Friday, August 25, 2023

Our SCBWI-Michigan BIPOC Scholarships Make a Difference by Isabel Estrada O'Hagin


      The aim of our SCBWI-Michigan BIPOC Scholarship Awards is to promote inclusivity among our membership and to offer the benefits of membership to selected applicants. For several years now, the SCBWI-Michigan BIPOC Scholarship recipients have enjoyed the perks of membership, including member-based fees for conferences and networking opportunities among our creative kidlit community. If our aim is to be inclusive, we need to authentically engage with our local communities and let them know about the BIPOC scholarships we offer.

 The applications for the 2023 SCBWI-Michigan BIPOC Scholarships can be found on our region’s webpage. Scroll down to the BIPOC Scholarship info.

      As we approach the next round of our region’s 2023 BIPOC Scholarship Applications, let’s hear from this past year’s recipients: Pria Dee (PD), Aubrey Jewel (AJ), Georgia Ann Moss (GAM), and Holly Nicole Semma (HNS). Read how these scholarships made a difference for our 2022 BIPOC Scholarship recipients!


1.    In what ways was your SCBWI membership useful to you? (e.g., personal connections, networking, or how it enhanced your creative work in children’s literature)

PD: I enjoy meeting and getting to know all the creative people that are members and learning from their individual experiences. I especially love the author events that allow us to talk to people in person. Many of them have provided me with useful tips, resources, and contacts that as a new writer have been invaluable to me. I met my critique group through SCBWI-Michigan, and they have been very supportive of my writing efforts and have provided so many different perspectives (teacher, librarian, parent, illustrator, etc.) that have helped improve my work. I have also made some great friends who support and encourage me and keep me going even when I get writer's block. 


AJ: The scholarship was extremely helpful for me to jump back into the mix of being a creative again and not “just a teacher/instructor.” I love being able to help others, but this gave me the opportunity where I could force myself to be creative again for my own work. It is also a bonus for my daughter to see me making art in this form instead of giving a lesson to her or someone else. It is also helping her to be creative in her own ways. 

Seeing and reading the opportunities and what other folks are doing and creating is such a wonderful addition that the membership has really brought me. Because of this scholarship, I plan on continuing and am scheduling out conferences and connections.


GAM: My SCBWI membership/scholarship has been very rewarding. The website offers web meetings where you can brainstorm creative ideas and to connect with other writers. The website is awesome in assisting with author visits and book fairs. I’m so thankful for the scholarship, and I will be renewing my membership. (Woo-hoo, Georgia!)


HNS: SCBWI membership is useful to me in providing networking opportunities and creative inspiration! It has been delightful engaging with my colleagues as well as understanding their passions and pursuits. We are all connected through creativity and I am thankful for SCBWI to be a catalyst in facilitating this close-knit community.



2.    What’s ahead in your creative work? We’d love to hear about it!


PD: I have published a picture book and a chapter book since joining SCBWI, and I have two more picture books in the works. Once those are completed and published, I hope to devote my time and energy to writing a middle grade fantasy novel. I also have started on a young adult novel that is making slow progress--I hope to finish it over the next year. 


AJ: I’m now doing a series of illustrative work called Resilience, with the hope of empowering many, with the emphasis on women of color. I will be showcasing it in graphic novel form as well as a series of 7 illustrative portraits in a gallery showcase September of 2024 during the Kalamazoo Art Hop.


I also finished my story of Mootilda MooCow and Her Trip to the Moon. I’m working on trying to find the right place to get it published. 


GAM: Currently working on a holiday book for emergent readers.


HNS: I am currently a Master's Candidate at the University of Michigan School of Public Health - Health Behavior & Health Education. I have just returned from a global internship at the Dubai Autism Center. I am interested in having an Arabic version of my upcoming children's books to best provide autism awareness to multicultural families!



Thank you, Pria, Aubrey, Georgia Ann, and Holly! Readers: If you’re like me, you found the imagination, dynamic energy, and drive among these four women awe-inspiring! May we welcome many more like-minded kidlit creatives to our regional chapter! Help us spread the word throughout our local communities!


