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1. Writing Opportunity – Looking for Submissions


This illustration, “Down the Rabbit Hole” was sent in by Diana Ting Delosh. Dianna says she contracted the art bug at the age of two when she consumed her first box of crayons. Ever since that day, she has been happily doodling away. Currently she is an illustrater/writer. More of her art may be seen at: http://dianadelosh.com and she blogs at http://dtdelosh.blogspot.com

The Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation is a research center at the University of Kansas that administers the Kansas Assessment Program on behalf of the Kansas Department of Education and is currently looking for writers to submit quality poetry and prose to be considered for use on state assessments.

CETE is accepting poetry, fiction, and nonfiction texts for use on reading assessments for grades 3 – 12. Buys exclusive assessment rights and non-exclusive other rights. Pays $250 upon acceptance. Previously published work is acceptable, but author must hold the copyright and must include prior publication information when submitting.


Informational texts should be between 500 and 1,500 words

Our greatest need is for lower grade informational texts that are compelling to the intended age group. Overall, we look for texts that exemplify quality writing and engaging subject matter. We are not currently accepting texts about animals.


We accept free verse, lyrical, and narrative poems. Writers may submit up to 10 poems per submission. Please submit all poems in one document and include publication details for any poems that have been previously published.

Narrative Fiction:

Narrative Fiction should be between 500 and 1500 words:

Our greatest need is for higher level (high school) narrative texts that contain testable literary elements such as strong character development, themes, and symbols. We also welcome narrative texts intended for younger grades. Overall, we look for texts that exemplify quality writing and an engaging storyline. While we seek narratives with tension and plot, submissions do not necessarily need to contain a complete story arc.

All submissions in all three above categories must be appropriate for testing. Submissions that include inappropriate language or references to drugs, sex, alcohol, gambling, holidays, religion, or violence will not be considered. 

More details are available on our submissions site: https://cete.submittable.com/submit. 

If you have questions, please email Becky Mandelbaum Passage Writing Coordinator at cetesubmissions@ku.edu. 

Please do not contact other KU or CETE departments.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: children writing, opportunity, Places to sumit, Poems, publishers Tagged: Kansas Department of Education, publication opportunity, The Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation, University of Kansas

1 Comments on Writing Opportunity – Looking for Submissions, last added: 4/10/2014
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2. Calling Young Writers Grades 1-8.

The Society of Young Inklings, a non-profit with a mission of empowering young writers, publishes an annual anthology of the stories and poems of talented young writers–this year we are holding a contest to see whose pieces will be included. We are looking for fresh new voices to publish in our anthology.

Young writers in grades 1-8 with stories or poems are encouraged to enter the contest. Submissions must be in final draft and students must commit to completing an editing process if their piece is chosen. For more information on the contest please check HERE.

We’re looking for bloggers who might want to do a guest post about the contest to help us reach students who may not otherwise know about the opportunity. We also have an email specifically for educators in case anyone wants that to pass on to a teacher/librarian. If you’d like that email to forward on, email me directly, and I’m happy to forward it to you.

Here are some Q and A’s about the contest.

Q: Who is the Inklings Book Contest for?

A: All young writers who are ready to take their writing to the next level. Writing is just one part of the creative process. Just as it’s important for actors, musicians and dancers to perform, it’s important for writers to have their stories read and enjoyed. We learn new things about ourselves as writers when we prepare our work for readers, and also when we hear feedback about our published pieces. All writers, regardless of their age, need access to that kind of essential feedback. Plus, it’s inspiring to hear that a reader loved our story, and it makes all the hard work worthwhile. Positive feedback sends writers back to their writing desks to create again.

Q: How will I know if my story is ready to submit?

A: One excellent way to prepare a story for submission is to read it out loud to a friend or a group of friends. Ask for feedback about what’s working and what questions your friends may have. Aside from being a huge confidence booster, you’ll also find out what additions or changes may help your story be more clear and more engaging. Notice where people laugh, in particular, and see if you can magnify that effect. Humor often comes in threes. If you have one funny moment that’s working well, you can build on it by repeating the moment with a small change. On the Young Inklings website, you’ll also find a checklist to help you check the fine details of your story just before sending it in.

Q: Why do you ask all of the writers to revise for the Inklings Book?

A: When professional writers send their work into a publisher, they have the opportunity to work with an editor who helps them refine their work. At some point in the writing process, writers need an outside eye. This person helps us read the story from a new perspective: the perspective of someone who doesn’t have all of our personal memories, experiences and passions. We learn what we might need to add or change to help a reader experience the story fully. Some writers are worried about revising with someone else, because they feel their story shouldn’t be influenced by anyone but themselves. All artists are influenced by many factors, though. Our writing is influenced by the books we read, the experiences we have, the voices in our communities, and many other sources. When an editor provides us with outside perspective, this is just another way to make our writing even more spectacular.

Q: Is it a real, published book?

A: Yep! We’re thrilled because the Inklings Book is not going to only be available online, but also in the fabulous independent store, Hicklebees. Young writers and their mentors will all be contributing authors for the book, so the final product will be a collaboration of many creative minds.
Naomi Kinsman

Executive Director
Society of Young Inklings


Thanks for helping me spread the word to deserving young writers!




