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Category Archives: young adult fiction
“Books Are Fun”
Children’s Book Festival 2011, Family Day 3rd April 2011, 10.00am to 4.00pm
State Library of Victoria and the Wheeler Centre
This free programme of ‘events’ over the Sunday was hugely popular. It was described as “the biggest celebration of children’s books that Melbourne has ever seen”. Families and children’s book lovers crammed into venues to hear a wonderful assemblage of Australia’s leading authors and illustrators. They queued for meter after meter to meet authors and illustrators and have their load of precious books signed. They waited for hours to be able to get into workshops, storytelling and performances.
The ‘Family Day’ was the brainchild of the State Library of Victoria and the Wheeler Centre who held, coordinated and promoted the various sessions. Authors and illustrators were fully utilised, most doing at least two events on the programme. [http://wheelercentre.com/static/files/assets/087ddc27/CBW_Childrensbooks_A4programme-DR7.pdf ]
Some notes from the day:
John Nicholson/Roland Harvey interview with SLV staffer
John Nicholson (architect) – author and illustrator
John started writing fiction. His publisher suggested he write non-fiction.
Working with A&U – John has an idea and approaches them with it or they have an idea and approach John. At one stage they seemed to take a turn about with this process. He now just develops ‘the ideas I want to’. He prefers to work alone now.
John agreed with Roland, in creating an authentic “Sense of place” it was important, if at all possible, to do the research for the text and images on location.
Roland Harvey (architect) author and illustrator
History was something that always fascinated him and which initially led him to writing and illustrating books.
Family activities have inspired some of his books – “At the Beach” and ‘To the Top End”. “You need to know, to “feel” the place you are writing about. To research you should “be there to be really successful”. Otherwise ther is the internet but Roland considered this sort of research “much harder” in trying to create a real sense of ‘place’.
He collaborates a lot. His latest book is a collaboration with Mem Fox which was launched at the Family Day. He doesn’t publish any more and mainly works with Penguin and A&U. He liked the freedom he had as publisher. He surrounded himself with experts in each area. He found his best books were done “against the advice of others”. It was risky but he LOVED the freedom to do what he was passionate about.
His next project is another picture book based on family travels. He is also avidly exploring Apps and is excited about this development in children’s books.
Terry Denton/Chris Morpeth interview with SLV staffer
Terry Denton author/illustrator
The place where I like to write/draw:
I have a studio in my backyard. It is quiet, no distractions.
“Gasp” is my favourite of my creations.
Denton and Andy Griffith go away for a week together when working on a new joint project to ‘get it started’.
Chris Morpeth (former teacher) author
The place where I like to write:
In a café over coffee – there are no distractions. At home, I get distracted with Nintendo and Mario. I make my stories up as I go along. I think the more you do the better you get.
Terry & Chris agreed re book writing/creation, “If it is too organised, it doesn’t work!”
Leigh Hobbs interview with SLV staffer
Leigh Hobbs (former teacher) author/interviewer
His first version of ‘Old Tom’ was rejected. This version had an angrier look and smoked a cigar. The next version, accepted, was more humorous and sly. Leigh draws the pictures for his books first as he has his ‘run of ideas’. Then he ”works“ to finish the book. He felt he wrote books of the sort he liked a a kid. He loved Enid Blyton, Treasure Island.
A lesson he learnt early, was that children want “Mums” kept within certain parameters, e.g. Old Tom’s ‘Mum’, Angela Throgmorton.
If you are searching for an agent, there is a very helpful blog by Casey McCormick which features “Agent Spotlights.”
She posts information about a wide variety of agents who represent children’s and young adult fiction.
The other essential to join is Query Tracker – http://www.querytracker.com – this very comprehensive site offers advice re query letters, publisher updates, agent info and much more!
Novel competition and an anthology going. Submission guidelines for ms submission.
