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!


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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The LitMingle Minute: Santa Clarita Writers



By Cindy Kobler and Mia Turner

Mia Turner and Cindy Marcus have taken over leadership of the Santa Clarita chapter of SCBWI, after Laurisa White Reyes and Mary Cerny stepped down. Laurisa and Mary are a hard act to follow–both warm and supportive advocates for all things writing–but Mia and Cindy will do their best. Continue reading

SCBWI Central Coast Regional News, Second Quarter 2017


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By Ann Rousseau Smith, SCBWI CenCal News Liaison

Congratulations to our 2017 Mentees:

Julie Dillemuth – Picture Book

Karen Jordan – Poetry Collection

Mentor Lee Wardlaw

Our 2017 mentor Lee Wardlaw, award-winning author of 30 books for children and young adults, will communicate with both Julie Dillemuth and Karen Jordan a minimum of twice a month, beginning April 1, 2017. Lee Wardlaw will provide feedback on one complete manuscript, plus comments on revisions.

And drum roll please! The winner of the SCBWI Summer Conference Grant is… Continue reading

How to Prep for a Summer Con


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I went to Wonder Con this year and it was the messy, funny, crowd-filled, creative mish-mosh that it always is. I also realized that as I get a little older, enjoying a convention, or “con,” requires a bit more preparation. But cons are great places to network with other authors, illustrators, editors, and publishers, not to mention the kid lit audience, so they’re worth it. Since there are several more cons and festivals coming up this year in our area, I thought a little “How to Prep for a Summer Con” guide might be in order. The more you know about what you’re getting into, the less intimidating it will be and the less you’ll feel like a grumpy-gus shaking your fist at those darn kids to get off your con-lawn. Continue reading

SCBWI SoCal Regional News, 2nd Quarter 2017


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By CenCal Regional Team

Tahquitz Pines Retreat Center

Spring Retreat

It’s spring in the SoCal region and our Spring Retreat: Finding Gold is coming up soon! We have a few spots left for the perfect writer’s getaway at the Tahquitz Pines Retreat Center nestled in the beautiful Idyllwild mountains. Come join us May 5-7, 2017 as we seek to “find gold” in our manuscripts during this intensive revision weekend. Designed for Middle Grade and Young Adult authors, the retreat will include writing time, revision time, and roundtable critiques in an intimate setting with an editor or an agent, an author, and a few of your colleagues. Staff in Attendance: Kate Sullivan, Delacorte Press; Erin Young, Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret LLC; Estelle Laure, YA author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back; Steve Bramucci, MG author of The Danger Gang & the Pirates of Borneo!  Hope to see you there! Register here. And read on for more awesome events you won’t want to miss!

Estelle Laure

Kate Sullivan







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