The time for the public to nominate books for the CYBILS awards has now passed, and the nominating panelists are feverishly reading hundreds of books and narrowing them down for the judges in each category to consider. You can check out the nominated books in each category (from picture books, to MG fantasy to graphic novels and more) at www.theedgeoftheforest.com/cybils
Will the winners be someone in your crit group; someone you've met at a conference? Or will it be one of the tried and true masters of the trade who just happen to have a new book out this year? Looking at the nominated fantasy books this year (there are 94 of them,) the nominating committee is having to measure books written by Ursula Le Guin, Meg Cabot and Lloyd Alexander against new books by lesser known authors who may have just thrust their first fantasy writing into the market. Have no doubt though, at this point it's anybody's award to win!
As noted earlier on this blog, I'll be judging for fantasy this year. And I'm looking forward, with excitement (and trepidation,) to the task of reading so many great novels and working with the others on the fantasy judging panel to pick the WINNER for 2007. Check back here beginning in January for thoughts on the various books as I read them and the judging panel begins to discuss them.
I've chosen the cover of "Powers" by Ursula LeGuin (one of the nominated fantasy books) as the picture for this blog post because of the great job the illustrator did on the cover. Alas, we will not be judging the books in this competition by their illustrations. But to all of you illustrators out there, I still salute you. Afterall, the cover of a book is the very first thing that makes us pick it up off of a bookstore or library shelf. Following that we generally look at the title, and after that if the synopsis on the back is good and the first page seems intriguing, we might just take the book home and give the actual plot and characters inside it a chance to impress us. But it's the Illustrators who get us started. So, kudos to the ILLUSTRATORS who make readers give each book it's first chance!
As to the fantasy nominees: check out the books on the blog at the CYBILS website, and join the judges as we read them. If you don't agree with us in the end, perhaps you'll be inspired to look into becoming a judge next year yourself! :) But we surely will do the best we can to make a good selection! Ack! No pressure!
In other news, there are several new items lining the left hand side of this blog, and I hope you'll check them out. There is 1.) a writer's poll which will have a new topic every month from now on. 2.) a recommended YA/MG book of the month, and 3.) a "Favorite Line" from a YA/MG book that I'm currently reading to provoke each of us to write even greater sentences of our own.
I hope these will be of interest, make you smile, and make your writing life better just like they are making mine.
"The pen is mightier than the sword, and considerably easier to write with." -- Marty Feldman
"Room to Read"
Room to Read is a nonprofit organization that builds and stocks children's libraries in 3rd world countries, publishes children's books in underserved languages spoken in those countries, and aims to help the economy in those countries by providing schools, books, and school supplies to educate children living below the poverty line. Spread the word about Room to Read!
Janelle's Awards and Fun Stuff
Janelle's first two novel manuscripts were both awarded Honorable Mentions in the Writers Digest Annual Competition for Children's Fiction (hooray!)
Her 3rd YA novel manuscript, The Choosers, was a Semi-Finalist in the Gotham Writer's Group YA novel contest
Annual Raleigh Spring SCBWI Schmooze, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh.May, 2013
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I've dabbled in writing since I was in elementary school. I co-wrote my first mystery with a friend on an old typewriter on the floor in about 4th grade. Then I tried my hand at a fantasy novel in junior high after discovering Tolkien's books. : ) Alas, my story was plot-less! In 10th grade I wrote several short stories in English class and was honored and surprised when my teacher wrote on one of them, "When you write your first book, I'll be your first editor." Thanks for your confidence, Mrs. Tetor! I put off writing all the way through college, grad school, and into another profession. Then in 2004 I decided to give it a shot. I've now been published in magazines for kids and adults, and I write YA for teens, as well as a column in the Pen and Palette. I'm a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators,) and two writers' critique groups. I've learned so much from other authors over the past 8 years that I wanted to share what I now know with other new writers. Thus the blog -- Welcome.
"This Book does NOT Stink"
It's a Horatio Wilkes mystery, (based on Hamlet,) written by my fellow SCBWI Carolina-ite Alan Gratz. Have you read it? Or its sequel "Something Wicked" (er, Macbeth?) A whole new twist on Shakespeare for our time.
Skulduggery Pleasant. A MG fantasy by Derek Landy, published by Harper Collins Childrens Books (US) 2007.
The cover of this story is brilliantly illustrated, and it sums up all that you really need to know. Yes, the fire throwing Skeleton really is the good guy! Skulduggery Pleasant is a detective, a sorcerer, a fashion icon, and a witty, unexpected mentor to 12 year old Stephanie Edgely. Stephanie's uncle has just been killed by the manuscript of a murder mystery. (Yep, you heard me right.) Together, Stephanie and Skulduggery must form an alliance against paper assassins, and element- changing villians, brought to life in the service of an ancient evil -- one that Skulduggery Pleasant has fought for hundreds of years. Will the bad guys win in the end of this book? If so, it's over his dead body!
CHECK THE BOOKSHELF for our prior "Recommended Books of the Month:"
Can't see 'em all? Click the `next' button for more.
"Through the rest of Pennsylvania, up into New York, Massachusetts, onto 95 up the New England coast, into New Hampshire and then crossing the border into Maine, we stopped only for gas (the Jag gulped it) and to pee, and once to pick up a lobster sandwich at the McDonald's drive through."
- from The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp by Rick Yancey
Sure, this is a run on. But it works in this case. It's a good example for those of us who have trouble moving time forward quickly in our stories. Here we travel from Pennsylvania to Maine, get gas and eat lunch, without even taking a breath.
The CYBILS are annual Children's book awards decided by writers.Go to http://www.cybils.com/ to find out about this year's Cybils! Look for your chance to nominate books for next year's cybils in Mid-October. A portion of the price of nominated books purchased at Amazon during the competition each year goes to support the CYBILS Awards.
Illustrator's Turtle Tie for Charity
Congrats to Author/Illustrator Ian Sands for the success of his turtle tie fundraiser to support the kids in the Triangle Special Hockey Association!
I wrote 50,000 words in November '07. Whew! www.Nanowrimo.org
Big thanks to 4 of the wonderful authors who have been my mentors and teachers thus far:
All photos on this blog (other than book covers) are taken by Janelle and are the property of Janelle unless otherwise specified. Book covers, clearly, are shared with the blog by either the author or the publisher.