Short Story Anthology – theme ‘Last Contact’ – flash up to 5,000 words, 31 March deadline. See website:
1. Notes from the Gean (March 2011) featuring haiku, tanka, haiga, haibun, renga/renku. Writers are invited to submit their work for the June issue.
2. Haibun Today (March 2011) featuring Haibun and Tanka Prose and the largest online collection of literary criticism of the haibun and tanka prose forms. Writers are now invited to submit haibun, tanka prose and articles for consideration in the June 2011 issue.
Romance under a Waning Moon: Call for submissions. This is a poetry and image website focused on the ups and downs of later-in-life romance. This project has just been started and writers are invited to submit already published poems (preferable) or new work to Editor Ray Rasmussen.
WIN A VIDEO MONTAGE, closes 6th March
Sandie Muncaster is hosting a giveaway on her site:
Video Montage GIVEAWAY
Want more exposure for your blog, book or a service you offer? Perhaps you’re looking for a fun, family adventure captured to video? TattleTott Productions can help by making a video montage.
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Montages may include any information, pictures and link backs you want – music is included.
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Giveaway ends March 6th and will be done by random drawing.
Enter today. Good Luck!
You can check out my work at; http://www.youtube.com/my_videos?feature=mhumWriters:
OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS:
Basics of Life anthology open till 28th Feb – Austlit http://auslit.net/2010/11/27/australian-literature-anthology-basics-of-life/
Artists/Illustrators/Poets, Short story writers ++ :
Going Down Swinging taking submissions till 28th February – http://goingdownswinging.org.au/submissions/
Poets, Artists and Illustrators:
Haijinx still open for submissions till 1st March! Haiku, haiga, renku, sumi-e and haibun – http://www.haijinx.com/I-1/
Peter Cowan 600 Short Story Competition open -http://www.pcwc.org.au/index.php?p=1_10 Closes 1st May 2011.
CHILDREN AND WAR ANTHOLOGY
This anthology, to be published by Cinco Puntos Press in
2011 or 2012, will explore all angles of children’s and
teenagers’ experiences in war. The core of the book will
be personal essays, memoirs, journalistic accounts, and
historical narratives, both previously published and
original pieces. It may also include photos, artwork,
posters, and other debris that depicts the effects of war
on children and teens. Though the book will be primarily
non-fiction, we may include some fiction, and we are willing
to consider pieces about both current and past wars. “War”
is defined liberally to include both “official” declared
wars as well as secret, unofficial wars, such as those carried
out by governments on civilians in places like Chile, Argentina,
and Zimbabwe. All submissions, queries, and suggestions should
be sent to J.L. Powers at firstname.lastname@example.org by June
NOTE: While the guidelines do not state the payment rate, I
spoke with Jessica Powers, editor of the anthology, and the
payment is $200 per story accepted.
Children’s books on ipad and iphone
Thought I’d share some notes on e-publishing, especially with all the excitement generated by ipad. I have two picture books coming out myself on iphone and am looking forward to having picture books on ipad!
Most of the iphone publishers pay better [some much better] royalties than book publishers.
Though the RRP cost of books is low, volume of sales is high compared to hard copy books.
Folk buying an e-book for iphone often buy the hardcopy too if the child likes the book.
If you are publishing with an iphone company who works with the big publishers or with big children’s media companies, then it potentially brings your work to the attention of some important networks/people. It puts you book into good company!
Starts with costing you the author.
There is a setup fee or the set up cost is taken out of your royalties.
You have to make your own audio and ensure it is of ‘professional’ quality or pay to have the iphone publisher produce it for you. American iphone book producers like to use American accents [sorry Aussies].
If they format the text into the images for you that is a cost as well.
You have to submit the completed book upfront [not such a hassle for the author/illustrator] as a pdf. For author working with illustrator it means either you pay the illustrator upfront or they work with you with royalties in mind. If it is accepted you may find you have to then submit each frame [individual jpeg image] resized to iphone format . This can mean force sizing, which can distort the image slightly. If you do not do this yourself, there is a cost for them to do it.