BIPOC Scholarship

This scholarship awards a one-year membership to SCBWI for new members who identify as BIPOC kidlit creators.


Qualifications: Must be a Michigan resident, at least 18 years of age, who identifies as BIPOC and is a writer and/or illustrator of children’s literature.


Award: A one-year membership to SCBWI.

Applications Accepted: September 1st – October 1st (via a link that will be posted here). Awardees will be notified on or before Oct. 15th. Awardees will be notified on or before Oct. 15th. To donate to this scholarship, click or tap HERE.


Please note that it’s easy to make a donation by clicking on the HERE button!

Isabel Estrada O'Hagin grew up in the desert borderlands of Arizona, dancing and singing her way through life. Always a dreamer, she blends her life experiences as a performing arts educator with her love of Mexican-American culture & folklore into stories. When she’s not writing, she loves to dance, cook, read, daydream, and play with her two gatitos, Dante and Cosmo. She also loves her volunteer work for SCBWI-Michigan as Outreach Coordinator and K.A.S.T. Co-Coordinator (A shout-out to my KAST friends—Where everyone’s a star!)  LA MARIACHI is her debut storybook!

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Book Birthday Blog with Tara Michener


Welcome to SCBWI-MI's Book Birthday Blog!

Where we celebrate new books from Michigan's authors, illustrators and translators.


Congratulations to Tara Michener on the release of My Good Grief Guide: 100 Ways to Cope With Grief When You're Not a Grown-up


How did you come up with the idea for your book?

Grief is something that is universal to us all. As a Licensed Professional Counselor I meet so many families that have a hard time navigating solutions to the stages and needed coping skills that kids face when they embark upon loss. I can connect with this topic both personally and professionally.

What is something you hope your readers will take away from your book? 

I hope that this book is helpful on the family bookshelf but also in therapists' offices, school libraries and in the classroom. I hope this book feels like a trusted source to aid them through the many emotions that loss brings.

What inspires you to write?

I am inspired by the kids that I see each day both at my own home but also in the schools. I want to make sure that my readers know that they are inspiring and motivating and I create books that I feel can relate to them.

You keep a busy schedule with your business and providing leadership to various organizations. How do you find the time to write and how do you stay organized?

I say no to what I need to say no to (even when it is hard) I say yes to what I need to say yes to (even when it is hard) I really give a lot of thought to my actions, needs and responsibilities.

What are your marketing plans for the book and where can we find it?

This book can be located anywhere that books are sold! I don't typically give away my marketing strategy but I am grateful for those who help to promote it on their socials, podcasts, etc.

More about the book . . .

Grief is hard especially when you are not a grownup! This book is a guide to help young people heal, navigate and connect with the grief journey in a way that focuses on healthy coping skills and engagement.  

Publisher: AuthorHouse

More about the author . . .

Tara Michener is a mental health therapist, author and global speaker. Her work and projects have been featured in Publisher's Weekly, Prevention Magazine, FREEP, Essence Magazine and more.

Join Me On LinkedIn

Watch Me at TEDx 


Twitter: @TaraMichener

Facebook: Michener Associates Counseling Center


Friday, August 18, 2023

Critique Carousel 2023


The Critique Carousel is back for another spin!

We’ve got ten industry professionals lined up to critique your pages/art in 2023. They are:

Taj McCoy

Agent, Reese Agency


Stefanie Molina

Literary Agent, Ladderbird Literary Agency

(Welcome back Stefanie! Stefanie participated last year, 2022)


Sera Rivers

Literary Agent, Spielburg Literary

(Welcome back, Sera! Sera participated in 2021, and signed a client as a result!)


