Conference News & KidLit Events July 26

This week’s roundup includes four editors, an art director, and three literary agents, plus great news for more of my SCBWI Blueboard friends!

Start School Like A Champion!KidLit News

The first two books in SCBWI Blueboard Administrator Cyndi Marko’s hilarious KUNG POW CHICKEN series are included in Scholastic and Walmart’s Start School Like A Champion books for breakfast program.

KUNG POW CHICKEN by Cyndi MArko; Agent: Adriann Ranta, Wolf Literary ServicesIn this exciting full-color series, Gordon Blue transforms into Kung Pow Chicken, an avian superhero who fights crime in the city of Fowladelphia. The first book, LET’S GET CRACKING! kicks off when Gordon’s birdy senses lead him to a festival. Suddenly, POOF! Feathers fill the air and shivering naked chickens are everywhere. Why have all these chickens lost their feathers? Forced to wear KPC BOK BOK BOOMwoolly sweaters, the city itches for a hero. Kung Pow Chicken hops into his Beakmobile to save the day!

In book two, BOK! BOK! BOOM! Gordon Blue’s mom drags him to a night at the opera. The show turns fowl though when its star singer, Honey Comb, is chicknapped! The evil Dr. Screech plans to turn the singer’s super-high voice into a supersonic weapon. It’s up to Kung Pow Chicken to rescue Honey!

Local Author Events

For Readers

MY MAMA LOVES ME: I'M HER LITTLE BOYJULY 28, THURSDAY, 11:00 AM: SHANALEE SHARBONEAU, CHILDREN’S AUTHOR

Barnes & Noble, River Oaks Shopping Center

At this week’s storytime, local author Shanalee Sharboneau will read from her picture books, MY MAMA LOVES ME: I’M HER LITTLE BOY and MY MAMA LOVES ME: I’M HER LITTLE GIRL.

 For Writers

JULY 26, 6:30-8:30 PM: HWG SUMMER SERIES

Trini Mendenhall, 1414 Wirt Road, Houston
Workshop: Finding Selling Venues For Your Print Books with Andrea Barbosa.
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 

Book festivals can be worthwhile endeavors, but you have to be well prepared and willing to stretch and grow. In this informational session, HWG’s Author Events Director Andrea Barbosa will talk about how to find selling venues for your print books, how to work at a book festival, how to sell, display, and market your books during events, and how to conduct book signing events.

AUGUST 1, MONDAY, 7:00 PM: SCBWI HOUSTON: MTG & WORKSHOP

Tracy Gee Community Center
Dana Wright—Maximizing Your Marketability: Writing Various Genres/Formats
COST: FREE

Author Dana Wright will discuss the marketing advantages of writing in more than one genre.

Happy Book Birthday!

GRIMELDA THE VERY MESSY WITCH by Dianna Murray, Illustrated by Heather RossProminent SCBWI Blueboard member and former moderator Diana Murray has a new picture book out today! This is her second for 2016. Stay tuned, her next one comes out next month!

GRIMELDA: THE VERY MESSY WITCH

Illustrated by Heather Ross

Published by Katherine Tegen Books /HarperCollins

Diana is represented by Brianne Johnson at Writers House

Grimelda’s house may not be tidy, but it’s cozy, and that’s just the way she likes it. She also likes pickle pie. There’s only one problem—she can’t find the main ingredient in her messy house! Readers who enjoyed Norman Bridwell’s classic The Witch Next Door will love this funny, charming story about the everyday life of a witch.

Buy the book! Blue Willow Bookshop  Indie Bound  Barnes & Noble  Amazon

Conference Updates

This week’s roundup includes four editors, an art director, and three literary agents! If you’d like to be notified of these weekly posts, please use the form on the sidebar to Subscribe to Updates.

Editors, Art Directors & Agents @ Conferences

OCTOBER 7-9: EXPLORE YOUR STORYBOOK WORLD, DES MOINES, IA

ART DIRECTOR: Jim Hoover/Viking Children’s Books
EDITORS: Karl Jones/Penguin Young Readers Group, Kathleen Merz/Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
AGENT: Christa Heschke/McIntosh and Otis

NOVEMBER 11-12: SCBWI-NEW MEXICO HANDSPRINGS, ALBUQUERQUE, NM

EDITORS: Wendy McClure/Albert Whitman, Victoria Rock/Chronicle Books
AGENT: Tracey Adams/Adams Literary

Retreats & Writing Workshops

NOVEMBER 10-13: COMPLETE PICTURE BOOK WORKSHOP: CONSTRUCTION, DECONSTRUCTION, AND EVOLUTION OF PICTURE BOOK DRAFTING AND CREATING, AUSTIN, TX

AGENT: Tricia Lawrence/EMLA
EDITOR: Ariel Richardson/ Chronicle
AUTHOR: Jill Esbaum

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Conference Updates & KidLit Events July 19

The one-week drought has ended! This week I have six writing conferences and a writing retreat to add to the list, giving you opportunities to meet thirteen literary agents. More are on the way!

