Posts Tagged ‘NY12SCBWI’




The NY12SCBWI Conference-Part 3

Filed under: Conferences, SCBWI, Uncategorized

It’s Sunday.  Technically it’s Super Bowl Sunday and I’m sitting in the middle of a football party in my living room. I’m in the big chair in the corner with my lap top and a heavy-duty set of ear plugs, digging into this last conference post that took place last Sunday. I’d like to say this is dedication, but truly it’s not.  I’m *gasp* not a football die hard and I only feel compelled to even be in the living room (instead of hiding upstairs) because my kids think I should be thrilled about this spectacular sports event. I do not begrudge them the excitement and passion of the game, I feel the same emotion when I go to the “Super Bowl” of kid lit writing events.  To each his own and if you like both…more power to you.  Let’s kickoff this last conference post!



Sunday January 29th, 2012

8:30-9:00  AWARD PRESENTATION for the Tomie dePaola Award and the Art Showcase winners but first a HUGE shout-out for the staff of the SCBWI.

Feel free to stop reading and give them a little standing ovation…I’ll wait.

Now, on to the Portfolio Showcase Winner: Mike Curato

This could have easily been a picture of me standing in front of the cupcake counter at the Magnolia Bakery.  Mike obviously knows how to capture a moment!

You can check out the art from the rest of the winners on the SCBWI Conference blog and also find artwork from more of our talented illustrators on the SCBWI’s Illustrator Gallery.


9:00-9:15  SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT by Jane Yolen

I don’t know about you, but I get tingly just thinking about Jane Yolen speaking–she always captures my attention and has something fantastic to say.  This year was no exception.  The SCBWI has started the Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Grant.

Here is what Lee Wind on the SCBWI Blog had to say about it…

“Congratulations to Mary K. Whittington for winning this year’s inaugural Jane Yolen Mid-List Author grant! A published author who hasn’t had a new book come out in a while, Mary recently had a stroke, and is halfway through writing a new novel using voice recognition software. Jane calls Mary her hero, and hopes the grant helps her get that novel finished and out into the world.

And our cheers as well to Ann Whitford Paul and Barbara Diamond Golden for their honor grants.

More information about the Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Grant (and how to nominate a mid-list author you know for next year) will be forthcoming on, where you’ll find information on all the author and illustrator Grants and Awards.”

Yes…Jane Yolen is made of awesome!

9:15-10:15  PANEL: METHODS TO THE MADNESS: THE PROCESS OF MAKING PICTURE BOOKS: Featuring the Bookmakers Dozen and  moderated by Laurent Linn

Don’t hate me–I loved the Bakers Dozen, but there were just too many people for one panel.  So many, I’m not even going to list them all.  It took me the first half hour of the presentation to figure out who was who.  But I did jot down a couple gems from Peter Brown…

*If you plan on making a career in this business–you have to be an idea factory!

*You need to take the reader into account–you don’t want to make the best book ever that no one reads.

*You don’t want to be the last one to write a vampire book–you want to be the first one to write a robovamp book.  Don’t steal that.

Time to goof off a little before the next panel…Lin said to stretch.

Scott, Jodi, Kim and Sam

Allan, Justin and Scott…ready to tackle the agent panel. LOL!


Moderator (LO) Lin Oliver

(GK) Ginger Knowlton, Agent, Curtis Brown LTD.

(RB) Regina Brooks, Founder and President, Serendipity Literary Agency, LLC

(CR) Chris Richman, Agent, Upstart Crow Literary

(KW) Ken Wright, Agent, Writers House


State of the market…

(KW) Every time I make a submission, editors are asking where is this book going to go and how is the author going to get me there. The days are gone when someone can acquire a book just because they “like it.”

(GK) Exciting, Exhilarating, Exhausting

What are you looking for?

(CR) Voice…but a lot comes down to the hook.

(KW) I choose based on what I know about individual editors.

(RB) My job is to come up with ways to position the book.

(GK) Lots of debut novels being published, so agents and editors are looking for fresh voices.

(KW) YA is going to continue to trend.

On building a career author…

(GK) Nurture every connection–small community, play nice.

(CR) The more attractive you can make yourself, the more likely we are to want to work with you.  (No…not physically attractive. *head thump*)

11:30-12:30  CLOSING KEYNOTE: KEEPING YOUR FOCUS by Kathryn Erskine

I love how animated and enthusiastic Kathryn is!






Here’s the best of each category…


*Create whenever you can.

*Free yourself from the guilt that you’re taking time away from other people.

*Free yourself from self-doubt. Do you remember what books got awards when you were 15? No–you remember what books moved you.

*Whenever you think about hanging it up–remember there is a kid out there who needs you.


*Organize your workspace.

*Organize your MS–Scrivener.  (I’m a personal fan.)


*To be creative you really have to take care of yourself.

*Being creative is hard, sublime, ridiculous.

*You’ve got to do what works for you.


*What do you want to say?

*Understand your audience–how to relate you your readers.


*At some point you have to let your “baby” out into the world, but have it ready.  Taking some time to do it right is worth it.

*Published of now, take some time to connect with your readers NOW.


*You know your passion–that’s why you’re here.

*talent plus determination.

*Books save us.


1:00-3:00 AUTOGRAPH PARTY!!!!!!

Chris Crutcher and Me!!!!

Making a cyber friend into a real life friend.  Cindy Rodriguez and Me.  And yes, I have on my TEAM WOLF PACK T-shirt!!!!

Class of 2k12 love–Me and Lynda Mullaly Hunt.

Kim and Kathryn Erskine–totally LOVE her!!!!

Kathryn Erskine signed one special for my Fishkill Frogs!

Me and my best buddy, Jodi Moore–author of WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN. *love*

Me and the love triangle queen, Cassandra Clare.

Cheryl Klein is AWESOME!!! That’s all I have to say. *grin*

Lin Oliver signing for my boys who ADORE her books!!!!!!

The perfect end to a perfect weekend. (Magnolia Bakery)

Hope you enjoyed my virtual tour of the NY SCBWI Conference.  Next I’ll be heading to the Eastern PA 20th Annual Pocono Mountain Retreat, where I’ll be spending the weekend with…drum roll…Laurie Halse Anderson. *SQUEE*  If you’re not too far away, think about signing up, I’d love to hang out with you.

Any conferences in your future?  Tell me where you’re heading–I always love to hear about your writing adventures and I’d love to read about what you’ve learned along the way. Were you at NY?  What was your highlight? And who won that Super Bowl?  And were you watching?

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The NY12SCBWI Conference-Part 2

Filed under: Conferences, SCBWI, Uncategorized

One of my favorite parts of the conference is Lin Oliver‘s stats and joke during the welcome.

I’ve come to look forward to them. So with out much ado…the 13th Annual New York Conference stats…

*1,148 people in attendance (a sold out show)
*301 were published authors and the remainder are pre-published because that’s how we role in the SCBWI
*392 were women, 56 were men and 700 were UNKNOWN. I met a few of the 700 and they were confused but very nice.
*There were 867 writers in the house and 485 illustrators
*19 different countries were in attendance, including Aruba and Jamaica. Yes, you are correct if you guessed that Lin was singing.
*We also had 49 out of 50 States in attendance but because South Dakota actually showed up this year, Lin was stumped as to who was dissing us.

You have to have the right kind of person to follow Lin Oliver and we were not disappointed.


Here are some of my best walk-aways…

*If you want to make life important…shorten it.

*The language of grief, the language of hard times–they need to be told in their native tongue.

*We tend to write for the censors instead of the people who are reading our books.

*The truth you know is the one that will get you published.

*Jesus had an older brother named Esus! Who knew? Chris’ older brother, that’s who. Bwahhhh!!!!


Moderator: (LO) Lin Oliver
(RP) Ruben Pfeffer, Agent, East West Literary Agency
(BM) Barbara Markus, Strategic Innovations Advisor
(JF) Jean Feiwel, Senior Vice President and Publishing Director, Feiwel and Friends (MacMillan)
(NP) Nancy Paulsen, President and Publisher, Nancy Paulsen Books, (Penguin)

Question: Significant changes in publishing? (LO)

*(RP) Much more energized and commercial publishing going on.

*(BM) We have bestseller hardcover children’s books that sell better than adult books.

*(JF) The closing of Boarders the changes in Amazon, self-publishing etc…

*(NP) Social Media. Remember, you can use it to help support local bookstores.

