Conference Updates & KidLit News, Sept. 27

Our wonderful local indie bookstore Blue Willow Bookshop celebrates their 20th birthday this Saturday, October 1! They’ll have refreshments, goody bags, and, of course, many great books. Please stop by and wish them a happy birthday!

CELIA AND THE WOLF by Donna MaloyThis week I’d like to wish a Happy Re-Launch to local author Donna Maloy, just in time for Halloween! Donna’s middle grade novel CELIA AND THE WOLF, previous winner of the Award for Best Juvenile Fiction from Bookstore Without Borders, has gotten a beautiful makeover with this gorgeous, spooky new cover!

Which one is the real monster?

Celia Ashleigh, otherwise known as The Fox, is a powerful shapeshifter and spy-in-training, like other firstborns in her family.

Remy Broussard’s family are werewolves. And the Guardian of La Cluse is on a crusade to wipe out monsters like them. He’s kidnapped Remy’s little sister and plans to kill her when she changes for the first time on All Hallow’s Eve.

When Remy begs for help, Celia doesn’t hesitate. But the closer she comes to finding the madman and his captive, the more dangerous her task becomes… and the more hopeless.

What will happen if she makes a mistake and the hate-filled Guardian discovers…

Celia is something more than human, too.

“A thrilling adventure with a fiery, engaging heroine you will not want to take your eyes off for a second!” Ammi-Joan Paquette, author of Ghost in the House, and the Princess Juniper series

Buy the book! Barnes & Noble  Amazon

Local KidLit Events

For Readers

SEPTEMBER 28, WEDNESDAY, 5:00 PM: RIDLEY PEARSON, MG AUTHORLOCK AND KEY by Ridley Pearson

Blue Willow Bookshop

The NYT bestselling author of the Peter and the Starcatchers and Kingdom Keepers seriesRidley Pearson will discuss and sign his new novel for kids, LOCK AND KEY: THE INITIATION. The first book in this new trilogy introduces the origins of the rivalry between literature’s most famous enemies Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty, told from the perspective of James’s observant little sister, Moria.

Before James grew up to be a ruthless, remorseless villain, he was a curious boy from Boston, with a penchant for trouble and an acid tongue. Thrown into a boarding school against his wishes, James winds up rooming with a most unlikely companion: a lanky British know-it-all named Sherlock Holmes ( Lock to his friends). An heirloom Bible, donated by the Moriarty family more than a hundred years ago, has gone missing, and it doesn’t take long for the two to find themselves embroiled in the school-wide scandal.

Admission: In order to go through the signing line and meet Ridley Pearson for book personalization, please purchase LOCK AND KEY from Blue Willow Bookshop.

OCTOBER 4, TUESDAY, 7:00 PM: JESSICA BRODY, YA AUTHOR a-week-of-mondays

Blue Willow Bookshop

Jessica Brody will discuss and sign her books for teens and tweens, A WEEK OF MONDAYS. Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason.

As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent set on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever?

For Writers

SEPTEMBER 28, 10:00 AM: SCBWI BRAZOS VALLEY: MTG & WORKSHOP

Local author Tammy Hensel presents Creative Nonfiction: From Style to Genre.

OCTOBER 1, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM: RWA LONE STAR CONFERENCE

Hilton Garden Inn – Houston Cypress Station
COST: $120 Members, $130 Non-members

Featuring NYT Bestselling Author, Kerrelyn Sparks and Romance Author and Marketing Wiz Jennifer Fusco!
Are you struggling to make a homerun with your writing? Or even make it to first base? It’s time to get in the game! NYT bestselling author Kerrelyn Sparks presents a new sports-inspired strategy that will coach you on how to complete a book and make sure it doesn’t go into sudden death!

Jennifer Fusco began writing romance in 2010 as a way to expend the excess creative energy that wasn’t exhausted by her day job. In addition to her novels, Jennifer is also the author of the popular Market or Die books for authors.

OCTOBER 1, SATURDAY, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM: INDIE PUBLISHING 101: EASY E-BOOK AND PRINT PRODUCTION

Writespace: NOTE: There is a LARGE Silver Street event at this time, so please allow extra time to find parking.
COST: Early-Bird Pricing until September 26, $40 Members, $50 Non-Members. After September 26, $50 Members, $60 Non-Members

If the idea of book formatting fills you with dread, or if you have tried to create an e-book, but it doesn’t come out right, this workshop is for you! Whether you are new to print and e-book creation, or are just looking for tips and shortcuts, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to create professional-grade print and e-books when you have the right tools and techniques.