Yesterday, I attended a round table discussion with several authors from SCBWI-Houston. Our topic was self-publishing. Some of the authors were re-publishing their traditionally published books that had gone out of print, some were self-publishing after trying the traditionally published route for many years, and others were skipping the drama of traditional publishing and going straight to self-publishing. Others, who have been in the self-publishing trenches for years were there to guide us, and some were just there to learn. And WOW, was there a lot to learn! I’m lucky to be in a SCBWI chapter with such knowledgeable and generous authors. Our next meetup for this CLASS CLOWN ACADEMY by Stephen Mooser, Illustrated by Rick Reesetopic will be in September. If you are a local author interested in joining us, sign up for the SCBWI-Houston listserv to keep informed.

Also in September, the Houston Writers Guild will be hosting its Indiepalooza event. Whether you are going the traditional route with agents and publishing houses or going it alone, every author should arm themselves with an education in self-publishing. A couple of years ago, even SCBWI founder and president Stephen Mooser, author of over 60 traditionally published books for kids, self-published a middle grade novel, CLASS CLOWN ACADEMY. He talks about his decision to go indie with this title on the SCBWI blog. He gives lots of advice in this article, including this quote: “… I can’t emphasize enough you need to do a professional job and put out a book that can compete with traditionally published books.

You can check out the Houston Writers Guild event and other upcoming Indie Publishing conferences here. And don’t forget the SCBWI-Houston conference coming in October. Registration is open!

Here’s this week’s roundup:

LOCAL KIDLIT AUTHOR EVENTS

FOR READERS

JULY 23, SATURDAY, 11:00 AM: BRIGHT SKY AUTHORS CELEBRATION

Blue Willow Bookshop

THISTLE DOWNE by Molly & Gary WhitneyTHE SAME HEARTNOSEY ROSEYTHE MAGIC GINGERBREAD HOUSEARTIE: THE FIRST ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE

Children’s authors with local publisher Bright Sky Press will be on hand to sign their books. Attending authors are Molly Whitney, Chris Bridge, Paige Clough, Pam Franks, and Dee Maner.

Molly Whitney: THISTLE DOWNE
Chris Bridge: THE SAME HEART
Paige Clough: NOSEY ROSEY
Pam Franks: THE MAGIC GINGERBREAD HOUSE
Dee Maner: ARTIE: THE FIRST ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE

FOR WRITERS

JULY 19, TUESDAY, 7:30 PM: HOUSTON BAY AREA RWA MTG & WORKSHOP

Kirkmont MUD Building, 10102 Blackhawk Rd., Houston
Thelma Zirkelback—Non-Verbal Communications
COST: FREE

Thelma Zirkelbach will present a workshop on enhancing character through non-verbal communication.

JULY 23, SATURDAY, 1:00-4:00 PM & JULY 30, SATURDAY, 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM: WRITESPACE WORKSHOP

Writespace
Workshop: How to Write a Novel with Anis Shevani
COST:  Early-Bird until Monday, July 18: $105 Members, $135 Non-Members. After Monday, July 18, $135 Members, $165 Non-Members.

This intense two-day workshop—the two sessions a week apart—will depart from the norms of instruction in writing fiction by making us rethink the dominant terms of discussion. The functional components of a novel—character, plot, narrative, exposition, dialogue, scene—will be discussed with regard for the fluidity and range of expression a distinctive novel compels, not with the sense of constriction short fiction typically demands of the writer and reader.

JULY 26, 6:30-8:30 PM: HWG SUMMER SERIES

Trini Mendenhall, 1414 Wirt Road, Houston
Workshop: Finding Selling Venues For Your Print Books with Andrea Barbosa.
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 

Book festivals can be worthwhile endeavors, but you have to be well prepared and willing to stretch and grow. In this informational session, HWG’s Author Events Director Andrea Barbosa will talk about how to find selling venues for your print books, how to work at a book festival, how to sell, display, and market your books during events, and how to conduct book signing events.

CONFERENCE UPDATES

This week’s roundup includes one editor and thirteen literary agents from thirteen agencies! If you’d like to be notified of these weekly posts, please use the form on the sidebar to Subscribe to Updates.

