• The Mitten is the official blog for the Michigan chapter of SCBWI. Please spread the word and share with anyone interested in reading, writing, and creating quality literature for children and young adults.  http://scbwimithemitten.blogspot.com/ SCBWI-MI members are encouraged to submit blog posts.  What are we looking for? Success stories tips on any aspect of the publishing process - writing, illustrating, promotion, time management, etc. agent/editor interviews photos, personal impressions, and brief overviews of events, such as conferences, meet-ups, book signings, book clubs, festivals, etc. reviews of books on craft We’re also looking for contributions for our ongoing features: Ask Frida Pennabook: Sometimes it's helpful to tap into the expertise of a fellow writer or artist. Got a question? Need advice? Just ask Frida. Hugs and Hurrahs: We want to trumpet your good news! Send 1-3 sentences about your accomplishment. We love to include photos and art, too. Do you have an idea for a blog post or a new feature?  We’d love to hear it! Submission guidelines: Please query Kristin Lenz at kristinbartleylenz@gmail.com. Include a 1-3 sentence bio and any links, art, book covers, or photos to accompany your blog post. (All images must be your personal property or fair use/public domain.)  
  • A Cool Summer Tail written by Carrie Pearson In A Cool Summer Tail animals wonder how humans stay cool too. Do they dig under the dirt or grow special summer hair? This companion to the award-winning A Warm Winter Tail features many of same animals, but with their summer adaptations, offering an important “compare and contrast” opportunity. www.carriepearsonbooks.com   Big Pigs, written and illustrated by Leslie Helakoski Three piglets compete with each other to see who is the dirtiest, greediest, sneakiest pig on the farm. Who will win the ultimate title of Biggest Pig? Reviewed by School Library Journal, May 2014 The illustrations are engaging and amusing, but it’s the vocabulary that really shines. Helakoski reveals her love of language with singsong rhymes and alliterative word groups, such as “They gobbled and gulped./They mashed and mangled./They swallowed and swilled.” The large format, comical narrative, and repetitive and rhyming phrases make this book ideal for sharing. www.helakoskibooks.com Spoonful of Sweetness, written by Maria Dismondy What's more fun than showing your baby how to blow kisses? Teaching them how to display respect, empathy, and other powerful traits that will support them on their journey through life.Start empowering your baby to live an extraordinary life by modeling positive character traits.  This book reminds us that an infant can begin exhibiting acts of kindness well before they are walking and talking.   http://www.mariadismondy.com   Holly Wild: Packing for the Porkies, written & Illustrated by Lori Taylor Holly and her Team head to Michigan’s Yooperland, the Porcupine Mountains, home of big trees, big water, Bunyan and Bigfoot. Her quest for wilderness is interrupted by mysterious happenings at Camp Firewood, which has her running from a film crew and testing survival skills to find a missing “Porkies” artist. www.loritaylorart.com       The Colored Car by Jean Alicia Elster During the summer of 1937, after a train trip with her mother and sisters to Clarksville, Tennessee, a twelve-year-old African American girl discovers some life-changing truths about her world both in her hometown of Detroit and in America below the Mason-Dixon line. www.jeanaliciaelster.com      Wildfire, by Sandy Carlson   A cowboy-Indian middle grade tale of Lakota Sioux ranching in the Black Hills of South Dakota. After his parents' sudden death, 12-year-old Brandon struggles to embrace his mother's culture with a family he barely knew existed.   www.sandycarlson.com       Stacks of Flapjacks, by Sandy Carlson, cartoons by Johnny Carlson   Non-fiction middle grade book about lumberjack meals in the late 1800's. Or would that be shantyboy meals? Loggers, perhaps? Learn about meals and a rich vocabulary in a winter camp during a slice of Americana.   www.sandycarlson.com       Logging Winter, by Sandy Carlson   13-year-old R.T. works in a U.P. Michigan winter logging camp in 1875. Will he survive the winter as cook's helper without burning off his fingers, or getting beaten up by the fighting men from Camp One, or a suspicious boss who thinks R.T. is someone else?   www.sandycarlson.com     The Traveler's Trunk: Medieval Quest, by Amanda Litz Through a magic trunk Jacob, Sierra and Brent are whisked away to a medieval kingdom plagued by a giant problem. Their adventure takes a turn for the worse when Sierra is kidnapped, leaving Jacob and Brent to embark on a dangerous mission to save her before it’s too late. http://www.travelerstrunkpublishing.com/media.html     Reflection Pond, by Kacey Vanderkarr As a seventeen-year-old foster, Callie knows a lot more about pain than she does about family. While running from her latest failed attempt at being normal, Callie falls home to faerieland—completely by accident. http://kaceyvanderkarr.com/2014/04/28/reflection-pond-blog-tour/     Sucker Literary Volume 3, contribution by Kacey Vanderkarr Eleven stories that delve into the depths of our experience—driven by fierce and untouched love that makes us seek, lose, fear, desire, long, reflect, survive, steal, protect, fall, and confess. http://www.suckerliterary.com/       Camp Stinks! by Karen Dawn Blum   Kate Baker has to go back to a camp she hates for the fourth summer in a row. Kate must find a way to handle her worst enemy, The Cabbage, and not get eaten alive by mosquitoes and bears. www.KarenBlumBooks.com.                   