Hugs and Hurrahs

Hugs and Hurrahs! 


October-December 2017

Happy New Year! We’re shaking things up this month at the Mitten and starting the year off with your happy publishing news. You heard it right- it’s time for Hugs and Hurrahs! You were busy writers during the last three months of 2017, and we salute you all for your hard work and commitment to craft. Drum roll please. . .  



Hats off to Maria Dismondy! Her bestseller, SPAGHETTI IN A HOT DOG BUN is now available in Spanish and will be released in Chinese later this year. Her book CHOCOLATE MILK, POR FAVOR is being published in Korean and is now traveling the country as a children’s musical. Way to go, Maria!

Congrats to Kathryn Madeline Allen! Her book, A KISS MEANS I LOVE YOU (Albert Whitman & Co.) won GOLD in the Moonbeam Awards board book category. Launched in 2007, the Moonbeam Children's Book Awards bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to celebrate children’s books and life-long reading. That’s amazing, Kathryn!


Three cheers goes to Rebecca Grabill! Her first book, HALLOWEEN GOOD NIGHT, was released this past July from Atheneum/Simon and Schuster. Congratulations, Rebecca! 


Standing ovation goes to Supriya Kelkar! Supriya was recently interviewed by the Washington Post about her middle grade historical fiction, AHIMSA. So proud of you, Supriya! Here’s a link to the interview: 







Neal Levin has been at it again! His poem, “Saturn’s Rings,” was published in the October 2017 issue of Spider Magazine, and his poem “Smells Like Chicken Noodle,” is in the January issue of Spider. Neal also recently published his 25th “10 facts” feature for Fun for Kids Magazine. This is a regular two-page color cartoon he creates for each issue of the magazine, providing ten fun illustrated facts relating to the issue's theme. You are awesome, Neal!


Big congrats to Lindsay Moore! Her narrative nonfiction book, SEA BEAR, was recently purchased in a two-book deal by Greenwillow Books for a winter 2019 release. That’s amazing, Lindsay!

Three cheers for Debbie Taylor! At the Nov 5 Ann Arbor Library Fifth Avenue Press Book Release Reception, it was announced that the next author they will be publishing is Debbie Taylor. Her book will be coming out this spring. Congratulations, Debbie!








Hats off to Heather Shumaker! Her first middle-grade adventure story called THE GRIFFINS OF CASTLE CARY, was recently purchased by Simon and Schuster for a March 2019 release. This is Heather’s first book for children and introduces the three Griffin children, their ginormous, tongue-drooling Newfoundland dog, and a bit of a ghost problem. Being billed by the S&S editor as a charming book with “Penderwick-y style and Neil Gaiman themes.” So happy for you, Heather!


And here’s a standing ovation for Lisa Wheeler! Her newest picture book, PEOPLE DON’T BITE PEOPLE (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon Schuster) debuts on April 3. The book is illustrated by the award-winning Molly Idle! So proud of you, Lisa!  







Congratulations to Sondra Soderborg! Sondra just signed with her “dream agent,” Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Erin will be taking Sondra’s first MG novel to market next year. So happy for you Sondra!


Three cheers for Ruth McNally Barshaw! Coming in June 2018: NO BASE LIKE HOME, written by ESPN broadcaster and two-time Olympic medalist Jessica Mendoza and her sister, Alana Mendoza Dusan, in which an eleven-year-old tries to live up to her legendary older sister's softball skills on her travel ball team. Stacy Whitman at Tu Books is the fantastic editor on this project. Way to go, Ruth!

Happy dancing for Claudia WhisittBROKEN LINES, the third book in the Kids Like You Series garnered a silver medal in the 2017 Moonbeam Awards in the pre-teen historical/cultural category. So happy for you, Claudia!









Congratulations goes to Lorelle Otis! Three of her mindfulness painting/poems have just been published in the online poetry publication, Willawaw Journal. Her work appears on the cover, back cover, and page 4. The poems are from her A Few of the Ten Thousand Things, project she has been working on for four years. That’s awesome, Lorelle!



Hats off to Joseph Kimble! Joseph, a law professor who has written three law books, recently published his first children’s book, MR. MOUTHFUL LEARNS HIS LESSON. Way to go, Joseph!
Picture





Three cheers for Jacquie Sewell! Jacquie’s book, MIGHTY MAC, THE BRIDGE THAT MICHIGAN BUILT (Peninsulam Publishing) is now available on Amazon (with a sneak peak!) or through the publisher:
So happy for you, Jacquie!

A special congratulations to Nancy Shaw, Kelly Dipuchio, Lisa Wheeler and Patricia Polacco! These amazing authors are part of the Michigan Album Quilt of Authors and Illustrators unveiled last fall at The Clarkston Independence District Library. The quilt was started in 2011, with participants signing fabric squares to go into the design. Other authors/artists for young people are Gary Schmidt, Gloria Whelan, Janie Bynum, Margaret Hillert, Devin Scillian, the late Nancy Willard, and Robbyn & Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen. Other libraries will be displaying the quilt, too. Standing ovation to these amazing authors and what they give to the children’s literature community!




