Friday, October 31, 2014

Behind the Scenes at the SCBWI-MI Mackinac Island Conference, and a New York scholarship!

Behind the Scenes at the Mackinac Island Conference
by Charlie Barshaw

I thought I’d check my notes, but aside from the excellent Friday afternoon intensive with Candy Fleming, I’ve got nothing but crumpled receipts, scraps of paper whose messages have bled together, and a whirlwind of memories. As one of the co-chairs, I got a taste--no, make that a a four course meal--of the conference organizer’s busy life.

But it wasn't all missing projectors and phantom cheese trays. The perks involved working with a dedicated bunch of intelligent and resourceful people, meeting some first-class human beings who also happen to be talented editors, agents, authors and illustrators, and being privy to the kind of interactions few outside the circle have seen.

Here're a few scenes from behind the curtain of the Fall 2014 SCBWI-MI conference:

Anita Pazner has a fantastic cabin near Boyne City. Cabin hardly does it justice. A few of us made the trip a day early on Wednesday, so that we'd have an easy drive to Mackinac City on Thursday morning. As bedtime approached, editor Arthur Levine messaged the group and asked if it would be possible for him to arrive at the island a day earlier than scheduled. 

Droopy eyelids popped open, and the four people with smart phones began filling the night with texts, tweets and messages. I stood with my dumb phone and watched in awe.

Rides were pieced together, an extra night for the hotel room reserved, and Arthur arrived at Mackinac on Thursday.

One of the topics at dinner with Arthur on Thursday night happened to be the dual spellings of Mackinac and Mackinaw. (The consensus opinion being that the former was the French spelling, the latter the British.)

On the way back to the hotel, Arthur regaled the group with his fine tenor rendition of “Wonder of Wonders, Miracle of Miracles” from The Fiddler on the Roof and a selection from Pippin.

And one more Arthur story: Friday morning, Arthur rented a bike and toured the island. A group of us had been in town, where Anita and I posed in old-fashioned garb, and on the way back we met agent Jodell Sadler at the dock. 

Arthur rode by one of the streets, and stopped to chat. He wondered why the bike rental place didn’t have helmets. Was their reasoning that, since there were no cars, the risk of bike crashes was negligible? Luckily, he said, his head fit into a child’s helmet.

Arthur Levine with Heidi Sheffield, the lucky winner of a free manuscript critique from the silent auction.

Laszlo Slomovits, one half of the Ann Arbor music duo Gemini, attended the conference, and actually brought along one of his stringed instruments. On Saturday evening, as the book signing wound down in the the hotel lobby, Candy Fleming, Eric Rohmann, Laurie Keller, and Ed Spicer joined him around one of the fireplaces. He reportedly put the words of Oh No (Candy and Eric’s jointly produced picture book) to music and sang it for them.

There’s more, much more, but you’ll have to purchase my memoirs.

Charlie Barshaw just finished the most challenging and rewarding weekend of his literary life when he co-chaired the SCBWI-MI Fall 2014 Mackinac Island Conference. Now he's wading through revisions on his MG squirrel invasion adventure. The zombie versions of other not-quite-dead manuscripts beckon him from the vault.

Come back tomorrow for a recap of conference sessions by Candace Fleming, Eric Rohman, and editor Christy Ottaviano. 

Have you dreamed of attending the SCBWI international conference in New York? If you are a member of SCBWI-MI, don't forget about the wonderful scholarship opportunity from Shutta Crum:

Shutta’s Scholarship Solution to the Winter Doldrums is Here Again!

If you are interested in attending the 2015 SCBWI Winter Conference in New York City, but feel you can’t afford it—think again! With member Shutta Crum’s help you might find yourself at the Grand Hyatt in NY on a blustery winter weekend.

Shutta is renewing her offer to pay the full early-bird registration fee for a Michigan SCBWI member to attend. ($415.00) The qualifying rules are listed on the application form which will be posted on the SCBWI-MI website and at Shutta’s site. (Deadline to apply for the scholarship is by midnight, Dec. 10, 2014.)

The conference is Feb. 6 - 8, 2014. Early bird registration is through December 15, 2014. See the national SCBWI website for conference details as they unfold. You never know what magical thing might happen to you there!

Any questions, feel free to contact Shutta Crum, or coRA Leslie Helakoski at: leslie AT helakoskibooks DOT com.

