September 2016
Coming Soon: Submissions for our Winter Reading List!

On September 6th, all PAL members will receive an "evite"  (with a submission form) to submit one PAL book for inclusion on our Winter Reading List.  The submission form is due no later than September 30th. Be on the lookout for our invitation!

2016 SCBWI Book Launch Award Winners

The SCBWI Book Launch Award was established by the SCBWI in 2012, and provides authors or illustrators with $2,000 in funds to supplement the promotion and marketing of newly published works for children.
Congratulations to winner Nancy Bo Flood and to Honor winner Kathleen Burkinshaw.

Soldier Sisters, Fly Home (Charlesbridge) by Nancy Bo Flood is the story of two sisters living on the Navajo Nation in Arizona, and the tensions that arise when one of them enlists in the US Army. Flood proposes to use her grant to visit Navajo schools, both to promote writing and literacy and to show students a positive portrayal of their own culture in contemporary literature.
The Last Cherry Blossom (Sky Pony Press) by Kathleen Burkinshaw is a twelve-year-old's account of the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. Burkinshaw's promotional plan involves arranging readings at Japanese-American societies, participating in regional book festivals and creating a teacher's guide.
Book Blast is Coming 
The SCBWI Book Launch Party
program had been re-tooled and will debut as
Book Blast this fall! 
Book Blast will run from Monday, October 10 and wrap up on Friday, November 18.
SCBWI members and the general book buying public will be able to browse the pages and purchase books by our members.
Starting Today, members can begin creating their pages from our seven updated templates. Pages must be completed by Tuesday, October 4 to be included in the promotion. Any member with a book published in 2016 is eligible to create a page. You can be part of Book Blast, and purchase and create your own page for the same price as last year of $25. We look forward to seeing your Book Blast page! Let's all support the Book Blast program. 
Browse.  Buy.  Enjoy!
Kwame Alexander on Children's Books and the Color of Characters

The August 28th issue of Sunday New York Times book review featured an editorial by SCBWI member and Newbery Award winner Kwame Alexander. The article is an essential commentary on children's books and the color of characters. A must-read for the community-wide conversation on diversity.

SCBWI Exclusive with...
Michelle Nagler, Associate Publishing Director, Random House Children's Books 
Michelle oversees chapter books through young adult, and primarily acquires commercial chapter books and middle grade - books that children will eagerly self-select, and that have staying power on school, library, and bookstore shelves. Her imprint is home to series including Magic Tree House, Junie B. Jones, and Nevergirls; the middle grade fiction of Chris Grabenstein, Bruce Coville, and Jennifer L. Holm; graphic novels like Babymouse and Hilo, and young adult novels by Tamora Pierce and Rachel Hartman. She also works on projects that overlap with the licensing division, like the #1 New York Times bestseller The Amazing Book is Not on Fire.
Prior to joining Random House, Michelle was the Editorial Director at Bloomsbury, where she worked on the NAACP Award-winning picture book Our Children Can Soar, and with authors including Sarah J. Maas and Jessica Day George. Michelle began her career at Simon Pulse and Scholastic.
What is the acquisitions process for your group?
We do not have a committee or a formal acquisitions board in my group for most projects---we are more editorially driven.  Typically an editor reads a submission, loves it, and brings it to our weekly editorial meeting to discuss.  If we see potential in it, another editor does a second read, sometimes I do it.  If the second reader agrees we should publish, I read it and the editor and I set a strategy for how we will position the book in the market. Then we run numbers and, hopefully, make an offer.
Illustrator Info
Regional Spotlight
By Sarah Baker

I had the extreme pleasure of attending the SCBWI San Francisco South's 10th Annual Illustrator Day this past weekend. It was a fun, informative and inspiring event---I can't wait to go back!

