The Weekly 411 (1/17/14)

© 2013 Yvonne Mes

Jan. 17, 2014

Welcome to our second edition of The Weekly 411. Again, lots of posts. You will notice the illustrations on the main site have been changed. We welcome illustration submissions to keep the page fresh. See our Contact page for more information about submitting.

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Illustrator Spotlight

The Illustrator Spotlight this week is Yvonne Mes from Australia.

Kidlit News 

Over the week, we come across news items that we will post here but not on the main site. For example, new agent alerts on Chuck Sambuchino's blog will go here, while his main site is listed under our Agents & Editors tab.

New agent alert: Nikki Terpilowski (Holloway Literary): in search of lots of genres, including YA, MG, and PB

New agent alert: Lara Perkins (Andrea Brown) : looking for "smart and raw young adult fiction, character-driven middle grade fiction with a totally original, hilarious voice, and so-adorable-she-can't-stand-it picture books" 

New Section Added

Check out our new tab on Contests and Awards, listing a full year's worth of contests, awards, and grants. January contests include:

Jan. 1 – Jan. 31    Highlights Fiction Contest
  • What: best short story (up to 800 words) with a holiday theme
  • Who is eligible: anybody, published or unpublished
  • Prize: three $1,000 prizes or tuition to any Highlights Foundation course

Jan. 15- Feb. 3    Rate Your Story
  • What: best manuscripts in three categories: Picture Book, Novel/Novella, Everything Else
  • Who is eligible: free to RYS members (Basic members can submit 1 MS to each category, Pro members can submit 2 MSs); $5/MS for anyone else
  • Prize: First place gets $50, a professional critique, and free Pro membership, 2nd & 3rd prizes available

Picture Books

A new subsection added on Conferences:

Michigan SCBWI webinar series: From Manuscript to Submission - a series of 5 webinars that cover the gamut of picture book writing and the industry

SCBWI Winter conference in New York (Feb. 21-23). The SCBWI hosts two major national conferences each year, a winter one in New York and a summer one in Los Angeles.

For Illustrators

Free Illustrator Workshop- Wendy Martin - a free webinar on using Adobe Illustrator for children's illustrations (Feb. 21)

Words & Pictures: "Picture Book Basics: Pace, Drama, Action!" A thorough overview of the basics of putting together picture books from an illustration perspective.

We added a new subsection on Networking Sites:

Lori Degman Habitual Rhymer Lori specializes in rhyme and her blog can help you with your rhyming manuscript.

Agents & Editors

Chuck Sambuchino's blog - a great source of information on agents; spotlights new agents or what agents are looking for

How to Find a Literary Agent- Nathan Bransford

New section, Understand Your Contractwith helpful information about negotiating a book contract

Resources (Books)

We have added over 12 books on writing in our Resources section!

We also added a subtopic on Industry publications:

  • Picturebook - a children's illustration sourcebook and online portfolio targeting publishers and art directors
  • Horn Book - a monthly publication that reviews children's books

Writing Challenges

Monthly Writing Challenge Jo Hart provides a monthly writing challenge.  January's challenge: Show Don't Tell


Rhyme Weaver - a great site that teaches about meter and rhyme in children's books

The Meter Maids - more on rhyming in picture books

Writing Courses

Michigan SCBWI webinar series - 5 webinars that cover the basics of the children's book industry

Indie Publishing

Indies Unlimited - all around great site with resources & articles

Writers Beware - listing literary scams and pitfalls for writers, sponsored by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

Ebooks- ISBN numbers - why does your ebook need an ISBN number?

U.S. Copyright Office - information on copyright and online filing


Children's Picture Book Illustrators' Initiative (Australia) -five grants up to $15,000 for picture book illustrators with some publication experience and a work in progress