Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Each One Teach One" Interview: Illustrator/Author Bonnie Adamson

This week’s interview features the SCBWI Assistant Regional Advisor for the Carolinas, BonnieAdamson! Bonnie is an Illustrator/Author – with 5 illustrated books out through Raven tree press, plus many other published illustrations. Her first written-and-illustrated project, a graphic-novel about Robots in the old west, is currently being shopped by her agent, Marietta Zacker, of the Nancy Gallt Literary Agency.  As an Illustrator/Author and SCBWI ARA Bonnie has worked hard to bring more opportunities, trainings, and conference speakers focused on “illustration” to the Carolinas Region.
Welcome Bonnie, I’m so thrilled to have you! Will you tell us who was an illustrator, author or other publishing professional who taught you something important about the profession when you first starting out?  Who mentored you? 
You ask about mentors. There have been so many! The generosity of the illustrating and writing community is amazing. And there have been countless epiphanies brought on by fellow writers and illustrators online, many of them anonymous, sharing wisdom through blog posts, comments and tweets.

But I can point to one defining moment, and one person who, without knowing it, I’m sure, kept the dream alive for me for nearly twenty years. Way back—WAY back—in the early 80s, my husband’s aunt invited me to attend a luncheon organized by a regional teachers’ group in Knoxville, TN.

The featured speaker at the luncheon was Ava Weiss, creative director and co-founder of Greenwillow Books, at that time an imprint of William H. Morrow. My husband’s aunt knew I was interested in writing and illustrating stories for children, so she had arranged not only for me to attend, but to meet Ava afterwards and show her my portfolio.
Now, you have to remember that this was the dark ages before the internet. Even I knew of Greenwillow and its legendary editor Susan Hirschman, but knew nothing about the publishing industry. Although I was pleased at the opportunity to meet with Ms. Weiss, I had no idea how huge an opportunity it was. If I had, I would never have presumed to show her my art school portfolio, full of life class sketches and company logos (I was a graphic design major). There was little in it remotely connected to children’s books. One piece that came close was a class assignment to create “trading cards for kids who are not interested in sports.” I had chosen to feature True Crime, and had designed cards for Blackbeard, Jack the Ripper, etc. (This is where one of those emoticons with the horrified face would be appropriate, right?)

It would make a great ending to say that she signed me up on the spot, in spite of my pitiful portfolio, but I was obviously not ready for a career in children’s publishing. So she did the next best thing: she was kind. She managed to convince me that she “saw something” in my work—which is saying something because, believe me, it would have been hard to see anything that day. The only space available for an impromptu meeting was the bar of the hotel where the luncheon had been held, and hotel bars in the 80s were dark, cave-like places with sticky tables much too small to support my oversized art school portfolio. But Ms. Weiss kept her promise to review my work, squinting gamely at the charcoal figure studies and nodding at my packaging designs and letterheads. She took the time to talk to me about my interest in illustrating. She remarked, regretfully, on how difficult it would be for me to pursue my goals, as far out of the mainstream as I was in South Carolina. And as the interview drew to a close, she said, “I think we’ll be hearing from you.”
That was all it took. A big-time New York art director had implied that I might someday have the wherewithal to be a part of her world. I started a folder of story ideas; I volunteered to do the publicity for my daughters’ ballet company, thinking it would be a great way to beef up my portfolio with printed work more suited to children’s publishing. I was still in South Carolina, still without any meaningful contact with the industry, but Ava Weiss had validated the dream.

Years later the internet happened, a Google search for “children’s writers” led me to SCBWI, and my introductory membership packet included the Market Survey with—gasp!—Ava Weiss’s address at Greenwillow. She was still there! I wrote and re-wrote I don’t know how many drafts of a “You won’t remember me, but . . .” letter, which I had finally gotten up the nerve to send, when I saw a notice in the Bulletin that she had retired the month before.
Bonnie, that’s a wonderful story!  You got me a little teary-eyed at the end, I must admit.  It certainly IS amazing, and can be so life-changing, when someone with clout or lots of experience in the profession encourages your dream.    And that’s so much what SCBWI, and even this group of interviews are about; encouraging the dreams of others and helping them grow.

