Hugs and Hurrahs

Hugs and Hurrahs! 

January-March 2106

Spring isn’t the only thing that’s “bustin’ out all over!” You Michkidders have been busier than bees since our last issue of Hugs and Hurrahs. And we’re as bouncy as bunnies and delighted as ducklings to celebrate all of your amazing news. We hope you enjoy this overflowing basket of publishing goodness. Congratulations to all of you!  

Hats off to RaeChell Garrett who recently signed with agent Sarah LaPolla of the Bradford Literary Agency. RaeChell’s debut contemporary YA novel will go out on submission in May. So proud of you RaeChell! 

Buffy Silverman learned about all kinds of engine-driven vehicles while writing six titles in Lerner Publishing's How Vehicles Work series, published in February. The titles included: HOW DO BIG RIGS WORK? HOW DO TRAINS WORK? HOW DO FORMULA ONE RACE CARS WORK? HOW DO MONSTER TRUCKS WORK? HOW DO TANKS WORK? HOW DO FIRE TRUCKS WORK? It’s a standing ovation for you Buffy!

We’re happy dancing with PJ Lyons whose new book, GOD IS WATCHING OVER YOU, illustrated by Tim Warnes, was released by ZonderKidz on March 1, 2016.

Big applause for Sue Thoms, whose board book, JONAH AND THE BIG FISH, illustrated by Naoko Stoop, released on March 1 by Sterling Publishing. Sue is also currently working on a book of bedtime prayers for ZonderKidz. 

Kelly Barson’s newest YA contemporary novel, CHARLOTTE CUTS IT OUT, releases from Viking (Penguin Random House) on April 5. Three cheers for you Kelly!

Lisa Wheeler recently sold a book called BABIES CAN SLEEP ANYWHERE to Abrams' Appleseed Books. It's a young book that explores animal environments. The illustrator and release date are yet to be announced. You’re awesome Lisa!  

Lori Eslick has an illustration coming out in the July/August 2016 issue of Cricket Magazine to accompany the story, A HOME IN THE GROUND. Fabulous news Lori!   

A huge round of applause for Lisa Rose, whose debut picture book, SHMULIK PAINTS THE TOWN, was the number #1 new release for mid-East children's books and Jewish children's books in January. Lisa also celebrated her book launch on March 13 at the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield. Lisa read and signed her book, and the children in the audience made book-related art projects and enjoyed colorful cupcakes, that could have been painted by Ezra himself. So proud of you Lisa! 

Janet Heller will read her book, THE PASSOVER SURPRISE and lead a creative writing workshop at the Congregation of Moses in Kalamazoo on Sunday March 27, 2016 at 10 a.m. The workshop will be followed by a brunch and book signing. In February, Janet participated in “Artfactory: Poems about Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo History.” The event was held at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum and featured local writers reading poems about all things Kalamazoo. Awesome news Janet!

On March 8, the School Library Journal Blog, Scope Notes, featured, Instagramming an Author Visit: Ruth McNally BarshawThe post documented one of Ruth’s recent school visits entirely in captioned photos. You are a rock star Ruth! (Photo Credit: Travis Jonker)

Congratulations to Matt Faulkner who was the recipient of the 2016 Michigan Reading Association’s Gwen Frostic Award. Matt writes, “It is truly an honor to join this list of past recipients: Gloria Whalen, Wendy Anderson Halperin, Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen, Shirley Nietzel, Patricia Polacco, Margaret Willey, Ryan Hipp, Gary Schmidt, Kelly DiPucchio, and Christopher Paul Curtis.” The New York Times also recently reviewed Matt’s book, ELIZABETH STARTED ALL THE TROUBLE, in its round up of kids books. You can read the review here: 

You make us proud Matt!