Sarah Rockett

Editor, Sleeping Bear Press


Lynette Novak

Literary Agent, The Seymour Agency


Karly Dizon

Agent, Fuse Literary


Jane Chun

Literary Agent, Transatlantic Agency


Elizabeth Law

Senior Editor, Holiday House Books


Daniele Hunter

Junior Agent, McIntosh & Otis


Christy Hale

Author/Editor/Art Director



The event will run much the same as last year’s event. The biggest difference is that this year we also have two editors and one art director critiquing. Feel free to check out the 2023 event page for more details about what each industry professional will critique, submission instructions, and the Equity and Inclusion Scholarship.

Remember to research the professionals you’d like to submit to, read interviews with them, find out their Manuscript Wish Lists, and read the information on their professional websites. 

Be sure your manuscripts/portfolios/dummies are in tip-top shape. Being professional and following guidelines goes a long way in proving you’ve done your due diligence.

Here’s a list of Frequently Asked Questions that include cost ($55), guidelines, procedures, dates, and more.

Registration will open September 18 for SCBWI-Michigan members. If you haven’t yet joined SCBWI, do so here!


Your Critique Carousel Coordinator,

Wendy BooydeGraaff



Wendy BooydeGraaff is the author of the picture book Salad Pie (Ripple Grove Press/Chicago Review Press), and her middle grade story will be included in the upcoming Haunted States of America anthology (Henry Holt, 2024). Her poetry, fiction, and essays have been included in Ninth Letter online, X-R-A-Y, The Shore, Taproot Magazine, and elsewhere. Connect on Twitter @BooyTweets.

Getting the Attention of Art Directors

How can a children’s book illustrator get the attention of art directors? That’s the question of the century, at least for those of us who are attempting to get our foot in the door of children’s publishing. Diane Earley, the Creative Director of Charlesbridge Publishing will be tackling it in her presentation Illustrating Children’s Books: What are art directors looking for? How to get noticed. And what happens once you get the job?

As the creative director of Charlesbridge, all projects are run by and approved by Diane. She has art directors and designers working independently on projects under her (and Diane is simultaneously art directing book projects as well) but at the end of the day the final stamp of approval comes from her. She has worked with illustrators such as Doug Salati, Wendell Minor, Peter H. Reynolds, Laura Freeman, Grace Lin, and Don Tate.

In this webinar Diane will give artists tips and strategies which will help. From researching publishers to email blasts to websites/Instagram, she will detail ways to showcase your work in a professional and appealing way. She’ll also discuss how to strengthen your portfolio through the choice of the pieces you present, character design, composition, and visual storytelling. Then learn what happens after you get the job—contracts, negotiation, schedules, sketches, feedback, and final art. The goal of this webinar is to give illustrators greater insight into how an artist is chosen for a book and the collaborative process which follows! 

Even more exciting: Charlesbridge is continually striving to uncover new voices, visions and directions, so following the webinar illustrators are encouraged to submit their work!  

Submission guidelines can be read in full at

They publish fiction and non-fiction board books, picture books, early reader, middle grade fiction and nonfiction, and young adult fiction and non-fiction. Nonfiction tends to focus on nature, science, math, social studies, history, and the arts.  In both fiction and non-fiction, they are committed to reflecting and celebrating our diverse world. 

Diane’s webinar  will be held Wednesday, September 20 at 7pm.  Registration is open until September 5th with a cost of $16. 

Please join us for this exciting presentation to help jumpstart your career illustrating children’s books!

-Katie Eberts

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Book Birthday Blog with Rhonda Gowler Greene



Welcome to SCBWI-MI's Book Birthday Blog!

Where we celebrate new books from Michigan's authors, illustrators and translators.


Congratulations to Rhonda Gowler Greene on the release of Supergran!


How did you come up with the idea for your book?

The idea for Supergran! came from real life.  I got the idea in 2017.  I was a grandma then of three (adorable!) little ones, siblings—ages 5 (boy), 3 (girl), and 1 (girl).  Often, I’d drive the 45 minutes to Pinckney to help my daughter and son-in-law with the kids, or I’d just go to play, or read, with my grandkids. (I always take bags of books!) I had been thinking about writing a grandma story.  Christmas night that year, my grandkids were at my house.  The two oldest dressed up in capes and superhero masks they’d gotten for gifts.  That’s when the idea really took off in my head.