So what were the lessons you learned from this experience?

1) It never hurts to be kind. I think of how fragile the notion of illustrating for children was for me at the time. I had already embarked on a freelance design career, after a stint at a national business magazine. I had a young daughter, more local clients than I could handle, and no desire to leave South Carolina. One off-handed comment would have squashed my ambitions for good.

2) Never give up. Tenacity is as desirable as talent in this business. So what if it takes 20 years for someone to invent the internet? If you refuse to let go of a dream, you will find a way.

3) Remove the nudes from the portfolio. Also the murderer trading cards. And if your book of samples fits comfortably on a tiny bar table, so much the better.

Ha ha ha, Bonnie.  J That’s last piece especially seems like very important advice! 

Do you have any more suggestions for illustrators and writers, based on what you learned from Ava Weiss?


1.) Take every opportunity to pay it forward. That’s what I love about my job as Assistant Regional Advisor (ARA) for the Carolinas region. Ava Weiss may have ignited the spark, but SCBWI (with a little help from the internet) made it happen. I got my first illustration contract as a direct result of an item in the SCBWI Bulletin. I found my critique partners through a listing on the message boards at the SCBWI website, and last fall I signed with an agent as a direct result of a paid critique at the regional conference. I can’t possibly repay the debt I owe to the organization that first took me seriously as a writer and illustrator of children’s books.

2) Get in the habit of saying “yes.” You can’t always be in control of your career, but you can be prepared to sprint through every open door. A group of writers in my home town organized a coffee event, which is where I met Samantha Bell, then the editor of the Pen & Paletter, which is how my name came up when they were looking for someone to replace the (irreplaceable) Karen Lee when she stepped down as illustration editor. Getting to know Karen led to her suggestion that I also take over as Illustrator Coordinator. I wasn’t sure just what that meant, but I said yes. And so I was in the right place when the equally irreplaceable Jo Hackl stepped down as ARA and RA Teresa Fannin decided to bring illustrators more closely into the administration of the region.

“Say Yes!” (Even of things you’ve never done before that may be a real challenge but also an opportunity for growth.)   That’s some of the best advice for writers/illustrators – and indeed for all people living – that I’ve ever heard, Bonnie. Thanks for reminding us of that!

I know you’ve made it your mission to help bring more opportunities for Illustrators into SCBWI Carolinas events and publications.  Can you tell us briefly why that goal is so close to your heart?

Certainly.  One of the best things about collaborating with Teresa Fannin on events is working out the balance so that everyone feels equally at home. We spend a lot of time making sure that each group within the Carolinas community can find something of value: picture book writers; chapter book, midgrade and YA novelists; illustrators; PAL members, newcomers. It’s really exciting to see a magical mix come together. We got thrown a couple of curves this year as we’ve planned the conference, but I believe the lineup of presenters we have now is even stronger than we had originally planned.

My year and a half on the SCBWI ARA job has been such a joy. Teresa and I both believe that writers and illustrators have a lot to teach each other. Each group approaches projects from a different perspective, but with the same goal in mind: to tell a story that will delight a child.

Knowing how difficult it is to find just the right 350 words (or less!) for a picture book makes me even more conscious of my responsibility to support and expand on the text. And I hope that understanding what I as an illustrator can do with my particular bag of tricks frees a writer to take a few more chances with the text—to leave some open spaces and feel confident that in the end the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts.

It’s so great to hear an illustrator’s perspective, Bonnie.  I know that writers who wish to write picture books have a lot of questions about how to write a complete story with so few words, and of course, that’s where the wonderful skills and imagination of the illustrators come in!  What a wonderful collaboration!    I know there’s also a lot of excitement about the SCBWI Carolinas Conference this year!

