Conference Updates & Kidlit Events June 28

Author events always seem to slow down in the summer months and since June is on its last legs, I didn’t expect to hear of any new summer conferences or retreats, so I was happily surprised to be contacted by the organizers of a new retreat coming to Pendell Hill in August. Scroll down for the dates and link. Meanwhile, several more retreats and conferences from SCBWI, SFWC, and Algonkian have been added for this fall (I noticed a lot of editors from Macmillan), so there’s plenty to look forward to. If you’d like to be notified of these weekly updates, please use the Subscribe to Updates form on the left sidebar.

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!

Today is launch day for Jenn Bishop’s debut middle grade novel

THE DISTANCE TO HOME by Jenn BishopTHE DISTANCE TO HOME

Cover illustration by Erin McGuire

Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers/Penguin Random House

Last summer, Quinnen was the star pitcher of her baseball team, the Panthers. They were headed for the championship, and her loudest supporter at every game was her best friend and older sister, Haley.

This summer, everything is different. Haley’s death, at the end of last summer, has left Quinnen and her parents reeling. Without Haley in the stands, Quinnen doesn’t want to play baseball. It seems like nothing can fill the Haley-sized hole in her world. The one glimmer of happiness comes from the Bandits, the local minor-league baseball team. For the first time, Quinnen and her family are hosting one of the players for the season. Without Haley, Quinnen’s not sure it will be any fun, but soon she befriends a few players. With their help, can she make peace with the past and return to the pitcher’s mound?

Buy the book! BLUE WILLOW BOOKSHOP  INDIEBOUND  BARNES & NOBLE  AMAZON

Follow Jenn on twitter! @buffalojenn

Today is also the launch day for Linda E. Marshall’s new picture book

KINDERGARTEN IS COOL!KINDERGARTEN IS COOL by Linda E. Marshall, Illustrated by Chris Chatterton

Illustrated by Chris Chatterton

Published by Scholastic

When you wake up for school
you’ll get dressed, really cool
with your sneakers and socks
and your lunch in a box . . .

Kindergarten’s begun.
Big kids say that it’s fun.
But is that really true?
Will it be fun . . . for you?

Celebrate all the familiar milestones and moments shared by every kid entering kindergarten in this charming second-person narrative. Whether it’s early-morning jitters or becoming familiar with new classroom routines, this sweet and bouncy story will have expectant kindergarteners saying, “Kindergarten is cool!”

Buy the book! BLUE WILLOW BOOKSHOP  INDIEBOUND  BARNES & NOBLE  AMAZON

Follow Linda on twitter! @L_E_Marshall

LOCAL KIDLIT AUTHOR EVENTS

JULY 5, TUESDAY, 7:00: SCBWI MEETING: ON STAGE: THE NUTS & BOLTS OF WRITING AND ADAPTING CHILDREN’S AND YA WORKS FOR THE THEATER
Tracy Gee Community Center
COST: FREE! Open to the public!

Houston playwright Lane Riosley will lead this short, informative workshop. Critique sessions will meet before the meeting at 6:00 PM. All writers of literature for children are welcome to participate. Please see the SCBWI-Houston critiques page for more information.

Conference Updates

Please note that some of these updates are for 2017 writing events. For more information, go to the main conference pages. If you’d like to be notified of these weekly posts, please use the form on the left sidebar to Subscribe to Updates.

AGENTS & EDITORS @ CONFERENCES

SEPTEMBER 10, 2016: WRITING FOR CHANGE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA

AGENTS: Jennifer Chen Tran/Fuse Literary; Andy Ross/Andy Ross Literary

SEPTEMBER 22-25, 2016: ALGONQUIN NEW YORK PITCH, NEW YORK, NY

AGENTS: Michelle Richter/Foreword Literary Agency
EDITORS: Kat Brzozowski & Elizabeth Poteet/St. Martins Press/Macmillan; Brendan Deneen/Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan; Amy Stapp/Tor Forge/Tor Teen; Michelle Vega/Berkley Publishing Group/Penguin

OCTOBER 18-21, 2016: THE SAN FRANCISCO WRITE TO MARKET CONFERENCE, CORTE MADERA, CA

AGENTS: Andy Ross/Andy Ross Agency; Pam van Hylckama Vlieg/D4EO; Chiara Rosati/Veritas Literary; Jennifer Chen Tran/Fuse Literary

