nancy adores being on the Green Goblins she loves cheering for her teammates, sharing refreshments, and painting her fingernails bright green before every game. If only she wasn t cursed with slow legs All Nancy wants is to be mediocre or maybe even a little better than average. Will she reach her goal? Here’s a brand-new chapter book with plenty of humor and sports action, written expressly for kids like Nancy who aren’t the star of their team.

 

 

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10. KidLit Author/Illustrator Events Sept. 22-27

Autumn Equinox in Houston

Tomorrow may the the autumn equinox, but it still looks (and feels) very much like summer here! This will be a fun writing week. I’ve got critique tomorrow, lunch with writer friends on Friday and on Saturday, (drum roll please….) 

The Essential Workshop for Fiction Writers!

There may still be places left in this workshop, so scroll down to see more information!

Here’s more of what’s happening this week in Houston:

SEPTEMBER 23, WEDNESDAY, 7:00 PM WALK THE EARTH A STRANGER by Rae Carson
Barnes & Noble, The Woodlands
Two YA Authors, Rae Carson & Sophie Jordan

Join two popular teen authors, Rae Carson and her book WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER, and Sophie Jordan and her second book in the Uninvited Series, UNLEASHED. Signing will be upstairs in the seating area.

Rae Carson’s WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER is the first in a new an epic saga in which a young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America. Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man UNLEASHED by Sophie Jordanwho wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety?

In Sophie Jordan’s UNLEASHED, the romantic, high-stakes sequel to UNINVITED, Davy has spent the last few months trying to come to terms with the fact that she tested positive for the kill gene HTS. She swore she would not let it change her, and that her DNA did not define her . . . but then she killed a man. Now on the run, Davy must decide whether she’ll be ruled by the kill gene or if she’ll follow her heart and fight for her right to live free. But with her own potential for violence lying right beneath the surface, Davy doesn’t even know if she can trust herself.

SEPTEMBER 24, THURSDAY, 7:00 PM
Blue Willow Bookshop
Carolyn Mackler, YA Author INFINITE IN BETWEEN by Carolyn Mackler

Join Printz Honor author Carolyn Mackler as she discusses her new novel, INFINITE IN BETWEEN, which chronicles the lives of five teenagers through the thrills, heartbreaks, and joys of their four years in high school.

Zoe, Jake, Mia, Gregor, and Whitney meet at freshman orientation. At the end of that first day, they make a promise to reunite after graduation. So much can happen in those in-between years .

Zoe feels like she will live forever in her famous mother’s shadow. Jake struggles to find the right connections in friendship and in love. Mia keeps trying on new identities, looking for one that actually fits. Gregor thought he wanted to be more than just a band geek. And Whitney seems to have it all, until it’s all falling apart around her.

SEPTEMBER 25-26, FRIDAY & SATURDAY Houston Writers Guild
The Houston Writers’ Guild
Crowne Plaza Hotel, 7611 Katy Fwy
Indiepalooza Conference
Cost:
Kathy Murphy Mingle =  Members: $35, Nonmembers $45
Saturday Main Event = Members: $75, Nonmembers $85, Students $65
Two Day Pass for Only = Members: $100, Nonmembers: $125
Please see costing details on their website!

Join the Writers Guild for their first annual Indiepalooza conference.  The Guild will host great sessions on marketing and tools for the Indie author, as well as discussion panels on industry jargon and what it all means. Some of the topics include: Legal Issues for Indie Authors by entertainment attorney Andre Evans;  Adding Art to Your Work by Monica Shaughnessy; Secrets your Editor Won’t Tell you by Tina Winograd; E-books Made Simple by D.L. Young; Where to Sell Your Book Besides Bookstores by Rita Mills; Marketing Renegade Style by Alan Bourgeois of Texas Authors Association; Social Media for People Who Don’t Like Social Media by Rebecca Nolen; Using Poetic Elements to Improve All Writing by Deborah Frontiera; 50 Shades of Publishing by agent April Eberhardt and many more sessions.

Some of the panel breakout sessions are: The Small Press—Different Strokes for Different Folks with Fern Brady of Inklings Publishing, Pamela Fegan Hutchins of Skipjack Publishing, Jeff Hastings of Chart House Press, and Patricia Flaherty Pagan of Spider Road Press; Bringing Your Book to Readers with publicist Caitlin Hamilton and agent April Eberhardt; and Going Indie—Issues & Opportunities with Deborah Frontiera, RT Book Review Founder Kathryn Falk, Rita Mills, Enos Russell, Shawna Stringer of Barnes and Noble Pasedena, and other industry professionals.

SEPTEMBER 26, SATURDAY, 10:00 AM-3:00 PMSCBWI
Lanier Theological Library,  14130 Hargrave, Houston 

The Essential Workshop for Fiction Writers, with Kimberly Morris
COST: SCBWI members $40. Non-members $60
NOTE: To receive the SCBWI fee, please make sure to sign in as a member!

Is your manuscript sagging in the middle? Has it been rejected because of too much back story, slow pacing or one-dimensional characters? Is POV or story arc the problem? Kimberly Morris will present a workshop to help with common problems all writers face with every manuscript.

Kimberly Morris is the author of 60 books for children and young adults, many of them for popular series including Disney Fairies, That’s So Raven, Mary-Kate and Ashley, Animorphs, Sweet Valley, and Generation Girl. Her credits include read-aloud stories for the Muppets, Muppet Babies, and Fraggle Rock, and animated television scripts for the classic ThunderCats. She will distill 25 years of professional writing experience into 4 hours of intuitive, entertaining, and easy-to-digest instruction that you can immediately apply to a new or stalled manuscript. This workshop is for writers of any genre of fiction; chapter books, middle grade, young adult and adult.

SEPTEMBER 26, SATURDAY 2:00 PMHOUND DAWG by Patricia Vermillion, Illustrated by Cheryl Pilgrim
Barnes & Noble, The Woodlands
Cheryl Pilgrim, Illustrator

Join children’s book Illustrator Cheryl Pilgrim as she signs her book HOUND DAWG at the front of the store! Cheryl will be in store from 2:00 to 4:00PM.

HOUND DAWG is a retelling of The Little Red Hen, southern style. Bessie, Calico, and Penny work their fingers to the bone down on the cotton farm. But Hound Dawg, he’s a couch potato… lazy, lazy, lazy. Hold on now… something has caught Hound Dawg’s eye… something that changes his life forever.

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11. KidLit Author Events Sept. 29-Oct.6

My apologies for being late with this post, but it’s in time to catch all the events happening this week. I want to send a big THANK YOU to Kimberly Morris and SCBWI Houston for the wonderful workshop we had Saturday, and to Mary Wade for taking us on a tour of the beautiful Lanier Theological Library. What a gorgeous, inspiring place!

THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS BY CRYSTAL ALLENI want to remind everyone to sign up for the Connections and Craft: Novel Workshop at SCBWI Brazos Valley on October 10 in College Station. Featured speakers will be award-winning author, Kimberly Willis Holt; the Book Doctor, Robyn Conley; and Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins) editor, Kelsey Murphy (By the way, Kelsey Murphy is editing Crystal Allen’s upcoming series, THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS!). Workshop topics include:

  • “Develop Your Character”
  • “After the First Draft”
  • “Self-editing without Self-destructing”
  • “Cross Marketing Story Elements for Cross Selling”

 

 

TWEENSREADThe big KidLit event happening this week is TWEENS READ! This one-day event is this Saturday, October 3, from 9:30–5:00 at South Houston High School, 3820 Shaver Street, South Houston, TX 77587. There are SO MANY AMAZING AUTHORS coming this year including SCBWI Houston’s own Crystal Allen, and SCBWI Austin’s Nikki Loftin! Grab a tween and get there!

 

Now for the rest of this week’s events:

OCTOBER 1, THURSDAY, 7:00-9:00 PMWritespace
Writespace
Social Media Workshop for Writers with Rebecca Nolan

COST: $20-$30; See website for details

Social Media for People Who Don’t Like Social Media: A Hands-On Workshop
There are many reasons you might not like social media. Have you put off creating social media accounts because it all seems too overwhelming? Do you have a couple of social media accounts but they use a language and method foreign to you and you don’t have time to mess with it? Are you worried about strangers seeing what you’re up to? Bring your laptop and learn how to creatively make social media your own workhorse. Learn how to deal with time constraints and pick up tips and tricks that make social media less time-consuming. In this workshop we will discover how to make Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google+ work to your advantage.

OCTOBER 3, SATURDAY
Central Library, 500 McKinney
LibroFEST

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at Houston Public Library’s (HPL) 4th Annual Houston LibroFEST on Saturday, October 3, 2015. Featured presenters include author, activist, and television director Jesús Salvador Treviño, Viola Canles, and children’s author and illustrator Xavier Garza; as well as programs and activities connected to the Houston Metropolitan Research Center exhibit on display, Remembering World War II: Houston’s Latino Veterans. Also taking part in the festival: musicians, artists, and local literary organizations and vendors including Arte Público Press, Gulf Coast Literary Journal, Inprint, Writers in the Schools (WITS), and more.

The theme of this year’s LibroFEST is “heros.” LibroFEST coordinators are looking for Hispanic and Latino children’s and young adult book authors to read, sell their books, or participate on panels. Those interested should contact Carmen Abrego at Carmen.Abrego@houstontx.gov .”