The next few months, I worked super hard on the story.  My final version was 412 words, and in rhyme.  My agent began submitting it. Within a week (fast!), a Chronicle editor responded—she liked it, but turned it down.  However, she said if it were shorter, had a refrain, and “if the rhyme scheme were more complex and interesting,” she’d be willing to take another look.  I revised and revised and did everything she suggested.  We sent it back a few weeks later.  But, she had left publishing.  So disappointing.  My story was stronger though, and tighter, now a whopping 315 words. (The refrain- Who zaps a problem with a plan? Who saves the day? It’s SUPERGRAN!)  Too, I cut the number of kid characters from three to two.  I kept the St. Bernard since my grandkids had one, Molly (who’s now in dog heaven).  After more submissions, revisions, and disappointments, it finally sold—Hooray!—in the spring of 2021, to Sleeping Bear Press (my 3rd book with them).  So, from idea to book, it took about six years.

What is something you hope your readers will take away from your book?

Smiles.  And maybe even some laughs.  I hope the story gives readers a light, warm-your-heart feel.  Its theme is family, love, and coming to the rescue to help out if/when you’re needed. 
I didn’t have a back matter page in my original story.  My editor wanted one though.  So, after the manuscript sold, I had to come up with a paragraph about how every family is unique and also fun things to do with and for your Supergran, or ‘adopted’ Supergran.
I’ve never met the illustrator, Lee Cosgrove.  He lives in England.  His art is hilarious and makes the story even funnier!

What inspires you to write?

Great writing in children’s books inspires me.  Sometimes I read a wonderful children’s book and think, “I want to write like that!”  I LOVE children’s books, especially picture books, poetry books, and novels in free verse.  Lyrical writing takes skill, and it’s one thing I really notice when I read. 
Out of college, I was an elementary learning disabilities teacher.  Then, because I love books so much, I got my master’s to be a school librarian.  I ended up staying home with my four kids when they were growing up though.  I read SO much to them.  Now I love sharing books with my four young grandkids.  (They’re 11, 9, and 7.  Plus, I have a fourth one, a 2-year-old grandson, cousin to the other three.)  My house, no kidding, looks like a children’s library.  It is OVERFLOWING with books!  I study them like mentor texts and think, if you want to write, they’re the best teachers of all.
I recently had a sleepover at my house for my grandkids and it melted my heart when my oldest grandson, just in passing, called one of my full-of-books rooms “the reading room.”  I loved that.

What are your marketing plans for the book? 

There will be a celebration story time and book launch (with giveaways and prizes!) on Saturday, September 9th at 3:30pm at 2 Dandelions Bookshop (428 W. Main Street, Brighton, MI; note: construction on Main St., but there's nearby parking). It's optional, but all kids (adults too!) are invited to come dressed as superheroes. I'll be in costume as Supergranlavender wig and all! Too, I'll be reading a couple of my other titles and signing books. The event is outside, weather permitting.
Saturday, September 30th, I’m doing a 45-minute presentation at Beverly Park (Beverly Hills, MI) for Baldwin Library’s ‘Read in the Park’ day.  It’s at 11:00am.  I’ll be highlighting my Supergran! book.  (Plus, I was told my This Magical, Musical Night will be posted throughout the park as a StoryWalk book.  Nice!)  The event is geared for ages up to 8, but everyone is invited.  Book Beat is handling the book sales. 
Too, I’ve applied to sign at the Buckeye Book Fair in Wooster, Ohio, on Saturday, November 4th.  I won’t hear if I’m accepted until next month.
I had bookmarks made a few weeks ago.  I also sent publicity ideas to Sleeping Bear, such as names of Instagram bloggers, online grandparent blogs, etc.  And I’ve been promoting the book on my social media.

Sleeping Bear Press sends books out for reviews.  So far, the Kirkus one was great! 

What's next for you? 