0 Comments on Calling Young Writers Grades 1-8. as of 4/3/2014 10:47:00 PM
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3. Educational Publisher Looking for Submissions

Huge opportunity for writers and Illustrators – published, unpublished, self-published.

Susan Tierney, longtime Editor in Chief of Children’s Writer and the Institute of Children’s Literature’s Writer’s Guide and the market directories, has now become Acquisitions Editor at Schoolwide, Inc. 

This educational publisher of reading, writing, and grammar curriculum products, and professional development resources, is looking for submissions of books, stories, and articles that support reading and writing for children from kindergarten to grade eight for a digital classroom library.

Of interest are fiction and nonfiction picture books, concept books, early readers, chapter books, middle-grade and early YA books, articles, essays, short stories, poetry, poetry collections, and plays.

Fiction may be contemporary, realistic, historical, multicultural, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, adventure, fairy or folk tales, verse novels, or rhyming books.

Nonfiction sought includes informational/expository, biography/profile, narrative procedure (how-to), creative nonfiction, personal narratives or memoir, essays, opinion pieces, primary sources/reference books.

Subject categories include: Science, history, social studies, language and literature—and any subject that is age-appropriate and would encourage independent reading.

Not interested in preK or older YA.

Email only to submissions@schoolwide.com, with:


Schoolwide will accept:

(1) previously published materials for which the author holds rights. For these book, story, or article submissions, please also indicate the publisher, date of publication, and if applicable, whether an illustrator holds rights to the artwork (illustrators would receive the same royalty arrangements, if interested).

(2) completed manuscripts of original, unpublished work.

Royalty. Responds in six months, if interested.

Schoolwide, Inc.
4250 Veterans Memorial Highway, Suite 2000W,
Holbrook, NY 11741

Don’t miss this opportunity!

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Middle Grade Novels, opportunity, picture books, Places to sumit, poetry, publishers, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Call for Submissions, Educational Publisher, Schoolwide Inc., Susan Tierney

7 Comments on Educational Publisher Looking for Submissions, last added: 4/4/2014
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4. Rock Tumbling a Picture Book:The Art of Revision.

Today’s Post comes from my writing friend and soon to be published Picture Book Author Beth Ferry, who writes about the revision process she goes through for her picture books.

Here’s Beth:

I can clearly remember the summer I was given a rock tumbler. It was a gift of transformation. A gift of possibility. It was THE gift of the 70s. I can remember carefully placing those dusty rocks into the chamber, knowing that very soon I would be the proud owner of sparkling, gleaming gemstones. I remember how LOUD it was and how LONG it took. I also remember being amazed by what emerged.

Many, many years later, the idea of the rock tumbler came back to me. In so many ways, writing is a lot like tumbling rocks. In addition to rocks and water, rock tumbling requires sand-sized particles of silicon carbide, also known as GRIT. Grit is tough and hard and unrelenting. It wears down the rocks, smooths them and rounds them. GRIT is a crucial part of WRITING.           Beth_Ferry_photo

There are 4 steps to Rock polishing:

1.                  Shaping the rock

2.                  Removing the scratches

3.                  Smoothing and polishing the rock

4.                  Burnishing the rock

What do these steps have to do with writing? Well, think of them this way:

1.                  Writing and shaping the story

2.                  Big picture edit

3.                  Small picture edit

4.                  Polishing edit

My first step is to unearth the story, get it down, write it! Ideas truly come from everywhere, but I mostly get my inspiration from words that I like. Some words just speak to me louder than others and an idea will often spark from that one particular word. My FIRST DRAFT is very much like a lumpy brown rock. It usually isn’t pretty, but it has potential. With a little work, I know I can expose the beauty within.  During the FIRST DRAFT, I shape my story. I explore the plot, characters and conflict.  I don’t worry about each word, just the essence of the story. Am I telling the story I planned to tell? Does it have an arc? Is the ending satisfying? Just the first draft alone takes many, many rewrites.

Once I’m happy with the overall shape of my story, I drop it into the tumbler. Here’s where it gets LOUD. I read the story out loud. Again and again and again. I read it inside; I read it outside; I read it to my dog and to my family. Nothing is more useful that hearing my words out in the air. This is where I hear my mistakes, the slow parts, and the beautiful parts. What goes on inside my head is very different than what goes on outside of it so it is crucial to read your story out loud.

Once my story is tumbling around in my head and in decent shape, it’s time for the BIG PICTURE EDIT. This is truly the hardest part. This is where I ask myself who will be reading this story? Who will be buying it? Is it too much like another story?  It’s basically a question of worth. Will my story add to the greater good? Will it make the reader think, laugh, cry or clamor for more? Does my story belong out in the world and will it enhance not only the shelf, but the reader him/herself? Is it a gem? Hopefully I’ve answered yes to these questions and, if so, I move onto the SMALL PICTURE EDIT.

The SMALL PICTURE EDIT may be the longest process. I might rewrite a story 12 times or 83 times. When I think about how many times the rock revolves in the tumbler, I know that I might possibly make hundreds of tweaks to any one story. Tweaks that involve line editing, using my thesaurus, and more reading out loud. I check for clear, concise sentences, for matching tenses and consistent POV. I ask myself if the resolution is not only satisfying, but hopefully unexpected or fun as well. Does my story make me happy? Is my word count satisfactory? Rocks lose approximately 30% of their size during tumbling, so I am not afraid to cut, cut, cut.  I try to lose as many words as I can in this step of editing. This is also when I share with my critique group. A critique group is essential. There is no better support than other committed writers writing the same genre, and no better eyes to point out not only your mistakes, but your successes as well. Whether in-person or on-line, a critique group adds a valuable layer to your editing process. Finally, when I feel that my story has a nice shine, I put it away.