OCTOBER 3, SATURDAYRWA-Logo-200
Northwest Houston Romance Writers of America
2015 Lone Star Writers’ Conference
COST: $130 Members, $140 Non-members

“The Power of Subtext: Body Language, Dialogue Cues, and Visceral Responses” Master Class with Margie Lawson. Visceral responses can be more than roiling stomachs and pounding hearts. Dialogue cues can be more than predictable, carry-no-power, pin-the-cliched-tag-on-the-dialogue. Body language can be more than cookie-cutter expressions. More than one-descriptor smiles. More than over-used phrases that many readers skim. This power-packed workshop will teach writers how to how to add psychological power to body language, dialogue cues, and visceral responses. Participants are requested to bring five chapters (or more), printed, double-spaced, in a binder. They’ll have opportunities to review their chapters and rewrite or add the right amount of subtext in the right places. Also attending is Linda Scalissi, an agent with 3 Seas Literary Agency.

OCTOBER 3, SATURDAY, 2:00-5:00 PMWritespace
Writespace
Writers’ Workshop: Easy E-book Creation with Scrivener, with D.L.Young

COST: $20-$30; See website for details

Does the idea of e-book formatting fill you with dread? Have you tried to create an e-book, but can’t get the darned thing to come out right? Are you new to e-book creation and looking for tips and shortcuts? When you are equipped with the right tools and techniques, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to create a professional-grade e-book. In this hands-on workshop, we’ll create our own e-books and learn how to set up an e-book friendly template for our novels and short stories—and even learn to create e-books with our signature on them! Please bring your laptop, and D.L. Young will take you through the process step-by-step.

OCTOBER 5, MONDAY, 7:00-9:00 PM SCBWI
SCBWI Houston
Tracy Gee Community Center
Elizabeth White-Olsen: How to Empower Your Prose by Stealing the Super Power of Poets
Cost: FREE; All are welcome!

This monthly meeting of the Houston Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators features Elizabeth White-Olsen, Director of Writespace.

DUMPLIN' by Julie MurphyOCTOBER 6, TUESDAY, 7:00 PM
Blue Willow Bookshop
Julie Murphy and Cammie McGovern, YA Authors

Julie Murphy and Cammie McGovern will discuss and sign DUMPLIN’ and A STEP TOWARD FALLING, their new books for teens.

IN Julie Murphy’s DUMPLIN’, Willowdean, Dubbed Dumplin by her former beauty queen mom, has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American-beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . untilWill takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But sheissurprised when he seems to like her back.

A STEP TOWARD FALLING by Cammie McGovernInstead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself.So she sets out to take back her confidence by doingthe most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant along with several other unlikely candidates to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she ll shock the hell out of Clover City and maybe herself most of all.

Cammie McGovern’s A STEP TOWARD FALLING is about learning from your mistakes, and learning to forgive. Emily has always been the kind of girl who tries to do the right thing until one night when she does the worst thing possible. She sees Belinda, a classmate with developmental disabilities, being attacked. Inexplicably, she does nothing at all.

Belinda, however, manages to save herself. When their high school finds out what happened, Emily and Lucas, a football player who was also there that night, are required to perform community service at a center for disabled people. Soon, Lucas and Emily begin to feel like maybe they’re starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. But can they do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt the most?

OCTOBER 6-NOVEMBER 10, TUESDAYS, 7:00-9:00 PMRice University
Glasscock School of Continuing Studies
Co-sponsors: Blue Willow Bookshop, Writespace
Writing Children’s and Young Adult Literature, with Elizabeth White-Olsen
COST: $265, For Rice alumni: $239

Children’s books have a power that resonates across time and generations. They connect us to our younger selves, to the children in our lives today and to the rich imaginative capacities that characterize childhood. This lively workshop invites aspiring and practicing writers to explore the craft of writing for children and young adults. The course will share guidelines specific to the main genres of children’s literature: picture books, middle-grade novels and young adult novels. Participants will also explore applications of fundamental writing topics to children’s literature such as characterization, plot, point-of-view, metaphor and voice. Engaging in-class writing exercises will provide multiple starting points to develop stories based on your imagination and life experiences.

OCTOBER 6, TUESDAY, 6:00-9:00 PM Writespace
Writespace
Workshop: The First Six Months: Creating Your Own Book Launch Marketing Plan, with Pamela Fagan Hutchins
COST: $20-$30; See website for details

Whether you publish indie or traditional, the marketing and promotion of your book is up to you, and the launch is critical. Bestselling (Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iTunes), nationally-distributed indie author Pamela Fagan Hutchins will lead a hands-on workshop as you create a launch timeline, budget, and marketing plan for “your” book. Pamela will pull from her experience as president of the Houston Writers Guild, her many indie workshop presentations, and the launch of her own six romantic mysteries and six nonfiction books, as captured in her USA Best Book award-winning how-to, What Kind of Loser Indie Publishes, and How Can I Be One, Too?  Bring your funny bone and a sharp #2 pencil (or laptop), as well as a book/manuscript (yours or someone else’s), with the blurb/description, genre, market, sales formats, a general budget, and price in mind.

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12. KidLit Author Events Oct. 7-12

We only have one kidlit author/illustrator event this week (that isn’t sold out) but lots of workshop opportunities. Mark your calendars for next week, Wednesday, October 14. Lincoln Pierce, author/illustrator of BIG NATE will be at Blue Willow! The last time he was here, the place was packed with kids and they had a blast! When you purchase BIG NATE: WELCOME TO MY WORLD from Blue Willow Bookshop, you will get your place in the signing line. Don’t delay! Blue Willow Bookshop’s event with Rick Riordan is sold out!

NYT Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, who has authored many fantasy books for kids and teens, will be in town tonight at Murder By the Book discussing his newest fantasy for adults, SHADOWS OF SELF. He is always asked about AFTER THE ASHES by Sara K. Joinerhis writing process at these events, so go prepared for a fascinating and exhausting discussion. If you want to hear/see his lectures on writing fantasy, check out his videos on Write About Dragons.

Also, please mark your calendars for local author Sara Joiner’s launch for her debut MG novel, AFTER THE ASHES. Sara will be celebrating her book birthday at Blue Willow Bookshop on October 17. I had originally thought I wouldn’t be able to make it to this event, but happily, plans have changed! I love this book and I’m excited about joining Sara’s party.

My critique partner, Kathy Duval, has a new picture book out later this month from Random House, A BEAR’S YEAR. Look for it at bookstores everywhere. If you see it out there in the wild, please post a pic on twitter or facebook. Kathy’s twitter handle is @duval_kathy.

Here’s what’s going on this week:

OCTOBER 8, THURSDAY, 6:00-9:00 PM Writespace
Writespace
How to Edit Your Own Story: An IndieFest Hands-on Workshop, with Elizabeth White-Olsen
COST: $20-$30; See website for details

Self-editing is a crucial skill for any and every writer, because self-editing can significantly decrease the cost of hiring an editor and significantly increase the likelihood that readers will pick up our stories. In this hands-on workshop, we will learn important editing techniques and apply them to our own work. Please bring a digital or hard-copy version of your work-in-progress and come prepared to edit and rewrite. The first three writers to send in the first three pages of their manuscripts will get to have their work critiqued and incorporated into the workshop’s discussions.

OCTOBER 9-10, FRIDAY & SATURDAY
Houston Writing Mastery Workshop with David Farland
Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake
COST: $229

Learn to take your writing from “okay” to “powerful” and “mesmerizing.” Dave will identify some of the most common writing weaknesses that keep new authors from publishing successfully, then help you overcome them. This workshop is a sample of his Writing Mastery 1 and Writing Mastery 2 workshops and allows access to select videos of those courses. You will come to the class with finished assignments from those videos and get feedback from Dave.

OCTOBER 9-11, FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAYRTRoundUp
RTRoundUp
South Shore Harbor Resort, League City, TX
Cost: Event prices vary from $10 to $250; Please see their website!

The First Houston Readers & Writers Roundup will take place at the South Shore Harbor Resort, a beautiful resort in League City, located between Houston and Galveston Island. Friday, October 9 will be a full day of seminars focused on how to get started in self-publishing and how to promote yourself and work. Join our featured authors and industry specialists to discuss everything from legal and business considerations to street teams and social media marketing. The Saturday agenda will feature an all day author signing and author showcases with over 80 traditional, hybrid and indie bestsellers. The evening will end with a Masquerade Ball. Sunday events include “Breakfast with Bloggers, Booksellers, and Librarians” plus “The Business of Self Publishing” seminar. Guest speakers include publishers, editors, literary agents, formatters, free-lance editors, proof readers, beta readers, street team leaders, cover designers, cover models/photographers, personal assistants (PA), marketing/PR professionals, reviewers, and bloggers.

OCTOBER 10: SATURDAY, 8:30 AM-4:30 PMSCBWI
SCBWI Brazos Valley
Connections and Craft: Novel Workshop
La Quinta Inn, College Station, TX
COST: Members $115, Non-members $155 (Extra’s not included)

Join us for a day-long workshop focused on the craft of novel writing. Featured speakers will be award-winning author, Kimberly Willis Holt; the Book Doctor, Robyn Conley; and Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins) editor, Kelsey Murphy. See website for critique submission guidelines.Topics include:

  • “Develop Your Character”
  • “After the First Draft”
  • “Self-editing without Self-destructing”
  • “Cross Marketing Story Elements for Cross Selling”

OCTOBER 10, SATURDAY, 8:00 AM-3:15 PM
Writers In the Schools
Houston Baptist University
Tuition: $125

Fall Writing Festival for Educators: a conference specifically for educators, grades K-12, who want to: Improve their own writing skills, explore creative brainstorming methods, support their students’ writing, and experience the WITS method of teaching. Participants will attend two workshops with professional writers, gain hands-on writing experiences, discuss classroom applications AND receive 6 hours of TAGT-approved G/T credit and 6 TEA approved CPE credit hours!