And finally, my story, “The Christmas Candles,” appeared in the December issue of Highlights Magazine, and the joy I felt was pretty much overwhelming!





I hope this issue of Hugs and Hurrahs has you celebrating with your friends and finding new inspiration to get those drafts polished and submitted! You can do it! And when you do, we’ll be right here to celebrate you!

Happy Writing!

THIS JUST IN: Author Jack Cheng has won the SCBWI Goldne Kite Award for Middle-Grade Fiction! Please join us in congratulating Jack Cheng, the author of SEE YOU IN THE  COSMOS, on this special honor. The Golden Kites are the only children’s literary award judged by a jury of peers. The awards will be presented at a gala during the SCBWI New York Winter Conference on Friday, February 2 at 7 PM at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Featured guest Chelsea Clinton, humanitarian advocate and children’s author, will make a special presentation at the event.
Big Michigan congratulations, Jack!
Carrie Pearson and Leslie Helakoski
Co-RAs SCBWI MI

Send all your happy publishing news to Patti Richards, pgwrites5@gmail.com. Our next Hugs and Hurrahs deadline is March 28, 2018.

July-September 2017

Happy fall everyone! It’s time for apple picking, pumpkin carving AND Hugs and Hurrahs! Our members have been more than busy over the last three months raking up mounds of happy publishing news. So settle in with your favorite cup of tea and celebrate with these amazing Michigan SCBWI members: 


Heidi Sheffield was recently awarded the 2017 LA Mentorship Award during the summer SCBWI conference! Heidi also just signed with Laura Rennert of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. We are so proud of you, Heidi!

Deb Gonzales is thrilled to announce that she sold her nonfiction picture book, PLAY LIKE A GIRL: THE ROAD TO BREAKING BARRIERS AND BASHING RECORDS, to Julie Bliven at Charlesbridge Publishing. The book is slated for a spring 2019 release. We’re giving you a standing ovation Deb!

 Rhonda Gowler Greene sold two picture books this summer! The first book, THE FIRST MEN WHO WENT TO THE MOON, went to Sleeping Bear Press and is scheduled for release in 2019, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. Rhonda sold the second book, HERE WE COME, CONSTRUCTION FUN! To Zonderkidz. Rhonda is also celebrating the 20th anniversary of her first two books— BARNYARD SONG (Atheneum) and WHEN A LINE BENDS…A SHAPE BEGINS (Houghton Mifflin), this month. Both books are still in print. We’re doing a big happy dance for you Rhonda!


Congratulations to Sara Kendall, the winner of SCBWI- Michigan’s 2017-2018 Illustration Mentorship 2017-2018! Sara will spend the year learning from the fabulous Kirbi Fagan. And congratulations to this year’s runner-up, Basya Cohen! We’re so proud of both of you. Thanks to everyone who entered this year’s contest.

Lori McElrath Eslick recently participated in the National Assessment of Education Progress Grade 4 Writing ALS and was selected for one of the Nov. 2017 group. Way to go, Lori!

Hats off to Lindsey McDivitt who recently sold a picture book biography about Michigan nature artist and environmentalist, Gwen Frostic to Sleeping Bear Press. The book is scheduled for release in 2018. Lindsey also sold a second picture book biography to Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers about Nelson Mandela and his fight to free South Africa from Apartheid. So happy for you, Lindsey!

Congratulations to Rebecca Brockington who recently won 3rd place for her chapter book manuscript in the Kidlit College contest. Way to go Rebecca!

Cathy Gendron is happy to announce that she’ll be illustrating author Paul Czajak’s upcoming picture book, TREES MAKE PERFECT PETS. Sourcebooks is the publisher and the book is set for a spring 2019 release. So proud of you, Cathy!

Buffy Silverman won the 2017 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award in nonfiction for her photo-essay, "Magical Monarchs." The article, which was inspired by her experience raising monarchs, appeared in the October, 2016 issue of Ask. That’s awesome, Buffy!

Lisa Rose is excited to announce she’ll be writing a chapter book serried for Rourke Educational Media. The series has a total of six books. So proud of you, Lisa!  

Danielle Hammelef’s puzzle "How Do You Live?" was published in Pockets July 2017 issue, and her poem "School Starts Soon" was published in Pockets September 2017 issue. Danielle’s short story "Sharing Berry" will appear in Pockets October 2017 issue. The story is dedicated to her own soon to be 13 year-old golden retriever named Berry. Danielle writes, “His birthday is 10/16 so the timing of publication couldn't have been any better.” Way to go, Danielle!

Neal Levin just published his 25th "10 Facts" feature for Fun For Kidz. This is a regular two-page color cartoon he creates for each issue of the magazine, providing ten fun illustrated facts relating to the issue's theme. You’re awesome, Neal!