The event was held in an old firehouse at the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, where about 100 people gathered to hear talks by Marla Frazee, author/illustrator extraordinaire, Allyn Johnston, VP & Publisher of Beach Lane Books, and Ann Bobco, executive art director of three of Simon & Schuster's children's imprints. The trio were engaging, generous, and had so much knowledge about the book making process to impart. We learned all about how Marla and Allyn developed three of Marla's most famous picture books, about Ann Bobco's cover design process, and the making of The Bossier Baby, Marla Frazee's sequel to The Boss Baby. The day was organized by Illustrator Coordinator Lea Lyon, as well as Regional Advisor Naomi Canale and Assistant Regional Advisors Tim McCanna and Kristi Wright.

On the Shelves
DDG Booksellers
The Night Circus display window at DDG
DDG Booksellers in Farmington, Maine, has remained a staple in the community since 1991. Proprietor Kenny Brechner tells us why.

What sets DDG apart from other bookstores?
We have a real emphasis on creative outreach here both through in store handselling and display, marketing, and community partnerships. Thematically we strive to convey an atmosphere of informed fun marked by love of reading, love of community and love of our customers, accompanied by strong book knowledge. Also, I think we have sensationally good children's sidelines.
We want your photos and good news! Tag us on Twitter/Instagram/ Facebook with pictures relating to kids or kids books. Funny, touching, interesting, revealing, you get the idea. Use #scbwitribeshare and we'll choose new snaps each month to share.  

Crystal Kite Award winner Don Tate receives his award from SCBWI Austin
We Need Diverse Books interns Maya Marlette and Rafiatou Ouro Aguy sporting SCBWI swag
Director of Illustration Sarah Baker (left), Illustrator Coordinator, US Priscilla Burris, and SF South Illustrator Day attendee Isabella Kung
SCBWI Wisconsin critique group sharing with their peers

SCBWI SF South 10th Annual Illustrators Day

Draw This!
Draw This! is our monthly prompt word for illustrators. 

Click HERE  for the gallery depicting all the month's entries. The August word was ROYAL. 
Congratulations to our winners!

Gabrielle Esposito
Amy Marie Stadelmann 

September's prompt is . . . SWIFT 
September entries are due September 20 to [email protected] 
Submissions for September will be up in our October gallery. 

Write This! August Winners
Write This! is on a bi-monthly schedule. The next prompt will be in the October Insight.
The August Prompt was, "As summer draws to a close, this month's writing prompt takes us to the beach. In 150 words or less set the scene for a surprise that happens at the beach or in the ocean."

Winner: Randi Hacker

 It was twilight. The tide was out. So were the stars. And the starfish.  Left behind by the receding sea. "There must be a million of them," said Meggy. No one argued with her. (She was the oldest and could count to 1000 by twos.) While their parents chatted quietly on a blanket, cigarette tips glowing in the gathering dusk, Howie and Meggy and Pammy ran along the empty beach in their damp swimsuits plucking starfish from the wet sand and throwing them back into the still waters of the sound. Gail skipped. (She was the youngest and had just learned how.) She was right near the seaweed-covered breakwater, when she spotted an especially shiny starfish. She picked it up. "Don't worry," she whispered. "I'll put you back in the water." The starfish jumped up.  "For goodness sakes!" it said. "Not the water! I fell from the sky!"

Honor: Lisa Riddiough

"What? What's wrong," I said. I couldn't see out, only up, since I was completely covered with sand, except for my head, of course. The sky was clear but for the cluster of seagulls suspended like helium balloons overhead.
"Holy..." Anthony sputtered.
"What? What is it?" I tried to bend my neck but couldn't see whatever Anthony saw. The gulls squawked frantically as I worked to loosen my arms and legs. 

Anthony stood slowly and began backing away from me, eyes fixed at the ocean.  He stumbled and fell on his butt and scooted recklessly, kicking sand into my eyes and mouth.
"Get me out of here!" I coughed. But Anthony was gone from my line of sight.
I wiggled my fingers and yanked my arms out and pulled my neck up as the spacecraft emerged fully from the waves and hovered over me.