Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Current Scratch: Join Us, Upcoming Events, Aggie Book List, Twitterverse, Of Interest

Yes! The Scratch is back for the FALL!  I hope you have set a goal or two now that the temps have dropped to the low 90s.  Time to put the 20 inches of rain behind us and start anew.  Be bold. Be strong. Be happy. Create your heart out!  I hope all the bits and pieces here help light the fire.  

Join Us

Our next regular meeting will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017 at 10 a.m. in the College Station Barnes & Noble. This month Molly Blaisdell will discuss secondary characters. Please bring your favorite book and best tip for secondary characters. Be ready to share!

We'll also discuss news and provide encouragement. Gentle critique begins at 9:30 a.m. Bring copies of 5 double-spaced pages of your work in progress. Those who have time may go to lunch at a local restaurant afterwards.

Note: Our meetings are open to members and non-members. If you are interested in SCBWI or children's literature in general attending is a great way to meet our community and get your feet wet.

Upcoming Events

October 23 Writing Day and Sketch Crawl at Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, TX

Cost: $10.00 per person (zoo entrance fee) + lunch money
Date: October 21, 2017
Time: 8:30 a:m (leaving College Station) - 5:00 pm (returning to College Station)
          10:00 a.m(Cameron Park Zoo) - 3:30 p.m
          12:00 p.m. Plaza Cafe 
Locaton: Cameron Park Zoo. 1701 North 4th Street | Waco, Texas 76707 | (254) 750-8400

Please RSVP: molly@mollyblaisdell.com
            
Bring a notebook (paper or computer) and stretch your creative self. We will travel to Waco together and spend our time wandering the zoo grounds and finding inspiring spots to work. 



Location: The Marriott Houston Westchase,  2900 Briarpark Drive - Houston, Texas 77070

Here is the distinguished faculty!

Bruce Coville, Author
Dierdre Jones, Editor at Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Anna Roberto, Editor at McMillan/Feiwel & Friends
Adriana Dominguez, Agent at Full Circle Literary
Christa Heschke, Agent at MacIntosh and Otis
Thao Le, Agent at Sandra Dijkstra Literary
Martha Rago, Executive Creative Director at Random House for Young Readers

There is still some space for you

Local News

Book Festival DELAYED UNTIL April 2018. The Brazos Valley Book Festival was set for Sept. 23, 2017 but our unwanted visitor Harvey strikes again. We will still have an SCBWI Brazos Valley table at the rescheduled festival in April. Please contact Liz Mertz at brazosvalley@scbwi.com  if you want to participate in the Spring. The hours will be from 9 am to 2 pm, so we could set up shifts if we have several members sign up. For more details, keep an eye on the website http://brazosvalley.bookfestival.network/.

DAWN HUSTED is running a promotion on the BargainBooksy site. For interested authors, she'll post results on her blog

ALICE V. BROCK, 2017 Peacemaker Award Finalist, Best First Novel, Western Fictioneers
KATHY WHITEHEAD's book, ART FROM HER HEART was featured at Sunday Story Time at the New York Historical Society Museum and Library. Read about here.
Authors with agents and reps. This year, recent movers and shakers (ha, ha!) from College Station and Bryan. 
Allyson Green  Represented by @SarahLaPolla,
Ellen McGinty Represented by Rep'd by @kaitylynne13 and @mcorvisiero,
and Jessica Blank @jessicablank will be illustrating:  Sailaja Joshi at Bharat Babies has acquired actor, writer, and producer Sheetal Sheth's debut picture book, Always Anjali.  From Publisher's Weekly
Finally, if you are not following Wonderhill Farm by Nisha Coker or Undertheopensky on Instagram, I am feeling sorry for you.

Aggie Book List

Is your book on the list? 

Click HERE to add your books to a list of Aggie authors and books at The Association of Former Students site.  

TWiTTERVERSE

Did a publisher scam the New York Times Best Sellers list? This news broke in the Twitterverse. Check out Phil Stampers Twitter feed for more info. Who is Phil? YA writer & publisher known for "detective work worthy of Nancy Drew." 

