Freedom to Read Week

IMG_0415Yep, it’s that time of the year again…Freedom to Read Week

February 22-28.

Here’s my banned book choice. What’s yours?

Publishing Opportunities

Dreams & Premonitions
When we are asleep, we dream. Are dreams a connection to the unconscious mind? Are they omens of things to come – both good and bad? In our dreams we can be anything we want to be. We are looking for stories about your dreams and premonitions and the impact they have had on your life. What have you learned from your dreams? Did your dreams come true? Did a dream or premonition strengthen your faith or help you change the direction your life was headed in? Did a premonition serve as a warning about something that was going to happen? The deadline for story and poem submissions is March 15, 2015.

Make Your Own Luck
Luck is not always just chance. You have to be ready and willing to seize the opportunities that are in front of you and make your own good things happen. How did you take advantage of chance events and make the most of them? How did you make the most of what life has to offer? How did your positive outlook change the direction your life was taking? We also would love to publish amazing stories of just plain serendipity. The deadline for story and poem submissions is March 31, 2015.

Merry Christmas!
Our holiday books are very popular. We do a new edition every other year and so we are now collecting stories for our Christmas 2015 book. Share your special stories about the holiday season – including Chanukah and Kwanzaa – from inspirational and joyous, to heartwarming and humorous. Remember all of the stories in our Christmas books are “Santa Safe” – we don’t want to spoil the magic for children. This title was previously posted as Stories about the Christmas Season. If you submitted a story for that title it will considered for Merry Christmas! The deadline for story and poem submissions has been extended to March 31, 2015.

Think Possible
We all know the story about the little engine that could: I think I can, I think I can, I think I can… Almost anything is possible if you think you can. You can dream big, overcome challenges and turn adversity into opportunity. You can change your outlook and listen to your heart and move forward into the life you want. How did you “think possible” and how did it change your life? The deadline for story and poem submissions is April 30, 2015.

Volunteering & Giving Back
We’re making another book about volunteering! How has your life been changed by volunteering? Have you been a volunteer in a hospital, a school or in your community? What have you done with your life that makes you feel good and has also made this world a better place? What have you done to make a difference in the lives of others? Or do you want to thank a volunteer who helped you? Share your true stories about how you found purpose, passion, and joy in your life or how a volunteer helped you. And by volunteer, we mean an unpaid position, so save those stories about paid heroes in your life for another book! The deadline for story and poem submissions has been extended to March 31, 2015.

So you want to write for kids

Books to help you on your writing journey

My fav. inspirational reads

Pierre Berton’s The Joy of Writing: a guide for writers, disguised as a
literary memoir (Doubleday, 2003)
Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones (Shambhala, 1986)
Ann Lamott’s Bird by Bird (Pantheon, 1994)
Jane Yolen’s Take Joy: A Book For Writers (The Writer Books, 2003)
Katherine Patterson’s The Invisible Child (Dutton, Children’s Books, 2001

My fav. practical books

James Cross Giblin’s Writing Books for Young People (Writer, Inc., 1990)
Sandy Asher’s Writing it Right: how Successful Children’s Authors Revise and Sell Their Stories (Writer’s Institute Publications, 2009)
Jean Karl’s How to Write and Sell Children’s Picture Books (Writer’s Digest Book, 1994)
Mary Kole’s Writing Irresistible Kidlit (Writer’s Digest Books, 2012)
Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (Scribner, 2000)
Linda Seger’s Making a Good Script Great ( Samuel French, 1994)
Bessie Redfield’s Rhyming Dictionary (General Pub. Co./Pedigree Books, 1986)
Elizabeth Lyon’s Manuscript Makeover (Perigee Books, (2008)
Barbara Seuling’s How to Write a Children’s Book and Get It Published (MacMillan, 1991)
Harold D. Underdown’s The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books (Alpha, 2004)

Award winners

Carnegie/Greenway Medal winners 

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Caldecott and Newbery Medal winners

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Governor General’s Award winners

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ALA Awards

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The American Library Association (ALA) announced the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards – at its Midwinter Meeting in Chicago.

If you write and illustrated books or hope to one day you need to know what the industry judges as the best. Make the books below part of your “To Read” List.

The winners for the main awards are included. The link for all the awards is at the bottom:

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:

THE CROSSOVER, written by Kwame Alexander, is the 2015 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Two Newbery Honor Books also were named:

EL DEAFO by Cece Bell, illustrated by Cece Bell and published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS.

BROWN GIRL DREAMING written by Jacqueline Woodson and published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:

THE ADVENTURES OF BEEKLE: The Unimaginary Friend, illustrated by Dan Santat, is the 2015 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was written by Dan Santat and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Six Caldecott Honor Books also were named:

1. NANA IN THE CITY, illustrated by Lauren Castillo, written by Lauren Castillo and published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

2. THE NOISY PAINT BOX: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art, illustrated by Mary GrandPre, written by Barb Rosenstock and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

3. SAM & DAVEDIG A HOLE, illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett and published by Candlewick Press.

4. VIVA FRIDA, illustrated by Yuyi Morales, written by Yuyi Morales and published by Roaring Brook Press, a Neal Porter Book.