Three cheers to Sarah Miller whose middle-grade nonfiction, THE BORDEN MURDERS: LIZZIE BORDON AND THE TRIAL OF THE CENTURY, was released in January from Schwartz and Wade Books. Sarah also recently sold her book, THE DIONNE QUINTUPLETS, to Random House/Schwartz & Wade Books. THE DIONNE QUINTUPLETS, is a YA narrative nonfiction book about the world's first recorded set of surviving quintuplets who rose to fame in Canada in the 1930s. Publication is scheduled for fall 2018. We’re giving you a standing ovation Sarah!

Shandra Trent recently celebrated the release of her new book, GIDDY-UP BUCKAROOS! with a book launch at Nicolas Books in Ann Arbor. So happy for you Shandra!

Hats off to Monica Harris, who recently sold 3 pieces to the Data Recognition Corporation of Michigan and 2 pieces to the Data Recognition Corporation of Nebraska. Way to go Monica!   

Leslie Helakoski (one of our fearless leaders) sold a picture book to Sterling Publishing called, HOOT AND HONK, for both text and illustration. The book is about an owlet and a gosling that end up in each other's nests, and is due out next spring. You’re awesome Leslie!

Neal Levin has been busy these last few months! His poem, Cavemanners, was published in the November/December issue of Spider, and his short story, Messy Messages, was published in the November 2015 issue of Highlights For Children. Cricket Media also chose Cavemanners as an Editor's Pick as one of the Best Stories of 2015 from their family of literary magazines. Neal Levin's short story, The True Meaning of Hannah Berger, won an Honorable Mention in the 84th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition, and his poem, Warm Welcome, was published in the March 2016 issue of Highlights. You are amazing Neal! 

Phew! I think that’s everything! I just have to take this opportunity to say what an honor it is to read and report on all the happy happenings among our amazing SCBWI Mitten family. Your stories inspire me and give all of us the courage to keep on keeping on. Thank you so much for sharing!

Send all your publishing news to Patti Richards,  October-December 2015

December is all about celebrating, and here at The Mitten we love a party! It’s hard to believe this is the last issue of Hugs and Hurrah’s for 2015. Just for fun, I’d thought we’d take a moment and reminisce about all the wonderful 2015 writing news from our Michigan SCBWI members. Here are a few facts based on the Hugs and Hurrahs information I’ve collected for this year:

  • YA Contracts - 8
  • Short Stories, Poems, Cartoons, Testing Pieces, etc.- 3
  • Speaking Engagements/Blog Tours- 5 
  • Agent Signings-4 
  • Picture Book Contracts- 13
  • Middle Grade Contracts- 2
  • Magazine Pieces- 2
  • Awards/Degree Completion- 5
  • Illustration Contracts- 7

I definitely think those numbers call for a standing ovation, double Woo Hoo and a hearty Hip Hip Hooray!

And now, let’s end this year with a bang and keep the party going with all of your good news from October through December!

Hats off to member Kathleen Vincenz who recently self-published her middle-grade novel, OVER THE FALLS IN A SUITCASE (Squirrels at the Door November 2015). The book was released in November and is available on Amazon. Congratulations Kathleen!

Janet Heller of Portage has been very busy since our last edition of Hugs and Hurrahs. She received a positive book review for her chapter book, THE PASSOVER SURPRISE (Fictive Press 2015) from the Midwest Book Review in October. Janet also had two of her poems, “Inheritance (For Oma)” and “Policing My Apartment,” in Old Northwest Review’s Fall 2015 issue. Janet spent time autographing her books at the Chanukah Bazaar at the Congregation of Moses in Kalamazoo, the Local Writer’s Expo at the Portage District Library, and at Kazoo Books in Kalamazoo in early December. Congratulations on all your hard work Janet!

Illustrator Kirbi Fagan was recently accepted into the Los Angeles Society of Illustrators 54th Annual Exhibition. Kirbi was also featured in Imagine FX magazine as "Artist of the Month,” and had three works of art included in "Infected By Art Volume 3." Way to go Kirbi!