#MSWL. Manuscript Wish List. A favorite Twitter event for writers and illustrators. Did you know that new postings went up September 12, 2017?


Of Interest

Want to help restock libraries after Hurricane Harvey? Read about it here.

What is the staff of the Children's Book Council reading in September? Read about it here. 

The Young People’s Literature NBA Long List Has Been Announced. Read about it here. 

In June, RIP Michael Bond, author of Paddington Bear. Read about it here.

Inspiration from Nnedi Okorafor. Her YA novel Zahrah the Windseeker won the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature and her children’s novel Long Juju Man won the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa. Read here.    Read here. 

**************************************

This blog was brought to you by local author/sometime illustrator/all the time goof Molly Blaisdell!




Shameless plug for CHICKEN'S DO NOT TAKE OVER HALLOWEEN by Molly Blaisdell (written and illustrated) Follow the link if you want a copy!


Disclaimer: The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of the SCBWI.



Saturday, May 20, 2017

Writing Process Questionnaire

Join Us

Our next regular meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 31st at 10 a.m. in the College Station Barnes & Noble. This month Molly Blaisdell will discuss the writing process. We'll also discuss news and provide encouragement. Gentle critique begins at 9:30 a.m. Bring copies of 5 double-spaced pages of your work in progress. Those who have time may go to lunch at a local restaurant afterwards.

Note: Our meetings are open to members and non-members. If you are interested in SCBWI or children's literature in general attending is a great way to meet our community and get your feet wet.


The following questionnaire is to help us leverage the "group mind" at our next meeting. We are not alone. Let's share our best tips to help all achieve success. 

Questions about your writing process. Come prepared to discuss the following. 

GENERAL
Who do you write for? Your childhood self? A friend? Your family? Who is your audience?
What advice have discovered is a myth about the writing process?
How does rejection play into your writing process?
What is the purpose or combination of purposes for your writing?
Do you suffer writing blocks? What part of the process is most likely to be blocked? Do external circumstances block you?
What book has most influenced your writing process?
What is your biggest process challenge in your process?
What is your interior self-talk like as your write?  
Do you use deadlines as part of your writing process? Explain.
Do you make specific writing goals?
Do you use deadlines as part of your writing process? Explain.

Share an analogy about your process. Building a campfire? Unraveling a ball of yarn? Making a cake? What is your writing process analogy? 

PREWRITING
How do you generate ideas?
Do you have any unusual pre-writing habits?
Are you a clam, unwilling to talk until you have written, or are you a magpie telling all before your write? Why?
Do you write an outline? What kind? 
Do you research? How long? What kind? 
How do you organize your research? 
How do you research characters? Settings? 

PLANNING
Let's do the math. What percentage of your time is used researching, planning, and thinking? What percentage of your time is used on completingthe first draft? What percentage of your time is used on revising? What percentage of your time is used for editing?

FIRST DRAFT?
Where do you start your project? The last sentence? The biggest moment? The beginning?
Panster or Plotter? Do you go where the story leads you or do plot?
What is the environment you write in like?
Do you stay focused on one project or do you work on multiple projects?
Do you write in a linear fashion or do you jump all around?
What tools do you during your writing process? Pens? Paper? Software? Do tell.
How long does it take you to write the first draft?

REVISION
How long do you wait between revisions? 
Do you revise for holistically or atomistically? 
Do you cut tons or pad tons? 
Do edit and revise at the same time? 
Discuss the technical aspects of your revision, like revising hardcopies, changing font sizes, beta readers, etc.

COMPLETION
How many revisions does it take you to complete your project? 
Do you have any last draft rituals? Read aloud, share with a reader, etc. 
How do you know your novel is ready to submit? 

LAST QUESTIONS
What do you like least about the writing process? Why?
What do you like most about the writing process? Why?
If you could change one thing, what would it be? 


