Friday, March 31, 2017

Hugs and Hurrahs

Happy Spring to one and all! It’s time once again for everyone’s favorite blog post, Hugs and Hurrahs! Our SCBWI Mitten-folk had lots to shout about since we turned our calendars to 2017, so let’s warm up our hands and give a hearty standing ovation to the following:  

Congratulations to Neal Levin! His short story "Where's My Shadow?" was published in the February 2017 issue of Highlights For Children. Neal also sold three stories to the website "Super Teacher Worksheets." They are:

"Bear and Hare Warm Up"
"Jezzabelle's Old School"

Way to go Neal!

Janet Ruth Heller’s short play, Pledging, will be performed at the Tritonysia Play Festival at Triton College on May 5-7 and May 12-14, 2017.  Pledging concerns two college freshmen in the 1960’s who are longtime best friends and is based on historical discrimination against people of color by many sororities and fraternities.

Congratulations Janet!

Sandy Carlson’s latest MG Michigan historical fiction (10 years in the making) with a paraplegic MC, time traveling, genealogy, and the fabulous Mackinac Island as a backdrop, The Powder Horn of Mackinac Island will be published on March 3, 2017.

So happy for you Sandy!

Brynne Barnes recently sold her picture book, GIRL IN BLOOM, to Melissa Manlove at Chronicle Books. Girl in Bloom, written in verse, is a read-aloud tribute to African-American women who have paved the way for generations, reminding girls they should never fear climbing too high or shining too brightly. Publication is slated for spring 2019.  

Lisa Rose has sold another story, MYSTERY VALENTINE, to the Amazon Rapids story app. This is Lisa’s fourth title for Amazon. 

Way to go Lisa!

Lisa Wheeler’s new book, EVEN MONSTERS NEED TO SLEEP (illustrated by Chris Van Dusen) released on March 14, 2017. This very young book is Lisa’s first with Balzer&Bray/HarperCollins! Lisa also sold her rhyming picture book, A HUG IS FOR HOLDING ME, to Abrams Appleseed Books.

And if that’s not enough, the amazing Lisa just won the prestigious Golden Kite award for picture book text in 2016! This is an award judged by leaders in the industry. The starred review picture book, The Christmas Boot, is the winning text. Lisa will be invited to accept this award at a special recognition banquet at the international conference in Los Angeles this July.

What an honor! We’re so proud of you Lisa!

Laura Wolfe’s new book, BARN SHADOWS (Dark Horse Book Two), was released on March 14, 2017 by Fire and Ice Books. It is the second book in her YA mystery series.

Happy dancing for you Laura!

Danielle Hammelef is happy to announce the release of three new books published in January by Capstone Press. They are:

Congratulations Danielle!

Mars Missions: A Space Discovery Guide is Buffy Silverman's newest title with Lerner Publishing. The Space Discovery Guide series blasted off with a starred review from Booklist!

Three cheers for Buffy!   

Debbie Diesen’s newest picture book, BLOOM, AN ODE TO SPRING, released on March 7 to a starred review in Kirkus. You can read the entire review here.

Congratulations Debbie!

Kristin Bartley Lenz's YA novel, The Art of Holding On and Letting Go, has been chosen by the Michigan Reading Association for the 2017-2018 Great Lakes Great Books state-wide literature program.

So excited for you Kristin!

Deborah Marcero just sold her picture book, IN A JAR, to Jennifer Besser at Putnam. Deborah’s book isabout a young bunny named Llewellyn, a collector of things big, small, and even the intangible, who embarks on a journey of magical realism and friendship. Publication is planned for spring 2019.

So happy for you Deborah!

Monica Harris has sold three pieces to DRC Pennsylvania! Monica writes, “One of the stories I sold to DRC was written in 2012. It won second place in the Southwest Writer's Writing Contest in 2013.  Then, it sat and sat waiting for anyone to see its 'heart'. Lesson? Don't give up on your stories!  It will happen but it might take time and vision.”

Thanks so much for the encouragement Monica. We’re so happy for you!

Rhonda Gowler Greene’s lastest picture book, Baa! Oink! Moo!, was released by Zonderkidz in January.

That’s awesome Rhonda!

Congratulations to Heidi Woodward Sheffield for winning Honors in the 2017 Winter Conference Portfolio Showcase. There were about 200 portfolios in all, each with 10-15 images of an artist’s best work. (If you’re equating it to a writer’s experience, that’s like 10-15 different polished stories). Each year, five different publishing professionals judge the portfolios. The images that are the most well-received are narrative in nature and tell a story. 

Grand prize went to Melissa Crowton. Heidi shared honors with Victoria Tentler-Krylov and Luke Flowers. Heidi’s prize includes a phone call with an art director. (Used to be $100 for supplies, but the call with the art director is so much more meaningful!)

Happy Dancing with you Heidi!

And finally, I celebrated the release of my first nonfiction picture book, ALL ABOUT SOCIAL NETWORKING (Red Line Editorial/North Star Editions) in January and recently sold another story, THE GATEKEEPER, to Amazon Rapids. And I’m happy dancing about both!

See? I told you we had lots to celebrate in 2017, and it’s only the end of March. Keep up the amazing work my fellow Michkids! You never know when the manuscript you submit will be the ONE!

Send all of your happy publishing news to me, Patti Richards at


  1. Congrats to all of you hard-working folks. So proud of our Michigan chapter! Hgus, S.

  2. Love all of this great news! Congratulations to everyone!!

  3. Congrats to everyone! Great to hear your news!

  4. Thanks for putting together this exciting list, Patti!

  5. Yay! Many congratulations to everyone and best wishes for success with all your projects!