Book Release and some Coffee and Conversation with Laura Gehl

Congratulations and major woo-hoo’s to Maryland author Laura Gehl on the August 9th release of her latest book, Peep and Egg: I’m not Trick-or-treating!


“Peep is so excited to go trick or treating with Egg!  But Egg is not trick or treating!  No way.  No how.  With monsters, witches, and mummies lurking around every corner, it is just too scary out there. Can Peep find a way to convince Egg that trick or treating is not so frightening with someone you love by your side?” Continue reading

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SCBWI 45th Annual Summer Conference

Today we have a special treat — notes from Sue Poduska about the just-concluded national conference in Los Angeles. Take it away, Sue!

LA Rocks!

By Sue Poduska, Co-Regional Advisor

Here are my notes from the LA conference. They’re a little choppy, but I hope they’re coherent enough to be of help. Of course, there’s nothing like being there, so I hope everyone is able to attend at some point. Continue reading

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Happy Book Birthday: Coffee and Conversation with Leona Illig!

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Favorite Illustrators/ Third Thursday #SCBWIsocial

snowflakeHello readers! I hope you’re keeping cool during these hot days of July. I am fortunate to have a studio complete with AC and don’t know what I’d do without it — there are days when it’s so humid the paper curls! It’s like drawing on a sponge.

One thing for sure about being an illustrator is that as a group we are inspired visually. If you’re like me, you love to explore and get ideas from the artwork of others. For as long as I can remember I have kept a file of my favorite illustrators; at first as clippings in a regular file cabinet folder, but now I keep a digital folder on my computer. Today I’ll share a few of my favorites with you, in no particular order. Their styles are very different from one another, but each one touches my heart and excites my eyes. All of these illustrators happen to work in traditional media. I’ll save my favorite digital artists for another day. Continue reading

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Don’t Forget about #SCBWIsocial!

Happy Summer!! We’re definitely in the throes of a typical one for the Mid-Atlantic with plenty of heat and humidity. If it all gets to be too much, let me remind you it could be worse:


There, now. Don’t you  feel better?

We’re almost halfway through July! One week to go before our second blog link up with our pals over at Eastern Penn Points! Here is a quick reminder of the rules: Continue reading

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Upcoming Events

Happy Tuesday! Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this July? I am as well as our member and SCBWI MD/DE/WV Twitter coordinator, Tracy Gold. If you are, too, be sure to let us know how you’re doing by finding us on Twitter! Here’s Tracy’s Twitter page and mine. Best of luck!


Our co-regional advisor, Kathy MacMillan also shared some member news and announcement recently that I thought I’d post here in case you didn’t see it. There’s a lot going on in the upcoming months! Continue reading

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Creating Picture Books

Well, this is the last day of June, and our theme this month has been Picture Books, so I thought I’d write about my understanding of how to create in this genre.


I joined the SCBWI in 2003, and it was the best decision I ever made to further my career in this field. There were a few things I knew then about picture books, having read and loved them my whole life, and having had a serendipitous, small success at picture book illustration at that time (The First Teddy Bear, by Helen Kay was illustrated by me and published in 1985, with a second edition in 2005). But I have learned SO MUCH since then from the editors, agents, authors, and illustrators I have met and heard speak at SCBWI conferences and other events. I still have a lot to learn! It has been a joy as well as an education, and I’ve made many friends, too.


Three things I already knew about picture books: Continue reading

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A Procrastinator’s To-Do List: How to Sap Energy and Creativity from your Writing

Hello and welcome to my new feature that gives you handy tools on how to stop your writing endeavors. The neat thing is, these can be used at any point in your career – whether you are a newbie or published author! This advice comes from years of experience. Trust me, I’m not just blowing smoke here. I know from whence I speak!

Sit back and enjoy. (Literary General’s Warning: Reading this can cause extreme nodding in agreement, which can lead to severe neck pain and/or continued procrastination as you  think of the ways you practice avoidance.)

1. Edit as you go. Set that inner critic free and let her run alongside every word, sentence, and paragraph that spills out. Allow her derisive laughter and stinging criticism to ring endlessly in your ears.costume-15816__180

2. Make lists while you write. Shopping, indoor chores, yard work, charitable donations, items to sell on eBay, Ravens’ draft picks, pitchers the Orioles should trade for, ways to procrastinate… The list is endless. Wait, there’s another one – a list of lists!

iphone-1249733__1803. Read and answer every text as they come in. This means you better have your ringer on. You don’t want to leave people waiting. Besides, you might get a phone call.

4. Keep those social media pages open. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat…they need to be just a click or phone notification away (see above advice on ringer status). Hey, how else will you keep up with the latest publication news?

5. Constantly compare your progress (or lack thereof) to others. Beat yourself over the head with those faster-than-the-speed-of-sound success stories. Rest comfortably on the laurels of those late bloomers who didn’t publish until well into middle age or beyond.

6. Insist on super stardom before you get started. Nothing stops you dead in your tracks better than the “I want to be the next J.K. Rowling/Neil Gaiman/(fill in the blank with favorite mega-author)” mantra. Particularly dangerous as this can lead to numbers 1 and 5, if you don’t entirely give up before then.

7. Read, but for heaven’s sake don’t heed, productive and sound advice. For instance, Laura’s truly winning post, How To Find Your Blogging Mojo Again | Third Thursday #SCBWIsocial. There are countless others that can be bookmarked, read, and promptly ignored.

Misery loves company, so let us know your favorite procrastination techniques in the comments below. It takes a village, right?

Happy wri— oh, never mind.


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How To Find Your Blogging Mojo Again | Third Thursday #SCBWIsocial

Hello, and welcome to our very first Third Thursday #SCBWIsocial Blog Link Up! For our part here at As The Eraser Burns, I’m using Eastern Penn Point’s monthly submission theme: The Business of Books. And since blogging is a part of many of our social media business plans, I’m sharing this for those who are trying to figure out:


Continue reading

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Announcing our Third Thursday #SCBWIsocial Blog Link Up!

Us gals here at As The Eraser Burns have been rolling up our sleeves lately, thinking of ways to breathe new life into our region’s blog and to encourage more reader participation. We have lots up our sleeves, such as Monday Motivation and a brand-new Pinterest account, (details on that coming soon,) but the thing I’m most excited about is the …

Third Thursday SCBWI Social Blog Link Up with Eastern Penn Points!

SCBWI-social-badge Continue reading

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