Question: How do you characterize the market? (LO)

*(JF) In the last 10 years you could publish just about anything. The market has forced a correction–in order to be effective you need to know your core strengths.

*(RP) Because we publish fewer titles, we have to publish titles better.


Yes!!!! It’s Henry Winkler!!!! *heart squish*

Henry is dyslexic and he was wonderfully funny and thoughtful in his speech but I simply can’t capture his talk effectively, but I would like to add this link to a recent interview he did about his dyslexia. Henry Winkler on The Doctors.

11:15-12:45 1ST PRE-ASSIGNED BREAKOUT SESSION—YOUNG ADULT FICTION with Tara Weikum, Executive Editor, Harper Collins

Tara gave a brief history of YA and some thoughts on it…

* The OUTSIDERS–wasn’t the first book for teens but it was the book that made people stand up and take notice.

*Printz Award launched in 2000

*YA is in a major state of flux. Editors ask themselves–What is different about this book from the others I have read? Do I LOVE this book?

*Teens want to read about what is important and relevant to them.

*Voice is different for every editor.


*Forbidden love
-By Family
-By Society
-Because it’s unsuitable or dangerous

*Love Triangles
-Epic love vs Indecision

*The kind of love story that is fun to live is not fun to read about.

3:15-4:15 2ND PRE-ASSIGNED BREAKOUT SESSION–REVISION with Cheryl Klein, Executive Editor, Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic)


*Revision requires courage and love–be kind to yourself.

*Take the truth and put it in a story that makes money. (the best of both worlds)

*It’s much more exciting to be in the action than talking about the action that is coming up.

*Write a synopsis from the enemy’s point of view–to show balance.

*SAID is transparent, it disappears–the other tags don’t.

*Keep a copy of everything

*Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

4:30-5:30 3RD PRE-ASIGNED BREAKOUT SESSION–THE NOVEL with Wendy Loggia, Executive Editor, Delacorte Press

*Take the familiar and raft a narrative that makes me see things in a new light

*If you have a clear sense of what you want to do–it shows in your writing.

*There has to be a consumer for your book.

*Keep your reader hooked.

*If something doesn’t feel natural to you–don’t write it.

*Be aware of trends, but if you’re writing to a trend it’s too late.

I also have to mention that Wendy gave a huge shout out to my fellow Apoclaypsie Lissa Price and her up-coming debut novel STARTERS.  Of course I was *squeeing* like mad–out loud when she was talking about Lissa’s book!!!  And it gets better…Wendy gave me the ARC she was reading from!!!!!  I started it on the train and LOVE it!!!!  Contest coming soon!!!! Thank you Wendy and Lissa!!!!!

And don’t think you can sit down now–it’s off to the Gala where they had *drum roll* a mashed potato bar with toppings!!!  If I hadn’t died and gone to heaven, I would have taken a picture. But here are a couple shots from the night.

Kim and Greg Fishbone-Founder of the Class of 2k7

Kim and Lynda Hunt MullalyClass of 2k12

And of course, long after the Gala was over, I was still talking to old friends and making new ones in the lobby…


Hanging with my Simon Pulse peeps–Hannah Moskowitz, Kim and Michael Strother. <3

Yes, that is Chris Crutcher hanging out with us!!!!!  Life is good.

I’ll be back on Monday with the final installment from the conference, but in the meantime, have a great weekend!

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The NY12SCBWI Conference-Part 1

Filed under: Conferences, SCBWI, Uncategorized

I’m going to start my conference blog a little unusually. I’m going to begin with John Green and his newest YA novel THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. I’d decided that I wanted to read this on audiobook and I’m so glad that I did. The voices–they brought one of the most beautiful stories to life that I have ever read. Now I bet your asking what this book has to do with the conference. Well, I was five chapters from the end when I boarded the train to head to the city for the Marketing Intensives. I knew it was foolish to try to finish this book in such a public place but I couldn’t stop myself.


Yes, I cried on the train–no–that’s a lie. I sobbed on the train. I frightened the conductor. I tried to pass it off as the side effects of the cold that I had, but when the train stopped and I stood up to gather my things, I saw a writer friend sitting a few rows over. Seeing that one friendly face was my undoing. I put up a finger and and tried to explain, with tears running down my cheeks, how I was forever changed because I had read a book.