I’ve been writing a lot the last couple of years and also doing online research regarding some of my story topics.  Right now, I have six picture book manuscripts out with several publishers, plus two more ready and waiting in the wings to be submitted.  (Just last week, a Bloomsbury editor asked for a revision of a manuscript, though hasn't offered a contract yet. So, I'm thinking very hard on that.) I love writing in rhyme and all of my published books are in rhyme, but I wrote my latest story in lyrical prose. My agent loved it and already submitted it to a few publishers, so fingers crossed!  I’m hopeful for my other submissions too.  Even though I’ve been published a long time (26 years) and feel very lucky to have several of my stories accepted at major houses over the years, I still get lots of rejections.  Selling a manuscript takes persistence!

More about the book . . . 

Dad’s got the flu.  Mom’s running late.  Little sis is in meltdown mode and brother’s hamsters  are on the loose.  Everything’s going wrong!  Who will they call?  Supergran to the rescue!  Supergran, sis, and brother become a Superteam to battle every problem, like empty underwear drawers and villainous skeeters.  But by the end, all is well, and their fearsome day has actually turned into—fun!

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

More about the author . . . 

Rhonda Gowler Greene is the author of 31 children’s books.  Her This Magical, Musical Night was a School Library Journal Best Book of 2021.  Other honors her books have received are ILA/CBC Children’s Choice Book, Bank Street College Best Book, and starred reviews. Barnyard Song won the first-ever Michigan Reads One State One Children’s Book award in 2004.  She’s had books published in French, Chinese, Korean, Finnish, and Polish.  Rhonda is the proud grandma of four beautiful grandchildren who bring her lots of joy (pic is the very hour she became a grandma). She lives with her husband, Gary, in Orchard Lake Village.  They have four grown kids, three sons and a daughter.  You can find Rhonda online at

Instagram: @rhondagowlergreene

Twitter: @rgowgreene

Facebook: rhondagowlergreene



Friday, August 11, 2023

Crafting Your Career with Cynthia Cliff

The journey to publication can take many different forms and directions, raising the question: Which path is right for you?  Should you query an agent or go it alone?  Is traditional publishing right for you, or would self-publishing be a better avenue?  If you are traditionally publishing, do you approach the “Big Five,” or would a small press be a better fit?  And how do you turn this whole thing into a business?  These swirling questions can sometimes be the most difficult part of the journey, so it helps to have a plan.

To help craft this plan, we are so excited to welcome Cynthia Cliff to our fall “Crafting Your Career” webinar series on October 18th, where she will share how she shepherded her art hobby into a professional picture book writing and illustration career through the development of a business and “illustration school” plan, enabling her to find her own style and voice, and a pathway to art directors and publishers.

Cynthia is a self-taught picture book illustrator and author who began making art in 2016 after living many other lives.  She became enchanted with storytelling through art, and decided she needed to make it more than a hobby.  She developed her “illustration school” and business plan to convert her newfound joy and passion into a career.  She is now the author and illustrator of two children’s books through a Penguin/Random House imprint, and currently has two additional books underway, slated for spring 2024 release. 

In anticipation of her exciting webinar, we asked Cynthia a few questions about how she got her start in publishing and how she turned it into a successful career.

Q.  The road to getting published can be a very long and arduous one.  How long did it take you from the time you started this journey until you had your first book published?

A.  I started seriously self-studying to be an illustrator in 2017 after about a year of making art as a hobby. My first book offer came in 2020, so it came kind of fast.

Q.  You are an author and an illustrator.  Did you begin with one and the other followed, or were they concurrent?

A. I was initially focused on illustration and didn’t believe I could do both, but my first book offer was as an author/illustrator.  When I was approached by the publisher of my first book, they asked me if I wanted to write and illustrate that book. I thought “I have no idea how to do that!” and I did not feel confident about my writing at all. But this was an opportunity that I could not turn down, so I said “yes” and knew I’d just have to figure it out. I found that if I applied some of my illustration plan guidelines to writing, they helped me to get better and find my author voice and style. I believe that the very hardest part about writing is to find an idea that is unique, creative and has value.  Since then, my agent has encouraged me to write, and I got a second author/illustrator book deal a year after that first book. 

