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Dec. 5th, 2012

02:13 am - Photos: LA Kid Lit Holiday Happy Hour--and Book Drive!--2012

Hi, Everyone!

Kid Lit Holiday Happy Hour--and Book Drive!--2012 took place this past weekend. I took an even dozen pictures. Check them out on Facebook here, or by clicking the image below:

Karol and me, chief organizers of this year"s Kid Lit holiday event
Karol and me, chief organizers of this year's LA Kid Lit holiday event

About 50 people were there at the height, with several of us lined up before the bar opened, and others hanging out until Happy Hour's bittersweet end three and a half hours later. I didn't bring my flash, though, so I didn't document most of it. (Deliberate strategy, honestly.)

Last partyers standing! Closing down LA Kid Lit Holiday Happy Hour 2012.

Others have posted their pictures at the Kid Lit Holiday Happy Hour--and Book Drive!--2012 Facebook page, so check those out, too. And Karol and Charlie will still be collecting books for the book drive at tonight's SCBWI-LA Westside Writers Schmooze in Santa Monica.

I also took a few token shots at the screening of Library of the Early Mind that happened just before this, at the Santa Monica Public Library just a couple blocks away. I was so happy to see this film at last--and to see so many familiar faces gathered there!

Free screening of Library of the Early Mind, a 2010 documentary exploring the art and impact of children’s literature on our kids, our culture, and ourselves. Above, Lee offers a few words of introduction on behalf of SCBWI Los Angeles, who co-sponsored the event with the Santa Monica Public Library, and Karol gets mad props for making this screening and partnership happen.

As I wrote on the screening's Facebook page,

"Thank you again to the Westside Writers Schmooze (Karol and Charlie!), SCBWI-LA, and the Santa Monica Public Library for putting this together. Those of you who didn't make it, don't despair. Apparently you can also watch this movie on Library of the Early Mind's Web site--for a $5 rental fee. :) But it was so great to watch it with this vibrant group!"

Happy Holidays, Kid Lit Community!!


P.S. Special thanks to D for helping me decorate boxes for the holiday book drive, engaging with the movie (yay! I'm glad he liked it!), and then keeping me supplied with food and drinks throughout the Happy Hour, when he knew I would be too scattered to feed myself. I'm lucky, I know.

Nov. 20th, 2012

05:10 pm - This Dec. 1st: Kid Lit Holiday Happy Hour, LIBRARY OF THE EARLY MIND, & Apocalypsies Book Signing!

Hello, Everyone!

Just wanted to let you all know about three (3) exciting children's book events coming up on Saturday, Dec. 1st, open to all.

1) Kid Lit Holiday Happy Hour--and Book Drive!--2012
is taking place at Wokcano in Santa Monica on Dec. 1st, from 4 to 7:30 pm. An informal mixer with holiday cheer. Come socialize with fellow creators and lovers of children's books! And bring your unwrapped, new and gently used children's books (board books through YA novels)!

Visit the "Kid Lit Holiday Happy Hour--and Book Drive!--2012 Facebook page for more details on this year's event.

Click images above to view pictures from last year's Kid Lit Holiday Party and Book Drive. It was super fun--and produced a lot of holiday cheer for children in need!

2) This year's party immediately follows the nearby, FREE screening of Library of the Early Mind, a documentary interviewing nearly 40 celebrity children's book creators, at the Santa Monica Public Library Main Branch from 2 to 3:45 pm.

Library of the Early Mind interviews nearly 40 celebrity children's book creators, exploring the impact of children's literature on our kids, our culture, and ourselves.

The screening is co-sponsored by SCBWI-LA. For details including parking info, visit the "LIBRARY OF THE EARLY MIND - Free Screening!" Facebook page--and feel free to RSVP/"Join." I have been excited about this movie for a long time. By all accounts, it is wonderful.

3) The Kid Lit Happy Hour also follows the Apocalypsies Book Signing Party at Mysterious Galaxy in Redondo Beach from 2:30 to 3:30 pm, where nine (9) of our celebrated local authors will be signing books. Check out the superstar lineup through the link! People attending the book signing party will still have time to come to our Happy Hour, after . . .

So come one, come all! These events are open to all who love children's books, so please help spread the word!

Many MANY thanks to the organizers--especially Karol Ruth Silverstein this time around, who played an instrumental role both in bringing the screening to our area and getting this year's Kid Lit Holiday Happy Hour and Book Drive underway.

Cheers, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope to see many of you on Dec. 1st!

P.S. Feel free to "Join"/RSVP at the above linked Facebook event pages. RSVPs are purely optional, but always appreciated.

Apr. 16th, 2012

11:02 pm - SCBWI-LA Writer's Days and Kid Lit Drink Night this weekend!

What's up, people!!

Chocolate-covered strawberries from my good friend Vicki, just because. Chocolate-covered strawberries from my good friend Vicki, just because.
(Chocolate-covered strawberries from my good friend Vicki, just because.)

We have two (2) exciting treats for the creators of children's book in the LA region coming up this weekend.

1. SCBWI-LA Writer's Days is happening this Saturday and Sunday--April 21st & 22nd. You can sign up for one or both days here. Read all about the Writer's Days speakers and their talks at the first link. Non-SCBWI members are welcome, too!

