Michigan Map
The Mitten
Welcome to the inaugural issue of The Mitten!

If you're a long-time SCBWI-MI member, you have probably noticed a lot of changes to the chapter in the last two years. There's been a flurry of improvements to our member communications, including this online newsletter, online conference brochures, website updates, and even SCBWI International website and email changes. It's all part of the goal to improve services to our members.

To acknowledge the change to the newsletter, we held a contest to provide a title, one that was more representative of our chapter than simply "SCBWI-MI Newsletter." Not that it was an inaccurate title, but it was rather boring, don't you think?

We had dozens of entries. Several of them were similar and played upon the same theme. So in the interest of fairness, the winner is the person who sent in the entry first. Congratulations to Lorri Casey, who will receive an SCBWI-MI padfolio and a one-year paid newsletter subscription extension. Thanks to everyone who sent in an entry. Monica and Leslie had a tough decision!

Now of course, we have a lonely title with no logo. So, another contest. Illustrators, send us your ideas for a logo to use with our new newsletter title. (It won't replace the cow and moon we use as the chapter logo, but will be used solely as the newsletter logo.) See contest rules in the box to the right. Good luck and start your sketchbooks!


Jennifer Whistler

P.S. For those of you who may remember my Letter from the Editor in August, I did indeed finish my YA novel and booted it out the door to an agent. Now begins the hard part--waiting, and knowing there's nothing you can do to speed up the process. Alas!

Kiddie Litter by Neal Levin

In This Issue
Character Archetypes
Fall 2009 Mentorship Update
Commercializing the Classics
Meditating on Too Much
What This Newbie Learned in L.A.
Creating a Book Trailer
SCBWI Summer Conference Photos
Hugs and Hurrahs
Networks Weekend
Newsletter Logo Contest Rules
Open to all SCBWI members. Entries must be your original work.
SCBWI-MI retains logo copyright, but you receive design credit, and other prizes, including a one-year paid newsletter subscription extentsion.
Please email all entries to the editor here no later than December 15, 2010. Entries can be in .jpg or .pdf format.
If you prefer, snail mail entries to:
Jennifer Whistler
7567 Muirfield Dr.
Portage, MI 49024
Winner announced in the February newsletter.
Quick Links

Regional Co-Advisor:
Monica Harris

Regional Co-Advisor:
Leslie Helakoski

Newsletter Editor:
Jennifer Whistler

Opportunities Column Editor:
Linda Dimmer

Newsletter Subscriptions:
Kristin Lenz

Volunteer Coordinator:
Monica Harris
To subscribe to the SCBWI-MI Newsletter, contact:

Kristin Lenz
1013 N. Pleasant
Royal Oak, MI 48067

or email her here.

SCBWI-MI newsletter subscriptions are $10 for one calendar year ($15 for non-members).
Nancy Walker puppy
Copyright by Nancy Walker
by Mindy Hardwick

Good girl loves bad boy. Captain of the baseball team loves the school's artist. What do these familiar character types have in common? They are all archetypes. What is an archetype? An archetype is a universal element of character that an audience is predisposed to recognize.  All of our memorable characters have their roots in an archetype framework.  For example, Lucy in The Peanuts is a Boss archetype while The Beast in Beauty and the Beast is a Lost Soul archetype. Understanding character archetypes is helpful because it can help inform us how a hero or heroine thinks, feels, what drives him and how he reaches his goals. And, most importantly, an archetype gives our reader a character they will recognize!

So, who are these teen archetypes?  


The Chief--is a born leader who needs to control his environment. He is responsible and disciplined. The Chief believes that is important to "do something or get out of the way." This boy is the class President and Captain of both the baseball and basketball team.  He's the first one to get into his college of choice. But, what this boy won't tell you is that his mother is never home, and he is responsible for his two younger siblings.

The Bad Boy--is the leader of the pack who never follows the rules. Girls swoon over him. He may be tough and mean, but his charisma makes up for it. Every girl loves him and every father hates him. The Bad Boy may be street smart, pessimistic, and volatile. This is the boy who has been in juvenile detention often. When he's not in juvenile detention, he lives on the streets most of the time. He's unwilling and unable to go home due to the violence that rages every night with his alcoholic father. This boy falls in love with the smartest girl in the school and has to prove that he can win her love even if he is a bit bad.