Yes, indeed! It’s like walking away from that rock tumbler and letting it churn for weeks.  As eager as I am to peer into that barrel and see my shining gems, I don’t. I need some distance so that I will have fresh eyes when I read it again. This is the part of the process where I work on another story. Remember, besides water and GRIT, a rock tumbler needs to be filled with other rocks or the process won’t work. I always have more that one story tumbling around. I work on those. Then after a week or two, I take the story back out and read it OUT LOUD with fresh eyes. This is the polishing step. I can usually identify the problem spots right away at this point. I work on those. Then if I love the story as much as I did before I walked away from it, I know I am done. Finished. My story is shaped, sanded and polished. It is ready to meet the world, a gleaming gem full of possibility.

Beth Ferry lives with her family by the beach in New Jersey. She is represented by Elena Giovinazzo of Pippin Properties and her first picture book, Stick and Stone, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld will be released on April 7, 2015.  In addition to this, she’s sold two other picture books:
Land Shark illustrated by Ben Mantle, Chronicle Books, TBD   and,

Pirate’s Perfect Pet, illustrated by Matthew Myers, Candlewick Press, Fall 2016


9 Comments on Rock Tumbling a Picture Book:The Art of Revision., last added: 3/30/2014
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5. New Imprint At Capstone

Back in February I reported about how Capstone was expanding their new Young Readers trade imprint. This week they announced they were launching Switch Press their new YA Imprint, so now there is something for most all of  you out there to consider, even historical fiction, graphic novels.  Scroll down to read.

capstone2Capstone Publishing Group, which has been aggressively expanding beyond the school and library markets with the launch six months ago of its Capstone Young Readers trade imprint, is adding picture books to the list this spring. Thirteen picture books in print format will be released initially under the CYR imprint; after the first list, the imprint will release four to six picture books each year.

Capstone Publishing Group has previously published picture books for the educational and trade markets under its Picture Window imprint and will continue to do so; this is the first time the company is publishing picture books under the CYR imprint. Thus far, board books, chapter books, and hobbies and crafts books have been published under the CYR imprint, which is overseen by senior product manager John Rahm and editorial directors Michael Dahl and Nick Healy.

In May Capstone will launch a Web site to promote its new CYR line, www.capstoneyoungreaders.com. CYR titles will be available in digital formats as well as in print. While only select Capstone Publishing titles for the educational market are available in digital formats, all of Capstone’s trade titles will be available in both print and e-book formats.

Capstone Young Readers Launches YA Imprint: Offers Wide Range of Nonfiction and Fiction Titles

Capstone Young Readers, a leading publisher of children’s books and digital products and services, announced the launch of Switch Press, a new imprint dedicated to titles that appeal to the wide range of interests of the young adult audience today. Switch Press will include a broad selection of contemporary nonfiction and fiction book titles such as graphic novels, cookbooks, craft/how-to, narrative non-fiction, historical fiction, poetry, fantasy and other speculative fiction.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Middle Grade Novels, opportunity, Places to sumit, poetry, publishers, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Capstone Young Readers Trade Imprint, Fiction and Non-fiction, Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction, Switch Press YA Imprint

3 Comments on New Imprint At Capstone, last added: 3/14/2014
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6. Capstone YA Imprint

Capstone launches a new young adult imprint, Switch Press.


0 Comments on Capstone YA Imprint as of 3/11/2014 11:46:00 AM
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7. ALAN pt 2

Warning: I’ve been working on this for hours. While I know I need to give this 2-3 more read-throughs, I just don’t have time. Please forgive the typos!

I went to ALAN this year because Lyn Miller-Lachmann (Rogue; Nancy Paulsen Books) asked me to moderate a panel with her, Kekla Magoon (The Rock and the River; Aladdin) and Rene Saldana Jr (Juventud! Growing up on the Border: Stories and Poems; VAO Publishing). entitled “It’s Complicated: Diverse Authors Revisit the Classics”. We had a nice turnout and it was great working with these talented individuals, although Rene was unfortunately detained in that terrible storm in Texas and unable to join us.

I was truly disappointed in the lack of diversity at the conference. As a new friend stated “I’m tired of the all White world of YA.” I could count on my hands the number of people of color who were present. While there those who are committed to YA and to the teens who read it, most teachers and librarians of color will choose to come if they see people like them somewhere in the program. It makes you feel welcome, you know?

My criticism is more with the industry and how it promotes authors.

I felt quite welcome at ALAN this year as I always do.

Yea, it bothered me that after all I’d gone through to get there, the room was so packed that it seemed I’d spend the first day standing around the back of the room. But this is a conference where people talk to one another! We talk about the books, the authors, programs we’re planning, students we teach and the shoes we wear. We talk to librarians, authors, editors and university students. While this year we celebrated 40 years of ALAN, we listened to authors as they shared about their writing, their readers and their lives.