                                      Here's Bonnie signing her books at the BEA conference.  

Ok one last fun Question:  How did you actually become an Illustrator/Author?

I was obsessed with creating books at an early age—it wasn’t enough to read them, I laboriously copied the text of favorite books onto notebook paper, re-drew the illustrations, and stapled the pages together. That makes no sense to me now—why didn’t I write my own stories? Later, I did write and illustrate stories about sad-eyed puppies (I could draw cocker spaniels really well). When our first daughter was born, I wrote a story for her titled “The Little Horse Who Couldn’t Wake Up in the Morning”—which  was probably more about sleep deprivation than I realized at the time.

As a graphic designer, I had done spot illustrations for years, but I’d never called myself an illustrator until a friend and I visited a new art supply store in town. To celebrate their grand opening, they were holding a drawing for door prizes. There was a space on the little slip of paper to write your name, and under that, it said, “Profession.” I had been trying to take the leap to children’s books for some time (now that I had the internet!). I remember thinking—okay, this is a sign. I wrote, “Illustrator”—I swear my hand was actually shaking.  I then lay awake that night feeling humiliated. What was I thinking? I wasn’t a REAL illustrator! People would find out! People would laugh. The things we do to ourselves . . .

As far as published work goes, I have five picture books with Raven Tree Press, plus a Raven Tree series for which I did (uncredited) spot illustrations. I also did the cover and interior black-and-whites for a book club edition of The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, pen and ink drawing for a kid’s self help book about therapy for Magination Press, and illustrations for several magazine articles for kids.
That's a lot of publications, Bonnie!  Thanks so much for taking time out to chat with me today, and to make SCBWI Carolinas a great place for Illustrators and Authors alike!
Next week we'll have a brand new "Shooting Star" Author (Megan Shepherd - author of soon-to-be 6 fabulous YA novels) sharing her amazing journey with us.  Don't miss it!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Each One Teach One Interview: Children's Author Stephanie Greene

Today’s author-on-the-hot-seat is Stephanie Greene, who has been a published author of literature for children since before many of us ever sat down to try to write our first story outlines. Go Stephanie! She’s the author of 20 award-winning books for children and middle graders including the Princess Posey series, the Sophie Hartley Series, the Owen Foote Series, The Lucky Ones, a MG novel, and Christmas at Stoney Creek,a truly fabulous holiday story for the whole family.  Stephanie is active in the SCBWI where she previously served as the RA (Regional Advisor) for SCBWI Carolinas, covering the North and South Carolina Regions.  Stephanie will be presenting about "Revision" and "POV: Who's telling this story anyway?" at the upcoming SCBWI Carolina’s Fall Conference in Sept, 2012. Her next four books will be published in 2012 and 2013! They are: Princess Posey and the Monster Stew, August 2012, Princess Posey and the Tiny Treasure, Spring 2013, Sophie Hartley and the Facts of Life, Fall 2013, and Princess Posey and the New Girl, Fall 2013

Wow. Stephanie, you’re on a roll! Thanks for taking time out to be with us today.
So, tell us:  You’re a very experienced and well-published author at this point in your career.  But who was the more experienced author, illustrator, or other publishing professional who taught you something that helped your career when you were first starting out?

I hadn’t attended any conferences before I sold my first book,  nor did I belong to a critique group, so I don’t have an example of someone who I wasn’t working with reaching out to me. But early in my career, my first editor taught me an important lesson about false sentimentality when she wrote in the margin of an early manuscript, “You can’t make something funny by having your character laugh.” That simple statement stayed with me. As writers, we have to earn our character’s emotions if we hope to evoke the same emotion or create empathy in our readers. What she meant was that if the words out of your character’s mouth, or the action itself, aren’t funny, your readers won’t think it’s funny because you wrote, “So-and-So laughed.” In the same way, you can’t make them feel sad by writing, “So-and-So cried.” Action and dialogue are the tools to use to evoke genuine emotion. It takes work. The editor’s comment was a shorthand lesson in the dangers of sentimentality: trying to elicit an emotion in the minds/hearts of your readers without earning it.  That’s a lesson I never forgot.  The editor who taught me that was Dinah Stevenson at Clarion, who edited all of my Owen Foote and Sophie Hartley books. The wisdom I learned is that there’s no shortcut to good writing. It takes hard work and much effort.

