November 2, 2013
Missouri SCBWI Fall Conference
Breakout: Writing the Picture Book
with Nancy Polette
MO SCBWI Fall Conference
MO SCBWI Fall Conference for Children's Writers & Illustrators
Read a book, Dr. Seuss style!
Peggy with children's author Karen Guccione-Englert at the MK Library Local Authors Open House in O'Fallon, MO
Book signing at Indianapolis Fairgrounds, with Mary Igras
Author Visit to Immaculate Conception School (ICD) April 2012
ICD library staff
Edison Elementary School Hammond IN
Lincoln Elementary School Hammond IN
Beta Delta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, Hammond IN
Heather Alexander, editor at Dial Books for Young Readers
Quinlan Lee, agent, Adams Literary Agency
Suzanne Morgan Williams, author of BULL RIDER
Kids Ink Independent Children's Bookstore, downtown Indianapolis
Shirley Mullin, bookstore owner, with children's authors Janna Mathies, Peggy, and Nathan Clement
Thank You cards from Holy Family School in South Bend
Fieler Elementary students
Ms Hanneman's class at Northview Elementary
In the classroom at Northview Elementary School
Talking to students at Northview Elementary
Working together to create a poem in Starke County
Talking with students at Starke County
Author Judy Roth and students at the Starke County Young Artists Day
Booksigning at B&N Bookfair
Anderson's Children's Literature Breakfast, with author and keynote speaker Tim Green
friendly staff at The Bookstore
Author Book Signing
Butler University Chorus entertains with Christmas Carols
Turkey for Thanksgiving?
Stuffee and the author
November: Picture Book Idea Month
Author Panel: the Road to Publishing--Kathryn Page Camp moderating
Kate Collins: adult trade publishing, mysteries
Peggy Archer: children's trade publishing, picture books
Katherine Flotz: self-publishing, memoir
Michael Poore: adult trade publishing, fiction
Cynthia Echterling: e-publishing & small press, science fiction
Author visit to Portage Public Library, October 23rd
Esther Hershenhorn talks about the Reader's story and the Writer's story
Esther shares resources, experience, and opportunities
Trish Batey, Indiana RA
Yellow paper on your back gave a hint of 'What author are you?' for the day
Peggy Archer gives an overview of the 2010 SCBWI conference in LA
Karen Kulinski gives an update on Indiana's HoosierLinks
Janna Mathies at the piano sings "Why It Matters" by Sara Groves
IN SCBWI steering committee with Trish: (L to R) Karen Kulinski, HoosierLinks, Kristi Valiant, Website Coordinator, Alina Klein, Listserv Coordinator, Peggy, ARA (not pictured: Sharon Vargo, Illustrator Coordinator)
New Regional Advisor, Kristi Valiant, talks about plans for 2011
Indiana SCBWI: Outgoing RA Trish Batey, ARA Peggy Archer, Incoming RA Kristi Valiant
Visiting with author/illustrator Nathan Clement and son Theo at the ROAR author event
Autographing for a young reader
Story Time at ROAR's (Reach Out and Read) Evening With the Authors Event in Indianapolis
Reading to young bankers at Citizens Financial Bank in Valparaiso
Some of the crowd at the SCBWI conference in LA
Ashley Bryan, Golden Kite winner for Nonfiction
with Keynote speaker and Golden Kite winner, Marion Dane Bauer
Illustrator and Keynote speaker, Loren Long
E.B. Lewis, Keynote speaker
with Keynote speaker, Gennifer Choldenke
Keynote speaker, Gordon Korman
Chris Cheng, Australia RA and SCBWI Member of the Year
Kris Vreeland, Independent Bookstore manager, Vroman's Bookstore
Eva Mitnick, LA librarian and reviewer for SLJ
Greg Pinkus and Alice Pope on networking
with Lin Oliver, co-founder of SCBWI
Steve Mooser, co-founder of SCBWI, with Sally Crock RAE
Indiana SCBWI members Mary Jo, Shannon, and Peggy celebrate in LA with Heart and Soul.
East and Midwest members celebrate at the Golden Kite Luncheon in LA--Peggy, Courtney, Julia and Mary Jo.
