Monday, October 19, 2009

Sad day in Children's Lit

I don't know if anyone's heard about this yet, but I just read on Elizabeth Bluemle's Shelftalker blog that children's and young adult author, Norma Fox Mazer has passed away. You can read Elizabeth's tribute here.

I know Ms. Mazer will be sorely missed in children's litearture. I remember her as one of the first YA authors I read as a pre-teen, around the age of 11 or 12, I guess. She was an amazing author, to say the least. Among my favorite titles by her were (and I know this is going back aways): The solid gold kid, Taking Terri Mueller, and When she was good.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fabulous Friday Links :)

Hi folks!
Hope all is going well with everyone. Haven't posted much news lately (not that there hasn't been lots in the last month or two!), so I thought I'd offer up a few links/posts that you may or may not have discovered. Hope they help!

) The National Book Award Finalists have been announced! As reported by Publishers Weekly, the nominees in the Young People's Literature category are:

Deborah Heiligman, Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith (Henry Holt)
Phillip Hoose, Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Davd Small, Stitches (W.W. Norton & Co.)
Laini Taylor, Lips Touch: Three Times (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic)
Rita Williams-Garcia, Jumped (HarperTeen)

Congratulations to all!
Click here to see the complete list of nominees

I've got JUMPED in my to-be-read pile . . . just wondering, has anyone read any of the others (in the Young People's category)?

2) Yesterday, Casey McCormick over at Literary Rambles, shone the Agent Spotlight on Michael Stearns of Upstart Crow Literary.

And in case you missed it, here are a few more that were "spotlighted" these past few weeks:

Beth Fleisher, Barry Goldblatt Literary
Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, Inc.
Eddie Schneider, JABberwocky Literary Agency
Joe Monti, Barry Goldblatt Literary
Merrilee Heifetz, Senior VP, Writers House
Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio, LLC
Bill Contardi, Brandt and Hochman Literary Agents, Inc.

3) In the mood for a contest or two?
New Associate Agent Mary Kole, of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency is running a QUERY Contest at The query must be for a finished children's book manuscript (YA, MG, or picture book) and must be under 500 words. It must be either pasted in the comments field (she explains how on her blog) or emailed to her by October 31st at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time.

The prize? --- A critique of the first 30 pages of your manuscript


For the next contest, hop on over to new blogger and aspiring author Sheri Rosen's blog, The Worries and Triumphs of an Unpublished Author. Sheri's giving away a FREE, SIGNED COPY of Michael Grant's GONE. What do you have to do? Become a follower of her blog and/or refer someone to her blog. That's it! Click here for more info on this contest. Oh yes, it ends on December 1st!

AND, while you're there, check out her notes from a talk given by AnnMarie Harris, series editor at Scholastic Trade Paperback, at an Editor's Day event sponsored by the Orange County chapter of SCBWI. AnnMarie's topic: middle grade paperback series for boys & girls. Sheri took some awesome notes, folks!
Also (yeah, she's got more!), for all you aspiring historical fiction writers (myself included), be sure to check out Sheri's Editor's Day Part 2 post on a very interesting talk by Alexandria LaFayette, winner of the 2005 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction for her novel, Worth.

4) Ooooh, just remembered! Debut author Cynthia Jaynes Omololu is giving away postcards, bookmarks, & business cards celebrating her YA novel, Dirty Little Secrets (Walker, February 2010). Check it out here!
She also recently published a delightful, multicultural picture book entitled When It's Six O'Clock in San Francisco (Clarion).

5) Want the last word on Word Count for Novels and Children's Books? Peep this definitive post by Guide to Literary Agents' blog editor Chuck Sambuchino.

6) Are vampires on their way out? Check out this article on the presumed rise (or fall, depending on the story) of angels posted last month on the Publishers Weekly website!

7) Lastly, for those debut authors coming out with books in the next year or two, and even for us aspiring authors, you may want to take heed of these New Rules for Authors courtesy of Stet!, the Backspace writers' blog. I guess it's never too early to start planning . . . :)

And for a cozier, more personal take, Kristin Tubb, author of Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different (Delacorte) shared, earlier this week on her blog, Do Things Different, what she's learned in her first year as a published author.

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Hi everyone!

Well, I'm back with another "teaser" today but it's not from my middle-grade work-in-progress. No, this time it's a very brief snippet from one of 2 picture books that I'm working on. It's about a young duckling who, while out on a stroll with his family, gets separated from them as he tries to chase a rabbit.



Last in line behind his brothers and sisters, Little Duck Devin turned to see . . . a rabbit, munching on a carrot. It hopped right past him and his family. Little Duck Devin flew fast behind it.


Little Duck Devin rubbed his beak. Where DID that rabbit go?

YIKES! What was THAT he heard? Oh! It was just his stomach grumbling! He waddled on until he came to . . .


Little Duck Devin waddled and hopped, first this way, then that. But the cars and trucks zoomed right on by.

Would he ever see Mama and Molly and Holly and Tevin again?

I welcome any criticisms/suggestions/feedback as picture books are NOT my strong suit but I love the challenge of writing them anyway.

Thanks for reading, guys! :)

**Oh yes, if anyone's interested in reading the whole thing (about 5 pages), you are more than welcome. I'll swap you for another PB or a 1st chapter of your MG. Just shoot me an email! :)