On the next Kidlit Distancing Social (Tuesday, June 22 at 5 PM Pacific, 8 PM Eastern), meet an exciting new voice in middle grade and young adult writing: Barbadian author and filmmaker Shakirah Bourne. Shakirah wrote and directed the feature film A Caribbean Dream which earned Best Drama at the National Film Awards UK in 2018. Her most recent middle grade book – Josephine Against the Sea (Scholastic) – was a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. Shakirah will be joining Laura to share the impact Caribbean culture has had on her work, how she infuses her books with magical realism and how understanding three act structure from films translates to to writing novels.
This week, meet Aimee Jackson, Owner and Editorial Director of Book Bridge Press, a company that helps independent authors take their work from manuscript to published, illustrated book. BBP specializes in children’s books, and Aimee Jackson is an accomplished children’s book editor and publishing professional with more than 20 years experience in trade publishing.
In this episode of the Social, Aimee provides her top tips for independent authors to give their books the best shot at success in the areas of craft, design and marketing.
This week, meet Lauren Ranalli, award-winning children’s book writer and marketing coach for aspiring & self-published authors. In this episode, Lauren quizzed attendees’ about their marketing styles, and then gave advice for different marketing and social media strategies based on their answers. Really beneficial to anyone struggling with marketing and promotion!
In this episode, meet Shannon Anderson, award-winning author of 14 kidlit books.
Shannon just quit her 25-year day job as a teacher to become a writer full-time. She joins us to talk about creating an author brand, when to know it’s time to quit your day job, what mindset attributes writers need to make it as a full-time author and more.
In this episode, meet author/illustrator Violet Lemay. Working primarily in the board book category (for ages 0-4), Violet has illustrated forty books, six of which she also wrote. She’s worked with such publishers as HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, Scholastic, duopress, ‘Magination Press, and Free Spirit Publishing. Violet has a special mission: to take events happening in the world and help young children process them – and find the joy that’s always present.
In this episode, meet Sneed B. Collard III, award-winning author of more than 80 books. He’s best known for his science-based nonfiction for readers ages 5-12, and his middle grade and YA mysteries and thrillers. In 2006, Sneed was the recipient of the Washington Post Children’s Book Guild Children’s Nonfiction Writer of the Year Award for his body of work. In 2010, Sneed sought to address the shortage of quality regional children’s books by launching his own publishing company, Bucking Horse Books.
In this episode, we welcome Julie Rowan-Zoch (author/illustrator of I’m a Hare, So There! and illustrator of Louis, written by Tom Lichtenheld) to chat about the interplay between words and images in picture books. We also talk about developing a range of styles as an illustrator, how illustrating her own words compares to illustrating texts written by other authors, and what she’s learned about the market from working at an independent book store.
In this episode, we chatted with award-winning children’s author & veteran teacher Michelle Schaub about two fascinating topics: How to make concept books come alive by building layers, and using poetry to boost literacy.
This week, a panel of teen readers tell us what they like – and don’t like – in middle grade and young adult books. They’re joined by Sallie Lowenstein, award winning author/illustrator of children’s and young adult books.
In this episode, we welcome Jennifer Brody (a.k.a. Vera Strange) the award-winning author of ten books, including The 13th Continuum trilogy, the Disney Chills book series, and the Stoker Finalist graphic novel Spectre Deep 6 and 200 with Eisner-winning artist and syndicated cartoonist Jules Rivera, prompting Forbes to call Brody “a star in the graphic novel world.”
Laura and Jennifer talk about writing speculative fiction for middle grade and young adult, and what’s happening in the exciting graphic novel market.
In this episode, we welcome Jennifer Swanson, award winning author of over 40+ books for children (including Parent’s Choice Gold Award winner Save the Crash Test Dummies! and Beastly Bionics). The subject: the do’s and don’ts of creating an effective author platform (i.e. your online presence that enhances your ability to reach potential readers).
In this episode, two veteran kidlit authors share their best self-editing tips to help you get your manuscripts submission-ready.