The  Best Friend--is the ultimate team player. He is calm, cool, and collected in a crisis. He fits in everywhere and is usually liked by everyone. But, the Best Friend may find it hard to assert himself.  The Best Friend would rather keep the peace than disturb and make people angry at him. The Best Friend is the boy who listens to his best bud's girlfriend while secretly he is in love with the girl!  However, the Best Friend will never admit his own feelings in order to keep the peace for everyone.

The Charmer-
-is fun and sparkling, but never one to stick around for the bad times.  He's witty, smooth, and a romantic. But he can never be pinned down for long. This boy will show up to class with a basket of fruit for the teacher. He'll charm everyone with his magic tricks during a break in lunch, but when there is work to be done, he's vanished and no where to be found.

The Lost Soul
--has a wounded spirit. He is a wanderer who cannot seem to attach. The Lost Soul may be a poet or an artist. He is easily hurt. The Lost Soul hopes for the best, but anticipates that things will probably turn out for the worst. He is the boy staring out the window while everyone else is talking about the latest school football game. The Lost Soul is the boy who wanders aimlessly around the classroom and observes but touches no one.

The Warrior-
-is always fighting evil.  He is loyal, believes in his cause, and will always put The Cause above anything else. The Warrior is relentless, merciful and wants to see justice done. This boy is always careful to follow through on his commitment and believes if you say you will do something, you will! This boy is often found in stories set in the past as a Knight in Shining armor.

The Professor--
is the smartest boy in the room. He may be the musical prodigy or the debate team champ. He's the boy who knows how to answer any technology question you might have, and can often be seen helping the teacher with her computer. This boy isn't usually found on any sports team, and dates are something he finds befuddling.

In the next issue: "Part II--Heroine Archetypes."

Mindy Hardwick is a member of the Western Washington chapter of SCBWI. This article first appeared in their newsletter, The Chinook, and is reprinted with permission of the author.
Cyd and Ken
Mentor Cyd Moore with Mentorship Winner Kenneth Kraegel at the
Fall 2009 Conference


by Rachel Anderson


Last October, conference attendees gathered in the general session room at Yarrow waiting to hear the name of the lucky winner of the 2010 Illustrator Mentorship. The mentor, waiting in the wings, was Cyd Moore, widely acclaimed illustrator of over 40 books including I Love You, Stinky Face, Granny's Dragon, and Willow. The one-year mentorship was awarded to Kenneth Kraegel.


I recently checked in with Kenneth and Cyd to get their thoughts about the mentorship program.


RA: How has the mentorship helped you grow?


KK: Cyd has given me some great feedback and has been very willing to answer questions about the industry, illustration technique, the publishing process, and more. I am a self-taught artist, so I always have this nagging worry that my illustrations are flawed in a way that I can't see but a trained artist can spot immediately. Cyd has affirmed strengths that I didn't know I had and helped me to understand what it is that is missing in the weak areas. So, in the end, I feel more confident in my approach to illustration.


CM: This might seem like a question for the mentee, but I actually was energized by this process. Kenneth's free spirited way of working was inspiring. He has terrific ideas, puts together cute dummies and goes for it! It takes courage to go through this process, and not only did he submit his ideas to me, but he hired an agent and sent his dummies off to her. I have no doubt he'll be on the bookstore shelves one day. He made me want to get busy on some of my uncompleted projects.


RA: The mentorship is set-up for bi-monthly feedback. Has this been a good time-line for you to follow or did you create your own time-line? How has it worked out so far?  


KK: It is working well. Having a deadline to show new work to someone that I respect means that I work pretty hard to have something substantial and refined to turn in. It also means that there isn't time to worry over it. I do my best and then it is time to send it off.   


CM: I think it's a good schedule. It forces the artist to keep working, rather than losing momentum. 


RA: What has surprised you the most about the mentorship?


KK: Before we started I wondered how it would work because our styles are fairly different. I guess I wondered if we would be speaking the same language in a way. As it turned out, Cyd got what I was trying to do right away and helped me in that direction. I realized that artists may work in very different media, styles, and subjects, but they often are working toward very similar goals. 


CM: Kenneth really produced a lot this year. I expected a few illustrations from him this year, and instead, I got several complete dummies.


RA: Kenneth, would you encourage unpublished illustrators to sign up for the mentorship contest?  


KK: Yes, I certainly would. This is a great and unique opportunity. You have a year in which somebody from the 'inside' can help you see your work as it is viewed by agents, editors, and art directors. And it is clear from the start that the mentor is only providing her or his comments, no contacts or the like, so there is no pressure that "this might be my big break." You can relax and interact like a normal person.

RA: Cyd, would you encourage established illustrators to consider becoming a mentor?


