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Children's & Fantasy/Sci-Fi Books


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San Diego Comic-Con 2021 Panels

I’m thrilled to share that I moderated two San Diego Comic-Con virtual panels.

The first, Young Adult Dark Fantasy, Sci-Fi & Horror, features bestselling authors Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns), Mylo Carbia (Violets are Red), Sarah Beth Durst (The Queens of Renthia), Jonathan Maberry (Rot & Ruin), and Seanan McGuire (October Daye). They’ll share their insights into writing dark speculative fiction and the publishing industry, including book to TV/film.
The video stream can be viewed on YouTube.

The second panel is Meet the Creators and Cast of Netflix’s Norsemen. Norsemen is Netflix’s hilarious historical comedy series—think Vikings meets The Office. Participating in this Q&A are actors: Kåre Conradi (Orm), Trond Fausa (Rufus), Nils Jørgen Kaalstad (Arvid), Øystein Martinsen (Kark), Marian Ottesen (Hildur), and series producers/directors/writers Jonas Torgersen and Jon Iver Helgaker.
The video stream can be viewed on YouTube.


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FAQs for 100 Writing Days of Summer

Summer officially begins on Monday, and with it begins the 100 Writing Days of Summer program. Summer is a time of dreaminess, hopefulness, even laziness. It is a time I like to write – because the living is easy. And after writing, I can engage in some of my favorite ways to think – BBQs, a dunk in the pool, a bike ride or a day at the beach. When you’re actively writing, all those activities can also be considered “writing” because you’re incubating your thoughts and ideas. And because when you’re having fun, your brain is open to solution finding, and ideas come more easily.
I’m hoping you want to write with us this summer. I thought this FAQ might help you make the decision. Thanks, and I hope to see you in there, writing your heart out. #100WritingDaysOfSummer
PS. I know it’s a weird summer that already feels too busy, though it hasn’t even started, but a Yes to the program is a Yes to your WIP. Join 100 Writing Days of Summer.
Where do I sign up? Right here!
What is the actual time commitment?
The total time spent writing together is 20 hours in 10 2-hour sessions. The rest is “free range.” You might set your own writing goal that creates a bigger commitment in our opening ceremony, or with a writing buddy.
What is the schedule for the Write/Coach/Write sessions?
The times were chosen to accommodate working people, and people on both coasts and in between. We’re meeting to write…
· Some Thursdays 5-7pm, PDT (8-10pm ET)
· Some Saturdays 8-10am, PDT (11-1pm ET)
What is a Write/Coach/Write session?
When we say Write/Coach/Write, we mean,
Write 45 minutes
Next 30 minutes, have the option of getting coaching help as a group for creative indecision, doubts or dread your brain is serving up with Julia Roberts, creativity coach
Write for the remaining 45 minutes.
Anyone who is on a roll can skip the coaching part, by turning off their speaker, and write on.
How much does it cost?
The price for the program is $299. If you prefer, you can pay over three months, each month at $109.
What do you get?
Every weekday, you get a beautiful email – with a writing tip and a Summery Picture Prompt. Tips were written for this program by the Author Panel, summarizing their experience, insights and best practices
The FB group offers camaraderie, a place to find an accountability buddy, and access to the Author Panel. One author is featured for 10 days at a time, all summer long.
You can also ask a coaching question of Julia Roberts, who is in the FB group every day.
There are 10 2-hour Write/Coach/Write sessions during the summer, held on Zoom.
Opening and closing ceremonies on Zoom
Giveaways
AND… New Writer friends, inspiration, help with your creative process, and a pile of new pages written by Labor Day.


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50+ Children’s Book Publishers Seeking Submissions

Written by Emily Harstone

All of the publishers on this list publish children’s books. Some just publish picture books, some publish only middle-grade fiction, and some publish a wide variety of genres aimed at adults as well. Some are looking for educational work, others are open to anything. A number of these publishers are large and established. Others are small and just starting out.

Flying Eye

Nobrow Press is a respected publisher of graphic novels and Flying Eye is their children’s book imprint. Flying Eye publishes both fiction and nonfiction picture books. Nobrow Press and Flying Eye are both different from what we normally review because they are looking for either an author/illustrator or an already formed author-illustrator pair with a book to pitch. They do seem to make exceptions, but for the most part they are not interested in matching illustrators with authors.

Allen & Unwin

Allen & Unwin is a large independent Australian Press that is open to submissions on a wide range of topics. They have won a number of Australian publisher awards. They accept based on pitches, and have a system known as the “Friday Pitch” which ensures that at least one editor reviews each unsolicited pitch.

Sleeping Bear Press

Sleeping Bear Press is a well regarded publisher of board books, picture books, middle grade readers, and young adult fiction. They offer advances to some authors. They have good regional distribution in the Midwest and ok distribution in North America. Their books have won a wide variety of awards, all of them are listed here.

Gibbs Smith

Gibbs Smith is an established publisher with good distribution and a focus on cook books, interior design and architecture books, and board books for children. They have published a number of bestsellers, including a board book version of Pride & Prejudice.