OCTOBER 10, SATURDAY, 1:00 PM PETE THE CAT AND THE BEDTIME BLUES by James and Kimberly Dean
Barnes & Noble, The Woodlands
James Dean, PB Author/Illustrator

Join author James Dean in the seating area upstairs as he discusses his newest book PETE THE CAT AND THE BEDTIME BLUES! Pete the Cat and his friends are having so much fun playing and surfing in the sun, they don’t want the day to end. Pete has an idea—how about a sleepover? Groovy! As the night gets later, it’s time for bed. This cool cat needs to catch some ZZZs, but Pete’s friends aren’t ready to go to sleep just yet. Then Pete has another idea. . . . Will it work?

 

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13. KidLit Author/Illustrator Events Oct. 13-20

There’s lots going on this week, but I particularly hope you can all come to Blue Willow Bookshop on Saturday for local librarian Sara K. Joiner‘s launch of her debut middle grade novel, AFTER THE ASHES. See you there!

As always, please check the sponsoring bookstore or organization’s website for the most up-to-date information! Here’s what’s going on:

OCTOBER 13, 20, 27, and NOVEMBER 3, TUESDAYS, 7:00-9:00 PMWritespace
Writespace
How to Make the Most of a Moment: A Fiction Workshop, with Marian Szczepanski
COST: $95 – $125

Everyone loves a car chase. Or avalanche. Or any rapid-fire action that causes readers to turn pages at warp speed. But sometimes fiction needs to get out of the express lane and allow readers to dwell in—and savor—the moment.

Pace matters when it comes to fully engaging a reader. As the driver of the car that is your story or novel, you decide when it’s time to take a deep breath and slow down. Decelerating from the speed of light to a leisurely stroll, however, shouldn’t cause your narrative to stall. Quite the opposite. If handled correctly, moments of reflection, remembrance, decision-making, and flat-out awe can fuel your plot with greater complexity, enhance your characters with greater depth, and increase overall tension.

OCTOBER 14, WEDNESDAY, 5:00 PM  BIG NATE: WELCOME TO MY WORLD by Lincoln Pierce
Blue Willow Bookshop
Lincoln Peirce, MG Author/Illustrator

Cartoonist/writer and New York Times bestselling author Lincoln Peirce will discuss and sign his new book for kids, BIG NATE: WELCOME TO MY WORLD  . Aspiring cartoonist Nate Wright is eleven years old, four-and-a-half feet tall, and the all-time record holder for detentions in school history. He’s a self-described genius and sixth-grade Renaissance Man who lives with his dad and older sister and enjoys pestering his family and teachers with his sarcasm.

In order to go through the signing line and meet Lincoln Peirce for book personalization, please purchase BIG NATE: WELCOME TO MY WORLD from Blue Willow Bookshop. At the time of your purchase, Blue Willow Bookshop will issue a signing line ticket that indicates your place in line. Your book and signing line ticket can be picked up at the event.

OCTOBER 17, SATURDAY, 10:00 AM-NOONHouston YA/MG
Houston YA MG Writers at Writespace
COST: FREE

YA/MG meetings are held the third Saturday of the month at Writespace. Join us for discussions of writing craft and the business of publishing books for young readers. This month’s topic is TBA.

OCTOBER 17, SATURDAY, 2:00 PM AFTER THE ASHES by Sara K. Joiner
Blue Willow Bookshop
Sara Joiner, MG Author

Local author Sara Joiner will discuss and sign her debut book for kids, AFTER THE ASHES. In 1883, on the island of Java in the Dutch East Indies, thirteen-year-old Katrien Courtland is determined to prove Darwin’s theory of natural selection. When Krakatau suddenly erupts, Katrien knows her only hope of survival is to flee the jungle with the one person she vowed never to befriend.

In order to go through the signing line and meet Sara Joiner for book personalization, please purchase AFTER THE ASHES from Blue Willow Bookshop. At the time of your purchase, Blue Willow Bookshop will issue a signing line ticket that indicates your place in line. Your book and signing line ticket can be picked up at the event.

OCTOBER 18, SUNDAY, 3:00 PM, DOORS OPEN AT 2:30 PM TIMMY FAILURE by Stefan Pastis
Johnston Middle School, 10410 Manhattan Drive, Houston
Stefan Pastis, Cartoonist

Inprint Cool Brains! Presents bestselling author and syndicated cartoonist Stefan Pastis. Mr. Pastis will share his fourth book in the popular TIMMY FAILURE series, TIMMY FAILURE: SANITIZED FOR YOUR PROTECTION, for ages 8 -12. After his presentation, he will take questions from the audience, followed by a book sale and signing*, giving fans a chance to visit with him. Books will be available for sale at the event through Blue Willow Bookshop.

OCTOBER 19, SATURDAY, 12:00am-11:59PM
Read Across the Globe
COST: FREE
Volunteer Opportunities Available

READ ACROSS THE GLOBEJoin The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, Deloitte LLP, Points of Light, Volunteer Houston, and The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo  and more as they team up to break the Guinness World Record for the number of children read to within a 24-hour period. The current world record is 238,000 children, and this year’s goal is to smash it by reading to 300,000 children across the globe!

OCTOBER 20, TUESDAY, 7:30 PMRWA-Logo-200
Bay Area RWA
Kirkmont MUD Building, 10102 Blackhawk Road
Dawn Temple: Writing Contests: Giving, Getting and Appreciating Good Advice

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14. KidLit Events October 20-27

Me & Sara K. JoinerAFTER THE ASHES by Sara K. JoinerI had a fun time hanging out at Blue Willow Bookshop Saturday for Sara Joiner’s launch for her debut MG novel, AFTER THE ASHES. Sara is a local librarian, and it was great to see so many of her fellow librarians show up to help her celebrate. I got to read an early version of this novel a couple of years ago during a Darcy Pattison workshop that was sponsored by SCBWI Houston. Even in its early stages, I loved this historical novel set in Indonesia in 1883 about two young Dutch girls struggling to survive the aftermath of a volcano. I knew it would be a hit! Kirkus calls it “heart-rending story of love and loss, family ties, and friendship” and Publishers Weekly says it’s a “breakneck, and often heartbreaking, coming-of-age survival story.” Here’s a review from Teen Reads!

 Here’s this week’s events:

OCTOBER 22, THURSDAY, 5:00 PMTHE LEAGUE OF UNEXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN by Gitty Daneshvari
Blue Willow Bookshop
Gitty Daneshvari, MG Author

Gitty Daneshvari will discuss and sign her new book for kids, THE LEAGUE OF UNEXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN. Are you average? Normal? Forgettable? If so, the League of Unexceptional Children is for you! This first book in a hilarious new adventure series is for anyone who’s struggled to be noticed in a sea of above-average overachievers.

Twelve-year-olds Jonathan Murray and Shelley Brown are completely average and forgettable until they are recruited to help the League of Unexceptional Children (a covert network that uses the nation’s most average, normal, and utterly unexceptional children as spies) save the Vice President of the United States, who has been kidnapped along with an important code.

OCTOBER 24, SATURDAY, 10:00 AM-4:00 PMHOW MANY KISSES DO YOU WANT TONIGHT? by Varsha Bajaj
Writespace
Picture Book Critique Workshop, with Varsha Bajaj
COST $50-$70

Picture books seem simple to write, but they are deceptively simple, for it is challenging to create a story that has relatable characters, a strong plot, and a compelling premise in under 700 words. Picture books are wholly unlike other books, in that they are the marriage of pictures and words. While this fact makes writing picture books exciting, it also creates challenges unique to the genre. Despite the inherent challenges of writing picture books, the endeavor is well worth the work, for picture books alone introduce entire generations to the joy of the written word.

In this workshop we will read and analyze several beloved picture book classics and identify the elements that contribute to their magic. If you are an intermediate picture book writer with at least one year of experience attending critique groups and studying picture book craft and you would love the opportunity to explore how you can vitalize and deepen your manuscript with supportive fellow writers, then this is the perfect workshop for you.

The first six writers to register will get to have their picture book manuscripts critiqued.

OCTOBER 24, SATURDAY, 11:00 AMSANCTUARY by Jenny McKissack
Blue Willow Bookshop
Jenny McKissack, YA Author

Seabrook author Jenny McKissack will sign and discuss her new book for teens, SANCTUARY. After the untimely death of her aunt Laura, Cecilia Cross is forced to return to Sanctuary, a rambling, old French-Gothic mansion that crowns a remote island off the coast of Maine. Cecilia is both drawn to and repulsed by Sanctuary. The scent of the ocean intoxicates her, but she’s also haunted by the ghosts of her past — of her father who died at Sanctuary five years ago, and of her mother who was committed soon after. The memories leave Cecilia feeling shaken, desperate to run away and forget her terrible family history.
But then a mysterious guest arrives at Sanctuary: Eli Bauer, a professor sent to examine Sanctuary’s library. Cecilia is intrigued by this strange young man who seems so interested in her — even more interested in her than in the books he is meant to be studying. Who is he and what does he want? Can Cecilia possibly trust her growing feelings for him? And can he help her make peace with her haunted, tragic past?

