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Here's part two of the listserv I sent out yesterday.  Good luck to all of you who will be participating in the contests or picture book challenge!

Congrats, everyone. :)


I’m hoping to put at least one success story in every listserv.  What are you waiting for?  Let me know your great news so we can all celebrate.

For this issue, the success stories are all up above in the tribute to Linda.  And like I said when I introduced the agent panel…I have a feeling that after listening to the secrets that Erin Murphy, Michael Bourret, and Sarah Davies shared with us and attending the FL SCBWI Miami Conference, a lot of you will be sending me great news soon—and I can’t wait to celebrate with you!


Greg Neri just won a Coretta Scott King Book Award Honor for Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty!  Greg’s book was illustrated by Randy DuBurke and published by Lee & Low Books Inc.  Huge congrats, Greg!  We all cheered for you at the conference and are sending more congrats your way now.  


The 2011 Picture Book Marathon starts on February 1st—sign up by January 30th for this fun challenge that will have you writing twenty-six picture book manuscripts next month.  Of course, they’ll probably be really rough drafts…but think of all the fun you’ll have choosing which ones to revise instead of staring at a blank page, wishing you could find the time and inspiration to start a new picture book manuscript.  Bruce Hale talked about finding ways to make more time to write, and this could be the jumpstart you need!  



SCBWI Crystal Kite Member Choice Awards Competition.


January 31st is the deadline to enter any 2010 publication in the all-new SCBWI Crystal Kite Member Choice Awards Competition. Any first-run book for young readers published by a PAL publisher in the 2010 calendar year is eligible for the award.


How to Enter

All you need to do is log in to your SCBWI Member Profile, enter your book information on the "Publications" tab, and make sure that you've clicked the box that reads "Yes, I would like to submit this publication for Crystal Kite Awards nomination."


HIGHLIGHTS 2011 FICTION CONTEST (The deadline is almost here!) 

CATEGORY:  Fiction involving an embarrassing moment.

PRIZES:  Three prizes of $1,000 or tuition for the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua.

ENTRY DATES:  All entries must be postmarked between January 1 and January 31, 2011.





Writing for Children and Teens: Finding an Agent

Sat., Feb. 12, 10:30 a.m.

Royal Palm Beach Branch Library

500 Civic Center Way * Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411 

Are you an adult who writes picture books, middle grade fiction, or young adult fiction? This workshop and critique group series is for beginning to intermediate writers who want to improve their craft and learn a little bit about publication. In February we will talk about writing good query letters and finding a literary agent. (60 min.)  Please call 561-790-6030 or email boskya@pbclibrary.org to sign up.





Julie Strauss-Gabel has been promoted to VP and publisher of Dutton Children's Books. The unit will publish 10 to 15 titles a year as "a boutique middle grade and young adult imprint with a focus on titles of exceptional literary quality and strong commercial appeal." Penguin Children's president Don Weisberg says that Strauss-Gabel will be taking Dutton Children's "gracefully into the future and I am excited to see her take on this new role at Penguin." 



Marcia Wernick and Linda Pratt, veteran literary agents who spent the majority of their careers at the Sheldon Fogelman Agency, are decamping to start their own eponymous outfit. The pair, who handle children's authors and illustrators, have worked together for more than 20 years and will focus on everything from picture book authors to YA novelists at the new agency, Wernick & Pratt.


*We do not endorse any contests or event, we are just passing along the information. Please do your own due diligence before entering any contest or submitting to any agent.



Here’s a note from Bruce Hale, who gave an incredible keynote speech at our conference in Miami:   

I loved meeting you all at the Miami conference! If you're running into roadblocks on the way to being published..., or if you're wondering what to do now that you're finally published — you might enjoy my newsletter of writing tips.

It's got inspirational quotes, feature articles, and a Q&A section where I answer readers' questions. This month, you'll find the answer to the first of several questions sent to me by Miami conference attendees. Here's the link: http://www.BruceHaleWritingTips.com/

Looking forward to hearing from you! 



At our conference, several agents spoke about writers leaking too much information online.  Don’t forget that whatever you say on blogs, message boards, and basically anywhere on the Internet can (and probably will) be found by agents or editors.  Here’s a great blog post from agent Jennifer Laughran on the same topic. 


Agent Jill Corcoran wrote an informative and timely blog about how to sub queries & full manuscripts in the digital age.


Check out this great new blog called EMU’S Debuts that explores the winding path that lies between the Book Deal and the Debut, brought to you by eight debuting authors represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Erin Murphy of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.   


Here’s a site by Harold Underdown where you can check all the major children’s book awards and winners from 2002-2011.  You can also find out more about each award.  You’ll also find great articles and market info on his website.   


Want to read more about the conference?  Here are the photos I took, and I hope you’ll all stop by our Florida SCBWI Facebook page and add your photos (please take a peek at what is there first so we don’t have too many similar pictures).  Check out these blogs, and you’ll find tons of info, inspiration, and photos!   

Donna Gephart

Larissa Hardesty

Shannon Hitchcock

Sarah Davies

I haven’t had time to type up all my notes yet, but Erin Murphy said that a good portion of her amazing handout entitled Questions to Ask Yourself When Revising a Scene was inspired by the great info that Robin LaFevers has on her website.  I love how easy it is to find writing gems like a characterization worksheet and plotting advice (scroll down and you'll see a list of labels on the right side).  Thanks for sharing all this wonderful writing info, Erin and Robin! 

I hope to have the Novel Intensive, general session, and workshop posts up soon (probably in three separate posts next week), so feel free to hop by my blog.     


Do you blog about our conferences?  Shoot me an e-mail with a link when you post a conference blog and I’d love to include it in future listservs.




It's always helpful to receive feedback on a manuscript.  I belong to two local and three online groups, and can't thank them enough for all the suggestions and support they have given me.  Are you interested in joining a local or online critique group or starting one if there are no active groups in your area?  Contact our Critique Group Coordinator, Paul May, and don't forget to check out the list of critique groups on our website.


Here’s a message from a critique group in Jacksonville that is looking for new members:

Our critique group in Jacksonville is looking for an additional member. We would prefer a picture book writer, but middle grade is fine as well. We currently have six active members who are serious about being published. One member has several book deals and others are getting close.

Because our group is established we take our time finding new members. We ask each prospective member to complete a questionnaire and to submit a writing sample so we can get to know them. We think this is the best way to have a good fit for everyone.

If you are interested, please contact Jennifer Swanson.  


Are you actively seeking new members for your critique group?  Send me a blurb about the genres you cover and other important info, and I’d be happy to include it in the next listserv.

* If you have a book sale, publication date, signing, (and are a PAL member who wants to mention a book from a PAL publisher), or you have a contest win, agent news, or an SCBWI Success Story to share, please e-mail the info to me in a similar format to the ones I posted above.  I can’t wait to celebrate with you!  




Mindy Alyse Weiss

FL SCBWI Listserv Editor 
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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 30th, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)
You do such a great job with the listserve, Mindy!!! Thanks for linking to my blog! :)
Jan. 30th, 2011 12:32 am (UTC)
Thanks, Larissa. And you're welcome for linking to your blog--you always share great conference info and fun giveaways. :)
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Mindy's head shot
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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