Friday, July 14, 2023
Wednesday, July 5, 2023
4 Success Stories - How a Children's Book Writing & Illustrating Conference Launched the Careers of Four Authors and Illustrators
|Illustration courtesy of Brooke-Boynton Huges|
Brooke's success didn't come from one conference. She says,
I think the most important part about attending conferences is the chance to have one-on-one portfolio critiques and the opportunity to learn about your craft. I attended six or seven international conferences and three or four regional conferences before I was published and before my portfolio was recognized in the showcase."Now her illustrations are published in books with Beach Lane, Disney Hyperion, and Random House.Author turned agent Ana Crespo met her editor, Kelly Barrales-Saylor who was then an editor with Albert Whitman and Co. (she is now an editor with Sourcebooks) during the regional Rocky Mountain SCBWI conference. Ana signed up for a manuscript critique and landed a feedback timeslot with Kelly. After listening to Kelly’s edit suggestions and taking ample notes during workshops, Ana was armed with ideas to improve her writing. Ana went home, reworked and edited her story, then queried Kelly who bought and published The Sock Thief. Ana went on to sell four books to Albert Whitman in a series called JP BOOKS, MY EMOTIONS AND ME. During another conference, she met Alvina Ling Executive Editorial Director of Little Brown Books. Alvina later published Hello Tree, illustrated by Dow Phumiruk.
I met my editor, Melissa Manlove of Chronicle Books, at an SCBWI conference, and let’s just say it involved an unofficial scavenger hunt, an Aperol Smash, and a failed pitch. But that failed pitch was part of a connection, and in the end I received a business card and an email address. A year-and-a-half later I worked on the craft points I’d learned at the conference, I worked with my critique group, I read and drafted, and then I sent a query letter about a new manuscript—here’s where I cue the drum roll and build to a frenzy—I got a YES! That’s how I sold the award-winning picture book, THE ELEPHANTS COME HOME.
Monday, July 3, 2023
What would it take to get you to the next phase of your writing or illustrating dream? A computer? A class? A conference? Something else? We Need Diverse Books and the Walter Grant offer an opportunity to help you take a step forward.
We Need Diverse Books extended the deadline to apply for the 2023 Walter Grant to July 10, 2023. If you miss the deadline, read on to get an early start for next year.
From the We Need Diverse Books website:
"The Walter Dean Myers Grant program was established to provide grants of $2,000 each to promising diverse writers and illustrators who are currently unpublished. Since 2015, we have awarded 45 grants. Current and former grantees have gone on to publish or contract over 50 books for children and teens."
2015 winner, Angie Thomas, used her award to buy a computer. She went on to write the New York Times Bestseller The Hate U Give and other award winning books. Read more about previous winners in this article by Andrea Ruggirello.
Requirements when applying - you'll include:
- a brief statement (200 words) about how you will use your grant money to further your writing career.
- a 200-word summary of the work you're submitting.
- 1 500-word essay about how diversity impacts your writing and/or illustrating career.
- a 2,500-word excerpt of your work (in the genre in which you are applying) or 4 to 6 illustration samples
Read here to learn details about submission guidelines, application process, and eligibility details.
Where to apply: Right on the webpage - read and scroll down to complete. There's a list of FAQs at the bottom of the webpage: We Need Diverse Books Walter Grant
Direct any questions to email@example.com
We Need Diverse Books™ is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.
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