by Mira Reisberg
Hi there, I'd like to apologize for being a little MIA on the blog. Normally I do a video review of a wonderful children's book for my post, and I love love doing these, but they are very time consuming. So I decided to do a more personal blog post about the 4 things that I've been passionately working on and share a little about being inspired at an art museum.
First up, I've been working really hard on former student's picture books that will be published with Clear Fork Publishing's kidlit imprint Spork, the new publisher I'm working for as an editor and art director. It is such a wonderful extension of what I've been doing for so many years and such a treat to be able to help ensure that my student's books will be the best that they can.
I've also been been madly making videos with super smart Julia Maguire from Random House/Knopf for our upcoming Craft and Business of Writing Children's Picture Books, setting up webinars that function as critiquing forums, and lining up editors and agents to bring in and join us for these webinars live, as well as bringing in fantastic editors and agents to look at student's work at the end of the course. Happy stuff that will make for an extraordinary course.
It's the first time that Julia and I are co-teaching this course together, adding new materials and getting very excited. And of course, I've been making fun promotional graphics for it. Here's one that I'm making into a postcard for the SCBWI conference in LA.
Julia and I are also putting together a free mini class/training/workshop/webinar on the foundations of drama, which is very exciting stuff. I'll be focusing on more serious books that I've grouped together under the frame of socio/political and personal tragedies, as well as techniques for using tragedy to write funny stories, while Julia is focusing on techniques for writing humor. It should be a mix of touching, angrifying, and funny. I love having intellectual adventures where I get to bring out my critical and analytical/academic training to play with making massive amounts of fascinating information and techniques helpful, and enjoyable. Here's the other side of the postcard that I made for that. I wish I'd had more time but it was a bit of a quickie. Let me know what you think. If you'd like to join us, and I hope that the answer is yes, please click here to register for this fab free offering, and heads up, it will be recorded as well if you can't make it live.
Finally I've been busy giving out as many scholarships as I can to the course and it makes me realize that my favorite things about running the Children's Book Academy, apart from the heartfull connections with students, are, sharing knowledge to help students become much stronger dramatic and/or humorous writers or illustrators who persist and get published, giving scholarships, building community, and helping to make a better world through kid's books..
Today I took a little time out and went with my family to the Crocker Art Museum where there was an exhibition of art from the art magazine High Fructose. It was really interesting seeing how many pieces had wonderful childlike qualities, even if they dealt with hard or adult subject matter. I thought about the role of the artist or writer to make the familiar unfamiliar or the unfamiliar familiar as well as to create meaning and touch hearts or engender empathy or intellectual curiosity and I think that our roles as children's book creative's is pretty much the same. Here are some photos that I took in slide form.
'I hope that these images inspire you. This one of cuttlefish below inspired me to think about writing a picture book called cuddle fish, chameleons of the sea. I've always had a soft spot for invertebrates and I love stories that inspire environmental caring by teaching kids about the natural world and how weird and wonderful it is. Am regretting not writing down the artist's names except the 1st image with the heroic looking African American boy is by one of my faves, Kehinde Wiley and the last is by Mark Ryden.
I was also really inspired by this image above because of its childlike simplicity. It made me a little envious and wanting to do my own art as loose and minimal as this.
Anyway I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do join us for either the free workshop on July 13 5:30 PM PDT/8:30 PM Eastern or the course. If you can, please click the share buttons to the left and let your kidlit friends know about all this and if you are up for it, let me know your thoughts and if there's anything specific you'd like me to blog about in future first Mondays..
Yours in kidlit love - Mira xoxo
We are so excited to be mixing things up at the Children's Book Academy. Mondays with Mandy or Mira is now the Blogfish!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays will feature award-winning former agent and former kidlit professor Mira Reisberg PhD who is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy.
2nd Mondays will feature reading specialist and MFA in creative writing graduate Mandy Yates has been published multiple times in Highlights Magazine.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature the great Christine Taylor-Butler who has published over 70 award-winning fiction and non-fiction and nonfiction books including the acclaimed new middle grade series - The Lost Tribes.
And 5th Mondays will feature will feature the fabulous Carl Angel, award-winning multi-published Illustrator and graphic designer.
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