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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Barbara Karlin Grant, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. PiBoIdMo Success Story: Penny Klostermann Runner-Up for SCBWI Barbara Karlin Grant

The Picture Book Idea Month success stories just keep pouring in!

The latest news is from lucky Penny Klostermann who was named runner-up for the 2012 SCBWI Barbara Karlin grant! This makes THREE YEARS IN A ROW that a PiBoIdMo story either snatched the grant or was named next in line.

Without further ado, I’ll let Penny tell you all about it!

In the fall of 2011, my wonderful critique group, Picture Bookies, made me aware of Tara’s brilliant concept, PiBoIdMo—30 picture book ideas in 30 days! My very first PiBoIdMo idea was to do a rewrite of THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. I know….holiday stories are hard to sell. I know….rhyme done right is hard to write! But, it was November…and Christmas was just around the corner…and I love the original. By the end of November, I had three different ideas for rewriting THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS.

From the time I wrote the first line for my 25th idea, MARS NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, I knew it was my favorite.

Then, in December, Susanna Leonard Hill hosted a competition on her blog for a rewrite of THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. This brought my idea to the forefront, and I decided to work on it right away. I read every version of the story I could get my hands on. I researched Mars and Space! I got excited as words and phrases from my research enhanced my manuscript.

February 26, 2012, I emailed my manuscript to my critique group. As usual, their comments were incredible. I revised and revised and revised some more. Then on March 12, 2012, I mailed my manuscript to the Barbara Karlin committee…and waited.

I got the call/voicemail at 6:36 p.m. Friday, August 3rd. (Of course I took a picture of my call log!) I didn’t listen to the voicemail until 10:30 p.m. The caller said she was with the Barbara Karlin Grant, and could I give her a call. COULD I GIVE HER A CALL?????? I live in Texas. She was in California. It wasn’t too late! When she told me I was runner up I just couldn’t believe it. Uncontained happiness!!!

I have to say, Tara, that PiBoIdMo is out-of-this-world awesome. As I look through my list of ideas for the next manuscript to tackle, I am amazed. Your organization of the event with inspiring posts and interaction among so many picture book writers took my mind to places it wouldn’t go sitting alone in front of my computer. Thank you.

I just have to brag on my critique group, Picture Bookies. Rebecca Colby was the winner of the 2011 Barbara Karlin Grant. Also, in 2011, Mona Pease received a Letter of Merit. The other members are just as incredible. I am lucky to be a part of this group.

Congratulations, Penny, and thanks so much for sharing your success story! You can visit Penny online at her blog: “A Penny and Her Jots“.

Now folks, you know the old rhyme: “Find a Penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck!” So let Penny’s story sprinkle some good fortune on you.

PiBoIdMo guest bloggers and badges will be revealed on October 1st, with registration to begin on October 24th right here on this blog. Subscribe via email (← see left column) to make sure you don’t miss PiBoIdMo updates!

If you have suggestions about who you’d like to see guest blogging this year, please leave a name (or two or three) in the comments!

10 Comments on PiBoIdMo Success Story: Penny Klostermann Runner-Up for SCBWI Barbara Karlin Grant, last added: 9/8/2012
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2. Interview with Toni Buzzeo

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: May 2, 2012

Toni Buzzeo

Toni Buzzeo, MA, MLIS, is a New York Times bestselling author as well as a career library media specialist. She writes picture books for children as well as many professional books and articles and lives on a colonial farm in Maine. We talked to her about her new picture book Stay Close to Mama (Disney, Hyperion, 2012), her first book The Sea Chest (Dial, 2002), and she happily shared some words of wisdom to inspire young readers. 

I understand that you began writing poetry as a teenager before entering the world of children’s literature as a children’s librarian, a book reviewer, and, finally, an author of children’s books. You obviously have a very strong passion for children’s books. What would you say is the driving factor behind your passion?

Children often ask me that question in their own way when I visit schools. I never have to mull over the answer because it is so clear to me. I think children are the most important people in this world, no matter who or where they are. I love children for their freshness, their unique perspectives, their readiness to say exactly what is on their minds, their willingness to be vulnerable in ways adults find so difficult. It’s a cliché, I suppose, but I love them, too, because they are our future. So my books are, in a way, my thank you notes to them.