MARCH 10-11, 2017: SPRINGMINGLE & ILLUSTRATORS’ DAY, DECATUR, GA

AGENTS: Adriana Dominguez /Full Circle Literary; Janell Walden Agyeman/Marie Brown Associates; Sally Apokedak/Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency
EDITORS: Louise May/Lee & Low Books/BeBop Books

WRITING RETREATS & WORKSHOPS

AUGUST 14-18: WRITING THE CHILDREN’S BOOK YOU HOLD IN YOUR HEART, WALLINGFORD, PA

AUTHOR: Becky Birtha

NOVEMBER 4-6, 2016: FALLING LEAVES 2016, SILVER BAY ON LAKE GEORGE, NY

EDITORS: Leila Sales/Viking; Anna Roberto/Feiwel & Friends; Emily Feinberg/ Roaring Brook/Macmillan

NOVEMBER 2-6, 2016: THE MISSION OF THE MONTEREY WRITER RETREAT, MONTEREY, CA

AGENT: Paula Munier/Talcott Notch Literary

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Conference Updates & KidLit Events June 21

It’s time to get a fresh 2017 writing calendar. Information on next year’s writing conferences and retreats is rolling in. The Highlights Foundation has already added several workshops, which I’ve listed below.

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!

CITY SHAPES by Diana Murray, Illustrated by Bryan Collier; Author's Agent: Brianne Johnson, Writers House; Illustrator's Agent: Marcia Wernick at Wernick & Pratt AgencyThis week’s greetings go to my friend and former moderator on the SCBWI Discsussion Boards,

Diana Murray

for her new picture book

CITY SHAPES

Illustrated by four-time Caldecott Honoree

Bryan Collier

Published by Little, Brown

From shimmering skyscrapers to fluttering kites to twinkling stars high in the sky, everyday scenes become extraordinary as a young girl walks through her neighborhood noticing exciting new shapes at every turn. Far more than a simple concept book, City Shapes is an explosion of life. Diana Murray’s richly crafted yet playful verse encourages readers to discover shapes in the most surprising places, and Bryan Collier’s dynamic collages add even more layers to each scene in this ode to city living.

We’ll be seeing a lot more happy book birthday wishes for Diana Murray soon. She has several picture books in the works, two more for 2016, two in 2017, one in 2018, and three which have not yet been announced!

LOCAL KIDLIT AUTHOR EVENTS

THE ALPHA DRIVE by Kristen MartinJUNE 25, SATURDAY, 2:00-4:00 PM: KRISTEN MARTIN, YA AUTHOR
Katy Budget Books

Local author Kristen Martin presents her Dystopian YA, THE ALPHA DRIVE. It’s the year 2055 and an anarchist organization has taken control with the aim to create a world-class society. Half of humankind is unknowingly living in an alternate reality called Dormance…and there are no plans to wake them up.

Sixteen-year-old introvert Emery Parker is one such dormant. An academic scholar who avoids ruffling feathers at all costs, Emery finds herself being transferred to a boarding school on the outskirts of Arizona. Little does she know, a family secret has the power to change the course of the future. When she’s approached with an opportunity to free the dormants, she sees no other choice but to accept, even though failure could mean having her memory wiped clean.

But when tech-savvy Torin Porter reaches out to her from the other side, Emery begins to question everything she was told about Dormance. If her family’s secret falls into the wrong hands, the world as she knows it will be faced with irreversible consequences. Now Emery must play both sides to uncover the truth about her family’s past or risk leaving mankind to live in an unconscious reality.

CONFERENCE UPDATES

Please note that some of these updates are for the 2017 writing calendar. For more information, go to the main conference pages. If you’d like to be notified of these weekly posts, please use the form on the left sidebar to Subscribe to Updates.

AGENTS & EDITORS @ CONFERENCES

AUGUST 19-21: HISTORICAL WRITERS OF AMERICA, COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG, PA
AGENTS: Madelyn Burt/Stonesong; Susan Schulman/Susan Schulman A Literary Agency; Nephele Tempest/The Knight Agency

OCTOBER 21-23: (PDF) SCBWI WISCONSIN FALL CONFERENCE, GREEN LAKE, WI
ART DIRECTOR: Lauren Rille—Art Director, Simon & Schuster
EDITORS: Beth Terrill/North-South Books; Kelsey Murphy/HarperCollins; Bonnie Bader/Grosset & Dunlap/Penguin; Phillip Martin/Crickhollow; Mary Ann Rivers & Ruthie Knox/Brain Mill Press
AGENT: Danielle Smith—Red Fox Literary

FEBRUARY 16-19, 2017: SAN FRANCISCO WRITERS CONFERENCE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA
EDITORS: Kendra Levin, Penguin Random House/Viking