OCTOBER 24, SATURDAY, 12:305:00 PM
Maud Marks Library, 1815 Westgreen Blvd., Katy
Celebrate Local Authors: More than 30 authors
Cost: FREE

Please join the Maud Marks Library for the second annual Celebrate Local Authors event. The theme is “Treat Yourself to a Good Book” and the event is FREE for all ages. More than 30 authors will be selling and signing their books. In addition, there will be book presentations throughout the day for various children’s, YA, and adult genres. Attendees will receive a door prize ticket for every 15-minute session they attend and will earn a bonus ticket if they come in costume.

Houston SCBWI members participating include: Carmen Bredeson, Mandy Broughton, Arlene Graziano, Dee Leone, Pat Miller, Trakena Prevost, Ana Maria Rodriguez, Nancy Shakespeare, Jenna Pashley Smith, Fleur Wiig, and Marion Young. For more information, visit Space City Publishing.

OCTOBER 27, TUESDAY, 6:00-8:00 PMA MAD ZOMBIE PARTY by Gena Showalter
Katy Budget Books
HAPPY HALLOW-TEEN EVENT

KBB will host three authors of creepy YA books for the Halloween season: Gena Showalter, Kady Cross, and Amy Lukavics! Seating is limited, so plan to arrive a little early. See the KBB website for complete information.

Gena Showalter: A MAD ZOMBIE PARTY
Ali Bell and Cole Holland’s crew of zombie slayers thought they’d won the war against Anima Industries, the evil company responsible for capturing and experimenting on zombies in an effort to discover the secret to immortality. In the last epic clash, the slayers lost many of their crew and closest friends. But Frosty, the ice man himself, has not recovered from one casualty in particular—the love of his life, Kat Parker.
On the path to self-annihilation, Frosty receives a message from beyond—Kat’s spirit returns, insisting he partner with rogue slayer Camilla Marks. Frosty will do anything for Kat. Except that. Camilla is the one who betrayed them all, leading to Kat’s death.
But when Anima rises from the grave to become a force the slayers may not have the strength to overcome, Frosty, Camilla and all the slayers will have to work together to survive. And one broken slayer will learn that sometimes, the line between hate and attraction is blurred…and the road to redemption isn’t through revenge, but in letting go of the past and grabbing hold of the future.

Kady Cross: SISTERS OF BLOOD AND SPIRIT SISTERS OF BLOOD AND SPIRIT by Kady Cross
Wren Noble is dead—she was born that way. Vibrant, unlike other dead things, she craves those rare moments when her twin sister allows her to step inside her body and experience the world of the living.
Lark Noble is alive but often feels she belongs in the muted Shadow Lands–the realm of the dead. Known as the crazy girl who talks to her dead sister, she doesn’t exactly fit in with the living, though a recent suicide attempt and time in a psych ward have proved to her she’s not ready to join her sister in the afterlife.
Now the guy who saved Lark’s life needs her to repay the favor. He and his friends have been marked for death by the malevolent spirit of a vicious and long-dead serial killer, and the twins—who should know better than to mess with the dead—may be their only hope of staying alive.

Amy Lukavics: DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS
DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS by Amy LukavicsWhen sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner’s family decides to move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start. She can leave behind the memory of the past winter; of her sickly ma giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly; of the terrifying visions she saw as her sanity began to slip, the victim of cabin fever; and most of all, the memories of the boy she has been secretly meeting with as a distraction from her pain. The boy whose baby she now carries.
When the Verners arrive at their new home, a large cabin abandoned by its previous owners, they discover the inside covered in blood. And as the days pass, it is obvious to Amanda that something isn’t right on the prairie. She’s heard stories of lands being tainted by evil, of men losing their minds and killing their families, and there is something strange about the doctor and his son who live in the woods on the edge of the prairie. But with the guilt and shame of her sins weighing on her, Amanda can’t be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or deep within her soul.

OCTOBER 27, TUESDAY, 7:00 PM THE LAST EVER AFTER by Soman Chainani
BARNES & NOBLE, THE WOODLANDS
SOMAIN CHAINANI, MG AUTHOR

Soman Chainani will be upstairs in the seating area to discuss and sign his newest entry into the SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL series, THE LAST EVER AFTER. In this last book of the New York Times bestselling trilogy, everything old is new again, as Sophie and Agatha fight the past as well as the present to find the perfect end to their fairy tale. This B&N exclusive edition includes a double-sided timeline, which will let you display your Ever or Never pride!

Former best friends Sophie and Agatha thought their ending was sealed when they went their separate ways, but their storybook is about to be rewritten—and this time theirs isn’t the only one. With the girls apart, Evil has taken over and the forces of Good are in deathly peril. Will Agatha and Sophie be able to work together to save them? Will they find their way to being friends again? And will their new ending be the last Ever After they’ve been searching for?

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15. KidLit Author Events May 19-26

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ABBY SPENCER GOES TO BOLLYWOOD by Varsha BajajThe Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Crystal Kite Awards have been announced, and SCBWI Houston has another author to add to our long list: Varsha Bajaj! This members’ choice award of the Texas and Oklahoma regions goes to Varsha’s debut middle grade novel ABBY SPENCER GOES TO BOLLYWOOD. ASGTB was also a 2014 Cybils finalist. Congratulations, Varsha!

 

After last week’s flurry of events, we only have one author visit to Houston this week, but there’s a writing workshop and a short story contest to fill out the week.

May 23, Saturday, 2:00-4:00A SCHOOL FOR UNUSUAL GIRLS by Kathleen Baldwin
Katy Budget Books
Kathleen Baldwin, YA Author

Enjoy tea and biscuits with Kathleen Baldwin as she discusses and signs her young adult novel A SCHOOL FOR UNUSUAL GIRLS. It’s 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England’s dark little secrets. The daughters of the “beau monde” who don’t fit high society’s constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young ladies. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies—plans that entangle the girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.

After accidentally setting her father’s stables on fire while performing a scientific experiment, Miss Georgiana Fitzwilliam is sent to Stranje House. But Georgie has no intention of being turned into a simpering, pudding-headed, marriageable miss. She plans to escape as soon as possible-until she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads—or their hearts.

May 30, Saturday, 1:00 PM; Registration now open
Writespace
Writing Workshop with Marian Szczepanski: All Genres
$30.00 – $45.00

USING OBJECT AND MEMORY AS SPRINGBOARDS INTO THE PAST

Objects and memories can carry significant resonance for literary explorations into the past – from personal experiences to collective histories. Learn how to use objects and/or memories, both personal and those shared by family members or history, as prompts for imaginative rumination and writing. We’ll consider examples in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. This highly interactive class also will include joint exercises in creating meaning and exploring literary possibility from a provided object and historical event. As a prompt for individual writing, each participant will be encouraged to bring his/her own object – personal memento, family keepsake, or any item (or image) that interests or intrigues. I’ll have an assortment of new and vintage objects on hand for participants who prefer to consider something unfamiliar. This workshop is intended for writers of all genres, including writers of fiction, short story, personal essay, creative nonfiction, memoir, and poetry.

Now through June 30Houston Writers Guild Press
Houston Writers Guild
Short Story Contest
Entry fee: $25 HWG members / $35 non-members / $20 students or seniors over 65
Multiple entries: $15 for subsequent entries for members / $25 for nonmembers / $10 for students and seniors over 65

DIVE INTO MYSTERY Short Story Mystery Contest:

HWG is looking for original unpublished mystery short stories; stand-alone adaptations from a longer manuscript are welcome. Authors may submit up to 3 short stories for consideration in the contest. Please see their website for more information.

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16. KidLit Author Events, May 26-June 9

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Well, my neck of the woods got a lot of rain this weekend, but we are fortunate to have made it through with no damage. The news over the rest of Texas and parts of Oklahoma is very sad, though. I hope all of you can stay safe through this rough weather.

We are getting into the summer slow-down on autor events, but the local Houston arts organizations are stepping up!

May 27, 10:00 AMlogo-scbwi
Gentle Critique, 9:30 AM
Barnes & Noble, College Station
Glows and Grows: Tips on Giving and Receiving Constructive Critiques

Join the Brazos Valley chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for discussion, news, and encouragement. The topic is “Glows and Grows: Tips on Giving and Receiving Constructive Critiques” with Alyson Greene and Candilynn Fite. Gentle critique begins at 9:30 a.m. Bring copies of 5 double-spaced pages of your work in progress. Those who have time stay for lunch at a local restaurant. Members and friends welcome!

May 30, Saturday, 4:30 PMWritespace
Writespace
Marian Szczepanski, Writing Workshop for All Genres
Using Object and Memory as Springboards into the Past
Cost: $30-$45

Objects and memories can carry significant resonance for literary explorations into the past – from personal experiences to collective histories. Learn how to use objects and/or memories, both personal and those shared by family members or history, as prompts for imaginative rumination and writing. We’ll consider examples in fiction (“Mortality” by Pablo Medina), poetry (“Mauches” by Angele Ellis), and creative nonfiction (an excerpt from Virgin Time by Patricia Hampl). This highly interactive class also will include joint exercises in creating meaning and exploring literary possibility from a provided object and historical event. As a prompt for individual writing, each participant will be encouraged to bring his/her own object – personal memento, family keepsake, or any item (or image) that interests or intrigues. I’ll have an assortment of new and vintage objects on hand for participants who prefer to consider something unfamiliar. This workshop is intended for writers of all genres, including writers of fiction, short story, personal essay, creative nonfiction, memoir, and poetry.