Are there any particular learning experiences as either a librarian or book reviewer that you feel influence your writing style or the topics you choose to write about?

I don’t think there are many professions that afford you the real depth of knowledge of children’s books that being a children’s librarian does. I learned, by sharing so many books with children, just how subtle you can be in drawing a character (such as Frances in Lighthouse Christmas or Mr. Todd in Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten), how silly you can be in playing with language (Annie “squizzles” into her sparkle tights), how profound you can be in talking about loss (like the sinking of the ship off the shore in The Sea Chest), and still depend on your young readers to take the ride with you and to appreciate what you’ve done. I never have to second-guess my readers’ responses because I know just what they will respond to—in my own work and the work of other authors I share with them.

Your new picture book Stay Close to Mama (Disney, Hyperion, 2012) is delightfully sweet. Independence is certainly something that little ones strive for—Twiga, your story’s protagonist most certainly does. What inspired you to tell this particular story? And, how did you manage to keep T

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3. Publishing Industry News

This week I found out that Annie Silvestro received a Letter of Merit from the Barbra Karlin Grant & Amazon for her story,  Midnight Rooster.   Annie told me she was completely shocked to see her name on the list of Letter of Merit recipients for the Barbara Karlin Work-in-Progress Grant for my story MIDNIGHT ROOSTER.

To Quote Annie, “I didn’t even know they offered such a thing! I applied for the grant as motivation to keep writing — I felt like it was a great challenge and a fantastic opportunity.  In a field where rejection can sometimes feel like the norm, this honor makes me more confident that what I’m doing is not a futile exercise. I am extremely grateful for the recognition.”

Here is a little information about The Barbara Karlin Grant has been established to recognize and encourage the work of aspiring picture book writers, and is made possible by a generous grant from Amazon.com as part of the SCBWI Work-In-Progress grants.

Eligibility: The Grant is available to both full and associate members of the SCBWI who have never had a picture book published and do not have a picture book currently under contract.

Grant Amounts: One Grant of $2,000 will be awarded annually. A Runner-Up Grant in the amount of $500 (funded by a generous donation from Ann Whitford Paul) will also be awarded. In any given year, the SCBWI Grant Committee reserves the right to withhold the grant for that year.

Description: One picture book manuscript per applicant may be submitted. The text may be an original story, work of nonfiction, or a re-telling or adaptation of a fairytale, folktale or legend.

Hope you think about submitting next year.

More Kudos:

At Chronicle Books, Molly Jones moves up to associate managing editor; Bridget Watson is associate editor, Art & Design; and Sara Schneider becomes executive publishing design director.

Longtime publishing director of Bloomsbury Children’s in the UK Sarah Odedina will become managing director of “an entirely new children’s publishing company” in London as part of Bonnier Publishing. The line will launch in late 2011 or early 2012, focusing on children’s fiction across all age brackets.

Writers House has learned that a series of fake emails claiming to be from WH agent Jodi Reamerhave been circulating to self-published authors this week. “These emails, which contain a number of false statements, have not in fact come from Jodi Reamer and should thus be disregarded.” One easy “tell”: they advise that any e-mail from a non-Writers House address “expressing interest in representation is counterfeit.”

At Candlewick Press, Maryellen Hanley has been promoted to assistant art director.

Congratulations Everyone!

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: awards, Editor & Agent Info, New Imprint, News, Publishing Industry Tagged: Barbara Karlin Grant, Display Comments Add a Comment
4. Good News Report

Lots of good things happening for SCBWI Members. I just found out that Betsy Devany’s picture book manuscript, Norman and Rose, won the hearts of the prestigious judges enough to take the runner-up place for the 2011 Barbara Karlin SCBWI Grant. Betsy is not from New Jersey, but she might as well be. She attends all our events and has volunteered her time to help out the New Jersey Chapter.  You may have met Betsy or remember her, since she frequently travels with Norman the Gorilla.  He is her inspiration, at least for this book award.

Nanci Steveson and Betsy both won a grant from the Highlights Foundation to attend their awesome week in Chautauqua, NY next week.  I am sure they will have a great time and share their experiences with us when they get back.

