Read Locally — December 2022

Read Locally blog posts began one year ago! It’s been great to find another way to share news about books by members of our chapter. Our chapter has so many talented people writing and illustrating books for kids. In this post, the SCBWI-WI blog is sharing books published in October or November 2022 by independent and traditional publishers. Take a look at these books — and check previous blogs for information about all the other members’ books published in 2022.

Thanks to all who took the time to read and respond to October’s post. Please check out the book on this list and support your fellow members however you can. And keep up all the great creative work. We look forward to sharing news about YOUR work on a future blog.

YOUNG ADULT BOOKS

Title: Gwen Jorgensen: USA’s First Olympic Gold Medal Triathlete

Author: Gwen Jorgensen, Elizabeth Jorgensen, Nancy Jorgensen

Publication date:  October 3, 2022

Type: young adult nonfiction (sports biography)

Description: Readers take a front-row seat at the Rio 2016 Olympics and watch Gwen as she battles the ocean, careens down dangerous hills on her bike, and runs to victory. Interspersed throughout is her tale of transformation from child swimmer to university runner and eventually Olympic triathlete, a story of disappointment, failure, change, growth, and accomplishment. 

Link to Purchase: link to book

Title: Early Summer

Author: Carol L. Paur 

Publication date:  November 1, 2022

Type: young adult fiction (mystery)

Description: A young woman believes the recent string of missing girls is the work of the new mayor, whom she believes is a serial killer. She tries to solve the mystery but puts herself and her sister in mortal danger. 

Link to Purchase: https://www.orangeblossombooks.com/store/p41/earlysummer.html

Congratulations to these members. The next edition of READ LOCALLY will appear in early February 2023. We will feature books published in December 2022 or January 2023. Happy holidays, everyone. I wish you a creative and happy new year.

SCBWI-WI Fall Luncheon Recap

On October 16, a beautiful fall day in Door County, Wisconsin, many of our SCBWI-WI members gathered for the first IN PERSON event in years.

Sara Schonfeld was the featured guest speaker. Sara joined HarperCollins in 2019 after starting her publishing career at Penguin Random House. She works on picture books up through teen, including projects with Alice Walker, Ally Malinenko, Cristina Fernandez, Emi Pinto, Rachel Moore, and Tina Athaide. Her passion is for stories with heart and action, and genre-mashup works that help kids feel seen, hopeful, and loved.

Editor Sara Schonfeld and our RA Deb Buschman

Sara’s topic was “Self-Edit Like an Editor: How to Take a First Draft to a Final Draft.” Sara is an author herself. She knows how hard it can be to create a story that entertains and resonates with readers. She had great insights about how to do that.

She had so much excellent advice about how to analyze your work. One of the things she said that really struck a chord with me was the importance of being patient about the process. You can’t just instantly switch hats from writer to editor. Take some time, read some comp titles, get inspired by other kinds of story telling. If you do, it will be much easier to be objective. Your rewriting will be better if, as she put it, you can see the forest AND the trees.

Having patience and being inspired is much easier when you are part of a great community.

Being in a room full of creators was wonderful. It was great to catch up with old friends and connect with new ones.

Thank you, Sara for an excellent presentation, and to Deb and all the volunteers who made the day possible. I can’t wait for the next one!

Read Locally — October 2022

In this post, our SCBWI-WI blog is sharing books by our members published in August or September 2022 by independent and traditional publishers. We want to make sure that our members know about everyone’s new books. Our chapter has so many talented members writing and illustrating books for kids.

Thanks to all who took the time to read and respond to August’s post. Please check out the book on this list and support your fellow members however you can. And keep up all the great creative work. We look forward to sharing news about YOUR work on a future blog.

YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

Title: WHEN TO HOLD ON

Author: Kate McKinney (member)

Publication date:  August 5, 2022

Description: In the Driftless Area of Wisconsin, a quiet teen girl struggles to accept her mother’s death while also trying to date the new girl in town, but she’s about to lose both love and the only place she calls home. To save them, she must learn when to listen and when to speak up, when to let go and when to hold on.