Molly Blaisdell (www.mollyblaisdell.com)
aka Cece Barlow (cecebarlow.blogger.com)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Current Scratch: Join Us, Upcoming Events, Summer Reading Lists for Kids and Craft, What I'm Reading, Recommended Resources

Howdy! Hope you've all had an eventful April (if you're in need of writing inspiration) or an uneventful one (if you're in need of peace and quiet to actually write). Hope you enjoy this month's Scratch! If you have ideas for Scratch topics or would like to contribute some writing or resources please let us know!

Join Us

Our next regular meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 31st at 10 a.m. in the College Station Barnes & Noble. This month Molly Blaisdell will discuss the writing process. We'll also discuss news and provide encouragement. Gentle critique begins at 9:30 a.m. Bring copies of 5 double-spaced pages of your work in progress. Those who have time may go to lunch at a local restaurant afterwards.

Note: Our meetings are open to members and non-members. If you are interested in SCBWI or children's literature in general attending is a great way to meet our community and get your feet wet.

Upcoming Events

Community Events

May 27th: Artist Reception for fellow member Candi Fite—5 p.m.-7 p.m.­ at Back Lot Gallery, 308 S. Park St, Brenham, Texas 77833.

Workshops & Craft

May 8-19th: A free seminar for self-publishers hosted by Ingram Spark, Author's Adventure Summit http://www.book2bestseller.com/authors-adventure-summit/

May 11th: A Drone’s-Eye-View of Your Manuscript Webinar by Darcy Pattison, Thursday, May 11th at 6:00 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time, $15
Learn to see the overall structure of your novel with simple tools. Author and writing teacher Darcy Pattison helps you confirm that the major plot points fall in the right places and events lead to a dramatic climax. A single chapter is easy to write. But to make a novel work, you must sequence the chapters in the right order and with the right events to make readers refuse to put the book down. Come and learn simple exercises to help you see your novel from a drone's eye view.
For more information and to register: https://montana.scbwi.org/events/webinar-a-drones-eye-view-of-your-manuscript/

Conferences
May 20-21st: Austin 2017 SCBWI Writers & Illustrators Working Conference, register online here.

June 8-10th: The sixth annual Children's Art & Literacy Festival will be held in Abilene. This year's focus will be on celebrating illustrator Garth Williams (of Charlotte's Web fame). Discounted registration open till May 15th.

September 23rd: The Brazos Valley Book Festival is set for Sept. 23, 2017. We will have an SCBWI Brazos Valley table at the festival. Please contact Liz Mertz at brazosvalley@scbwi.com as soon as possible if you want to participate. The hours will be from 9 am to 2 pm, so we could set up shifts if we have several members sign up. For more details, keep an eye on the website http://brazosvalley.bookfestival.network/

October 7-8th: The SCBWI Houston conference will be the weekend of October 7-8, 2017. The keynote speaker is Bruce Coville, who will also give a writing intensive on that Sunday.

Summer Reading Lists for Kids and Craft

If you'd like to add some more diversity to your summer reading check out the summer reading list put together by We're the People.

I recommended the Latinx in Kid Lit blog in April's scratch. Here is a list of middle grade books with latinx characters put together by one of their bloggers Cindy L. Rodriguez.




Here are a few books I have on my summer reading list that deal with the craft of writing (considering it has taken me over a year to get near the end of Bird by Bird this list is laughably unrealistic). Some were recommended by Brazos Valley SCBWI members (thanks!) and others from people I met at conferences and badgered for advice.

Bird by Bird - Ann Lamott A classic for new writers. Recommended a while ago and also heard on the 10 Minute Writer's Workshop podcast (see below for more on that)

The Magic Words - Cheryl Klein Recommended by Karen Boss at the Brazos Valley Blooms SCBWI conference

Writing Down the Bones - Natalie Goldberg (sidenote: Natalie Goldberg is one of the reasons I decided to publish under my full name, Romy Natalia Goldberg)

On Writing - Stephen King This one came recommended by BV SCBWI member CandiLynn Fite. Thanks, Candi!

The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing - Linda Ashman

Multicultural Literature for Latino Bilingual Children: Their words, Their Worlds  Many of the authors featured in this book were mentioned during (or spoke at) the National Latino Children's Literature conference in San Antonio in March, 2017.

