Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Summer Roundup: ALA Conference, Classes, More

The summer has gone by in a flash, but here's a recap of the American Library Association (ALA) convention in Orlando and other kid lit activities that kept me busy.

ALA Convention

The ALA Convention was a dream come true as a debut author. Lee & Low Books invited me to join their line up of authors signing books, so I headed to Orlando for a weekend in late June with my older daughter. Not only was it thrilling to sign my book, but I got to meet so many kidlit friends and idols walking around the convention center. Some memories:

It was so official. My photo with all these amazing Lee & Low authors.

My author signing table

New friends and kid lit luminaries (l-r) : Marsha Diane Arnold, Katy Duffield, Lane Smith, Jen Swanson, Minh Le, Dan Santat, Kathryn Otoshi, Kwame Alexander, Miranda Paul.

Picture Book Writing Class at The Muse Writing Center

This summer I taught a 6-session picture book writing class at The Muse, a great local writing center where I've taken many workshops over the past few years. It was really fun to consolidate everything I knew about picture book writing and to work with talented students.

Workshops and Webinars on Author Platform Building

This summer I also gave a workshop and did a joint webinar with my Kidlit411 partner in crime, Elaine Kiely Kearns for the SCBWI on social media and platform building. The in person workshop was part of a series of local Tidewater SCBWI events that Vanessa Barger and I have organized on a monthly basis for our area, and the webinar was presented by the Texas SCBWI.

Elaine and I talked about our experience building Kidilt411 from an idea to a well-respected kid lit resource website in 2.5 half years. Some cool milestones: 3400 Facebook members in our group; over 430,000 page views; and we've been listed on a number of "Best of" lists, including Writer's Digest's 101 Best Websites for Writers in 2015 and 2016.

Summer Fun

Along the way, our family had great fun. My daughters went to camp, we went to a lot of softball games, and had some fun family outings. But most of all, it was a summer of beautiful sunsets:

My local supermarket in June
Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia Beach, VA 

Salem Fair, July 4th weekend
Salem Fiar

Burlington, VT has the best sunsets I've seen
Five cousins on the shores of Lake Burlington, VT

Onward and Upward

Now that the girls are back at school, I've got time to devote myself again to writing and illustrating. What projects are you working on? Leave a comment!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

More Book Events: DC & Orlando

DC Events

Fun with A MORNING WITH GRANDPA continues. I went to DC last week and had a book signing party at my friend's house as well as one of my first school visits with 100 first graders at Thomas Stone Elementary School at Mt. Rainer, MD:

Friday, May 20, 2016

A Whirlwind Month: Book Release, Blog Tour, Big Sur at Cape Cod

May has been a whirlwind of book events, a blog tour, and an amazing writing conference. Although I knew it was coming for a couple of years, nothing quite prepared me for the blur of events. A recap:

Monday, April 11, 2016

Happy Spring: A Morning with Grandpa Release & Norfolk Academy Art Show 2016

Although it still feels like Winter, Spring is coming in with a bang for me.


The official release date for A MORNING WITH GRANDPA, written by me and illustrated by Christina Forshay (Lee & Low Books) is May 1, but books have already arrived at my local indie store, Prince Books, and Amazon is fulfilling orders.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Cats on My Mind: A 5-Day #artchallenge

This week I was tagged to do an #artchallenge on Facebook, which was to post five pieces of my art per day. It didn't have to be newly made art, but I decided to doodle my cute new kitty, Apollo:

© Sylvia Liu

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Meet Apollo: our new Siberian Kitten

Apollo is our new Siberian kitten. I never thought we would have a cat because my husband is very allergic to them. As a Christmas present, he researched hypoallergenic cats and this breed came up and now we have a cat. He is still somewhat allergic, but only when he handles him, and it's much better than most other breeds.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 In Review: Health, Hope and Creativity

My motto for 2016

In the past, I've reflected on my creative year and was grateful for my creative communities (2013) or my very creative family (2014). This year, I focus on lessons learned in 2015: