by Bryan Patrick Avery
Well, it’s been quite a year. Whether you’ve been able to put aside all the stresses of the year to keep working towards your writing goals or you’ve barely been able to keep on track, I congratulate you. This has been a difficult year for so many so give yourself a break(and a pat on the back).
For my last post of the year, I’d like to highlight several of the books I turn to for inspiration, as mentor texts, or just for plain old enjoyment. These are some of the more recent books I return to again and again as I work on my own stories and they’ve helped me along my storytelling journey. I hope you find something here that inspires or guides you.
DRAWN TOGETHER by Minh Lê and Dan Santat
THE UNDEFEATED by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson
ONE FOX by Kate Read
THE LAST PEACH by Gus Gordon
SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS by Marcie Colleen
EERIE ELEMENTARY by Jack Chabert
A TO Z MYSTERIES by Ron Roy
THE BAD GUYS by Aaron Blabey
Middle Grade Novels
33 MINUTES by Todd Hasak-Lowy and Bethany Barton
MIDNIGHT AT THE BARCLAY HOTEL by Fleur Bradley
THE PARKER INHERITANCE by Varian Johnson
HARBOR ME by Jacqueline Woodson
THE MOON WITHIN by Aida Salazar
GARVEY’S CHOICE by Nikki Grimes
THE ONE AND ONLY BOB by Katherine Applegate
LONG WAY DOWN by Jason Reynolds
SHIRLEY & JAMILA SAVE THEIR SUMMER by Gillian Goerz
NEW KID by Jerry Craft
NIMONA by Noelle Stevenson
ROLLER GIRL by Victoria Jamieson
If you haven’t already, take a look at these books. I hope they’ll inspire your writing as much as they’ve inspired mine.
Well, that’s all for this month (and this year). Happy writing and have a magical new year.
Bryan Patrick Avery writes picture books, chapter books, middle grade and graphic novels. His middle grade story, “The Magic Day Mystery”, was published in June 2020 in SUPER PUZZLETASTIC MYSTERIES, an anthology from HarperCollins and the Mystery Writers of America. His debut picture book, THE FREEMAN FIELD PHOTOGRAPH, will be published in Spring 2021 by Clearfork Publishing/Spork.
By Melissa Stoller
During the winter holidays, take a moment to reflect about what makes your holiday traditions - or any other rituals - special to you. Use these thoughts as inspiration for a book idea. Here are a few writing prompts to get you started, and an activity to connect with family and friends. Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and safe season, and cheers to 2021!
Brainstorm about any holiday-themed family heirlooms handed down to you by earlier generations. And think about whether you will hand down your holiday ritual objects to your children, grandchildren, or other family and friends. What stories will you tell about these heirlooms?
And here is an activity you can do during the holiday season:
ACTION - REACH OUT TO RELATIVES OR FRIENDS/RECORD THEIR STORIES/TELL YOUR STORIES:
Melissa Stoller is the author of the chapter book series The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection - Return to Coney Island (Clear Fork Publishing, 2017); and the picture books Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush, Ready, Set, GOrilla!, and Sadie’s Shabbat Stories. (Clear Fork, 2018 and 2020). Melissa is a Blogger and Course Assistant for the Children’s Book Academy, a Regional Ambassador for The Chapter Book Challenge, a Moderator for the Debut Picture Book Study Group, a volunteer with SCBWI/MetroNY, and a founding member of The Book Meshuggenahs. In other chapters of her life, Melissa has worked as a lawyer, legal writing instructor, freelance writer and editor, and early childhood educator. She lives in New York City with her family, and enjoys theatre, museums, and long beach walks.
This year I decided to go big or go home (guess who was able to do both?) and help former students and friends get the word out about their recent books (because Covid sucks for releasing new books and bookstores), and raise money for scholarships now that my hubs has been rendered unemployable with Covid and age, and give massively to our kidlit community with the 2020 Picture Book Palooza scholarship fundraiser.
One of my 3 presentations was about the Wonderful World of World Wide Resources and because I've been a crazed wombat putting the Palooza together with 40 speakers, 5 parties, and tons of giveaways and also setting up some outrageously fabulous Golden Ticket Showcase judges for our January Craft and Business of Writing Children's Picture Books course and living on 4 hrs sleep a night, I forgot to do my blog post. Yikes! So what better than to share some of these resources starting with the ones for Research? These research links are for researching fiction and nonfiction and seeing what else is out there, although some of them could easily go in the other structural categories that I set up - Inspiration, research, educational and publishing access, which I'll be publishing here on the first Monday of the month, or you can access them all at one by registering for the Palooza. Anything underlined is a link.
Also heads up, I'm moderating the final panel on Illustrating and writing tonight (at 4PM Pacific Standard time), which shows the connections between the two while focusing on what illustration does and how it does it. So it's not too late to join for only $20, see this fantastic panel with Larissa Marantz, Lisa Goldberg, Fia Kilbourne, and Chantelle and Burgen Thorne AND receive access to the Giveaways and Recordings all for only $20!!! Just click right here!
Newspapers.com (thanks Alice Faye Duncan)
Facebook for whatever your topic is about
Google whatever your topic is about
Pinterest the same
Questia aprox $20 pm for academic resources where you can copy and paste quotes and notes
Historical societies or societies related to your topic on the web
Writing and Illustrating: Kathy Temean’s wonderful blog sharing information About writing and illustrating for children
Reading For Research Month (ReFoReMo): A blog and Facebook grouP about reading children’s lit for research purposes
Nerdy Book Club: Shares love of reading with others as well as hosting the Nerdies Book Awards.
SCBWI British Isles Blog: A worldwide organisation of writers and illustrators of children's books, whether published, not yet published, or independently published. Most SCBWI regions have their own blogs or newsletters as well.
Mem Fox: A blog by a successful Australian Kidlit writer.
Design of the Picture Book: Carter Higgins writes about picture books and graphic design
Nonfiction Ninjas: The Nonfiction Ninjas are a group of nonfiction authors who have a passion for nonfiction.
Book Meshuggenahs: A group of Jewish women who write traditionally-published Jewish-themed books.
Pass It On: A wonderful weekly, interactive e-zine for anyone interested in the Children’s Book writing and illustrating industry, especially Aussies and Kiwis.
Write Links: Write Links is a support group for beginner and emerging children’s writers and writer/illustrators living in Brisbane, Qld and the surrounding area.
Kidlit411 - a total treasure trove of resources!
And if any of this is helpful, or you want to comment on the Palooza, or you have some other great research suggestions, please drop a comment below. xoxox
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with Clear Fork/Spork editor/art director, former agent and former kidlit professor Mira Reisberg PhD who is also the Director of the Children's Book Academy.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays feature funny Aussie author Sharon Giltrow sharing awesome Aussie books.
And 5th Mondays will feature Libyan American author Koloud Tarapolsi sharing wonderful diverse books.