May 30, Saturday, 4:30 PMTHE DEATH CODE BY LINDSAY CUMMINGS
Murder By The Book
Lindsay Cummings, YA Author

Young Adult author Lindsay Cummings will discuss and sign MURDER COMPLEX #2: THE DEATH CODE, the action-packed, chilling sequel to her bestselling The Murder Complex. With short, fast-paced, alternating point-of-view chapters, The Death Code starts several weeks after The Murder Complex ends. Zephyr keeps the secret about Meadow close that if she dies, The Murder Complex will be destroyed, too. Meadow, desperate to find her brother, father, and little sister, is determined to fight fearlessly to the end, even if it means sacrificing herself and her friends, new and old. The Death Code introduces a memorable cast of secondary characters and delivers a vivid and scary thrill ride read. For fans of La Femme Nikita, Legend, and Hanna.

June 1, Monday, 7:00 PMlogo-scbwi
Tracy Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter Dr.
SCBWI Houston: Author Workshop
FREE

Join us for the Houston SCBWI monthly meeting where YA authors Rachel Harris & Kristin Rae will discuss Agents: Pros & Cons. Members and non-members alike are welcome to attend!

Now through June 30Houston Writers Guild Press
Houston Writers Guild
Short Story Contest
Entry fee: $25 HWG members / $35 non-members / $20 students or seniors over 65
Multiple entries: $15 for subsequent entries for members / $25 for nonmembers / $10 for students and seniors over 65

DIVE INTO MYSTERY Short Story Mystery Contest:

HWG is looking for original unpublished mystery short stories; stand-alone adaptations from a longer manuscript are welcome. Authors may submit up to 3 short stories for consideration in the contest. Please see their website for more information.

And a heads up for this event:

June 5, Friday, 6:00 p.m.
Blue Willow Bookshop
Joey Graceffa, YA Memoir Author

Star of TV and YouTube Joey Graceffa will meet and greet fans as they receive pre-signed copies of his book, IN REAL LIFE. Your book purchased from Blue Willow Bookshop is your ticket to this event. You may purchase IN REAL LIFE in-store, online or over the phone. At the time of your purchase, Blue Willow Bookshop will make a color line card that indicates your place in line.

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17. KidLit Events June 9-15

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THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING by Rachel HarrisWISH YOU WERE ITALIA by Kristin RaeI want to start out by sending a big, sparkly THANK YOU! to young adult authors Rachel Harris and Kristin Rae for speaking to SCBWI-Houston about their experiences with their agents, both past and present. It was a great meeting to start off our summer.

Speaking of summer, I’m really looking forward to two books coming from Holiday House; one in July and one in August. I’ve included links for you to pre-order these books if you are interested in them. To quote a blog post from author Claire Legrand: If you’re excited about a book, the best thing you can do to ensure the book’s success—and support the book’s author—is pre-order the book.

Coming July 30, 2015!

CLAYTON JONES: AT YOUR SERVICE by Ena JonesCLAYTON STONE, AT YOUR SERVICE by Ena Jones
Clayton’s transformation from middle-school lacrosse star to Special Service agent is full of suspense, humor and heart—a thrilling undercover debut! Read the thrilling review from Kirkus!

Debut author Ena Jones is a moderator on the SCBWI Discussion Boards and is a member of SCBWI-Carolinas. Follow Ena on twitter: @EnaJones

Pre-Order CLAYTON STONE, AT YOUR SERVICE!
Blue Willow Bookshop
IndieBound
Barnes & Noble
Amazon

AFTER THE ASHES by S.K. JoinerComing August 30, 2015!

AFTER THE ASHES by S.K. Joiner
In this riveting coming-of-age survival story, a stubborn and intellectual teen must fight for her life when the mighty volcano Krakatau erupts and puts her hometown on the Javanese coast in mortal danger.

Debut author Sara Joiner is a member of SCBWI-Houston and the children’s coordinator for the the Brazoria County Library System. Follow Sara on twitter: @skjoiner

Pre-Order AFTER THE ASHES!
Blue Willow Bookshop
IndieBound
Barnes & Noble
Amazon

Oh, and HEY, PICTURE BOOK WRITERS! Katie Davis is hosting the Inauguaral Picture Book Summit, an online conference just for Picture Book writers. Don’t miss it!

Now for this week’s events:

June 11, Thursday, 6:00-9:00 PMWritespace
Writespace
Workshop: Writing Through the Eyes of a Child with Thomas McNeely
Cost: $30 Members, $45 Non-members
How do great writers lure us into the magical—and sometimes treacherous—world of a child? How do they tell a story from a child’s perspective, while still speaking to us as adults?

June 13, Saturday, 1:00-3:00 PMWritespace
Writespace
Workshop: How to Write Like Madeline L’Engle Generative Workshop with Elizabeth White Olsen.
Cost: $20 Members, $35 Non-members

Did you love A Wrinkle in Time when you were growing up? What is it about this novel that is so compelling? As readers we enjoy stories, but as writers we study them, understand them, and learn from them.

June 13, Saturday, 2:00 PMDEVOTED by Jennifer Mathieu
Blue Willow Bookshop
Jennifer Mathieu, YA Author

Join local author Jennifer Mathieu for the launch of her second young adult novel DEVOTED. Rachel Walker is devoted to God. She prays every day, attends Calvary Christian Church with her family, helps care for her five younger siblings, dresses modestly, and prepares herself to be a wife and mother who serves the Lord with joy. But Rachel is curious about the world her family has turned away from, and increasingly finds that neither the church nor her homeschool education has the answers she craves. Rachel has always found solace in her beliefs, but now she can’t shake the feeling that her devotion might destroy her soul. Buy now from Blue Willow Bookshop!

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18. KidLit Author Events June 16-23

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GINNY LOUISE AND THE SCHOOL SHOWDOWNHey folks, there’s a new hedgehog in town! Happy book birthday to Tammi Sauer and Lynn Munsinger’s GINNY LOUISE AND THE SCHOOL SHOWDOWN! The Truman Elementary Troublemakers are a bad bunch. Especially these three: Cap’n Catastrophe, Destructo Dude, and Make-My-Day May. But they are no match for Ginny Louise, the new hedgehog in school. Her unwavering cheerfulness in the face of their bullying will make young readers holler with glee. Full of rhymes, wordplay, and comic misunderstanding, this book will lend itself well to reading aloud as well as discussions about peer dynamics.

CROWN OF THREE by J.D. RinehartI’ve got some great reading lined up this week. I wasn’t able to attend Jennifer Mathieu’s launch for her second young adult novel DEVOTED on Saturday, but I went by Blue Willow Bookshop yesterday and picked up the book she signed for me. I’ve heard great things about it, and I loved her first book, THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE, so I’m really looking forward to reading DEVOTED. While I was there, a middle grade fantasy CROWN OF THREE caught my eye. I’d never heard of the author, J. D. Rinehart (who also uses the name J.D. Blackthorne) but I loved the cover and the blurb sounded like my kind of adventure, so I got that one, too.

You can read an excerpt here.

THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS by Crystal AllenThis morning I was delighted to see that MG author Crystal Allen has shared the cover of the first book in her new chapter books series, THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS: SPIRIT WEEK SHOWDOWN! With this newest chapter book addition, Crystal has covered the full range of middle grade from the upper edges with HOW LAMAR’S BAD PRANK WON A BUBBA-SIZED TROPHY, and the smack in the sweet-spot middle story THE LAURA LINE. I can’t wait to get to know Mya!

Friends, I may be working on my website this week and next, so if things go wonky, please know the problem is on my side, not yours. The theme I’ve been using is seriously outdated and is keeping me from using a lot of WordPress’s cool plugins and even basic necessities, like a functioning mobile site, so it’s got to go. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Here’s this week’s events:

June 19, Friday, 7:00 PMPOWERLESS by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs
Blue Willow Bookshop
Tera Lynn Childs & Tracy Deebs, YA Authors

Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs will discuss and sign their new novel for teens, POWERLESS. Kenna lives in a world of absolutes. Villains, like the one who killed her father, are bad. Heroes, like her mother and best friend, are good. And Kenna, unlike everyone else around her, is completely ordinary—which she hates.

She’s secretly working on an experiment that will land her a place among the Heroes, but when a Villain saves her life during a break-in at her lab, Kenna discovers there’s a whole lot of gray area when it comes to good and evil and who she can trust. After all…not all strength comes from superpowers.

June 20, Saturday, 1:00-4:00 PMWritespace
Writespace
Joy Preble, Workshop: The Power of Point of View
Cost: $30-$45

Point of view is one of the most important choices an author can make because it impacts how readers see and respond to the story. Through whose eyes is the story being told? Through the eyes of a character as he experiences the story’s events (1st person present), through an unnamed narrator (3rd person omniscient), or through a narrator who shares the thoughts of just one character (3rd person limited)?

Come prepared to write, revise, and experiment. Please bring the first three to five pages of a novel or short story you are working on, as well as a laptop or a notepad and pen or pencil.

June 20, Saturday, 2:00 PMHELLO I LOVE YOU by Katie Stout
Blue Willow Bookshop
YA Debut Author Panel

Debut authors Katie Stout, Jenny Martin, and Meredith Moore will discuss their books in a panel moderated by WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN author Kristin Rae.

Sweet, fun, and romantic, Katie Stout’s HELLO, I LOVE YOU explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process. Grace Wilde is running-from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start. But when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame.