I hated that I missed hearing Jacqueline Woodson’s (Each Kindness, Nancy Paulsen Books) poem but I had to get Swati Avasthi’s (Chasing Shadows, Random House) autograph and arrange an interview with her!

Who was it during the Coming of Age session when talking about hope in our stories that said “It’s not the despair that gets you, it’s the hope”?

Alan Sitomer (Caged Warrior, Disney Hyperion) on the same panel postulated that “we all live on hope.” With much passion, he proclaimed that “there’s an assault on kids in urban schools today.” They’re not bright enough, not motivated enough… and this is only said about the urban kids!

Upon receiving the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award, Eliot Schrefer (Endangered, Scholastic) reflected on his visit to the Congo where he spoke to teens growing up in this war-torn country and he wondered why he was there talking to these students about books. But then, they began taking examples from his reading and applying them to situations in their country.

Fellow recipient A.S. King (Reality Boy; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) made even more of a point about why she writes. “I need to write the air. I write because I need to. I believe in compassion and community and I’ve always wanted to live in a world where people really are equals … Writing should make us generous. You have to give up yourself to the book. Writing should change you.”

As someone who has moved over to the academic side and who teaches research to students, I really appreciated what Tanya Lee Stone (Courage has no color, the true story of the Triple Nickles: America’s first Black Paratroopers; Candlewick) had to say about research. She suggested getting young researchers to realize what they are passionate about and then figure out what’s important about that. Passion should drive research.

I loved hearing Beth Kephart (Going Over; Chronicle Books) state that “landscape is character” because it spoke to my passion for geography in literature.

Sharon McKay (Enemy Territory; Annick Press) was amazing as she unfolded her personal story that helps her know how to be an insider when writer. “Outsiders have simple solutions.” They don’t understand life’s complexities.

We are all writing about people in the end. We’re all writing about love in the end.” Kephart.

But readers need to find themselves in what they read. They need to be able to relate to the characters and situations.

Sara Farizan (If you could be mine: a novel; Algonquin) reflected on growing up uncomfortable with her gay identity. She found solace in reading and writing and she sought out books. While she found some with gay and lesbian characters, she couldn’t find any Middle Eastern or Asian characters who were facing obstacles like her.

Authors with so many provocative thoughts! While so many writers urge us to push the envelope and to be edgy (which we need to do because so many teen’s lives are edgy) Another perspective was presented by Carl Deuker (Swagger; Houghton Mifflin). “They grow close to 6 feet tall but they’re still very close to Charlotte’s Web”.

I wish I knew who said it!!!
“Why are books the last racial  barrier where many white kids only read about their own experience”? neighborhoods and schools are integrated. We listen to each other’s music, so what is it about books?

I loved witnessing Paul Rudnick’s (Gorgeous; Scholastic) sheer exuberance about writing; Ann Burg’s (Sarafina’s Promise; Scholastic) commitment to truth, Robert Lipsyte’s plea for literacy over sports (where “character has become less important than characters”); Ken Setterington’s (Branded by the Pink Triangle; Second Story Press) work to preserve the pink triangle of the holocaust and was perplexed by science fiction writings admitting the lack of science in their writing yet  managing to redeem themselves in their use of horror.

I was glad to discover a new author of color, Kendare Blake (Antigodess; Tor), a Korean American author.

As is fitting, my take-a-way came from Walter Mayes, librarian extraordinaire and the face of ALAN. Remember, ALAN is part of NCTE, so the majority of people there are teachers. Walter was part of a panel celebrating librarians and media specialists. I think he’s an incredible librarian. Well over 6 ft tall, he’s still close to Charlotte’s Web, still close to what children hold dear. Walter related a story to us.

In his library, the older students are able to speak their mind if no younger students are around. Walter’s students aren’t those urban students but they’re diverse. His library books represent diversity. He’s figured out how to give students what they’re ready for and he knew this particular 8th grade black girl was ready for pretty much the same thing her white classmates were reading until one day, she came in, looked around and said she was tired of all these books with “rich, white bitches”. Their conversation led him to make a selection for her that had her coming back, and coming back and coming back.

Walter, this tall white guy working in a library in an all girl’s school was aware enough to get that not all Black, Latino or Asian kids are able to recognize or articulate their desire for books with characters like them. I can remember Ari, Kekla and even myself being quite satisfied with reading about “rich white bitches”, but once discovering a book with a character like us, we wanted more! For publishers to want students to articulate their desire for ethnic diversity in literature is absurd: they simply haven’t all reached that level of psychological development. Thankfully, librarians get it.

ALAN was stimulating, thought-provoking and irritating. I made wonderful connections in terms of thoughts, ideas and relationships with other people. I just know that a more diverse presentation would have enriched us all so much more. The authors not being there wasn’t because ALAN didn’t invite them, it has to do with who publishers choose to market.

ALAN is very inexpensive to join. The organization is extremely inclusive. Its journal is quite important to the field of YA literature. Let’s not pull away from ALAN. Only by joining such organizations and working with such allies can we get publishers to realize they’ve got to change how they market their authors of color and how they represent YA lit to readers. Next year’s conference will be in Washington D.C..

ALAN is the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council of Teachers of English.

Filed under: Programming, publisher Tagged: ALAN, diversity, publishers

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8. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: November 22

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage.

