Congratulations and a mighty woo-HOO to our Jack Reid Scholarship winners for the upcoming From Dreaming to Doing Annual Conference on March 18-19, 2017! In memory of longtime volunteer Jack Reid, the MD/DE/WV SCBWI Region offers two scholarships, one for a writer and one for an illustrator, to the March conference. Thank you to our judges: Rebecca Evans, Juliana Jones, Lisa McShane, Laura Shovan, Chieu Anh Urban, and Tim Young.
Today we’re highlighting Kirsten Traynor, winner of the author division. Here’s an excerpt of her winning entry:
Leaving Home: How Honey Bees Swarm
Henrietta zips out into the fresh air on her first-ever flight outside. Up until today, she’s only worked inside the hive cleaning cells, feeding her baby sisters along with the new queen, and storing nectar brought in by her foraging sisters. She flies up in an expanding spiral. Looking down at the world below, she sees her home. She draws a map of the important landmarks in her mind to help her navigate.
Enough for today.
She buzzes in the entrance. Tomorrow on her first flight as a forager bee she will sip on flowers.
The next morning Henrietta scrambles through the crowd, ready to hunt for nectar-rich flowers. But another bee bumps into Henrietta, presses herself against Henrietta, and vibrates her wing muscles.
A high pitch mrrrmmmmm, mrrrmmmmmmmeeep rings out, like the revving engine of a race car. It’s her sister Melanie.
Start your engines, her movement says. Get ready to go. We need to find a new home.
Bio for Dr. Kirsten S. Traynor:
Originally an English major, Kirsten won a honey bee hive in a raffle shortly after graduating from college. The prize forever altered the trajectory of her life. In 2006-2007, she received a German Chancellor Fellowship and with her husband drove over 50,000 miles throughout Western Europe to study the differences between European and American beekeeping. Fascinated with the social complexity of a honey bee hive, she earned her PhD in biology from Arizona State University. While a grad student, she spent almost a year in Avignon, France investigating how bees communicate with chemical signals as a Fulbright Fellow. She currently studies how pesticides impact honey bee health at the University of Maryland. Throughout it all, she has continued to scribble away, making time to write whenever she isn’t in the field or lab. She’s a member of the SciLighters, on online critique group where participants focus on writing children’s nonfiction books and articles about science and nature.
Again, congratulations, Kirsten!
And if you are interested in attending the March 18-19th From Dreaming to Doing Conference, be sure to visit our website for more information! Registration is now open as well as critique submissions. Get those bad boys in early!
And as always, happy writing and drawing!