TRACKED by Jennie MartinJennie Martin’s futuristic, action-packed debut is TRACKED. On corporately controlled Castra, rally racing is a high-stakes game that seventeen-year-old Phoebe Van Zant knows all too well. Phee’s legendary racer father disappeared mysteriously, but that hasn’t stopped her from speeding headlong into trouble. When she and her best friend, Bear, attract the attention of Charles Benroyal, they are blackmailed into racing for Benroyal Corp, a company that represents everything Phee detests. Worse, Phee risks losing Bear as she falls for Cash, her charming new teammate. But when she discovers that Benroyal is controlling more than a corporation, Phee realizes she has a much bigger role in Castra’s future than she could ever have imagined. It’s up to Phee to take Benroyal down. But even with the help of her team, can a street-rat destroy an empire?

I AM HER REVENGE by Meredith MooreIn Meredith Moore’s debut I AM HER REVENGE, Vivian was raised with one purpose in life: to exact revenge on behalf of her mother. Manipulative and cruel, Mother has deprived Vivian not only of a childhood, but of an original identity. With an endless arsenal of enticing personalities at her disposal, Vivian is a veritable weapon of deception.  And she can destroy anyone. When it’s time to strike, she enrolls in a boarding school on the English moors, where she will zero in on her target: sweet and innocent Ben, the son of the man who broke Mother’s heart twenty years ago. But the more Vivan learns about herself, the more dangerous this cat and mouse game becomes. Because Mother will stop at nothing to make sure the truth dies with her.

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19. KidLit Author Events June 16-23

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GINNY LOUISE AND THE SCHOOL SHOWDOWNHey folks, there’s a new hedgehog in town! Happy book birthday to SCBWI Oklahoma member Tammi Sauer’s GINNY LOUISE AND THE SCHOOL SHOWDOWN! Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger. The Truman Elementary Troublemakers are a bad bunch. Especially these three: Cap’n Catastrophe, Destructo Dude, and Make-My-Day May. But they are no match for Ginny Louise, the new hedgehog in school. Her unwavering cheerfulness in the face of their bullying will make young readers holler with glee. Full of rhymes, wordplay, and comic misunderstanding, this book will lend itself well to reading aloud as well as discussions about peer dynamics.

CROWN OF THREE by J.D. RinehartI’ve got some great reading lined up this week. I wasn’t able to attend SCBWI Houston member Jennifer Mathieu’s launch for her second young adult novel DEVOTED on Saturday, but I went by Blue Willow Bookshop yesterday and picked up the book she signed for me. I’ve heard great things about it, and I loved her first book, THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE, so I’m really looking forward to reading DEVOTED. While I was there, a middle grade fantasy CROWN OF THREE caught my eye. I’d never heard of the author, J. D. Rinehart (who also uses the name J.D. Blackthorne) but I loved the cover and the blurb sounded like my kind of adventure, so I got that one, too.

You can read an excerpt here.

THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS by Crystal AllenThis morning I was delighted to see that SCBWI Houston member Crystal Allen has shared the cover of the first book in her new chapter books series, THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS: SPIRIT WEEK SHOWDOWN! With this newest chapter book addition, Crystal has covered the full range of middle grade from the upper edges with HOW LAMAR’S BAD PRANK WON A BUBBA-SIZED TROPHY, and the smack in the sweet-spot middle story THE LAURA LINE. I can’t wait to get to know Mya!

Friends, I may be working on my website this week and next, so if things go wonky, please know the problem is on my side, not yours. The theme I’ve been using is seriously outdated and is keeping me from using a lot of WordPress’s cool plugins and even basic necessities, like a functioning mobile site, so it’s got to go. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Here’s this week’s events:

June 19, Friday, 7:00 PMPOWERLESS by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs
Blue Willow Bookshop
Tera Lynn Childs & Tracy Deebs, YA Authors

Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs will discuss and sign their new novel for teens, POWERLESS. Kenna lives in a world of absolutes. Villains, like the one who killed her father, are bad. Heroes, like her mother and best friend, are good. And Kenna, unlike everyone else around her, is completely ordinary—which she hates.

She’s secretly working on an experiment that will land her a place among the Heroes, but when a Villain saves her life during a break-in at her lab, Kenna discovers there’s a whole lot of gray area when it comes to good and evil and who she can trust. After all…not all strength comes from superpowers.

June 20, Saturday, 1:00-4:00 PMWritespace
Writespace
Joy Preble, Workshop: The Power of Point of View
Cost: $30-$45

Point of view is one of the most important choices an author can make because it impacts how readers see and respond to the story. Through whose eyes is the story being told? Through the eyes of a character as he experiences the story’s events (1st person present), through an unnamed narrator (3rd person omniscient), or through a narrator who shares the thoughts of just one character (3rd person limited)?

Come prepared to write, revise, and experiment. Please bring the first three to five pages of a novel or short story you are working on, as well as a laptop or a notepad and pen or pencil.

June 20, Saturday, 2:00 PMHELLO I LOVE YOU by Katie Stout
Blue Willow Bookshop
YA Debut Author Panel

Debut authors Katie Stout, Jenny Martin, and Meredith Moore will discuss their books in a panel moderated by WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN author Kristin Rae.

Sweet, fun, and romantic, Katie Stout’s HELLO, I LOVE YOU explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process. Grace Wilde is running-from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start. But when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame.

TRACKED by Jennie MartinJenny Martin’s futuristic, action-packed debut is TRACKED. On corporately controlled Castra, rally racing is a high-stakes game that seventeen-year-old Phoebe Van Zant knows all too well. Phee’s legendary racer father disappeared mysteriously, but that hasn’t stopped her from speeding headlong into trouble. When she and her best friend, Bear, attract the attention of Charles Benroyal, they are blackmailed into racing for Benroyal Corp, a company that represents everything Phee detests. Worse, Phee risks losing Bear as she falls for Cash, her charming new teammate. But when she discovers that Benroyal is controlling more than a corporation, Phee realizes she has a much bigger role in Castra’s future than she could ever have imagined. It’s up to Phee to take Benroyal down. But even with the help of her team, can a street-rat destroy an empire?

I AM HER REVENGE by Meredith MooreIn Meredith Moore’s debut I AM HER REVENGE, Vivian was raised with one purpose in life: to exact revenge on behalf of her mother. Manipulative and cruel, Mother has deprived Vivian not only of a childhood, but of an original identity. With an endless arsenal of enticing personalities at her disposal, Vivian is a veritable weapon of deception.  And she can destroy anyone. When it’s time to strike, she enrolls in a boarding school on the English moors, where she will zero in on her target: sweet and innocent Ben, the son of the man who broke Mother’s heart twenty years ago. But the more Vivan learns about herself, the more dangerous this cat and mouse game becomes. Because Mother will stop at nothing to make sure the truth dies with her.

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20. KidLit Events June 23-30

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Renovation on my site is ongoing, but I think I’ve got the bones in order. My main pages (this weekly local events update and all the conference pages) are mostly set. My older posts still need a  lot of updating, and I don’t expect I’ll get it all done until the end of the year. Everything is still there, but some text colors might conflict with the new theme, making the text illegible. If you select the area, you’ll be able to see the text.

I’ve added a new feature to the conference pages. On the right sidebar, you’ll see a slideshow of books being released this month. The featured children’s and young adult books are brand new releases from my friends, both IRL and online. If we know each other from the SCBWI Blueboards, or follow each other on twitter or facebook and you have a new book coming up, please let me know! I’d love to feature your book.

Events-wise, we are having a quiet week in Houston, with one exception, a class in Julian Kendal’s revision series, from the Houston Writers’ Guild. Speaking of writing classes, I’ve added a new page to my blog dedicated to writing classes and workshops in the Houston area. We have so many writers’ organizations here and most offer some combination of classes, talk, workshops, conferences and retreats. I’ve been putting these events on this weekly updates page, but often, that doesn’t give you enough time to sign up for special events. I’ll continue to add these events here on Tuesdays for the week the event is actually happening, and the full list will be on its new page: Houston Writer/Illustrator Events.

June 30, Tuesday, 6:30-8:30 PMHouston Writers Guild
The Houston Writers’ Guild
Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Rd.
Julian Kindred: Finishing Your Novel: Bringing Your Ideas to Fruition
Cost:$10 Members; $20 Nonmembers; $5 Students w/ID.

Staying the course once you’ve started writing your novel is difficult. How do you manage the distractions of daily life or the temptation to quit and chase the next new idea? And once the manuscript is complete, then what? This workshop will examine methods for holding yourself accountable for writing your novel and examine when it is time to start, or finally finish, revisions, as well as what you should be doing in the meantime.

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21. KidLit Author Events June 30-July 6 (And PUPPY!)

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This has been such an exciting week around my house! Because this happened:

Puppy Coming Home Puppy SofaPuppy lge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She’s a 3 month old, German Shepherd/Husky (Gerberian Shepsky) mix. I saw her at Ace Hardware last weekend, and was bewitched by her sweet little face. I resisted the urge to take her home with me, because I still had some sanity left. But she stayed in my thoughts all week, so Saturday morning when my husband and son said they had to go to the hardware store, I chirped up that I wanted to go, too. Now, this isn’t unusual; I love hardware stores. But something in my tone of voice immediately tipped off my husband that something was up. I admitted it; I wanted to see if the beautiful little black dog had been adopted. She hadn’t, but now she has! We haven’t reached a decision on her name yet, so I’ll add that here next time.

