This week in writing: spring is nearly here edition

Well I got my birthday wish for a non-freezing weekend. I went out on Friday night with no gloves! All this above freezing weather makes me hopeful for warm days and sandals! Man I love sandals.

So here’s something else that seems to be thawing: picture books. For several years, the picture book industry seemed to be in decline, but it looks like things are picking up again (you know, the pendulum always swings) according to folks like Neal Porter. His interview with Leonard Marcus touches on what moves him in children’s books, and how he may have started a trend with picture book biographies.

9781452103143_josephine_largeSpeaking of PB biographies, you want to sign up for a chance to win Josephine by Patricia Hurby Powell. I have been eyeing this title for a while, and even if I don’t win I will be buying a copy for myself. Find out more about this fabulous book at the link above.

According the Publisher’s Weekly, the kids book market is continually changing, and everyone’s keeping their eyes on who is buying what, and where they’re finding out about the books that end up on their shelves. This Publisher’s Weekly article looks at how ebooks have affected the children’s market. If your focus is on only YA books, then this will help you figure out how to connect with fans. (Hint: make videos)

This fabulous Highlights workshop focuses on what I consider to be the most difficult genre in all of children’s writing: rhyming picture books. I only wish I could attend, but my dance card is filled that weekend. It’s being taught by Linda Sue Park who won the 2002 Newberry for A Single Shard, and Lisa Wheeler, author of 33 picture books.

worst-book-covers-titles-48A creative writing professor screws over both his bosses and students when he says that creative writing courses are “a waste of time.” Emma Dryden warns us not to play it safe. With hundreds of picture books under her belt, the lady knows what she’s talking about. Historical fiction gets some attention in this post by Bobbi Miller. And I couldn’t agree more. (It’s something that I’m really proud of being a part of at Rosen. There is a huge understanding of how historical fiction can enhance a book about history and make it more accessible for young readers. Have I mentioned how much I love my new job?) And there’s this discussion over on Uma Krishnaswami’s site about the lack of diversity in kids lit and what we all should be doing about it. As you know, this is a personal passion of mine, and I have decided to refocus my energy with this blog to really make an impact on kids publishing with regard to diversity.

Finally, there’s this series of actual book titles which are easily the worst possible titles ever. If you are drinking something, swallow and put your cup down before you click through. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.