Take the Field, by Matt Damman   Take the Field is the first book in a series by author Matthew Damman about a cast of fun loving characters called The Small Sports. The Small Sports help teach children (ages 3-8) about the positive aspects of sports and staying active such as teamwork and good sportsmanship, all through their exciting storybook adventures. Take the Field is an engaging story about how a little group of friends can do big things when they work together.    www.facebook.com/thesmallsports   Fairies and Fireflies, by Rebecca Price   In the Wide, Wild Field, friendship is bigger than fear, and can be found in the unlikeliest of places.   http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20403808-fairies-and-fireflies       Heart of Rock, by Rebecca Price Two Kingdoms in crisis. Two heroes. One talisman. "Heart of Rock" is three interconnected short stories that look at the question: when one questing hero finds a magical amulet, what happens to those who've lost it? http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21868075-heart-of-rock     Sherpa's Adventure, by Lori Costew Time Travel - Helping Famous Historical Figures - Stopping Bullying at Pineville Middle School - Battling Transfiguring HuBots - Saving the World from an Evil Dictator - … just a day in the life of 16 year old Sherpa!  http://www.sherpakids.com/     Deadly Delicious, cover art by Kirbi Fagan Twelve-year-old Josephine DeLune can't take the heat this sweltering summer of 1955, and she was out of the kitchen long ago. www.kirbiillustrations.com       Portal Through the Pond, cover art by Kirby Fagan The pond in Christy's yard is in fact a portal to another world. And what's more, her grandfather had disappeared in that world nine years earlier.   www.kirbiillustrations.com       Clouds In Her Eyes, illustrated by Kirby Fagan Included in the Anthology: "Writers and Illustrators of the Future", published by Galaxy Press www.kirbiillustrations.com         Who Are You?, written by Terri Rowe This follows the story of a little boy who learns some lessons about helping everyone feel welcome in the classroom when a new girl arrives at school and gets teased. Trough his mom's guidance and with the help of his grandma's cookies recipe, he manages to make Marie feel welcome at last. There is a sugar cookie recipe featured at the end of the story that was my grandma's recipe. http://terrikrowe-writer.blogspot.com/     Emily's Cat Tale, written by Terri Rowe This follows the story of a little cat as she prepares for her role in the town play. Will she be a star? Will the audience be blown away? It will depend on how the show goes. This storybook is also going to be made into a mini-musical that will be performed in July by True JEM Productions of Holland, MI. http://terrikrowe-writer.blogspot.com/     Snow Angels, written by Patti Richards What happens when the snow angels that Kate and Christy create come to life after the girls go to bed? A snowy celebration of snow-angel fun. From skating on the frozen pond to crunching and munching snow pie, these snow angels know all about how to have winter fun! pattigail1.wordpress.com     Picture Day Perfection, written by Debbie Diesen A rumpled shirt, bedhead, spilled paint, no complimentary plastic comb, and other disasters would seem to ruin a boy’s plan to have the perfect school picture.  But not if your idea of a perfect photo is a perfectly AWFUL photo!  Humorous story with great kid appeal and a surprise ending. www.deborahdiesen.com     I Like My Body, by Monica Harris I LIKE MY BODY teaches young children the different parts of the body and what they're used for. Noses are for smelling pizza while feet are for splashing through puddles.  This is a TunTun book which is a Korean company that teaches young readers English as a second language. monicaharrisbooks.com     Where's My Tushy?, written by Deborah Aronson "In one little town (it is sad but it's true), the tushies left town without leaving a clue."  Told in playful rhyme, "Where's My Tushy?" shows just how difficult life could be if tushies decided to take a vacation.  Late one night, all the tushies in one unusual town disappear. It causes more trouble than anyone expects.  No one's pants fit quite right, and they can't take a seat.  