Friday, August 5, 2016

Current Scratch: Join us, Events, Building a Multi Lingual Library, Gabito, Librarians



Howdy, y'all! Hope everyone has had a good summer full of pools and watermelon or airconditioning and Netflix. Whatever floats your summertime boat. Please enjoy this month's scratch with a scoop of icecream on top.  


Join us
JOIN US Wednesday, August 31st at 10 a.m. in the College Station Barnes & Noble for our monthly meeting. Our program is as follows: this month we'll discuss what happened at Summer Conference in LA, cover what editors and agents are saying and the general state of the industry. 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.



Local/Regional Events

August 15th: Brazos Valley SCBWI Social
This month we'll meet at the Starbucks on Rock Prairie Road & Hwy. 6 at 7 p.m.

August 30th: Author Platform webinar
Mark your calendars for the end of August when the Texas SCBWI webinar series presents "What is Author Platform Building Anyway? The Ins and Outs of Building Your Niche." With Elaine Kiely Kearns and Sylvia Liu of KidLit 411.
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

October 22nd: Houston SCBWI Annual Conference 
A day of great information, critiques, portfolio reviews, networking and more!

Agents

Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown, Ltd

Brianne Johnson, Writers House

Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Editors

Katherine Jacobs, Roaring Brook Press

Susan Dobinick, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux

Art Director

Maria T. Middleton, Random House

Registration and details at:

Building a Multi-lingual Library

Here are a couple of different types of books that help incorporate a new language into your reading library. All are useful whether you are trying to encourage readers to speak more than one language or are trying to add diversity to your library.

Direct translations


Direct translations of classic children's books are helpful since, as a reader, you are likely already aware of the story. If you are a beginner, start with board books (monolingual baby books are easily turned into multilingual books with a Sharpie and a dictionary). Personally I steer clear of books that use a lot of rhyme and word play (for example, Dr. Seuss books and The Phantom Toll-Booth) since a lot can get lost in translation.

Side by Side Translation 

These books include the full text in both languages. The two languages are placed in different areas of the page (columns, top and bottom half) and are sometimes printed in different colors.  Sometimes the same layout is followed throughout the book (including illustration placement) and other times things are more fluid.  Having access to both languages on the same page can be very helpful

Uneven mix

These books are written primarily in one language but include phrases or words in the second language. Another good place for beginners to start. Often the phrases in the second language are being spoken by characters.

Foreign Children's Books


These offer the greatest window into another culture, but can also be the most impenetrable for beginners (see note below regarding vocabulary). Again, start with baby books and work your way up. If you are unsure whether a Spanish language book is originally from a foriegn country, check the copyright information.  
 
Notes  If you are building an English/Spanish library you may begin to notice that books from different regions use different vocabulary.  Books printed in the US intended for primarily for readers with Mexican and Central American heritage use different words and phrases than those printed in say, Argentina. Comparing the language differences is a great way to expand your vocabulary. Do not feel bad about having to look words up. Keep a dictionary or your phone handy for reference. By looking words up you are modeling language learning for your audience (be it your kids or students). 

"Gabito"


One of my favorite bi-lingual books at the moment is "Me llamo Gabito/My Name is Gabito," writen by Monica Brown and illustrated by Raul Colón. This is one of a series of books Monica Brown has published in which she presents the lives of well known Latinos. Each book takes on the rhythms of its subject's life and personality distilling their experiences and thoughts into a few pages of text and evocative illustrations. The collection includes musicians Celia Cruz and Tito Puente, author Gabriela Mistral and brazilian soccer legend Pe. My favorite has been Gabito, which relates the life of Colombian author Gabriel García Marquez in a dreamy but pointed fashion that is fittingly reminiscent of his writing. Obviously this is a detail that will escape small children, but... at the same time reading this book could plant the seeds for a future love of magical realism (the illustrations will help as well). In fact, this would make a nice primer for anyone (teenage or older) ready to tackle Marquez. It will definitely set the mood. I loved reading it to my kids (and then re-reading it again later myself)  
Librarians: A Forgotten Resource

I recently heard an interview with Gwen Glazer, a librarian at the New York Public Library. In it she describes why your local (and not so local) librarian can be a great asset, whether you're neck deep in research for your next book or just looking for something new to read (hey, that still counts as research). Check out her interview on the One Bad Mother podcast here (it is just her interview, not the rest of the podcast). 
and you can also check out the NYPL podcast The Librarian Is In.
 
   
That's it for this month's Scratch! Hope the dog days of summer have you holed up in your writing nook, scribbling away furiously!

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

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Current Scratch: Join Us, Guidelines Links, Info

Hi folks, I hope that you are taking some time this summer to get some work done. We are all on exciting creative journeys but you must continue to take steps to arrive at your destination.  Hopefully this post will encourage you to take steps.

JOIN US Wednesday, July 27th at 10 a.m. in the College Station Barnes & Noble for our monthly meeting. Our program is as follows:

Author, artist, and publishing assistant, Candilynn Fite will offer her best marketing advice and share inexpensive ways to promote your books.

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!

GUIDELINES LINKS

Per discussion at our last meeting at Barnes and Noble, here are the promised links to select Christian writer's guidelines. 

