Friday, October 05, 2007


We’re at Brilliance Audio in Grand Haven, MI, recording the audiobook of Gotta Keep on Tryin’. And we gotta say, rarely have we worked soooo hard (in a 6’x6’ soundproof booth) and had soooo much fun. This was our first shot at giving voice to our characters and their story and the word from our director and engineer, Laura 1 and Laura 2, is two thumbs up! We’ll give you more details (and pics) on a blog to come.

And on a writing note, high on the top five list of questions we are asked is, “How do you write a children’s book and get it published?” We never have a good answer for that one—the children’s book publishing world is soooo different from what we know about adult fiction. But we do have a friend, award winning author and illustrator (of such kid classics as Clean Your Room, Harvey Moon, Ananse and the Lizard: A West African Tale, and Angel Baby) Pat Cummings, who can tell you a thing or two on that score. Visit her website, to see more examples of her titles and her beautiful illustrations. Yes, it says under construction, but you can get to bio, books and the all important FAQs (and we love the carousel!).

And for those of you seriously motivated aspiring children’s book authors living in the NYC area, you have an opportunity for some up close and personal instruction and advice from Pat. She is again doing her “Children’s Book Boot Camp (don’t worry—there are no push-ups, but we hear there are often cookies involved). The three part workshops are divided into sessions for writers and illustrators. Application deadlines are approaching (October 12 for writers. October 19 for illustrators), so if it’s something you’ve said you always wanted to do, check out the flyer, bring your imagination and get busy.

Here's the basic info:
I teach a children's book class at Parsons and, after helping a bunch of
my students to get published, (one last year left with 5 contracts from
two houses...but he's admittedly a shocking exception) I've condensed the
class into 3 workshops that span 5 or 6 Saturdays.

Group A: writers with a picture book manuscript ready, or almost ready, to
Group B: illustrators with a dummy or project ready or nearly ready to

There's an application that I'll send out if contacted at:

Group A meets Oct. 27th, Nov. 10th and Dec. 1st.

group B meets Nov. 3rd, Nov. 17th and Dec. 8th.

In between meetings, everyone's supposed to polish their work and do what
needs to be done to present it. At the last workshop, there'll be an
editor or art director from a major house to review the work. The last
boot camp featured folks from Hyperion and Simon & Schuster.

The idea is to get the work of talented people in front of publishers who
can actually sign them up.
Not everyone who submits necessarily gets accepted. I don't want to waste
anyone's time or money. Over the years, I've had a growing number of
publishers who have signed up my students so I keep up with those folks
who are open to new talent.

Only people who I think can be matched to the publishers I know will be
accepted. The fee is $450. There will be a maximum of 10 participants
and the last workshop will feature a guest publisher who will review their

Deadlines Are: Group A: Applications by 0ct. 12th/Notification by Oct. 18th/Fee due by Oct. 23rd

Group B: Applications by 0ct. 19th/Notification by Oct. 25th/Fee due by
Oct. 30th

Writers submit up to 100 words from their manuscript.
Illustrators submit 2 images representative of their style and a
manuscript if they have one.

The location is @ 29th St. & 5th Ave in Manhattan. The address and guest
publisher's name will accompany the acceptance note. (Henry Holt's publisher and Dial/Penguin's Art Director have signed on so it'll probably be them.

Anyone interested should email me with any questions at

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posted by DeBerry and Grant at 10:02 AM


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