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Wow, this has been the most incredible and intense round of revisions ever. I've received such fantastic advice and feedback from an amazing agent, and it really has helped me dig deeper than I ever thought possible. I'm almost finished working two new goals into my middle-grade novel, and then I'll go back to the beginning and work in more of the great suggestions I received from an editor who critiqued it at the Orlando Workshop. And I have more character interviews to do. (Yes, I keep gushing about Kathleen Duey's interview exercise--I'm still in awe of the way my characters spill their secrets, hopes, and fears when I sit back and let them talk).

I'll post about the Picture Book Track at the FL SCBWI Mid-Year Workshop soon. :)

Check out some of the conference, market, and good news info I included in my most recent FL SCBWI listserv post (if you love children's literature and want to receive the full posts by e-mail, you can sign up using this link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FloridaSCBWI/).

Hi everyone. Wow, the 2010 FL SCBWI Mid-Year Workshop was a huge success—with 200 attendees! That says so much about our amazing Florida events. Thanks Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld (Regional Advisor), Michelle Delisle (Assistant Regional Advisor), Adrienne Sylver (Critique Coordinator), Flora Doone (for multiple duties, including updating our website), the incredible faculty, and all our wonderful volunteers who worked the registration desk, picked faculty up at the airport, loaned us Power Point projectors, and went out of their way to make this event so incredible.

Here are a few things people said after the 2010 Mid-Year Workshop:

I just got back from my first SCBWI workshop in Orlando. I had a great time, met many nice people, and learned a lot. After the first page critiques, my heart swelled to be among so many talented writers. --Susan Banghart.

I was SO impressed with the SCBWI Florida Mid-Year Workshop. It was truly one of the best conferences I've attended. The Novel Intensive was AMAZING. Everyone was so friendly and gave the writers/illustrators so many gems of information. –Karen Strong

I'm thrilled I attended! The event was a superb learning experience and wonderful place to develop new friendships. In the Middle Grade Workshop, Kathleen Duey and Alvina Ling provided invaluable insight to the development, refinement and submission processes. But more inspiring were the many 1st Page readings presented: I was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of talent I was amid... I was also getting seriously petrified that my work would be put to shame by these other works. But, based upon the enthusiastic response by both panelists, I have regained my confidence to submit my tweaked manuscript. -- Curtis Sponsler

Here are more great comments we received:

I just had to write you and say thanks for putting together such an awesome conference! I was in the MG series track and I learned SO much.

It was a successful gathering - extra energy this time, I think. Tammi and Dan did a super job on the picture book workshop. Dan, especially, gave me stimulating new info (making a trailer in iMovie and more) and I usually feel I have heard it all.

From one of the speakers:

I had a fabulous time; it’s clear Florida got the lion’s share in talented writers.

JOIN US IN MIAMI FOR OUR NEXT AMAZING CONFERENCE!

Our 10th Annual SCBWI Florida Regional Conference will be held on January 14-16, 2011. We have a fantastic faculty lined up. I'll fill you in on the details in my next listserv, but so far, we have five agents and editors coming. Here's another reason not to miss this event—one of the agents is closed to submissions...unless you see her at a conference.

GOOD NEWS!
Congrats, everyone. :)

BOOK CONTRACTS, RELEASES, AND SIGNINGS:

Congratulations to FL SCBWI member Danette Haworth on the release of her sophomore novel, The Summer of Moonlight Secrets. Launched in May, SOMS has received favorable reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Booklist, and even made Scholastic Instructor’s list for "Teachers' Picks: 18 Road Trip Reads." We’re especially proud of Danette because she’s one of SCBWI’s success stories. Danette submitted the first ten pages for critique of her WIP, Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning at the Orlando Mid-Year Workshop 2007. Stacy Cantor, Walker Books, critiqued her pages and asked her to submit the manuscript. A couple of months later, Walker Books made an offer, and before Violet even made it to bookstore shelves in 2008, Walker acquired two more books from Danette, The Summer of Moonlight Secrets and Me and Jack (2011). Yay Danette!

From the jacket flap, here’s the description for The Summer of Moonlight Secrets: Welcome to The Meriwether, Florida’s once-grand hotel built on Hope Springs, where nothing is quite as it seems. Hidden staircases give way to shadowy servants’ quarters, and old-fashioned speakeasies make for the perfect hide-and-seek spot. Allie Jo Jackson knows every nook and cranny of The Meriwether—she’s lived there her whole live—and nothing surprises her. Nothing, that is, until she spots the beautiful Tara emerging from the water of the springs. Tara’s shimmery skin, long flowing hair, and strange fondness for moonlight swims hint at a mysterious secret—and once Allie Jo and her friend Chase uncover Tara’s secret, nothing will ever be the same.