We have so many talented people in our midst.  Did you know that some of our members are also noted musicians?  Did you know that we have a actress in our group? 

Well, if you can get into New York City the last weekend in July you can see our own Kelly Calabrese as a hot momma in “Sex In Mommyville.” 

There are Three performances:  July 27 @ 9pm; July 29 @ 9pm; July 31 @ 3pm.  I’m desparately trying to find a way to work it into my schedule.
Tickets $20 / RSVP @ 646-329-6588
Manhattan Repertory Theatre Summerfest 2011

Then we have Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman who came out to one of the first Mentoring Workshops I had as Regional Advisor.  They immediately became friends and developed a close enough relationship to co-author a book together.  They worked hard on their craft and it paid off.  If you live close enough stop out to their book launch event being held this week, I know they would appreciate you dropping by.   Remember we are all in this together, so if you can support them by showing up, I am sure you will not be sorry you did.  When your time comes along, we will be there for you.

Let me know your successes. We love to bathe in the light of success.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: awards, Book Stores, Events, News, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Barbara Karlin Grant, Betsy Devany, Charlotte Bennardo, Natalie Zaman, Sex in Mommyville, Sirenz Online Launch Party 4 Comments on Good News Report, last added: 7/12/2011
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5. PiBoIdMo Success Story!

Last November this blog hosted “Picture Book Idea Month,” a daily exercise for picture book writers. The object was to create one new picture book idea a day. (As an added benefit, it kept us from having NaNoWriMo envy.)

When I tried PiBoIdMo on my own the year prior, I came up with the concept for THE MONSTORE, which became my first book to be purchased. It’s set for release with Simon & Schuster in 2012. And, this week, my editor is meeting with the art director to talk about illustrators. Oh yeah, it’s a fun time.

Then this week I got word that Diana Murray won the 2010 SCBWI Barbara Karlin grant with one of her PiBoIdMo 2009 ideas! Wow! So I asked her to tell the story…take it away, Diana!

When Tara announced PiBoIdMo on the blueboards, I was thrilled. One idea per day was something I could handle time-wise and I was looking forward to an excuse to ramp up my picture book writing. It was more challenging than I expected, but the best part was, it helped me figure out my main problem: I’m a compulsive writer. As soon as I think of an idea, I run for my laptop and I can’t stop writing until I get the whole story out of me. I literally find myself waking in the middle of the night to jot things down. In other words, I’m completely nuts. In many ways, this can be a good thing. Motivation has never been an issue for me. But participating in Piboidmo forced me to delay my compulsion to write about anything that popped into my head, and for me, that ended up being more efficient.

I came up with most of my ideas during little “holes” in time throughout the day, like while pushing the stroller or putting my kids to sleep. Some of these ideas were pretty awful, like: “Tabby Moves to Dogtown” and “Mabel’s Amazing Hat,” about a do-everything hat with a remote control. Ha! That one still cracks me up. Some of the ideas were worth investigating and I kept getting tempted to drop everything and start writing. But I held back in the interest of coming up with at least one new idea each day. I knew that if I started writing, I wouldn’t be able to stop and move on to thinking of other ideas. I held off as long as I could.

Finally, on idea #23, I couldn’t take it anymore. The idea of a stubborn, messy witch who keeps losing things resonated with me (Gee, I wonder why?). It’s a very personal experience, of course. An idea that works for one person may not appeal to somebody else. But for me, it just clicked. For a few days, I thought about it and planned it out in my head. Actually, idea #23 had been brewing since idea #1 (to borrow a metaphor from my MC, Grimelda). That’s the good thing about ideas: even the bad ones can ultimately lead to something that inspires you. By the time I started writing, I was overflowing with creative juices and the whole manuscript just poured out.

So, long story short, I’m a Piboidmo loser! My compulsion got the best of me, and I didn’t get past idea #23. But the good news is, I won the 2010 SCBWI Barbara Karlin Grant and learned something in the process.

For the record, I announced my participation on the blueboards but not on Tara’s blog. Let’s just say I was a little new to the concept of blogs at the time. Luckily, I was able to read all the inspiring posts after the event.

Congraulations, Diana! I hope you’ll let us kno

5 Comments on PiBoIdMo Success Story!, last added: 7/9/2010
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