Tag Archives: Pat Schmatz

A Couple of Book Launches Coming Up

Here are announcements from Wisconsin’s children’s authors about launches for their new  books:
Pat Schmatz
My book birthday for Lizard Radio is September 8, and the launch party will be at Addendum Books in St. Paul on September 18. Here’s the FB link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/414449535412991/  
See Pat’s website at http://www.patschmatz.com/ for information about this and Pat’s other books.
 Debbie Hembrook and Kate Heling
CLOTHESLINE CLUES TO SPORTS PEOPLE PLAY is the companion book to CLOTHESLINE CLUES TO JOBS PEOPLE DOWe will be having a launch party on September 4th 6:30 – 8:00 at Martha Merrell’s Books in Waukesha, WI.
Here’s where to learn more about Debbie and Kate’s “Clothesline Clues” and other books at http://www.helinghembrook.com/Books/index.html.
 The Council for Wisconsin Writers at www.wiswriters.org  is a non-profit, tax-exempt, membership organization dedicated to promoting local, state, and national awareness of Wisconsin’s great literary heritage and to encourage excellence among today’s Wisconsin writers.

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Children’s Book Group Seeks Diversity

The Wisconsin chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is marking the one-year anniversary of the creation of its Diversity Committee with the first formal program devoted to diversity. A Diversity Intensive will be held on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, prior to WISCBWI’s annual Fall Conference that weekend at the Olympia Center in Oconomowoc.

“Seven Essentials of Writing and Illustrating for a Diverse Audience” presented by Tu Books Editor Stacy Whitman is the introductory 9-10 a.m. session. That session is mandatory for everyone wanting to attend one of two breakout sessions. Illustrator/author Dan Santat will address “Art School In Two Hours” from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

“Usually the best way to improve as an artist is to be smarter with design,” says Santat, whose Beekle, The Unimaginary Friend won this year’s Caldecott Medal and who has a long list of awards for the many books he has written and/or illustrated. He calls this session “A crash course into color theory, symbology, composition, creating art with a narrative, typography, and marketing.”

During approximately the same time slot (10:30 a.m.-noon) author Eleanora Tate will present “Tate’s Great Black, White, Brown, Red and Wheelchair-bound Yellow Brick Road to Reading and Writing” from 10:30 a.m.-noon. “In recent years, numerous literary, educational and scholarly groups and organizations have developed “Best” lists of what they deem to be outstanding children’s, young adults’ and diverse books. Unfortunately, these lists don’t seem to please everyone, including me, when my books are not on them. In this workshop, I’ll discuss my own Tate’s Greats list of “Best” books and my criteria for why they made MY list. I’ll also offer Tate’s Great Eight Tips for writing appealing children’s books.

Says Committee Co-Chair Pat Schmatz, author of Lizard RadioBluefishMousetrapsCircle of Truth and Mrs. Estronsky and the U.F.O. about the program:  “Who’s it for? Humans who want to write and/or illustrate for younger humans.”

Committee Member Jamie A. Swenson, author of Boom! Boom! Boom!If You Were A Dog and Big Rig says: “You may be sitting there wondering if diversity affects you and your writing/illustrating. I believe it does – and if you’re feeling unsure of how to approach the topic – please consider attending this intensive. Our faculty is stellar; our community is strong. Why shouldn’t WI help lead the way to more diverse stories? We have certainly been leaders in many other areas, why not this one too?”

The cost varies from $20 for SCBWI members attending the conference to attend session one only, to $115 for non-SCBWI members to attend both sessions, but not attend the weekend conference.


For more information about the session or how to register, please contact Pat Schmatz at schmatz5@gmail.com.

For information about the Council for Wisconsin Writers, please visit the CWW website at www.wiswriters.com.




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Children’s Writers’ Good June News

Here’s what’s been happening on the children’s book publishing front during the past month:

The hard-cover edition of Ann Bausum‘s Stonewall, which was released in May, has earned starred reviews and is now sharing the spotlight with the audio book production from Listening Library. Ann reports that her fellow author Tim Federle, who narrated the audio book, has earned an Earphones Award for his performance from AudioFile magazine. The reviewer notes: “…Bausum’s account of the gay rights movement…is told with heartbreaking candor, and Tim Federle’s narration wrings all the emotion from this gripping history. With vocal intensity that is by turns fearful, angry, or touching….”

