SCBWI-L.A. Twitter Banner Contest Winner: Illustrator Gela Kalaitzidis

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HS_Gela_2In SCBWI-L.A.’s latest Twitter Banner Contest (a bi-annual event), illustrators were asked to submit their most creative response to our prompt: EXPLORE. The winning contestant’s artwork is featured on the Los Angeles Region SCBWI Twitter Profile until the next contest with a feature article published here on Kite Tales. Illustrator Gela Kalaitzidis won! Read on to learn more about Gela, her tips and tools, and her own illustration prompt for anyone looking for some inspiration.

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Ask an Editor: Writing Accents and Using Slang

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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 do I write in an accent or use slang when it’s not the way I speak?

—Yolie, Westside

Dear Yolie – Let’s start with some definitions. Accents are “speech habits typical of the natives or residents of a region” while slang is a defined as “language peculiar to a particular group” (Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary).

ACCENTS: With accents, sparing use can be more effective. While some stories may carry an accent throughout, this works only when it’s done well and is easy for the reader to follow. Continue reading

Five Tips for Event Promotion from SCBWI-L.A. PAL Makers Mixer

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by E. L. Tenenbaum

makers-mixer-e-l-tenenbaum1 Last month, SCBWI-L.A. held its first Makers Mixer, which gave SCBWI PAL members — agented or not — a chance to pitch intellectual property to film and TV representatives. However, a major highlight of the evening came in-between pitches, when writers and illustrators chatted with fellow authors, sharing ideas, experiences, and encouragement. Here are five takeaways from the night to help promote you and your work at events.

  1. Be Display Ready

Of course, your book is coming with you to events, but can you make it stand out in the limited space you have? Continue reading

Peer2Peer Critique Day 2019: Leave Your First-Timer Worries Behind

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By Amber June Davis

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked into the Skirball Cultural Center on June 2, for my first Peer2Peer Critique Day. I’d been to critique groups and workshops over the years, but none with a professional reputation like SCBWI’s. My hands shook a little. Who would be there? Would they all be vastly more experienced than me? But I knew I was ready to take this step, and had six copies of a picture book manuscript I was proud of tucked under my arm. I pushed through the courtyard door.

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Illustrator Joie Foster on How to Stop Rushing Towards “Next” and Steamrolling Your Achievements

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By Joie Foster

You work toward a goal for ages, but when you finally achieve it, it feels like nothing more than a checkbox to be crossed off on your way to the next thing. Your sweet victory suddenly tastes so bland. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Today I’m going to share three tips to help you stop moving your creative goalposts and celebrate wins! Continue reading

Interview with Seth Fishman, Nonfiction Picture Book Author

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Maybe you’ve come across SETH FISHMAN’s award-winning book A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars. Or, perhaps you attended his Keynote Presentation at SCBWI LA’s 2018 Writers Day event. His books are rocking the nonfiction picture book world

CHRISTINE VAN ZANDT: Welcome to Kite Tales! It’s great to see a local writer doing so well. Let’s talk a bit about nonfiction picture books. In your latest book, Power Up: Your Incredible, Spectacular, Supercharged Body, you shift the focus from the amazing universe around us to the fascinating world inside our bodies. Power Up has an engaging story line and is loaded with cool facts. Do you have any advice for aspiring children’s nonfiction picture book writers? Continue reading

Author Catherine Linka on Getting an Agent: It’s All About Fit

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By Catherine Linka, author

Getting an agent is about finding the right fit, because the agent who will sell your work successfully is the person who loves to sell what you love to write. 

Agents champion books they believe in. They work unpaid until they get you a book contract.

And they are also human beings. They may love rom coms, but not horror. If you write rom coms and they love to read rom coms, they’ll be more likely to read your submission. They’ll be more likely to have sold rom coms and to know which editors are fans of rom coms. They will be more aware of the other rom coms in the marketplace.

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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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2019 Mentor Bethany Barton Has Selected Her Mentee!

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By Bethany Barton, author/illustrator

Have you ever gotten a restaurant menu where everything looks so delicious, it’s nearly impossible to decide? That’s what it felt like going through the applications for SCBWI’s 2019 Mentorship contest! Too much good stuff!

First of all, I want to thank everyone who applied. It’s not always easy to share our artwork with the world, and so many of you were willing. I feel privileged to have gotten my eyes on what you create. I was blown away by the talent on display in every one of this year’s mentorship applicants. The passion for the craft of visual storytelling for children could be seen (and often felt!) in every image that popped into my inbox and I was oh-so-inspired to see the gifts you have to offer young readers. Please keep drawing, please keep painting, please keep telling stories with your images. You must. We didn’t work together this time, but I look forward to seeing your books on shelves, hearing about your successes, and high-fiving you at SCBWI events.

And now, without further ado, I’d love to introduce the world to my mentee: Continue reading

Seven Things I Learned After Publishing My First Book

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by Helena Ku Rhee, Author

Helena with her muse Sherwin

EDITOR’S NOTE: Helena Ku Rhee grew up in Los Angeles, but has also lived in various parts of the U.S., Asia and Europe. Currently, Helena works at a movie studio by day and as a writer by night and weekends. Her debut picture book, The Turtle Ship (Lee and Low), is available now! Today, she shares seven things she learned after publishing her book and you’re going to want to learn them, too!

I’ve always loved learning about a writer’s journey — especially about the path of a debut author, with his or her very first book out in the world. Now that almost a year has gone by since the release of my debut picture book, I wanted to share seven learnings to help writers who are journeying towards their own exhilarating debut.

  1. Your dream will keep expanding and evolving.

During what I refer to as the “Rejection Years,” I used to think I’d be so happy to get just one book published. Continue reading