In this hands-on workshop with D.L. Young, we will create our own e-books and learn how to make a reusable template for novels and short stories. We’ll also go through the steps for creating a print version of your book. Please bring your laptop, and let e-book expert D.L. Young take you through the process step-by-step.
Please see website for software requirements before registering

OCTOBER 3, MONDAY, 7:00 PM: SCBWI HOUSTON: MTG & WORKSHOP MONKEY AND DUCK QUACK UP!

Tracy Gee Community Center
COST: FREE

Join SCBWI and Emmy-winning children’s television writer and story editor, Jennifer Hamburg as she discusses The A-Zs of Writing Children’s Stories for TV & Picture Books, Too! Jennifer’s picture books include A Moose That Says Moo, Monkey and Duck Quack Up!, and the upcoming Billy Boo is Stuck in Goo. Her middle grade book series, Hazy Bloom and the Tomorrow Power, comes out in 2017.

OCTOBER 4, TUESDAYS FOR 6 WEEKS, 5:00-7:00 PM: THE WRITER’S TOOLBOX: AN EXPLORATION AND PRACTICE WITH K.C. SINCLAIR

The Women’s Institute of Houston 
COST: $300

Ever read a book or article and sit back and sigh at what a pleasure it was–how it made you think, how it made you feel, how it made the world melt away–and then moments later wonder how the author made that happen? All writers have tools that they use to engage their readers, express ideas, and make them sigh. From voice to dialogue to description, we will explore masterful examples of writers using their tools and then try to use them ourselves. Each week, the class will focus on one characteristic of powerful writing. We will read short articles about craft, study examples from famous writers, and exercise our own writing muscles in fun, collaborative activities in class. Then, writers will be able to take the ideas home and do a little practice of their own in order to bring it back to the class and get praise for the way they’ve sharpened their skills. Writing can be overwhelming, but with a few key tools, writers will have the confidence and inspiration to get started. Hopefully, after the class, we’ll also have a group of friends to help us continue!

Conference Updates

For more conference information, visit the main conference pages. If you’d like to be notified of these weekly updates, please use the Subscribe to Updates form on the sidebars!

Agents & Editors @ Conferences

APRIL 7-8: NEBRASKA WRITERS GUILD SPRING WRITERS’ CONFERENCE, LAVISTA NE

AGENT: Linda Camacho/Prospect Agency

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Conference Updates & KidLit Events, Sept. 21

I was short on conference updates last week but there’s a boatload this week. Scroll down to see the updates. If you’d like to be notified of these weekly updates, please use the Subscribe to Updates form on the sidebars!

Local KidLit Events

For Readers

SEPTEMBER 22, THURSDAY, 11:00, AM: MARIA ASHWORTH, PB AUTHORMY BIG TREE By Maria Ashworth, Illustrated by Bailey Beougher
Barnes & Noble, River Oaks
and on
SEPTEMBER 24, SATURDAY, 3:00-5:00 PM
River Oaks Bookstore

Maria Ashworth,  author of STEP ONE, STEP TWO, STEP THREE AND FOUR, will be presenting her picture book, MY BIG TREE. One little blue bird has found the best place to nest. Soon other animals think it’s the ideal place to be, too. The little blue bird isn’t ready to share her space and decides it’s no longer the “best tree to nest in.” She finds a new tree but something is missing. In the end, the little bluebird realizes there is one thing more valuable than nesting in her favorite tree.

For Writers

SEPTEMBER 23-24: HOUSTON WRITERS GUILD INDIEPALOOZA, HOUSTON

Featuring breakouts with indie publishing professionals, manuscript consultations, and one-on-one marketing coaching opportunities.

SEPTEMBER 25, 3:00-6:00 PM: INTRODUCTION TO FLASH FICTION

Writespace
COST: Early-Bird until September 20: $30 Members, $45 Non-Members. After September 20: $40 Members, $55 Non-Members

Good flash fiction slices to the center of the story to reveal the tension and emotion at its core. As more readers embrace stories of one thousand words or less that they can read on their eReader or tablet, now is the time to learn strategies and insights into crafting stories in this unique genre. Having fewer words with which to create a narrative arc leads writers to be precise. Precision breeds vitality.

In this hands-on workshop led by Patricia Flaherty Pagan, we will dive into writing very short stories. We will also analyze classic flash fiction by writers such as Jamaica Kincaid. Finally, we’ll discuss good markets and contests for polished flash. Bring an open mind and writing tools (pen and paper, laptop or tablet). Leave with an understanding of how to write and publish precise, evocative flash.

