Sometimes doing a good thing, even a very good thing, is not necessarily the best thing for us. It’s hard to know when boundaries need to be placed, when risks need to be taken, when the unknown is better for us than the relative safety of routine. It’s hard to change. But as writers and illustrators, we must be protective of our time, our creative mental space, and recognize when a good thing, even a very good thing, could be getting in the way. Continue reading
By Karol Ruth Silverstein, SCBWI-L.A. Contest Coordinator
SCBWI-L.A. PAL member Bethany Barton is the 2019 Mentor! This year’s mentorship contest is for illustrators and author/illustrators and we’ll be accepting applications from February 15 through March 22.
To encourage applicants, we thought we’d check in with last year’s mentees, Monica Mancillas and Jennifer Fitzgerald, to see how their mentorship experience went.
KAROL RUTH SILVERSTEIN: What did you hope to get out of the mentorship when you first applied?
JENNIFER FITZGERALD: I am just starting out writing for children, so initially I was looking for guidance in getting started. My biggest issue is time management. I’m a business owner and a parent, which means time to sit and think can be at a minimum. I needed someone to be accountable to, someone who I could trust to send me an email out of nowhere saying, “How’s it going? What are you working on right now? Send me something.” It made making time to write more real to me and I really needed that. Continue reading
By Sherry Shahan
I was clueless about children’s books when I signed up for a writer’s workshop years ago with the prolific Elizabeth Van Steenwyk. Her credits: Seventy-five fiction and nonfiction titles. Impressive. But what struck me most was her generosity.
After reading my WIP, Elizabeth offered to send it to her editor at a school book-fair publisher. Willowisp Press became home for my first six middle-grade novels.
When our SCBWI region began discussing a mentorship program, I knew I wanted to be involved. Continue reading
Each year, the Sue Alexander Service and Encouragement Award is presented to a regional volunteer who has shown exceptional dedication to SCBWI Los Angeles. This year’s winner, Karol Ruth Silverstein, credits her time volunteering as Schmooze/LitMingle Meister with signing with an agent and subsequently selling a book. She’s since moved on to be our Contest Coordinator and is so dedicated, she was just featured in our previous “Volunteer Spotlight” (here). So instead of the usual spotlight fare, I thought we’d do something a little different and ask Karol some fun questions.
SARAH PARKER-LEE: If you could volunteer for anything you wanted to, other than SCBWI, what would you choose? Continue reading
Most folks in kid lit were big readers, and writers, as soon as they could string together sentences, myself included. But literacy among children isn’t a given. Kids’ book sales have been rising, which is great news, but there are still huge populations of kids who are underserved and overlooked when it comes to literacy. And that isn’t just bad for kid lit sales, it’s bad for society at large. According to the NEA, “…poor reading skills correlate heavily with lack of employment, lower wages, and fewer opportunities for advancement…And deficient readers are less likely to become active in civic and cultural life, most notably in volunteerism and voting.” Nobody wants that! So I decided to do something about it, and there’s an easy, fun way that you can too: Continue reading