Attending the Annual Summer Conference For the First Time as a PAL Member

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by Karol Ruth Silverstein

With my debut YA novel Cursed on bookstore shelves, there was no way I was going to miss SCBWI Annual Summer Conference this year. Attending as a published author for the first time was definitely a different experience.SummerCon'19-LA Region GroupKarolRuthSilverstein

Here are my 5 takeaways: Continue reading

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Four Reasons Why Cons Are Not Cons

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by R. S. Mellette

LA Comic Con 2018 -6As we prepare for the Los Angeles Comic Con on October 11-13, I’m hearing from some PAL members, “But I don’t write science fiction…”

So?

Last year for the first time, I organized the SCBWI PAL booth at the Los Angeles Comic Con. I had no idea what to expect. The adventure started with a mass of people RUNNING through the aisles. They were not going to see a film star. They were not going to be the first to watch a new Marvel movie trailer. They were going to buy clothes – Hot Topic was having a doorbuster sale. That’s when I realized, this weekend wasn’t going to be what I expected. Continue reading

What Cassandra Federman Wants You to Know About Writing and Illustrating Your First Book

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author-shot.jpgAuthor/illustrator Cassandra Federman was born and raised in Massachusetts, where she spent her childhood reading comic books, playing action figures, drawing superheroes, and participating in all things nerdy (before that became cool). She is also the SCBWI Los Angeles 2017 Mentorship Contest winner. Her book This is a Sea Cow hits shelves on September 1, 2019. Today she’s here to share some of her recent experiences and takeaways on her path to becoming published.

SARAH PARKER-LEE: What things do you wish you’d known/learned before you started this new chapter of illustrating? Continue reading

Toot Your Horn!

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TOOT HORNSCBWI 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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Editor Joanna Cárdenas on the Importance of Community for Creators

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wwr2019_JoannaCardenasKokila Editor Joanna Cárdenas is on faculty for this year’s SCBWI-L.A. Working Writers Retreat (WWR). She has worked on critically-acclaimed award-winning books such as The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez and The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya. Prior to joining Kokila at the launch of the Penguin Random House imprint last year, she was an editor at Viking Children’s Books.

Joanna is also on the steering committee for Latinx in Publishing, a nonprofit organization that promotes literature by, for, and about Latino/a/x people, and is a co-founder of the Representation Matters Mentor Program for aspiring editors of color. She’s here today to share her advice for authors, talk about Kokila, and tell us about what she’d like to see in her inbox.

Farrha Khan: We’re excited to have you at this year’s Working Writer’s Retreat! As an editor, what are you hoping to accomplish at these kinds of events? And what are you excited to see or learn?  Continue reading

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!

 

Joan Bransfield Graham’s poem Nurse: Healing Hand was featured in Lee Bennett Hopkins’ I Am Someone Else: Poems About Pretending, which debuted July 2. Kirkus called her poem a “standout.” Continue reading

#KT250 Winning Entries, 3rd Quarter 2019

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#KT250 is a Kite Tales quarterly community contest! We’re proud to announce this quarter’s winners and share the first 250 words of their unpublished manuscripts. We encourage agents, publishers, and mentors to reach out to any they find intriguing!

To find out how YOU can enter for next quarter, check out contest info hereEntries are now being accepted for next quarter!

GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Continue reading

Agent Laurel Symonds on the Creativity, Business, and Work-Life Balance of Kid Lit

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Agent Laurel Symonds began her publishing career in the editorial department of HarperCollins Children’s Books/Katherine Tegen Books in New York City and joined the Bent Agency in 2018. She’s also had positions in the marketing department at a small publishing house, in a library, and as a bookseller at one of the nation’s best independent bookstores. She’s looking for authors and illustrators from across the picture book-YA spectrum, especially underrepresented stories and voices. And! …She’s here to share some of all this kid lit wisdom she’s gathered before she sits on faculty for this year’s Working Writers Retreat.

SARAH PARKER-LEE: Your decades’ worth of experience with marketing, editing, bookselling, and publishing gives you a lot of insight into both the creative and business sides of kid lit. We can’t wait to learn from you at the retreat! What is one thing from each side you think authors and illustrators should know but often don’t? Continue reading

Interview with Best-Selling Middle Grade Author Robert Beatty

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Robert Beatty is the successful author of the New York Times best-selling Serafina series and of Willa of the Wood. His fourth Serafina book, Serafina and the Seven Stars (Disney-Hyperion) was released on July 9, 2019. I met up with him when he stopped in Los Angeles for the opening-day book event at the Grove’s Barnes & Noble.

CHRISTINE VAN ZANDT: Welcome to LA! Serafina and Willa are some of my favorite middle grade characters. Your books spin fantasy and historical fiction together seamlessly. Much of Serafina takes place at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, and includes real-life characters such as the Vanderbilts. How did you choose this location?

Continue reading

Here are the Winners of the Fiercely Competitive 2019 Sue Alexander Grant!

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By Karol Ruth Silverstein, SCBWI-L.A. Contest Coordinator

SAG_WinnerThe 2019 Sue Alexander Grant drew nearly 60 manuscripts, making the anonymous judges’ decisions all the more difficult. In fact, in the final scoring, the winning manuscript edged out the runner-up by a single point!

We’re thrilled to announce this year’s winner: Continue reading