Have a topic you’d like to share with your fellow kidlit community? Want to share your process and inspire other writers or illustrators? Or maybe you have a list of incredible authors you’d like to interview but no idea where you can publish it? Let Kite Tales be your outlet for creative community and discussion!Continue reading
by Cheryl Manning
The SCBWI Los Angeles region offers a plethora of events and contests for writers and illustrators throughout the year. I’ve been inspired and enlightened by many of them, but the Mentorship Contest stands out. Here are six reasons why my mentorship was so meaningful.
1. Favorite New Author
I was writing a middle grade novel and therefore reading mostly books in that genre. When I found out that YA author Catherine Linka had chosen to mentor me, I purchased her novels A Girl Called Fearless and A Girl Undone. Instead of prepping my manuscript to send off, I began reading Catherine’s first book and was sucked into Avie’s story of survival in search of freedom. Within one chapter, Catherine’s storytelling skills and authentic dialog had me hooked. By the end of her second book, I knew that I was the luckiest mentee on the planet. When I found out that her newest novel, What I Want You to See, was about to launch, I knew I’d be the first in line.
2. Memorable First Words
By Cheryl Bommarito Klein and Kara B. Wilson
Editor’s Note: Cheryl and Kara, who are in the same critique group, both won manuscript awards at this year’s Los Angeles Writers & Illustrators Day. I asked them to share their critique-group-secrets with us because they are definitely doing it right!
We all want the kind of support that keeps us motivated to create and improve our craft. For us, a well-organized critique group was exactly what we needed! Here are four tips we have learned over the last year that will help you to enhance or build the kind of group that fits you as illustrators/authors. Continue reading
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
By CenCal Regional Team
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!
We asked attendees at Los Angeles Writers & Illustrators Day 2017 what the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators community means to them. From critique groups and partners on the journey to publishing to new lunch-friends and small-world connections, the day was full of smiles, introductions, and proof that a gaggle of introverts can build a thriving, dynamic community. As it turns out, we’re all just a big bunch of super supportive people who can’t get enough of each other! Here are just some of the things we heard: Continue reading
Melissa Manlove is an editor at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. Her acquisitions tend to be all ages in nonfiction; ages 0-8 for fiction. She’s also a keynote speaker, a breakout session speaker, manuscript critique faculty, and an illustration contest judge for the Los Angeles SCBWI Writers & Illustrators Day, coming on February 25th, 2017. When acquiring, Melissa looks for fresh takes on familiar topics as well as the new and unusual. An effective approach and strong, graceful writing are important to her. She also has 17 years of children’s bookselling experience and is currently on staff at Book Passage.
Sarah Parker-Lee: Your workshop intensive for the SCBWI Los Angeles Writer’s and Illustrator’s Day event, “What We Say Without Saying: Developing Voice in the Text and Art of Picture Books,” is for authors and illustrators. “Voice” is so often associated with text. What does it mean for illustrations? Do authors and illustrators find one voice together, or a way to intertwine their individual voices?
Melissa Manlove: Voice is a lot of things at once, but style and point of view are a couple of the biggest parts, whether you’re talking about text or art. Artists can make a lot of decisions that will make an impact on readers without them being very aware of it—choices that are ‘show not tell’ in the art, like palette, texture, composition—and decisions that ought to be deliberately calculated to communicate what’s most important about the book they’re illustrating; to evoke emotion, to tell a story.
Authors and artists always have separate voices, but when they are both working towards the same (or complimentary) narrative goals, they achieve a harmony that makes them feel like two halves of the same whole. Continue reading
I’ve never written a book proposal and I don’t have an agent, but I’m the author of more than a dozen non-fiction books for kids. How did I do it? I’m a writer for hire!
Many publishers create certain series, concepts, or titles “in house,” but they often need help doing the dirty work – you know, the writing part of it. So they’ll bring in freelancers who can bring their ideas to life. I’m one of those freelancers. Continue reading