Past winners have included: Amy Nielander, Kelly Barson, Vicky Lorencen, and Elizabeth McBride. Of last year’s conference Beth said, “I met such wonderful people and heard great presentations, thought and re-thought my efforts and intentions, and shared hopes and dreams with new friends and old.”

Good luck and Happy Halloween!
Kristin Lenz

Friday, October 24, 2014

Are You Social-Media Savvy?

Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Google+. Instagram. Pinterest. Ello. Tumblr. Reddit. Blogger. Good Reads.

If you are confused by all the social media, join the club. No, really—join at least one. Or two or three. As a writer or illustrator, it’s essential that you have a social media presence if you want an agent or editor to take you seriously.

But there are so many that it’s hard to figure out how to keep up and which ones are relevant to you and where you are in your career. Fear not. Here are some pointers.

Why do I need social media?

Social media is how we generate buzz, whether about an upcoming title, public appearances, classroom visits, or any aspect of your public persona.

It helps you stay connected to your SCBWI chapter, other writers, illustrators, agents, editors, publishers, etc.

For example, you can follow SCBWI-MI on Facebook, Twitter, our email listserv, our website, and our new blog. (For more information about any of these, visit the website’s “On-Line Community” page here:

More importantly, agents and editors are inundated with submissions. Say you submit a stellar manuscript. It’s edgy, tight, and sure to be a best seller. But Agent Martha Moneymaker has twelve such manuscripts on her desk. Which to choose? She’s likely to choose the author with the strongest social media presence. Why? Most publishers expect the author to be an active participant in marketing the finished product. If you have this established network, you won’t spend the first few months post-release building it. You can spend your time marketing instead.

I get it. But how do I choose?

Figure out the best social media connections for your goals:
·      Do you plan to blog regularly? Think about a website with an integrated blog (or just a blog). Encourage followers to subscribe so that they automatically receive notices when you update.
·      Are you an illustrator? You may want a Tumblr account, which is more visually based, and is easier for followers to repost, further increasing your reach. Or try Instagram, another visual sharing platform. ( )
·      Do you want to network with other professionals? LinkedIn allows you to network with other writers, illustrators, and even agents and editors. It’s like having your résumé online so that everyone can see what you’ve published, your background, etc. Plus, if you freelance, you may be able to find those opportunities here. (
·      Do you experience flashes of inspiration multiple times a day? Twitter keeps your name in front of your audience on a daily basis. When you update your blog, or post something on another platform, you can tweet a link to it. Plus, you can follow editors and agents to learn about what makes them tick. Keep in mind that it’s not a substitute for in-depth research, but merely gives you a starting point. (
·      Are you an avid reader? Good Reads is a wealth of information and networking. Find recommendations based on your reading preferences, post reviews of books you’ve read, connect with other readers, follow authors you like. This is a good adjunct to having your own blog or website. (

Now that I know my goals, how do I get started?

Take the time to research these sites. Spend a few hours on each one (not all in one day or your head may implode). Compare the type of audience each caters to, and choose your best match. If you need a website, spend time doing it right. You don’t want to revamp everything after a few months (trust me on this one). Bookmark author/illustrator sites that you like and figure out why they work. Design your site with these things in mind. Hire a pro, if you need it. Remember—this is a reflection of who you are and your level of professionalism.

Plan your marketing strategy by combining your main social media presence (website, blog, Facebook page, etc.) and tie in complementary platforms like Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc. But keep it simple. Don’t join every platform or you’ll never be able to keep up with your online presence and work on your writing or illustrating. Whichever platforms you choose, try to have a similar visual theme. You want followers to know they are visiting your page, feed, or website. Make your business cards fit the theme as well.

In short, think of yourself as a brand. If you do it well, editors and agents will see you as a brand, too. However, no media platform or branding strategy, no matter how well executed, can substitute for good writing, engaging illustrations, and the research to find your perfect match.

Jennifer Whistler has been a member of SCBWI for 10 years and is pre-published. In the meantime, she’s building her social media presence, and plans to knock it out of the park with her marketing prowess. You can follow her on Twitter @SwissWhis. She begs you not to visit her website yet.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hugs and Hurrahs

Our last edition of Hugs and Hurrahs was published nearly six months ago in the May newsletter, which means we're overflowing with good news to share! Congratulations to all of our SCBWI-MI members who are striding toward goals, winning awards, signing contracts, hosting events, creating and having fun. You are an inspiration!

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.