RETREATS & WRITING WORKSHOPS

JULY 10-14: GUIDED RETREAT, HONESDALE, PA
AUTHOR: Jill Sullivan

SEPTEMBER 6-10: ARTISTS IN RESIDENCY, HONESDALE, PA
AUTHOR: Meg Medina

SEPTEMBER 22-26: ARTISTS IN RESIDENCY, HONESDALE, PA
AUTHORS: Jerry Spinelli, Eileen Spinelli

OCTOBER 9-13: ARTISTS IN RESIDENCY, HONESDALE, PA
AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR: Suzanne Bloom

OCTOBER 7-9: MICHIGAN ROAD TRIP RETREAT, HARBOR SPRINGS, MI
EDITORS: Brett Duquette/Sterling Children’s; Kendra Levin/Viking Children’s Books
AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATORS: Deb Pilutti; Leslie Helakoski; Shutta Crum; Kelly Barson

JANUARY 8-17, 2017: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR NOVEL, HONESDALE, PA
AUTHOR: Sarah Aronson

MARCH 26-29, 2017: WRITING OFF THE PAGE, HONESDALE, PA
AUTHOR: Kekla Magoon

MARCH 30-APRIL 3, 2017: NUTS AND BOLTS OF SCIENCE WRITING, HONESDALE, PA
AUTHORS: Miranda Paul, Jennifer Swanson

APRIL 20-23, 2017: COLOR, LIGHT, LINE, & TEXTURE, HONESDALE, PA
AUTHORS/ILLUSTRATORS: Denise Fleming, Ashley Wolff, Suzanne Bloom

MAY 7-14, 2017: WRITING THE UNREAL, HONESDALE, PA
AUTHORS: Laura Ruby, Anne Ursu, Christine Heppermann
EDITOR: Deborah Kovacs—Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins

JUNE 22-25, 2017: PB&J AND ALL THAT JAZZ, HONESDALE, PA
AUTHORS/ILLUSTRATORS: Darcy Pattison; Leslie Helakoski

OCTOBER 4-8, 2017: BOOKS WITH BITE: WRITING HORROR AND HAUNTED NOVELS, HONESDALE, PA
AUTHORS: Nova Ren Suma, Micol Ostow

OCTOBER 12-15, 2017: THE JOKE’S ON YOU: THE SCOOP ON HUMOR MG THROUGH YA, HONESDALE, PA
AUTHORS: Uma Krishnaswami, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Sean Petrie

OCTOBER 25-29, 2017: GETTING YOUR NOVEL UNSTUCK, HONESDALE, PA
AUTHORS: Chris Tebbetts, Elise Broach
EDITOR: Aubrey Poole/JIMMY Patterson Books/Hachette

OCTOBER 7-9, 2017: MICHIGAN ROAD TRIP RETREAT, HARBOR SPRINGS, MI
EDITORS: Brett Duquette/Sterling Children’s; Kendra Levin/Viking Children’s Books
AUTHORS/ILLUSTRATORS: Deb Pilutti; Leslie Helakoski; Shutta Crum; Kelly Barson

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Conference Updates & KidLit Events June 14

Good news for self-published authors of children’s and young adult books! Lately, good things have been happening for indie authors. Last weekend, Barnes & Noble hosted their first Teen Book Festival, and I was thrilled to see many indie authors included in their events. A few years ago, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators began their Spark Award for an outstanding self-published work. Recently, they’ve announced that all published children’s books (both PAL and non-PAL) are eligible for the Golden Kite Awards and the Book Launch Grant. Independently published authors may also list their book in the SCBWI Online Bookstore and participate in the SCBWI Online Book Launch Parties. And this fall, the first annual Indie Author Day will be held at libraries across the country! Please encourage your local library to participate!

CONFERENCE UPDATES

Indie Publishing Conferences

Because of these developments, I am re-launching the page for indie publishing conferences. I had this page up before, but traffic on it was slow, and worse, too many outstanding events were cancelled due to lack of registrations. It is my hope that with more bookstores, libraries, and professional organizations taking self-published writers seriously, that more SP authors will take advantage of these opportunities.

Agents & Editors @ Conferences

NOVEMBER 4-5: SCBWI-KANSAS FALL CONFERENCE, OVERLAND PARK, KS
AGENTS: Linda Camacho/Prospect Agency; Stephanie Fretwell-Hill/Red Fox; Stephen Fraser/Jennifer de Chiara Agency
EDITORS: Kelsey Murphy/Balzer + Bray; Sylvie Frank/Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster
ART DIRECTOR: Chad Beckerman/Abrams

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!