CM: I would! It's a terrific experience and you get to know your fellow artists in the area. 


 RA: Is there anything else you'd like to share about your mentorship experience with our Michigan members?  


KK: It has been a great experience. Cyd has been a lot of fun to learn from. Thanks to SCBWI-MI for organizing this.


CM: I hope that Kenneth received useful advice that will help him in the future. Our industry is difficult these days, but I still believe that fresh ideas and a unique style will always sell... eventually!  I wish Kenneth great success in his career.


Many thanks to Cyd and Kenneth for sharing their thoughts with us. Please visit our website www.kidsbooklink.org for more information on the mentorship program.


Rachel Anderson thinks illustrators are AWESOME! She can't draw a straight line without a ruler.


by Lisa Wheeler

We keep hearing the same messages. Publishers want "literary books with commercial value" and "commercial books with literary quality."


I think I might have the perfect solution. What if publishers took classic books and reinvented them into commercialized versions of themselves? It is not out of the question. Look what George Lucas and Steven Spielberg did with the digitally enhanced Star Wars.


Blueberries for SalWhen prompted with this idea. My friend, Kelly DiPucchio, immediately came up with one of her own. "How about a scratch-n-sniff Blueberries for Sal?"


That is brilliant. . .and commercial!  Just add some glitter to the cover and it can become a mass-marketed success story.


I think everyone should help out the publishers and come up with a Commercialized Classic. All you need is a hook, or a celebrity, or a good cause, or a gimmick, or a bag of glitter.


Since I want to be the first on the bandwagon, I've already begun compiling my master-list.


The Cat InThe Hat And The Half-Blood Prince (and Princess)

With their feline familiar under an imperious curse, two siblings, home for the summer from wizarding school, try to find the cure to combat the evil spell without their mother finding out.

Charlotte's Web of Deceit: A Spy-Girl Novel

When Wilber Porcine, son of a controversial European ambassador, disguises himself as a pig and seeks asylum at a hog farm, he has no idea he has fallen under the protection of Spy-Girl Fern and her high-tech mechanical spider, Charlotte.

Make Way For Ducklings Driving The Bus

*Comes with Matchbox™ bus or miniature Webkins™ duckling


Millions of Cats: A PETA Cautionary Tale

*Now with alternate ending! (No animals were harmed in the making of this book.)

Twilight in The Secret Garden

It's the Secret Garden--with vampires!


The Snowy Day: A Lesson on Global Warming by Al Gore


A Little Princess Gift Set

*Comes with sparkling crown, wand, and matching Chihuahua in a purse. That's hot!


Now that you have the idea, run with it! We'll all be on the NYT Best-seller list in no time.

Lisa Wheeler attempts to write commercial books with literary value from her home in Addison. Her newest attempts are Dino-Baseball (CarolRhoda) and Ugly Pie (Harcourt).

by Elizabeth McBride

Atlas had it good, the world
was round then
and not overhung with all
the things we haven't put away
the things we haven't done
the things we have not learned, or cannot do.
He merely bowed down, weighted
by his burden, which did not yet
approximate a universe
in conversation with itself
through cyberspace or overrun
by sticky notes in calendars.
He did not have
Statue of Atlas, Radio City, NYC Courtesy of Van Vechten/Library of Congress via pingnews
a list; 
I see no pen in either hand
to take and keep the score of all
that he had promised, and
that which was never done.
Although, I note his pensive
burdened stare, his
contemplation of the load
he shoulders, and
I see that even

does not soon
the strain.

Elizabeth writes poetry for adults and children, picture books, essays, and is co-writing a novel with fellow SCBWI member, Jessica Schaub.  During the day, she runs an elementary school library in Grand Ledge.

REd Ball 2
Leslie Helakoski, Sarah Perry, Jody Lamb, and Monica Harris showing everyone in L.A. where they're from


by Jody Lamb

I wrote the last few words of the first draft of my first middle-grade novel manuscript and clicked Save. Finishing a marathon couldn't have felt as good. I packed a few copies in my suitcase, cashed in my SkyMiles and flew out to a swanky Los Angeles hotel for the SCBWI's annual conference. At first, I was beyond intimidated by the 1,300 accomplished and aspiring writers and illustrators. Then I realized how energetic, upbeat and happy everyone was to be among fellow creators and book-loving folk.

With my new SCBWI-MI pal Sarah Perry, children's and YA writer and super cool librarian, the two of us were slightly star struck by the big-name authors, but played it cool (or tried to) while chatting with them. It was like being at the Oscars and hanging out backstage with the superstars. The kid lit community version, of course.

