Ask an Editor: Submissions to Agents

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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.

Dear Editor – How many pages will I submit to an agent?

—Lim, Los Angeles

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The Power of Pen-Ultimate: 4 Critique Group Tips

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By Cheryl Bommarito Klein and Kara B. Wilson

Kara & Cheryl, 3rd from the left

Editor’s Note: Cheryl and Kara, who are in the same critique group, both won manuscript awards at this year’s Los Angeles Writers & Illustrators Day. I asked them to share their critique-group-secrets with us because they are definitely doing it right!

We all want the kind of support that keeps us motivated to create and improve our craft. For us, a well-organized critique group was exactly what we needed! Here are four tips we have learned over the last year that will help you to enhance or build the kind of group that fits you as illustrators/authors. Continue reading

SCBWI Los Angeles Launches New Critique Exchange

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By Jill Tuckman

If you missed the registration deadline for the Critiquenic, taking place Saturday at the Skirball center, fear not! We have other ways for you to find critique partners. Read on as Jill Tuckman, our webmaster, tells you all about our new and improved Critique Exchange.

Many authors and illustrators talk about how valuable their critique groups are to their careers, and I can (but won’t, fear not) go on about how helpful my critique groups have been to me. But finding a good critique group is not always easy. Continue reading

Volunteer Spotlight: Gwen Dandridge

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By Gwen Dandridge

I’m the manager of the listserv in the CenCal region.

For those of you unfamiliar with a listserv, let me explain: a listserv is a program that automatically redistributes e-mail to names on a mailing list. This allows the quick flow of information to like-minded people. On an SCBWI listserv you get information about local children’s writers’/illustrators’ events, achievements, sorrows, and joys. Continue reading

Illustrator Gallery: Emily Asaro

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By Emily Asaro

I’ve always dreamed of illustrating children’s’ books since I was little, but I didn’t quite know how to get there. After college, I was lucky enough to secure an animation production job. I love my job, but it isn’t an art job. Being surrounded by so many talented artists, it was very easy to feel self-conscious about my own work. I found myself coming home tired and creating less art. All too often I was asking myself, “Am I a real artist? Am I good enough?” Continue reading

Helena Ku Rhee: Debut Author’s Perspective

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Jessica Echeverria (editor, Lee & Low), Helena, and Colleen Kong-Savage (illustrator)

Helena Ku Rhee is the author of The Turtle Ship, a forthcoming picture book by Lee & Low (Fall 2018). Helena, trained as a lawyer, followed an uncommon path by negotiating her own book deal. She tells Kite Tales about her debut and navigating publishing without an agent. Continue reading

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 ad digital hi-fives welcome in the comments!

How the Stars came To Be, written and illustrated by Michael Bayouth, Self-Published, ages 6-10, Picture Book, ISBN: 978-0692711224, released 12/01/16. (Stars Photo)

 

 

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Great News!

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SCBWI loves celebrating our members’ successes and noteworthy news, and there are many! Read on to find out who’s got something to shout about. Digital high-fives welcome in the comments!

 

 

On April 29, 2017, Maria Alexander’s debut YA novel, Snowed, won the 2016 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel. Presenting the honor at the 2017 Bram Stoker Awards banquet were authors Gretchen McNeil (TenI’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl) and JG Faherty (Ghosts of Coronado BayThe Cure). Snowed, a paranormal mystery, was published by Raw Dog Screaming Press on November 2, 2016. Maria is repped by Alex Slater at Trident Media Group.

 

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SCBWI and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Signing Booth

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By Jacob Gerhardt

SCBWI members have a legendary reputation for being friendly and supportive. Working the SCBWI LA Times Festival of Books booth with fellow authors proved, as always, that this characterization is well deserved.

I would estimate about half the festivalgoers who stopped by our booth were interested in purchasing our books and the other half curious to learn more about the world of children’s books. We were happy to accommodate on both ends. Continue reading

Vroman’s Steve ‘Mr. Steve’ Ross Shares Lessons From Storytime

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Steve Ross (AKA Mr. Steve) doing story time at Roman's Books in Pasadena.Steve Ross has worked at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena since 1989, but chances are good that if you call the store and ask for him by his first and last name, the employee on the phone will think you have the wrong number.

That’s because Ross is known simply as Mr. Steve, as in Mr. Steve’s Storytime, a Vroman’s staple that takes over a bright corner of its voluminous children’s book section twice a week. Since taking the helm of Storytime in 1993, Ross has become a store icon whose image is captured in life-sized cardboard cutouts displayed around the store.

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