Friday, May 06, 2011

Spooky News & The Owl Keeper Giveaway

Children's Choice Book Awards Announced (PDF) from The Children’s Book Council (CBC) in association with Every Child A Reader, and the CBC Foundation. Rick Riordan was named author of the year, and David Wiesner was named illustrator of the year. See the complete list of winners.

An Address and a Map Discovering Your Genius as a Writer by Tim Wynne-Jones from The Writers' League of Texas. Peek: "...I’m talking about the genius that each of us possesses to some degree: a natural ability or capacity or quality of mind; the special endowments which fit each of us for our work."

The Interminable Agency Clause by Victoria Strauss from Writer Beware. Peek: "...language inserted into an author-agency agreement whereby the agency claims the right to remain the agent of record not just for the duration of any contracts it negotiates, but for the life of copyright." See also On Agency Agreements by Jennifer Laughran from Jennifer Represents...

Book Talking and Preparing for Focus Meeting by Little, Brown editor Alvina Ling from Blue Rose Girls. Peek: "....because I only have between 1 and 2 minutes to present each title, the presentation needs to be really tight. I want to touch on the summary of the book...."

Twitter Tutorial: The Long Version by Lynne Kelly from Will Write for Cake. Peek: "It's not okay to pitch your novel or query an agent or editor via Twitter, but following them is a great way to find out what's going on in the publishing industry and with their own work...."

Castellucci Joins 'Los Angeles Review of Books' as YA and Children's Editor by Wendy Werris from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "'So few venues review YA and teen books regularly, and even then it’s usually bestsellers and known authors, so this is an opportunity to assign reviews to the quieter books and older titles,' Castellucci says."

From Publishers Marketplace: "Nikki Loftin’s debut novel The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy, pitched as Coraline meets Hansel and Gretel, about a young girl whose seemingly delightful new school hides frightening secrets, to Laura Arnold at Razorbill, in a two-book deal, for publication in Summer 2012, by Suzie Townsend at Fineprint Literary Management (World)." Congratulations, Nikki!

Attention New Yorkers: anticipated budget cuts in NYC would effectively shut down many libraries, reduce hours and staff. Please stop by your local library or click to your local library website to sign a petition to save the libraries. See Queens Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and New York Public Library.

Career Planning: Who, Me? by Kristi Holl from Writer's First Aid. Peek: "...making a writing budget–the nuts and bolts of figuring out how much income you need, where it’s going to come from (all possible sources,) and what to do to get it. You’ll want to study this too." Note: Kristi references Chip MacGregor's excellent post Strategic Planning for Writers, but her pep talk/insights/summary are worth considering, too.

Author Advances: How Much You'll Get and When by Author/Agent Mandy Hubbard. Peek: "If you sell a book to one of the big six publishers, and it's a single book deal, and it's something deemed more quiet or literary, you may see $7,500-$10,000. if it has a bigger commercial hook, but still seems a little risky, you may get $15,000." Note: keep in mind that authors also make money from royalties, sub rights sales, public speaking, etc.

From Publishers Marketplace: "Brian Yansky's Fighting Alien Nation, the sequel to Alien Invasion and Other Inconveniences, which continues the story of the survivors of an alien invasion, again to Candlewick, with Kaylan Adair to edit, by Sara Crowe at Harvey Klinger (world English). Congratulations, Brian!

Career Insurance: Five Ways to Sell Your Next Book Before Its Written by Roni Loren from Fiction Groupie. Note: emphasis on series writing. Peek: "Unless you're writing the next blockbuster of the century, one book does not a career make. One book is just the gun going off at the starter gate." Source: QueryTracker.netBlog.

For Writers: Race and Science Fiction and Fantasy by Mary Anne Mohanraj from Whatever. Peek: "’s easy to be paralyzed by that fear, to retreat back to only writing characters who are just like you, or so vague that they can’t possibly be mistaken for anyone real. But again — that makes for bad fiction. If you’re going to write well, you have to get past those fears." See also Your Process of Creating Characters Across Culture or Class from Mitali Perkins from Mitali's Fire Escape.

I Live in the Middle of Nowhere. How Can I Promote My Book? by Kristina Springer from Author2Author. Peek: "'s hard to get a book faced out at the book store for more than a couple of months. So what can I do?"

Giveaway Reminder

Enter to win a signed copy of The Owl Keeper by Christine Brodien-Jones (Delacorte, 2010). First prize: a hardcover copy. Second and third prize: paperback copies.

To enter the giveaway, comment at this link or email me (scroll and click envelope) and type "Owl Keeper" in the subject line. Deadline: midnight CST May 27. Note: Author sponsored; U.S./Canada entries only.

See also Christine on Writing Scary But Not Too Scary for Tweens.

Hunger Mountain Critique Auction

Hunger Mountain Critique Auction: Bid for a chance to win critiques from authors, illustrators, and agents from picture books to YA and beyond. See details on:

Note: Hunger Mountain is the Vermont College of Fine Arts Journal of the Arts, featuring an in-depth focus on children's-YA literature.

Spooky Screening Room

Edit Letter Fun: Butcher or Coddler? from lynnekelly2000.

More Personally

This week I turned in my revision of my upcoming YA Gothic fantasy novel, which will be the next fully prose addition to the Tantalize series.

To the left, we see Bashi in the guet room, helping to guard the manuscript as I read through it, tweaking text.

To the right, we see Leo, lounging on Greg's copy of the draft in the parlor. Greg, the kitties, and I read the manuscript out loud to catch typos, missing words, and other minor issues. I'm especially include to skip right over two-letter words like "to," "of," "on," and "so."

See also Official Writer Cat Bios.

I'm pleased to announce that actress Kim Mai Guest will be reading as the character Quincie P. Morris for the audio edition of Blessed for Listening Library/Random House.

Kim Mai also performed as Quincie in the audio production of Tantalize (Listening Library, 2008).

Reminder: all blurb requests must come from editors or agents. Never authors. No exceptions.

Tantalize Reviewed by Anna from Troublingly Good Teen Lit. Peek: "This book could help teens who find themselves with more responsibility than they can handle, or whose parents/guardians are absent. It could also help teens who feel they may have a drinking problem."

Personal Links of the Week:

Spooky Events

Authors Jennifer Ziegler and Cynthia Leitich Smith will speak to YA readers at 2 p.m. June 18 at Bee Cave Public Library in Bee Cave, Texas. Mark your calendars for book talk and pizza!

The Chills and Thrills Book Tour will be stopping at 2 p.m. May 15 at BookPeople. Turn out for authors Mari Mancusi, Tera Lynn Childs, Sophie Jordan, Jordan Dane, Lara Chapman, Jennifer Archer, and Tracy Deebs.

The First Annual BooksmART Festival will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 11 as part of Arts & Letters Live from the Dallas Museum of Art. Peek: "Come spend the day with authors, illustrators, musicians and actors, and enjoy talks, workshops, gallery tours, and entertainment, designed to appeal to every member of the family and every age group." Featured children's-YA book creators include Rick Riordan, Norton Juster, Laurie Halse Anderson, David Wiesner, Jerry Pinkney, Gene Luen Yang, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Duncan Tonatiuh, Antonio Sacre, Joe McDermott, Jan Bozarth, and Ann Marie Newman.