Lori McElrath-Eslick has her own great illustration news! Her art for a magazine publication has been accepted into the 35th Western Spirit Art Show and Sale, a national juried exhibition. The exhibition dates are March 5- April 17, 2016. Lori also illustrated three new e-books for Schoolwide Publishing. They are: WESTWARD TO OREGON, HOW THE CARDINAL GOT HIS RED FEATHERS, THE GIRL WHO WOULD NOT LISTEN TO HER ELDERS all written by Patricia Curtis Pfitsch. Congratulations Lori!

PJ Lyons is happy to announce that her rhyming picture book, THANK YOU LORD FOR EVERYTHING (Zonderkidz 2015), was released September 1 and has received some lovely reviews! We’re so proud of you PJ! 

Three cheers to our Mitten editor-extraordinaire, Kristin Lenz! Kristin is the winner of the 2015 Helen Sheehan YA Book Prize. Her debut YA novel, THE ART OF HOLDING ON AND LETTING GO, will be published by Elephant Rock Books, Fall  2016. So excited for you Kristin!

Neal Levin has been at it again! Neal’s poem "Cavemanners" has been published in the November/December issue of Spider Magazine, and his short story "Messy Messages" has been published in the November 2015 issue of Highlights Magazine for Children! Neal’s poem "My Little Porcupine" was published in the Sep/Oct 2015 issue of Fun For Kidz Magzine, and his poem "Baby Ate a Microchip" has been purchased by a nonprofit educational testing agency for use in a standardized testing project. That’s amazing Neal!

Jean Alicia Elster’s middle-grade novel, WHO’S JIM HINES (Wayne State University Press), has been placed on the Southfield Public Library’s Middle School Challenge Battle of the Books List for 2016. Congratulations Jean!

Joseph Miller of Livonia is happy to announce that he recently signed with Nicole Resciniti of the Seymour Agency! Joseph participated in Michelle Hauck and Sharon Chriscoe's PBParty contest and had his picture book, TOO TIRED TO TELL A STORY chosen for the agent round. Seven agents and editors requested the full story and of those Joseph had three offers of representation. So happy for you Joseph!

Wendy Booydegraff is excited about her new picture book, SALAD PIE (Ripple Grove Press 2016). Here is a peak at the cover! Congratulations Wendy! 

Barb Rebbeck is thrilled to announce that she has just been chosen to be a featured speaker at the MRA Conference in Detroit in March. We’re so proud of you Barb!

See?! I told you we were ending the year with a BANG! You Michigan kidlit writers are an amazing bunch, and I'm happy we’re on this journey together!

From all of us here at The Mitten- Kristin, Nina and me (Patti)- Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! May your 2016 be filled with bountiful blessing, sweet surprises, peace-a-plenty and loads of love!

July-September 2015

HAPPY FALL! It's time for sipping cider, devouring donuts, raking leaves and most important of all, celebrating you! Yes, you. You are what makes our Michigan SCBWI organization great! And if you don’t believe me, keep reading. Our Michigan members have some fabulous publishing and writing-related news to share. So put down that apple, throw off your cozy quilt, and stand up and shout a hearty Mitten “Hurrah!” to these deserving folks:

Deborah Marcero’s illustration debut released on July 21, 2015 with Greenwillow HarperCollins. SADIE’S STORY (BACKYARD WITCH, BOOK #1) is an illustrated chapter book. According to Amazon, SADIE'S STORY is "A must-have for newly independent readers and fans of Ivy+Bean and Clementine! The first of a new series, starring three young girls and a mysterious visitor who appears exactly when you need her- with just the right amount of magic." 

Congratulations Deborah! We’re proud of you!

Hat’s off to Monica Harris who recently sold 5 informational pieces to Data Recognition Corporation for the State of Pennsylvania assessment and 4 informational pieces for the State of Michigan assessment.

Way to go Monica!  

Barbara Rebbeck's YA novel, NOLA GALS, was recently named a finalist for the IAN Book Awards and a semi-finalist for the 2015 Kindle Book Awards! Barbara will also be Writer-in-Residence for both Waterford Schools and the Beverly Hills Academy this year. 

We’re giving you a standing ovation Barbara!

