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A call for submissions: New Voices in Children’s Literature

Monday, October 17th, 2011

When I first started out as a writer, I steeled myself for rejection. I knew it could take a while before anything I wrote was published. But as months rolled into years, and the rejections piled up, my confidence began to flag.

Tassy Walden Awards: New Voices in Children's LiteratureIn 2001, word got around of a new children's book contest: the Tassy Walden Awards, New Voices in Children's Literature. It was juried by reputable agents and editors from large publishing houses, and winners were given a small cash prize. Why not, I thought.

My manuscript for a young adult novel came in as a finalist. I submitted a middle grade novel the following year, and that also came in as a finalist. Two years later I submitted a third novel, and that one didn't even place.

Now you'd think that would have soured me—three novels, three rejections. But it didn’t.

See, coming in as a finalist meant that the agents and editors who read my manuscripts thought they had promise. The criteria they were using was whether the submissions were of a professional quality. Winners were the best of the bunch—and some years they decided not to chose any winners because no one reached a high enough standard for the category. That I had placed two years in a row meant that I should keep going. That I didn’t place two years later meant I needed to put more work into what I was doing.

And more work is what I did. The result: one of the manuscripts that came in as a finalist became No Castles Here. The one that didn’t place at all became Come Fall. Both have received starred reviews, and I have a third novel ready for release in February, 2012.

The Tassy contest does something many contests don’t: it makes you step up to a publishable level. Winning doesn’t guarantee that what you write will be published, but submitting forces you to reach a professional standard. That is no small thing.

The 12th annual Tassy Walden Awards: New Voices in Children's Literature is now open for submissions. The competition is open to unpublished Connecticut writers and illustrators. This year has five submission categories: picture book (text only), illustrated picture book, children's book illustrator's portfolio, middle grade novel, and young adult/teen novel. The deadline for submissions is February 3, 2012.

For more information, an entry form, and the …

Coming out in paperback

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

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The paperback edition of Come Fall will be available for purchase next week, July 12, 2011.

Yay!…

Kidlit4Japan benefit auction this week

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Kidlit4Japan

If you like children’s literature and you’re looking for a way to help folks in Japan, you can make a donation that will benefit children affected by the earthquake and tsunami while also purchasing  some neat children’s literature swag.

Beginning at 9AM EDT on Monday March 21st, the Kidlit4Japan site  will feature a children’s and YA auction to benefit the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Dozens of authors and illustrators have contributed thousands of dollars worth of signed books, virtual author visits, critiquing services, artwork, and even a few opportunities to name a character in an upcoming book!

Through the auction process over the next couple weeks, they hope to turn these donated items into much-needed funds for the UNICEF U.S. Fund. They are targeting relief efforts specifically to the needs of children in the affected area of Japan, using methods refined during decades of disaster response campaigns around the world. (Bidders outside the United States may choose to donate to an alternate aid organization based in their own country instead.)

Bidding will be open on each item for 3 to 5 days. If you’re interested in A.C.E. Bauer related stuff, I’ve donate signed first edition copies of No Castles Here and Come Fall, and the audio production of No Castles Here in a 5-CD set. They’ll be up on the rotation from Friday March 25 @ 2:00PM EDT to Tuesday March 29 @ 2:00PM EDT.

The link again for the auction: http://kidlit4japan.wordpress.com/. Thanks for your help!

UPDATE: The items put up for auction on Friday March 25, including No Castles Here, Come Fall, and the No Castles Here audiobook, will be up for bid till Wednesday March 30 (and not Tuesday, as I originally posted). …

Come Fall among 2010 best books for children

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

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Every year the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) publishes its picks for best children’s and young adult books of the previous publishing year. Come Fall made this year’s list! I’m really honored.

The CCBC Choices 2011 list can be seen here. The fully annotated Choices booklet will be available in March.

Thank you CCBC!…

“Engaging and touching”

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

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Bookworm Buddies is a blog written by Manhattan Public Library staff in Manhattan, Kansas, where they recommend books for kids. They reviewed Come Fall and really liked it.

Here’s my favorite quote:

I picked this book up initially for the cover art. I couldn’t imagine how this tricky plot could work, but it does! Bauer successfully weaves the subplots together with sympathetic characters. Pick Come Fall up for a story that’s engaging and touching.

You can read the entire review here.

Thank you Bookworm Buddies!…

Milk and Cookies liked Come Fall

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

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Milk and Cookies: Comfort Reading reviewed Come Fall and liked it, giving it “3 yummy chocolate chip cookies”.

My favorite bits:

I Kept Reading Because: I wanted to know the secret of Salman and I really liked how the characters were written. It kept my interest!

She adds:

This is actually a book where chapters told from different points of view really worked. In fact, I loved how Blos was written. The ones about him were my favorite chapters. I was very impressed with how the author wrote Blos.

In conclusion:

This was an easy enjoyable read, with a touch of supernatural that many middle grade readers will enjoy. With the variety of main characters most readers will identify with one of them.

You can read the entire review here.…

Flamingnet weighs in

Monday, December 6th, 2010

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Flamingnet Young Adult Book Blog is, “a worldwide network of preteen and teen book reviewers. The website offers book reviews written by young adults on young adult books.”

One of their reviewers read Come Fall, and liked it! My favorite quote:

When you throw together three unlikely friends and the tricky messenger of fey, you end up with an interesting and warm tale of friendship and a wonderful read. When reading this book, I was sucked in by the intriguing characters and warm fall feeling, setting an overall tone of warmth. Switching between the perspectives of each character also gave the book a curious feel as you got to see the experiences of each one. The characters were believable and unique, each one with their own quirks and personalities that help shape the odd and indescribable feel of the book.

You can find the full review here.…

Another book party!

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

Amy_alone.JPG I am very fortunate to be friends with Amy Eppler-Epstein. She and her family have provided me with encouragement and support throughout my writing career. Years ago, she promised me, “When you’re published, I’ll throw you a book party.”

answering_questions.JPG And she did, when No Castles Here was published. We had so much fun, she told me, “Let’s do this again!”

Far be it from me to let her down.

Last week she and her family hosted another party, this time to honor Come Fall. I saw many old friends, read a few chapters, answered a bunch of questions, and signed books. Profits from the sales went to Read to Grow, a literacy program for children in Connecticut. R.J. Julia Booksellers supplied the books and made the donations possible.

cake_and_book.JPGOf course, no birthday party is complete without cake. Take a look at what Amy baked for us.

Yum!

Thank you Amy, all the Eppler-Epsteins, and all those who contributed to Read to Grow. You guys are the best.

Photo credits go to Steve Eppler-Epstein.…

Second printing!

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

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I have some very exciting news from Random House. Apparently Come Fall has gone into its second printing.

Squeeee!…

Interview

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

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Kate Narita who hosts the blog Classroom Book of the Week, asked me a bunch of questions about my writing process for Come Fall. The questions were really interesting and made me think hard about how I went about writing the book. She posted my responses yesterday, and you can read them here.

Thank you Kate for the thoughtful interview.…

 

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