Book Lists

A Tuesday Ten: #kidlit Fantasy stories launched by a birthday | Views From the Tesseract http://ow.ly/r3RMp

A list that @charlotteslib will like | Top Ten Fantasy Books for Boys with Starring Girls from alibrarymama http://ow.ly/qZCiF #kidlit

Stacked: 2014 Contemporary YA Books to Get On Your Radar http://ow.ly/qWBOU @catagator #yalit

12 Great New Picture Books recommended by @TrevorHCairney http://ow.ly/qWAMX #kidlit

Top 10 Chanukah Books by @raisealithuman @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/qUeHB #booklist

Lots of parents will like this book list: Chapter Books for Kids with Old-Fashioned Flair - from @momandkiddo http://ow.ly/qUepl

Stacked: Contemporary YA Books Featuring Family Stories http://ow.ly/qRPx9 @catagator #yalit

25 Empowering Books for Little Black Girls from @ForHarriet http://ow.ly/qRPgs via @CBCBook

Book-Related Gift Guides

For your holiday #kidlit shopping pleasure: Book and Toy Gift Sets selected by @momandkiddo http://ow.ly/qPWtG

Gifts to help develop love of literacy | 2013 #Literacy Gift Guide from @growingbbb http://ow.ly/qPWj0

Blogging and Reviewing

The Blogging Blahs have hit @tashrow at her Sites and Soundbytes blog. Giving self permission NOT to do things is ok http://ow.ly/qWuRH

KidlitCon2013Thoughts on reviewing Changes + Gender Issues in light of #KidLitCon13, from @Book_Nut http://ow.ly/qUe7i (age ranges, labels)

Are your Books (that you read or recommend) Mirrors or Windows? {On Reading} — @5M4B http://ow.ly/qWB5n #KidLitCon13

Book Awards

Congratulations to Cynthia Kadohata, winner of the @nationalbook Award for #kidlit for The Thing About Luck http://ow.ly/r3PUr

Winter 2013-2014 Kids’ Indie Next List Top Ten via @tashrow + w/ congratulations to @LaurelSnyder http://ow.ly/qX0Ok #kidlit

Growing Bookworms

How and why you should give your child plenty of choice when it comes to reading | @ReadingWithBean http://ow.ly/qX0IX

A Case for Letting Kids Read Books on Digital Devices | @LevarBurton @BigKidStir http://ow.ly/qRPX2 via @tashrow #literacy

5 tips to make sure you don't kill your child's love of reading @zoobeanforkids @HuffPostBooks http://ow.ly/r4bxw  via @PWKidsBookshelf

Hunger Games Movie

Suzanne Collins interviewed at Time Magazine. Quotes from part 1 + 2 @bkshelvesofdoom http://ow.ly/qZASj #yalit

I still think this is a bad idea | That 'Hunger Games' Theme Park? Here Are 5 Attractions We Want to See says @Time http://ow.ly/qZCUt

RT @tashrow: Hunger Games Catches Fire Online http://wp.me/p1iTZw-29x


#Kidlit bloggers, it's that time again. Submit your posts for the November Carnival of Children’s Literature http://ow.ly/r3yXA @asuen1

Link Du Jour: Nonfiction Monday is a-Changin’ — @100scopenotes http://ow.ly/qUeyJ #NonFiction

KidLitConSarahCynthiaScroll down to see some #KidLitCon13 links and photos in this post from our keynote speaker @CynLeitichSmith http://ow.ly/qRUc2

(Photo shows Sarah Stevenson, Cynthia, and me.)

Don't miss the #KidLitCon13 Austin Round-Up at Kidlitosphere Central (created by @MotherReader ) http://ow.ly/qSicL

Diversity, Authenticity, and Kindred Spirits: Thoughts from #Kidlitcon13 from @SheilaRuth http://ow.ly/qSimA

ChildrensStoryOn Reading and Writing

December is Read a New Book Month reports @readingtub http://ow.ly/qWyhK Keep reading during this busy time, and try to stretch yourself

Why I’m an unapologetic book-quitter by Leah McLaren @GlobeAndMail resonated with me | http://ow.ly/qRQAI via @tashrow

I could relate to: Friday Confession:I Love Book People from @NoVALibraryMom http://ow.ly/qRWmi

Guest Post by @JennWalkup @yahighway: Keeping it Real - Female Protagonists in YA Lit http://ow.ly/qRRNA via @CynLeitichSmith

Picture Book Month

PictureBookMonthThird Annual Picture Book Month Is in Full Swing |reports @roccoa @sljournal http://ow.ly/qPMIy #kidlit

Getting the Most Out of Picture Books, a helpful guide from @RIFWEB http://ow.ly/qSkfM via @BookChook #PictureBookMonth

Why Picture Books Are Important @inkyelbows for #PictureBookMonth http://ow.ly/qSk4W via @BookChook

Are you following the @SproutsBkshelf 30 Days of Picture Books posts? Charley's First Night by Amy Hest looks lovely http://ow.ly/qPWI0

Programs and Research

This is nice to see: A list of Charities That Give Books to Children and Promote #Literacy from @momandkiddo http://ow.ly/qRTsI

GivingKidsThis is neat. New website that helps kids find opportunities to help others (projects/donations/etc) @GivingKIDS http://ow.ly/r1HXz