What I'm Reading


Low Riders to the Center of the Earth



This imaginative graphic novel mixes elements from Mexican and Mexican American/Chicano culture with a underworld adventure (and lots of science thrown in to boot). It won the 2017 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award. Written by Cathy Camper and illustrated by Raúl the Third. There are Spanish words throughout though English speakers will be happy they are translated in the footnotes for each page. Here is a fun review with some sample panels. My kids loved it and so did I. Now I need to get my hands on the first book in the series, Lowriders in Space.


Abuelo


Abuelo is lovely picture book writen by Arthur Dorros with illustrations from one of my favorite Latino illustrators, Raúl Colón (he illustrated "Me Llamo Gabito, My Name is Gabito," a picture book about Gabriel García Márquez that I recommended a few Scratches back). In the story a grandson tells us everything his grandfather, a gaucho (Argentine cowboy) in the Pampas, has taught him. Then he must move to the city and we see how he uses that knowledge and channels his grandfather in his new environment. Beautiful story. I'd be willing to bet that any Texan grandparent would happily find parallels to their own life while reading it to their grandchildren.

Recommended Resources



10 Minute Writer's workshop podcast

I learned about this podcast from the Kid Lit 411 Facebook Page. It features 10 minute interviews with a wide range of authors. Authors answer a few standard questions including
  • What is harder, the first or last sentence? 
  • What is the best and worst advice you've been given as a writer? 
  • How/where do you work? 
It is fascinating to hear different authors' answers. Some will say they write in a specific room overlooking the water while others swear the only way to write is to park yourself somewhere you hate like a Holiday Inn. You can get a surprising amount of information and advice in ten minutes!

Note: You can listen to this show on your computer or phone directly from the webpage or via podcast. If you do not know how to listen to podcasts please let me know and I'll give you a quick tutorial.


Ok folks, hope you're inspired to create some great material this summer! Adiós for now!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Current Scratch: Join Us, SCBWI Conference Recap, Why go to a Writer's Conference, Upcoming Events, Recommended Resources, What I'm Reading

  Hello, hello...


 Since there was no Scratch in February or March I promise this April Scratch will be filled to the brim with interesting news and helpful information. If you are a living, breathing being you are probably holed up in your house hiding from the pollen in an attempt to keep breathing and remain living. Hopefully the info in this Mega-Scratch will help you make the most of your writing time. And since April is national poetry month you can work on a nice poem about the yellow dust raining down from upon high (maybe that is where Phillip Pullman got his inspiration from!). Enjoy!

Join Us

Our next regular meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 26th at 10 a.m. in the College Station Barnes & Noble. April is National Poetry Month so we will be talking about, you got it, poetry. Please feel free to bring a poem to share and discuss. It can be one you have authored or one you enjoy written by someone else. We'll also discuss news and provide encouragement. Gentle critique begins at 9:30 a.m. Bring copies of 5 double-spaced pages of your work in progress. Those who have time may go to lunch at a local restaurant afterwards.

Note: Our meetings are open to members and non-members. If you are interested in SCBWI or children's literature in general attending is a great way to meet our community and get your feet wet. 

SCBWI Brazos Valley Conference Re-cap (Brazos Valley Bloomed!)


I'm very happy to state that the Brazos Valley Blooms conference celebrating the first 25 years of the Brazos Valley SCBWI chapter was a great success. Many thanks to our RA Liz Mertz and everyone on the conference committee for all the hard work.  And thank you to everyone who donated items for the silent auctions. For those of you who were unable to attend, here is a quick recap of the day's events. 

Panel on the history of Brazos Valley's SCBWI chapter

Founding members Kathi Appelt, Donna Cooner, Debbie Leland, Kathy Whitehead and Liz Mertz told the crowd about how our chapter started out as a small writing group and then, at the insistence and persistence of the members was eventually incorporated into the SCBWI family. Pretty impressive considering that we are one of only five chapters in all of Texas and two of them are nearby Austin and Houston!