Q.  How did you decide which path to take in your career?

A. I had decided early on that I wanted an agent and to pursue traditional publishing, so I developed a “plan” to help me get there. This plan helped me find my voice, style, and determine my goals and strategies for learning. I put myself in the position to attract attention and to be ready. My first book offer came directly from a publisher because they had seen my blog (it is no longer up) that was both a written and illustrated newsletter about something that I love to do—bake with my daughter! The publisher wanted me to write and illustrate a book by the same title as my blog and include some of the content. You never know who is watching you out there!

Q.  What books do you have published, or in the pipeline to be published?

A. “Pie for Breakfast” and “The Wild Garden” [have been published]. For Spring 2024 I have a board book coming out “My Weekend Trip—A Find Pepin Book” that will be the first in a series. I’m also illustrating a book for Free Spirit Publishing to come out Spring 2024. I’m working on a few manuscripts that I hope to have ready this fall/winter for my agent to shop around, fingers crossed.  

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, Cynthia!

- Katie + Jen, Co-Illustrator Coordinators

Cynthia Cliff grew up in a tiny, historic village in rural Virginia surrounded by her large superstitious family, farms and woodlands, where she spent every waking hour, and her imagination flourished.  This upbringing provided her with a love of history, family, nature, and folklore - themes that find their way into much of her whimsical, folk-art inspired and optimistic artwork.  She currently resides in northern Virginia just outside of Washington, D.C. with her partner and four-legged family.

To learn more about Cynthia’s career plan and how to craft your own, please join her for the webinar “Crafting your Picture Book Career Plan” on October 18th at 7:00 as part of the “Crafting Your Career” webinar series.  Registration will be open August 9th through September 5th.  If you sign up for this (or any other) webinar in the series, you will also have access to the webinar “Tools for Finding Your Agent” for FREE.  We look forward to joining you!

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Announcing 2023 Picture Book Mentorship Winners

I'm thrilled to announce that the 2023 Picture Book Mentorship winners have been chosen. 

The Prose Picture Mentorship winner is Angie Laginess for her picture book PIRATES CAN BAKE! She will work with author Kim Rogers

The Verse Picture Mentorship winner is Karen Finch for her picture book SPRING SCENTHOUND. She will work with author Leslie Helakoski

The first runner up for prose is Melanie Bryce for her manuscript SPECS FOR A T. REX. The second runner up for prose is Jessine Van Lopik for her manuscript SPINKY SPIDER IS STRESSED. 

The first runner up for verse is Patti Richards for her manuscript PIGS IN A PILE. The second runner up for verse is Toulla Palazeti for her manuscript GOOD NEIGHBORS. 

Please join me in offering them both congratulations for their wins and wishing them all the best throughout the mentorship. A huge thank you to all the super-secret superstar judges and to everyone who submitted a manuscript.

 --Jay Whistler, Mentorship Coordinator 

Monday, August 7, 2023

Book Birthday Blog with Carrie A. Pearson


Welcome to SCBWI-MI's Book Birthday Blog!

Where we celebrate new books from Michigan's authors, illustrators and translators.


Congratulations to Carrie A. Pearson on the release of Virginia Wouldn't Slow Down: The Unstoppable Dr. Apgar and Her Life-Saving Invention



How did you get the idea for your book?

I first learned about the APGAR Score eons ago in college in my field of study (early childhood education with minors in social and natural science). I was interested in pursuing neonatal (newborn) psychology for a time, and APGAR Scores were referenced. When our three daughters were born, the APGAR Score took on a whole new relevance, but this was before I started writing children’s books and my antennae weren’t up yet. Then, in 2015 with my author mindset, I read that the APGAR Score was invented by a woman – Dr. Virginia Apgar – and that she was a powerhouse of energy, intellect, and moxie. I was hooked.
I have no idea how the book hook is set for me, but I know it when it happens. If I read or hear something interesting and experience that flying-over-the-top-of-a-roller-coaster-hill-whoosh feeling, I’m usually hooked enough to start researching. No “whoosh” means I don’t have enough interest to sustain the twists and turns of publication.

