Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lee & Low Books' New Voices Award Writing Contest

Ooo! So exciting! Lee & Low's blog post today announces their 14th annual New Voices Award. It is "specifically designed to help authors of color break into publishing, an industry in which they are still dramatically underrepresented."

The contest is open to residents of the United States who are people of color who have not previously had a children's book published. Deadline is September 30, 2014.

Check out their blog post, submit your manuscript, and/or spread the good word!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

New Learning

It has been a crazy long time since my last post. For part of that time, I've been working on a new project that I am (as of now) envisioning as a picture book.

I started writing my heart out, but had to put on the brakes (*skids to a stop, red high-tops smoking*) to learn more about writing this particular genre. Which was an eye-opener for me, since as a Literacy Coach and Reading Specialist, I have read hundreds of picture books. I read them all the time. I read them to myself. I read them to teachers. I read them to students. I can quote them. I like to quote them. I'm a huge fan of picture books for all ages. I know many ways they can be used instructionally. I like the way they feel. I like the way they smell. I love picture books.

But I don't know how to write them. Huge difference. So I have been learning. Big, BIG shout out to my fellow Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) members for giving me their thoughts, suggestions, tips and resources for learning more about picture books and more importantly, the publishing of picture books, which is a learning curve unto itself.

There has been a great deal of chocolate involved in this process since I no longer drink coffee, but today, I did finally compile the steps, resources and suggestions in the way I think will work best for me: a 3 ring binder. Also in this binder, I have made a dummy storyboard (a mock up of a 32 page picture book) for my project so that I can more easily map out the flow of the story.

I am excited! What fun learning!