Peggy with Alice and Lisa, co-RAs from IL--friends and roommates
Linda V., formerly of Indiana, with her 'dog-in-training,' Dusty.
Anyone for Literary Bingo?
This is the cornfield just down the street from my house on July 13th. That's me with the boot on my foot again!
Local Authors Day, Valparaiso B&N
Welcome to the Young Artists Fair in Plainfield, IN
Signing books at Van Buren Elementary School in Plainfield, IN
Happy Birthday, Name That Dog!
Little reader loving that dog book!
Celebrating the Book Launch!
Doggy treats at the book launch party
With Jocelyn at the Porter County Expo Center for the Be Kind to Animals Celebration
Speaking to readers and writers at the LaPorte County Public Library in April
Our new grandpuppy, Dudley!
The new Mr. and Mrs. Biggs!
Trish Batey, Indiana SCBWI RA, Stephen Roxburg, Lisa Graff, Helen Frost, Peggy Archer, Indiana SCBWI ARA
Stephen Roxburg, Publisher of namelos, talked about writing the YA novel, the current state of publishing, and his new company, namelos
Lisa Graff, Middle Grade author, talks about writing the middle grade novel and the Slush Pile
Lisa autographs books with a smile
Introducing Helen Frost, YA author and poet
Question and Answer panel--Lisa, Stephen, and Helen
Registration, getting to know you
Schmoozing with other writers
Trish with author, Valiska Gregory
Books for sale--writers can never have too many!
Taking it all in.
Afternoon Tea with the author in Mitchell
Alexis talks about storytime for the very young
My little corner--I love when students come up to talk.
HOW many dogs do you have?!
Authors of the day
Keynote address: Growing an Author with Peggy Archer
Making a book with Katie Mitschelen
Research--detective work, with Peggy Miller
Crafting a poem with Mary Ann Moore
Becoming an artist with Edwin Shelton
Music with the Band
One small hand holding onto another
Name That Dog! Sharing F&G's and write-up in Dial's catalog with group.
Writers Christmas lunch and meeting in Michigan City
Meeting up with Esther and Karen in Chicago
Name That Dog! ISBN: 978-0-8037-3322-0
Writing friends from the beginning!
Drawing a turkey at Hussey-Mayfield Public Library-- Zionsville, IN
Autographs at Hussey-Mayfield Library, Zionsville
"Who likes to eat turkey at Thanksgiving?" --Morton Elementary School, Hammond, IN
Thank you cards from Morton Elementary students
Reading to my grandson's pre-school class at Zion Lutheran School-- Bethalto, IL
Family Book Basket
Courtney Bongiolatti, Editor S&S
Laurent Linn, Art Director S&S
Terry Harshman, Editor CBHI
Author-Illustrators, Kristi Valiant and Sharon Vargo
Kristi Valiant, IN-SCBWI logo winner
Our volunteer crew (minus a few)
author Katie Mitschelen and Peggy enjoying the conference
Janine Harrison, opening remarks
Sharon Palmeri, President IWC and speaker
Kathryn Page Camp speaks on Taxes for Writers
Kate Collins, mystery book author and Keynote speaker
Gordon Stamper, secretary IWC
Peggy, Sally, and Karen--writing friends enjoying the dinner event together
Autographs with a smile :)
Smokies in the morning
Smile and say 'author'!
Ready to start!
Sara Grant, Editor, Working Partners
One on one with Sara
Author and Editor...
Getting to know you...
Sharing thoughts... connecting
Our Kentucky friends...
Trish, RA, Peggy, ARA, Christi and Alina, steering committee members
Picture book author, April Pulley Sayre, speaking in South Bend.
Esther and Heidi
Esther with Steve and Sally from National SCBWI
Heidi and Peggy, friends and poets
We came from Indiana...
...from California and Iowa
and enjoyed the friendships.
Peggy, Karen & Esther--connecting once again.
Critique group gathering at Peggy Miller's house. Karen, Fred, Mary Ann, Katie, Judy, & the two Peggy's in front.
Our daughter, Sarah & our son, Dan both sang original songs at the Porter County Fair in the Colgate Country Showdown.
