Garden Sketch Crawl: April 30th

Oh, if only I could draw. If so, I’d be joining our regional illustrator coordinator, Rebecca Evans and other illustrators this weekend for what sounds like a lovely day of sketching! In case you haven’t heard, here’s the scoop from Rebecca:

Calling all Illustrators!

Don’t miss the Garden Sketch Crawl Saturday, April 30th at 1 PM at the beautiful Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20902. Brookside Gardens includes an Aquatic Garden, Azalea Garden, Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Style Garden, Rain Garden, and the Woodland Walk.

Bring your sketch pad, favorite illustrating tools, and take in the spring gardens and camaraderie of fellow artists!

The rain date/time is May 1st at 2:00. Please register on our website.

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SCBWI: The Book

For those who might have missed Stephen Mooser’s email regarding the 2016 version of THE BOOK sent to all SCBWI members, here’s the scoop in case you’d like a copy!

Fullscreen capture 4242016 90403 AM.bmpAfter an unexpected delay with our new print-on-demand company, hard copies of our publication, The Book: The Essential Guide to Children’s Publishing, the 2016 edition, are now available. We apologize for the delay.

To get a copy simply log in to the SCBWI website, go to The Resource Library tab in the purple bar at the top of the homepage, then to THE BOOK. (Or click here.) There you will find an order form. Ingram promises to ship within 2 days. Total cost, including shipping, is approximately $10 in the US, higher outside the country.

As always, The Book is also available to download as a pdf from a link in the same area of our website.

Happy writing and drawing, everyone!


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Upcoming Events

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Just a quick post here to make sure you know about all the awesome upcoming events for our region. From our lovely co-regional advisor Kathy MacMillan:

THIS WEEKEND! Saturday, April 23 from 1-4 PM

Write-In/Sketch-In at the Perry Hall Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library, 9685 Honeygo Blvd., Perry Hall, MD 21128. You can spend the afternoon, or just drop in for a little while to work on your latest project surrounded by fellow authors and illustrators. There will be refreshments, hourly door prizes, and lots of moral support on tap! This program is co-sponsored by Baltimore County Public Library and open to all! Please register on our website by April 20.

NEW: PAL (Published and Listed) Members Veronica Bartles, Susan Detwiler, and Kathy MacMillan will be offering query letter, first page, or illustration critiques during the Write-in/Sketch-in.  The cost is $10 for a 10-minute critique.  Continue reading

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Photos from Team SCBWI Conference

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Today I’m sharing some excellent photos of our conference last month, taken by Mike Turner, who is the brother of one of our distinguished faculty guests, author Nanci Turner Stevenson. Thank you, Mike!

01allThis post comes under the heading Better Late Than Never, because our conference was a month ago already! I apologize for not posting these photos sooner. But to those of you who attended our Team SCBWI conference in Buckeystown March 19-20, you’ll enjoy seeing scenes from the event (and maybe yourself in some shot—!). To those who could not join us, here’s a peek at what went on. Continue reading

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Querying and Pitching to Publishing Professionals Webinar with Rachel Orr

The following had already been sent to all members via email by our co-regional advisors, Kathy McMillan and Sue Poduska, but the registration deadline is less than a week away, so I’m giving it another shout-out.

We hope to set up some webinars within the region. In the meantime, this one is available.

An exciting Webinar is coming up on April 26 from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM CST with agent Rachel Orr on the topic of Querying and Pitching to Publishing Professionals.

Rachel Orr of Prospect Agency will discuss query letters for all types of children’s books submissions, including picture books, novels, non-fiction and illustrations. She’ll show examples of query letters from her current clients–pointing out what caught her eye-and talk about what kind of information to avoid in query letters as well. She’ll also talk about the difference between queries and pitches, and discuss the best time in your career to start the querying process.

This event is jointly sponsored by all the SCBWI chapters in Texas–Austin, Brazos Valley, Houston, North Texas, and Southwest Texas. The webinar is $10 for SCBWI members and $35 for non-members. Members please log in to get the discounted rate. Registration for the webinar ends April 24 at 4 PM.

