The Weekly 411 (3/22/24)


© Sheree Tomba

March 22, 2024 vol. 12

The Weekly 411 gathers all the links added to Kidlit411 each week. To receive this post by email, sign up for our email updatesAre you on Facebook? Join our Kidlit411 group for conversations and camaraderie. This week's illustration is by Sheree Tomba.

A Kidlit411-Hosted FREE Webinar on Author Goals & Promotion

April 11 8 - 9 pm ET (FREE) Creating an Author Success Map: Identifying, Personalizing, and Working Toward Success Benchmarks in Your Writing Career You've written a book, but now what? It's hard to know the next steps to take in your career without having a clear picture of your goals. Ellen Whitfield, Vice President of Books Forward, will help you with a three-step process for identifying, personalizing and working toward success benchmarks in your writing career, with a focus on promotion and marketing. She will cover topics such as defining author success, how to prioritize promotion, and successful social media strategies and tools.  

 Middle Grade Giveaway

We are pleased to host a giveaway of the middle grade book, Things That Shimmer, by Deborah Lakritz (Kar Ben), coming out on April 2. Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!

cover art by Lara Paulssen

About the Book: In the spring of 1973, Melanie Adler desperately wants to be accepted by the Shimmers, the popular kids in her class. But the secret of her mother's PTSD stands in the way. As hard as she tries, Melanie can't act as effortlessly confident and fun as the Shimmers. She's convinced no one knows what it's like to have a parent who's afraid of everything―until Dorit Shoshani moves to town. Clever, independent Dorit understands Melanie's home life thanks to her own family's struggles. The girls become fast friends. But when the Shimmers finally start to pay attention to Melanie, she's torn between her bond with Dorit and her chance at popularity.

About the Author: Deborah Lakritz is the author of debut middle grade novel, Things That Shimmer, as well as picture books, A Place to Belong: Debbie Friedman Sings Her Way Home; Say Hello Lily, a Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Young Readers; and Joey and the Giant Box. She holds a masters degree in social work and worked as a school social worker, family life educator, and Social Emotional Learning facilitator with elementary-age children. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she and her husband raised their five children.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Middle Grade Giveaway

We are pleased to host a giveaway of the middle grade book, Miracle, by Karen S. Chow (Christy Ottaviano Books 2023). Enter to win a copy via the Rafflecopter below!

cover art by Vera Rosenberry

About the Book: Amie has spent her life perfectly in tune with Ba-ba, her father—she plays the violin, his favorite instrument; she loves all his favorite foods, even if he can’t eat them during his cancer treatments; and they talk about books, including Amie’s favorite series, Harry Potter. But after Ba-ba dies, Amie feels distanced from everyone close to her, like her mother and her best friends, Rio and Bella. More devastating still, she loses her ability to play the violin—the notes that used to flow freely are now stilted and sharp. Will Amie ever find her way back to the music she once loved?

With hope and harmony lighting the way—and with help from the people who care about her most—Amie must find the strength to carry on. In the end, she’ll learn that healing, while painful, can be its own miraculous song. 

About the Author: Karen S. Chow is a Taiwanese-American author, who started writing novels as a college sophomore at Arizona State University, while earning a degree in electrical engineering. Now, she is an engineer by day and middle-grade novelist by night. Her debut middle-grade novel, Miracle, is a heart story that combines her love for music with her experiences witnessing her father passing away from pancreatic cancer. She invites you to visit her at

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • What: Enter your picture book text, chapter book/middle grade, young adult fiction, nonfiction, underrepresented fiction or nonfiction, or if you've applied for the Karen Cushman Late Bloomer award
  • Who: SCBWI members working on a project not under contract
  • Award: winners will be presented in a showcase to a select group of acquiring editors 
  • What: Submit through the Work-in-Progress Award link
  • Who: unpublished SCBWI members over the age of fifty
  • Award: $500 and free tuition to any SCBWI conference in the world
  • What: apply for one of two $1,000 grants, submit either a portfolio or picture book dummy
  • Who: one unpublished and one published illustrator, SCBWI member
  • Award: two $1,000 grants

 Submissions: Agents & Editors

The Impersonation List (List of Agents/Agencies that Have Been Impersonated by Scammers)

You're Probably Going to Annoy an Agent at Some Point (and It Absolutely Does Not Matter)

How to Know When You're Ready to Submit or Publish 

Marketing and Creating a Platform

Why Authors Need to Self Promote and How to Go About It

Conferences, Workshops & Retreats

Sept. 20-26 Green Gable Retreat  Join fellow writers and kindred spirits for a seven-day, six-night guided getaway to Cavendish, Prince Edward Island. Visit historic Anne of Green Gables landmarks. Write where Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote. Guided by award-winning author Gary Schmidt and renowned editor, author and VCFA faculty emerita Shelley Tanaka, each day will provide time to work on your writing as well as prompts and activities to spark your creativity.  Participants may submit ten pages to each instructor for expert editorial review and will have a 30-minute one-on-one meeting with each instructor. (Cavendish, Prince Edward Island)

Mentor Programs

  • What: a 4-month mentorship with an agented picture book author or agent, exclusive workshops from industry professionals, publishing business intensives, community building, more
  • Who: un-agented picture book authors, illustrators, and author-illustrators, plus agented PB creators without agented-represented picture book deals
  • When: apply for mentorship March 18-April 4


  1. Miracle is high on my must read list as a musician especially.

  2. Miracle sounds like a wonderful mentor text as I plod through the first draft of my MG.

  3. These books would be great to win. I haven't seen a whole lot of MG set in the 1970s, or MG focusing around the violin. Thanks for the chance to win. This week's 411 is packed with so much good stuff! Thanks!

  4. I just love the news and giveaways posted by kidlit411! I read an arc of Miracle and thoroughly enjoyed it. Hope to win a copy of it or one I haven’t read it, ThingsThat Shimmer. The premise makes it sound like a winner.

    1. Oops. I published as anonymous. That was me above!

  5. Thanks for all the great information!


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