Friday, September 30, 2016

Hugs and Hurrahs

It’s time once again for that all-out party and big WOO HOO you’ve all been waiting for. Yes, my kidlit friends---let’s hear it for, HUGS AND HURRAHS! Please join me in a standing ovation for the following members that had fabulous publishing news over the summer months. Thunderous applause to all of you!

Matt Faulkner’s, GAIJIN: AMERICAN PRISONER OF WAR (Disney-Hyperion, April 2014), was nominated for the Maryland Black Eyed Susan Book Award 2016/2017! "The Black-Eyed Susan Book Award is a children’s choice award for the state of Maryland. Each year since 1992, the Black-Eyed Susan Book Award has been given to authors and/or illustrators of outstanding books chosen for the award by Maryland students. The award seeks to promote literacy and lifelong reading habits by encouraging students to read quality, contemporary literature."

We’re so proud of you Matt!

Neal Levin is happy to announce that he won First Place in the 2016 Magazine Merit Award for poetry, and Second Place in the 2016 Magazine Honor Award for fiction,  both presented by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Neal’s also celebrating that the Oxford University Press-India has purchased the right to reproduce his poem "The Pizza Beast" in its Oxford Ink Literature Reader 4.

You’re awesome Neal!

Writer/illustrator Lindsay Moore of Ann Arbor was the winner of the SCBWI-Michigan Fall Retreat 2016 Logo Contest! Congratulations Lindsay, and thanks to all who entered the contest!

Jess Pennington’s debut novel, LOVE SONGS & OTHER LIES, will be published by TorTeen/Macmillan October 2017!

That's awesome Jess!

We’re happy dancing for Barb Rebbeck whose novel, NOLA GALS, has been awarded a bronze medal in the Readers' Favorite Competition for 2016. Barb will be attending their awards celebration in Miami in November where her book will be displayed at the Miami Book Fair. Also, the play adaptation of NOLA Gals, Turbulence is out to several youth theatre groups and Barb is hoping some one will pick it up for production soon.

So proud of you Barb!

Lisa Rose, author of SMULIK PAINTS THE TOWN (Kar Ben, January 2016), was recently a guest on the Barnes and Noble blog! Lisa did a fabulous job comparing diverse books of today with established favorites and how to add them to your child’s library. You can read the post here:

You’re awesome Lisa!

Erin Fanning’s YA novella, Cloud Warrior, was accepted by Saddleback Educational Publishing for a new series coming out sometime in 2017. Erin’s short story, The Demon Inches, will be featured in The Yellow Booke, an annual journal of speculative and horror fiction. 

Happy Dancing with you Erin!

Lisa Wheeler is proud to announce that October 1st is the release of Dino-Racing (illustrated by Barry Gott). It is the ninth book in the Dino-Sport series with Lerner. This installment features those whacky dinosaurs drag-racing, off-road racing and stock car racing. Lisa also has a second book coming out on October 18th called The Christmas Boot (illustrated by Jerry Pinkney). Lisa writes, “This book has had a long history, including several rejections 15 years ago, a sale to a small Michigan publishing house in 2006, publication, followed by a stint being OP. I then got the rights back and sold the manuscript to Dial. This story is near and dear to my heart and I am glad it is having new life breathed into it.”

We are too Lisa! Congratulations, and thanks for sharing this book’s journey with us.

Ruth Behar is new to our SCBWI Michigan group and has some great news! Her debut novel for young readers, Lucky Broken GirL, is scheduled to release in April 2017 with Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House. You can read all about it here:

Welcome to our kidlit family, Ruth, and congratulations!

Author/illustrator Jeff Jantz is happy to announce the completion of his first book this year, Gruel Snarl Draws a Wild Zugthing. The book will be published under the name Jantzer Studios through Shiffer publishing, with a tentative release in spring of 2017. 

So happy for you Jeff!

Buffy Silverman is just bursting with good news. It's all babies and biomes for her books with Lerner Publishing this season:

Meet a Baby Chicken
Meet a Baby Cow
Meet a Baby Horse

Let's Visit the Desert
Let's Visit the Evergreen Forest
Let's Visit the Lake
Let's Visit the Rain Forest

You’re awesome Buffy!