Laura Wolfe is excited to announce that her YA mystery, TRAIL OF SECRETS, was recently published by Fire and Ice YA. TRAIL OF SECRETS also received a 4-star review on Goodreads from the teen librarian at the Milford Public Library. Congratulations Laura!  

Learn more about Laura and her book here: 

Three cheers for Deb Gonzales who just signed a contract with Charlesbridge for her debut picture book, PLAYING LIKE A GIRL, scheduled for a Fall 2017 release!

That’s totally awesome Deb!

On July 21, Janet Heller spent the day reading part of her book, THE PASSOVER SURPRISE (Fictive Press 2015) and being interviewed by JD Holiday on her blog talk raido show, It’s Story Time

Congratulations Janet!

Neal Levin’s poem “My Dinosaur, My Friend” received a Letter of Merit as a runner-up in the SCBWI Magazine Merit Awards. (He also illustrated, but didn’t write, the winning poem in that category.) Additionally, Neal just won the Saturday Evening Post “Limerick Laughs” contest for the eleventh time, including seven times as a runner-up and four times first place.

You are amazing Neal!

Lori Taylor’s debut picture book HOLLY WILD'S, THE YOUNG GEEK'S GUIDE TO GETTING OUTSIDE will be released by BEAR TRACK PRESS this November. Lori is also currently an artist-in-residence in Gwinn, MI for the Literacy Legacy Fund of Michigan (LLF Michigan)  Lori presented a program for children at K. I. Sawyer on Sept.16th where she signed and distributed free gift books to children. On Sept. 19th Lori had a book signing at Falling Rock Cafe and Books in Munising and also spoke to teachers at NMU in Marquette on Sept. 24th. 
You are awesome Lori!  

And finally, I’m happy to share that I just signed a contract with 4RV Publishing for my nonfiction picture book, A BLANKET IN THE SNOW: QUATIE ROSS AND THE TRAIL OF TEARS, scheduled for release in September 2017! And it goes without saying that I’m beyond excited!

See?! I told you these Michigan members are amazing! And now it’s your turn. Send all your publishing-related news to Patti Richards at (note new email address).

April-June 2015

Our SCBWI Michigan folk have certainly been busy since January! And what better time to hand out some much-deserved “Hugs and Hurrahs” than right now, when spring is “bustin’ out all over!” So, without further ado, here’s all the fantastic publishing news from our amazing members around the Mitten! Enjoy!

Kirbi Fagan is certainly an illustrator on the move! Her artwork is currently featured in the March issue of Imagine FX Magazine. She was also the winner of the “Reckless Deck Challenge” via “Art Order,” and was recently accepted into “Infect by Art Volume 3.” Read a recent interview of Kirbi on Elusive Muse here You make us proud Kirbi!

Three Cheers for Kris Remenar whose debut picture book, GROUNDHOG’S DILEMMA, will be available on December 1 of this year! The book is being published by Charlesbridge, and just so happens to be illustrated by Kris’s wonderful husband and award-winning artist, Matt Faulkner! Congratulations you two! Oh, and if a debut picture book isn’t enough, Kris also recently signed with Fuse Literary where she’s represented by Gordon Warnock and Sara Sciuto. Way to go Kris!

The amazing Monica Harris sold a puzzle, CHICKEN COOP CRACK-UPS, to Highlights Magazine. She also sold her book, THE MYSTERY OF CRYTOGRAPHY, to Schoolwide, Inc as an ebook. Monica's Korean publisher, Caramel Tree Publishing, bought 4 additional books to join the others, and Data Recognition Corporation bought three of her assessment pieces for Nebraska (two informative and one narrative). So happy for you Monica! 