SEPTEMBER 27, TUESDAY, 6:30 PM: HOUSTON WRITERS HOUSE SOCIAL

Black Labrador

Conference Updates

For more conference information, visit the main conference pages. If you’d like to be notified of these weekly updates, please use the Subscribe to Updates form on the sidebars!

Agents & Editors/Art Directors

OCTOBER 21-22: SCBWI MID ATLANTIC FALL CONFERENCE, STERLING, VA

AGENTS: Emily Keyes/Fuse Literary; Linda Epstein/Emerald City Literary; Carrie Hannigan/HSG Agency
EDITORS: Wendy Lamb/Wendy Lamb Books/Penguin-Random House; Adrienne Szpyrka/Running Press Kids; Christina Pulles/Sterling
ART DIRECTOR: Nancy Brennan/Viking

NOVEMBER 11-12: WESTERN PA SCBWI FALL CONFERENCE, PITTSBURG, PA

AGENTS: Heather Alexander/Pippin Properties; Karen Grencik/Red Fox Literary; Jennifer Soloway/Andrea Brown Literary Agency
EDITORS: Brett Duquette/Sterling Publishing; Mary Colgan/Boyds Mills Press; Rebecca Weston/Random House Children’s Books; Jennifer Ung/Simon & Schuster Children’s Books
ART DIRECTOR: Jasmin Rubero/Dial Books for Young Readers

NOVEMBER 12: NESCBWI EDITOR/AGENT DAY, TBA

AGENTS: : Sara Crowe/Pippin Properties; Kimiko Nakamura/Dee Mura Literary; Rebecca Podos/Rees Agency; Lana Popovic/Chalberg & Sussman Agency
EDITORS: Jenny Bak/JIMMY Patterson/Little Brown; Julie Bliven/Charlesbridge; Karen Boss/Charlesbridge; Melissa Kim/Islandport Press

NOVEMBER 12-13: FALL CRAFT WEEKEND, PRINCETON, NJ

AGENTS: Christa Heschke/McIntosh & Otis Literary Agency
Jessica Sinsheimer—Agent at Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency
Roseanne Wells—Associate Literary Agent at The Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency
EDITORS: Dana Chidiac/Dial BFYR, Penguin; Kristin Daly Rens/Balzer & Bray, Harper Collins; Alexa Pastor/Simon & Schuster BFYR
ART DIRECTORS: Carolyn Bull/Hachette Book Group/Little Brown; Jessica Tice-Gilbert/Cartwheel, Scholastic

NOVEMBER 18-20: SCBWI BRITISH ISLES CRACKIN’ CHARACTERS CONFERENCE, WINCHESTER, HAMPSHIRE

AGENTS: Caroline Walsh/David Highams Associates; Helen Bryant/Cornerstones Literary Consultants; Sarah Davies/Greenhouse Literary
ART DIRECTOR: David McDougall/Walker Books
EDITORS: Polly Whybrow/Bloomsbury; Louise Bolongaro/Nosy Crow

Retreats & Writing Workshops

FEBRUARY 23-26: ADVANCED WRITER WEEKEND WORKSHOP: MASTERING THE MIDDLE GRADE, AUSTIN, TX
AUTHOR: Sara Pennypacker
EDITOR: Donna Bray/Balzer + Bray, HarperCollins

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Conference Updates & Kidlit Events Sept.13

I don’t have any conference updates for this week, but we have a jam-packed calendar of local author and illustrator events! I hope a lot of our local folks will brave the rain and get out there!

BTW, there’s still time to register for the SCBWI-Houston conference on October 22, so if you are in Houston or can make the trip, sign up here.

Happy Book Birthday!

This week’s birthday celebration is for an adorable new bedtime book from another member and moderator of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Discussion Board, Sharon Chriscoe! Vroom!

RACE CAR DREAMS by Sharon Chriscoe; Illustrated by Dave MottramRACE CAR DREAMS

By Sharon Chriscoe
Illustrated by Dave Mottram
Published by Running Press Kids

From the publisher: After a day at the track of zipping and zooming, a race car is tired and ready for bed. He washes his rims, fills his tummy with oil, and chooses a book that is all about speed. All toasty and warm, he drifts off to sleep, he shifts into gear . . . and dreams of the race!

Follow the RACE CAR DREAMS blog tour, starting with this launch post on Color Me a Kidlit Writer!

