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Promising Pals at James P. Timilty Middle School

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

On Friday June 3rd I had the great pleasure of attending the 25th annual Promising Pals Breakfast at the James P. Timilty Middle School in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The Promising Pals program matches 6th, 7th and 8th graders with adult professionals who become their pen pals for the school year.

I was paired with a 7th grader, and we exchanged letters over the course of the winter and spring. On Friday, we finally met in person. It was wonderful to spend some time with the person whose letters were such a pleasure to receive. We shared breakfast, played games (we were almost evenly matched at Connect 4), listened to music, toured the school and grounds, and talked. I had a lovely morning.

Before I met my pen pal, I attended an assembly in the auditorium with the other adult Promising Pals. During the welcoming remarks, we were asked to stand. First the group who had been in the program for their first year stood. After we sat back down, those who had been with the program for 2 to 4 years stood. Then those who had been there for 5 to 14 years. Then 15 to 24. And finally those who had been with the program for all 25 years. I was inspired and humbled by the dedication of these individuals to so many generations of students.

Bravo Timilty Middle School. …

Things I learned at the New England SCBWI conference

Monday, May 16th, 2011

I attended the New England SCBWI conference last weekend in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. There were 590 children’s book authors, illustrators, editors, agents, and publicists in attendance–I met so many great people!

I saw an entertaining cabaret (some of those authors, illustrators, editors, agents and publicists can sing!); watched a movie about why adults should love children’s books; listened to keynote speakers, workshop presenters, and fellow conference attendees. I walked away with 30 pages of notes, tons of resources, and a whole lot of great ideas that left me both energized and exhausted.

So here are a few things I learned (or relearned):

* As an author, your brand is yourself.

* You may put your heart and soul into a manuscript, but all the editor sees are the words on the page.

* Describe only one action per panel in a graphic novel.

* If what you are writing about is incredible, give your story a skeptic.

* Always ask for proofs before you agree to a print run on anything.

* No matter how many books we’ve sold, we are all shallow.

* Beware of out-of-print clauses that never revert rights.

* When working on an extensive series, it’s not that the story is so big it’ll take three books to tell it, it’s that there’s an overarching thing that you can fit many stories into.

* Very young kids don’t get puns.

* Unlike music, books don’t require a gizmo to be read.

* Never say no to anything. Eventually you’ll find your connection to the project.

There was much more . . . but I’m still digesting.

Thank you to the great organizers and volunteers who managed to pull together such an intricate event and make almost everything run on time. You guys rock!…

Save the date: Hudson Children’s Book Festival

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

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On Saturday May 7, from 10 to 4, I’ll be at the Hudson Children’s Book Festival in Hudson, New York. Come by and say hello!…

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). …

Five stars from Reading Vacation

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

ComeFall_cover.JPG

Reading Vacation is a blog by a middle school student who loves to read and who reviews middle grade and YA fiction. And she liked Come Fall — gave it a total of five stars!

“I enjoyed this book that shows Shakespeare in a whole new light.”

Thank you Reading Vacation! You can read the entire review here.…

I have a Facebook page

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

It’s taken me long enough, but I’ve finally put up a Facebook page. You can find it here. Feel free to come over and tell me what you think. …

Booklist review

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

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Booklist reviewed Come Fall, and liked it. They found the story to be a “touching blend of realism and fantasy.”

My favorite quote:

“Weaving in magic, dreams, doubles, contrasts, and other elements from [A Midsummer Night’s Dream], Bauer spins an enticing variant.”

Thank you Booklist!…

Celebration

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Doe Boyle, A.C.E., Kay Kudlinski crafts reading

The Alphabet Garden Bookstore hosted a wonderful book party for Come Fall this last Saturday.

We had crafts, lemonade, and cookies baked by bookstore owner Karlene Rearick! I read, answered a few questions and signed a whole lot of books. We gave out prizes to the participants of The Alphabet Garden’s summer reading program. I met fans and friends, and altogether had a great time.

Thank you Alphabet Garden, and all those who made the day so much fun.

picking prize winner with Karlene Rearick A.C.E., Leslie Bulion, Thea Guidone crowd

Book party and signing

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

ComeFall_cover.JPG

Just a reminder that I will be having a book party for Come Fall this Saturday August 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Alphabet Garden Bookstore in Cheshire, Connecticut. It’s in conjunction with the bookstore’s summer reading program.

I’ll blather for a minute, read a chapter from the book, and sign copies. There’ll be crafts and snacks, too. It’s free and open to all.

Hope to see you there!…

I have a desk?

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

My desk At the library At the coffeeshop

I blog about my workspaces at Write Up Our Alley. You can read about it here.…

 

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