Meet the Authors and Illustrators at Our 2020 ALA Midwinter Conference Booth—Hilda Eunice Burgos and Laurie Wallmark

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We are gearing up for our booth at the 2020 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia. In this blog series we are featuring each author or illustrator (two per day) who will be at our booth. Check out the description in each hour-long block. If you are planning to be at the exhibit hall at the Philadelphia Convention Center on January 25 and 26, please stop by to meet the authors and illustrators from our region and beyond. You may be entered to win a book, receive some cool swag, learn about bringing one of the authors to your school or community organization, or walk away with a signed book. NOTE: You must have an exhibit hall pass to attend (you can register here).

If you can’t make it to the ALA Midwinter conference, consider joining us at our Meet & Greet after the booth closes on Sunday evening. We’ll be gathering at the lobby bar at the Philadelphia Marriott, 1201 Market Street, on Sunday, January 26, from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

And if you can’t make the Meet & Greet either, join us virtually on Twitter (@SCBWIEastPA) with the hashtag #ALAMW20.

And now it’s time to meet two of the authors . . .

Hilda ALA

Laurie ALA

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Meet the Authors and Illustrators at Our 2020 ALA Midwinter Conference Booth—Kell Andrews and Donna Gehpart

ALAMW20-1024x558

We are gearing up for our booth at the 2020 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia. In this blog series we are featuring each author or illustrator (two per day) who will be at our booth. Check out the description in each hour-long block. If you are planning to be at the exhibit hall at the Philadelphia Convention Center on January 25 and 26, please stop by to meet the authors and illustrators from our region and beyond. You may be entered to win a book, receive some cool swag, learn about bringing one of the authors to your school or community organization, or walk away with a signed book. NOTE: You must have an exhibit hall pass to attend (you can register here).

If you can’t make it to the ALA Midwinter conference, consider joining us at our Meet & Greet after the booth closes on Sunday evening. We’ll be gathering at the lobby bar at the Philadelphia Marriott, 1201 Market Street, on Sunday, January 26, from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

And if you can’t make the Meet & Greet either, join us virtually on Twitter (@SCBWIEastPA) with the hashtag #ALAMW20.

And now it’s time to meet two of the authors . . .

Kell_ALA

Donna G ALA

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Meet the Authors and Illustrators at Our 2020 ALA Midwinter Conference Booth—Donna Boock and Katey Howes

ALAMW20-1024x558

We are gearing up for our booth at the 2020 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia. In this blog series we are featuring each author or illustrator (two per day) who will be at our booth. Check out the description in each hour-long block. If you are planning to be at the exhibit hall at the Philadelphia Convention Center on January 25 and 26, please stop by to meet the authors and illustrators from our region and beyond. You may be entered to win a book, receive some cool swag, learn about bringing one of the authors to your school or community organization, or walk away with a signed book. NOTE: You must have an exhibit hall pass to attend (you can register here).

If you can’t make it to the ALA Midwinter conference, consider joining us at our Meet & Greet after the booth closes on Sunday evening. We’ll be gathering at the lobby bar at the Philadelphia Marriott, 1201 Market Street, on Sunday, January 26, from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

And if you can’t make the Meet & Greet either, join us virtually on Twitter (@SCBWIEastPA) with the hashtag #ALAMW20.

And now it’s time to meet two of the authors . . .

Donna ALA

Katey ALA

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Meet the Authors and Illustrators at Our 2020 ALA Midwinter Conference Booth—Wendy Greenley and K.B. Anne

ALAMW20-1024x558

We are gearing up for our booth at the 2020 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia. In this blog series we are featuring each author or illustrator (two per day) who will be at our booth. Check out the description in each hour-long block. If you are planning to be at the exhibit hall at the Philadelphia Convention Center on January 25 and 26, please stop by to meet the authors and illustrators from our region and beyond. You may be entered to win a book, receive some cool swag, learn about bringing one of the authors to your school or community organization, or walk away with a signed book. NOTE: You must have an exhibit hall pass to attend (you can register here).

If you can’t make it to the ALA Midwinter conference, consider joining us at our Meet & Greet after the booth closes on Sunday evening. We’ll be gathering at the lobby bar at the Philadelphia Marriott, 1201 Market Street, on Sunday, January 26, from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

And if you can’t make the Meet & Greet either, join us virtually on Twitter (@SCBWIEastPA) with the hashtag #ALAMW20.

And now it’s time to meet two of the authors . . .

WENDY WITH DATE

KIM_ALA

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Member News — December 2019

Member News is a new monthly feature on the EasternPennPoints blog. We hope to celebrate our members’ good news and help spread the word far and wide. Send us your children’s-book-related news—book deals, releases, awards, author or illustrator events (signings, launch parties, appearances), etc. If you’d like your news to be included in next month’s column, please e-mail Laura Parnum at epa-ara@scbwi.org before January 20.

Here’s some exciting news from members in our region this month:

 

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Kell Andrews has a book contract with Tilbury House Publishers for her picture book This or That: A book About Decisions, which will release in 2021. Here’s what the book is about: Alexander Levine hates making choices, but not making up his mind means he usually misses out. For his birthday, he has a plan for a day without choices, but that turns out to be a big mistake.


 

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Eric Bell will be leading an eight-week novel writing workshop this winter in Norristown, PA. The workshop will include discussions on craft and publishing, freewriting opportunities with prompts and feedback, and workshop-style critiques. For more information about the workshop, e-mail ericbellwriter@gmail.com.

