Saturday, January 30, 2010

Get out of here

You should be over on the Official Conference Blog, guys! We are blogging and tweeting up a storm. This morning's keynote is Libba Bray who has already referenced cajones, unicorn erotica, her Printz afterglow, and she just did The Robot.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Previously on Bound: Calling All Teens to Inkpop!

HarperCollins's HarperTeen has officially launched, an interactive writing platform for teens with teen-written content and a social networking platform. Editors from HarperCollins review content on the site. Which means teen writers have the awesome chance to get feedback on their work, potential mentorship opportunities and even get their work considered for actual publication! says that since inkpop's soft launch in November, the 10,000 teen members have submitted over 10,000 novels, poems, essays, and short stories from teens 13 and up.

The inkpop blog is a treasure trove of goodies:

  • profiles of teen writers
  • writing advice from industry professionals,
  • announcements of writing contests/themes
  • and interviews and chats with popular teen authors like the hilarious with heart, Carolyn Mackler

Sunday, January 24, 2010

SCBWI TEAM BLOG - Exclusive! Interview with Editor Allyn Johnston

You guys, can you hardly stand it? The SCBWI Winter Conference is less than a week away. Have you registered? Do you have your fancy shoes packed? Have you decided on what breakout sessions to attend or are you still trying to pick?

WELL. Maybe I can help. Do you hear that hollering from La Jolla? It's none other than Allyn Johnston of Beach Lane Books giving SCBWI TEAM BLOG a sneak peek into her office and her world as a children's book editor.

Hi Allyn! Thanks so much for letting SCBWI TEAM BLOG interview you before the conference. First up, can you give us a hint of what we can look forward to in your NY breakout sessions?

Well, it’s going to be Picture-Books-a-Go-Go, with handouts—and required audience participation. I’m especially proud of the handouts because I made them all myself. By hand! As well, I’m going to have at least two Top Secret Special Guests (who will most definitely be contributing to the fun).

Oooo, I love top secret special guests.

Last summer we heard Beach Lane Books would be bringing out about 20 books a year. You are off to a great start with some beautiful picture books. Here's just a couple:

And of course, the newest Caldecott Honor winner: ALL THE WORLD by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee.

Can you mention a perk and a challenge of publishing a list with mostly picture books?

Perk: Collaboration with authors, illustrators, and designers.
Challenge: Collaboration with authors, illustrators, and designers.

Oh, editors and their tricky trick answers.
What are some of the chapter books or novels we can look forward to from Beach Lane Books in 2010?

We have upcoming novels from, among others, M. T. Anderson, Edith Pattou, and Avi.

You are an SCBWI conference pro – what is your favorite thing about a conference?

I really like how preparing for and speaking at conferences gets me out of my day job and forces me to think about and articulate why I feel all this writing-and-illustrating-and-editing-and-designing-and-marketing-and-selling books for children is so important. And why it’s so important to approach the whole enterprise with rigor and intensity. Most importantly, though, I love how it makes me focus on the true goal of all this work we do together: a child, a story, and a deep and long-lasting connection between them.

That's lovely, Allyn, and I think you have summed up for all of us why we like going to conferences so much.

After approaching my own work with rigor and intensity I'm often really hungry... For all the conference attendees coming to New York, do you have a favorite cafe/bakery/restaurant/pizza place to recommend? Or a must visit place or shop?

I’m not sure I’m the best person to ask since I have spent most of my career based in gorgeous San Diego, California (where the best lattes can be found in La Jolla at Café MoJoe’s; terrific long lunches need to be had at Barbarella; and two yummy-and-affordable neighborhood dinner spots are Lupi and Beaumont’s).

But you asked about New York.

Keko Café has delicious lattes. Flatiron is a completely going-back-in-time spot to have a drink. Tabla and Taboon are restaurants worth a cab ride, and, for an amazing and unexpected tiny spot to shop for treasures to bring home, try Kyotoya at 23 West 19th Street.

Holy Mackerel, those all sound great. I am booking a flight to San Diego as I type. But for those who can't make it to Beach Lane Books HQ, Allyn has graciously provided us with a virtual tour:

First, the adorable front door and couch area

Sweet coat rack and friendly, old HARRY BY THE SEA

Awesome meeting table

Ooo, I have those IKEA drawers. Wonder what is on the inspiration board above the desk...

Cute chicken on back porch – maybe it is the Beach Lane resident mascot?

Happy corner office

Thanks, Allyn, and see you in a few days!

Don't forget to check out other great SCBWI TEAM BLOG Pre-Conference interviews:

Bookmark that SCBWI Conference Blog and look for #SCBWI10 (I think) on Twitter!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Previously on Bound: Sailor Twain Online Graphic Novel is the Bob-Omb

Best news I have heard all year: Mark Siegel, the mastermind behind America's smartest graphic novel publishing imprint, is releasing his new graphic novel online for free!