Like all publishers, they are selective.
I have books soon to come out with PicPocket Books and istorytime. [See my website for updates www.jenniferrpoulter.weebly.com ] For a preview of “Toofs!”, to come out with PicPocket Books, see the interview with Susan Whitfield [http://susanwhitfield.blogspot.com/search?q=Poulter ].
Good format for b&w and has growing audience.
Is all the buzz – is touted as new direction in children’s publishing [most recently at CAL seminar in Brisbane recently]. Not seen as replacing hard copy but as important new outlet.
Penguin are already there, are going for interactive stories on ipad. Exciting! [see UTube and http://www.engadget.com/…/penguins-ipad-formatted-books-shown-off-making- waves/ ] All the same pluses for iphone also apply here and more.
Same companies doing iphone are now doing ipad as well so the cost structure may still apply – may change too as ipad is much more flexible than iphone and is beautifully suited to picbooks. Because of this, there may not [note may not] be the same need for audio.
If your book is already in hardcopy, it is ‘free’ [yep that’s right] to load your book onto Ripple Reader and free to join the company. Ripple Reader pays royalties! It is an exciting innovation that makes your published book accessible much, much more widely.
Your book must exist in a published version first, so that the editing process it has gone through ensures production quality.
Latest SCBWI Newsletter [March/April 2010] page 22 – article by Elizabeth O. Dulemba titled, “My 1st iPhone Picture Book App”. Elizabeth was published with a company called Rhodesoft.com [“Reading Rhino”]. I don’t know as much about them, but they do also require a set up fee.
Peter Taylor, the multi-talented SCWBI Coordinator , Queensland chapter, and the Book Safari Coordinator, the inimitable Jenny Stubbs roped me in to help with the Book Safari tents at Woodlands. This was a first for me and proved to be an excellent networking and promotional activity. Opportunity abounded to talk to lots of teachers, students and other writers, illustrators, publishers and editors. In other words it was reading, hearing, viewing and doing STORIES, pretty much non stop!
Links: Another great blog on the Ipswich Festival of Children’s Literature –
Here is a pictorial overview from the days I was there – 2nd, 3rd and 5th of September. PHOTOGRAPHS: 1-3 Woodlands;
4-6 Editors, Presenters, Writers and more…
7-9 Illustrators and workshops…
10-13 The nomads at their tents…
14 & 15 Jenny Stubbs and the Coordinating Team outside the Jacaranda Room; MS Readathon Tent
16 – 19 The people who keep the writers and illustrators viable – the amazing folk of the BOOK GARDEN!
The amazing folk at Query Tracker are celebrating their 2nd anniversary – celebrating and giving US the presents!!!!!!!! Details below……
Help us celebrate QueryTracker’s second anniversary, and you could win a website custom designed for you and your writing. Yes, your own website designed specifically for you.
We will be holding four different contests, each with their own prizes. Prizes range from free QT Premium Memberships to query critiques by agents and authors.
The Grand Prize (The Custom Website) will be awarded in a random drawing to take place on the last day of the festivities. To get your name in that drawing, all you have to do is enter any or all of the four contests being held.
To increase you odds, you can receive additional entries into the drawing just by helping us spread the word about the contest. Simply announce the contest on your blog or forum, let us know about it via email, and you’ll be given another entry into the drawing. You can read more about this option at
A custom designed writer’s website to showcase your craft.
That’s a $600 value provided by Purple Squirrel Web Design (http://PurpleSquirrelWebDesign.com).
Purple Squirrel is a web design company that focuses on writers and the writing industry.
You already know their work because they are QT Blogger Carolyn Kaufman, and Patrick McDonald, the creator of QueryTracker.
Good luck. And thank you all for two great years.
For details about the contests go to http://QueryTracker.net/carnival