Yes, the regular commuters exited the train briskly, mouths gaping–glad I only ride the morning train once in a blue moon. But I’m not ashamed. It was that kind of book and I don’t think that there is a better way to kick off a conference than to walk into it with you heart open and your soul bared. I can’t really write a review of this book, because the truth is I’m not that good of a writer. It will take me a lifetime and many rereads to this story to be able to adequately express what it means to me. So, for now, I shall simply say…thank you John Green.

No longer slobbering, friend in tow, I was happy to easily navigate my arrival tasks of checking in, registering and eating a bagel slathered in cream cheese.  I also got a chance to hook up with a few old friends and meet a new one before kicking off the Marketing Intensives.  I’m going to share some of best nuggets of the day with you…


(SD) Sarah Dickman, Senior Account Executive,

(SR) Susan Raab, President, Raab Associates, Inc

(DS) Deb Shapiro, Founder, Deb Shapiro & Co.

*Once you have a clear sense of what you bring to the table, the better able the publisher is at working with you in marketing. (DS)

*If you have to choose between a website and Facebook, pick FB because you already have 850 million users at your disposal. (SD)

*Think in terms of stages and move forward from where YOU are. (SR)

*How do you quantify the money you spend on marketing? You have to look at it long term, but even then, it’s hard to say. (DS)

*Kids will notice if you are disingenuous with them. Don’t try to fake who you are. (DS)

*Have on page as an author–You are your brand! (SR)

*It’s important to communicate with your publisher so you don’t duplicate efforts. (DS)



Darcy Pattison, Author/Teacher

*Book trailers are a decade old.

*There are three types of trailer-the power point aesthetic, the movie trailer aesthetic and the YouYube Aesthetic

*The idea matters more than anything.

*An autograph allows a reader to take away a little piece of you–a trailer is like this too.

If you’d like to check out some of Darcy Pattison’s trailers–a really fun one is THE BISON vs WOMAN ICE SKATING COMPETITION.



(NG) Nick Glass, Founder,

(DHT) Deborah Hochman Turvey, Founder,

*Getting your school visit information up on a website is imperative because librarians do not have the time to be on the phone with you for too long. (DHT)

*Suggestion: Do five visits free and then start charging (DHT)

*On pricing: Not getting enough visits–charge less.  Getting lots of visits–charge more. (DHT)

*Prepare yourself for schools and classes!!!! (DHT)

*DON’T GO IN THERE AND READ YOUR BOOK.  They want to hear about your process, your childhood, your experiences.  Bring Pictures. (DHT)

*I read books that are “not my kind of books” because the author won me over with their passion and personality. (NG)

*Creating lesson plans: It’s about using the test. (NG)

*You can apply to speak at conferences. (NG)

*Many schools do not let students play You Tube videos, so embed your trailer on your website.

*Never underestimate what a librarian will do if they like you. (NG)

*Teachingbooks- “A Google for reading.”



Maddee James, Owner,

*Why do you need a website?

-Homebase on the internet.

-Readers and Publishers expect you to have one.

-You’re responsible for creating your own online presence.

-Readers want to find out more about you.

-You’ll be amazed at how many visitors you get.

-Collect fan names-newsletter.

-Can even help you find an agent/publisher


*Your name is your brand.


12:15-1:15 LUNCH!!!!



****Side note–Cindi Tamasi Hamilton just so happens to be an old friend that I hadn’t seen in ages.  It took us a minute to figure it out LOL!!! But so nice to see her again and now we can keep track of each other in the cyber world!!!****

Cindy Tamasi Hamilton, Director of Publicity,HarperCollins

Tracy van Straaten, Vice Presiden of Publicity, Scholastic, Inc.

*What should I be doing before I get a Publicist?

-Create a list of any personal media contacts, booksellers or librarians

-Provide your editor with information regarding inspiration for your book, back story, things that might be interesting and helpful in pitching your book.

-Build your social media presence on FB/Twitter etc…

*If there is a trend-group marketing might be very beneficial. (ex-Paranormals)

*Sometimes seasonal or topical books from different houses can be beneficial because they will get lumped together.

*Your book being in the catalogue is one of the single most important things for your book!