Hats off to Lori Eslick whose artwork will be on exhibit in Whitehall Michigan’s Arts Center of White Lake. The show runs May 18-June 5, 2015, and features much of Lori’s original art from her picture books, DOES GOD KNOW HOW TO TIE SHOES, IF JESUS CAME TO MY HOUSE, BAREFOOT, READ FOR ME MAMA, as well as many other pieces. We’re so proud of you Lori! Here’s a link to find out more:!calendar/cpsj

Congratulations to Danielle Hammelef for her recently-published four-book set, AWESOMESPECIAL EFFECTS, from Capstone Press (January 2015). These books feature a rare, behind-the-scenes look at stunts, physical effects, computer-generated effects and make-up. We’re giving Danielle a standing ovation for this one!

Nancy Shaw’s hilarious sheep are back! SHEEP GO TO SLEEP, illustrated by Margot Apple and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, will be available on May 5, 2015. So happy for you Nancy!

Neal Levin has been as busy as a bee this spring! Here is a list of all his good news:  

  • "10 Simple Ways You Can Help Others" cartoon was published in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of Boys' Quest.
  • "10 Unusual Facts About Animals" cartoon was published in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of Hopscotch.
  • Cartoon drawing activity "Creature Creations" was published in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of Hopscotch.
  • Neal’s poem "Retired Tires,” celebrating American Recycles Day (November 15) was published in The Poetry Friday Anthology For Celebrations, a bilingual (English and Spanish) collection of poems about holidays and commemorative events, compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books).

Way to go Neal!

Janet Ruth Heller participated in Artifactory: Poems about Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo History at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum on Sunday, February 22, 2015. At this free event, Janet, along with other Kalamazoo-area writers read poems about items in the Kalamazoo Valley Museum collections, the Kalamazoo area and local history. Kalamazoo Valley Museum curator Tom Dietz commented on the poems, gave details about Kalamazoo history, and showed slides of relevant artifacts. Attendees received a free booklet of the poems. The event took place in the Mary Jane Stryker Theater and was co-sponsored by Friends of Poetry.

Janet also read poetry and spoke about "Dramatic Monologues in Contemporary Jewish Poetry" on a Panel about dramatic monologues at the College English Association Conference in Indianapolis on March 26. She will also participate in a panel discussion of "Recent Trends in Creative Nonfiction" at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference (AWP) in Minneapolis on April 9, 2015 from 3 to 4:15 p.m. Congratulations on all these amazing speaking engagements Janet!

Shutta Crum's latest book UH-OH! (Random House/Knopf) will be released April 14th.
Illustrated by the Crystal Kite winner,Patrice Barton. (For the 2011 publication MINE! Also by Shutta.) in UH-OH! the pair of toddlers from MINE! are back in another nearly wordless romp. Booklist says: “. . .perfect for a quietly adventurous, windblown day at the beach . . . this is marvelous for practicing inference and prediction with prereaders." Bravo Shutta!

Buffy Silverman had 2 poems, "At the Seder" celebrating Passover and "At the Farmer's Market" celebrating National Farmers' Market Week, published in THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR CELEBRATIONS. The book is a bilingual (English and Spanish) collection of poems about holidays and commemorative events, compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books). Buffy is currently one of the “final four” poets in Ed Decaria’s annual March Madness Poetry contest on the Think. Kid,Think! website. You can vote for your favorite poems here:
Congratulations Buffy!   

Rhonda Gowler Greene is happy to report that her NO PIRATES ALLOWED! SAID LIBRARY LOU has been nominated for the 2016 Bill Martin, Jr. Picture Book Award by the Kansas Reading Association. The book has also been nominated for state reading awards in Florida and Nebraska. And her latest book, Only God Can Make a Kitten, will be followed by a companion book. She recently signed a contract to write Only God Can Make a Puppy. That’s awesome Rhonda!

Thanks to everyone for sending in their fantastic news (some of you twice:)! We have so much to be proud of in our Michigan SCBWI Chapter! Send all your Hugs and Hurrahs news to Patti Richards at (note new email address).

November-December 2014

Welcome to Hugs and Hurrahs! The Mitten page that’s all about you! Yes you! Now don’t be shy…you know how awesome you are, and we want to celebrate that awesomeness here four times each year. Today’s hot-of-the-presses edition features a 2014 wrap-up and a bit of New Year’s good news. So hats off and a big standing ovation for Michigan SCBWI members who finished 2014 with a bang, or rang in 2015 with a publishing celebration. We’re tickled pink and bust-your-buttons proud of all of you.

