Thursday, March 24, 2016

Hugs and Hurrahs

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 Barshaw. The 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,  


  1. Congrats to everyone on their good news! It's so awesome how successful so many of our writers are.

  2. Wonderful news--such a talented group! Congratulations to you all!

  3. I'm excited for you all!! Congrats! You're an inspiring group of Michigan writers!

  4. So honored to be part of the talented Michigan chapter of SCBWI. Congratulations to all!