From Fort Wayne to Whiting, we gathered to talk & gain some bit of insight into the world of creating children's books.
Enjoying the company of other children's writers & illustrators.
Meeting other children's writers.
Smiles were free.
Peggy Archer talks about trade publishers.
Judy Roth talks about working with a small publisher.
Karen Kulinski talks about working with an agent.
Karen fielding questions.
Peggy with the Cat in the Hat
Katie and the Cat in the Hat
I won a collection of autographed books from the IL SCBWI (Society of Children's Writers & llustrators) booth at ALA for the Valparaiso Public Library. An awesome prize! Thank you IL SCBWI!
Peggy, presenting books won at ALA to Connie Sullivan, Branch Manager and Leslie Cefali, Youth Services Assistant, Valparaiso Public Library.
February 21, 2012
Judith L. Roth writes poetry, picture books and middle grade fiction for children. She lives in Elkhart, Indiana. Her latest picture book, GOODNIGHT, DRAGONS has just been released from Disney Hyperion (February 2012).
Hello Judy, and welcome to Peggy’s Pages!
Can you tell us a little bit about GOODNIGHT, DRAGONS, and what inspired you to write it?
JLR: Oddly enough, it was frustration. I had two novel-in-verse books that were being seriously considered by two different publishers (they had me do revisions), and within two weeks, they were both finally rejected. When I got the second rejection, I sat down at my computer and told myself, “I’m going to write something they have to publish,” and I just started writing. I sent it to my agent within a couple of days, and he got two bites days within sending it out. I wish this was a process I could repeat!
GOODNIGHT, DRAGONS is not your first children’s book. Please tell us something about your other published books. And can you tell us about your road to publication—what inspired you to write for children, and how did you get started?
JLR: I’ve always wanted to write books since the time I realized that authors were people and not magical beings. I continued to love children’s literature well past the time when I should have been reading adult literature. I took an ICL course (Institute of Children's Literature) while I was attending college and began submitting. I went to a lot of conferences. I had a lot of encouragement from editors and other writers, and I had poetry and nonfiction and curriculum and songs published, but I couldn’t seem to crack the fiction arena. Finally, about 25 years after first submitting children’s fiction, I had a story accepted. Then a book. Then another book. Then an agent. Then a book to a bigger publishing house. Then two. It was a really long road, but I was determined I was going to keep trying.
My first picture book, Cups Held Out, is about a child who goes with her father to Mexico to gain some small understanding of poverty. It talks about their reaction to their experience that one day.
My second book, Julia’s Words, is about two girls, one hearing, one deaf, who become friends while at a camping ground. They learn how to navigate the complexities of communication and friendship.
Goodnight, Dragons, is about a boy who is called to tame dragons rather than slay them. He senses they won’t be so grouchy if they are shown kindness. It’s a goodnight book, although it didn’t start out as one.
When you have an idea for a book, where do you go from there? Do you outline, or just jump in and start writing?
JLR: In the last few years, I’ve started a new way of beginnings. I don’t wait for an idea. I just start writing, and soon words appear on the computer screen that interest me, and I go further, dig deeper. Sometimes the words don’t interest me, so I leave them in my file as simply freewriting. I don’t know how efficient this is, but it’s fun!
Since you have an agent, Judy, can you tell us something about how your book is marketed? Is this entirely up to your agent, or do you play a part in the marketing?
JLR: My agent is in charge of marketing my books. (I do it for anything else.) He is open to suggestions about where I’d like him to send them. He also tells me if he thinks something isn’t ready, or how it can be made more marketable.
Having written your story, how difficult is it to turn it over to the illustrator? Do you have any input on choosing an illustrator for your books, or on the illustrations themselves?
JLR: It’s exciting to see what an illustrator will do with it. No, I don’t really have anything to do with choosing an illustrator. The editors tell me who they think will be good and then we hope together that the illustrator will agree to work on the book. No input on the illustrations at all.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Did you always want to be an author? What other interests do you have besides writing?
JLR: Yes, always. Other interests include traveling, reading, music, gardening, learning foreign languages, a bit of kayaking, watching my boys become young men, enjoying the beautiful world God made.
What books did you enjoy reading as a child?