Last week I introduced a new page on this blog, Houston Writer & Illustrator Events. This week, I’m introducing another new page, Workshops: Young Writers. There are many writing workshops for teens that range from an hour to a full day, but for young people who are serious about writing, that isn’t enough. This list will help serious young writers find events in time to meet the often rigorous application requirements and early registration dates. If you know a teen (and occasionally younger kids) who has a keen interest in writing, please share this list with them. Like all my other conference lists, I will update this page on a weekly basis, so check back often!

Also, tomorrow is the first full month of my new website theme, and so will be the first full month to feature books launching in July. These children’s and young adult books will be shown on the sidebar on all the conference pages. Clicking on these images will open a page about that book. Throughout July, please take a moment to visit these books and spread the word!

We have another quiet week for author bookstore events, but we have two writers’ events this week:

JUNE 30, TUESDAY, 6:30-8:30 PMHouston Writers Guild
The Houston Writers’ Guild
Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Rd.
Julian Kindred: Finishing Your Novel: Bringing Your Ideas to Fruition
Cost:$10 Members; $20 Nonmembers; $5 Students w/ID.

Staying the course once you’ve started writing your novel is difficult. How do you manage the distractions of daily life or the temptation to quit and chase the next new idea? And once the manuscript is complete, then what? This workshop will examine methods for holding yourself accountable for writing your novel and examine when it is time to start, or finally finish, revisions, as well as what you should be doing in the meantime.

JULY 6, MONDAY, 7:00-9:00 PMSCBWI
SCBWI Houston
Tracy Gee Community Center
Holly Walrath: Writing Culturally Relevant YA: War, Politics, Violence and Gender
Cost: FREE! All are welcome!

Children’s literature is entering a new era – one that embraces the dark lens of postmodern literature. Picture books deal with increasingly more disturbing topics from abortion to personal violence. Four themes have emerged in Children’s Literature that reflect these changes: War, Politics, Violence, and Gender. In discussing these themes, we’ll look at new trends in children’s literature and what they might mean for us as writers. We’ll explore how to approach these themes in our writing. We’ll discuss how children view these events and how they affect children’s personal lives.

 

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22. KidLit Author Events July 7-13

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Shimmer!My son is off visiting colleges this week but I’ve got the puppy and a friend’s shiny new manuscript to keep me busy. Because of the silver sprinkles in her black fur we’ve named her Shimmer, Shimmy for short because she backs up with a cute wigiggle. She’s training well, learning to sit, stay and heel but it will be a loooong time before she stops chewing every single thing she can get her teeth on. I’m not sure if it’s because of the barking or the smell of puppy, but our summer guest corn snake, Roger, has been in hiding ever since Shimmer arrived.

We’re still short of author visits this week but there are several events for writers. Sign up and join the fun! For upcoming workshops in the Houston area, see Houston Writer & Illustrator Events.

JULY 11, SATURDAY, 8:30 AM-NOONRWA-Logo-200
West Houston RWA
Memorial Drive Christian Church, 11750 Memorial Drive
Shelley Wall: How to Pitch

Shelley Wall,  author of Text Me and Bring It On will be speaking on Pitching.

JULY 11, SATURDAY, 9:30 AM-12:30 PMWritespace
Writespace
Cassandra Rose Clarke: Worldbuilding
Level: Beginner, Intermediate; Cap: 12
Cost: $30-$45

In fiction, setting can be as an important a character as the people. And in speculative fiction, that character often needs to be built from the ground—and history, and culture, and physics—up. In this workshop, we’ll be tackling worldbuilding. What issues arise when you set a story in a world that’s not our own? How can we build worlds as complex and lived in as the real one? How can we avoid creating the same fantastical world that’s been done a thousand times before? We’ll attempt to answer these questions and more through discussion and writing exercises, and with any luck, you’ll leave the workshop with the seeds of a brand new world.

JULY 11, SATURDAY,1:30 – 5:30 PMWritespace
Writespace
Elizabeth White-Olsen: Art and Writing
Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced; Cap: 10
Cost: $30-$45

Ever wondered how visual artists work, or are you a visual artist excited by the relationship between writing and art? In this workshop we will explore the magical kinship between art and writing. We will visit the studios of Writespace’s painter neighbors and ask them questions about their relationship with their ideas, materials, and creative processes, as well as watch them work. We will explore writing exercises based on the works we view in the studios of artists such as painter Justin Garcia and photographer John Bernhard. This workshop will consist of group Q&A sessions with artists and ekphrastic writing prompts (meaning, writing inspired by art), as well as time for writers to explore studios and begin poems, essays, and scenes on their own. Please bring a journal and a favorite writing instrument, as inspiration is meant to strike.

 

 

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23. KidLit Events July 14-21

All over the world this week, fans of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD are celebrating the release of GO SET A WATCHMAN. I haven’t gotten my copy yet, so I’m watching twitter and facebook with one eye closed to avoid seeing spoilers. Instead, I’ve been busy reading and critiquing manuscripts by two of my writer friends. This is one of the best parts of being a writer: getting to see exciting new manuscripts years before the rest of the world gets to see the published book (publishing takes forever). I love this!

We have a couple of author events this week, plus FIVE writing events! Hurray!

JULY 14, TUESDAY, 6:30-8:30 PMHouston Writers Guild
The Houston Writers’ Guild
Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Rd.
Julian Kindred: Crafting Characters and What Makes Them Compelling
Cost:$10 Members; $20 Nonmembers; $5 Students w/ID.

Characters are the driving force behind any literary work. No plot is complete without a compelling  individual or  group of individuals  to drive it forward. In this workshop, we will examine the art of crafting characters who engage the reader by examining the use of voice, flaws, and motives. Exercises will explore the creation process and developing your characters and their relationships with the world around them.

JULY 15, WEDNESDAY, 7:30-9:00 PM Writespace
Writespace
Andreana Binder: Music and Writing
Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced; Cap: 12
Cost: $20-$25

Many writers find that writing in a room filled with music unleashes new ideas. For some writers music helps them connect with the rhythmic and sonic qualities of language, while for others music relaxes them and opens the door for the subconscious to deliver its wonderful surprises. Whether you write to music often or you have never written to music before, this workshop will help you connect with your story, essay, or poems in new ways. Participants will listen to varying tempos of ambient and instrumental music and free-write about what comes to mind based on the melodies. This will be an opportunity to see how music can inspire, transform, and enhance writing projects. Those with an existing project, please bring a draft. Those without existing projects may use this workshop as a way to inspire their next project. Writers of all experience levels are welcome.

THE HEART OF BETRAYAL by Mary Pearson July 15, Wednesday, 7:00 pm
Blue Willow Bookshop
Mary Pearson, YA Author

Mary Pearson will discuss and sign her new book THE HEART OF BETRAYAL. Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape, and even less of being together. Desperate to save her life, Lia’s erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komisar that she has a magical gift, and the Komisar’s interest in Lia is greater than either Kaden or Lia foresaw. Meanwhile, the foundations of Lia’s deeply-held beliefs are crumbling beneath her. Nothing is straightforward: there’s Rafe, who lied to her, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom she always believed to be barbarians but whom she now realizes are people who have been terribly brutalized by the kingdoms of Dalbreck and Morrighan. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her very sense of self, Lia will have to make powerful choices that affect her country, her people, and her own destiny.

JULY 18, SATURDAY, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Houston YA/MGHouston YA/MG
At Writespace
Cost: FREE; All are welcome!

Monthly meeting including a craft talk at Writespace. This month’s program has not yet been announced.

 

JULY 18, SATURDAY, 1:00-4:00 PM Writespace
Writespace
K.J. Russell: The Secrets of Effective Characterization
Cost: $30-$45

When we write, it can be easy to stumble into the trap of creating characters we’ve come across before, but often these characters are stereotypes or caricatures. Populating a story with characters that seem unique and truly alive, that draw readers irrevocably into the story’s fictive world can be a challenge. In this workshop, K.J. Russell will teach you how to easily render fully-formed characters, so that every character, including your minor characters, becomes a chance to add flavor and life. You will learn what makes a character effective, the difference between a character and a caricature, and how to render a fascinating portrayal that takes seconds to write, yet stays with a reader for the length of your work. Come learn the tools you need to vitalize your heroes from page one and to transform your minor characters into major assets.

JULY 18, SATURDAY, 1:30-5:30 PM
inprintInprint
Jennifer Mathieu: Young Adult Fiction
Cost: $90

Writing Real Teenagers for Real Teenage Readers (and Adult Readers, Too!)
It’s hard to deny that realistic teen fiction is having a moment.  In recent years books like John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park have captured the hearts of teenage readers as well as readers whose high school years are long behind them.  But how can an adult writer craft an authentic teenager as protagonist?  How do we, as grown-ups, write stories full of the tension, excitement, longing and frustration that come with being 16?

This four-hour workshop focuses on writing realistic contemporary fiction for young adults.  We’ll spend time in class studying two mentor texts and discussing how and why they work, including analyzing the voice, characterization, setting, structure, pacing and plot.  Participants will have time to write in class, applying our conversations to an existing work in progress, or they may choose to respond to an exercise or two.  Sharing is optional but encouraged.  Participants will leave with a reading list of some of the best contemporary young adult fiction from recent years as well as resources on the querying and publishing process.

BONE DEEP  by Kim O'BrienJuly 18, Saturday, 2:00 PM
Blue Willow Bookshop
Kim O’Brien, YA Author

Kim O’Brien will discuss and sign her new YA novel, BONE DEEP. When Paige Patterson travels to Arizona to spend the summer with her archeologist father, she expects answers. Why did her parents divorce? Why did her father choose his career over family? She doesn’t expect to be reunited with her best friend Emily Linton, or to find herself falling for the project manager’s son, Jalen Yazzi. But the summer takes a terrible turn when Emily vanishes. As the police struggle for answers, Paige sets out to find the truth.

