Kansas SCBWI

Tuesday night I had the pleasure of speaking at the quarterly meeting of Kansas SCBWI. It was held in Prairie Village at a church on Nall, about 20 minutes from my mother’s house. I spoke about the role of culture in crafting children’s and YA characters.

What a charming group! My thanks to regional advisor Sue Ford. I met many great folks, including Lisa D. Harkrader, author of Airball: My Life In Briefs (Roaring Brook, 2005) and J.B. Cheaney, author of My Friend, The Enemy (Knopf, 2005), who graciously gave me a copy of her book to take home.

The downside of my trip is that I missed Brian Yansky’s talk to Austin SCBWI members on “What Do Your Characters Want?” His YA novel, My Road Trip to the Pretty Girl Capital of the World (Cricket Books, 2003), was named the Texas Institute of Letters’ Best Young Adult Novel. It was also a University of Texas Libraries Staff Pick for fall 2004.

Cynsational News & Links

Happy birthday to my very cute husband, author Greg Leitich Smith! He is 38 years old today! Surf over to his blog and wish him the best!

Congratulations to Kathi Appelt, whose memoir, My Father’s Summers (Henry Holt, 2004), is a finalist for the PEN USA Award for Children’s Literature.

Could you be the next J.K. Rowling? by Martha Brockenbrough from MSN Encarta. Check out what Ellen Jackson and I have to say about this burning question. (By the way, my critique group has a total of 5 members–me, my husband, two up-and-comers, and a rising star).