Posts made in November, 2011
It’s so hard to believe that we’re at the end of our debut year. As you might expect, the first book thing has been a roller coaster. Half the time, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to throw my hands up and scream in delight or throw my hands up and throw up! But I think all of the 2k11ers would say the same thing–this group was one of my favorite bits of the whole year. The best part is the people we’ve met. Not only our fellow authors, but also the bloggers and librarians and teachers and generally amazing people out there who get just as jazzed about books as we do.
We do plan to continue to send our newsletter out to keep you up-to-date on new books, appearances, and generalized awesomeness, and we hope to run into more of you at our events. We get extra squealy when we know you’re a 2k11 follower–or maybe that’s just me. If you haven’t signed up, it’s totally worth it.
And what’s a graduation without PRIZES? We wanted to send a thank you out to everyone who entered, tweeted, tried to bribe us, etc. A particularly huge congrats goes out to the following winners:
Alexandra Hinrichs won the personal prize pack, with 13 2k11 books, many of which are signed. GO ALEXANDRA!
South Haven Memorial Library, we’re so thrilled to be donating our library/school pack to you! It contains all of the 2k11 books. A ginormous thank you shout out goes to Patrice for nominating South Haven.
So that’s it, right? 2k11 is over, right? Not exactly. Our official programming might be over, but we’re family now, and there’s no expiration date on that.
As I look back on the year and the OODLES AND OODLES of correspondence we generated, I thought you might enjoy a look behind the scenes. Over the course of the last year…we met for the first time (virtually, and in some cases, in person), panicked together, gave each other nicknames, offered to kiss each other, had a slumber party, chucked imaginary rocks at meanieheads, threw sparkles, pseudo-hated other 2k11ers because their books were just THAT GOOD, drowned in emails, talked each other down from last-minute panic attacks, wrote messages with lots of exclamation points and random capital letters, and made some of the best darned friends in the world.
Not bad for 12 months. Not bad at all.
Thanks so much for sharing it with us. HAVE SOME SPARKLES!Read More
(with apologies to Robert Earl Keen)
by Trinity Faegen
It’s hard to believe, but the year is almost at an end, which means the Class of 2K11 will graduate and defer to the incoming Class of 2K12. I remember when I discovered the 2K classes, I thought it was something smart, a wise business decision to join other debut authors to pool resources and promote our books together. It has been all of that, but holy mackerel, so much more!
We have some comedians in our little merry band of authors, and they never fail to make me laugh. There are some wise sages in our group, and I’ve learned so much from them. It seemed there was always someone who knew something we didn’t, and sharing knowledge made us all better at what we do. But all that aside, what blows me away most is how well we all get along. Everyone left their egos at the door and came into the room with open minds and hearts. When some in the group had serious personal issues during the year, making it difficult to follow through on tasks, others were quick to step up and take on additional work. Kind, warm, lovely people I’m blessed to call friends – so much more than a good business decision, joining the Class of 2K11, sharing the joys and pitfalls, has made all the difference.
I hope the Class of 2K12 has as much fun as we have, and forge friendships that will continue, long after their debut. Many thanks to everyone who so graciously supported us this year. This isn’t goodbye, because more books will come from this class, but we’re no longer debut authors on the road to publication. We’ve become veterans, with war stories and esprit de corps, and no matter where the road takes us from here, we will always have the memories of our journey together.Read More
Note: this will be our last regularly scheduled news post.
Kiki Hamilton will be appearing at NCTE conference in Chicago on November 19th.
Angie Smibert will be signing books at Ram’s Head Books in Roanoke, Virginia on November 26 (1-3 pm).
Alissa Grosso has a release date and a shiny cover for her second book, FEROCITY SUMMER (Flux). It’ll be out May 8, 2012.Read More
by Bettina Restrepo
Chris Mandelski, Angie Smibert and I attended the SCBWI Carolinas annual conference in September 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolinas. Teresa Fannin, Regional Advisor, invited us to speak on a panel discussion about our path to publication. I can’t say enough good things about how well and organized this conference is. Kudos to the entire volunteer staff at SCBWI Carolinas!
Angie and I did critiques on Friday afternoon, and they had a very smooth process (I sat next to Rachel Orr from Prospect Agency). I loved how they the writers waiting outside and everyone was ushered in and out all at once. It helped me to stay on time. Also, this conference allowed participants to have multiple critiques – which I LOVED.
On Friday evening, we settled in for a faculty dinner. I believe the conference had more than twenty different authors, illustrators, agents, editors and art directors. There was something for everyone! Angie and I sat down at the end of the table near Josh Adams of the Adams Literary Agency. They are based out of Charlotte and represent many of the regional authors, not to mention so super big names in the literary world. Christine sat a little further down howling with laughter with the associate art director Lucy Ruth Cummins from Simon & Schuster.
Beth Revis did a jaw dropping presentation on her writing process. Did you know that Across the Universe was her 11th novel?
Carrie Ryan was so accessible during the conference and she gave great insight during her panel discussion. I must say, she is my literary crush.
Saturday was very simple. Our smaller room (not a big banquet hall) overflowed with people. Basically, Angie drew up some questions like path to publication, agent search and success, revising and the revision letters, and general advice. The room didn’t want us to stop… and frankly, I didn’t want to stop either. It was easy and relaxed. The three of us sharing common experience and the group dynamic that help saved us from the psychiatric ward during our debut year.
Saturday night, they had the banquet room with bar and nice Mexican buffet. I think Angie, Chris and I could have signed books all night, but our books sold out early!
Then, we did a giant author/illustrator panel where the published could opt into answering questions posed from the audience. Everyone took turns, gave insightful and short answers, and the audience gobbled it up.
There was also a silent auction for a David Diaz painting he did during a master’s class with the illustrators. I bought it to start my collection of Caldecott Award art.
Each evening, everyone from the unpublished writers, editors, agents, and New York Times Best seller sat in the bar talking until our voices gave out.
It was friendship, inspiration, education and good times rolled into one. For more information on other happenings at the conference , SCBWI Carolinas has done a fabulous write up in their quarterly newsletter, The Pen and Palette .
btw, here’s the tip sheet we put together based our session: Writing from First Sentence to Shelf.Read More
by Trinity Faegen
If you’re a writer, you’ve heard of NaNoWriMo and know it’s not a beverage at Starbucks. Yesterday marked the beginning of National Novel Writing Month, something that happens every November. Writers are urged to write 50,000 words and cheer one another on as they go. I’ve never done it. Not officially anyway. I’ve written thousands of words in a very short period of time, but no one was cheering me on, unless you count an editor writing emails asking how I was doing. Nothing motivates quite like an editor email.
Some first-time authors wrote their debut novels during NaNoWriMo and give it credit for getting them over the hump. Some find they can’t get as many words because they freeze, life gets in the way, or they lose interest in their project. It doesn’t matter, because every day writing, even if the words aren’t the best, is another day closer to the dream of publication.
I admire those who sign up for NaNoWriMo because it means they’re serious, and if I’ve learned nothing else in the publishing business, being serious about writing is what it’s all about. Did you sign up this year? Can you get to 50,000 words by the end of November? I may not be ‘official’, but I’m cheering for you! Good luck and happy writing!Read More