This year, my local SCBWI chapter (SCBWI Central-Coastal CA) is doing a special event for its reading community and “published and listed” members (PALS). I’m proud to be a part of this event and love the idea of supporting local charities, encouraging reading and helping booksellers and authors promote their books. From their website:

This holiday season you can share the joy of reading while supporting local authors, independent booksellers, and charities alike when you purchase titles from the list below as gifts or as a donation to a worthy cause.

Our goal for the month of November is to support local bookstores in the Central Coastal region
as well as our booksellers’ favorite charities,
and share books by our Published And Listed authors’ and illustrators’.
​Purchase one or more for gift or charity!!

​You may order books using the PALS for the Holiday’s Order Form posted on their website.



Attend a Special Event!Help support our local PAL’s by stopping by any of the stores belowSaturday, November 26!


SCBWI Conference

The SCBWI summer conference is coming up on Aug. 7-10. I love this event as it has so much to offer writers and illustrators; craft workshops, editorial advice, industry news, cameraderie, and fun! I’ve learned so much about writing from this event. I highly recommend it to people who are new to children’s writing. And everyone else, for that matter!

But this year, unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend (for a variety of reasons). However, I thought I would mention here a couple of past posts I’ve done on the the SCBWI Conference tips and travel safety for women. If you’ve never attended the conference, or are feeling a little uncertain about traveling alone to get there, have a look; and enjoy!


Just a quick bit of shameless self-promotion here…

I’ll be presenting an SCBWI workshop on Easy Readers on Saturday, May 30 from 1:00-4:30 PM in Ventura, CA. For anyone interested in attending, or learning more details, please click HERE. It should be a fun (and informative!) afternoon. My goal is for attendees to leave feeling like their heads are overflowing with information. And the packets I’ll provide…ah, the packets!

I hope to see you there!

School Visit Tips

Sylvan Dell publicist Sara Dobie posted some advice on her blog today, from two of the top-selling authors at Sylvan Dell. Why do they sell so many books? Because they do so many school visits! Click here to read more.

On the same note, be sure to catch Alexis O’Neill’s column, The Truth About School Visits, in the SCBWI Bulletin. Alexis always has outstanding advice for authors interested in developing this part of their career.

SCBWI Mid-Winter Conference Blog

I’m not kidding, if you haven’t visited the SCBWI Mid-Winter Conference Blog, you must! Read the post below this one to find out more. I just finished reading the conference posts and Oh-My-Gosh, it’s fabulous! And yes, I’m still in my fuzzy slippers 🙂

Alice Pope is doing an amazing job of summarizing the speaker’s words of wisdom. Her fingers must be burning from all that typing!

Really, you must read it. Now. Go ahead. Trust me.

Keep Abreast of Conference News Without Leaving Your Fuzzy Slippers

Want to go to the SCBWI Mid-Winter Conference but you just can’t make it? Well, have no fear. Thanks to the wonders of internet technology you can keep abreast of all the action without ever having to leave your fuzzy slippers.

The SCBWI is on Twitter and will posted regular updates on conference happenings. Just click here to see it!

Alice Pope, editor of the Children’s Writers and Illustrator’s Market Guide, will be blogging live on the The Official SCBWI 10th Annual New York Conference Blog.
Alice will be posting on Twitter too. Just click here!

How cool is this for folks who can’t make the trek to NYC this year! Happy conference surfing!

Writers’ Day…Aahhhh…

Well, I did it again. I had so much fun at Writers’ Day that I worked myself into a post-event migraine. It was just too much fun for this writing introvert! After all that social fun, I needed some serious withdrawl time. And yes, in light of my recent migraine posts, I should say that I wore my pink-tinted glasses when I was inside the auditorium (though I couldn’t quite figure out what kind of lights they were).

Anyway, the day was terrific! I got to meet up with my critique group buddies from the area (Rebecca, Lynn, Siri and Dawn–so sorry we missed Jean), and I was able to meet some fabulous industry folks (Patrick Collins from Holt, Meredith Mundy Wasinger from Sterling, and Jamie Weiss Chilton from the Andrea Brown Agency). I especially enjoyed being Meredith’s “shadow” for the day. No, not as in a creepy, stalking kind of way–it was my duty as one of my region’s advisors. She is absolutely delightful and was able to give an in-depth look at Sterling Publishing. I hope to have an Mini-View from Meredith in the near future, so stay tuned.

Another highlight of the day were the “Spotlight Speakers”, those authors who are given ten minutes to talk about something related to their path to success. This year’s speakers were Caroline Hatton (you might remember her Mini-View from August), Tim Egan (Author/Illustrator), Siri Weber Feeney (one of my critique group buddies), Dan Hanna (another Mini-View interviewee), and Andrew Smith (author).

The true HIGHlight of the day came when Dan Hanna demonstrated how to REALLY launch a book into the world… Way to go, Dan! (yes, that’s an actual copy of The Pout-Pout Fish flying through the air–even though the story is not about a flying fish!). What a day!

Writers’ Day!

Tomorrow I head off to Thousand Oaks, CA for the Ventura/Santa Barbara SCBWI annual Writers’ Day (my local SCBWI chapter). I love Writers’ Day! It’s a one-day event but we pack it with great speakers, such as editor Meredith Mundy Wasinger (Sterling Publishing), agent Jamie Weiss Chilton (Andrea Brown Literary Agency), and creative director Patrick Collins (Henry Holt). Additionally, we feature a handful of newly published regional authors, our “Spotlight Speakers” who give a ten-minute talk on some aspect of how they became published (wow–what a great way to hear how others maneuvered on the road to publication). And, if that’s not enough, there are manuscript and portfolio critiques, plus a “first pages” panel where anonymous first pages (submitted by attendees) are read to our speakers followed by their reactions and comments.

C’mon, how cool does this day sound??? This is WHY you should join the SCBWI, if you haven’t already. Each regional chapter offers fantastic events, such as the one I described above. It’s a great way to hear real, live editors and other professionals in the children’s lit business, and network with other writers in your area.

I hope to see some of you there! More later…

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, It’s Off to Oregon I Go!

I’m stoked! Tomorrow I leave for the SCBWI-Oregon Silver Falls Retreat. I’ve never attended this event, but a good friend of mine has raved about it for years. A beautiful nature setting, residing in cabins, surrounded by like-minded folks who love writing for children. What could be better? I’ll “cyber-seeya” when I get back next week!


SCBWI Conference: A Night with the Queen

Pictured (left to right): Terry Pierce, Cecilia Noyes, Greg Trine, Tina Nichols Coury, Rebecca Langston-George, Yuki Yoshino, Alexis O’Neill

I had to post this picture, just for the fun of it. Every year, at the SCBWI Conference in Los Angeles, on Saturday night there is an poolside gala. Part of the festivities includes a costume contest. This year’s theme was, “By the light of the silvery moon.”

I was so happy when my writer friend, Tina Nichols Coury, won this year, dressed as the Silvery Moon Queen, along with her royal court, Greg Trine and Yuki Yoshino (also terrific writers and friends). If you go to Tina’s blog, Tales from the Rushmore Kid, you can scroll down to see some of the details on how she created her amazing costume. Way to go, Tina!