Will their tushies ever come back? www.lernerbooks.com/products/t/13123/9781467711975/wheres-my-tushy     Zoomun Noomun, written and Illustrated by Mick Thompson Zoomun Noomun is a children's book about a boy who races a lion. It's an action-packed journey to Africa and back. In the boy's adventure, he learns about motivation, purpose, and respect for others. http://mickegoart.com       Breathless, by S. D. Grimm Eighteen year old Claire Summers has a rare gift she must keep secret, she's a Breather. When she touches an object someone else has touched, she can see that person’s memories. After she stumbles across a memory of her friend in danger, she'll do anything to help rescue him. The problem is, her secret will be revealed. If the wrong people find out about her ability, they’ll hunt her, because Breathers are powerful weapons. www.sdgrimm.com   Bed Head Ted, written by Steve Platto This funny picture book is about a kid who wakes up each morning with such crazy hair—aka “bed head”—that he and his bed are put on permanent display in an art museum and become a worldwide sensation. But does Ned have a head for fame? Only time will tell. https://www.facebook.com/bedheadofned     Voices Across the Lakes: Great Lakes Stories and Songs, written by Anita Pinson The book contains 10 beautifully illustrated historical fiction stories, each of which wraps around an authentic song from that era. The audio of each song is on the website, sung by children the same age as the main characters of the stories. An interactive book to read and sing with, full cover to cover with bits of our history. www.voicesacrossthelakes.com     Nap-a-Roo, by Kristy Kurjan It's time for a nap-a-roo just like the kangaroo. Little ones can't get enough of this adorable board book in ebook format. With colorful images and imaginative text, your little one will fall in love with the story. Fast, fun, and engaging, Nap-a-Roo makes sleepy time special for children and parents! https://www.facebook.com/naparoobook     Mouse and Mole: Secret Valentine, by Wong Herbert Yee Mouse gets a funny feeling inside, like butterflies in her stomach. Mole does too.  They are neighbors and best friends. Could there be something more with Valentine's Day approaching?         Ducklings on the Move, by Jennifer Rumberger A mama duck guides her ducklings as they take their first trip to the pond. Waddling along, they encounter a variety of animals, each a different color. While teaching children about different colors and animals, it also provides a unique look at nature from the eyes of the young ducklings. http://www.jenniferrumberger.com/p/my-writing.html.             Scrapbook of My Revolution, by Amy Lynn Spitzley I may as well say it up front. I'm Malian. Yeah, one of the freaks. I've got gold skin and the ability to read emotions. It's great fun, too, believe me. Yeah, right. Anger. Frustration. Desire. Try reading those all day. But I'm not the only one who's frustrated. We're all mixed-up and sick of the bad press and attacks and everything else from Regulars. Things are changing, though. I'm getting other Malians in my school together. We might be able to show people that we're just as human as they are...unless one of my best supporters is really public enemy number one. amyspitz@juno.com     Noah and the Mighty Ark, by Rhonda Gowler Greene   After Noah built the ark, “he called the creatures two by two.”  Yes, “from far and wide he called each pair that crept or crawled or hopped or flew or stomped or tromped, or s-s-slithered too.”  A delightful rhyming account of Noah and the ark, newly re-illustrated by Margaret Spengler.  (ZonderKidz)   www.rhondagowlergreene.com       One Lost Sheep, by Rhonda Gowler Greene   One of the shepherd’s 100 sheep is missing!  He looks behind trees and rocks, and under brambles, in his frantic search to find it.  Told in playful rhythm and rhyme, and newly re-illustrated by Margaret Spengler, this re-telling of the lost sheep parable will delight young readers.  (ZonderKidz)   www.rhondagowlergreene.com     Zumbi, illustrated by Katie Eberts 'Have you ever met an alien? Someone from outer space? Have you wondered what it would be like to see him face to face?   Would his hair be green or maybe red? Would he have a mouth and nose,  green skin, big ears, four legs, one eye, three arms, do you suppose?'   http://happylife.carbonmade.com       The Power of Two, written by Lori J. Sawicki   The story of Jamie and Pru—unlikely best friends, who meet after Jamie’s daring escape from Sadie’s sixth-grade Too Cool Club makes her the target of bullying. Tiny, intellectual, chronically ill Pru helps Jamie stand up to Sadie, and Jamie learns the power of friendship as she develops self-confidence and courage in the face of tragedy.   www.identitynovels.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
