Sunday, November 10, 2019

SCBWI Western Washington's November meeting + an afternoon write-in/sketch-in

I had a productive and fun day yesterday, writing and learning craft alongside some of my SCBWI Western Washington friends.

Our monthly meeting was led by Amanda Hosch, and she gave an excellent presentation, "Crafting the Middle Grade/Young Adult Novel: Engaging Readers so They Turn the Page."


She shared the insightful way she breaks down story, questions we can ask ourselves about plot, and other helpful things to think about throughout the process of writing a novel. If you have the chance to hear Amanda speak on craft, do it! Now I must read her MG novel, MABEL OPAL PEAR AND THE RULES FOR SPYING.

written by Amanda Hosch, illustrated by Ira Sluyterman Van Langeweyde
Capstone Young Readers
pub date: September 30, 2017


After a lunch break, we were able to explore our own stories or art in a write-in/sketch-in.


Donna Barba Higuera, Ellie Peterson, Faith Pray, and Dan Richards each spoke for ten or fifteen minutes before 45-minute writing or sketching sprints. Each one did a beautiful job, inspiring us and sharing craft tips, and I appreciated being able to dig into my own work immediately after each mini presentation.

I loved being able to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones. My sweet friend Faith Pray and I took a pic together.



Here's a photo of Simon modeling my copy of ONCE UPON A TIMELY, which Faith signed at yesterday's meeting.

written by Lynn Parrish Sutton, illustrated by Faith Pray
Kane Miller EDC Publishing


By the way, Faith's gorgeous book, THE STARKEEPER, will be out in 2020! Check out the amazing cover! 

written and illustrated by Faith Pray
Random House Books for Young Readers
Pub date: June 9, 2020


Thank you, SCBWI Western Washington, for an inspiring and educational day!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Simon says, "Follow me on Instagram" :)

Here are a few of the excellent books my writing assistant, Simon, has reviewed and recommended on Instagram:


written by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Jon Klassen
Balzer + Bray
pub date: February 2, 2016


by Rachel Hawkins
G. P. Putnam's Sons
pub date: May 7, 2019


by Pam Mu├▒oz Ryan
Scholastic Press
pub date: March 3, 2020


An incredible coincidence: so far, I have agreed 100% with every recommendation! Hehehe!

I would like to remind everyone that Simon came with his name. I'm not a narcissist, naming pets after myself. In fact, his name made it seem like we were meant to have him in our family! At least, that's what I kept telling myself when it took wa-a-ay too long to housebreak him. I guess his mind was on other things. Books? Squirrels? She-poodles?

This is a photo of Simon three days before Halloween. He was telling dog ghost stories at the time.


If you'd like to follow him, his Instagram handle is simon_the_whippet.

Are you on Instagram? Feel free to post your handle in the comments!