Yes, that's the same Harold Underdown who wrote The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books, and we had a giveaway last week to win a free copy. Congrats to Suzanne K! Look for an email from me so I can send the book to you.

Hugs and Hurrahs is an ongoing feature on The Mitten blog. Do you have good news to share? Do you have a friend who's too humble to share his or her good news? 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 kristinbartleylenz AT gmail DOT com.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Ask Frida Pennabook: Scared in Sault St. Marie, and a FREE BOOK!

Sometimes it's helpful to tap into the expertise of a fellow writer or artist. Got a question? Need advice? Just ask Frida.

Dear readers: This is Part Two of a two-part column on self-publishing. This part deals with skirting the scams of unsavory scoundrels of the self-publishing world. For advice on whether you are actually ready to self-publish, please refer back to yesterday's column.

Dear Frida,

I am considering self-publishing my first middle-grade book, but I have heard so many horror stories of people who shell out thousands of dollars only to wind up with a box of books they can’t sell. How can I avoid being swindled?

Scared in Sault St. Marie

Dear Scared,

Congratulations! Your baby has gestated longer than a black alpine salamander and is ready for the world! Now you need someone to help you deliver it. More and more these days, that someone is…you. Self-publishing has become more common in the children’s lit world, and has lost much of the stigma it once had. Many self-published works are well written, beautifully illustrated, and high quality.

And then there is the dreck. Like the family story that great-aunt Edna wrote down on her yellow legal pad with a ball point, asked 9-year-old Biff to type up for her “on that computer thingee,” and then handed over to some fly-by-night self-publisher who used newspaper pages, free stock photos downloaded from, and Krazy Glue to bind it all. Edna’s family loves it, of course. But the rest of us shudder.

Finding a quality self-publishing press can be as tricky as avoiding the Minotaur in a labyrinth. If you don’t want to wind up like Edna, it’s best to take some precautions before entering the maze.

Don’t Get Scammed
There are many “indie publishers” that are actually vanity presses whose main goal is to con you into opening your wallet and paying them to do what you can do less expensively. These companies literally bank on the fact that most of the people seeking to self publish are not pros, and therefore are not sure what to look for in a press. In short, they expect you to cough up a lot of cheddar.

Know Your Publisher
How to find someone legit? First, check out, also known as Writer Beware. This website is a great source for learning about legitimate vs. predatory presses.
Aside from Writer Beware, watch out for sleazy business practices like these:

·  They seek you out—If someone comes knocking on your door, offering to publish you, but you have not submitted to them, be wary. How did they find you? Through your blog or website? Do you post writing samples on your blog/website (you shouldn’t, by the way)? Let me state categorically: no legitimate press will offer to “publish” your manuscript after only having viewed a paragraph or two, or even a chapter. They want the whole enchilada to mull over and take to acquisitions and then hem and haw for several months before maaayyyyybe offering you a contract. I promise.

·   They guarantee success—Who do they think they’re fooling? No one can guarantee success. Even Disney has some flops every now and then. Remember Treasure Planet? Neither does anyone else.

·   They promise “major exposure”—If they say they have connections with major booksellers, big deal. “Connections” does not equal “success.” Major book chains look at the bottom line. If you are an unknown, they’ll look for advance buzz before giving you expensive shelf space. That buzz isn’t likely to come in advance (or at all) from these presses.

·   They ask you to pay for things you can do for free (or almost free)—Maybe they want you to pay a huge fee for an ISBN number, or for marketing. But you can do that yourself for very little or no money. You can get your own ISBN (see the sidebar) and you can also set up your own blog tours, book signings, readings, and school visits. You simply need to be willing to put in the work. Even if you decide to pay for these services, remember that they are invested in the check you sign over to them, not your work.

·   Instead of dazzling you with brilliance, they try to baffle you with, umm…cow poo—If your contract is confusing, you are unsure of the breakdown of costs, you don’t understand what their editing service actually edits, or there are fees that make no sense, your spidey-senses should tingle.

·   They try to have you (not booksellers) sell the majority of your books—Many publishing houses usually offer a number of free books to the author/illustrator, with more copies available at a discount. If a press requires that you buy the first 500 copies of your own book, even if at “half price,” that’s a great deal—for them. The main source of revenue should be from bookstores and other brick-and-mortar retailers, as well as online and e-book sales.

Do Your Homework
Spend time researching self-publishing resources. Your baby took a long time to be ready to face to world. In your enthusiasm to show off your latest edition, er…, addition, don’t let just anyone take over the delivery room. Stay in control.