For the rest of this list, see https://www.authorspublish.com/55-childrens-book-publishers-seeking-submissions/


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Fun at the 2016 Orange County SCBWI Agents Day

I had a great time at the 2016 Orange County Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Agents Day. There were a number of terrific presentations by agents, authors, and an editor. Sorry for the poor photo quality…

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Introductory remarks from author Francesca Rusackas, illustrator Priscilla Burris, and author Q.L. Pearce.

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Rachel Orr (agent with The Prospect Agency) presenting Voices Carry – Developing your Picture Book Voice

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Jessica Sinsheimer (agent with Sara Jane Freymann Literary) presenting how to use Twitter to research, network and become a priority for literary agents

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Annie Berger (editor with Sourcebooks Fire / Jabberwocky) presenting Writing Believable Relationships in YA and Middle Grade

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I missed the presentation by author Marily Cram Donahue because I was pitching picture books to editor Annie Berger.

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Marlene Perez (author) presenting I’m Not Normal and Maybe You Aren’t Either

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Q. L. Pearce (author) presenting on scary (but not too scary) picture books

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Kelly Sonnack (agent Andrea Brown Literary) presenting Query Letters

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Stephanie Fretwell-Hill (agent with Red Fox Literary) presenting straight from the Heart: Knowing Your Emotional Core in the Craft and Business of Writing


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Fun at WonderCon 2016

My sons and I made our annual pilgrimage to WonderCon to enjoy great art, revel in geekiness, and meet lots of interesting people. Here’s a samplingWC2016-05

Josh & Harrison outside the LA Convention Center

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The BACONNATION food truck. It’s porktastic!

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Not to be outdone is the Godzilla-themed MeSoHungry food truck.

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Why, yes, I WAS wondering what a Star Trek-cat mashup would look like. Scotty is a Scottish Fold! Chekhov should’ve been a Siberian.

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Captain Mexico and Mexican Punisher and a Trump pinata saying “Por ser un pendejo”. Well played, guys.

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Harrison as a dwarf barrel-rider from The Hobbit at The OneRing.net booth. He’s got the long hair – just needs a beard and some scale mail.

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My sons in front of our books at the Mysterious Galaxy booth.

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Josh with a Type-2 Energy Weapon, more commonly known as the Gravity Hammer – a powerful, two-handed melee weapon used by the Jiralhanae in the Covenant Empire. Or so I’m told.

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A quick photo prior to our panel. From right to left, authors: Barney Saltzberg, Josh Herz, Harrison Herz, Dan Santat, Bruce Hale, and Lisa Yee. Lisa was not part of our panel, but she is legally required to be present when Dan is in public. 🙂

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I secretly brought a furry trapper hat to make a THIS IS NOT MY HAT joke. Little did I suspect that all other four male panelists would be sporting hats. From right to left: Jon Klassen (including priceless expression), Antoinette Portis, Bruce Hale, Dan Santat, Barney Saltzberg, and Henry Herz.

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Me looking all moderatory while Bruce Hale answers a question from the audience.

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Me looking like the cat that ate the canary because I’m signing books with Jon Klassen, Antoinette Portis, Barney Saltzberg, Dan Santat, and Bruce Hale.

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This is Jon Klassen, but THIS IS NOT MY HAT. I’m wearing Bruce Hale’s famous fedora!


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Networking in Los Angeles with Fellow Authors

With my long-time friend and Pura Belpre Award-winning author/illustrator Joe Cepeda and new friend author/illustrator Jordan Novak
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With the hilarious and talented picture book author of CRANKENSTEIN and SNOOZEFEST, Samantha Berger
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Samantha Berger drinking coffee with both hands! ‪#‎caffeine‬
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With Angie Karcher, non-fiction picture book author, and founder of RhyPiBoMo.
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Normally, seeing Molly Schaar Idle would be the highlight of my day. But then, her son John said he loved MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES. *smiling*
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With Caldecott Honor winning author/illustrator Molly Schaar Idle AND the author/illustrator of LOUISE LOVES ART, Kelly J. Light. I’m in the middle of a talent sandwich. Notice the Louise doll I’m holding.
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With the YA author of TWINKIE PIE, Kat Yeh and YA author Lee Wind. Notice how nicely color-coordinated they are!
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With rising star picture book author Marcie Colleen. I am jealous of both her talent and her hair! 🙂
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With debut picture book FARAWAY FRIENDS author/illustrator Russ Cox
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With the fully-bearded and award-winning BOY+BOT author/illustrator Dan Yaccarino

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My Awesome Adventure at San Diego Comic-Con 2015

I had a fabulous time at San Diego Comic-Con this year. Below are the authors and entertainers I was thrilled to see or meet. In chronological order:

01RonPerlman

Ron Perlman – He’s not that fuzzy in real life, but the lighting wasn’t good. Perhaps best known for his movie role of Hellboy and his TV role of the original Beauty and the Beast (with Linda Hamilton).