It was oh so inspiring. Kidlit people are the most determined, dedicated, hopeful and sweet-natured people I've ever met.  There are no shoulda-woulda-coulda regrets swirling around inside these grownups!

There were stories from Coleen Murtaugh Paratore who wrote 14 books in six years with a full-time job during most of it and three kids. And genius artist E.B. Lewis told us he often works from 10 pm to 6 am in his studio, fighting sleepiness by talking to an artist friend via Bluetooth all the while. And Gordon Kormen (whose seventh-grade writing assignment turned into his first published novel) said he looks for new ideas every minute of every day.

As a result of the conference experience, I am fueled up on inspiration and determination. Tackling my rewrite, Gordon Kormen's "you're probably a lot closer than you think" encouragement echoes in my mind.

Cue the Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song and slap me five.  Thanks, SCBWI.

Jody, who calls Whitmore Lake home, escapes the grownup world by writing middle grade fiction. The third draft of her first novel manuscript is 99.9% ready for agent eyes, thanks to SCBWI. She spends her days as a corporate-y marketing manager and once broke up an office shouting match over whether square bullet points are more effective than round ones in a PowerPoint presentation. Visit her website at www.jodylamb.com. 

Viney Book
On Viney's Mountain by Joan Donaldson


by Joan Donaldson

Last fall NPR aired a feature on book trailers and soon afterward, Poets and Writers printed an article about trailers, the cost involved, their length, and companies that specialized in making book trailers. I wanted to create one for my new young adult novel, On Viney's Mountain, as I assumed that teens would expect that trailers would introduce new books. I asked a middle school librarian to point out a few trailers that she felt were well produced, and I talked to a friend who teaches high school students how to make films. Because my budget allowance would be gifts of books and boxes of blueberries from my organic farm, I needed to solicit my talented associates.

My friend Deborah agreed to film and create the trailer and pointed out that most videos are about one minute long and the narration is short, perhaps only half of the allotted time. I summarized the plot in a few words, from the main character's point of view, and we considered which images would best show the viewer the situation and the story. Deborah drew out a story map and we charted the opening scene featuring the settlement's name (Rugby, TN) and the date (1880). The following short glimpses showed the main character, Viney, encountering the central problem (foreigners invading her mountain), her reaction (vowing to drive them off), and the moment she met Charlie, who confuses the situation by stealing Viney's heart.

We had hoped to cast one of Deborah's students to act as Viney, but due to timing, I ended up playing that part while our farm intern, Levi, pretended he was Charlie. In one evening, despite eruptions of laughter from everyone involved, Deborah directed the scenes we had discussed and shot all the footage. Later, she recorded one of her students reading the thirty second narration and edited the footage. She also inserted graphics and a bit of fiddle music. We posted the video on YouTube, plus Facebook and my author website, www.joandonaldson.com. While our clip may not be as professional as a film created by a company that specializes in trailers, the trailer delivers the necessary information, provides a peek at On Viney's Mountain, and helps market the book. Throughout the process, I learned more about the craft of filming and will be prepared to create a trailer for future books.


Joan Donaldson earned her MFA at Spalding University and has published four books. Her latest novel, On Viney's Mountain, won the Friends of American Writer's Award, appeared on the Bank Street List of the Best Books of 2010, and represented Tennessee at the 2010 National Book Festival.


RAs in LA
Co-RAs Monica Harris and Leslie Helakoski
Monica and Jay Asher
Monica with Jay Asher (yes, really!) at the "Heart and Soul" Red Ball

Red Ball 1
Leslie, Diane Telgen, Monica, and Jacqui Robbins at the Red Ball
Monica and Lin
Monica with SCBWI International's esteemed leader Lin Oliver  