Oh dear, Stephanie.  That sentimentality trap is one that I think many of us often fall into!  What a great reminder Dinah Stevenson gave to you – and now to us.  I’m sure many of us are pulling up our manuscripts right now, knowing we need to go back and revise to make sure the action and dialogue, and not just the lame dialogue tags we threw in there,   are what cause emotional reactions in our readers and make them love our books! 

So, can you name a specific project where that bit of guidance from Dinah Stevenson has particularly helped you?

I guess I’d have to say I’ve used it in all of my books. I really work to portray genuine emotions from fear to humor to love.

As your writing career has progressed, Stephanie, how have you reached back and reached 
out to help other new writers – in addition to being RA of the Carolina’s SCBWI before.  That one’s a given! J

I’ve tried to encourage other writers in any way I can. Sometimes, it’s in a one-on-one 
conversation; other times, it’s at conferences and workshops. I work with writers who I met more than a decade ago. I’m part of an online group with whom I take annual retreats. We cajole and encourage one another when we face rejection, and care about one another’s writing and lives. Passing on what you know as a writer or illustrator is tremendously satisfying; giving back is good karma. Not only that, but by talking about what we think we know, we often discover what we, ourselves, still need to learn. I have a flower pot on my desk that a group of children gave me several years ago after I’d read with them every week for a year. It says, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” Sharing what we know about writing is planting seeds. As the former RA of SCBWI-Carolinas, I tried to share what I knew about craft and am thrilled by the continued and widespread success the members of our group are having.

That’s great, Stephanie!  I know that you have done a great job of, “raising up other writers” in the Carolina’s region for years.  And I LOVE the saying on your flower pot.  What a beautiful gift those children gave you. And what a beautiful gift you gave to them –mentoring them, by reading with them weekly for a year!  That’s great!

And now for a few more FUN questions! Firstly, when you initially started writing, what would you say was your greatest writing challenge?  Is that challenge still the same today?

I’d say, finishing a manuscript. It’s easy to talk about what you’re going to write, but actually starting it and finishing it can be difficult. It’s not particularly a problem anymore.

Whew.  I’m still looking forward to the time when finishing the manuscript is as easy as starting it!  It’s good to hear it’ll happen someday. J Perhaps at the conference you can share the secret of “HOW?”

Meanwhile, here’s another fun question. You obviously love children and children’s books.  Who was your favorite author when you were a child, and who are 2-3 children’s or MG/YA authors/illustrators whose books you love now, and why?,

 As a child, my favorite book was The Secret Garden. Now, I love anything by Hilary McKay (English author) because she’s a very funny writer who writes about children with both humor and emotion; I admire the books of Judy Blume because she talks about topics that young girls are dying to know more about in a natural, straight-forward way while showing real understanding of that age group; I like Gary Paulsen because he writes about boys and the things that matter to them with great empathy, rather than trying to be funny. The problems boys face aren’t always funny but writers often tend to create awkward or embarrassing or humorous boy characters.

I loved the Secret Garden, too, Stephanie!  And you’re so right about Gary Paulsen’s books and how important that is to let boys sometimes take their life issues seriously, as well as learning to laugh. 

Ok, here’s your final question --- at least it’s your final question until we all corner you at the conference and ask for tips on  how to come to the point in our careers where finishing a book is as easy as starting one! J Hee Hee .  But for today’s question: What do you love about being a writer?

I love getting it right: setting out to express or convey a particular emotion, or create a character real enough so that children will identify with him or her, and succeeding at doing that.