Nice! London benches to celebrate books + promote reading reports @TheBookseller http://ow.ly/qZD02 via @PWKidsBookshelf

More gadgets, more reading: Survey suggests e-reader and tablet owners read more books @gigaom via @cmirabile http://ow.ly/qPM8X

Publishers, Authors, and Booksellers

Lee & Low Acquires Shen’s Books, reports @fuseeight http://ow.ly/r3RDa #kidlit @leeandlow

Amazon rolls out Kindle MatchBook: About 75k print books bundled with discounted ebooks @gigaom via @cmirabile http://ow.ly/qPLNx

A Female Author Talks About Sexism and Self-Promotion by @sarahreesbrenna in @thetoast http://ow.ly/qROQh via @CBCBook

A Second Female Author Talks About Sexism and Self-Promotion by @malindalo in @thetoast http://ow.ly/qRP3V via @CBCBook

Park18n-1-webRest in peace, Barbara Park, Junie B. Jones author http://ow.ly/qWyw3 (wretched cancer) [Image from Random House]

In Support, Forever, of Junie B. Jones by @MotherReader http://ow.ly/qWw8o #kidlit Barbara Park

Schools and Libraries

Neat! Stockholm’s Tio Tretton Library–Inspiration for Service to Tweens | Sites and Soundbytes @tashrow http://ow.ly/r3Pze

Five ideas for librarians to nurture creativity at work, adapted from @Zen_Habits by @tashrow at Sites + Soundbytes http://ow.ly/qZBg2

Fun post at @KirbyLarson blog about student/parent/teacher book clubs run by @muellerholly http://ow.ly/r3QFQ #literacy

Cut to the Core: Has the Common Core Rollout Gone Awry? asks @PublishersWkly http://ow.ly/qZCNh #education

Inspiring post @KirbyLarson blog by @kelvorhis about spreading the love of books to colleagues + parents at school http://ow.ly/qPVXa

Inspiration. Applying "First, do no harm…" in all areas of life, not just medicine, by teacher @katsok http://ow.ly/qUdW0

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

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9. Here’s How to Get Review/Press Copies from 200+ Publishers

A couple months ago, my lindaformichelli.com site was hacked, and the saddest thing was the loss of my Review Copy Helper page — a directory of how to request review/press copies from over 200 publishers.

I even got an email from Ralph Nader’s assistant asking me where the page was — seems Ralph likes to use it to order review copies!

The bright side was that my site was SUPER outdated — 8-year-old photo, and a focus on writing for magazines whereas now most of my energy goes to blogging, teaching, and writing e-books. So I hired a designer to totally remake it.

Well, after much hard work by James at Men with Pens and myself, the site is back up:

Linda Formichelli’s web site

And here’s the Review Copy Helper.

Please do let me know if you see any errors or problems with my new site!

Also, the Review Copy Helper is not totally up-to-date, so if you happen to have more updated info on any of these publishers, please send it over. Thanks!

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10. A Break For Owls

I managed to wrap up a huge chunk of Maddy Kettle over the last few weeks by really pushing ahead with it. There is just 10 pages left to ink, so I'm almost there.

But, for the next few days I'm switching gears to work on a small contract for a wonderful new publisher in Australia called Tiny Owl Workshop, contributing some drawings to their first book (like the one above!) and I'll be completing some private commissions and doing some writing.

If you go Inkybook 1 you'll sort of know the story I'm writing as I had bits of it in Inkybook, I called it The Witch Detective there but am now calling it The witches of Bogg Lane and am doing it as a prose story. More on that later. 

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11. New Imprints

Amazon is adding two new children's imprints: Two Lions and Skyscrape. 


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12. Self-Publishing Homework

working on laptopIf you have decided to self- publish, there are lots of things you need to know and consider. Don’t think you get to wiggle out of doing your homework and making a plan on the steps you need to take and things you need to consider.

The biggest mistake writer’s make, is thinking their story is ready after they have finished writing their book. Whether you go the traditional route or want to self-publish, it is always a mistake to run out and seek someone to publish your book after the first draft. You should pat yourself on the back, because you have accomplished something that eludes many writers and you have a right to be excited and proud, but 99% of the time it is not ready for publication. You have just taken step one of the publication process.

So many self-published books could have made money for the author, if only they could take control of that excitement of finishing that first draft.  Even if it is your fourth draft and is the best book ever written, don’t mess it up by accepting a bad contract. There are companies who try to act like real publishers, who will take anybody and any book and offer a contract. The author is elated and jumps at the offer. Don’t do That!

I am convinced these companies do not give any thought as to the quality of the content. Sometimes I wonder if they even take the time to read the books submitted. They offer production, distribution, press release, and design and artwork, but it is all so inferior that even if the first draft of the book was well written and unique, it ends up being so ugly and made from such poor quality paper that no one, other than friends and family would purchase the book. Then they throw on an extremely high price, like $25 for a picture book, which further dooms the sale of the book.

These pretend publishers realize everyone has friends and family and will get those sales and occasionally they might get someone who really promotes their book and sells more than 50 copies.  For all their work these motivated authors end up making maybe a total of $150. When if they had taken their time, did their homework, and made the right choices, they could have put out a good book that people actually read and would have made money for them.