Character Matters - Kathi Appelt

SCBWI Brazos Valley 2017 Conference Brazos Valley Blooms, Kathi Appelt

Award winning author Kathi Appelt walked us through a dynamic talk about the importance of creating fully developed characters with controlling beliefs and goals. We broke out the whiteboard and markers for this one!

Writing with Pictures - E.B. Lewis 

SCBWI Brazos Valley 2017 Conference Brazos Valley Blooms, E.B.Lewis

"Artistrator" E.B. Lewis gave us an invaluable look into the way illustrators think about and perform their craft. He showed us several examples of "before and after" illustrations from students in his classes that helped clearly illustrate (pardon the pun) key factors illustrators should consider. He also cleared up one of the biggest misconceptions among would-be children's authors by stating that, if you go the traditional publishing route, you will not get to choose or directly communicate with the illustrator. 

Going from Idea to Manuscript - Karen Boss

Editor Karen Boss (Charlesbridge) spoke about avoiding major no-no's in children's books such as didacticism and nostalgia and led us in an exercise designed to have us think about our main character from a different angle. 

Lunch and Cake


During lunch people mingled and talked and we feasted on a 25th anniversary cake made by yours truly. A big anniversary for a group of creative people deserves an big and creative cake! It was so big we only ate our way through the 2 and the 5 was later served at the Twin City Mission soup kitchen in Bryan. 

The Journey to Writting a Buzz Worthy Novel - Donna Cooner

Founding member Donna Cooner gave an emotional talk in which she explained how she took personal experiences and shaped them into her novel "Skinny." She then gave us all a taste of life as an author in the social media age explaining how she turned the online attention she got from "Skinny" into her next novel "Can't Look Away." 

Perseverance through Process- Jennifer March Soloway 

SCBWI Brazos Valley 2017 Conference Brazos Valley Blooms, Jennifer March Soloway

Up and coming agent Jennifer March Soloway helped us see the publishing process from an agent's point of view. She hammered in what Karen Boss had previously stated: don't resist, revise! While we were waiting for the illustrator break out to wrap up Jennifer March Soloway held an impromptu Q&A candidly answering many specific questions about the submission process.

First Impressions 

SCBWI Brazos Valley 2017 Conference Brazos Valley Blooms, Keynote speakers

Our guest speakers read several submissions of 150 words across all genres. Hearing honest critiques from authors, an illustrator, agent and editor was a great learning experience for the audience.  Afterwards the panel answered a variety of questions from the audience. 

And then we all left inspired and ready to read, write and draw. See you next conference!

 Why go to a Writing Conference?


Did the above re-cap pique your interest in attending a writing conference? There are a plethora of reasons to attend, whether you're just starting out or are an experienced writer and conference goer. Though the reasons below were written regarding our Brazos Valley Blooms conference they are applicable to most writers conferences. If you're interested in learning more about conferences, how to choose one and how to make the most out of one check out episodes 44 (March 24th) and 45 March 31st) of the Writing for Children podcast

SCBWI Brazos Valley 2017 Conference, Reasons to attend a writer's conference
A conference is full of a self-selected population that loves exactly what you love. What better place to make new connections and reconnect with old ones? Yes, you could potentially find an agent or get a contract at a conference. But more likely you will meet a new writing partner, someone to start a critique group with, or even a future mentor. Note:  It is best to go to conferences alone or at least with the tacit understanding that you will be breaking away from your conference buddy in order to make new connections. 
SCBWI Brazos Valley 2017 Conference, Reasons to attend a writer's conference

SCBWI Brazos Valley Romy Natalia Goldberg Bilingual Children's Writer

While many newcomers may be attracted to the larger conferences on the calendar (such as SCBWI's summer conference in LA and winter conference in New York) smaller conferences shouldn't be avoided. They can be less overwhelming and offer more opportunities to connect with fellow conference goers and talk directly with speakers (in the Writing for Children podcast the host points out that contact between speakers and the audience is purposefully restricted at larger conferences). 