5. THE RIGHT WORD: Roget and His Thesaurus, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, written by Jen Bryant, and published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

6. THIS ONE SUMMER, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, written by Mariko Tamaki and published by First Second.

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award

recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:

BROWN GIRL DREAMING, written by Jacqueline Woodson, is the King Author Book winner. The book is published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

Three King Author Honor Books were selected:

1. Kwame Alexander for “The Crossover,” published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing.

2. Marilyn Nelson for “How I Discovered Poetry,” illustrated by Hadley Hooper and published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Books (USA) LLC.

3. Kekla Magoon for “How It Went Down,” published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award:

FIREBIRD, illustrated by Christopher Myers, is the King Illustrator Book winner. The book was written by Misty Copeland and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

TWO KING Illustrator Honor Book were selected:

Christian Robinson for “Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker,” by Patricia Hruby Powell, published by Chronicle Books LLC.

Frank Morrison for “Little Melba and Her Big Trombone,” by Katheryn Russell-Brown, published by Lee and Low Books, Inc.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:

1. I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN, written by Jandy Nelson, is the 2015 Printz Award winner. The book is published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, a Penguin Random House Company.
Four Printz Honor Books also were named:

2. AND WE SYAY, by Jenny Hubbard, and published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., a Penguin Random House Company.

3. THE CATNIVAL AT BRAY, by Jessie Ann Foley, and published by Elephant Rock Books.

4. GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE, by Andrew Smith, and published by Dutton Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, a Penguin Random House Company.

5. THIS ONE SUMMER, by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, and published by First Second.

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:

1. A BOY AND A JAGUAR, written by Alan Rabinowitz, illustrated by Catia Chien and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, wins the award for children ages 0 to 10.

2. RAIN REIGN, written by Ann M. Martin and published by A FEIWEL AND FRIENDS BOOK, is the winner of the middle-school (ages 11-13).

3. The teen (ages 13-18) award winner is GIRLS LIKE US, written by Gail Giles and published by Candlewick Press.

Alex Awards

for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences:

1. ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, by Anthony Doerr, published by Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

2. BELLWEATHER RHAPSODY, by Kate Racculia, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

3. BINGO’S RUN, by James A. Levine, published by Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.

4. CONFESSIONS, by Kanae Minato, translated by Stephen Snyder, published by Mulholland Books, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

5. EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU, by Celeste Ng, published by The Penguin Press, a member of Penguin Group LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.

6. LOCK IN, by John Scalzi, a Tor Book published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

7. THE MARTIAN, by Andy Weir, published by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.

8. THE TERRORIST’S SON: A Story of Choice, by Zak Ebrahim with Jeff Giles, published by TED Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

9. THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD, by Michael Koryta, published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

10. WOLF IN WHITE VAN, by John Darnielle, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

HERE IS THE LINK TO WATCH THE LIVE PRESENTATION OF THE AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCEMENT FROM CHICAGO:http://live.webcastinc.com/ala/2015/live/

READ the Press Release: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-library-association-announces-2015-youth-media-award-winners-300028995.html

Jessie’s Island; news

After more than 20 years of being in print, Jessie’s Island will be released in hard cover. It’s been on the BC best seller’s list since it was released in 1992, but this is it’s first appearance in hard cover. Hurray for me. Hurray or Sheena Lott whose art is simply gorgeous. Hurray for Ann Featherstone, editor extraordinaire, who helped to make this a special book. And, hurray to Orca Book Publishers for supporting their backlist. I’m so fortunate to have worked with all of you.

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Earring books by Andrea Spalding

Lucky me!

Friends, Andrea and David Spalding dropped by today for a delightful, although short visit. Here is the wonderful little present Andrea made for me.  ThanIMG_0326k you Andy!

As you can see, Andrea has numerous creative talents aside from writing wonderful books.  I will treasure these beautiful little earring books.  They depict the covers of my first two picture books; both of which are still in print.

Short Story Contest

2014 NIGHTLIGHT READING WRITERS CONTEST

Nightlight Reading is requesting submissions for their 2014 Nightlight Readings Short Story Writers Contest. It’s geared to at-risk boys in the 10-12 year age group who often stop reading for pleasure. Their goal is to fund and promote literature that appeals to boys and keeps them engaged and reading.

The 2014 CONTEST THEME is ADVENTURE.
MAXIMUM COUNT of 5,000 WORDS.

JUDGING
The 2014 contest entries will be pre-screened and read by a jury panel who may be scholars, librarians, teachers, and special guests who will decide on 10 semi-finalists. Then, a jury of young readers selected from our target readers will read all 10 entries and vote on the winners.

PRIZES

First Prize: $1,000 award plus certificate and publication of the story.
Second Prize: $500 award plus certificate and publication of the story.
Third Prize: $300 award plus certificate and publication of the story.
All award winners will be publicized nationally by Nightlight Reading.

RULES
Open to anyone who loves to write stories for boys, and may be a professional writer, student or budding writer.

Submissions must not have been previously published or won any other writing contest. Simultaneous submissions to other contests are acceptable.

DEADLINE
Deadline for submission for the 2014 contest is December 31, 2014 so get writing!

Enter: http://www.nightlightreading.org/contest-entry-form/

Good luck!

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