Link to Purchase: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781736539019

The next edition of READ LOCALLY will appear in early December. We will feature books published in October or November.

Interview with Editor Sara Schonfeld

SCBWI has been providing us with many virtual events. In October, we’ll finally have the chance to meet IN PERSON to learn from an industry professional and chat with your fellow SCBWI-WI members!

The SCBWI-WI Fall Luncheon will be held at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay on Sunday, October 16, 2022, from 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. Our special guest will be Sara Schonfeld, editor at Harper Collins Katherine Tegen Books. Sara’s topic will be “Self-Edit Like an Editor: How to Take a First Draft to a Final Draft.” 

Since this is an in-person event, the number of participants who can register is limited. Reserve your spot now. The registration form can be found by clicking on this link. The fee to attend this event is $55 for SCBWI members and $75 for non-members.

Today Sara Schonfeld will share some thoughts on the SCBWI-WI blog.

Sara Schonfeld joined HarperCollins in 2019 after starting her publishing career at Penguin Random House. She works on picture books up through teen, including projects with Alice Walker, Ally Malinenko, Cristina Fernandez, Emi Pinto, Rachel Moore, and Tina Athaide. Her passion is for stories with heart and action, and genre-mashup works that help kids feel seen, hopeful, and loved. An author herself, Sara believes in asking questions, unearthing an author’s vision, and finding stories that entertain as much as they resonate with readers.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN AN AUTHOR’S SUBMISSION?

“Reading a submission is like getting to know a person. And I’m looking for that spark! You know when you hear someone speak and just know you want to be friends with them? Are fascinated by a story they tell or laughing at their jokes? Pulled in by their energy? Maybe even fall in love at first sight? That’s what I’m looking for—the human connection that draws me in. It can be curiosity, it can be fear, it can be hope. I want a manuscript to make me feel something. For me, that often means lushness of world, specificity of voice, not only compelling characters but also dynamic relationships, and, above all, grounded stakes. In this first eighth of your story, I want to be submerged in all of this, particularly who your character is and what they want—and then when your inciting incident hits like a hurricane, I want to be swept along with the story current!”

“I want the writing to step out of the way from the story. I enjoy literary writing, but when you can say ‘wow, this is a beautiful sentence!’ and also find the story itself incredibly accessible, for me that is cinematic voice — where you can envision the scene, get to know the characters, and the word choice doesn’t get in the way. To a degree it’s a comment on how naturally the writing flows and I think some of that is practice. Some of that is talent. But there’s a lot of grit to writing. I think anything can be learned and I highly recommend reading and consuming any kind of media where you can learn storytelling. There’s some great lessons to be learned from watching a Marvel movie (I’m a big fan!) and reading scripts or screenplays. Looking for story beats and how twists are introduced, and finding out what you love, will help you find your voice.”

Thank you so much for sharing your insights, Sara. We look forward to learning more from you in October.

READ LOCALLY — August 2022

Summer is speeding by! We hope you’re ready to pick some new books to enjoy before school begins again. This is the fifth edition of this feature on our SCBWI-WI blog. Our chapter has so many talented members writing and illustrating books for kids. We want to make sure that our members know about everyone’s new books. The books listed below were published in June or July 2022 by independent and traditional publishers. The books are organized in categories, alphabetically by the member’s last name.

Thanks to all who took the time to read and respond to June’s post. Please check out the books on this list and support your fellow members however you can. And keep up all the great creative work. We look forward to reading about YOUR work on a future blog.

PICTURE BOOK

Title: HOW CAN WE BE KIND

Author: Janet Halfmann (member)

Illustrator: Darla Okada

Publication date:  July 5, 2022

Description: How can children learn to be kind? By watching animals, such as capybaras who let other animals sit on top of them, elephants who wait for those that aren’t as fast, zebras who stick up for their friends, and more.

