This is my final post for the year so I thought I'd do a quick review. It was a year of great highs and some lows. I learned that I could only work 14-20 hr days 7 days a week for a year before my health completely chucked it in and gave up being an agent to focus on just running the Academy and getting well. While I loved being an agent, learned tons about publishing and the industry, met fantastic editors and fellow agents, and helped a whole bunch of people, I am so much happier doing one thing and focusing my ridiculous energy and expertise there. Yay Children's Book Academy! One of the sweetest things I heard apart from how much students learn is that the school should be called Love Fest Academy because of the way that it is set up as a gestalt with everyone helping each other and sharing the love. It is pretty magical. We held lots of classes and webinars and most of the experiences were truly wonderful learning journeys for all involved. The courses just seem to get better and better as we learn from you all what works best. I'm happy to report that during the Academy's brief life, 21 former students have received 32 contract offers and many others have become agented. Sweet! Cant wait till I have covers to add to the wall of fame from earlier students!
I'm also super excited about our upcoming free webinar on January 2nd where Hillary Homzie and I will be sharing and showing folks how easy it is to write a chapter book or early middle grade. Here's the link, which we'd love for you to share http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/free-novel-writing-webinar.html We are also hoping to have a mystery editor or agent with us, and Hillary being a former comedian pretty much guarantees that this (did we mention free?) event will be lots of fun, so do join us. Those registered will receive a recording link afterwards and the possibility of winning one of our sweet prizes. Of course I'm also really excited about Hillary's and my course starting January 12th that blew people out of the water last year when quite a few picture book writers discovered that they were really chapter book and early MG writers. We were delighted because it's a much needed form now that picture books are skewing younger and shorter and parents are pushing for earlier independent readers. Plus they were amazed that they could write a first draft novel in 5 weeks.
This year was also a time of planning: a new website design will be coming that will hopefully make navigating easier and a bunch of new courses will also be coming. We'll be telling you about these in 2015. So farewell 2014 and hullo 2015. I hope the year has been a good one for you too and that 2015 will be even better.And now for our fun three for one video reviews. Short and sweet let's take a peek at the non-fiction chapter book Who Was Harriet Tubman, another chapter book Freckle Face (an oldie but goodie by Judy Blume) and the hip middle grade graphic novel Low Riders in Space. A little random I know but well worth a look. Total 9.14 minutes.
Wishing you peace, happiness, and creative joy ~ Mira
Ave Maria Cross
12/22/2014 06:38:15 am
Re: The chapter book "WHO WAS HARRIET TUBMAN?" -- love the classic black and white illustrations. Love the layout, i.e., the double spacing of the text. Love the multiple choice question idea on the back cover.
12/23/2014 12:54:18 am
Thank you for your comment. Yes I really enjoyed the bio of Harriet Tubman too. I think the early Harry Potter books had a tremendous impact on novels becoming more important/desired by younger kids and of course parents want to see their kids reading text earlier (not that I necessarily agree with this).
12/22/2014 09:44:40 am
Loved it. Very informative and helped me see into a genre I don't know as well. Thank you.
12/23/2014 12:56:03 am
Thanks for your comment. I find chapter books and early MGs a fascinating genre. Glad that you are enjoying learning about them. I especially love that they still have illustrations enriching the experience.
12/23/2014 12:57:27 am
Hugs right back at you Manju. Thrilled to have you in the Chapter Book course. It's one of our best and super empowering!
12/22/2014 07:17:57 pm
You are a gem! I'm honored to have met you through the Children's Book Academy in 2014. Congratulations on using green screen! Happy Holidays!
12/23/2014 12:59:20 am
Gaye, I'm honored to have met you too xox Don't quite have green screen down yet but working on it and it is fun. Thank you for all your support.
12/24/2014 06:41:43 am
Mira, first, love the "freaky shadow." If you haven't read "The Black Rabbit," put it on your list. Love the Who Was/Harriet Tubman book (although heart-wrenching info). Guesstimate on the word count? Am anxious to begin the chapter book course!
12/28/2014 09:50:39 pm
Mira, what a wonderful year end post. It's a privilege to know you and learn from you!
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We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome multi-published former student Shirin Shamsi who will be focusing on Muslim and cultural kidlit.
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 will feature STEM, STEAM & SEL obsessed author Kourtney LaFavre sharing delightfully dorky, quirky, and fun info.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break