There are so many things to consider and now so many forms of publishing your book. At the beginning of the year, I promised to start including self-publishing in my post. Next week, I will start pointing out steps you need to take, places to consider, and what they bring to the table, new formats and how to make that happen, and how to get your book seen and distributed.

Hope you’ll stop back.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Advice, authors and illustrators, demystify, How to, need to know, Process, publishers, Publishing Industry, reference, Tips Tagged: How to Self Publish Your book, Self-Publishing

2 Comments on Self-Publishing Homework, last added: 2/21/2013
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13. New Imprint

Egmont UK is launching a new children's nonfiction imprint, Red Shed. 


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14. New Picture Book Market

Peter Pauper Press will release its first hardcover picture book in May 2013. 


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15. Small Presses

Do you need an agent if you are working with a small press? 


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bolognalogo_enAccording to editor Tamra Tuller at Chronicle Books, her company has won the BOLOGNA PRIZE FOR THE BEST CHILDREN’S PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR. It was announced in Bologna at the Ceremony organized to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Fair.

Here is the list of nominated publishers in North America:

North America

Chronicle Books, San Francisco, USA - www.chroniclebooks.com

Groundwood Books, Toronto, Canada - www.houseofanansi.com

Abrams, New York, USA - www.abramsbooks.com

Annick Press, Toronto, Canada - www.annickpress.com

Houghton Mifflin, New York, USA - www.hmhbooks.com



Stop back tomorrow to read about the Writer’s Retreat Weekend and the results of working on our pitches for the books we submitted.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Book, Kudos, News, publishers, Publishing Industry Tagged: 50th Anniversary, Bologna Children's Book Fair, Chronicle Books, Winner of the Bologna Prize for Best Children's Publisher of the Year

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17. New YA Imprint

Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, is launching Blink, a new YA imprint for the general, not Christian, trade. 


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18. Free Fall Friday – Interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Princess Party postcard

Talk tomorrow,


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

3 Comments on Free Fall Friday – Interview, last added: 5/11/2013
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19. New Publisher

Creston Books used kickstarter to fund the launch of its Spring 2013 debut line. 


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20. Rebellion Imprints – Ravenstone – Solaris – Abaddon

ravenstoneRebellion’s profile in the U.S. has increased since Simon & Schuster began distributing its books in 2010, with growing sales for the graphic novel line following 2012’s Dredd.

U.K. publisher Rebellion is going after a somewhat younger crowd with its new children’s imprint, Ravenstone, which launched at BEA with the June release of its first book, Lupus Rex by singer-songwriter John Carter Cash.

The company’s entry into the crowded children’’s book field has been met with enthusiasm, said publishing manager Ben Smith, because the debut title is “not just another dark apocalyptic YA fantasy or vampire novel. People appreciate that it’s for middle grades.” Beyond the first two books, Ravenstone is looking to a possible sequel to Lupus Rex.

Ravenstone joins Rebellion’s other prose imprints: Solaris – which publishes fantasy, science fiction, and horror, including books by bestselling author James Lovegrove – and Abaddon Books, which presents shared-world fiction, mostly in the urban fantasy genre.

Jon Oliver, editor-in-chief at Rebellion, said that a children’s imprint fits well with the publisher’s genre offerings. The line begins with just one book a season to start: Lupus Rex, a fantasy about an epic battle among crows, wolves, and other creatures for the crown of their world. It’s the first middle-grade title for Carter Cash, who has previously published three picture books. Ravenstone’s fall release will be Jan Siegel’s comedic Devil’s Apprentice, in which a successor to Satan – who is retiring – must be found.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: authors and illustrators, need to know, New Imprint, News, publishers Tagged: Abaddon Books, Ravenstone Children's Imprint, Rebellion children's publisher, Solaris Fantasy Imprint, UK & US Market

0 Comments on Rebellion Imprints – Ravenstone – Solaris – Abaddon as of 6/18/2013 12:25:00 AM
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21. Quercus Books Launches in US This September

With a wide range of titles–including thrillers, women’s literature, children’s books, translated literary fiction, narrative and illustrated nonfiction, and sci-fi, fantasy, and horror–Quercus is launching its first U.S. list in September. The company aims to replicate its success in the U.K. by creating a publishing house here that is just as diverse in its offerings, with a mix of both U.S. and international titles. Quercus CEO Mark Smith said of the venture, “We are truly excited to be bringing both our new and established authors to this dynamic and fast-moving marketplace.”

Publishing director Richard Green said, “Quercus is starting with some 40 titles in the U.S. this fall.” Next year, Quercus will publish 90 titles here, with plans to publish an increasing number of titles over subsequent years. As Green put it, “We’re here for the duration. We have been planning this move for over two years and have carefully researched the market and listened to advice from a range of industry experts. The list has been carefully hand-picked for the North American market, and we will be supporting all our titles with substantial marketing and publicity campaigns.”

Eric Price
Nathaniel Marunas

The current publishing program consists of about two-thirds fiction, another third nonfiction. In time, the company aims to increase the number of American authors on the list to around half of the total. Smith said, “We want to keep an international flavor, take on American authors like Brian Freeman, Corban Addison and Richard North Patterson, as well as find debut authors here and nurture them.”

