Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Portland Kidlitosphere Conference...

I just got back from the second Kidlitosphere Conference which took place in ultra-cool Portland. I have some pictures, lots of notes and will share some conference info with you starting tomorrow. (Not much time for blogging today. And although I'm usually all for blogging as an event is going as, as I've done SCBWI conferences, I was a little intimidated at this one, what with 70 or so other bloggers with laptops all around posting, twittering and the like. So I just took notes.) In the meantime you can find a nice conference report on conference co-coordinator Laini Taylor's blog. And visit the conference blog for a links to posts from many other conference attendees.

After hearing advice from a number of presenters, I'm going to make a concerted effort to post here every day (M-F; the weekend is for my personal blog). I've always got something to say, I just don't always have time to say it, but I'm going to do my best to squeeze in daily posts. (Posting is way more fun that working, so it's not exactly a sacrifice.)

I've also decided that I will end each week with Featured Blog starting this Friday, so stay tuned for some great author, reviewer and kid lit blogs. (If you're a blogger who attended the kidlitosphere conference you'll likely end up here soon enough.)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Busy Busy, Off to Portland...

I've had a lot going on this week. I've been reading queries, assigning articles, having meetings (Tuesday: solid meetings 8:30 through 5), and helping throw a work party all about pie (we had a bake off, a "pieku" contest, and invented a game called pie hole at which I kicked butt). Hence the no blogging this week.

This morning I'm headed to Portland to attend the Kidlit Bloggers conference--about which I will certainly be blogging.

Gotta go--have to leave for the airport in 45 minutes...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Our New Farmers & Writers Blog Rolls Out...

The editorial staff of Writer's Digest Books has recently debut a new blog called Farmers & Writers. For those of you who don't know, WD Books is an imprint of F+W Media, formerly F+W Publications--the F for farmers, the W for writers. Writer's Digest and Farmer's Quarterly were the first magazines published by F+W back in the '20s. FQ is long gone, but WD magazine and WD Books live on and thrive here in Ohio, so we offer you "footnotes from the midwest publishing empire."

The whole team will participate in the blog--publisher, editors (myself included), designers, and marketing--and we'll be posting daily on weekdays.

Here's the link.

Roxburgh Leaving Boyds Mills...

In case you haven't seen the news in PW Daily and PW Children's Bookshelf:

Stephen Roxburgh has resigned as publisher at Boyds Mills Press. He was appointed to the position in February 2007, taking over from Kent Brown, who will serve as interim publisher following Roxburgh’s resignation. Previously, Roxburgh had been associate publisher at Boyds Mills, after the company’s 2004 acquisition of Front Street Books, which Roxburgh founded in 1994. “If anybody looks at our record, they’ll see we’re long-term players,” said Brown, who called Roxburgh a friend and said he respects his decision to resign. “We have a great team of people making books.”

Click here to read the full story on the PW website.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What I Did on My Summer Vacation (and a First Books Update)...

Well everyone, I'm back from vacation. The hurricane didn't put much of a damper on beach going. It was a little rainy and a little overcast (which is fine with me because I sunburn at the drop of a hat), and gas was $5 a gallon when were were driving home. It was lovely seeing the ocean and even lovelier watching Murray dance in the surf and play in the sand. Here's a glimpse of his typical day at the beach.

I also had a chance to read through and contemplate all of the email I got from debut authors and I've picked my First Books lineup for the 2010 CWIM. I emailed four of you this morning. So if you haven't heard from me, I didn't choose you for this feature, but you may be hearing from me for something else, like a Debut Author of the Month interview.

Thanks so much to all of you who contacted me and congratulations again on your debut books. I wish I could read them all and interview each of you.

Authors & Illustrators for Obama Wanted...

Below is an email I got from Bruce Balan. Bruce and April Halprin Wayland are behind the creation of Authors and Illustrators for Children and they're currently looking for published authors and illustrators to lend their names to a pro-Barak Obama ad. Read on and if this interests you and please use the email address below to participate or click on their website for more information and to see the ad.

Hi Everyone,

I just returned from nearly a year away and I’ve been whining about how awful life is in the United States:

The media invades. The pollsters attack. The news overwhelms.
April says to me “It doesn’t matter. We can do it.”
And Barack Obama says “Yes we can!”
I believe them.

It doesn’t matter what the polls say. It doesn’t matter what the pundits say. What matters is what we do, NOW.

AIC can make a difference in this election but first we need YOUR NAME. We want 500 authors in our ad. We have 74.
That means we need 426 more by the end of next week.

It’s time to act. If you want to be included in the AIC campaign to make Obama our next president, do the following:

If you are a published author and/or illustrator, send an email to CountMeIn@aiforc.org. The message body should simply be your name as you want it to appear in the ad.

Send this email to 20 authors and illustrators you know. It doesn’t matter if they might have received it from someone else. Get the word out! That’s the most important part.

In a day or two, check the website to make sure your name is on the list and spelled correctly!: www.aiforc.org/obama/thelist.html.

You can view the ad at: www.aiforc.org/obama

You can donate to our campaign (credit card, check or PayPal). We’re focusing on swing states, we’re creating printable materials that you can hand out, we’re booking online advertising, we’re producing a video. It all takes money. www.aiforc.org/donate.html

That’s it for now. Don’t let this sit in your mailbox. We need 500 authors and we need them now!

Yes we do.

Yes we can!


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Friday, September 05, 2008

Heading off on My Hurrication...

I'm getting ready to go on vacation. The plan was a week in Myrtle Beach. Hanna (whether she decides to be a hurricane or a tropical storm) has pretty much the same vacations plans.

So whether we make the beach or stay somewhere way more inland, I'll be gone for the next week or so and there will be nothing new on my blog.

When I return, I'll be posting some new listings that didn't make it into the 2009 CWIM, so stop back. Now I'm going home to pack my rain boots and umbrella.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

My Hour as Prom Queen...

Soon after my latest newsletter mailed, I got several emails from readers suggesting I post pictures of me in the "prom" dress I wore for our 1985 office party last Thursday. Since I feel occasional public humiliation builds character (hence my love for Karaoke), here you go.

This is the pink dress. Too bad there's not a back view--there's a tremendous bow.

Here are my leg warmers (because it's funny) and my yellow pumps that perfectly coordinate with my Billy Idol and Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet buttons.

I won I prize package for best costume--a VCR tape rewinder, a floppy disk, and the Duran Duran poster in the above pics. I love you Simon Le Bon (even at age 49)!