BUY THE BOOK! Blue Willow Bookshop  Brazos Bookstore  Indiebound  Barnes & Noble  Amazon

KidLit Events

For Readers

SEPTEMBER 14, WEDNESDAY, 5:00 PM: CHRIS BARTON, PB AUTHOR Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions
Blue Willow Bookshop

Austin author Chris Barton will discuss and sign his newest picture book for children, WHOOSH! LONNIE JOHNSON’S SUPER-SOAKING STREAM OF INVENTIONS, with illustrations by Austin’s Don Tate. A cool idea with a big splash! You know the Super Soaker. It’s one of the top twenty toys of all time. And it was invented entirely by accident. Trying to create a new cooling system for refrigerators and air conditioners, impressive inventor Lonnie Johnson instead created the mechanics for the iconic toy. A love for rockets, robots, inventions, and a mind for creativity began early in Lonnie Johnson’s life. Growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters, persistence and a passion for problem solving became the cornerstone for a career as an engineer and his work with NASA. But it is his invention of the Super Soaker water gun that has made his most memorable splash with kids and adults.

SEPTEMBER 15, THURSDAY, 5:00–7:00 PM : DEANNE WAGNER WHITE, PB AUTHOR THE OTTER BY THE SEA
River Oaks Bookstore

THE OTTER BY THE SEA, the first book in author/illustrator Deanne Wagner White’s Otter Chronicles series invites children to experience the day-to-day life of Baby Otter and his family. The book also acts as an educational tool because it offers fun Otter facts on the back cover and raises awareness among children about the endangered Otter species and how the ocean benefits from their presence could help with future preservation efforts.

SEPTEMBER 17, SATURDAY, 4:00 PM: JOY PREBLE, YA AUTHOR IT WASN'T ALWAYS LIKE THIS by Joy Preble
Barnes and Noble Champions Forest

Local author Joy Preble will discuss her new book IT WASN’T ALWAYS LIKE THIS as the featured author for the Banff School Book Fair. Not only will you be able to get a signed copy of IWALT, you will also help support Banff School by all your BN purchases that day!

In 1916, Emma O’Neill is frozen in time. After sampling an experimental polio vaccine brewed on a remote island off St. Augustine, Florida, she and her family stop aging—as do the Ryans, her family’s business partners. In a way, this suits Emma fine because she’s in love with Charlie Ryan. Being seventeen forever with him is a dream. But soon a group of religious fanatics, the Church of Light, takes note. Drinking the elixir has made the O’Neills and Ryans impervious to aging, but not to murder—Emma and Charlie are the only ones who escape with their lives.

On the run, Emma is tragically separated from Charlie. For the next hundred years, she plays a cat-and-mouse game with the founding members of the Church of Light and their descendants. Over the years, a series of murders—whose victims all bear more than a passing resemblance to her—indicate that her enemies are closing in. Yet as the danger grows, so does Emma’s hope for finding the boy she’s certain is still out there . . .
THE DARKEST DARK

SEPTEMBER 15, THURSDAY, 7:00 PM (Doors open at 6:00): COMMANDER CHRIS HADFIELD, PB AUTHOR
Katy Taylor High School

Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Space Station Commander, will give a talk on space travel, music, conquering fear of the unkown and his newest book, THE DARKEST DARK, with illustrations by Terry and Eric Fan.

Chris loves rockets and planets and pretending he’s a brave astronaut, exploring the universe. Only one problem—at night, Chris doesn’t feel so brave. He’s afraid of the dark. But when he watches the groundbreaking moon landing on TV, he realizes that space is the darkest dark there is—and the dark is beautiful and exciting, especially when you have big dreams to keep you company.

AFTERWARD by Jennifer Mathieu; Agent: Kerry Sparks, Levine Greenberg RostanSEPTEMBER 17, SATURDAY, 11:00 AM: JENNIFER MATHIEU, YA AUTHOR
Blue Willow Bookshop

Jennifer Mathieu, the local author of DEVOTED and THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE, will discuss and sign her new novel for teens, AFTERWARD. When eleven-year-old Dylan Anderson is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of fifteen-year-old Ethan Jorgensen, who had gone on a bike ride four years earlier and had never been seen again. Dylan’s older sister, Caroline, can’t help but wonder what happened to her brother, who has nonverbal autism and is not adjusting well to life back home. There’s only one person who knows the truth: Ethan. But Ethan isn’t sure how he can help Caroline when he is fighting traumatic memories of his own captivity. Both Caroline and Ethan need a friend, however, and their best option just might be each other.