Link to purchase: https://bookshop.org/books/how-can-we-be-kind-wisdom-from-the-animal-kingdom/9780711268791

MIDDLE GRADE NOVELS

Title: THE STAR THAT ALWAYS STAYS

Author: Anna Rose Johnson (member)

Publication date:  July 12, 2022

Description: When fourteen-year-old Norvia moves from the country to the city in 1914, she has to contend with a new school, a first crush, and a blended family, but she also must keep secret her parents’ divorce and her Ojibwe heritage. 

Link to purchase: https://holidayhouse.com/book/the-star-that-always-stays/

Title: LIZZY LIN SETS THE WORLD STRAIGHT

Author: K. Nieber (member)

Publication date:  June 2022

Description: For twelve-year-old Lizzy, being adopted and Chinese is cool. But when her “heart” mom signs her up for a Chinese dance class, and the ‘real’ Chinese girls call her a banana, that changes everything.

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Lizzy-Lin-Sets-World-Straight/dp/1639841881/ref=sr_1_1?crid=WR8ZLZ2A5E85&keywords=Lizzy+Lin+Sets+the+World+Straight&qid=1659727228&sprefix=lizzy+lin+sets+the+world+straight%2Caps%2C78&sr=8-1

Congratulations to all these SCBWI-WI members!

The next edition of READ LOCALLY will appear in October of 2022. It will showcase books published in August and September. We look forward to featuring your books in the future.

SCBWI-WI SUMMER SKETCH EVENT

On July 23, Illustrator Coordinator Rebecca Hirsch hosted a Summer Sketch event at Evergreen Lodge, Lapham Peak State Park from 10:00 am to 12:00pm.

Illustrators were asked to bring sketching materials (pencil and paper or digital device) so they could sketch on the spot.

As a prompt, illustrators randomly drew from three bags to choose one character, one setting, and one emotion. The illustrators were challenged to come up with an illustration that encompassed all three. By the time they were done, they all had new portfolio pieces to share. 

Rebecca plans to make this an annual event at different locations around Wisconsin to make it accessible to members who live in all parts of the state. 

Thanks, Rebecca, for organizing this event. And thanks to the participants for letting us admire your work!

Interview with Editor Esther Cajahuaringa

Registration is now open for Fabulous First Pages. This event will take place virtually on Saturday, September 10, 2022 at 9 a.m. CDT. Kayla Cichello, agent at Upstart Crow, Quressa Robinson, agent at Folio Literary, and Esther Cajahuaringa, editor at Union Square Kids, will comment on the first 300 words of 10 manuscripts. These manuscripts will be randomly chosen from those who have already registered for this event. But even if your work isn’t being critiqued, this is an excellent opportunity to hear what publishing professionals are looking for! All registered participants will have the opportunity to submit to the agents and the editor, whether or not your submission was read during the event itself. Register by clicking on this link. Registration closes on August 31, 2022.

Our guest today on the blog is Esther Cajahuaringa.

Esther Cajahuaringa is a senior editor at Union Square Kids and is actively seeking picture books and graphic novels. She loves heartfelt stories, filled with humor, that beg to be read aloud. She is looking for more sibling stories, wordless stories, and inter-generational stories. Amongst all of those categories, she is passionate about cultivating diverse authors and illustrators. Esther has her master’s degree in Curriculum & Teaching with an emphasis in literacy from Teachers College, Columbia University. Originally from Southern California, she’s made the East Coast home for the last eight years.

Esther discussed the importance of books in an interview for the African Library Project. “For me, not having access to books means not having access to knowledge, to dreaming big bold dreams, to imagining a world outside of the one you currently live in, and to asking questions you didn’t even know you could ask. People pick up stories for a multitude of reasons— whether it’s to be entertained, to be inspired, to be moved, or to be awakened— and if there are groups of people not having access to the same books that others have access to, it further creates inequality.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO SEE IN AN AUTHOR’S FIRST PAGES? 