JLR: I read whatever I could get my hands on and enjoyed most of it. I remember Edgar Eager’s Magic Series. When I read mysteries, it was about Trixie Beldon. For career series, it was about Sue Barton. I discovered Madeleine L’Engle when I was in fifth grade, and quickly became a fan. I liked the way she made characters from one series show up in another series. A book that really moved me when I was in junior high was Mrs. Mike.
Do you have any new books coming out? What are you working on now?
JLR: My novel-in-verse for Viking is due at copyediting in three weeks. The title is up in the air, but the working title is Serendipikitty. It’s the story of a girl and her father, who are trying to figure out how to be a family again since her mother died three years ago. A kitten dropped off at their door begins to show them the way. The book is scheduled to be out in 2013.
What tips or advice do you have for aspiring children’s writers?
JLR: Be ready to persevere. If you don’t love it, it probably won’t be worth it. Read as much as you can. Join SCBWI and go to conferences. Join or start a critique group. Write.
Do you have a website where readers can learn more about you and your books?
JLR: Yes. It’s www.judithlroth.com. Thanks for asking! Right now I have a contest going on the site that will end with two people getting a free book of one of my first two picture books. The contest will wind up February 29th.
Thank you so much, Judy!
I received my copy of GOODNIGHT, DRAGONS the other day, and I asked my 5 year old grandson if he wanted me to read it to him. He was busy playing at the time and promptly said "No." So I started reading it out loud, to myself. After the first page he dropped what he was doing and sat next to me, absolutely into the book until the end. A kid-friendly testimony to GOODNIGHT, DRAGONS!
by Judith L. Roth
illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre
February 18, 2012
Since my main focus has been on writing children’s non-fiction and poetry lately, I thought I’d share the websites of a few children’s authors who write wonderful non-fiction for children. Visit the following websites to find out more about the authors, and what you can learn from them about writing non-fiction for children.
Brian P. Cleary: http://www.brianpcleary.com/
An award-winning author of non-fiction and self-proclaimed ‘word nerd, Brian’s books include SKIN LIKE MILD, HAIR OF SILK: WHAT ARE SIMILES AND METAPHORS? On his website you’ll find fun learning games for kids with sound effects and colorful illustrations.
Go to http://www.lkwdpl.org/lfiles/cleary/ for more information about Brian and his books, and for links for writers, teachers and kids.
Sue Bradford Edwards: http://www.suebradfordedwards.com/
A prolific writer of non-fiction for preschool children through young adults, Sue has had over 140 publications in the educational field and in magazines. In addition, she has written many articles about writing for children. On her website under her resume are links to some of those articles.
J. Patrick Lewis: http://www.jpatricklewis.com/scenes.shtml
Visit J. Patrick Lewis on his website to see a list of his books which include FIRST DOG’S WHITE HOUSE CHRISTMAS. Also find riddles and poems, and links to children’s literature and poetry sites. His wonderful poetry and non-fiction for children make learning fun. He has been named the third US Children’s Poet Laureate (2011-2013) by the Poetry Foundation.
Heidi B. Roemer: http://heidibroemer.com/
An award-winning author of non-fiction and poetry for children, Heidi’s books include WHAT KINDS OF SEEDS ARE THESE and COME TO MY PARTY.
Visit Wild About Nature at http://wildaboutnaturewriters.blogspot.com/ where, together with children’s authors Laura Crawford and Kim Hutmatcher, Heidi explores non-fiction books for children. Includes articles, author interviews, book reviews, a list of publishers of non-fiction for children, and more.
April Pulley Sayre: http://www.aprilsayre.com/
Award-winning author of non-fiction and poetry for children, April’s books include RAH RAH RADISHES! April’s site includes the Animal of the Month, educator links, and links for parents, kids, and aspiring authors.
Visit the following sites to find more about non-fiction picture books.
School Library Journal—non-fiction picture book reviews: http://blog.schoollibraryjournal.com/afuse8production/tag/2011-nonfiction-picture-books/
The Cybil Awards for non-fiction picture books: http://www.cybils.com/2011-finalists-nonfiction-picture-books.html
February 8, 2012
Starke County Author Fair IN
The first week in February celebrates Children’s Authors & Illustrators Week (CAIW). How will you celebrate?