Heather Meloche's debut YA novel, RIPPLE, will be published by Penguin/Putnam in Fall 2016. Heather is represented by Heather Schroder of Compass Talent. She lives and writes in Rochester Hill and has been an SCBWI member since 2002. Updates on the book’s release can be found at or Way to go Heather!

Erin Fanning has lots of great publishing news to share! Her urban-fantasy-romance based on Mayan mythology, BLOOD STITCHES, (Lyrical Press, an Imprint of Kensington Publishing) is slated for a May 2015 release. Erin’s short story, THE QUINCEAÑERA TEXT (originally published by Sudden Flash Youth, Persea Books, May 2011), was selected for Scholastic's November issue of Scope Magazine, as well as an anthology to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt sometime this winter. Congrats Erin!

Neal Levin was busy in 2014 and has the following new publishing credits to share!
  • "10 Simple Ways You Can Help Others," (cartoon) published in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of Boys' Quest Magazine.
  • "10 Unusual Facts About Animals," (cartoon) published in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of Hopscotch.
  • "Creature Creations," (cartoon drawing activity) published in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of Hopscotch.

We’re proud of you Neal!

Monica Harris was a featured guest with ReaderKidZ in a three
part blog series on sharing the natural world with readers across genres. Monica also had 6 writing pieces accepted by Data Recognition Corporation for the State of Michigan high school reading/writing assessment programs. She was also offered a 12-book contract from Caramel Tree Publishing to create books for early learners (ages 3-6).  Caramel Tree is a Korean company that teaches English. Standing ovation Monica!

Dave Stricklen is proud to announce his third and final book in the Blackwater Pond Series, THE HEART OF THE SWARM, was released in November of 2014. David has been a member of SCBWI for two years and heads up the Grand Rapids area “meet-ups.” Great job David!
Barb Rebbeck’s YA novel, NOLA GALS, (Neverland Publishing), about two 14-year-
old girls caught up in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,
is scheduled for release in January and is available for pre-order on Barb is a member of SCBWI and a retired teacher. Congratulations Barb!

Erin Brown is celebrating her graduation from Western State Colorado University's MFA program in Genre Fiction. Erin lives and writes in Kalamazoo and has been an SCBWI member for approximately 10 years. That’s awesome Erin!

Dawn Webber of Troy is excited to announce she has signed with Steven Chudney of the Chudney Agency. Her YA contemporary novel will be going on submission early this year. We’re excited for you too Dawn!

Laura Wolfe of Milford ended 2014 with a bang by signing a publishing contract with Fire and Ice YA for her YA equestrian thriller, TRAIL OF SECRETS, with a tentative release of August/September 2015. Let’s hear it for Laura!  

And last, but certainly not least, this year’s New York SCBWI Conference Scholarship, sponsored by Shutta Crum, goes to Taraneh Matloob of Auburn Hills! We know you'll have an amazing time Taraneh!

Send all of your children’s publishing news to Patti Richards at Our next H&H deadline is March 27!

Hugs and Hurrahs is an ongoing feature of The Mitten blog. We're inspired by your success, whether it's a small step toward a goal or a glowing accolade. Please send good news for our next edition of Hugs and Hurrahs to Patti Richards at

June - October 2014

Lisa Wheeler sold EVEN MONSTERS NEED TO SLEEP to Balzer and Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins. The book will be illustrated by Chris Van Dusen and will come out Fall 2016.

And there's more: her 7th book in the Dino-Sport series with CarolRhoda was released on Oct. 1st. DINO-BOARDING features dinosaurs competing on surf boards, skate boards and snow boards. Whee!

Continuing with the "dinomite" news: Neal Levin's poem MY DINOSAUR, MY FRIEND was published in the May/June 2014 issue of Fun For Kidz Magazine.