Janet Ruth Heller conducted a creative writing workshop for teenagers at the Boston Public Library on July 9, 2016.  She also spoke at the International Literacy Association conference on July 10. Janet will be presenting a paper about "Recent Multicultural Books for Children about Jews and People of Color" at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Conference on Sunday, November 20, 2016 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center. She will also cover the same topic Michigan College English Association conference on Friday, October 21 in Warren MI at Macomb Community College.

You are one busy gal, Janet! Congratulations!

Leopold the Lion (Sleeping Bear press, september 2015), written by Denise Brennan-Nelosn and illustrated by our own Ruth McNally Barshaw, was on the Michigan Bestseller chart, ranking at #3 in March and #5 in April 2016. Leopold was written by Denise Brennan-Nelson and published by Sleeping Bear Press.

And on another happy note, Charlie Barshaw and Ruth McNally Barshaw have sold 5 short stories so far to an educational publisher who is starting up a new reading initiative for children. They both continue to write for the publisher, and have several pieces in the revisions stage.

We love you Charlie and Ruth-- Congratulations!

Rhonda Gowler Green is thrilled to announce that her picture book, PUSH! DIG! SCOOP! A CONSTRUCTION COUNTING RHYME, will be coming out with Bloomsbury on October 25th. The story sold at auction in March 2012, so it's been a very long wait. Daniel Kirk is the illustrator.    

So happy for you Rhonda! 

Kristin Bartley Lenz celebrated the release of her YA novel, THE ART OF HOLDING ON AND LETTING GO (Elephant Rock Productions, September 2016) on Sunday, September 18, 2016 at The Office coffee shop in Royal Oak. It was a standing-room-only crowd with Book Beat of Royal Oak on site to sell books.

Shutta Crum celebrated the release of her new middle grade novel, WILLIAM AND THE WITCHE'S RIDDLE (Knopf Books for Young Readers, September 2016), on Sunday, September 25th at Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor. 

Kristin joined Shutta at Nicolas where both authors gave a brief presentation, read from their books and signed copies. What a great celebration for the two of you!

And here they are! We’re just tickled pink for you, Shutta and Kristin! 

And finally, I’m (Patti Richards:) happy to announce that my picture book manuscript, O POSSUM’S PREDICATMENT, was awarded an honorable mention in the Children's/Young Adult Fiction category of the 85th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. Among the ten competition categories, there were over 6,000 entries in total* this year, and I have to admit, I’m pretty proud of my crazy possum. And just this week I sold a story to an educational publisher. -- more details to follow!

It's always so much fun putting this happy news together! Our Michigan SCBWI family is a talented and hard-working bunch. We've got one Hugs and Hurrahs left for this year, so please send all of your happy publishing news to me, Patti Richards at


  1. Congrats all! So proud of our hard working chapter. Yay!

  2. Congrats all! So proud of our hard working chapter. Yay!

  3. Wahoo!!!!! Love this post and am so happy for everyone!!!

  4. Hugs, and congratulations, and thank you. <3 <3 <3

  5. Wow, what an inspiring chapter - congrats, everyone! Thanks, Patti, for pulling all of this great news together. Cheers!

  6. Thanks, Patti for gathering all these accomplishments together for us. I'll be thinking about all of you when they drape that bronze medal around my neck in Miami.

  7. I'm so happy for all of you--exciting news! So grateful to be a part of this super productive and helpful chapter of SCBWI.

  8. Betsy McKee WilliamsOctober 1, 2016 at 10:38 AM

    Congratulations to all! It is a privilege and an inspiration to be part of such a great group. Thank you all.

  9. Congrats to everyone! Awesome to see so much good news.

  10. So glad to read all the good news! And an enormous thank you to Patti for organizing this column!

  11. Great stuff coming out of Michigan! Congrats to all!

  12. Such an incredibly talented group, congratulations to you all! ^-^