Yes, that’s a wonderful feeling!  I love when people say “I cried (or laughed) all through that page,” and we authors just want to run up and hug them and say “did you?  Oh, I’m so glad you cried! I cried (laughed) all the way through it too!”  J

Thank you so much, Stephanie, for being with us today, and for sharing these great answers and tips!

Everyone can learn more from and about Stephanie at, and

Next week our interview victim will be Illustrator/Author (she’s our first Illustrator interviewee – hooray!), and current ARA (Assistant Regional Advisor) for SCBWI Carolinas, Bonnie Adamson!
See you then.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Each One Teach One Interview: Author and Professional Writing Instructor Carol Baldwin

Carol Baldwin is a non-fiction author who has written great resources for writers and teachers of writing.  She’s a professional writing instructor at colleges, conferences, and schools, and her book:  Teaching the Story: Fiction writing in grades 4-8 is an excellent example of a book for a new millennium.  Filled not just with words on paper, Teaching the Story is available in both print and partial-ebook formats and comes complete with downloadable reproducible hand-outs and activities via a CD program.  It’s received rave reviews from middle school teachers and authors alike.  Carol is a well-loved member of the SCBWI and is a fixture at the SCBWI Carolina’s annual conference, as well as conferences around the region, where she is often a presenter.  The three Gs in her life are gardening, grandchildren, and learning how to golf, and she is finishing up a YA historical novel as well. 

So tell us, Carol, you often teach the rest of us about writing.  But is there also an author or other publishing professional who has helped and guided you as you have progressed in your career as a writer?

Definitely. The person who has been the most helpful to me is Joyce Hostetter, author of Best Friends Forever, BLUE, COMFORT, and Healing Water.  Joyce and I met at a reading and writing conference where we were both presenting.  We discovered mutual interests and began collaborating on teacher workshops, professional conferences, and Talking Story, a digital newsletter for librarians, teachers, and home educators.  I found a “kindred spirit” as Anne Shirley of Anne of Avonlea once said.

Throughout our friendship and professional association, Joyce has never stopped encouraging me as a writer.  When I get down about how long it has taken me to complete my novel, she always reminds me that it is a process and that books have layers—which aren’t written at one time. She has edited and “tweaked” (her favorite word!) my synopsis and contest submissions—and as a result I have learned how to tighten my writing and include the most important details in my story. Her encouragement and support have been priceless. Now as I teach other writers, I realize that I am passing along what I learned from her.

That’s great, Carol!  Joyce definitely does have a lot that she can teach all of us.  Just reading the brilliant first page of Healing Water will tell you that!

I also think it’s great that you and Joyce have collaborated on the “Talking Story” digital newletter.  Several of the recent topics really caught my eye including: “The revision process, poetry, fantasy, and picture books for all ages.”  It seems like a very comprehensive list. What a great resource for all of us writers out here in the professional world!  I hope that many authors reading this blog post will sign up for Talking Story straight away. 

So in addition to publishing Talking Story, and speaking at many SCBWI and other writing and teaching-related conferences, how else would you say you reach back and reach out to other writers to help them learn new skills and move forward in this profession?

As the critique group coordinator for a SCBWI critique group in Charlotte for over 15 years, I have reached out to many writers—both novices and those who are further along their path to publication. I tell everyone to join SCBWI since it is a great source of information and support.  In the same way, when I have led workshops at teachers and writers conferences, at NCCAT (North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching), or when I teach writing at my local community college, I pass along what I have learned about writing and the publishing industry.

That’s great, Carol.  I know that you have a wonderful reputation of helping many professional writers learn more about the craft!  Can you give us a few secret little tips that you usually share with other authors when they ask you for guidance?

Of course!  The most consistent bits of advice that I give are:
·         Writing involves rewriting.  Always.
·         Read a lot. Learn from other authors-- in your genre and in other genres.
·         Persevere. It’s not easy to get published, but it is possible.
·         Start small with the magazine market. Belinda Hurmencetaught me that over 20 years ago and it helped me gain publishing experience and credits.
·         Hone your craft.  

