Home of author A.C.E Bauer on the web

Books, readers and friends

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

I had a wonderful time at the Albany Children’s Books Festival yesterday. I met readers of all ages, teachers, librarians, even a school principal. Dozens of children, and a few adults, folded paper boxes and cranes with the help of my trusted assistant, the patient and extraordinary-good-sport, Abby. (Thank you!) The organizers of the Festival did a terrific job keeping us fed and hydrated, and were helpful at every turn.

I participated in a panel on the challenges of chidren’s book publishing with Amanda Marrone, Barbara Dee, Lyn Miller-Lachmann, and David Hyde Costello. We had an excellent turnout, with some great questions from the audience. It was good to hear all the different experiences we had getting ourselves published–with many lessons that overlapped.

One of the fun things about book festivals, beside all the gorgeous books that threaten to bankrupt me, are all the authors and artists I get to meet. I sat between the talented Jeannine Atkins and Karen Beil. They were a whole lot of fun to schmooze with during the occasional lulls. We had a mini Class of 2k7 reunion, with Eric Luper, Jo Knowles, Rose Kent, and Aimee Ferris. It’s great to see us all doing so well in our careers! I finally met Amy Gordon whose The Gorillas of Gill Park has been a long-time family favorite. I ran into the indefatigable Katie Davis whom I hadn’t seen in about ten years. And there were so many more!

A big thank you goes to the Festival’s organizers and the students at the Albany Academies, who made the day run as smoothly as it did.…

Breaking rules

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Karen L. Day and I had a great visit at the Edith Wheeler Memorial Library in Monroe, Connecticut today. We received a warm welcome and had some interesting questions from the audience.

One of my favorites was from a mother: whenever her daughter writes an essay for her teacher, it comes back with lots of notes for corrections. Her daughter always corrects as directed, but when can or should she question those directions?

The answer Karen and I gave was twofold.

First, the teacher is teaching the rules of writing. A writer will break those rules, but on purpose, for a purpose — to create something deliberate with the piece. But before a writer can break those rules s/he has to know them. At school, the teacher’s job is to make sure a student learns the rules — which is what all those corrections are about.

A professional writer also gets corrections and directions from editors. Writers will correct as directed, but they will also build what Karen called “the internal editor.” The job of the internal editor is to have a clear sense of how the writer wants the writing to sound (the “voice” of the story). And sometimes that internal editor will trump the editor’s call.

So if you’re a kid, how do you build this internal editor?

Read, a whole lot, to see what kind of writing you like. Then write, a whole lot, and experiment with breaking those rules. But maybe not at school. ‘Cause you still have to learn the rules.…

Alumni news

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Fellow Class of 2k7 member Eric Luper emailed me the other day. He had read a blurb about No Castles Here in the recent on-line Rutgers Alumni newsletter in their “Off the Shelf” column. I liked the blurb, but what tickled me was finding out that we are both alumni of Rutgers College. And, as it turns out, so is 2k7er Sarah Aronson!

Go Rutgers!…

Class awards and honors

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

The season is upon us. The American Library Association has announced one award and honor after another. I am so proud of the Class of 2k7–we appear on so many lists!

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Sundee Frazier won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent for Brendan Buckley’s Universe & Everything In It (Delacorte).

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G. Neri made the 2007 list for Notable Children’s Books with his Chess Rumble, illustrated by by Jesse Joshua Watson (Lee & Low).

Then three members of the Class (yes three!) were chosen as the 2007 Best Books for Young Adults:

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Jay Asher‘s Thirteen Reasons Why (Penguin Group USA/Razorbill);

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Ann Dee Ellis‘s This Is What I Did (Little, Brown); and

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Sara Zarr‘s Story of a Girl (Little, Brown) which was also a finalist for the National Book Awards!

Congratulations all!

You go, Class of 2k7!!!…

 

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