(TB) Tracy Barrett, Author

(RM) Roxie Munro, Author/Illustrator

(LO) Lin Oliver, Author/SCBWI Co-Founder

(SR) Susan Raab, President, Raab Associates, Inc

*A mid-list author needs a specific brand-your style and your choices mold you. (RM)

*Throw yourself a launch party. (LO)

*Invite your author friends to the party and highlight their books too–what is good for one is good for all! (LO)

*Make a trailer-it can be done for little or no money. (LO)

*Spend money on a website and put your website on the cover of your ARC and book. (LO)




Jason Kintzler, Founder, PitchEngine

*This social media thing is just a baby-no one has the answers no matter what the size of the brand.

*My initial info comes from FB/Twitter–I only go to websites when I need to go deeper.  It’s not about the website.

*It’s becoming less about reviews and more about what your friends are reading as marketing goes mobile.

*You shouldn’t worry about devices when branding–worry about content.

*Try to find ways to make yourself more relevant.

*Grow your brand by hi-jacking the conversation. Look outside the box.



(MK) Michel Kripalani, President, Oceanhouse Media

(JF) Jon Fine, Director, Author & Publisher Relations,, Inc

(PR) Peter Reynolds, Founder, Fablevision

Moderator: (LO) Lin Oliver

*On Publishing: The means of production have been democratized. (JF)

*Discoverability is how you can push your book to the top of that tidal wave. Lots of different ways to tell and sell a story. (JF)

*Apps have only been around for 3 and a half years. (MK)

*On the future of publishing and marketing: There is going to be a lot of money spent and a lot of money wasted.  Consider this the Wild, Wild West. (PR)

*The container for the story keeps changing, but in the end, it still needs to hold a wonderful story. (PR)

*On paper books: They are going to try to digitalize a teddy bear, but in the end, you’re always going to want to snuggle up with the real thing. (PR)

*It used to be the cover that mattered, but now it’s the meta data. (JF)


Phew…that was a lot!  The rest of the intensives wound up with a lightning round of questions and then it was off to dinner and Kidlit Drink night.  Where I got to meet up with some of the Apocalypsies and some of the members of the Class of 2k12.

Kim and Sarvenaz Tash (Class of 2k12)

If you find any of this information in this blog post useful or intriguing, I highly suggest that you follow up  with the links to find out more about these amazing speakers.  They were a wealth of knowledge. So, are there any that you think are really interesting?  I know I’ve already explored a few.  Plus, if you have any other marketing tips–feel free to share them! Coming up on Friday!! Saturday of the NY12SCBWI Conference.





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Some Packing Tips for Conferences

Filed under: Conferences, SCBWI

So, I’m writing this post pre-conference because I know how tired I’ll be when I get back on Sunday evening, but surprisingly…I’m tired now too.  Ya know–from all that packing and the dirty rotten cold that I’ve been fighting with all week.  So, before I take some Nyquil and fall asleep, I thought I’d share with you some of my best packing tips for a conference since they’re fresh in my mind.  Yes, I know this post would have been fantastic about a week ago, but I wasn’t packing then.  Think about it as a well-prepared post for all those spring conferences coming up. Now on to it…

1. Dress in layers-you never know what the temp in the room is going to be like and it can change from room to room.

2. Wear comfortable shoes.  Your fancy shoes should be comfortable and then also bring a REALLY comfortable pair and plan your outfit around them for Sunday–because by then your feet hate you.  Also for Sunday’s outfit–I’ve learned to wear a really cool shirt (like a short sleeve) as my base layer because often that is book signing/I’ve already checked out of my room day and you are carrying enough stuff to make a pack mule look dainty.  And because of that you might sweat…a little. I’ve learned this the hard way–trust me!

3. Pack enough chocolate for you and all your friends.  I feel this should be self explanatory. If it is not, we will schedule a private tutorial.

3. If you already have books from an author that you want to get signed–pack them!  Sounds like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many times I’ve forgotten mine. Grrrr

4. Camera!!!!  Especially if you have family and/or blog.  For the family–(private use only) I try to take pics of things that I couldn’t possible adequately explain to them.  If you’re blogging about the conference, your reader will get so much out of having visuals to go with your recap.  I  personally feel it really makes a difference and I know I always gravitate to the recaps with l0ts of eye catching pics.