Kristi Gatchel is happy to announce that she’ll be blogging about her new Independent Study project on translated picture books. Kristi, a Children's Lit major at Eastern Michigan, will be blogging about the translated books she’s found, the need for translated books for children, and the industry. You can follow her journey here: https://translatingtheworldwithpicturebooks.blogspot.com/ Thanks so much for sharing this, Kristi!

Amy Leskowski recently won an Honorable Mention in the 86th Annual Writer’s Digest Contest in the Children’s/YA Category for her picture book, TRAFFIC JAM. Amy also won a First Place Georgia Peach Award from the CAG – for the same manuscript. Way to go, Amy!

Our amazing RA, Carrie Pearson, recently sold her picture book, STRETCH TO THE SUN: FROM TINY SPROUT TO THE TALLEST TREE ON EARTH, to Yolanda Scott at Charlesbridge publishing. The book is scheduled for a fall 2018 release. You’re awesome, Carrie!

And I’m (Patti Richards) doing my own happy dance because my picture book manuscript, CUPINE’S PERFECT DANCE PARTNER, won an Honorable Mention in the 86th Annual Writer’s Digest Contest in the Children’s/YA category! Woo Hoo!

That’s it for this edition of Hugs and Hurrahs. What an amazing group of talented writers you all are. You make our Mitten proud!  

Send all your happy publishing news to Patti Richards, pgwrites5@gmail.com


April-June 2017

Sarah Perry aka S.J. Lomas is celebrating the release of DREAM FREQUENCY, the sequel and conclusion to the DREAM GIRL duology. What a gorgeous cover! 


Neal Levin's poem BROTHER FOR SALE was published in the April 2017 issue of SPIDER. Cheers, Neal!


Monica Harris continues her steady sales (16 pieces!) to Data Recognition Corporation in various states which provide content for school state wide assessments. The specific topics are confidential, but here's a sample from her Wisconsin work:
*  Grade 4 Listening assessment - kids listen to the passage and then answer questions concerning the topic.
*  Grade 3 Informational assessment - students read about the nonfiction topic and then answer questions concerning their understanding. 
Congrats on your steady work, Monica!


Rebecca Grabil signed a contract with Eerdmans Books for Young Readers for the picture book, MAMA EARTH'S NEW YEAR, to be published early 2019.

Plus, her picture book with Atheneum, HALLOWEEN GOOD NIGHT, will be released July 25th! AND, it earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly!







Jean Alicia Elster has been selected to receive a 2017 Kresge Artist Fellowship in Literary Arts, awarded by Kresge Arts in Detroit, a program of The Kresge Foundation. We're so proud of you, Jean Alicia!


Shutta Crum, Jean Alicia Elster, Jack Cheng
On May 3rd, SCBWI-MI members Shutta CrumJean Alicia Elster and Jack Cheng joined fellow-author Ruth Behar at Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor for a special Children’s Book Week middle-grade authors panel. Shutta served as panel moderator and guided the authors in a discussion on a wide range of topics from diversity to character motivation. What a great event!


Buffy Silverman wrote four titles for Lerner Publishing's SHARK WORLD series. TIGER SHARKS IN ACTION, ANGELS SHARKS IN ACTION, GREAT WHITE SHARKS IN ACTION, and MAKO SHARKS IN ACTION are swimming out this month. Way to go, Buffy!


On June 24th, Kazoo Books in Kalamazoo hosted a reception for the Oakwood Neighborhood Association’s annual Oakwood Neighborhood Reunion. Local writers attending this reunion and autographing their books for children included SCBWI-MI members Janet Ruth Heller and Kate Seifert.  

Plus, Janet Ruth Heller was interviewed about her books and advice for writers on author Mindy McGinnis's website


Mary Vee's junior fiction book for elementary readers, WILLIAM WORTHINGTON WATKINS III, featuring a boy main character, veterans, and mystery with humor was published in May and is available on Amazon.

Amy Nielander
Amy Nielander's picture book THE LADYBUG RACE earned a Bronze Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, Children's Picture Books category. See all of the winners here. We're thrilled to see your book and artwork continuing to earn accolades!


Kristin Bartley Lenz's article, THE POWER OF CONTESTS: CREATE YOUR OWN LUCK, was published on the Writer's Digest Guide to Literary Agents Blog.


YARN (Young Adult Review Network) published Heather Smith Meloche's short story, TRIFLES, about complicated sisterly love and tough choices. Bravo, Heather! Read the story HERE. 


Kirbi Fagan won the Jack Gaughan Award for Best Emerging Artist 2017 (Presented by the New England Science Fiction Association) and she's a Muddy Color Rising Star 2017! She's also our 2017-2018 SCBWI-MI Illustrator Mentor!

And we saved the best news for last: Charlie Barshaw has officially joined the Mitten blog team! Charlie has been a frequent contributor for some time, and now he's taking over the quarterly Writer Spotlight feature for Patti Richards. Stay tuned - he might be reaching out to interview YOU!


Coming up on the Mitten Blog: Nina Goebel unveils our new summer blog banner and introduces our next Featured Illustrator!



4 comments:

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

    ReplyDelete
  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!

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

    ReplyDelete