Do you have any tips on choosing or attending writers conferences? Please share them in the comments or on our Brazos Valley SCBWI Facebook group! And check out Upcoming Events below for a list of upcoming conferences both near and far.

Crystal Kite Award Voting

Voting has commenced for this year's Crystal Kite Award. Check out this year's nominees and cast you vote (open only to SCBWI members) here: https://www.scbwi.org/crystalkite-results/

Upcoming Events

Community Events

Brazos Valley Reads: Jennifer Clement, Prayers for the Stolen­­—Clement will read from her novel on Thursday, April 6, at 7 p.m. in the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center, College Station, Texas. Clement will meet with readers and sign books following the event. More information at Brazos Valley Reads.

Meet the Authors Day at the Clara B. Mounce Public Library—Saturday, April 29, 2017, 10am – noon, 201 E. 26th St., Bryan, Texas. To be involved as an author, contact Peggy Noynaert at 979-209-5622 or email pnoynaert@bryantx.gov by April 24. 

Artist Reception for fellow member Candi Fite—5 p.m.-7 p.m.­ May 27, at Back Lot Gallery, 308 S. Park St, Brenham, Texas 77833.

Workshops & Craft

like i care – novel comprehensive with Lorin Oberweger—April 15, 
9 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Norris Center, 9990 Richmond Ave., Suite 102 - Houston, TX 77042. Register online here

Webinar: Beyond the Query Letter with Agent Carrie Howland—Tuesday, April 18, 7-8:30 p.m., $10 SCBWI members; $35 non-members. Register online here

Waco Critique Group—Saturday, May 6, 3-5 p.m., at Hewitt Public Library, free.
  
Monthly Meeting: Poetry—April 26, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., at the College Station Barnes & Noble. See Join Us above for more info.

Conferences

Texas Library Association Conference—April 19-22 in San Antonio, Exhibits Only one-day pass is $25. SCBWI Texas chapters have booth #2405. Brazos Valley authors at TLA include Kathi Appelt, signing in the author area 10:30-11:30 April 20, and Sherry Garland, signing in booth #1232. More details here.  

Austin 2017 Writers & Illustrators Working Conference—May 20-21, register online here.

The Brazos Valley Book Festival is set for Sept. 23, 2017. We will have an SCBWI Brazos Valley table at the festival. Please contact Liz Mertz at brazosvalley@scbwi.com as soon as possible if you want to participate. The hours will be from 9 am to 2 pm, so we could set up shifts if we have several members sign up. For more details, keep an eye on the website http://brazosvalley.bookfestival.network/

The SCBWI Houston conference will be the weekend of October 7-8, 2017. The keynote speaker is Bruce Coville, who will also give a writing intensive on that Sunday.

Pitches

#KIDPIT TWITTER PITCH April 5th, 9am-3pm Central, Pitch your board book, PB, CB, MG, or YA.

#DVPIT April 25, 8am-8pm Eastern, Pitch your diverse childrens/teen fiction or nonfiction  between 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Recommended Resources

Thanks to everyone in the group for sharing these resources over the past few months.   
Kid Lit 411 is chock full of information for writers and illustrators across all genres of kid lit. Check out the Facebook Group and sign up for the e-newsletter. 

The Creative Penn Podcast hosted by Joanna Penn. While she isn't a children's author she does offer good insights into writing and marketing. Also she is an indie publisher and has a great UK accent. Episodes can be heard via podcast or watched via Youtube. 

Writing for Children Podcast I mentioned this one earlier in the scratch. Covers lots of topics specific to kid lit and has lots of useful links in the episode notes. Episodes are short and to the point. 

The Horn Book free newsletters are a great way to stay up to date with the world of kids publishing. This falls under one of those "things every new author ought to know" category along with the School Library Journal enewsletters.

What I'm Reading

I came back from the National Latino Children's Literature Conference with a list and stack of books to read a mile high. Here are some of the one's I'm most excited about so far. 