Ann and her fellow Wisconsin writer, Bridget Birdsall, winner of CWW’s 2014 Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award for her YA novel Double Exposure, will be at  Madison’s west side Barnes and Noble on June 11 to read, talk, and sign their books. The public is invited to attend: Thursday, June 11 at 7 p.m., B&N in West Towne Mall, 7433 Mineral Point Road. “Our event coincides, quite happily, with GLBT Book Month (the timing of which can be traced back to the events I write about in Stonewall),” Ann says. 

Becky Wojahn‘s Malcolm at Midnight won the Kansas William Allen White Children’s Book Award. She plans to be in Kansas in October for the award presentation. Malcolm is one of the Wisconsin Golden Archer nominees for the next school year.

Sheila Cohen has a middle school biography of Wisconsinite Sterling North published by the Wisconsin Historical Society coming out this coming October. Sterling North  wrote many books and was literary critique at the Chicago Daily News for many years, but his claim to fame for kids is that his book RASCAL  was made into a Disney movie in the 1960’s.

Pat Schmatz got a star from Kirkus for Lizard Radio (coming out this fall).  Among other things, it says:   Sophisticated, character-driven science fiction, as notable for its genderqueer protagonist as for its intricate, suspenseful plot.

“Nobody has ever accused me of an intricate plot – or any other kind of plot – before so I guess using The Plot Whisperer and making all those $#@#$@ charts and diagrams paid off.” Pat says. “And it’s a surprise to me to learn that it’s science fiction, but I’ll take it!
Janet Halfmann‘s Little Skink’s Tail is on the Just Read Florida: 2015 Summer Recommended Reading List for the seventh year in a row.

JoAnn Macken‘s  Baby Says “Moo!” is out as a padded board book.

Lisa Moser‘s Squirrel’s Fun Day has been selected for the summer reading lists by the New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Library.

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Children’s Authors Appearing at WSRA

Wisconsin children’s authors Ann Angel, Bridget Birdsall, Stephanie LowdenJoAnn Early Macken, Julie H. Mata, Miranda Paul, Gayle Rosengren, Pat Schmatz, Andrea Skyberg, Jamie Swenson, Sandy Brehl, and Janet Halfmann will be at the Wisconsin State Reading Association conference  this Thursday and Friday (Feb. 5 and 6) at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, and signing their books at the Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville and SCBWI-Wisconsinin area of the Exhibits area. 

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Wisconsin Children’s Author Becomes Golden Kiter

The first of each month is when members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’s Wisconsin’s Chapter post their good news of the month on the SCBWI-WI listserv, which I then post on this blog.

Pat Zietlow Miller’s news is just too great to be lumped with other good news, wonderful as all of that news is, so here is Pat’s news:

She has won the 2014 SCBWI Golden Kite Award for picture-book text for her book, Sophie’s Squash.  Pat, earlier this year, joined the ranks of other recent Wisconsin writers, including Ann Angel and Pat Schmatz, who have won SCBWI regional Crystal Kite Awards.  http://www.scbwi.org/2014-golden-kite-winners/

Pat will add her Golden Kite to other honors her debut picture book has won, which include:

  • The Ezra Jack Keats Honor Book Award for new writers whose work celebrates the diversity in our culture.
  • The Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book Award for picture book writing, presented by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) and honoring author of more than  70 picture books.
  • The Juvenile Literature Award,sponsored by the Friends of American Authors, a group that recognizes emerging writers.
  • 2014 Cybils Award Finalist.

Sophie’s Squash also has received starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal.

Congratulations to Pat!


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Children’s Writers’ Good News

Pat Schmatz, whose book Mousetraps won the Council for Wisconsin Writers’ 2008  Tofte/Wright Children’s Literature Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers, in 2008, has signed a contract with Candlewick for her YA novel Lizard Radio to Candlewick.  No release date yet.

Janis Joplin:Rise Up Singing author Ann Angel has a special interest in the soon-to-be-issued Janis Joplin Forever Stamp. Ann served as a consultant to the U.S. Postal Service on the creation of the stamp. Ann received the Council for Wisconsin Writers’ 2010 Kingery/Derleth Book-Length Nonfiction Award for her book.

Upcoming events for Len Mormino’s recently published Daddy’s Macaroni, will include book readings, music, macaroni and cheese (of course), and noodle art. Details are at www.lenmor mino.com/children-s-books.html.

Sue Berg Koch’s article,  ‘Now You See It, Soon You Won’t,’ appeared in Odyssey magazine last month and has been described as, “Perfect content for STEM learning. The magazine cover is pictured in a FB post, which can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/SCBWIWisconsin.

Congrats to all. To see other CWW contest winners for past years, please go to http://www.wiswriters.org and click on Awards.

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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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