• 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.)  
  • 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
  • Dinosaur Look-Alike Series, written by Buffy Silverman   A huge dinosaur stomped around on two legs, hunting with sharp teeth and claws. Its head was large, but its arms were tiny. Was the dinosaur a Tyrannosaurus? Or was it an Allosaurus? Can You Tell a Tyrannosaurus from an Allosaurus helps young readers become experts at telling these look-alikes apart!    Other titles written by Buffy are: Can You Tell a Brachiosaurus from an Apatosaurus? Can You Tell a Giganotosaurus from a Spinosaurus? Can You Tell a Stegosaurus from an Ankylosaurus? Can You Tell a Triceratops from a Protoceratops? Can You Tell a Velociraptor from a Deinonychus?   The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science features poems for grades K-5 that connect science with reading and language arts.  Buffy Silverman's poem "Think of an Atom" helps fifth graders imagine an atom, so tiny, so small.   www.buffysilverman.com       Poison Tree, written by Kacey Vanderkarr With their home in ruins, Callie and Rowan are Eirensae’s last hope of stealing the cauldron back from Fraeburdh. They must travel into the human world where banished fae wait for Callie, desperate to sacrifice her before she comes of age. Something worse looms in Fraeburdh. Rowan is destined for a dark family legacy too horrifying to accept. Once the truth is revealed, will Callie ever look at Rowan the same way? Lost in a centuries-old war, Callie and Rowan will face their biggest rivals yet, and neither of them will make it out unscathed. www.KaceyVanderkarr.com   Gaijin: American Prisoner of War, a graphic novel written and illustrated by Matt Faulkner                                                                                                                                                                   With a white mother and a Japanese father, Koji Miyamoto quickly realizes that his home is no longer safe after Pearl Harbor is attacked. Inside an internment camp, he learns that being half white is just as difficult as being half Japanese on the streets of San Francisco. Koji's story, based on Faulkner’s family history, is brought to life in cinematic illustrations which reveal his struggle to find his place in a tumultuous world- one where he’s a prisoner of war in his own country.   www.mattfaulkner.com    Rosie Rides the Rainbows, by Lucy Simkins   Rosie Rides the Rainbows is the story of Rosie who shares a day with her Grandpa in a country farmhouse during a winter storm. Grandpa struggles to make Grandma's special fudge for his Granddaughter after the recent death of Grandma. Rosie has questions.  Is Grandma in a better place?  Does she think of them?  Grandpa's fun, caring, and logical personality has no answers.  Rosie leaves the farmhouse and returns from a MAGICAL JOURNEY with answers for her and Grandpa.   Find Lucy on Facebook at Lucy Simkins author   Lelani and the Plastic Kingdom, written and illustrated by Robb N. Johnston “A plastic bottle floating in the water was really nothing special, but something about this one made Lelani scoop it up for closer inspection. She opened it to find a note, written in a bold, flourishing script...” So begins an adventure for a little girl named Lelani, who stars in this fantastical tale dealing with a serious issue concerning our shared environment: marine plastic pollution. The story will entertain, educate, and empower readers of all ages while the vibrant watercolor illustrations truly draw readers into Lelani's world. robbnjohnston.com   War Unicorn, written by S.L. Carlson Reg is content working in his family’s apple orchard—or as content as he can be, doing chores and dreaming of magic—when he digs up an antique ring and releases a rude unicorn. She claims she belongs to the king, but can’t tell him which king. Reg promises to deliver her to the palace. But the looming war changes all plans. The bonds of family and friendship are stretched. Even with the help of Reg’s new friends, it’ll take all the courage—and magic—he has to find the unicorn’s rightful king and prevent war. www.sandycarlson.com   Santa's New Tradition, illustrated by Michelle Ouellette One Christmas Eve, Santa sees something in a home that gives him a notion for a new tradition, but he is not sure how to get it started. This book tells the story of Santa’s visit to the home and of a little girl’s discovery of the waste caused by wrapping paper and her promise to help Santa.    www.michellecandraw.com       The Heart Of The Swarm, written by Dave Stricklen “The Heart Of The Swarm” is the third and final book in David Stricklen’s YA Blackwater Pond Series. The first book took readers, “Beneath and Beyond,” the second book had us peering “Through The Eyes Of The Beast”. The third book builds on the first two with all paths leading into the cataclysmic ending called “The Heart Of The Swarm.”  