If you take the time to do it right, self-publishing can be exactly the right choice for you. Don’t forget to invite us when you hand out cigars and open the champagne!


Thank you, Frida! Read on for additional resources to help navigate the world of publishing, and find out how to win a free guide to publishing children's books.

To Research Agents:
·  THE BOOK: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO PUBLISHING FOR CHILDREN can be found by logging on to and then clicking on Resource Library. Scroll down and click on THE BOOK. You will have the option of accessing a PDF (at no charge), or ordering a hard copy to be mailed to you (for a fee). Note that you must be logged on to access the file.

·  The Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market (CWIM) is an annual publication of Writer’s Digest Magazine. It is an indispensable resource for researching agents, editors, publishing houses, magazine markets, and more. Read more or order at

·  Query Tracker is a website that provides lots of helpful information about agents and agencies, what they are looking for, whether they have moved (much more updated than the annual CWIM or THE BOOK in this regard). Go to to check it out.

To Research Self Publishing Options:
·  Writer Beware is a blog that investigates questionable publishers, presses, agents, agencies, and more. Find it at

·  THE FINE PRINT OF SELF-PUBLISHING is a book that reviews 26 self-publishers. You can order the book at The website also has a link to subscribe to their newsletter. If you subscribe to the newsletter, you can also download the Author’s Bill of Rights, which outlines what you should know about working with self-publishers.

·  Writer’s Digest has a helpful post about self-publishing options on their website at It is a good place to start when trying to decide the best way to self-publish.

·  Ask your friends who have self-published what worked, and what they would do differently. Get recommendations from people you trust.

Getting Ready to Self-Publish
·  Your book will need an ISBN number. You can do this yourself for a very reasonable fee by visiting

·  In the US, it isn’t necessary to copyright something “officially.” Once your manuscript is published, it is automatically copyrighted. But if you feel a strong need to have it documented, you can visit the federal copyright website at to fill out the official application. There is a $35 fee for this service. This is also the website to use if you feel your copyright has been violated.

Want to win a FREE BOOK? Complete the Rafflecopter form below by Friday, October 17th, and one winner will be selected to receive a copy of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books by Harold D. Underdown. You haven't heard of Harold? You have been missing out on another excellent resource - his Purple Crayon blog. Go to:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 10, 2014

Ask Frida Pennabook: Wavering in Wyandotte

Sometimes it's helpful to tap into the expertise of a fellow writer or artist. Got a question? Need advice? Just ask Frida.

Dear Readers: I recently received two questions that are closely tied together as far as my advice is concerned. As a result, I decided to write a two-part column about self-publishing and its perils. Part One comes from “Wavering in Wyandotte.” Be sure to check back tomorrow for Part Two from “Scared in Sault St. Marie.”

Dear Frida,

My friends say I should stop wasting any more time looking for an agent and just self-publish. They insist it’s the way to go and say that I am just being stubborn by not riding the wave. What do you think?

Wavering in Wyandotte

Dear Wavering,

Self-publishing does seem to be the pet rock of the twenty-tens, doesn’t it? So many writers are turning to self-publishing these days, and the headlines are full of success stories highlighting the writers who have turned their manuscript into a huge cash cow in a few short months.

As intriguing as this sounds, these headline grabbers are few and far between, representing the exception rather than the rule. But the hype does serve to draw attention to the potential benefits of self-publishing. So how do you decide whether this is a legitimate choice for you?

Let’s start by going through this list of questions together:
·      Have you received more than a few rejections? Like, say, 25 or 37 or 108?
·      Did you spend a significant amount of time researching agents or agencies?
·      Do you know the difference between querying and submitting, and when to do which?
·      Did you research agents thoroughly?
·      Did you use the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market (CWIM)?
·      Did you use The Book from SCBWI (which is available as part of your SCBWI membership)?
·      Did you choose the right agent(s) for your reading level, style, topic, etc.?
·      Have you researched websites like
·      Do you read agent blogs regularly so that you understand the different needs/wants of individual agents and agencies?
·      Did you receive “champagne” rejections, rather than generic form rejections? In other words, did the agent make specific suggestions about ways to improve your manuscript, rather than a simple “I’m sorry but this does not fit our needs at this time”?
·      Did the agent ask to see revisions?
·      Did you spend time seriously considering those suggestions and then working on and sending revisions? 