I want to know what the story is about—am I being introduced to a character, a world, a place in time. I want to situate myself inside your story so for that I need context, and it’s up to you how you want to unpack that, but that should be clear in the first few pages. I also look for language. Especially in a picture book, I look for kid-accessible language to know that the author has taken the time to observe, research, and understand the nuances of their audience. And lastly for a picture book first page: I look to see how the text will work in rhythm with the illustrations. For me, that doesn’t mean you need to have art notes on every page, or even art notes at all. I look at the words you’ve chosen for your text to help paint a picture in my head of the visual journey you are asking us to take in your story. If I can’t see a picture in my head from your text, then there’s a disconnect for me and eventually your reader.

Thank you so much, Esther, for these great insights. We’re really looking forward to learning more from you in September.

Interview with Agent Kayla Cichello

Fabulous First Pages will take place virtually on Saturday, September 10, 2022 at 9 a.m. CDT. Kayla Cichello, agent at Upstart Crow, Quressa Robinson, agent at Folio Literary, and Esther Cajahuaringa, editor at Union Square Kids, will comment on the first 300 words of 10 manuscripts. These manuscripts will be randomly chosen from those who register for this event. Even if your work isn’t being critiqued, this is an excellent opportunity to hear what publishing professionals are looking for! Registration for this exciting SCBWI-WI event opens on July 1. More information will be sent out soon.

Our guest today on the blog is Kayla Cichello, an agent at Upstart Crow.

Kayla Cichello brings to Upstart Crow Literary nearly a decade of experience in children’s publishing. A former Conference Coordinator for the SCBWI Summer and Winter Conferences, she most recently logged several years as assistant to Senior Agent Jennifer Rofé at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. She is open to picture books through YA and illustrators, and is searching for those voices that make her laugh and keep the page turning. Some of her clients include author Ana Otaru, author of the upcoming MASQUERADE FOR GRANDPA (Atheneum/S&S, 2023) and author/illustrator Kirbi Fagan, illustrator of SUMMER OF THE TREE ARMY (Sleeping Bear, 2021).

As Kayla says, “I’ve always been a voracious reader. From the time I could read, I would spend summers staying up late with a flashlight reading, making my way through each Nancy Drew mystery and the Little House on The Prairie series. I would often imagine myself as a new character in the stories; a kind friend to Laura or Nancy’s sassy sidekick (move over, George). For me, reading has never felt like an escape from reality, but rather an invitation to run alongside the author’s imagination, and strengthen my own.” 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO SEE IN AN AUTHOR’S FIRST PAGES? 

“The number one thing I look for in an author’s first pages is voice. I ask myself these questions: Do I connect to the voice of a character and the writing? Do I want to go on the journey with these characters? Is this something I want to read over and over again? Other elements can be adjusted, that’s the fun part of being an editorial agent. I love to collaborate with creators. If I’m not drawn to the voice, it’s not the right submission for me, and that’s okay. This industry is subjective and there may be another agent who does connect to that voice and style.”

Thank you so much, Kayla, for these great insights. We’re really looking forward to learning more from you in September.

READ LOCALLY — June 2022

Happy almost summer! We hope you’re ready to pick some new books to enjoy. This is the fourth edition of this feature on our SCBWI-WI blog. Our chapter has so many talented members writing and illustrating books for kids. We want to make sure that our members know about everyone’s new books. The books listed below were published in April or May 2022 by independent and traditional publishers. The books are organized in categories, alphabetically by the member’s last name.

Thanks to all who took the time to read and respond to April’s post. Please check out the books on this list and support your fellow members however you can. And keep up all the great creative work. We look forward to reading about your work on a future blog.