Thanks Carol! Those are all great bits of advice!

One thing I’ve noticed about you, Carol, is that you seem to have really established a niche in teaching writing -- providing great presentations at conferences, and doing a lot of speaking in the schools and to teacher groups.  I personally attended a presentation you gave a few years ago on “writing for the educational market” and found it extremely helpful, well-resourced, and informative!  I went home with a whole packet of things to think about, websites to look up, and topics to pitch.  It was great!

I know there are many other children’s and YA authors who would like to get more involved in speaking at conferences and interacting with teachers and librarians and students in the schools to promote their books and to promote the love of reading and writing.  Can you give other authors any tips on how to go about finding opportunities to speak in the schools or to teachers, librarians or authors?

Yes. Since my most recent book, Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing inGrades 4-8   was for the educational market, I learned the importance of attending and presenting at teachers’ conferences. I also saw how teachers LOVE meeting authors!  Last year at the fall SCBWI-Carolinas conference I summarized what I learned during the years I spent researching educational conferences, preparing PowerPoints, and delivering interactive workshops. If you email me at I can send you a pdf of the PowerPoint.

I now teach at Central Piedmont Community College because I called the continuing education department and said I was interested in teaching writing for children. Since then I have added two other classes to my repertoire. All of these teaching opportunities take time and energy and passion. I have taught homeschool and give writing workshops at local libraries. Again, you have to invest time in reaching out to the homeschool community and libraries in your area. But if you love writing and enjoy teaching, they are great opportunities to become known in your community.

Thanks Carol, that’s a great starting point for us.  Huge thanks for your willingness to share your PowerPoint presentation on this theme with us for free.  That’s a great gift to all those interested in this topic!

Here’s a fun question.  I know that writing is an integral part of your life now as an adult.  How old were you when you first started writing?

I have been journaling for as long as I can remember and had several pen pals growing up.  I think that all of these writing activities trained me for translating thoughts into the written word. My first “published” piece was a short poem I wrote for a magazine my father subscribed to. I was probably 10 or 12 and was so proud of it! My mother, (who at 88 is still one of my biggest fans,) encouraged me as I grew up by saying, “You have a way with words.”

Parents should never underestimate their power to inspire their children.

That’s so true, Carol.  Parents, teachers, authors, mentors – we should all inspire the children in our lives to go for their dreams, and to build a love of writing.

Exactly. My dream, ever since I read Cynthia Voigt’s books thirty years ago, was to write fiction for young adults. I loved how her stories showed young people overcoming the challenges in their lives. I still remember scenes out of Dicey’s Song!

Up until about six years ago I felt very comfortable writing nonfiction, but the nagging feeling to try fiction wouldn’t go away. I took the plunge and attempted to write a picture book about a bird sanctuary in Charlotte. The project morphed into a boy’s chapter book, then a middle grade reader for girls, and now Half- Truths  is historical fiction for young adults. The story takes place in the south in 1950, when two teenage girls--one black and one white--break racial restrictions, uncover family secrets, and form a friendship which revolutionizes their families.  I am in the middle of rewriting the book from both girls’ points of view after receiving that advice from Mary Cate Castellani at last year’s SCBWI Carolinas conference. She suggested that it would open the book to a wider audience; which I hope will prove true!  But one thing is for sure, each time I receive a critique I grow as a writer.

The journey you’ve had with that manuscript so far is an excellent example of a point you made earlier, I think, Carol. You said: “Writing involves re-writing. Always.”  You are such a good example to us, because it seems like you’re definitely taking your own advice! J

Thanks so much for being here with us today, Carol, and for sharing just the beginning of your wisdom! For those interested in more great writing tips from Carol, check out her blog and don’t forget to sign up for the Talking Story newsletter.

