Last night for the first time in several months, I made it to the SCBWI-Houston monthly meeting, and I’m glad I did! Author, storyteller, and amazingly organized presenter Aileen Kirkham gave a fascinating (and daunting) presentation on school visits for authors. I’m sorry for the local authors who weren’t able to attend this event because they missed a great crash course in the business of school visits. If they are lucky, Aileen will give a repeat performance next year.
Speaking of last night’s meeting…
A question that regularly comes up from new writers is, How do I hire an illustrator for my picture book, graphic novel, or book cover? I urge you to visit this page on the SCBWI Discussion Board and follow the links there.
I’m excited about the upcoming workshop, Emotional Craft of Fiction, with Donald Maas. I don’t know if this workshop has sold out, but you might want to check! The same workshop will be traveling to Seattle in September. You can find this workshop and many others on the Retreats & Writing Workshops page of this blog.
The latest MG from author Ena Jones, a moderator on the SCBWI Blueboard, is on the cover of the new Scholastic Reading Club catalogue!
In the second book in the Clayton Stone series, it’s the president’s own son who needs protecting. Within hours Clayton is at a prestigious school with a new name, new history, and new looks. He navigates the strange world of politics and intrigue at his new school, while sticking close to a presidential kid who wants nothing to do with him, and playing for the new school’s lacrosse team which is preparing to face-off against his real home team, Masters Academy.
Happy Book Birthday!
by Tammi Sauer
Illustrated by Troy Cummings
Published by Sterling
From the publisher: What happens when you expect an itty-bitty kitty . . . but get a lion instead?
It’s kitten delivery day, but—SURPRISE. Congratulations on your new LION! We know you ordered a kitten, but we ran out of those. Fortunately, the big cat comes with instructions—like, try very hard NOT to look like a zebra. Or a gazelle. And give your lion PLENTY of space to play. But soon the feathers and fur start flying and everything’s in chaos. Is there any way a lion could actually be a child’s purr-fect pet?
Here’s what’s going on around the Greater Houston Area this week. If you’d like to be notified of these weekly updates, please use the Subscribe to Updates form on the sidebar!
MAY 4, THURSDAY, 5:00 PM: GAIL CARSON LEVINE, MG AUTHOR
Blue Willow Bookshop
Gail Carson Levine will discuss and sign her newest novel THE LOST KINGDOM OF BAMARRE. Set in the world of The Two Princesses of Bamarre, Newbery Honor-winning author Gail Carson Levine introduces a spirited new heroine. Peregrine strives to live up to the ideal of her people, the Latki—and to impress her parents: affectionate Lord Tove, who despises only the Bamarre, and stern Lady Klausine. Perry runs the fastest, speaks her mind, and doesn’t give much thought to the castle’s Bamarre servants, whom she knows to be weak and cowardly. But just as she’s about to join her father on the front lines, she is visited by the fairy Halina, who reveals that Perry isn’t Latki-born. She is Bamarre. The fairy issues a daunting challenge: against the Lakti power, Perry must free her people from tyranny.
MAY 4, THURSDAY, 7:00 PM: RACHEL COHN, YA AUTHOR
Blue Willow Bookshop
Rachel Cohn will be in conversation with local YA author Jennifer Mathieu as Cohn discusses and signs KILL ALL HAPPIES, her new novel for teens.
Last Call at Happies Tonight, 8 P.M. Senior Class Only Please with the Shhhh .
This is it. Graduation. And Vic Navarro is throwing the most epic party Rancho Soldado has ever seen. She’s going to pull off the most memorable good-bye ever for her best friends, give Happies—the kitschy restaurant that is her desert town’s claim to fame—a proper send-off into bankruptcy, and oh yes, hook up with her delicious crush, Jake Zavala-Kim. She only needs to keep the whole thing a secret so that her archnemesis, Miss Ann Thrope, Rancho Soldado’s nightmare Town Councilwoman and high school Economics teacher, doesn’t get Vic tossed in jail.
With the music thumping, alcohol flowing, bodies mashing, and Thrope nowhere to be seen, Vic’s party is a raging success. That is, until Happies fans start arriving in droves to say good-bye, and storm the deserted theme park behind the restaurant. Suddenly what was a small graduation bash is more like Coachella on steroids with a side of RASmatazz pie. The night is so not going as planned. And maybe that’s the best plan of all.