PICTURE BOOK

Title: THE BASEMENT BOOK

Author: Rachel Berkowitz (member)

Illustrator: Yinza Voris

Publication date:  April 28, 2022

Description: THE BASEMENT BOOK is a generational story of imaginative play. Follow along with a monkey parade and bake cookies during playtime, and see how time passes in this special place.

Link to purchase: http://www.goldenfleecepress.com/store/p69/The_Basement_Book–Print.html

Title: SCRAP METAL SWAN

Author: Joanne Linden (member)

Illustrator: Estrellita Caracol

Publication date:  May 24, 2022

Description:  SCRAP METAL SWAN is about a community river cleanup. They use the trash to make artistic treasures.

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Scrap-Metal-Swan-River-Clean-up/dp/1646864980/ref=sr_1_1?crid=Y5F67UMKVV6Y&keywords=scrap+metal+swan+a+river+clean-up+story&qid=1654100679&sprefix=scrap+metal+swan%2Caps%2C323&sr=8-1

Title: NOT SO SMALL

Author: Pat Zietlow Miller (member)

Illustrator: Paola Escobar

Publication date:  May 3, 2022

Description: This joyful book celebrates the many ways people can join together to become something bigger—an unstoppable force. Each and every one of us can use our voices to make a difference.

Link to purchase:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/not-so-small-pat-zietlow-miller/1139955340?ean=9780062847447

Title: PENELOPE’S LUCKY LAVENDER PANTS

Author: Gayle Rosengren (member)

Illustrator: Dakota Verrill

Publication date:  April 1, 2022

Description: Once Penelope decides her pants are lucky, she won’t wear anything else, and Mom has to keep patching up the rips and holes. Then something happens to Penelope’s lucky pants that even Mom can’t fix–what will Penelope do now?

Link to purchase: http://www.gaylerosengren.com  

Title: BRODY THE LION: MEETS THE DOC––TEACHING CHILDREN ABOUT AUTISM, EMOTIONS, ACCEPTANCE, AND SELF-REGULATION 

Author: Dr. Kristin Wegner (member)

Illustrator: Fay Stayer

Publication date:  April 22, 2022

Description: BRODY THE LION MEETS THE DOC is the 4th book in the Brody the Lion Children’s Book Series that provides practical tools and strategies for helping littles facing big emotions. Using the positive strategies from the first 3 books, Brody practices with his friends and family to prepare for his upcoming doctor’s appointment––but at the doctor’s Brody faces unanticipated challenges that will have little readers laughing and cheering for Brody.

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09Y4TF4CL?ref_=dbs_m_mng_rwt_calw_tpbk_3&storeType=ebooks&qid=1652012538&sr=8-84

MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS

Title: DARK HORSE AT OAK LANE STABLE (Book 3)

Author: Kerri Lukasavitz (member)

Publication date:  May 1, 2022

Description: Did Cassie make a mistake buying Night Hawk, her new show jumper? How can she compete if she’s afraid to ride the dark, unpredictable, powerful horse?

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Horse-Oak-Lane-Stable/dp/1595988874/ref=sr_1_1?crid=39GQ9G9L13E3Y&keywords=dark+horse+at+oak+lane+stable&qid=1651677963&sprefix=dark+horse+at+%2Caps%2C566&sr=8-1

Congratulations to all these SCBWI-WI members!

The next edition of READ LOCALLY will appear in August of 2022. It will showcase books published in June and July. We look forward to featuring your books in the future.

READ LOCALLY — April 2022

Happy Spring! This is the third edition of this feature on our SCBWI-WI blog. Our chapter has so many talented members writing and illustrating books for kids. We want to make sure that our members know about everyone’s new books. The books listed below were published in February or March 2022 by independent and traditional publishers. The books are organized in categories, alphabetically by the member’s last name.

Thanks to all who took the time to read and respond to February’s post. Please check out the books on this list and support your fellow members however you can. And keep up all the great creative work!