Taylor greenman owls little
Copyright by Lori Taylor
Meg Mims placed second in the Wisconsin Romance Writers of America's Fab Five Contest and placed third in the Ozark Romance Writer's Weta Nichols Writing Contest with her YA historical manuscript Double Crossing. Congratulations on the double win for Double Crossing!
Sue Ann Culp will have her YA story "Payback" published in the January issue of Kaleidoscope Magazine. That's news worth paying attention to!
Monica Harris's picture book manuscript Magician's Physician took third place with SouthWest Writers Annual Contest for the Children's Literature category. That's magical news, Monica!
Janet Heller's poem "Clover" was published in the Japanese journal, Ginyu. This is her first poem published in Japan. Also, Janet's poem "Pink Gladioli" was published in September's Frogpond, the Journal of the Haiku Society of America. We're tickled pink for you, Janet!
Lori McElrath-Eslick illustrated a two part series for Cricket magazine: "Summer 1951" by Lynne Santy Tanner featured in the June/July & August issues. In addition, she illustrated a new picture book, The Good Fire Helmet, by Tim Hoffey due out at the end of this year. That's smokin' good news, Lori!
Patti Richard's picture book manuscript Libby Lou and the New Idea took third place in the Write Helper Fourth Annual Amazing Story Fiction Contest. Patti's two other stories, Snow Angels and Please Turn My Page, were notable entries. Noteworthy achievements, indeed!
Lisa Chottiner's short story "Rock-A-Bye Baby" was published this year in Women's Work: Short Stories anthology, edited by Michelle Sewell. Also, her story "Cooking with Endangered Animals" took fourth place in the Write Helper Fourth Annual Amazing Story Fiction Contest. Now you're cooking, Lisa!

Neal Levin's short story "No Ordinary Frog" was published in the October 2010 issue of Highlights For Children
. What a prince, Neal!


(Note: Events and opportunities are not necessarily sponsored or endorsed by SCBWI-MI. We try our best to list only high-quality notifications through reputable sources. Please confirm all information with the source whenever possible. )


November 6
Lisa Wheeler, author of Ugly Pie, will be speaking at 1 p.m. at the Grand Rapids Public Library. Her talk, entitled "Celebrating Books for Kids," is part of their Celebration of the Book weekend, and will be geared toward children and their families. For more details, www.grpl.org or call (616) 988-5400.
November 14
Meet 35 Midwest authors, including our very own Sue Thoms and Lisa Wheeler, during this book signing festival at Writers on the River at the Bedford Branch Library in Temperance, MI (Monroe County) from 12-3 p.m. For more information, please go to http://calendar.monroe.lib.mi.us or call (734) 847-6747.
Sue Thoms, author of Twelve Days of Christmas in Michigan, illustrated by Deb Pilutti (also 12 Days in MIa SCBWI-MI member), will be doing book signings on the following dates:
  • November 5-6: Beneath the Wreath craft show, Pooh's Corner booth, Cultural Center at St. Nicholas, Grand Rapids 
  • December 4: Literary Life Bookstore in Grand Rapids, MI at 11 a.m.
  • December 4: Barnes & Noble in the RiverTown Crossings Mall, Grandville, MI at 2 p.m.

November 20

The Michiana Writers' Center in South Bend, Indiana, is sponsoring a class on Writing and Publishing Children's Books with guest instructor April Pulley Sayre. Do you have book ideas and publishing dreams? Get the inside scoop from an accomplished children's book author. This behind the scenes tour of the children's book industry will include details on how to make your picture book sing, manuscripts and submission etiquette, publishing channels, and how to form an effective critique group. You can also bring a short (up to 5 pg) work-in-progress for sharing and feedback (if time allows). Saturday, November 20, 9 am ~ Noon Clay Church, 52866 Ironwood, South Bend. Cost: $75. Preregistration is required. For more info, contact Kathy Higgs-Coulthard at www.michianawriterscenter.pbworks.com.

Noble Romance Publishing started a new line of YA romance novels.  They are open to pretty much anything (including dark, controversial, unusual, etc.) in the YA genre. For more details, go to www.nobleromance.com.
Kane/Miller Book Publishers is looking for non-fiction for ages 2-12 on those subjects that are particularly American: sports such as baseball, historical events, American biographies, American folk tales, etc. They are also committed to expanding their early and middle-grade fiction list. Please visit www.kanemiller.com for more information.

Cicada is once again open to submissions. For more details on submission guidelines, visit www.cricketmag.com. The deadline is December 31. (Editor's note: Please be aware that payment from Cricket Group may be significantly delayed.)
Know: The Science Magazine For Curious Kids is for children ages 6 to 9. They are interested in short fiction or poetry (themes-related). They are not accepting queries or unsolicited non-fiction articles at this time. For 2011 themes and other information, please visit www.knowmag.ca.