  • Wouldn't you love to attend a children's book conference without traveling? No airports, hotels, gas stations, or expense reports? No work time lost? Register and view our affordable webinars from the comfort of your home or office — wherever and whenever you have access to a computer. Or join your friends and colleagues who have registered and watch together. Webinars are convenient and easy; even technologically-challenged people can register and view… "You guided me from ignorantly-intimidated to old-dog-learned-new-trick! Well done! This internet thing might not be so bad." The 2014 Webinar Series Hosted by SCBWI-MI and Delve Writing: A Four Part Virtual Classroom Experience for Children’s Book Writers and Writer/Illustrators. Intended for anyone interested in more information on the children’s book industry. Focused on traditional publishing, but beneficial to all creators. Webinars include live Q&A and a handout for future reference. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER for one or multiple sessions. Receive a reduced rate for registering for all four sessions versus registering for each session individually. SCBWI members enjoy a reduced fee.   - Webinar 1: Children’s Book Industry 101: Terms, Conventions, and How It Works lead by Carrie Pearson and moderated by Leslie Helakoski. Description: A nuts and bolts session for writers and writer/s including standards for traditional publishing (formatting, word counts for categories, conventions, what’s pushy, what’s polite), how the industry works (role of agent vs. editor, publishing houses and what they offer, large house vs. small vs. regional), and how we get paid (advance, royalties).   - Webinar 2: Put Your Best Foot Forward – Introducing Your Work to the Industry presented by Monica Harris and moderated by Leslie Helakoski. ​ Description: Once you’ve produced a tightly written, intriguing story, it’s time to introduce it to the publishing world. How do you make your work intriguing to industry professionals? How do you present yourself and your work professionally? Topics include: Query letters – What is a query letter?  What is its purpose?  How to create one that will excite editors/agents and have them begging to see your work. Cover letters – How is this different than a query letter?  What is appropriate to include? What is not?   Webinar 3: Finding the Right Fit – Researching the Right Agent, Editor, and/or Publishing House presented by Harold Underdown and moderated by Carrie Pearson. Description: What do you do when you send out a manuscript? Ask a writer friend for the names of some good publishers? Blast it out to every publishing company and agent listed in your market guide? Those approaches are not the best way to do what you want to do – which is to “find the right fit” and send your manuscript or query only to those agents or publishers most likely to be interested. Mr. Underdown provides a market overview to orient participants and describe how to gather information all the time, so you won’t have to stop to research when you finish a manuscript. He points you to the best information sources, discusses conferences and conventions, and shares techniques for analyzing publishers’ catalogs. He offers submission rules and etiquette and gives insights into what editors and agents like and don’t like. There are no guarantees in publishing, and your writing will still have to be great, but following these “best practices” will give you a better chance of landing an agent or contract.   Webinar 4: The Author as Entrepreneur – Surviving (and Thriving In) the Publishing Revolution presented by Julie Hedlund and moderated by Leslie Helakoski. Description: While the storm-cloud of changes in the publishing industry continues to swirl around us, one thing is certain. To succeed as an author or illustrator in the 21st century, you must be an entrepreneur. Whether you plan to traditionally publish, self-publish, e-publish, or take a hybrid approach, you must advocate for yourself and your work. You need to find a community and build an audience. Having an author platform is important, but it is not enough. You need to treat your books and your writing as a business. In this webinar, children's author Julie Hedlund shows the tools and skills needed to create a thriving business from your writing. You will come away feeling empowered and inspired to achieve your writing business goals. Better yet, you will realize that doing so is NOT scary, will NOT take all of your writing time away, and is creative and FUN! "You guys absolutely ROCK at putting together great presentations and making them really work! Thank you so much!"   – author, Elizabeth McBride  Illustration credit: Nina Goebel
  • Join us this February in New York City for an incredible weekend with the top editors, agents, art directors, authors and illustrators in the children's publishing world. The Annual Winter Conference in New York is an excellent opportunity to learn, get inspired and network with others in the children's book industry.  Click HERE for more information!. Sign up NOW!!!!!!

The strength of SCBWI lies in its individual members. Whether you are a creator, publisher, reviewer, librarian, bookseller, educator, or simply someone with a love of literature and a desire to see the best in the hands of children, we invite you to get to know us better.



Current SCBWI-MI Events:


Meet-Ups – no charge, regular events at locations around Michigan


Talent Showcase: Let us help promote your work on the chapter's website!


The 2014 Webinar Series Library: From Manuscript to Submission. Register for our four session virtual classroom experience.


Other Industry-Related Events Around the Great State of Michigan:


Got news to share? A new release to celebrate? Contact Debbie HERE 


For events happening around the world, navigate to the Events Calendar