PICTURE BOOKS

Title: TURTLE ON THE TRACK

Author: Karen Condit (member)

Illustrator: Mollie Ginther

Publication date:  February 2, 2022

Description: The restless, impatient passengers on the Scurryville Express are forced to slow down when a turtle crosses the tracks. Oscar uses his creativity and patience to help the travelers slow down and enjoy the ride!

Link to purchase:  www.karencondit.com

Title: SAVE IT, SHARE IT, AND SPEND IT: Money Management for Kids

Author: Denise Marie Hardnett (member)

Illustrator: Abida Eman

Publication date: March 21, 2022

Description: Save It, Share It, and Spend It: Money Management for Kids is an important tool for teaching children about the world of finance! They will learn about earning, budgeting, and spending money in this exciting new story.

Link to purchase: https://store.bookbaby.com/bookshop/book/index.aspx?bookURL=Save-it-Share-it-and-Spend-it

Title: TYLER THE SUPERHERO: Empowering kids to stand up for yourself and others

Author: Denise Marie Hardnett (member)

Illustrator: Abida Eman

Publication date: March 21, 2022

Description: Tyler the Superhero is a story about family, friends, and how to deal with mean kids in the neighborhood or classmates. It’s a story about standing up for yourself and being brave.

Link to purchase: https://store.bookbaby.com/bookshop/book/index.aspx?bookURL=Tyler-the-Superhero 

Title:  IN OUR GARDEN     

Author:  Pat Zietlow Miller (member)

Illustrator:  Melissa Crowton

Publication date:  March 15, 2022

Description: This is the story of a garden – and a girl – in bloom, and what it takes for a new place to finally feel like home.

Link to purchasehttps://www.amazon.com/Our-Garden-Pat-Zietlow-Miller/dp/1984812106/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1T55JY5S525L6&keywords=in+our+garden+zietlow&qid=1645561753&sprefix=in+our+garden+zietlow%2Caps%2C95&sr=8-

Title:  WHEN I’M WITH YOU  

Author: Pat Zietlow Miller (member)

Illustrator:  Eliza Wheeler  

Publication date:  March 1, 2022

Description:  This jubilant celebration of lifelong friendship and the adventures of childhood – told in memorable rhyme – will make your heart sing.            

Link to purchasehttps://www.amazon.com/When-You-Pat-Zietlow-Miller/dp/0316429155/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2CFCE48ZET00U&keywords=when+i%27m+with+you+zietlow&qid=1645561827&sprefix=when+i%27m+with+you+zietlow%2Caps%2C105&sr=8-1

Title: HOWIE’S BROKEN HEE-HAW

Author: Josie Siler (member)

Illustrator: Sebastien Braun

Publication date: February 22, 2022

Description: Howie has a broken Hee-Haw and it makes him MAD! This new take on the story of Palm Sunday will delight children as they laugh through silly hee-haws, feel sad with Howie when he sees himself as a failure, and cheer him on as he faces his fears and carries Jesus into Jerusalem. 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1637970110/

Title: 101 WAYS TO HELP THE EARTH WITH DR. SEUSS’S LORAX

Author: Miranda Paul (member)

Illustrator: Patrick Spaziante

Publication date: Feb 1, 2022

Description: Simple suggestions for helping the planet that kids can do themselves—ideal for nurturing a love of nature and for celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax!

Link to purchase: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/656298/101-ways-to-help-the-earth-with-dr-seusss-lorax-by-miranda-paul/ 

MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS

TitleCROSSING THE PRESSURE LINE

Author: Laura Anne Bird (member)

Illustrator: Jayden Ellsworth

Publication date: March 1, 2022

Description: Crossing the Pressure Line introduces a plucky, deeply reflective heroine who grieves the untimely loss of her grandfather, puts her self-confidence to the test, and learns how to listen to the courageous voice inside.

Link to purchase: Buy the Book | Laura Bird Books 

Congratulations to all these members!

The next edition of READ LOCALLY will appear in June of 2022. It will showcase books published in April and May 2022.