Friday, March 27, 2015

Hugs and Hurrahs! 

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).


  1. Congratulations everyone! So fun to see all the diverse and creative accomplishments!

  2. Thanks so much for the shout-out, Patti! I am proud to be a part of such a talented, persistent group!

  3. So much talent right here in Michigan. Congratulations to all!

  4. Congrats to everyone! Great to see all the good news.