Next week we’ll be right back here Saturday morning with an interview from Illustrator/Author and ARA of the SCBWI Carolinas Region, Bonnie Adamson, followed in the weeks to come by interviews with multi-published children’s author Stephanie Greene,  a new shooting star in the YA publishing world, Megan Shepard, plus more. 

Thanks again, Carol. Write on.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Each One Teach One: Children's/YA Authors Share their Wisdom In PRINT

As promised, we are back on task this week, with more author/illustrator and publishing professional tips! : ) Over the next 3 weeks we'll have interviews with extremely well-published Children's Author Stephanie Greene, Author and Writing Instructor Carol Baldwin, Children's Book Illustrator and SCBWI Carolinas ARA Bonnie Adamson, plus more. I'm excited about the wonderful tips and stories they'll share.

Today, we're also starting something new:  Pointing you toward great "in print" tips on the industry.

The continued goal of the "Each One Teach One" interviews is for writers and illustrators to learn from writers, illustrators, and publishing professionals who are experienced in the field.  But if we do only "interviews" we're leaving something out.  Many wise authors, illustrators, and leaders in this industry also share their tips for us IN PRINT.

So every month this summer I'm going to highlight one place where you can find great industry professional tips -- IN PRINT.  There's WRITERS DIGEST magazine, The CHILDREN'S WRITER Newsletter, and many other National and Regional writing publications and websites. I'll highlight the best ones here.

Today, we're starting with the PEN & PALETTE, a regional SCBWI Publication from the SCBWI Carolinas Region.  

If you're a children's or YA writer or illustrator and you're not a member of SCBWI -- the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators -- yet, I highly recommend it.  You can join at the national level by clicking the link above, and on the national website you'll find a link to your local state or regional SCBWI.

Many regional SCBWI groups have newsletters that share publishing tips with their members.  The SCBWI Carolinas Quarterly Publication the PEN & PALETTE is one of the great ones. (And I'm not just saying that because I write a column for the P&P detailing Opportunities for writers and illustrators.) : )

The newest editions of the PEN & PALETTE are only available to SCBWI members.  But for this week, I highly encourage you to check out some of this past year's great older articles written by Authors and Illustrators is 2011 and 2012 editions of the P&P.  

Here are recent article of interest from the 2011 and 2012 Editions:

Find the topic below (with edition and page number) that you want know more about. Then Click on the P&P link (here) to find the correct edition of the P&P, and the articles are right there online. Happy Reading!

Spring 2012  Pen and Palette
OPPORTUNITIES: Winning Niche Book Awards by Janelle Bitikofer ...12
TECH REPORT: How to Back-Up your Work by Stephen Messer ........14
CAUGHT IN THE WEB: Building Buzz for your Book by Laura Renegar ...16
BECOMING A SERIOUS WRITER: Setting as Character by Jo Hackl ...15
INSPIRATIONS: Creating a Mood Board by Andrea Jacobsen ...17

Winter 2012
OPPORTUNITIES: Consider making a book trailer by Janelle Bitikofer....21

Fall 2011
OPPORTUNITIES: Work for Hire by Jenny Murray ....11
COLLECTIVE WISDOM: What changes when you’re agented? by Niki Schoenfeldt...13
JUST STARTING OUT? SCBWI to the Rescue! by Donna Earnhardt ...12
CAUGHT IN THE WEB: Conference networking by Laura Renegar...18

Summer 2011
COLLECTIVE WISDOM: Social Networking Pros and Cons by Niki Schoenfeldt..13
INS AND OUTS OF PUBLISHING A YA NOVEL by Carol Baldwin and Steve Matchett...14

Spring 2011
COLLECTIVE WISDOM: Vernacular ain’t necessarily wrong by Carol Baldwin...12
WRITING ELEMENTS: Copy editing Crash Course by Megan Shepherd...16

I hope these articles will help help you as you further your career.

See you next Saturday for our next "amazing author" interview and tips.