5. Pack a sturdy bag for all the books you buy.  You always think you might not buy so many but when a speaker talks about a book it becomes personal and it’s hard to resist buying it.

6. A list (even if it’s a mental one) of gifts that you might need to give.  An author signed book is great for family and friends, charity (I get one or two for my children’s school library) or for a contest on your blog.

7. BRING BUSINESS CARDS!!!!  I can’t stress this enough.  Part of the fun of a conference is meeting wonderful new friends.  You want these new friends to be able to stay in touch.  I’ve meet the BEST PEOPLE EVER at my conferences.

8. These next items are going to be light in your suitcase but they are still important to bring with you–an open mind. Take it all in.  Take notes.  Take time to digest it.  Let it all wash over you.


10. Bring kindness–not everyone packs #9 when they prepare for a conference, especially their first one.  Be a friend.  Do not let people eat alone, sit on the sidelines or feel like they do not belong.  It costs you nothing to be kind, thoughtful and to remember what it felt like when you lack confidence.  Be a leader.

I’ll be back on Wednesday with some after-action conference review.  In the meantime, what’s your favorite conference tip?  Did any of my tips make your to-do list? Do you have a link to a review of the conference you’d like to share?  Come on–give me something because *yawn* I need to stay awake.


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Gearing up for the NYSCBWI Conference

Filed under: Conferences, SCBWI

The NYSCBWI Conference kicks off on Friday and I just heard that the Conference has SOLD OUT!  I love knowing that the children’s writing community is loaded and ready for bear.

I always look forward to any SCBWI event–meeting up with all my friends, inspiring speeches, long lines to use the ladies room.  (Well, maybe not that one.)  But the rest of the conference is so good the bathroom lines don’t even matter!

I also have some additional reasons to be excited for this year’s event.

*I’m meeting up with some new friends–folks I’ve met online, who I’ll get to met in person for the very first time.  I’m thrilled that this is their first NY Conference and I get to be a part of the excitement.

*I’m also getting face to face time with some of the debut authors from the Class of 2k12 and the Apocalypsies!!!  I feel like I really “know” so many of these fabulous writers and now I get to hug them–AWESOME!!!

*I’m also really looking forward to the Marketing Intensive.  First of all because I’m hoping to learn a lot and secondly, because I find it so encouraging that every year the SCBWI takes the advice of it’s attendees and makes an effort to implement new things to enhance the conference.  It feels wonderful to know that someone is listening and cares.  Thanks SCBWI!

*And lastly, I’m bringing my baby with me!!!!  Yup, I get to bring my ARC of Touching the Surface to show all my friends.  This is an amazingly cool thing for me.  These friends are the very same people I have been going to conferences with for years and they have been forced to hear me blabber on and on about this book and about my hopes and dreams for it.  Now I can assure them that all their bloody ear drums have been worthwhile.  *grin*


So excited for Friday!!! Have you been to a writer’s conference yet?  Share your best tip.  Hoping to attend sometime?  I’ll try to answer any conference questions?  Who is the dream speaker you’d love to hear at an event?  I think the one topping my list right now would be John Green!!!

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2012 Brings Lots of Excitement: First Pass Pages, Website, YAmazing Race, NY SCBWI

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Touching the Surface, YA Books

The next time I write a blog post it will be 2012!!!!  I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to New Year’s Eve quite as much as I am this year.  I know it’s silly, but dipping a toe into 2012 feels like hitting another big milestone.  TOUCHING THE SURFACE is roughly 9 months away!!!

I’ve had three kids…I know what kinds of things can happen in a 9 month period. LOL!

So what are some of the things happening in the new year?  Well, first off–I have my first pass pages!!!  (Yes, I’m aware of my spastic over use of the exclamation point–it can’t be helped.)  If you’re not familiar, first pass pages are large sheets of paper that have my book laid out the way it will look when it’s really printed into a book.  Do you want a sneak peek?