Lisa Rose has another book deal! THE HUNGRY LATKE MONSTER will be published by Kar-Ben in 2016. Mazel Tov, Lisa!

Congrats to Sandy Carlson on the release of her newest book, WAR UNICORN. Isn't the cover gorgeous?

Monica Harris's new book with TunTun Publishing (Korea) has arrived! I LIKE MY BODY is a nonfiction book for early learners of English to identify the parts of their bodies and what they do. It even includes a digital portion with songs.

Who recently signed with an agent? Deb Gonzales! She's thrilled to be working with Melissa Nasson of Rubin Pfeffer Content. Way to go, Deb!

Have you heard about the delegation of Michigan authors descending upon Vermont? That would be Jennifer Whistler, Anita Pazner, and Diane Telgen (yes, Diane now lives in Chicago, but she will always be one of us). This talented trio was recently accepted to the VCFA MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. They join Katie Van Ark in progress, and alumni Deb Gonzales and Kelly Barson. Keep us posted on your journey!

Speaking of Katie Van Ark. Here's the cover reveal for her debut YA novel THE BOY NEXT DOOR to be released on February 3, 2015. Swoon!

Three cheers for three Michigan members winning SCBWI international awards:

Wong Herbert Yee won the Martha Weston Grant, and Deb Pilutti was the runner-up.
Lori McElrath Eslick received a 2014 Magazine Merit Honor Certificate for Illustration for her painting GULLS AT SUNSET which appeared in the September 2013 issue of Cricket Magazine.

The Brighton District Library’s 2014 Local Author Showcase was coordinated by SCBWI-MI’s own Sarah Perry. Here she is with Jean Alicia Elster, author of THE COLORED CAR

Even snakes like visiting the library. Meet Kenny who travels with author/illustrator Lori Taylor.

If you missed Jean Alicia Elster and Sarah Perry at the Brighton event, here's another opportunity. They'll join author Shutta Crum and many others at the 2014 Leon & Lulu Books and Authors event on Sunday October 26th in Clawson, Michigan. 

Janet Heller will join other poets and teachers to lead a Poetry Writing Workshop for Teachers and Teens on Tuesday, October 21st at the Portage District Library. Open to teachers, teens, and community members.  

Nancy Shaw covered two great events on her blog.  Stop by to see photos from The Kerrytown Book Festival and the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City with a parade of book-themed floats including Nancy’s SHEEP IN A JEEP and Leslie Helakoski’s BIG CHICKENS.

Who made it to ArtPrize in Grand Rapids this year? Did you see Lori Eslick's art?

Cecily Donnely and Kevin Kammeraad were there, too. See their amazing projects here:

Get comfy and settle in for a few minutes of watching and listening: 

Babies, babies, and more babies! Shutta Crum's sweet, fun video features photos of young children interacting with books.  

The new book trailer from author DL Price will give you shivers: The Trahe Chronicles Trailer

TEN RULES OF BEING A SUPERHERO is Deb Pilutti's newest book - the first she has written AND illustrated!  See the book trailer here.

Deb Pilutti was also recently interviewed for Matthew Winner's Let's Get Busy podcasts. Matthew is a kidlit librarian who interviews authors, illustrators, and educators in the industry. Deb is on episode #88, and you'll find Matt Faulkner on episode #50. Enjoy!

In 2013, Carrie Pearson received an SCBWI WOOP grant to pursue a writing project involving coast Redwood trees. See her brief video from her visit to Redwood National and State Parks.

And finally, the 2015 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market is available. Grab a copy and find Kirbi Fagan's interview on page 192! This is an indispensable guide by Chuck Sambuchino and Harold Underdown.


  1. Wow! So much good news. Excited for everyone. It's so great to see so many Michigan SCBWI members with good news.

  2. Way to go all you Michigan members. Great to read about everyone and everything. A big thank you to Kristen, Patti, and Nina for all this editing! You're doing a great job!

  3. Congratulations to all who have published this year (well, in any year). Such greatness in this membership.