In this episode, meet Middle Grade writer Carmella Van Vleet, author of the Christopher Award-winning “Eliza Bing is (Not) a Big, Fat Quitter” (Penguin Random House), and the upcoming “Nothing is Little” (Holiday House). Laura and Carmella delve into all things Middle Grade, with a particular focus on creating dynamic character-driven stories.
In this episode, meet picture book writer Tameka Fryer Brown, author of Brown Baby Lullaby (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), named by Parents Latina Magazine as one of the Best Latino Children’s Books of 2020 and one of NPR’s 100 Favorite Books for Young Readers.
Laura and Tameka talk about using rhythm and rhyme to pen stories for picture book readers that celebrate family and community, and how Tameka’s books showcase diversity in a way that is accessible and relatable to any reader.
This week, Laura welcomes our friend Dani Alcorn of Writing Academy to discuss the things that block writers from finding true success – and how to overcome them. This is a *very* powerful session that is a must-see for any writer seeking to move forward in his or her career.
This episode features Colleen Noyes, founder of Itsy Bitsy Book Bits Promotions. Colleen is an expert of getting attention for new books in a very crowded marketplace. In this episode, Colleen shares her tips on the types of promotion authors can focus on during these socially-distanced times, and which are most effective.
Meet one of the most experienced publishing attorneys in the industry, and hear her tips on copyright, negotiating contracts and other key legal issues impacting writers.
Three top children’s nonfiction authors talk about the growing significance of nonfiction and why “the nonfiction books of today are not the textbooks of yesteryear”.
Meet Jennifer Vassel, an inspiring self-publishing success story. Jennifer is the author and founder of “I Am Unique!”, a children’s book series and self-love brand aimed to inspire kids and adults to rise above their insecurities and share their unique gifts with the world.
Her work has been featured in national media such as Forbes, Black Enterprise, Thrive, Essence, and
Join us to find out how Jennifer has overcome self-doubt and insecurity to build a thriving writing career. She’ll also share some excellent self-publishing and marketing advice.
Meet Chris Tebbetts, a successful middle grade/YA author who has mastered a compelling, humorous approach that gets even the most reluctant readers glued to the page.
Chris partners with superstar author James Patterson to create the bestselling Middle School series, and with Survivor host Jeff Probst for the Stranded series. His solo titles include the Viking series and the novel Me, Myself, and Him.
Join us to learn about creating middle grade books with humor and plot that appeal to readers across the board – especially reluctant readers – and the ins and outs of building a successful series.
This week, meet Darcy Pattison, a prolific kidlit author who has found great success self publishing her own work. Darcy’s authored dozens of books – some with major publishers – but has seen her career truly take off after starting her own independent publishing company.
Darcy describes her journey, and discusses why other authors should consider self-publishing. If you want to be truly empowered to share your words with the world, Darcy is the perfect person to inspire you!
This week, meet Kirsten W. Larson, author of over 25 kidlit nonfiction titles. Her picture book biography ‘Wood, Wire and Wings’ was just named a 2021 Best STEM Book by the National Science Teaching Association.
Kirsten shares her thoughts on writing compelling nonfiction picture books, incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) into picture books, and discuss her success writing for the school and library market. STEM and the school/library market continue to provide tremendous opportunities for kidlit writers – so you’ll want to hear what Kirsten has to say.
This week, meet Michael Schein, President of MicroFame Media & author of the upcoming book ‘The Hype Handbook’ (McGraw-Hill). The subject: creative author marketing.
Michael is an expert on fame-generating tactics, and has studied history’s greatest self-promoters to discover what they have to teach us about gathering attention in the modern media climate.
Can “hype” be used for good? Michael believes it absolutely can, and that any author can break through to generate and cultivate a fan base. Can “hype” be used for good? Michael believes it absolutely can, and that any author can break through to generate and cultivate a fan base. We know that book marketing and author promotion are overwhelming issues for many writers, and this episode will give you a new way to look at the subject.
Meet two debut authors who got their publishing contracts without an agent. If you think you can’t get published on your own, Cori Cooper and Risa Nyman beg to differ! Cori is the author of contemporary middle grade book Bake Believe and Risa is the author of Swallowed By a Secret, a middle grade mystery. Find out how they captured the attention of their publisher – and get inspired to follow in their footsteps!