Cricket Magazine Group and Cobblestone Publishing are looking for writers of every level of experience.  The "bug " line (Ladybug, Cricket, Spider, Babybug, and Cicada) accepts unsolicited manuscripts. The history and cultures group (Cobblestone, Odyssey, Faces, Calliope, Dig, and Appleseeds) selects articles by detailed query letter and is also interested in illustrator submission. The science and ideas titles (Click, Ask, and Muse) seek writers with subject expertise and request a resume and several writing samples. For details, please visit www.cricketmag.com/guidelines. Join our Facebook pages for updates by visiting www.facebook.com/cobblestone.publishing and www.facebook.com/cricketmag. (Editor's note: Please be aware that payment from Cricket Group may be significantly delayed.)

Lee & Low has a new imprint, Tu Books, which is open for unsolicited submissions. They focus on diverse fantasy and science fiction for middle graders and young adults, particularly SFF that features people of color as main characters. The are looking for all sorts of settings and stories, for ages 8-18. Their launch list will debut Fall 2011 with books from Joseph Bruchac, Greg Fishbone, with more authors to be announced. They are actively looking for the right books for spring 2012 and beyond. For more info about the new imprint, their website is www.leeandlow.com. Submission guidelines for writers and illustrators are linked there, as well as information about their mission and the kinds of books they are looking for.
Highlights 2011 Fiction Contest's theme is "an embarrassing moment."
Three prizes of $1,000 or tuition for the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua will be awarded. All entries must be postmarked between January 1 and January 31, 2011. Please see www.highlights.com for more details.
Delacorte Press Contest for a First YA Novel: The award consists of a book contract, $1,500 in cash, and a $7,500 advance against royalties. Manuscripts must be postmarked no later than December 31. For more information, go to www.randomhouse.com.
Writer's Digest Poetry Awards Competition is now accepting entries. Prizes include cash, a trip to the Writer's Digest Conference, and exposure in their August 2011 issue. Visit http://writersdigest.com to enter. The deadline is December 15.
For the first time, the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award awarded two grand prizes in the 2010 competition: one for General Fiction and one for Young Adult Fiction. Each winner received a publishing contract with Penguin, which includes a $15,000 advance.
They'll announce details of the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in the coming months. For details, visit www.amazon.com.

The Guide to Literary Agents Editor's Blog by Chuck Sambuchino provides information about new agents. Sign up for a free e-newsletter when new posts are added. Check it out at www.guidetoliteraryagents.com.
Tracy Marchini, former agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd., has opened her own consulting business, providing freelance editorial consulting services. She specializes in children's literature, and offers critiques for query letters to agents and editors, full and partial novel manuscripts, and picture books.  For more information, visit www.tracymarchini.com.

Emma Dryden, former Vice President, Publisher of Atheneum Books for Young Readers and Margaret K. McElderry Books, opened her own company focused on all aspects of the children's book publishing business. She offers critiques for all genres of children's books, workshops and presentations, and career consultations. For more details, visit www.drydenbks.com.

Tim Travaglini has parted company with Penguin Group's G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers. His last day was October 1st, and there is no word on Tim's future plans.
Do you need help with your query letters? Then you need Janet Reid, agent at FinePrint Literary Management, to help you. Visit her blog at http://queryshark.blogspot.com for a no-holds barred look at actual query letters that Janet has critiqued. She's brutal; she's snarky; and she's good! Even if you never submit your own query to her, you will learn something. Guaranteed.



Okay, not really. But it's closer than you think. With the holidays right around the corner, now is the time to sign up to be a Networks Weekend host, before you forget all about it. So what will you be getting yourself into as a host? Here are all the details:


Pace Yourself for the Big Race

Networks Weekend

February 25-27, 2011


Writing is a lot like running a marathon. You can't just wake up one morning and decide you are going to do a marathon when you've never run before. Writing for kids is the same way. No matter how good you are, you can't pen the great American novel in a day. It takes discipline, hard work, lots of practice, training, revision, revision and more revision, along with blood, sweat and tears to make it to the finish line (publication). In honor of the 2500th anniversary of the running of the first marathon, the theme for the 2011 Networks Weekend is "Pace Yourself for the Big Race." What is Networks Weekend? It's an opportunity to informally meet up with others who love children's books as much as you do! You pick the day and time during the weekend of Feb. 25-27, invite fellow writers to your home (or other location in your area) and schmooze for a couple hours. We need hosts who are willing to organize network gatherings throughout the state of Michigan. Ideally we'd like to have every part of the state represented so that no matter where you live, you won't be left out.  At the recently concluded fall conference we had writers/illustrators in Marquette, Battle Creek, Pinckney, and Mt. Clemens step forward and offer to host. Won't you join them?


 Interested? Questions?

 Contact Pat Trattles

2011 Networks Weekend Coordinator

trattles AT yahoo DOT com