Are You Truly Ready for This?
If you answered “no” to a majority of these questions, you may not have exhausted traditional publishing options. In fact, you probably still have some homework to do. Excitement and enthusiasm are necessary in the publishing world, but they are not a substitute for being prepared and presenting your best possible work to the best match for your manuscript.
The above questions also have to do with professionalism and how you are perceived when querying and submitting. If you take the time to do the research for your manuscript, you leave the door open to perhaps contact the agent or agency in the future. If you send in something you wrote in an afternoon, that does not fit the 32-page, 500-word picture book format, and you send it to an agent who only represents edgy YA, then you’ve closed that door not only to the agent, but most likely to the entire agency, where there may have been someone incredibly eager to read your manuscript about a garbage truck that comes to life and swallows children whole. (Oh, wait—that’s my manuscript. Sorry!)

The point is that the road to publication is often long, slow, and fraught with frustration. Don’t assume that being rejected three times, or that waiting several years for acceptance, is out of the ordinary. Be patient. Do your homework. Continue to improve your craft. Success in this business usually goes to the person who doesn’t stop trying.

Yes, Yes! I’m Ready!
Now, let’s back up and assume that you answered “yes” to most of the questions. You have spent several years, you have sweat blood and cried ketchup in your quest for traditional publication, and you feel that your manuscript is the best thing you will ever do in your entire life. It’s just that it’s hard to find an audience for a book about a young boy and his collection of cotton balls that resemble Einstein. But you know where to find that audience, and by gum, you’re the one to bring them this story! 

If that describes you, then I suggest you read my next column, when I help Scared in Sault St. Marie avoid pernicious predatory publishers. 

Until tomorrow,

Come back tomorrow for more from Frida and a FREE BOOK!  We'll be giving away one copy of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books by Harold D. Underdown.

You haven't heard of Harold? You have been missing out on an excellent resource - his Purple Crayon blog.
Go to:

Also, be sure to check out the winners of SCBWI"s inaugural Spark Award which recognizes excellence in a children’s book published through a non-traditional publishing route.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Join the movement: Missing Voice by Lisa Rose

Anyone can tweet #weneeddiversebooks.

But what are we as authors, illustrators, parents, and teachers going to do to make that change?

Many times people don’t buy diverse books, because they lack the awareness. I decided to help this change by making the writing community more aware. 

I am Jewish, and I write Jewish picture books. However, I also taught in Detroit, and I also write African American chapter books. I believe because of my experience, I have the unique perspective of understanding two communities. I observe how both communities can lack an understanding of each other. Not because of hate, but because of just living divided. 

The way to end ignorance is with knowledge. Let’s help promote and discuss new authors. I call it MISSING VOICE because I want it to mean more than just race, but also include religion, and little known historical facts and people.

 Here's how to participate: 

2)  Read the Book of the Month. October’s book is COLORS OF THE WIND The story of the Blind Artist and Champion Runner George Mendoza. By J.L. Powers. Paintings by George Mendoza.
3)  Comment on the questions asked. There are no “right” answers. Let’s just talk about books.
4)  Opportunity to live chat with the author at the end of the month. (Google + Hangout or Twitter—depending on the author.)

 We also welcome members to share other books they love about Missing Voices.

Please join and let your voice be heard!

Lisa Rose

Lisa Rose lives near Detroit, Michigan with her husband and daughter. She likes to swim, practice yoga, and eat ice cream, but not at the same time.

She has two e-books published with MeeGenius OH NO! THE EASTER BUNNY IS ALLERGIC TO EGGS! and THE TOOTH FAIRY BROKE HER WING!

In 2016, the picture books SHUMLIK PAINTS THE TOWN and THE HUNGRY LATKE MONSTER will be published by Kar-Ben Publishing.

You can learn more about her and her work by following Lisa’s blog Also you can follow her on twitter @lisarosewrites.

The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators sponsors an annual award and grant to promote diversity in children's books.  For more information, please visit:

Emerging Voices Award - Established with funding from Martin and Sue Schmitt of the 455 Foundation to foster the emergence of diverse voices in children’s books.

Multi-Cultural Work-in-Progress Grant - To assist children’s book writers in the completion of a manuscript that features a voice traditionally underrepresented in children's books.

If you're aware of other resources, please share in the comments.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Neal Levin's Kiddie Litter cartoons

Neal Levin has been sharing his Kiddie Litter cartoons with SCBWI-MI for 10 years! Here are a few favorites from our newsletter archives. Enjoy!