Jennifer Swanson has signed a two-book deal with Capstone Press to produce nonfiction books for their Edge imprint. Titled Invisible Creatures in Your Body and Invisible Creatures in Your House, they will be released in fall 2011.

AWARDS AND CONTESTS:

Susan Banghart's first children's story submission, The Fog Lifts was one of three winners in the 2010 Highlights' contest.

Bill Farnsworth has just been awarded Signature member into The American Society of Marine Artists. www.billfarnsworth.com

MARKET NEWS

The new Highlights Magazine Current Needs List is up! http://www.highlights.com/current-needs

AGENT ALERT!

Alice Pope interviewed agent Chris Richman on her blog—and he's seeking new clients. He especially loves funny boy books, but two recent sales have been for teen girl books. http://scbwi.blogspot.com/2010/05/agent-interview-chris-richman-upstart.html.

Anna Olswanger is seeking unusual picture books author-illustrators! Check out her updated website: www.olswanger.com. If you are an illustrator who has worked as hard on your writing as you have on your art, please feel free to send her a query. (Here's a link to her agentquery page:
http://agentquery.com/agent.aspx?agentid=850)

Agent Marisa Corvisiero is looking for middle-grade sci-fi chapter books for boys. For more info, check out this link: http://thoughtsfromaliteraryagent.blogspot.com/2010/06/call-for-submissions.html

FANTASTIC ARTICLES:

Cynthia Leitich Smith wrote about our FL SCBWI Mid-Year Workshop on her amazing Cynsations blog. She also posted photos of some of our members (including Joyce Sweeney and Dorian Cirrone). Check it out here—she always includes a wealth of information in her posts: http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/2010/06/scbwi-florida-conference-disney-world.html

Harold Underdown is excited to announce that for the next several weeks, he'll be
"tweeting" bits of his Idiot's Guide -- short quotes, links to excerpts -- with giveaways for a few selected retweeters. New material from the book will be posted on The Purple Crayon, and if you want to get all the tweets, find out how here: http://www.facebook.com/notes.php?id=12816746532 Please feel free to comment, retweet, or join in in some other way. If you have a favorite line from the book, he'd love to hear about it.

WONDERFUL WEBSITES:

From The Mixed-Up Files is an awesome new blog that launched on June 7th to celebrate books for middle-grade readers. I'm proud to be a part of it, along with a group of about thirty middle-grade authors. It's for anyone with a passion for children’s literature—teachers, librarians, parents, kids, writers, industry professionals—we offer regularly updated book lists organized by unique categories, author interviews, market news, and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a children's book from writing to publishing to promoting. We're also running a contest where one lucky person will win NINE signed middle-grade books! Come check us out at: http://www.fromthemixedupfiles.com/

By now, I'm sure most of you have heard about the fabulous Whatcha' Reading Now? girls. They're all from Florida, and have created a wonderful site full of book reviews, info, and fun contests. They promise to bring you books for kids and teens that will make you think, cry, laugh out loud, or keep you at the edge of your seat. They love books that will make you think about the world in a new perspective and books that you won’t forget long after you’ve turned the last page and promise to read with passion, diligence, and open-mindedness to bring you reviews of books they love. Visit them at: http://whatchareadingnow.com/
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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
noramacfarlane.blogspot.com
Jun. 30th, 2010 12:45 am (UTC)
Thanks for all of the great links!
mindyalyse
Jul. 1st, 2010 01:24 am (UTC)
You're welcome, Nora. :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

Mindy's head shot
mindyalyse
Mindy Alyse Weiss
I write humorous middle-grade novels with heart and quirky picture books.

I'm an Administrator on the SCBWI Blueboard, the FL SCBWI Newsletter Editor and Critique Group Coordinator, and a proud member of From The Mixed Up Files...of Middle-Grade Authors

I've been married for twenty years and have two beautiful daughters, an adventurous Bullmasador adopted from The Humane Society, and an adorable Beagle/Pointer mix pup who was rescued from the Everglades.

I've been published in Highlights three times and placed in the 80th Writer's Digest Competition.

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