Thursday, October 23, 2014

Almost Ready for the Mid-Atlantic SCBWI Conference

I am excited to be heading to the annual Mid-Atlantic SCBWI conference tomorrow. But, as usual, I left everything to the last minute.

This is my to do list today:

  • Reprint my portfolio because I'm not happy with the paper I used before
  • Pack promotional postcards and business cards (how do you like my nifty new set above?) Here are my postcards (and the Kidlit411 bookmark):

  • Finish up an illustration (a redo of an older illustration)
  • Print out a dummy for one of my stories
  • Pack
  • Life (pick up daughter 1 from volleyball, take daughter 2 to the dentist, go to the grocery store to stock up for the family while I'm gone, order take out dinner, etc.)
I went to this same conference four years ago, and so much has changed since then. The main thing is I will know a lot more people. 
  • Three years ago, I joined Julie Hedlund's 12x12 picture book community. This weekend I get to meet a bunch of 12x12ers in person who I've only communicated with online. Julie sent a bunch of buttons so we could find each other easily:

  • I recently connected with other local children's writers and illustrators from my area through Facebook, so I'm looking forward to meeting them in person as well.
And of course, I'm psyched about this line up of:

  • editors (Kate Fletcher/Candlewick, Jeannette Larson/Houghton Mifflin, Alison Weiss/Egmont USA)
  • agents (Christa Heschke, Mary Lamba, Sarah LaPolla)
  • authors (Linda Urban, Mike Artell, Meg Medina, Stephen Mooser, Kim Norman) and 
  • illustrators (Henry Cole, Pat Cummings, Joan Waites, Shadra Strickland)
to name a few. I know I will be inspired and learn a ton from them. 

When I get back, my daughters' school is having its annual author visit with Children's Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt. It's a two day production, starting on Sunday, and I will be face-painting for it. All in all, a great weekend ahead.

How do you get ready for a conference?

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

How I Landed My First Contract: Yvonne Mes

Yvonne Mes signing the contract
The great news from my critique group keeps coming! My friend, the wonderfully talented author and illustrator Yvonne Mes has landed her first picture book contract!

You signed a book contract! What is the book about?

The book will be called MEET SIDNEY NOLAN, part of the Random House Australia MEET ... series.

It is a nonfiction picture book for children from ages 5 to 8. The story will focus on the Australian modernist painter Sidney Nolan. I am not sure who the illustrator will be yet, but I have loved the illustrations in the other MEET ... books so I am sure it will be amazing ... I don't envy the illustrator illustrating the story of a well-known artist!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tia Bourne Mushka: An Illustrator Going Places

© Tia Mushka

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing my talented friend Tia Bourne Mushka, who I met through the Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program. She was in the program being mentored in writing, but she is also a children's illustrator. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Morning with Gong Gong: An Illustrator is Chosen!

Image from Christina Forshay's portfolio @ Christina Forshay

I'm so excited to announce that Christina Forshay will be illustrating my picture book, A MORNING WITH GONG GONG, to be published by Lee & Low Books. Check out her awesome piece above (giant octopus & pirates, some of my favorite subjects!) and more at her website (

Monday, September 1, 2014

Not So Accidental Tourist Blog Hop

© 2014 Sylvia Liu

Hello friends. I was tagged by author-illustrator Dani Duck for this blog hop that celebrate artists illustrators, writers, and all sorts of creative types. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

My Author & Illustrator Friends in Bookstores

One of the most exciting things about getting more involved in the kidlit community is the number of people I know who I count as friends and mentors whose books are sitting on bookstore shelves. Going into a bookstore is a completely different experience now, because the books are truly like friends.

For example, amazing mentors in the Nevada SCBWI mentor program:

Jim Averbeck (his new MG thriller A HITCH AT THE FAIRMONT):

Sunday, July 20, 2014

How I Got My Agent: Lori Ann Levy-Holm

Today I am thrilled to feature my friend, Lori Ann Levy-Holm in my How I Got My Agent series. 

I first met Lori Ann through Julie Hedlund's 12x12 picture book writing challenge; we were in a critique group together; and we were in the Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program together as illustration mentees. So I've had the great pleasure of enjoying her hilarious and wonderful company both online and in person. 

Lori Ann writes and illustrates picture book manuscripts. She recently announced that she has signed with Jodell Sadler of Sadler's Children Literary

Here she is to tell us about it.