Magazines


Books

HarperCollins.  --Tommy Nelson and Zonderkids.
Eerdmans Books For Young Readers
Chicken Soup for the Soul

INFO Here is an article that will give a peek into the nuts and bolts of publishing.

Everything you wanted to know about books sales but were afraid to ask.



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

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Current Scratch: Join Us, Local Events, Summer Reading, Writing about "the hard stuff"


Howdy, y'all! It is officially summer! Long days, lots of free time for the kids in your life, and some good inspiration for book material. Even though you may have less free time now that school is out, you must admit, summer vacation represents the purest distillation of childhood joy. Keep that in mind the next time your kids are driving you crazy.
 


Join us
JOIN US Wednesday, June 29th at 10 a.m. in the College Station Barnes & Noble for our monthly meeting. Our program is as follows: this month we'll discuss writing for the Christian publishing market. 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!



Local/Regional Events




Special Event, Teen Event (Teens)
Friday June 10, 2016

Join us at 7:00PM for our Trivia Blast, created by Penguin Teen and Random House's First In Line, who will send one winner in every store advance reader's copies* of the most anticipated new teen books. *Advance reader's copies will be preselected by the publisher. #BFESTBUZZ 

At 6:30 Cece Barlow and Photini Sierra local self published writers will be reading from their works. 
Special Event, Teen Event (Teens) 

Saturday June 11, 2016 11:00 AM Join us at 11:00 AM to get sneak peeks of your favorites, including James Dashner's prequel to The Maze Runner, new stories from Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, and an exciting new series from Veronica Roth, plus other exciting giveaways. Limit 1 each per customer. While supplies last. #BFESTBUZZ 

3:00 PM- 4:00 PM  Writing Workshop, Molly Blaisdell
4:00 PM-6:00 PM  Sherry Garland appearance.

Location and for more info:
Lone-Star Pavilion
711 Texas Avenue
College Station, TX 77840
979-764-8955

June 20th: Brazos Valley SCBWI Social
This month we'll meet at the Starbucks on Rock Prairie Road & Hwy. 6 at 7 p.m.

August 30th: Author Platform webinar
Mark your calendars for the end of August when the Texas SCBWI webinar series presents "What is Author Platform Building Anyway? The Ins and Outs of Building Your Niche." With Elaine Kiely Kearns and Sylvia Liu of KidLit 411.
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Summer Reading

For book lovers (and people who want their kids to be book lovers) summer means summer reading. Here are a few useful lists

Writing about "the hard stuff" 
   
The other day I showed my kids “The Tale of Princess Kaguya,” a beautifully animated movie (the whole thing looks like a watercolor and charcoal drawing) that is a fair bit weirder and more intense than most Disney movies out there. The end is really sad and all three of my kids cried… a lot. I later posted on Facebook about it being a “parenting fail.” A friend subsequently commented “Why? Suffering is part of the human experience.” That observation got me thinking about how we deal with incorporating sad experiences or difficult subject matter into our writing.


Obviously we all want our kids to have happy lives, but we also want them to be prepared for all the ups and downs that real life entails. I often wrestle with the internal struggle between maintaining the illusion of a world where the “bad guys” are easily identifiable (because they’re all ugly) and the rain forests magically grow back as soon as said bad guys are vanquished and preparing my kids for the real world, where things are never as black and white. When is the right time to start talking (or reading and then talking) about difficult issues such as discrimination, war, or poverty? I’m not sure what the correct answer is, but I do think sitting at home with your parent or grandparent seems as safe a space as any to encounter those things for the first time.



I have had a book sitting on the highest bookshelf for a while now. It is called “I Will Come Back for You; AFamily in Hiding During World War II”… you can see where this is going. My husband’s grandparents are Holocaust survivors so when I read about this book I figured it would, someday, make for a good way to talk about our family history. You’ll notice I said “someday.” But my kids brought it down from the shelf last week and asked to read it. In the book a grandmother tell the story of her family being split up and going into hiding during the war by telling tales behind different charms on her bracelet. I’ll be honest; it was not an easy book to read. Most of the grim parts went over my kids’ heads, but some day they will ask more questions and I will have to answer them.



You don’t necessarily need to go head first into stories of dramatic struggles though. Even seeking out books with a small dose of reality can be a good first step. The ups and downs of friendship are struggles that even young children can relate to. “Making Friends” is a book published by the Fred Rogers (yes, that Mr. Rogers) Company that has proved very useful as my children started becoming more social. The language is simple, there are lots of photos, and it very accurately depicts the fun (playing!) and not so fun (fighting!) aspects of friendship. Sometimes playdates can flip unexpectedly from Anne of Green Gables’s “bosom buddies” to “The Lord of the Flies” chaos and in the aftermath of hurt feelings, this book has come in handy. 

Not quite sure how to wrap this up since it seems like it is part of a larger conversation that should definitely include some mention of race and gender and, because of my Latin background, colonialism. But I'll end it here for now and maybe next time I'll have more resources and examples on hand. In the meantime I welcome your feedback!


That's it for this month's Scratch! Hope you enjoy the summer and manage to eek out a couple of minutes here and there for writing now that school's out!

          

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