Children’s Authors & Illustrators Week is sponsored by the Children’s Authors Network (CAN!). Their purpose is to celebrate the school visits, library programs, and hands-on workshops that authors and illustrators do to inspire a life-long love of reading and writing. Visit their site at www.childrensauthorsnetwork.com.
Here are some suggestions for ways that children’s authors and illustrators can celebrate CAIW:
• TALK with a children’s librarian or a local children’s bookseller—ask for their input on what children are reading in the genre that you write for. Ask what topics there are in children’s books that they can’t find enough of. Offer to read at story time.
• VISIT independent bookstores and children’s specialty bookstores. Browse, and get to know the owner there. Find out what you can offer as a children’s author or illustrator. (see http://mainstreetbooks.net/, www.stlindiebook.com, and www.kidsink.com, or do a web search for independent bookstores in your area).
• COMMENT on children’s author and illustrator blogs. There are some wonderful blogs written by children’s authors and illustrators with some great tips and articles out there! And when you leave a comment, you also leave a link to your website or blog.
• TALK TO a local school or library about doing an author visit, or send out information about doing an author visit. Read about doing an author visit at Alexis O’Neil’s site: http://schoolvisitexperts.com/?page_id=6, and plan an author presentation so that you’re ready when you get that author gig. Discover what you have to offer to inspire a child to read, and write.
• ATTEND a bookstore or library event featuring a children’s author or illustrator. This is a great way to meet an author or illustrator, observe an author presentation and take notes, ask questions, and come away with some writing or illustrating tips.
• READ children’s books in the genre that you write. Pay attention to what you like about the book, what you would do differently, techniques used by the author or illustrator, words on a page, word length and length of the book overall. Learn from the best by reading the best and also reading the not-so-good. Find a list of Best Children’s Books on websites for Publishers Weekly, American Library Association, Children’s Book Council and parenting sites. Do a web search to find these and other sites.
READ to your children, grandchildren, or borrow your neighbor’s kids. Offer to read at a library, school classroom, or bookstore. Offer to talk to a scout troop or youth group about reading or writing.
What a great excuse to take extra time to read and spend time with people who promote books and reading-- celebrate Children’s Authors & Illustrators Week!
February 2, 2012
There’s a free day in February this year, and I’ll take it!
So what does it take for you to meet your writing goals this year? Being self-disciplined isn’t easy. But perhaps signing up for a group challenge can help by giving you some additional motivation.
A notice on one of my writers’ listservs announced the 4th Picture Book Marathon:
Picture Book Marathon 2012
Take the Leap!
“Your Goal: Between February 1 and February 29, 2012, write one picture book a day, until you get to 26. This year, February has 29 days (thus, Take the Leap!), so you get a bonus break day….”
Find more details on Lora Koehler and Jean Reagan’s blogspot at http://picturebookmarathon.blogspot.com/2012/01/pbm-2012-take-leap.html.
Another site encourages you to write a picture book every month with its “12 x 12 in 2012” challenge:
12 x 12 in 2012: Picture Book Writing Challenge
Twelve complete picture book drafts. Twelve months. 2012.
“Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write one picture book per month for each of the twelve months of 2012. This means a first draft: beginning, middle, end. NOT a submission-ready piece.”
You can read more at Julie Hedlund’s blogsite: http://writeupmylife.com/2011/11/30/12-x-12-in-2012-picture-book-writing-challenge/.
So what do you really get from signing your name to a group challenge? Quoting from Julie’s blogsite:
“…In the end, it doesn’t matter if you have 12, 4 or even 1 PB drafted if you’ve gotten more accomplished by being in the group than by going it alone. …the idea is that we support, encourage, and help each other throughout the year as we try to put flesh on the bones of those PB ideas. “
Also for those of you who write picture books and like the group challenge, watch Paula Yoo’s website for the NaPiBoWriWee—National Picture Book Writing Week. The date is the first week in May. Check out her website at http://paulayoo.com/home.html.
Don’t let that extra day this month go to waste! Find what it takes to get you motivated and energized to write great children’s literature. It might be that signing your name to a group challenge will work for you!