AGENTS AT CONFERENCES

JULY 23: LEAGUE OF VERMONT WRITERS MEET THE AGENTS, SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT

AGENTS: Rebecca Podos/Rees Literary Agency, Heather Flaherty/The Bent Agency, Jan L. Kardys/Black Hawk Literary Agency, Dede Cummings/Green Writers Press

SEPTEMBER 16-17: ORA FICTION WRITERS CONFERENCE, SPRINGFIELD, MO

AGENT: Sara Megibow/KT Literary Agency

SEPTEMBER 29-OCTOBER 1: MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS, PEACHTREE CORNERS, GA

AGENTS: Nicole Rescenti/Seymore Agency, Laura Bradford/Bradford Agency

SEPTEMBER 24: TALLAHASSEE WRITERS CONFERENCE, TALLAHASSEE, FL

AGENTS: Elizabeth Copps/Maria Carvainis Agency, Alyssa Jennette/Stonesong Literary

OCTOBER 13-16: ENDURING SPIRITS UNTOLD STORIES, SANTA FE, NM

AGENTS: Samantha Bremekamp/Corvisiero Literary Agency, Shanon Hassan/Marsal Lyon Agency

OCTOBER 14-15: NWG FALL WRITER’S CONFERENCE, AURORA, NE

Carrie Pestritto/Prospect Literary Agency 

RETREATS/WORKSHOPS

OCTOBER 13-16: FALL RETREAT, SUBLIMITY, OR

EDITOR: Jill Santapolo/Philomel Books
AGENT: Abigail Samoun/Red Fox Literary
AUTHORS: Jane Kurtz, Graham Salisbury

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KidLit Author Events July 12

LEARNING TO SWEAR IN AMERICA by Katie Kennedy; Agent: Kate McKean, Howard Morhaim Literary AgencyWhile I was out of town, my pre-ordered copy of Katie Kennedy’s (moderator on the SCBWI Discussion Board) debut young adult novel arrived at Blue Willow Bookshop! The novel, LEARNING TO SWEAR IN AMERICA, has continued to gain praise from the industry pros, like this starred review from Publishers Weekly, and was included included in the PW Picks: Books of the Week, July 11, 2016.

Since I started including the writing conference updates on these weekly posts, I think today is the first time I have come up empty-handed. There are many conferences and retreats which are pending but haven’t yet posted their information. Fingers crossed, next week I’ll have more news for you.

But don’t forget the SCBWI-Houston fall conference coming October 22 is now open for registration!

Here’s what’s going on around Houston this week:

Greater Houston Area KidLit Author/Illustrator Events

JULY 12, 6:30-8:30 PM: HWG SUMMER SERIES

Trini Mendenhall, 1414 Wirt Road, Houston
Workshop: Plotting Thrillers and Action/Adventure—Story Arc and Comic Relief with Tony Burnett
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

Tony Burnett, current president of the Writers League of Texas, will discuss:
Plot development–how complex should your story be
Pacing–tension and tension release
Unique characteristics of thrillers versus action adventure versus mystery
Finding your voice–reading to write
Standalone versus series versus serial–what works for your story
Character traits and quirks–making the believable interesting and the unbelievable believable
Finding an audience and/or specific genre
Having fun with writing

PAPER & FIRE by Rachel Caine; Published by Berkley Publishing Group, NAL

JULY 13, WEDNESDAY, 6:30 PM: RACHEL CAINE, YA AUTHOR

Murder By The Book

NYT bestselling author Rachel Caine will sign and discuss her young adult novel PAPER AND FIRE. In this sequel to INK AND BONE, Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower and doomed to a life apart.
Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London. But Jess’s home isn’t safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, or the Library willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control…

WELCOME TO MARS: Buzz Aldrin & Marianne DysonJULY 15, FRIDAY, 5:00-10:00 PM: MARIANNE DYSON, CHILDREN’S NONFICTION AUTHOR

Barnes & Noble Westheimer Crossing

As part of Barnes & Noble’s Star Wars night, Marianne Dyson will sign her new children’s book WELCOME TO MARS, co-authored with Buzz Aldrin, plus her space shuttle memoir, A PASSION FOR SPACE. Another of her books, HOME ON THE MOOON, which won the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award in 2004 will be available. She’ll have a special scale for readers to “Guess Your Moon Weight” with NASA stickers for prizes, and some “gravity bricks” to test their strength on the Moon and Mars.

JULY 16, SATURDAY, 9:30 AM-12:30 PM: WRITESPACE WORKSHOP

Writespace 
Workshop: Crafting Effective Prose with Cassandra Clare
COST: Early-Bird until Monday, July 11: $30 Members, $45 Non-Members. After Monday, July 11: $40 Members, $55 Non-Members

In this workshop, we’ll examine these powerful building blocks of fiction by focusing on the importance of effective prose. How can the prose of a story highlight and enhance classic story elements like character, structure and plot arcs? How many metaphors are too many? What other writing styles can we employ to tell our stories well, or should we all just try to write like Hemingway? Through a combination of writing exercises and discussion of classic examples, we’ll answer these questions and more.

JULY 16, SATURDAY, 7:00 PM: CAMILLA D’ERRICO, MANGA ARTIST

Barnes & Noble Westheimer Crossing

Celebrate manga with drawing and coloring activities from renowned manga artist Camilla d’Errico. Enjoy a special offer on manga, activities, cosplay and giveaways.

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