SEPTEMBER 17, SATURDAY, NOON-2:00 PM: MARIA ASHWORTH, PB AUTHORSTEP ONE, STEP TWO, STEP THREE AND FOUR by Maria Ashworth, Illustrated by Andreea Chele
Altitude Trampoline Park, Katy

Step Family Day was founded in 1998 to recognize and show appreciation for the importance and value of step-parents and extended families. Maria Ashworth, author of STEP ONE, STEP TWO, STEP THREE AND FOUR and Macaroni Kid Katy are collaborating together for an ALL DAY event at Altitude Trampoline Park. There will be giveaways every 20-30 minutes from 12-2 PM (maybe longer). Free pizza, socks and drink. It will be a discounted POP for an all day jump. Children may nominate their step parent for “Step Parent of The Year” (prize awarded). All are welcome!

ALAMO ALL STARS by Nathan HaleSEPTEMBER 18, SUNDAY, 3:00 PM (Doors open at 2:15): NATHAN HALE, AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR
Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School 

Cool Brains! Inprint Readings for Young People invites you to enjoy an afternoon with bestselling middle-grade author and illustrator Nathan Hale. Mr. Hale will make a presentation about the latest book in his Nathan Hale Hazardous Tales series, ALAMO ALL-STARS. After the presentation, he will take questions from the audience, followed by a book sale and signing*, giving fans a chance to visit with him. Books will be available for sale at the event through Blue Willow Bookshop.

RETURN BY AARON BECKERSEPTEMBER 19, MONDAY, 5:00 PM: AARON BECKER, PB AUTHOR
Blue Willow Bookshop

For the first in Blue Willow Bookshop’s new series, Blue Willow Up Close, Caldecott Honoree Aaron Becker will discuss and sign his newest picture book for children, RETURN. Failing to get the attention of her busy father, a lonely girl turns back to a fantastic world for friendship and adventure. It’s her third journey into the enticing realm of kings and emperors, castles and canals, exotic creatures and enchanting landscapes. This time, it will take something truly powerful to persuade her to return home, as a gripping backstory is revealed that will hold readers in its thrall.

For Writers

SEPTEMBER 15, THURSDAY, 6:00-9:00 PM: HOW TO FIND AN AGENT

Writespace
COST: Early-Bird until September 10: $30 Members, $45 Non-Members. After September 10: $40 Members, $55 Non-Members

For those serious about publishing a novel with a traditional press, the next step after writing a polished manuscript is to find a literary agent to represent you and your work. This three-hour workshop with YA author Joy Preble will break down the often daunting and highly competitive process of seeking representation. We will examine what an agent does and doesn’t do when he or she agrees to represent your work, as well as what exactly it takes to find the perfect match between author and agent. In this workshop, we will cover the most crucial aspects of the process of finding your dream agent, from networking to research to query letters and more.

SEPTEMBER 17, SATURDAY: HBA-RWA 2016 STARFISH WRITERS CONFERENCE, LEAGUE CITY

South Shore Harbour Resort
COST: $40 Houston Bay Area RWA Members, $60 Non-members

Featuring USA Today Bestseller and Romantic Times Top Pick, urban fantasy author Jaye Wells. This conference features three workshops:
Delivering Your POPs and Payoffs
Writing Hacks
Light breakfast & full lunch are included. Plus Raffle baskets & door prices!

SEPTEMBER 17, SATURDAY, 9:30 AM-12:30 PM: DIGGING THE WELL: BUILDING EMOTIONAL CONTENT IN OUR WORK

Writespace
COST: $40 Members, $55 Non-Members

Why is it that our story ideas sing in our imaginations, but then sound flat when we move to the page? Sometimes we can chalk that discrepancy up to the ups and downs of the writing process; it’s just what happens when we move from the kernel for a story to drafting and revision, and eventually it works itself out. At other times, the gap is due to a lack of emotional content. We’ve generated characters, a setting, they’re talking to each other, they even have some problems, but we find that while we’re accruing details, we’re not accruing depth. Building emotional content isn’t about getting all of our characters on a therapist’s couch. It’s about looking at what we’ve written and finding the traces of deep desire, power play, values, and fruitful contradiction within those pages. From there, we find ways to subtly turn those traces into a source of power and purpose in our story. In this class with instructor Adrienne Perry, we’ll do this through exercises, discussion, and by lending a keen eye to our own work.

 

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