Stricklen@gmail.com     Dino-Boarding, written by Lisa Wheeler Young sports fans will find plenty to cheer about in the latest Dino series picture book. Wheeler makes a brilliant lateral move to board sports. No, not board games; the agile dinosaurs are now competing on surfboards, skateboards, and snowboards, as hordes of loyal fans fill the stands. www.lisawheelerbooks.com     Uncles and Antlers, written by Lisa Wheeler Once a year, every year, the seven uncles gather. Here is a playful tribute to a famous team of eight relatives who, once a year, every year, bring delight to children. www.lisawheelerbooks.com       The Joy Valley Turtle, written by Andrew Lubbers   The Joy Valley Turtle is a children’s chapter book about a turtle in Northern Michigan who finds himself far from home and must overcome many hardships to find his way back. During the turtle’s adventurous trip home, he must find ways to stay positive and keep moving forward or risk delaying the return to his family. Along the way Turtle finds the importance of friendship and discovers help in the most unusual ways. www.Alubbers.com   The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School, written by Deborah Diesen, pictures by Dan Hanna   On his first day of school, Mr. Fish is nervous, because he doesn’t know how to write his name, how to draw shapes, or how to do math.  Then he finds his classroom and meets his teacher, and he is reassured that school is the perfect place to learn!   www.deborahdiesen.com       Oh, No! The Tooth Fairy Broke Her Wing!  written by Lisa Rose   The Tooth Fairy broke her wing.  How will the Tooth Fairy be able collect the children’s teeth?    www.LisaRoseWrites.wordpress.com         Nap-a-Roo Board Book, written by Kristy Kurjan Award winning board book, Nap-a-Roo, is a fun, and whimsical board book for babies, toddlers, and beyond.  Reception of a 2014 Silver Moonbeam Award, this sweet nursery rhyme tells a story of the kangaroo who lives in a zoo.  It's colorful illustrations are modern, bright, and eye catching. This is the perfect addition to any toddler or baby collection.        Edward Hopper Paints His World, written by Robert Burleigh This 40-page picture book for children 5-9 follows Hopper’s life from childhood to old age, noting his long art apprenticeship, his lack of early success, and his many achievements.  Hopper’s style, his various subjects, and his particular themes are all discussed along the way. Back matter includes further notes on Hopper’s place in American art, some of his thoughts on creativity, and small reproductions of and brief comments on four of his better known works. www.robertburleigh.com   A House for Mr. Mouse, written by Jennifer Pahl Otto The merriment of Christmas has barely come to an end when something unexpected happens to Mr. Mouse's special hiding place! So now he must find a new place to live.  His sudden discovery may turn out to be the perfect house for Mr. Mouse - but perhaps not... This charming story, beautifully illustrated with watercolor paintings at almost every turn of the page, cries out to be read aloud to children of all ages - by children of all ages!  https://www.facebook.com/JenniferPahlOtto   Into the Killing Seas, written by Michael P. Spradlin In 1945, two boys are separated from their parents and stranded on Guam. They barely survive the Japanese occupation, the Allied invasion and want nothing more to return to the Philippines to reunite their family. With the help of a friendly Marine, they stow away aboard the USS Indianapolis at it sails for Leyte Gulf. When the ship is sunk by Japanese torpedoes, the boys are plunged into the middle of the worst naval disaster in US history. Will they survive the sun, sea and relentless shark attacks?    www.michaelspradlin.com     Borderline: A Zak Taggart Mystery, written by Jim Vander May   Thirteen year old Zak faces many challenges after his family moves to a small border town in Washington State. Where will find new friends? How will he deal with a bully at Mountain View Middle School. But he finds his greatest challenge when he and his hodgepodge group of friends stumble upon an unimaginable terror coming across the border and unless they stop it, thousands of lives will be lost. (Tate Pub.)   Email: jvdmay@att.net   My Near-Death Adventures (99% True!), written by Alison DeCamp It’s 1895, and there are many things 11-year-old Stan would like to have in life, most of all, a father. But what if his dad isn’t “dearly departed” after all? Who better to find him than manly Stan himself? Unfortunately, he’s stuck in a lumber camp for the winter. Stuck with his impossible cousin, Geri, evil Granny, and Cold-Blooded Killer Stinky Pete. It’s a wild ride for Stan as he finds out what it truly means to be a man. Stan’s story will leave readers in stitches, but not the kind that require medical attention.  