Month: March 2014

On The Frontiers Of Book Talk

Recently Published: Nov. 17, 2011

by Emily Goodman

Brian Kenney, editorial director for Library Journal, School Library Journal, and The Horn Book, and Luann Toth, managing editor of book reviews for School Library Journal, described how the digital revolution has transformed professional coverage of books and publishing in general at the October 11, 2011 lecture in the Tuesday Professional Series.

“The popular media have cut a lot of their book reviews,” said Kenney. “But digital platforms have enabled a great expansion of book talk. Our coverage of books for children and teens has tripled or quadrupled in the last six years thanks to our bloggers and the digital newsletters that have spun off from the print publications. Make no mistake: digital publishing is here to stay.” (more…)

Make Editors Go Ga-Ga: Martha Mihalick On Voice

Originally Published: Oct. 2011

by Emily Goodman

Martha Mihalick, editor at Greenwillow, opened the Metro NY Tuesday Professional Lecture Series on September 13 with a sold-out talk entitled, “Voice: What is it, and why does it make editors go ga-ga?”

“Your voice is your instrument,” said Mihalick, noting that dictionary definitions of ‘voice’ also call it “a wish, choice, right of expression, or influential power.” (more…)

Stop Fiddling, Start Finishing: Julie Berry On Getting Through Your First Draft

Originally Published: Aug. 15, 2011

by Emily Goodman

Author Julie Berry told a fascinated Tuesday Professional Lecture Series audience at the June 14 lecture how she once wrote seven books in a single year—while also working part-time, being married, and raising four children.

“I didn’t plan for seven books to come at once,” Berry said. She had just sold her first YA novel, The Amaranth Enchantment, when proposals for two middle-grade series were also accepted. “As a fledgling writer, I didn’t feel I could say no to any opportunity,” Berry explained. “So I wrote them all. I don’t think I’ll ever do that again, but after surviving that year, I feel I can do anything.” (more…)

Notes From A Literary Agent

Originally Published:  July 24, 2011

Jennifer Laughran is an agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Inc. The article below first appeared on her blog in May, 2011. For more information about her, check out her blog:

Q: People say when you’re researching agents, you should look at the acknowledgments of books like yours to find out who reps them. But yesterday I saw you tweet that sometimes books are “too similar” and you reject them for that reason. What gives?

Yes. You should find an agent who reps the type of books you write, has similar taste to yours, and seems to “get it.” This probably means doing research about some of your favorite writers and finding out who reps them.

But also yes, when you get right down to it, an agent’s list can really only have so many of one type of book before it starts getting boring and repetitive. And as far as specific plots and such, one will do. As @earthwards on twitter said, “Think complementary, not competing!” (more…)

Metro Mixer NYC Style!

Originally Published: July 24, 2011

By Bridget Casey

On June 28, 2011, SCBWI NY-Metro kicked off the summer with the chapter’s first Metro Mixer at The Galway Hooker, an Irish pub in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan. While darts, ring toss, and a pool table were tempting, schmoozing about books was the main event for the fifty or so SCBWI members and friends who attended. New members to SCBWI commented that the informal setting of the event made them feel welcome to the organization and less intimidated of the industry. Besides schmoozing, there was an ARC Swap and a raffle with items donated by authors and illustrators. Almost half the room went home with prizes, thanks to the generous donations! Attendees were introduced to some of the volunteers who run the Metro NY Chapter.

In addition to writers and illustrators, other friends of children’s literature attended the event, including publishing professionals, librarians, teachers, and photographers. Plans are already underway for future Metro Mixers including an event for members who live on Long Island, and a second Manhattan event. Details about upcoming Metro Mixers will be posted on our Web site as they become available.

The chapter is open to suggestions and welcomes any questions or comments regarding Metro Mixers. Please e-mail with any feedback, or if you would like to find out about volunteering at upcoming Metro Mixers. Happy summer!

Notes From An Artist’s Agent

Christina A. Tugeau is an artist agent. For more information about her, check out her Web site:

A month ago I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing the inspiring Nicholas Callaway, of Callaway Digital Arts, in their wonderful historic building (open sunny spaces using old bricks and beams) in the South Street Sea Port area of New York City. Our subject, of course, was the newly emerging industry of APP development and other digital offerings. As an artist agent, this is a thrilling but difficult area to encourage my artists to experiment in. There is normally no upfront money; it’s all shared revenue once the project begins making money. I’m afraid I cannot tell you what that will be either! The percentage of revenue from profits is negotiated per project, and a lot goes into figuring out that appropriate number. Many projects are earning $.99 or $3.99 or $10.99 or nothing if they are FREE. The upfront costs to the publisher for the production of these complex interactive “enhanced narratives” is substantial to begin with. You can see the problems if money is your objective. (more…)

Evolution Of A Cover

Originally Published: July 2011

by Bridget Casey

On May 10th, attendees of the SCBWI Metro New York Tuesday Professional Series were fortunate to hear Chad Beckerman, Creative Director of Abrams Books for Young Readers, offer his presentation, “The Evolution of a Book Cover.” Using images of book covers at different stages and vivid accounts of how these cover designs developed, Beckerman helped illuminate a process that is often mysterious to authors and illustrators alike.

Beckerman studied Illustration at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). “What I really learned was how to solve problems, and present narratives visually.” Before working at Abrams, he worked at Scholastic and Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

To highlight some of the challenges encountered while designing covers, Beckerman shared a few Abrams covers with the audience. Each book varied in style and content and required a unique creative solution. (more…)

The Same But Different: Writing For Children’s Series

Originally Published: June 2011

by Vicki Oransky Wittenstein

Random House editor Diane Landolf and Julie Tibbott, editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, spoke about the unique challenges of writing for children’s series at the SCBWI Metro New York Professional Series on April12th.

“All you know about writing craft applies to writing a series,” Landolf said. “You still need an engaging character, a strong voice, and a fast-paced plot.” But writing for a series does have distinct issues of craft. As Landolf emphasized, “With each book, series authors need to find a way to offer readers a similar experience to reading other books in the series while delivering a different plot.” (more…)

The 2011 SCBWI Winter Conference

Originally Published: April 5, 2011

By Sheila DeCosse

The 2011 SCBWI Winter Conference held in New York City on January 28th-30th, showcased a prestigious array of legendary authors, illustrators, editors and agents. The event offered opportunities for new and established writers and illustrators to gain information, hobnob with the pros, and enjoy a plain and fancy good time.

Keynote speakers included Lois Lowry, Jules Feiffer, Linda Sue Park, R.L.Stein and Sara Zarr. The keynote talks were inspirational. Lois Lowry gave a range of responses to the question “Where do ideas come from?” which included the responses, “A haunting phrase,” “What if, what if,” and “How I wish I could have been.” (more…)