Juana Y Lucas 

The 2017 Pura Belpré winner is a super cute chapter book about a girl in Colombia learning English (the book is written in English with Spanish words scattered throughout). Check out the SLJ review here. This book was recommended to me by Karen Boss who spoke at our Brazos Valley Blooms conference.  

The Smoking Mirror: Garza Twins Book One


When I asked around for authors that delve into indigenous culture someone suggested I check out David Bowles' Smoking Mirror series. Turns out David Bowles was actually at the conference! During his presentation he pointed out that many publishing companies that specialize in Latino literature have shied away from science fiction/fantasy, considering it a niche within a niche. The story works in a lot of Aztec mythology. This series works in Book One won the Pura Belpré Honor Award in 2016 and Book Two was recently released. Here is a review of Book One


I know the River Loves Me

One of the sessions I went to was about the work of author and activist Maya Cristina Gonzalez. We read through this bilingual picture book and I really enjoyed it. I love the environmental message in the book. It would make for a great read before Earth Day.

That's it for now. See you next Scratch!


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Latest Scratch: Join us, Brazos Valley Blooms Updates, Industry News

Hello, hello...

It's 2017, y'all! Time to kick things into gear with preparations for our March conference and much more.

Join Us

Our next regular meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 25th at 10 a.m. in the College Station Barnes & Noble. We will kick off the new year by talking about "Defining Goals."  We'll also discuss news and provide encouragement. Gentle critique begins at 9:30 a.m. Bring copies of 5 double-spaced pages of your work in progress. Those who have time may go to lunch at a local restaurant. Members and friends welcome. 

Brazos Valley Blooms Updates 

First and foremost, the website for our March 4th conference is: https://brazosvalley.scbwi.org/events/regional-conference/ Please share this link with anyone looking for more information on the conference and registration. 

 Help Spread the Word

 We have a poster! Help as many people see it as possible by sharing it via email and social media and posting/distributing printed copies at your local libraries, coffee shops, schools and universities. Download and share the image file below or email brazosvalley@scbwi.org for a PDF and printouts.

Critique deadlines

The submission deadline is Jan. 21 for critiques at our March 4 conference. Critiques with Karen Boss have sold out but there are still slots available with Soloway and Cooner.  Register today!

Volunteers Needed

We are still in need of volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering contact Liz Mertz at brazosvalley@scbwi.org. Task we could use help with include:
  • Gather door prizes and silent auction items
  • Stand watch over the illustrators portfolio showcase (during the conference)
  • Make name tags
  • Assemble gift bags
  • Prepare baked goods/snacks for the conference
  •  Stuff folders 
  • Greeters at the conference
  •  Drivers for faculty (or  you can donate fund for a shuttle ride)

Donations Needed

We will be putting together welcome gift bags for our five speakers before the conference. Donating the following items is the easiest way to help us out:
  •  Tissue packets 
  • Mini hand sanitizer 
  • Chapstick
  • Granola bars
  • Waters
  • Savory snack (cheese & crackers, nuts, etc) 

 Other Industry News

  • Julia Churchill, who heads up the children's division at A.M. Heath, is looking for new talent among children's and YA authors. More info at: http://amheath.com/childrens
  • Storey Publishing, based in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, is looking to grow their children's non-fiction book program with new titles that teach and inspire kids to explore, learn, cook, grow, and get creative. We publish books about nature, farming, animals, sustainability, self sufficiency, outdoor science, DIY, crafts, puzzles, games, and activities. We are looking for authors and author/illustrators or author/photographers with strong platforms and expertise and we are open to unique formats and interactivity. Submissions can be addressed to Deanna F. Cook, Storey Publishing. By e-mail: submissions@storey.com (We prefer email attachments as Word .doc files or PDFs).  Or, by mail: Storey Publishing LLC, 210 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, Massachusetts 01247 (Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you would like your materials returned.)
    For full proposal guidelines, go to http://www.storey.com/proposal-guidelines/
  • Check out this December New York Times interview with authors Meg Medina and R.J. Palacio about diversity in children's books. 


           
 Disclaimer: The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of the SCBWI.