An Interview with Karen Jameson, Picture Book Author

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by Ann Rousseau Smith, SCBWI CenCal News Liaison

Karen Jameson is the author of Moon Babies, illustrated by Amy Hevron (Putnam, 2019). Her most recent book is Woodland Dreams, illustrated by Marc Boutavant (Chronicle, 2020). More stories are in the works. She was awarded the Sue Alexander Grant for the Working Writers Retreat (SCBWI-L.A.) for her lyrical picture book Woodland Dreams. Karen has retired from teaching to write full-time. She took a moment to answer some questions for the Kite Tales blog.

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Ask an Editor: Critique Groups Today

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“Ask an Editor” is a forum wherein SCBWI members submit questions that are answered as part of our quarterly Kite Tales blog.

Hello Christine – I think I’m ready to join a critique/workshop group. How do they work now that we can no longer meet in person, and how do I know someone won’t steal my ideas? Thanks.

—Maggie, Los Angeles

Hello Maggie – The information in my June 20, 2018 post with tips for finding a critique group through reputable sources such as SCBWI remains valid. Before the pandemic, critique groups revolved around WHO (writer’s category or genre) and WHEN/WHERE (time and location of meeting). Let’s take a look at what’s happening now. Continue reading

#KTWriteOn with Agent and Author Eric Smith: Take It One Page at a Time

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Welcome to the Kite Tales Writing Challenge: #KTWriteOn. Each writing challenge is crafted by a kid-lit publishing professional to help spark ideas, renew creative energy, and get your work moving out into the world.

This exercise was created by Eric Smith, a Young Adult author and literary agent with P.S. Literary living in Philadelphia. His latest novel, Don’t Read the Comments, was published by Inkyard Press in January 2020, and was a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee. His upcoming books include You Can Go Your Own Way (Inkyard Press, November 2021), and the anthology Battle of the Bands co-edited with Lauren Gibaldi (Candlewick, September 2021). Today he’s sharing some wisdom with us on how to be present for our own work regardless of what’s going on around us.

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Give Your Writing Process a Boost with These 8 Tips from SCBWI-L.A. Regional Team

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Now that 2020 is, thankfully, behind us and we’re all making plans for the coming year as best we can, we hope you are looking ahead at 2021 with renewed energy. With that in mind, our mighty Regional Team has provided their favorite writing process and productivity tips to help shake off the holiday season and give us a boost for whatever project we’re tackling.

Here are our Regional Team’s writing process tips:

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10 Inspiring Kite Tales Quotes from 2020

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Photo by Tairon Fernandez on Pexels.com

As the year draws to a close, it’s always a good time to go back and reflect on the things that have moved and inspired us along the way. Especially in trying times, going back to the moments that brought light into our world can help us continue to be inspired and come up with new ideas that might not have occurred to us before.

Creating may have been tough for most of us this year, but we had many encouraging authors, editors, agents, and illustrators sharing with us their insights on how to keep going when the times get tough. Sometimes the reassurance that giving ourselves a break was indeed what was needed. And sometimes we just needed to let our stories come out on the page.

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#KTIllustrates Deadline Extended: Let’s Stir Up The Imagination!

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So much has been happening in the world in the last few months that it might feel like we haven’t yet caught a break. A day of rest might seem like a luxury of the past or we might be struggling to generate ideas with the constant stream of worries swirling around in our heads.

With this in mind, we’re going to give ourselves some time to rest and extend the deadline for our #KTIllustrates contest to February 5, 2021. 

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Interview with Best-Selling Author, Ann Whitford Paul

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Ann Whitford Paul is the New York Times best-selling author of the picture book series If Animals Kissed Good Night and of the definitive children’s picture book writers’ reference book, Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication. She was kind enough to chat with us and share how her series got started, what’s next for her, her advice for other writers, and more

CHRISTINE VAN ZANDT: Welcome to Kite Tales! With over twenty children’s books published, there’s so much to talk about, but your If Animals Kissed Good Night series is a favorite of mine. The fifth book in the series, If Animals Gave Thanks (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), is out in time for the holidays. How did this series get started?

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Toot Your Horn!

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SCBWI members’ publishing news is something to celebrate here at Kite Tales! Check out whose book is coming to a platform near you or around the world. Horn-tooting and digital hi-fives welcome in the comments!

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