Wisconsin Children’s Writers Rock!

Ann Bausum (Marching to the Mountaintop, Unraveling Freedom, Denied Detained Deported, Muckrakers, Freedom Riders, With Courage and Cloth, Our Country’s Presidents, Our Country’s First Ladies) surfaced last week, explaining her recent absence from SCBWI events to announce two firsts in her illustrious writing career: The upcoming publication of her first adult book and her first book contract with a New York publishing house. Her adult book is a companion title to her children’s publication about World War I service dog Sergeant Stubby. The adult and children’s book divisions of National Geographic, which has published her previous books, will publish both “Sergeant Stubby” books in May. Her contract with Viking is for Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights, about the 1969 riots that helped to spark the gay rights movement. Ann also added to her impressive string of awards. Her  Marching to the Mountaintop, a biography about the final months of the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., has received the Jane Addams Children’s Book Honor Award (for older readers) and the Carter G. Woodson Award (Middle Level category) from the National Council for the Social Studies.

Kashmira Sheth (My Dadima Wears a SariMonsoon Afternoon, No-Dogs-Allowed Rule, Boys Without Names, Blue Jasmine, Keeping Corner, Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet) reports that her Tiger in My Soup is on the Kirkus Best Children’s Books of 2013 list.

Kashmira will be joining children’s and adult writer, poet and former children’s librarian Evie Robillard on Saturday, Dec. 7, at Mystery To Me bookstore in Madison where Evie will be giving a “book talk and read aloud” as part of its “take your child to a bookstore day.” Her forthcoming chapbook of adult poetry–called The Willow-slip–is now available for preorder at FinishingLinePress.com.

There are so many writing and writing-related courses available to and offered by Wisconsin writers, that it would be impossible to include them in this blog. I’m making an exception, however, with a four-week online course called “Put Your Fear to Work” that award-winning middle-grade and YA writer Pat Schmatz will be offering in March. Writing with fear was the topic of the closing session Pat presented in October at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators-Wisconsin’s Fall Conference. It was one of the most compelling, insightful and beneficial conference sessions I’ve encountered. “It’s not just for kid writers,” Pat says, “it’s for anyone. … Scholarships are available and there’s an early-bird discount. Here’s the link for more details and to register:  https://www.loft.org/classes/detail/?loft_product_id=55401. “Meanwhile,” Pat adds, “welcome to the dark and cold days – perfect time for fear excavation.  Happy writing!”

Another link to visit is http://www.wiswriters.org, which contains information and entry forms for the Council for Wisconsin Writers’ 2013 writing contests. Entry deadline is Jan. 31, 2014. The link for a list of and information about the eight contests is http://www.wiswriters.org/awards.htm

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