Hurry--this contest ends soon.
New FREE contest for writers of Historical Fiction http://tinyurl.com/zodcsgo Judged by agent @EliseShaull, via @chucksambuchino
Link also here.
As an aspiring writer & illustrator who is continuing to develop their craft, I am always a student. Whether it be a blog, newsletters, books, or classes--I soak up every tidbit I can on the art of writing & illustrating children's literature.
Right now I am participating in Julie Hedlund's "12 Days of Christmas for Writers" which is getting me all revved up for 2017 and all the classes and work I am planning to do in the next 12 months .
Today, for the Day 3 exercise, Julie had us list all the good surprises as writers we had in 2016 and then challenged those of us with blogs to post them there. So, without further ado, here is mine:
Day 3—My Successes in 2016
1. I took a picture book writing course with the Decatur Writers’ Studio, sharing my writing in a critique group for the first time.
2. Pulling together a group of people for an ongoing, in person critique group on picture book manuscripts.
3. Reading my first chapter of my historical fiction novel-in-progress out loud to a group of people who are not writers!
4. Creating a writing & illustration website.
5. Starting a blog on my website and committing to posts twice a month. So far, so good.
6. Reaching out to other writers and asking them to help with interviews for my blog, then actually posting those interviews.
7. Committing to the next two years of being a student to improve my craft in writing and illustrating (2016-2017) and then FOLLOWING THROUGH by signing up for and completing courses.
8. Starting an idea file, then chucking a dozen or so ideas into it within a few days during a burst of inspiration. Lots of future projects just waiting in there.
9. Taking a picture book illustration class with the Children's Book Academy, for a period of six weeks. I showed up online, did the work and then shared it, for every single assignment. Sharing was a big deal as it seemed that all my classmates were SO far ahead of me in skillset and path to publishing.
10. Acknowledging to myself that success in this venture of becoming a kid lit author may not be instant, nor may it look like what others think of success, but it is worth it as I am ENJOYING the process of creating. Enjoyment is what success looks like at this stage of the game. Everything else will be a bonus.
Here's to 2017! Happy New Year!
Today we are talking with up-and-coming picture book author and illustrator Fifi Abu. Thank you for being here today, Fifi. First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have a master's degree in children's literature as well as a master's degree in library science. I am an active member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and a recent Children's Book Academy graduate.
In my work as a youth services librarian, I spend my days surrounded by books that have already been created. The rest of the time I write and illustrate books yet to be born.
I dream of a day when all children can see themselves reflected in the books they read.
Your life is all books, all the time. How marvelous! Tell us about some of your earliest memories of books.
I loved books from the beginning. Before I could read, I would get lost in the illustrations, completely immersing myself in the world of the book. Richard Scarry’s Busy, Busy World was an early favorite. I loved the details and the way that the stories were all set in different countries. I still think about the Tokyo subway scene with the flattened sausage every time I squeeze onto an overcrowded subway in Boston.
Pictures above from Fifi's childhood collection of Richard Scarry books
Where’s Wallace by Hilary Knight was my obsession. The full-color double spreads are something that I went back to over and over, searching every detail and feeling fully satisfied with the colors selected for each illustration. Knight’s powerful depiction of motion has been a major influence in my work.
How did you go from reading books to becoming a writer and illustrator?
I was always making books as a child. Whenever I had access to a stapler, I made books. Writing and drawing were daily activities, sometimes in collaboration with others, but mostly as a solo effort.
The summer I turned ten, my cousin and I wrote and illustrated Peter in Catland and sent it off to a relative who worked for Random House. Unfortunately...
Today we are talking with Kathryn Powers, an up-and-coming middle-grade and picture book author and illustrator.
Kathryn, thank you for taking the time to talk with us. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I lead something of a double life. By day, I work as a library office manager, pouncing on the UPS guy every time he delivers a new children’s book, as well as volunteering as the Illustrator Coordinator for Central/Southern Ohio Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
By night, I stay up until the wee hours writing about swashbuckling ferrets and equine heroes, and doodling everything cute and fuzzy.
Whatever I’m doing, you will find me attempting to stave off years of sleep deprivation with coffee, lots of coffee!
You sound like a superhero to me—library office manager by day, children’s writer and illustrator by night. We need to make that into a movie, something like “Book Girl: The Adventures of a Literary Super Hero.” The title needs work. I need your help to sort that one out.
So, tell us “Book Girl ” Kathryn, what are your earliest memories of books?
"Little, Brown Books for Young Readers announces the LITTLE, BROWN EMERGING ARTIST AWARD. This new initiative seeks promising new talent and encourages the development of high-quality picture books that resonate with readers of diverse backgrounds and experience, while also providing valuable mentorship by an acclaimed illustrator and children’s book professionals."
Money, travel, AND mentorship?!? What could be better?
Deadline January 15, 2017 ---> Check it out: lbartistaward.com/
"First Looks/First Books" is a new, recurring feature. We will talk with pre-published authors and illustrators, asking them about their goals and dreams, and what they have learned so far working toward publication.
Today we are talking with Annette Hastitate, an up-and-coming graphic novel and picture book author/illustrator. She currently lives in California.
Thank you, Annette, for taking the time to sit down and talk with us. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
As a kid, I loved drawing funny pictures and writing quirky stories, often getting into trouble for scribbling in my notebooks instead of paying attention in class. After I had graduated from the University of California -San Diego, I worked as an Art Director and Buyer for many years at a local gallery. Now I am back on the journey I started as a child, telling stories through my art.
What is your earliest memory of a picture book?
Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle. I was introduced to this book in 1st grade on a US military base in Japan. It was too simple for most of the English-speaking students but was perfect for me to learn English. The vibrant colors and repetition brought me comfort.
In Eric Carle's words, “With many of my books, I attempt to bridge the gap between the home and school. To me home represents (or should represent) warmth, security, toys, holding hands, being held. School is a strange and new place for a child. Will it be a happy place? There are new people, a teacher, classmates—will they be friendly?"
How did you come to be an author and illustrator?
Once upon a time, my house was clean, and refrigerator stocked with healthy organic food. Then one day my little dog brought home a flea. It was not just any bug, but a super flea.
Those fleas destroyed my former life...