MAY 6, SATURDAY, NOON: GRACE LIN, CHILDREN’S AUTHOR
Author Grace Lin joins Houston Public Library for Books Alive! 8th Annual Children’s Book Celebration. Lin’s new book, WHEN THE SEA TURNED TO SILVER, is a breathtaking, full-color illustrated fantasy inspired by Chinese folklore. Pinmei’s gentle, loving grandmother always has the most exciting tales for her granddaughter and the other villagers. However, the peace is shattered when soldiers of the Emperor arrive and kidnap the storyteller.
Everyone knows the Emperor wants something called the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night. Determined to have her grandmother returned, Pinmei embarks on a journey to find the Luminous Stone alongside her friend Yishan, a mysterious boy who seems to have his own secrets to hide. Together, the two must face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Luminous Stone and save Pinmei’s grandmother–before it’s too late.
The author presentation and book sale will be followed by a festival on the plaza until 3:00 PM. Activities include: Arts & Crafts; Inflatable Obstacle Course; Photo Booth; Mini Planetarium; Face Painting; Balloon Animals; and Trackless Train Rides.
To see future events, head over to Houston Area Writer & Illustrator Events.
Southwestern Presbyterian Church, 6033 S. Rice Ave., Bellaire, TX
COST: Members: Morning session only: $30 / Afternoon session only: $30 / All day: $50
Nonmembers: Morning session only: $35 / Afternoon session only: $35 / All day: $60
Award-winning author Marianne Dyson will lead two workshops in one day!
Morning session: Write a Short Story in a Day
Using a modified 7-point-plot method (developed by Algis Budrys), a couple of characters created through interview/profiling techniques, a menu of “prefab” settings and time periods, and a checklist of problem types and possible solutions, a story can be drafted in just one day. This method can also be used to write scenes for a novel or a series of linked stories that can form the basis of a novel.
Afternoon session: How to Publish a Book
What options do authors have now to publish their work? What’s the difference between traditional, academic/educational, and self publishing? Do you need an agent? What are the terms of a typical contract, and how can you avoid being scammed? What are the upfront costs? What goes into a proposal? How long does it take to publish a book? What are authors expected to do in terms of marketing?
MAY 6, SATURDAY, 8:30 AM: NORTHWEST RWA MONTHLY PROGRAM: WORKSHOP WITH JULIE GLOVER
Spring Creek Oaks Clubhouse, 17111 Misty Creek, Spring
Julie Glove – Beyond the Rules: Grammar Choices that Add Power to Your Novel
For more conference information and links, 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 sidebar!
Agent & Editors @ Conferences
JULY 20-23: PNWA CONFERENCE, SEATTLE, WA
AGENTS: Michael Carr/Veritas Literary; Laurie McLean, Michelle Richter/Fuse Literary; Eric Myer/Myers Literary Management; Quressa Robinson/D4EO Literary; Eric Ruben/The Ruben Agency; Steven Salpeter/Curtis Brown LTD; Rebecca Scherer/Jane Rotrosen Agency; Patricia Nelson/Marsal Lyon Literary
EDITORS: Laura Apperson/St. Martin’s Press; Diana Carlile, Lisa Dawn/Wild Rose Press; John Raab, Shannon Raab/Suspense Publications
AUGUST 3-6: CAPE COD WRITERS CONFERENCE, HYANNIS, MA
AGENTS: Katie Grimm/Don Congdon Associates; Kaylee Davis/DeeMura Agency
SEPTEMBER 14–16: HAMPTON ROADS WRITERS CONFERENCE, VIRGINIA BEACH, VA
AGENTS: Valerie Noble/Donaghy Literary Group; Irene Goodman/Irene Goodman Literary Agency
EDITOR: Denise Camacho/Intrigue Publishing.
SEPTEMBER 28-30: MARANATHA CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE , MUSKEGON, MI
AGENT: Cyle Young/Hartline Literary Agency
EDITORS: Eddie Jones/Lighthouse Publishing; Courtney Lasater/Keys for Kids Ministries; Jillian Manning/Zondervan/Zonderkidz/Blink/HarperCollins
SEPTEMBER 28-OCTOBER 1: MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS, PEACHTREE CORNERS, GA
AGENTS: Kristy Hunter/The Knight Agency; Amanda Leuck/Spencer Hill; Kaitlyn Johnson/Corvisiero Literary
OCTOBER 26-28: WOMEN WRITING THE WEST, TUCSON, AZ
AGENT: Sandra Bond/Bond Literary Agency
OCTOBER 27-29: SOUTH CAROLINA WRITERS ASSOCIATION BIG DREAM CONFERENCE, PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC
AGENTS: Michelle Johnson/Inkling Literary Agency; Peter Steinberg/Foundry Literary + Media