The search takes Paige from the Cliffside ruins of prehistoric Native Americans to the Navajo Nation to the horrifying possibility that the answer is much closer to home. Her father has no alibi for the night Emily disappeared. An intern with the motive insists he’s innocent. And Jalen has secrets of his own. Old bones might not be the only things buried in the ruins. As Paige digs deeper into Emily’s disappearance, she realizes that uncovering the truth may cost her everything—even her life.

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24. KidLit Author Events July 21-28

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Heads up! Rick Riordan is bringing MAGNUS CHASE to Houston in October! This ticketed event will be held at Morton Ranch High School.  For details and tickets, please go to Blue Willow Bookshop’s page for this event.

This past Saturday, I had a wonderful time at Kim O’Brien’s launch for her debut YA novel BONE DEEP. The novel sounds intriguing and I’m looking forward to diving into it later today after my critique meeting. It was great to see familar faces there, too. These events are so much fun when other local authors show up to chat about books and writing.

There’s lots going on this week for readers and writers:

JULY 21, TUESDAY, 7:30 PMRWA-Logo-200
Bay Area RWA
Kirkmont MUD Building, 10102 Blackhawk Road
Thelma Zirkelback: Developing Characters

If you read a paragraph of dialogue without attribution, could you tell if the speaker was a man or a woman?  Dialogue can help develop character.  So do movements, mannerisms and facial expressions.  Even clothing or home décor can show character traits.  Join Thelma Zirkelbach in an exploration of character building through verbal and non-verbal communication.

JULY 22 & 29, AUGUST 5 & 12, FOUR WEDNESDAYS, 6:00-9:00 PMWritespace
Writespace
Cassandra Rose Clarke: Science Fiction and Fantasy
Cost: $120-$155

Do you take your fiction with a side of aliens, superheroes, dragons, or witches? Then this is the workshop for you! This course will provide an overview of the SFF genre. Together we will consider those elements of writing which are crucial to crafting compelling speculative stories, such as building our own worlds, extrapolating the fantastic from reality, and creating compelling non-human characters. In addition to discussing classic and contemporary SFF works, you will participate in writing exercises and bring in your own work for critique. Come to class prepared to write and discuss, and by the end of the four weeks, you will have completed at least one SFF short story.

July 25, Saturday, 1:00-3:00 PM
Katy Budget BooksTHE KNIGHTING NETTLE: THE NINTH REGION by D. Scozzari
D. Scozzari, MG Author

Local author D. Scozzari signs the second book in her Ninth Region series for early readers, THE KNIGHTING NETTLE: THE NINTH REGION. It is a great time for celebration now that the Ice Lady, Polar Spirit, and Fire Prince have disappeared. Mom and Dad Sco, bear twins Gloria and Nathan, their brother, Nettle, and their newest family member, Vincent the overgrown frog, are journeying to the capital so King Otto can honor them for freeing the Ice Lady’s captives. Once they arrive, Nettle is given the opportunity to earn knighthood by performing a task for King Otto: to bring him an old goat’s magical horn that, with its powers, will make the kingdom stronger.

With Vincent, Nettle travels outside the Ninth Region to a different reality. But what Nettle does not know is that the forces of the Fire Prince and the Polar Spirit are preparing wicked plans for Nettle, Vincent, and their new friends. Can Nettle overcome great obstacles in order to get the magical horn back to his King?

July 25, Saturday, 4:30 PMTHE FIXER by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Murder by the Book
Rachel Caine & Jennifer Lynn Barnes, YA Authors

YA author Jennifer Lynn Barnes will sign her new novel THE FIXER. When sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick is sent to live with her older sister, Ivy, she has no idea that the infamous Ivy Kendrick is Washington D.C.’s #1 “fixer,” known for making politicians’ scandals go away for a price. No sooner does Tess enroll at Hardwicke Academy than she unwittingly follows in her sister’s footsteps and becomes D.C.’s premier high school fixer, solving problems for elite teens. But when their secret worlds crash together, Tess finds there is much more on the line than good grades, money, or politics, and the price for this fix might be more than she is willing to pay.

INK AND BONE by Rachel CaineRachel Caine signs her new YA novel INK AND BONE. In a dangerous world, the Great Library of Alexandria has survived as a ruthless and powerful presence. Through alchemy, the Library instantly delivers the content of the greatest works of history to the masses, but personal ownership of books is forbidden. Jess Brightwell is training to enter the Library’s Service, but when he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers those who control the Great Library value knowledge more than human life and soon both heretics and books will burn.

And it has a cool trailer!

 

JULY 28, TUESDAY, 6:30-8:30 PMHouston Writers Guild
The Houston Writers’ Guild
Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Rd.
Julian Kindred: World Building Beyond Genre: Your Characters and the World Around Them
Cost:$10 Members; $20 Nonmembers; $5 Students w/ID.

World Building is often classified as something exclusive to authors of speculative fiction but the truth is that every time a work of fiction is crafted, an entire world is written into being. While writers of fantasy and science fiction will also benefit from this workshop, writers of any genre stand to gain from examining the world in which their characters live and how they interact with it. Futurists look to tomorrow by examining society, technology, economics, environment, and politics, and in this workshop we shall look at the relationship between these topics as they relate to your plot and characters.

 

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25. KidLit Author Events July 28-August 4, 2015

Right now, high school juniors all over the world are battling their way through college application essays. Some view this as a great way to ruin a good summer, but for others, it’s the excuse they’ve been waiting for to spend days curled around their laptops or notebooks, pouring their hearts onto the page. For these young writers, there are some exciting opportunities to delve deeper into their passion. If you are one of these writers, or if you know a teen who is passionate about writing, take a look at the events coming up this fall and in 2016 and mark your calendars!

Aside from the longer events in the link above, many communities have short writing workshops for teens through libraries, schools, or local writers’ organizations. Here in Houston, we have many such events. One organization here that offers the most classes for teens is Writespace. For instance, on August 6 & 13 from 12:30-3:00 PM, Writespace will be offering a class in two parts: Young Writers Fiction Workshop (Ages 14-19) with Sara Rolater.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve added a new section to my website to highlight writing conferences and camps for teens. While researching this, I came across a website devoted to teen writers, Teens Can Write, Too. These innovative young writers have teamed up with Chapter One to host their own one-day conference in Illinois. I won’t usually be posting one-day events that occur outside the Houston area; there are just too many! But I had to share this one. Here’s the deets:

ECHOES OF US by Kat ZhangAugust 8: The Chapter One Young Writers Conference 2015, Arlington Heights, IL
Currently, the cost of admission is $49.99, but beginning August 1, the cost will rise to $74.99.

Keynote Address: Kat Zhang, author of the YA series THE HYBRID CHRONICLES (HarperCollins). She started writing the first book in the series, WHAT’S LEFT OF ME, during her senior year of high school and sold the trilogy when she was nineteen. Workshop Leaders will be Taryn Albright and Karen Bao. Read more…

Soon, I will be adding another page to my website that focuses on writing workshops for younger kids. Meanwhile, I will be adding local events of this sort to my regular Tuesday events post. And we have one this week!

August 1, Saturday, 10:30-11:30 AMWriters In The Schools
Writers In the Schools
Houston Public Library Express Library at Discovery Green Park
WITS Childrens’ Writing Workshop for Students Grade 2-8
Cost: FREE; No registration required

In partnership with the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance and Houston Public Libraries, WITS offers the Discovery Green Workshops—For one hour WITS writers explore imaginative writing exercises. WITS provides all necessary materials. No registration is required, and walk-ins are welcome.

And for adult writers  this week:

JULY 29, AUGUST 5 & 12, WEDNESDAYS, 6:00-9:00 PMWritespace
Writespace
Cassandra Rose Clarke: Science Fiction and Fantasy
Cost: $120-$155

Do you take your fiction with a side of aliens, superheroes, dragons, or witches? Then this is the workshop for you! This course will provide an overview of the SFF genre. Together we will consider those elements of writing which are crucial to crafting compelling speculative stories, such as building our own worlds, extrapolating the fantastic from reality, and creating compelling non-human characters. In addition to discussing classic and contemporary SFF works, you will participate in writing exercises and bring in your own work for critique. Come to class prepared to write and discuss, and by the end of the four weeks, you will have completed at least one SFF short story.

JULY 28, TUESDAY, 6:30-8:30 PMHouston Writers Guild
The Houston Writers’ Guild
Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Rd.
Julian Kindred: World Building Beyond Genre: Your Characters and the World Around Them
Cost:$10 Members; $20 Nonmembers; $5 Students w/ID.

World Building is often classified as something exclusive to authors of speculative fiction but the truth is that every time a work of fiction is crafted, an entire world is written into being. While writers of fantasy and science fiction will also benefit from this workshop, writers of any genre stand to gain from examining the world in which their characters live and how they interact with it. Futurists look to tomorrow by examining society, technology, economics, environment, and politics, and in this workshop we shall look at the relationship between these topics as they relate to your plot and characters.

AUGUST 3, MONDAY, 7:00-9:00 PM SCBWI
SCBWI Houston
Tracy Gee Community Center
Kate Pentecost discusses “Using the Uncanny: Creating Horror that Packs a Punch”.
Cost: FREE; All are welcome!

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