This is your second book to publish this year, congratulations! How do you stay organized with 2 book launches and what are the challenges?

Thank you! However, that wasn't the plan. 😊 The pandemic slowed production considerably, and over time, the two titles bumped ever closer together (April and August).

The biggest challenge is being okay with putting the books and me in the spotlight for what seems like a very long time from pre-release through post-release. But then I remember I’m sharing books that may impact readers. That keeps my momentum going! Regarding strategies, I use a combo platter of old-fashioned paper calendars and technology. Every workday, I crack open my spreadsheet that tracks categories for each book (Reviewers/Connections/Blogs/Interviews, Books to Send Out, Bookstores, Collateral, and Events). I use Google Drive as my digital filing cabinet to store research sources, drafts, and outlines because I now trust the cloud more than my computer. I use Canva (thanks, Deb G.!) and Tailwind for social media graphics and posting. 

What is something you hope your readers will take away from your book?

Dr. Virginia Apgar was a revolutionary woman who was successful in spite of setbacks and bias. She identified problems and worked tirelessly to fix them. She gave a voice to the voiceless which, to me, is a worthy ambition for all of us, even from a young age. 



What are your marketing plans for the book? 

We’re launching the book at Peter White Public Library in Marquette with a Baby Doll and Pretend Friend Medical Clinic where children will learn why the APGAR Score is important and how to perform it using their toys. I’m super excited to see how that works out. I’m planning bookstore signings in towns that were part of Dr. Apgar’s life, participating in school visits like the Macomb Reads Festival in November, and panel discussions like the one sponsored by School Library Journal's Picture Book Palooza on July 27th. I’ve reached out to the medical institutions and professional groups she aligned with. I just learned that the book is a Junior Library Guild selection so that will help get it in front of librarians and teachers. I’ll support everything I do with social media, book giveaways, and whatever connections I can build. 



What's next for you? 

Aside from hosting our daughter’s wedding at our house in mid-August? An unannounced book is due to the publisher in early November, and additional manuscripts are in the pipeline. It’s going to be a happily busy few months ahead! 

More about the book . . . 

The Apgar Score is known worldwide as a test given to babies to determine their health moments after birth. Less well-known is the story of the brilliant, innovative woman who developed it. Born at the turn of the twentieth century, Virginia “Ginny” Apgar soared above what girls were expected to do―or not do. She wasn’t quiet, wore all sorts of outfits, played the sports she wanted to―and pursued the career she chose, graduating near the top of her class at Columbia University and becoming only the second board-certified female anesthesiologist in the United States. The simple five-step test she created―scribbled on the back of a piece of paper in answer to a trainee’s question―became the medical standard and continues to impact countless newborn babies’ lives today. Ginny adored science, hated cooking, drove fast, made her own violins, earned a pilot’s license, and traveled the world. Carrie Pearson’s jaunty storytelling and Nancy Carpenter’s playful illustrations capture the energy and independence of a woman who didn’t slow down for anything―and changed newborn care forever.

Publisher: Norton Young Readers/W.W. Norton 

More about the author . . . 

Carrie A. Pearson (BA, early childhood education, University of Michigan) is a full-time word wrangler and literacy advocate. She is a former regional advisor of SCBWI-Michigan (2013-2023), a founding member of the Steering Committee for the SCBWI Impact & Legacy Fund, and co-chair of the 2024 SCBWI Marvelous Midwest multi-region conference (April 12-14). Her nonfiction picture book releases in 2023 are REAL PRINCESSES CHANGE THE WORLD (Roaring Brook/Macmillan) and VIRGINIA WOULDN’T SLOW DOWN: THE UNSTOPPABLE DR. APGAR AND HER LIFE-SAVING INVENTION (Norton Young Readers/W.W. Norton). Carrie would love to connect with you through her website,, and Instagram

Instagram and Threads:

Facebook: carrieapearson

Also on Pinterest: @carrieapearson