Mark Siegel of First 
SecondSailor Twain on January 28th

Mark is not only a top editor, but an amazing artist and author. His new series has some of the most haunting and beautiful images I've ever seen, and you, too, can see them starting January 28th at New pages will be available three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The entire novel looks to be available in print in 2012.
It's a comic for adults and take a gander at the gorgeous images below with a fascinating story to boot. "Sailor Twain or the Mermaid in the Hudson" is set in 1887 New York on the Hudson River. Mark Twain, mermaids and spooky river boats – what more could you want for 2010?
Bookmark this site and start taking notes on when your boss is out of the building – you'll want to plan on slacking off from work to read these weekly installments.

Sneak peek at Sailor Twain
Sailor Twain

Monday, January 18, 2010

Previously on Bound: Best in Children's Books!

slept in this morning by accident and missed the live announcement of the top awards in children's books! Some of my favorite titles from last year received medals or honors from the American Library Association. Check out these books kids of all ages (even over forty) will love:

When You Reach Me2010 Newbery Medal Winner (given to an author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children)
"When You Reach Me" by Rebecca Stead from Wendy Lamb Books, Random House.
Described by judges as "Twelve-year-old Miranda encounters shifting friendships, a sudden punch, a strange homeless man and mysterious notes that hint at knowledge of the future. These and other seemingly random events converge in a brilliantly constructed plot."

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward JusticeThe 
Evolution of Calpurnia TateWhere the Mountain 
Meets the MoonThe Mostly True 
Adventurs of Homer P. Figg

2010 Newbery Honors
"Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice" by Phillip Hoose from Melanie Kroupa Books, FSG. Also won National Book Award.
"The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate" by Jacqueline Kelly from Henry Holt.
"Where the Mountain Meets the Moon" by Grace Lin from Little, Brown. Also an Al Roker Kid's Book of the Month.
"The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg" by Rodman Philbrick from The Blue Sky Press, Scholastic.

The Lion & 
the Mouse2010 Caldecott Medal Winner
(given to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children)
"The Lion & the Mouse" illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney from Little, Brown.
Described by judges as "The screech of an owl, the squeak of a mouse and the roar of a lion transport readers to the Serengeti plains for this virtually wordless retelling of Aesop’s classic fable. In glowing colors, Pinkney’s textured watercolor illustrations masterfully portray the relationship between two very unlikely friends."

All the WorldRed Sings from Treetops
2010 Caldecott Honors

"All the World" illustrated by Marla Frazee, written by Liz Garton Scanlon from Beach Lane Books, Simon & Schuster.
"Red Sings from Treetops" illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Joyce Sidman from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

SCBWI TEAM BLOG Exclusive - Peter Sis

Peter Sis! One of the most amazing illustrators of our time has been up to no good lately. Since winning that genius thing, he just fritters his days away it seems. Still, we've got some sneak peeks at what Peter's been up to as well as a few hints about his upcoming books:

Out in April from Scholastic Press, THE DREAMER is a YA novel by Pam Muñoz Ryan with illustrations by Sis about the early life of Pablo Neruda. Love this review here, which tells us we can look forward to an intriguing array of illustrated pages and poems in the book.

And soccer fans unite! Peter is currently at work on his next Madlenka book, MADLENKA SOCCER STAR, which should be out after the 2010 World Cup.

When he's not making award-winning books, Peter spends his spare time making awesome 3D art:

And in his spare spare time he is ADAPTING and ILLUSTRATING a 12th century Persian epic poem. I think we can all agree that Peter could be doing more – such a lazy bones! Good thing SCBWI's whipping him into shape by having Peter speak at the upcoming Winter Conference.

All yoking aside I'm beside myself at getting to show these photos – big thanks to Peter and The Wylie Agency for sharing. Want to know more about Peter? Check out his site, read an adorable (if older) interview with Peter here, or there's still time to register to see him in a few weeks!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Bird Abides

Zing! My bookplates are a Fusenews item today! Scroll down. No, keep scrolling... There!

Thanks to eagle-eyed Wagging Tales for the email this morning and to toucan-eyed Betsy Bird for noticing and to the groovy new MacKids blog and Reka!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy Birthday University Bookstore!

Saturday, come celebrate 110 years of great book shopping at the University Bookstore in the U District from noon to five.

They made a book with 110 entries from local authors of 110 words... I am one of them!

My kid book favorites like Kirby Larson, Deb Lund, Martha Brockenbrough, Justina Chen, Meg Lippert, Laura McGee Kvasnosky, Liz Gallagher, Holly Cupala, Kevin Emerson, Peg Kehret... the list goes on! contributed and may very well be there clinking champers glasses.

I wrote a short piece about some mice that live in the bookstore. I made a wee sketch of them, but am not sure if there was room in the book for it.

Cheers to UBS! See you on Saturday!