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A Kidlit Novel-Writing Workshop Opportunity in Eastern PA

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NOTE: This is not an SCBWI workshop but may be of interest to our members.

Middle grade author and Eastern PA SCBWI member Eric Bell is offering a kidlit novel-writing workshop this winter in Norristown, PA.

What is it? A Kidlit Novel-Writing Workshop (or KNoW for short)

Who would benefit most? Anyone interested in writing a novel for young people (chapter book, middle grade, or young adult)

What does it cost? $320 for eight weekly sessions

When is it? Roughly from late January/early February through late March/early April (more definitive dates will be available soon), 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Monday nights (though this may be flexible if enough people would prefer a different time)

Where is it? Eric’s house in Norristown

What will it include?

  • Freewriting every night with prompts designed to get you in a creative mindset, overcome writer’s block, and receive helpful feedback
  • Optional opportunities to bring in work from outside the group (maximum 15 pages) for critique
  • Discussion of craft, publishing, or anything kidlit related
  • A warm and supportive community of artists
  • Snacks!

How do I sign up? If you’re interested in the workshop or want to find out more about it, contact Eric at ericbellwriter@gmail.com.


Eric BellEric Bell has been teaching classes and workshops on children’s literature (“kidlit”) for the past year and has experience with teaching, writing, mentoring, editing, and helping writers find their voices. He has two published middle grade novels, Alan Cole Is Not a Coward and Alan Cole Doesn’t Dance, both out from HarperCollins. You can find out more about Eric on his website at www.iamericbell.com. There is also a Facebook group for KNoW, where he will occasionally post relevant information: https://www.facebook.com/Sayyestoknow

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The End, by Anthony D. Fredericks

Write Angles Logo

A Monthly Column by Anthony D. Fredericks

The End

coffe cupRecently, I met with a former student. Over tall cups of coffee, she told me about the challenges and difficulties she experiences every day as an inner city teacher. She regaled me with her vexations of working with a disconnected administration, parents who provide little in the way of academic support, and colleagues who are just putting in the minimum in order to survive. Having been in her classroom many times, I know the passion and dedication she puts into the job and the positive changes she engenders in her first grade students.

But, she is frustrated!

She is looking for change, but she is not sure what that change might be. She solicited my insight on where she should be going and what she should be doing. Instead of offering her a panoply of “professorial directives,” I invited her to craft a “Reverse Autobiography.” I asked her to imagine where she wanted to be, professionally, on the day of her retirement—34 years in the future. I encouraged her to write that goal at the top of a sheet of paper. Then, in three- or five-year increments, she should design a “backward hierarchy” of professional goals that would eventually lead up to that final goal. The last entry on this autobiography (at the bottom of the page) would be where she is right now. I also shared this quote with her: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll wind up somewhere else.”

writerAs writers, we often find ourselves in similar situations. We turn on our computer, access our word processing program, and begin typing. Somewhere along the line we stop—derailed by that old monster, “writer’s block.” The plot isn’t working, the character is not well developed, the setting isn’t clearly defined, and the point of view is disjointed. We are frustrated by the fact that a tale beautifully conjured by our mind is barely surviving when transferred to a computer screen. It’s just not coming together.

Several years ago, I began a new book project—a story about the amazing variety of life found in the Sonoran Desert of California and Arizona (where I grew up). I wanted to share the beauty of the geography, the diversity of lifeforms, and the splendor of the geology. But, I also didn’t want this to become just another Wikipedia entry—a collection of facts without emotion or enthusiasm. I wanted young readers to construct an affective bond with this ecosystem—a literary relationship that would transform a seemingly lifeless environment into a memorable reading experience.

But, I was frustrated.

I am the Desert coverEach draft and each rendition began with a simplistic listing of facts. And, each of those drafts was subsequently extinguished by the “delete” key on my keyboard. I didn’t know what to say or where to go. I hit a literary wall each time I started out. And so, in an effort to move away from a prescribed and comfortable way of writing, I decided to write the story in reverse. I began with the ending and wrote the story backward, finishing up with the beginning. The process and the results were transformative. The story reformatted itself into a dialogue between an anthropomorphic region and an inquisitive explorer. Here is that ending:

I am a land of discovery.
For here, there is much to learn.
Come and look.
I will share with you my rock-ribbed valleys,
my crimson cliffs,
and my layered miles of spine-studded plants
and brilliant creatures.
Come find my beauty!
I am the desert.

The endWhat I discovered was that an emphasis on the end of a story frequently sharpens my focus on what will transpire before that ending. I have pinpointed an exact termination for a tale—whether it be fiction or nonfiction, a picture book or a YA novel—by clearly delineating the end and then making sure that everything that leads up to that end is clear, precise, and necessary. In so doing, I eliminate extraneous dialogue, unnecessary characters, unfocused details, and meandering plot diversions. Just like in that great song by Johnny Nash (1972)—“I Can See Clearly Now” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FscIgtDJFXg)—with the end established, you too will be able to “clearly” see all obstacles in your way.

_____________

Fizzle cover

 

A retired professor of education and resident of York, PA, Tony is an award-winning writer of more than 50 children’s books, including I Am the Desert (https://amzn.to/2KY4fdS). He is also the author of the forthcoming (Spring 2020) adult trade book Fizzle: The Hidden Forces Crushing Your Creativity (https://amzn.to/2rsbJPs).

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