Random House Publisher Services is distributing Quercus in the U.S. and Canada. Both Smith and Green praised RHPS, noting that having to tie into the distributor’s systems and meet its deadlines has helped Quercus improve its own internal processes–lessons about business practices that it will take back to the U.K. “Random’s supply chain and inventory management systems are really impressive,” Green said. Smith added: “I’m surprised at how much they share. They’re very enlightened. They say, ‘If you’re successful, we’re successful.’ It really is a partnership.”

The Quercus team in the U.S. includes Eric Price, director of sales, marketing and publicity, who worked at Grove/Atlantic for more than 20 years, most recently as associate publisher and COO. Quercus associate publisher Nathaniel Marunas was executive editor-at-large at Sterling Publishing and before that was associate publisher at Black Dog & Leventhal. Anna Hezel is digital marketing manager and an editorial assistant. The team will expand, and Green promised, “You won’t hear a British accent. This is absolutely going to be an American operation.”

Quercus sees a lot of potential in the U.S. market. “We are well aware that these are challenging times for book publishers everywhere,” Green said. “But coming from a tough U.K. market, we see an enormous upside to operating in the U.S. This is a tremendous opportunity to establish a flexible and proactive publishing business in North America. We have amazing books, are hiring a great team, and will work closely with RHPS to develop the business into one that has scale, diversity and ambition.”

Read the Full Article at Shelf-Awareness: http://www.shelf-awareness.com/issue.html?issue=2016#m20186

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: authors and illustrators, children writing, need to know, News, opportunity, Places to sumit, publishers Tagged: Nathaniel Marunas, Quercus Books, UK Publisher Launches in US

3 Comments on Quercus Books Launches in US This September, last added: 6/24/2013
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22. Relationships With a Publisher

Staying with a "bad" publisher may be worse than having no publisher at all.


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23. Small Presses

SFWA offers loads of information about evaluating a small press. 


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24. Small Presses

There are many excellent small presses out there, but be sure to do your homework. 


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25. Writing for the Educational Market

I found this information over at evelyn b christensenbannertitle

evelyn b Christensen

Some Basic Information

If you are new to writing for the education market, this webpage has lots of helpful information for you.  Although  some educational publishers accept submissions and give standard royalty-based contracts with an advance, many  do not.  The more  typical contract is a work-for-hire one in which the author is paid a one-time lump sum, and the publisher  keeps all rights to the work. Usually, WFH books for the education market are non-fiction with the publisher  determining the subject and specifying details like word count and reading level.

This may sound like a turn-off to you, but many authors make a good living with this kind of work and enjoy  doing the research and the writing involved with it.  Several of them share the pros and cons of writing WFH in the  articles listed below.

Getting Wok For Hire Assignments

If you want to get WFH assignments, send a cover letter to the publisher stating your writing experiences and  other qualifications, such as teaching experience or expertise in particular subject areas, and telling  what subjects and grade levels interest you.  Include samples of your writing.  You should first research the  kinds of books the publisher produces, and send samples which show your ability to write what they publish.  The  publisher will keep your information on file and contact you when they have an assignment they think matches  your credentials.

Book Packagers

Lots of WFH books for the education market (an estimated 30% or more) are produced by book developers/packagers.  These companies produce books for other publishers.  Often the publishers request a particular product from the developer.   Sometimes the developer  may come up with the idea and offer it to a publisher. In my Educational Market List I try to indicate these kinds of companies with the words “developer,” “packager,” or “creation house” after the name.

Finding a Market for a Completed Manuscript or a Proposal

Perhaps you aren’t looking for an assignment, but instead are looking for an educational publisher for a  completed manuscript or for a proposal.  In that case, when you check my Educational Market List,  you’ll probably be most successful if you look for publishers who have “submission guidelines” given.  If they  don’t have submission guidelines, then it’s more likely that they use freelancers only on an assignment basis.   If they have guidelines and accept unsolicited submissions, the contract they give might still be a WFH one, or it might be a royalty-based  one.

Royalty-Based Contracts

If an educational publisher does offer a royalty-based contract, the terms of the offer are frequently not  comparable to what you may be used to in the trade market.  Do not be surprised if there is no advance, if the  royalty percentage is less, if the royalties are based on net instead of on list price, or if the publisher  insists on the copyright being in their name.  You can, of course, try to negotiate the terms they offer; just  don’t be surprised if the terms are less beneficial than what you might expect in the trade market.

Advantages to the Educational Market

In spite of this, writing for the educational market has some wonderful advantages. A big one is that it is usually  easier to break into this market, especially with non-fiction WFH, than to publish a trade market  novel or picture book. Another advantage is that educational publishers  usually keep your books in print much longer than the typical trade publisher does. They also usually have their  own distribution channels and sales force, so are unlikely to expect you to do a lot of promotion of your books  (although if you like doing such things as school visits, book fairs, and speaking engagements, you certainly can). Best of all, when you write for the education market you can enjoy knowing you’ve helped provide materials that  can make a positive difference in the learning experiences of many, many children!



Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: article, publishers, reference, writing Tagged: Advantages of working for educational publishers, Book Packagers, Evelyn B. Christensen, Freelance writing, Work for Hire writing, Writing for the educational Market

1 Comments on Writing for the Educational Market, last added: 9/17/2013
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