Wednesday, April 23, 2008

April 23rd: Celebrate World Book and Copyright Day...

My IT professional brother emailed me this morning to tell me that today is World Book and Copyright Day according to UNESCO, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (Maybe I should have brought cupcakes to work. Every celebration need cupcakes.)

The UNESCO website says that on this date in 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. April 23rd is also the birthday or death date of other noted authors like Maurice Druon, K. Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.

The purpose of World Book and Copyright Day, says UNESCO, is "to promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright." Sound good to this editor.

P.S. The theme of Bob Dylan's radio show today: birds--all songs about birds.

P.P.S. My brother just emailed me again to say that it's also National Jelly Bean Day and National Cherry Cheesecake Day. (When is National Cupcake Day?) Apparently my brother is not very busy at work.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mad Anthony Writers Conference & Book Festival...

This Saturday, April 26th, I'll be offering a session at the Mad Anthony Writers Conference & Book Festival in Hamilton, Ohio (between Dayton and Cincinnati).
During my session, "For Children’s Writers: 2 Dozen Tips to Help You Get Published" (or Publlished as it says on the event's website), I'll talk about children's publishing, offer advice, and answer questions.

This event is not children's writing and publishing specific, but there will be a lot a good sessions on an array of topics. For instance my editorial director Jane Friedman is doing a session called "Marketing is Not a Dirty Word." (But don't go to that one, because it's at the same time as mine.) There are also sessions on "Revision, Revision, Revision," "Writing & Publishing Your First Novel," "Picture Book Manuscripts: What Works, What Doesn't," and two sessions on "A Writer's Website," one for beginners, one for intermediate. The event's keynote speaker is mystery writer Hallie Ephron. Here's a link to the conference schedule.

Concurrent with the writers conference is a book festival featuring hours of signings by authors of various genres.

If you live close (or close-ish) you should come to the event and see me.

P.S. That's General "Mad" Anthony Wayne above. He was Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Army under George Washington. And he had a reputation as a snappy dresser.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bob Dylan--Picture Book Author?...

I'm not much of a Bob Dylan fan. While I dig some of his lyrics quite a bit, the sound of his voice just bugs me. It's nails on a chalkboard through the speakers.

My husband talked me into seeing the critically acclaimed based-on-Bob-Dylan movie I'm Not There which I found slightly painful. Said husband also religiously listens to Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour on XM Radio. A few weeks ago, he anounced, "Today Bob Dylan shared his meatball recipe!" I've tried to listen to the show, but only lasted a few minutes because I really couldn't understand a word Bob Dylan was saying.

I just read an article in the Sunday New York Times about Bob Dylan winning a Pulitzer Prize for “profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.” Hmmm.

Now I see in today's Publishers Lunch that Simon & Schuster is publishing a picture book based on Bob Dylan's 1974 song "Forever Young." A Bob Dylan picture book! Maybe next he'll delve into the fashion world a la Jerry Garcia's neckties or Carlos Santana's shoes.

I guess Bob Dylan is the new Elvis--he's everywhere.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Balzer, Bray to Launch New Imprint at HarperCollins...

In a press release today, HarperCollins Publishers announced that it has appointed Alessandra Balzer and Donna Bray to the newly created position of Co-Publishers of the new imprint Balzer & Bray. They will join HarperCollins on May 5, 2008, reporting to Kate Morgan Jackson, Senior Vice President and Associate Publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books.

Alessandra Balzer began her career at HarperCollins Children’s Books, and was most recently an Executive Editor at Hyperion Books for Children. Donna Bray started her career at Henry Holt and Company, and was most recently the Editorial Director of Hyperion Books for Children.

Here's a link to the full story on the Publishers Weekly.

Authors and Illustrators for Children THIS I DREAM Campaign...

In 2004 authors Bruce Balan and April Halprin Wayland created Authors & Illustrators for children (AIC), with the goal of "using our collective energy to create a future where children can read all of our books in health, happiness, safety and peace." AIC supported the John Kerry for President campaign and more than 400 authors and illustrators lent their names to an advertisement which was placed in national publications targeted at teachers, as well as newspaper and periodical ads in swing states.

Now, in preparation for the 2008 Election, AIC has launched a new project: THIS I DREAM. Inspired by NPR's "This I Believe," each month AIC rolls out a new DREAM essay by noted authors and illustrators who were asked: “What do you dream for the next generation?” Says AIC: "They've shared their dreams and poured their souls onto the page for us. Now we need to share those dreams with the world."

A DREAM essay written by Viginia Euwer Wolff with art by Elsa Warnick is currently posted on the AIC homepage. You can also find an essay by George Ella Lyon with Art by Janie Bynum. There will be a new essay posted each month.

AIC encourages the printing and sharing of THIS I DREAM essays with teachers, principals, and librarians; bookstore owners and their employees; students; political representatives; and anyone else. "Let these people know that this isn't just another essay–it's the dream of a noted author and it expresses a future that we can make real."

If this you're interested in reading essays, learning more about AIC, or volunteering, visit . (You can even order a cute T-shirt.)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Robert's Poem-A-Day Challenge for National Poetry Month...

April is National Poetry Month and to celebrate Robert Brewer (poet, Writer's Market editor, and Poetic Asides blogger) challenged himself to write a poem every day of the month--and he wants other poet's out there you to join him.

Robert kicked of his Poem-A-Day Challenge yesterday. The goal is to simply get poems on paper without worrying so much about quality as just doing the writing. For those who'd like to join the PAD Challenge but need a little kickstart, Robert is offering a poetry prompt each day on his blog. For more inspiration, view the comments on Poetic Asides posts and read the poem's submitted by poets who are participating in the Poem-A-Day Challenge.

If you're not a poet you can still celebrate National Poetry Month by reading poems (kids love em!). Here's an Amazon list of children's poetry books to give you some ideas--heavy on the Prelutsky, of course.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

readergirlz and YALSA's Operation Teen Book Drop...

If you' don't get readergirlz newslettter, you may not have heard about Operation Teen Book Drop. readergirlz (YA authors Dia Calhoun, Lorie Ann Grover, Justina Chen Headley and Mitali Perkinshave) have teamed with YALSA "to build awareness for April 17, 2008, Support Teen Literature Day" and organized Operation TBD: "a massive, coordinated release of 10,000 publisher-donated YA books into the top pediatric hospitals across the country."

readergirlz invites others to celebrate Support Teen Lit Day with them. Here are their suggestions:

  • Download a readergirlz/YALSA bookplate for Operation TBD found on the readergirlz website.
  • Blog and bulletin about Operation TBD and your upcoming participation, and place the "I Rock the Drop" icon on your site.
  • Announce your participation by joining the readergirlz MySpace group forum and posting on the TBD threads.
  • On April 17th, leave one copy of a YA novel in a teen gathering spot in your community. Place it where the book will be found, taken, and read (i.e. a coffee shop, the park, a community center, a bus stop.) And make sure you've placed an Operation TBD bookplate inside!
  • Party with the readergirlz and YA authors on their online two-hour book bash hosted at the readergirlz MySpace forum on April 17th from 6-8pm PDT/9-11pm EDT. You can win books and prizes, chat with other book lovers, and celebrate literacy.