Sea Feather, Submissions, Save the Date, and Something to think about!

Happy Friday, everyone!  Here’s this week’s . . .


Congratulations and a mighty woo-HOO to Lois Szymanski, for the recent release of THE TRUE STORY OF SEA FEATHER!

A family travels to Chincoteague Island, Virginia, to see the annual wild pony penning auction.  One daughter has saved her money and hopes to buy a pony.  Events transpire unexpectedly and end happily.  She learns that in life, you get what you give.

Fiction for readers ages 8 to 12     ISBN: 9780764336096 

Last Saturday, Lois had a book signing at Constellation Books . . .


A ghost mystery on the Eastern Shore – When Will’s grandfather dies, his old houseboat comes to the family marina on Kent Narrows, Maryland. Dad is angry at the condition of the boat and the fact that his father has squandered away his jewel collection but Will finds more than memories onboard the houseboat. What he uncovers is surprising proof of the depth of Grandfathers secret. 

Fiction for readers ages 8 to 12    ISBN-10: 0764335359

I went with fellow regional members Lona Queen and Susan Mannix to see Lois signing . . .

. . . get my copies of . . .

And to take a few random shots!  Here’s Lois with Susan Mannix:

Signing for some excited readers:

And with me!

Congratulations, Lois, and best of luck with THE TRUE STORY OF SEA FEATHER!  🙂


Last week, Arlene Finocchiaro left a great question in the comments section:

    I am inquiring as to any specific SCBWI guidelines for agents/publishers who require email submissions.  How do you know if your submission is received and not considered spam?  What information may be different as to the format of the query, i.e., date, whole address of agent?  Do attach a picture book manuscript of 2 to 3 pages or include it as following the query?  I have read some recommendations on line but would like some input from anyone who has emailed submissions.

Here’s what editor Beth Potter at Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers advises:

    I don’t think there are necessarily any industry-wide standards—every agent has their own and if they require email submissions they should have guidelines on their website. That said, I think common sense says: 1) There’s no way to know your submission is received, and you will irritate agents and editors if you write them AGAIN to check on whether they got your first email. If you haven’t heard back by the time the agent says to expect to hear by (assuming they have this on their website), you can status query (or just send query again explaining that you haven’t heard back), but wait till then. 2) You don’t need to put the date or the snail-mail address of the agent. If you want to put your own snail-mail address I’d put it at the bottom, under your signature, not at the top. 3) This really depends—some people are leery of attachments and some prefer them… if it’s short, probably safe to put it in the body of the email.

Regional Advisor Edie Hemingway adds:

    If they require email submissions, I wouldn’t worry too much about the mail going to spam.  They must have someone checking spam as well as regular mailboxes if this is their policy.  I do know some people do not want attachments and want everything included in the body of the email.  But again–everyone is different.

One thing that is a no-no is requesting a delivery receipt or read receipt to your email submission.  Also, for those going to the March 12th conference, faculty members will be providing specific submission guidelines for the presenting editors and agent. 

Good luck with your submission, Arlene, and let us know if you have any other questions!


Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the next ABC Event on February 28 at 7:00 p.m. featuring Pam Smallcomb at the B’nai Shalom of Olney! 

Pam is the author of several middle grade novels including The Last Burp of Mac McGerp and The Trimoni Twins and the Sunken Treasure.  Pam has two new 2011 picture books:  The recently released I’m Not, which has received a coveted starred Kirkus review and was one of Amazon’s January Picks, and the upcoming Earth to Clunk. Join us as Pam discusses writing humorous books for kids, what she has learned about picture books, and how to stay flexible and motivated in today’s challenging marketplace.

Hope to see you all there!


I saw this quote on a children’s writer’s listserv:

    “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” ~ Richard Bach

Now that’s a good one!

Have a great weekend! 🙂

Laura Bowers


About Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger/vlogger at Write, Run, Rejoice and Joyful Miles, mom of two college boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She clearly likes run-on sentences and adverbs. She also still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that.
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One Response to Sea Feather, Submissions, Save the Date, and Something to think about!

  1. Laura, Thank you for sharing my news! It was so good to see you that day and to see that people came out, even in the fog and pouring rain! Thanks for that and for posting the photos! You’re a GEM! Lois

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