Today’s birthday wishes go to Ann Stampler’s new young adult novel,

HOW TO DISAPPEARHOW TO DISAPPEAR by Ann Redisch Stampler; Agent: Brenda Bowen, Greenburger & Associates

From the author’s website: Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she’s pretty sure she can get away with anything…until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette’s house. Which is why she has to disappear.

Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. But straight A’s and athletic trophies can’t make people forget that his father was a hit man and his brother is doing time for armed assault Just when Jack is about to graduate from his Las Vegas high school and head East for college, his brother pulls him into the family business with inescapable instructions: Find this ruthless Nicolette Holland and get rid of her. Or else Jack and everyone he loves will pay the price.

As Nicolette and Jack race across the country trying to outsmart each other, tensions—and attractions—run high. Told in alternating voices, this tightly plotted mystery and tense love story challenges out assumptions about right and wrong, guilt and innocence, truth and lies.

LOCAL KIDLIT AUTHOR EVENTS

JUNE 14, 6:30-8:30 PM: HWG SUMMER SERIES  Houston Writers Guild

Trini Mendenhall, 1414 Wirt Road, Houston
Workshop: Managing Time with Fern Brady
COST: $10 per session to Houston Writers Guild members / $30 per session to nonmembers; Or $50 members for all 6 sessions/$150 nonmembers for all 6 sessions

Learn some techniques and explore tools that can help you maximize your time and get the most out of your life’s pursuits. Bring a calendar and/or agenda-planner to practice some of the techniques and see if they will work for you. Workshop presented by Fern Brady, CEO of the Houston Writers Guild and owner of Inklings Publishing.

JUNE 16-July 7, THURSDAYS, 6:00-9:00 PM: WRITESPACE WORKSHOPWritespace

Writespace
Workshop: Revising Fiction with Adrianne Perry
COST: $195 Members, $215 Non-Members

How do we revisit our fiction, assess it honestly and generously, and see it anew? In this workshop, Adrianne Perry  will focus on the revision process and on reworking fiction you’ve already crafted. The goal is to go much deeper than editing and proofreading. We want to access the heart of the story, rediscover what drew us to it and make changes that surprise us and enrich what is already there.

JUNE 17-19: COMICPALOOZAComicpalooza 2016

George R. Brown Convention Center
COST: Ticket Prices Vary

Comicpalooza, a multi-format pop culture con, is back! This year’s convention includes a literary conference featuring several young adult and children’s authors and illustrators. Some of the scheduled events are sessions on writing in genres of young adult fantasy, sci-fi, dystopia, horror, and creating comic books. Several local SCBWI members will be participating in the literary events, including Bruce Foster, Chanteé Hale, and Joy Preble.

JUNE 18, 6:30-8:30 PM: HWG SUMMER SERIES 

Houston Writers Guild

Trini Mendenhall, 1414 Wirt Road, Houston
Workshop: Legal Issues for Authors with Melanie Bragg 
COST: $10 per session to Houston Writers Guild members / $30 per session to nonmembers; Or $50 members for all 6 sessions/$150 nonmembers for all 6 sessions 

In this session, Melanie Bragg will discuss legal issues that indie authors should keep in mind as they prepare themselves for the business of selling their books. Some areas to be covered: Setting up as a business entity, trademarking questions, managing and securing your copyrights for repurposing your work, taking care when using other people’s copyrighted work, and much more.

Melanie Bragg  is a practicing attorney in Houston, Texas. She has worked in the civil, criminal, probate and family courts.

JUNE 21, TUESDAY, 7:30 PM: HOUSTON BAY AREA RWA MTG & WORKSHOPRomance Writers of America

Kirkmont MUD Building, 10102 Blackhawk Rd., Houston
Sandra K Moore—Plotting to the Dark Moment
COST: FREE

Writers often think of the story climax as the novel’s crowning moment: When plot questions are resolved, the good are rewarded, and the villains get their just desserts. But overlooked in all that excitement is the dark moment, when all hope seems to be lost and the protagonist appears poised to fail in her quest. Sometimes we try to shoehorn that dark moment in as an afterthought, or sometimes we forget about it altogether.

Building on Dwight Swain’s understanding of the dark moment as a moral choice, we’ll examine how to plot the story so the protagonist must stretch herself – or even abandon her idea of what she’s capable of–in order to enter the truth of the dark moment, resulting in a deeper, more satisfying climax.

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