SCBWI members’ publishing news is something to celebrate here atKite 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! Continue reading
by R. S. Mellette
On the last morning of the 2019 Los Angeles Comic Con, Sarah Parker-Lee saved the day. She handed out fliers to every kid in sight, begging them to attend our panel, “What Are Kids Reading? What Do You Wish We’d Write?”
Out of fifty or so invited, four kids showed up, along with a handful of adults. A fifth kid had to come because she was a friend of Andrea J. Loney, who was on the panel. The idea was, we authors would switch places with kids in the audience, to make them the panelist. If no kids showed up, I didn’t have a B-plan – so hats off to Sarah!
Once we had the bright, talkative, reading, kids on the panel, everyone knew we had to share their thoughts with Kite Tales readers. So, what are kids reading? What do they wish we’d write? Continue reading
by Jennifer Rawlings, 2019 Sue Alexander Grant Award Winner
I remember where I was sitting, red club chair in my living room, when I opened the email from SCBWI-L.A. letting me know that I had won the Sue Alexander Grant. I cried when I read the email. I was so happy that someone liked the words that I had typed in secret. I had not told anyone, not even my husband, that I was writing a YA novel.
Needless to say, he was pretty surprised when I told him I had won an award for a book he knew nothing about. Continue reading
by Jessica Chrysler
Fall brings fond memories for me. Even though I grew up in sunny Southern California, there were a few special trees in the neighborhood that would change color and drop their leaves. I’d dreamt about how endless forests of these trees would look and had read fairytales about how spirits would change the colors of the leaves. I’d wonder how they’d lived with all the other creatures in the wood, and if they would all gather into little caves, sleeping together through the long, cold winters. For a kid that never experienced the seasons, this magic seemed so real, even if just beyond my reach. But I was able to capture some of that magic when it came time for Halloween. Continue reading
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!
I Am a Thief! by Abigail Rayner, illustrated by Molly Ruttan, received a starred Kirkus review: “Hilarious and sweet, with a gentle, affirming moral.” Published by NorthSouth Books, it is now available.
By Jamie Kiffel-Alcheh
Rhymes are naturally easy for the brain to process. Their innate musicality makes their messages easier to absorb. They have a calming effect because rhymes set up an expectation and fulfill it each time a verse is completed. And kids love them.
So why are rhyming books so hard to sell?
Well, there are common pitfalls to rhyming. But there are secrets to salable rhyme, too!
The pitfall: Something rhymes just for the heck of it.
“That’s the way” and “What a day” rhyme, but if they don’t tell the story, then the rhyme is doing what I call “treading water.”
by Henry Lien
Unique story concepts are some of the rarest and most powerful tools in a writer’s arsenal. As an author, I’ve focused my career on unique concepts. For example, my Peasprout Chen series is an Asian middle grade fantasy about a boarding school that teaches a sport combining figure skating with kung fu. The New York Times described Peasprout Chen as “Hermione Granger meets Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon meets the Ice Capades meets Mean Girls.”
Below are seven exercises that I use in my own writing, as well as in courses I teach for the UCLA Extension Writers Program and Clarion West Writers Workshop, to generate original story concepts. These exercises are intended to shock your subconscious out of learned behaviors, lead you into unmapped territories of your own creativity, and help you generate story concepts that only you could have come up with. Continue reading
by R. S. Mellette
As 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…”
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
Kokila 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