This is the equivalent of two pages of text from the book.  Since I got them right before the hectic holidays, I’ve been hanging on to them until the kids are all back in school and the house is nice and quiet. It’s been awhile since I’ve read my book cover to cover, so I’m really excited to curl up with it again.  It’s also the last time that I get a chance to make any changes. *shivers* I’ve been fiddling with this baby for so long its a little scary to think that it’s finally time to send it out into the world.  I have butterflies of the very best kind.
More good news to watch for.  Next week will be the launch of my website!!!  Maybe I’m biased, but I think it’s gorgeous.  Do you want a sneak peek of that too?  Okay…here it is…
Yes, my blog will be moving to the new website on Word Press.  The old blog will be set up to redirect you to the new location, so hopefully no one will be lost in cyber space.  Of course I’ll let you know the minute the website is live, but just so you know, you’ll be able to find me at  
Additionally, I’d like to tip you off to something fun that I’ll be participating in. Do you watch the Amazing Race?  Well, on January 13th and 14th, I’ll be participating in the first Apocalypsie YAmazing Race!  An internet race around the blogosphere.  It’s going to be lots of fun and there will be really cool prizes–so keep those dates on your calendar.
Lastly, at the end of the month I’ll be heading to the NY SCBWI Winter Conference.  Or as we call it in my house–Daddy Party Weekend!!!  I’m very pumped because I’m reuniting with old friends, meeting some on-line friends for the first time and I’m also taking the Friday Marketing Intensive.  Lots of exciting stuff!  And of course, I promise to take lots of pictures to share with you.  :o)  
So now you’ve heard all about some of the things I’m excited for in 2012–what are you looking forward to in the new year?  Come on, spill.

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The SCBWI and the Class of 2013 are Feeling Lucky

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Conferences, SCBWI

Woo hoo!!!!  It’s that time of year again–registration for the the NY SCBWI Conference opens today (October 17th at 10am PDT otherwise known as 1pm on the east coast) And I’m really excited because I didn’t think I’d be going to the Intensives this year.  It’s a wonderful day of Round Table Critiques with Editors, but this year the SCBWI has added a Pro Track Marketing Workshop for Published Members.  Lucky me!!!  But I should have expected that from something called…

I hope you’re thinking about attending.  We always have such a great time and I would love to hang out with you.  If you’re not sure exactly what the conference is like, here are some links to my previous NY SCBWI Conference blogs.  
*NY SCBWI 2009  (You have to shoot on over to Live Journal for the 2009 blogs)
*NY SCBWI 2010
*NY SCBWI 2011
You can also follow the SCBWI Conference Blog for more information and don’t forget to join the conversation on twitter–just use the hashtag #NY12SCBWI.  The thread should be buzzing tomorrow.  
The NY Conference is not the only Lucky 13 I’m excited for.  Many of you have heard me mention the Apocalypsies–the amazing group of 2012 debut children’s authors that I get to hang with.  Because the process of publishing a book can average at about two years from sale to publication, it has become the trend for debut authors to ban together at an early date.  We do this in order to support each other through the crazy process, to assists each other with marketing and to just get to know some really amazing new people.  Our predecessor is the Elevensies.  Our class is called The Apocalypsies and we got our name because of all the speculation of the world ending in 2012.  Our motto is read them like there’s no tomorrow.  This does not bode well for the class of 2013 but hey, it may have it’s advantages if I never finish book #2 *grin*

I’ve been with the Apocalypsies since shortly after I sold TOUCHING THE SURFACE in February.  And even though my book isn’t coming out until September 4, 2012…I’m no longer the new kid on the block.  Give a warm welcome to…The Lucky 13’s–The 2013 Debut Kidlit Authors!!!!  They aren’t afraid of post apocalyptic publishing–they are fierce!  I can’t wait ti read all of their books.  (((hugs)))
Talking about all these Lucky 13’s has made me think about the things that are not so lucky.  I must admit, I’ve never been overly superstitious.  I’ve eagerly put my mom’s back a risk every time I stepped on a crack.  I won’t give a broken mirror a minute of my time.  I don’t throw salt over my shoulder and I’ll bravely flip up an umbrella in the house any day of the week.  Not afraid of ladders either.  But is there a superstition that I won’t mess with?  I always knock on wood.  I think it’s the power of words for me.  When you put it out to the universe…you never know what’s going to happen.  No wood around?  Yeah, I always thump the top of my head.  Maybe the universe appreciates self-depricating humor.  
What superstition has it’s hold on you?

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