www.alisondecamp.com   Beyond the Portal,  cover art by Kirbi Fagan A missing Grandfather. Two missing friends. A forbidden rescue plan. www.kirbiillustrations.com         At Portal's End, cover art by Kirbi Fagan Christy’s father is stranded in the Empty World, and she won’t let anyone stop her from going to rescue him. www.kirbiillustrations.com       Fairy Tale, cover art by Kirbi Fagan Once upon a time, a girl named Sophie Drake danced with the fairies in the woods behind her grandparents' Louisiana home. But she closed the door to the fairy world and turned her back on the Fae when they tried to steal her little sister Emily. Fourteen years later, Sophie heads to New York City on a desperate mission. Emily, now an up-and-coming Broadway actress, has gone missing. Only Sophie suspects the Fae. www.kirbiillustrations.com   Billy Bobbly Makes a Magic Wand, cover art by Kirbi Fagan "E = mc2 is no longer the most powerful force in the universe. Your wand is." Twelve-year-old Billy Bobble and his best friend Suzy Quinofski didn't mean to change the universe. Billy, a quantum physics prodigy, just wanted to find a way to help his hoarding, schizophrenic mother – and maybe impress a coven of older girls in high school. www.kirbiillustrations.com     Ten Rules of Being a Superhero, written and illustrated by Deb Pilutti   In order to be a real superhero, you have to follow some important rules: Rule #1: A superhero must ALWAYS respond to a call for help. Rule #2: Saving the day is messy. But everyone understands. Captain Magma and his trusty sidekick, Lava Boy, take young readers on an adventure to learn all ten rules of being a good superhero. www.debpilutti.com   Jonah and the Great Big Fish, written by Rhonda Gowler Greene   Jonah disobeyed God, which landed him—splish splash!—inside the belly of a huge fish!  How would he ever get out?  Told in playful rhythm and rhyme, and newly re-illustrated (by Margaret Spengler), this Old Testament story of Jonah is perfect for little ones and children just learning to read.  (ZonderKidz) www.rhondagowlergreene.com     Stephie’s Swing, written by Stephanie Schultz   Stephie is an ambitious and inquisitive little girl who believes she can accomplish anything! However, she often feels discouraged when the cast of characters she meets tells her that she cannot achieve her goals and fulfill her dreams. Stephie’s journey of self-love encourages us to be the heroes of our hearts and the doers of our dreams.     Website: www.sugardaughter.com     The Hunter Awakens (The Morus Chronicles Book 1) by J.R. Roper   Servants of the Dark believe thirteen-year-old Ethan Morus is from a line of treasure hunters who possess a rare instinct to locate powerful artifacts. Whether he has the instinct or not, Ethan is faced with a choice—search the Morus property and find what they want or lose yet another family member.   www.joerroper.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  • THE HOOK OF THE BOOK: Creating Illustrations that Capture the Reader Illustrator-Writer Conference in Dexter, MI, May 16, 2015             lllustrators (and writers who appreciate the magic of artwork in picture books), reserve Saturday, May 16 for an all-day encounter with award-winning “artistrator” E.B. Lewis.             Our day of intensive study of children’s book art is called “The Hook of the Book.” The hook is that special point in a book where the reader is compelled to keep reading. For editors, librarians, teachers, parents, and children, the hook is what pulls us in, what keeps us reading, and what remains with us after the last page is turned. This one-day conference will explore the hook of the book from many angles, and you will leave with ideas on how to improve your art and writing, making your work stand out in this ever-more-competitive field.             Lewis, who has illustrated and/or written over 60 books, will lead us through formal and informal instruction and critiques, designed to change how we SEE. We’ll have a few others surprises for attendees as well; more details to follow soon.              E.B. Lewis won the Caldecott Honor for “Coming on Home Soon,” written by Jacqueline Woodson. His books have won several Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards, ALA Notable Book awards, and other honors. His fine art is collected and displayed in galleries across the nation. He is a master at identifying the emotion and story in text and showing it in the illustration.             Lewis taught art in public school for twelve years, continues to teach at the University of Arts in Philadelphia, and privately mentors illustration students. No matter what level of mastery an artist has achieved, Lewis can help to push the craft higher.             Our Hook of the Book illustrator day will be held at Thomson-Shore, a 100% employee-owned book publisher, printer, and distributor located in Dexter, Michigan.             Thomson-Shore lies 18 minutes west of the heart of Ann Arbor, an hour and a half east of Kalamazoo, and 2 hours from central Grand Rapids.     Find out more about E. B. at  http://eblewis.com/ Find out more about this conference at our website:  http://michigan.scbwi.org/ on our Mitten blog:  http://scbwimithemitten.blogspot.com/ on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ScbwiMi, on Twitter at @SCBWI-MI, and our MichKids listserv. Whew.
Welcome!

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.

 

EVENTS CALENDAR

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:

 

Harold Underdown and Eileen Robinson to present new webinar seriesRevising and Re-Imagining Your Picture Book Manuscript – beginning April 29. Registration will open soon.

 

Saturday, Feb. 28: Book Beat and the Sierra Club present Official Launch and Fundraiser

 

Sunday, March 1: Book Beat and Berkley Schools Present the 8th Read in the Park – Berkley, MI

 

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

 

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