02WilliamShatner

William Shatner – James Tiberius Kirk, captain of the USS Enterprise, and demigod to all nerds. He read to us from an autobiography of Capt. Kirk. He’s a very funny guy. “Rock climbing and horseback riding” became a euphemism for sex. And he mercilessly teased the book author about the latter’s quoting of Wellington, “Nothing except a battle lost can be half as melancholy as a battle won.”

03NaomiNovik

Naomi Novik – New York Times bestselling author of HIS MAJESTY’S DRAGON – fantasy set in the time of Napoleon. The French and British have air forces comprised of human crews riding dragons!

04JulieKagawa

Julie Kagawa – New York Times bestselling author of the IRON FEY and BLOOD OF EDEN fantasy series.

05KevinAndrewMurphy

Kevin Andrew Murphy – He has written gamebooks for Steve Jackson Games and White Wolf. He is one of the contributors to the WILD CARDS book series edited by George R. R. Martin.

06JrWonderWoman

Junior Wonder Woman – I have no idea who this cutie is, but she makes a darling Wonder Woman.

07SusanDennard

Susan Dennard – She is the fantasy author of the SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY series as well as the forthcoming WITCHLAND series.

08RaymondFeist

Raymond Feist – New York Times, bestselling fantasy author of MAGICIAN, SILVERHORN, A DARKNESS AT SETHANON, and the RIFTWAR series.

09RichardKadrey

Richard Kadrey – New York Times bestselling author of the SANDMAN SLIM urban fantasy series.

10BrandonMull

Brandon Mull – New York Times bestselling fantasy author of the FABLEHAVEN and BEYONDERS series.

11CharlieJaneAnders

Charlie Jane Anders – She has contributed to a number of anthologies and magazines, as well as the i09 website.

12SeananMcGuirre

Seanan McGuire – John Campbell Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of the OCTOBER DAYE urban fantasy series.

13Khaleesi

Daenerys Targaryen – The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and of the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons. Now THAT’S a good way to end my first day at Comic-Con.

14BernieSanders

Bernie Sanders – A parody shotgun-toting Bernie Sanders billboard. “Feel the Bern!”

15MadMaxMusician

Mad Max Musician – sorry for the blurriness, but this speaker-toting musician was great.

16EndOfLine

End of the Line – Is seems like this would be a somewhat depressing job…

17AlexandraBracken

 

Alexandra Bracken – New York Times bestselling author of Brightly Woven

18JasonHough

Jason Hough – New York Times bestselling author of The Darwin Elevator series and all-around nice guy.

19KidCosplay

Young Cosplayers – This poor mom has her hands full with a rambunctious and an exhausted little cosplayer

20WonderWoman

Wonder Woman – Forget the magical lasso, this life size Wonder Woman statue shows off the new, badass version of the classic heroine, complete with sword and shield.

21MadMax

Mad Max Cosplayers – “Shiny!” These Mad Max cosplayers are awesome. “Live. Die. Live again!”

22EricShanower

Eric Shanower – the talented graphic novelist, adding some original artwork for a fan

23SFFfamilyfeud

Science Fiction Fantasy Family Feud Panel – An incredibly star-studded and hilarious trivia game panel, with authors Brandon Sanderson (The Stormlight Archive series), Patrick Rothfuss (the Kingkiller Chronicles series), Ernie Cline (Armada), Naomi Novik (Uprooted), Chuck Wendig (Zer0es), Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha Trilogy), and Austin Grossman (Crooked).

24ChuckWendig

Chuck Wendig – the hilarious, prolific, and blasphemous author of Zer0es and host of terribleminds.com

25CeceBell

Cece Bell – the sweet author/illustrator of El Deafo

26UglyDoll

Ugly Doll – the only thing funnier than Star Trek themed Ugly Dolls is a dead redshirt Star Trek themed Ugly Doll

27ThorLoki

Thor, Loki, and Lady Thor – one of the most stunningly accurate cosplays I’ve ever seen. They even look like the actors.

28WetaArmor

Weta Workshops – replica suits of fantasy armor from the mad geniuses who made props for The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies.

29DanSantat

Dan Santat – the Caldecott-winning and over-caffeinated author/illustrator of Beekle.

30MyPanel

Fantasy Literature panel – The best part of my Comic-Con adventure was moderating a panel with the NY Times bestselling fantasy authors (l to r): Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn), Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys), Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures), Jonathan Maberry (Rot and Ruin), and Zac Brewer (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod).

31MargaeryTyrell

Margaery Tyrell – And, we end my second day of Comic-Con with a picture of a Maergery Tyrell (Game of Thrones) cosplayer.

32MassEffect

Mass Effect – some nice ensemble cosplay

33Incredibles

The Incredibles – some great family cosplay from one of my favorite animated movies. “No capes!” I asked the boy if those were his real muscles, and he said they were not. Gotta’ admire his self-awareness.

34CuriousGeorge

Curious George – and the Man with the Yellow Hat. Right before I took this picture, “George” gently pushed over a nearby baby.

35Goodbye

Goodbye Comic-Con 2015 – see you again next year!