The best part about webinars is they can be done straight from your home computer. No driving necessary.

Here is the link to the registration page.

Wow, that’s going to be a lot of information for very little money! I’m off to register.

Happy writing and drawing!

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Happy Book Birthday, Laura Shovan!!

Major woohoos and huge congratulations to one of our own, Laura Shovan, on the release of  THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY!!

Laura Shovan’s engaging, big-hearted debut is a time capsule of one class’s poems during a transformative school year. Families change and new friendships form as these terrific kids grow up and move on in this whimsical novel-in-verse about finding your voice and making sure others hear it.

Eighteen kids,The Last Fifth Grade
one year of poems,
one school set to close.
Two yellow bulldozers
crouched outside,
ready to eat the building
in one greedy gulp.

But look out, bulldozers.
Ms. Hill’s fifth-grade class
has plans for you.
They’re going to speak up
and work together
to save their school.

Laura is a poet, children’s author, editor, and educator. She is Howard County Poetry and Literature Society’s current writer-in-residence. Laura edited Maryland Writers’ Association’s anthology Life in Me Like Grass on Fire: Love Poems and co-edited Voices Fly: An Anthology of Exercises and Poems from the Maryland State Arts Council Artists-in-Residence Program, for which she teaches. Those of you who attended our conference last month remember Laura as one of our faculty members, along with other members of The Sweet Sixteens. Not long ago she swung by the Cyber Cafe for a chat. We have an added treat today, as we have another interview with her. Continue reading

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Coffee and Conversation with Veronica Bartles, our new PAL coordinator!

Happy Friday, everyone! As mentioned in Tuesday’s post, today we have an interview with our new PAL (Published and Listed) coordinator, the lovely Veronica Bartles, as a way of welcoming her and for you to get to know her better!

Veronica_fun_frog2smVeronica Bartles is the author of the YA contemporary novel, TWELVE STEPS, and the upcoming picture book, THE PRINCESS AND THE FROGS (15 November 2016 from Balzer & Bray / Harper Collins).

Veronica is a member of the OneFour KidLit group; she’s been a mentor in Pitch Wars (both for MG and YA) for the past three years, and she hosts the #PubTalkTV Twitter Party. She’s also an incurable optimist who loves gray, drizzly days, because that’s when rainbows come to visit. Continue reading

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Goodbye and Hellos: Regional Faculty Changes

Let’s do the sad goodbyes first, shall we?

Goodbye, Sue Peters, one awesome co-RA!

Sue PetersSue Peters, THANK YOU for all the hard work you’ve done for our region since taking on the role of regional co-advisor three years ago! We truly appreciate the time you invested in order to help others reach their writing, drawing, and creative dreams. And girl, you certainly went out with a bang by helping to put on an amazing Team SCBWI conference last month! Thank you and best of luck with your future endeavors.:)

And now, let’s move on to the happy hellos! Continue reading

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Fun With Cross-Pollination in SCBWI

Today we have the pleasure of guest blogger Mike Karg, our region’s Critique Group Coordinator. Take it away, Mike!

Fun With Cross-Pollination in SCBWI

That’s us in the middle, the orange section we all memorized in Social Studies in 4th grade.

Ole Westmaryware!

From the rolling Appalachian highlands, through tangles of rivers and roads, o’er the bay, to the Atlantic sands, tis a lovely country for sure.

image1 Continue reading

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Spring into Events!

Untitled-1Hello everyone! We’ve all had a week or so since the excitement of our Team SCBWI conference, and if you’re like me, you came away pumped full of inspiration and renewed enthusiasm for doing the work we do. It’s one of the best things about conferences, I believe, that this almost always solitary endeavor of writing and illustrating for children can be shared for a few days with like-minded people talking, listening, learning and having fun. I have made tons of friends, been educated about this business, and had many positive experiences at our SCBWI conferences. I continue to be awed that this organization is so nurturing, despite the fact that creating books for children is a very competitive business.

So, what can you do to keep the level of excitement up about your craft between conferences? Continue reading

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