SCBWI-LA's Regional Advisors, Lee Wind and Sarah Laurenson, posted a fun video about the event: "10 Hot Tips from SCBWI Los Angeles Writer's Days Faculty!" Check it out!

Sara is a Writer's Day speaker this year! Woo hooo!!

2. The next LA Kid Lit Drink Night--which is not sponsored by SCBWI but is also open to all who love children's books--takes place that same Saturday evening, April 21st, in that same area. Kid Lit Drink Night is an informal mixer where everyone buys their own libations and mingles away. This one is sure to be attended by many Writer's Days attendees and faculty.

That's Saturday April 21, 2012

at the outdoor patio/bar area of the
Monrovia DoubleTree
924 West Huntington Drive
Monrovia, CA 91016
(4 miles east of the SCBWI-Los Angeles Writer's Day location)

Facebook event page here.

So come one, come all! Hope to see you all at SCBWI-L.A. Writer's Days--and at Kid Lit Drink Night!

Chocolate-covered strawberries from my good friend Vicki, just because.Cheers,

P.S. Bonus!! Registration for the SCBWI Summer Conference 2012 starts this Wednesday at 10 AM. Check it out!!

Dec. 6th, 2011

06:46 am - Photos: Kid Lit Holiday Party! 2011

Hey, Everyone! Here are a few photos from the Kid Lit(erati) Holiday Party this past Saturday.

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To see the full set (I wish I'd taken more of everyone!!),
click here for Facebook, where you can tag or untag yourselves,
click here for Flickr, where you can download the images in sizes of your choosing, and/or
click here for Zenfolio, where you can download the whole batch and order prints, if that's your thing.

Thanks, everyone, for the drinks, delicious treats, and fun conversation--and THANKS for bringing all those gorgeous children's books to donate! The schools they're going to are really going to appreciate them!

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Lee Wind and Sara Wilson Etienne pose with all the beautiful, gleaming children's books to be donated. I seriously wanted to borrow half of them to take home and read first, but that wouldn't have been in the spirit.

As mentioned in my previous post, the YA titles--in the two stacks on the left--are going to Central High School/Tri-C, a continuation school serving at-risk youth throughout the LA school district. Picture Books through Middle Grade novels (the right two stacks, plus spillover onto the game table) will go to the Knox Elementary School in South Central LA. Both schools were arranged by Lee Wind, who also brought lovely, decorated boxes to sort the donations into as they arrived.

With double thanks to all of the organizers who made this event happen and got the word out--Lee Wind, Jenn Bosworth, Sara Wilson Etienne, Greg Pincus, Jill Corcoran, and me, I guess :) --and triple, quadruple thanks to all the people who helped sort and carry books at the end of the night (in addition to having helped lug them in!).

And always, I cannot thank enough the people who bring the delicious snacks . . . and the hilarity and good times!

Happy Holidays, Kid Lit Community!


Me with Elle Jauffret, who drives up specially from San Diego because LA Kid Lit events are so fun. (She makes the most amazing cookies, by the way. Good to know.)

Speaking of delicious baked goods, who brought those amazing dark chocolate espresso brownies in the pie tin? I would like to shake your hand . . .

:) :)

Nov. 30th, 2011

11:32 pm - This Saturday: The LA Kid Lit Holiday Party!!

Yo yo, what's up y'all . . .

Just wanted to remind everyone that the LA Kid Lit Holiday Party is this Saturday, Dec. 3rd, from 5 to 9 PM (and after!) at the Wellesbourne. Our last Kid Lit event was Halloween-themed. This one is all about the holidays!

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Photos from LA Kid Lit parties past. Don't miss the upcoming LA Kid Lit Holiday Party, this Saturday, Dec. 3rd at The Wellesbourne!

In the spirit of holiday giving--and celebrating--we're suggesting everyone bring new or gently used, unwrapped books to donate. Lee Wind has found some fantastic schools to donate them to, who will appreciate the books greatly.

* * *
Saturday, Dec. 3rd, from 5 to 9 PM

Join other writers, illustrators, agents, editors, bloggers, librarians, educators, and people who just love children's and teen literature at a Kid Lit Community Holiday Party!

Cash Bar, pay as you order.

Cookies, bring and share.

Books for needy kids, donate unwrapped books, picture-books through YA, and feel all holiday-festive!

Your Picture Books through Middle Grade Novels will be donated to Knox Elementary School in South Central Los Angeles. They're a new school, and even though they don't have a librarian, their Principal, Ms. Ward, is a huge advocate of reading and has teachers take their students to the library to check out the books. They're incredible excited at the prospect of more and new books for their kids! New and gently used books are fine, ARCs are fine, and donating more than one book is better than fine!

@ The Wellesbourne
10929 W. Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064
(Across the street from the Landmark Theater and the Westside Pavilion Mall)

This is not an official SCBWI-L.A. event, but it's open to all our members as well and everyone in the kid lit community!
* * *

For the YA books that people bring, Lee has also made arrangements at Central High School/Tri-C. Says Lee:
I got confirmation from Janet Seary, the principal of Central High School/Tri-C, that they would love to accept our YA book donations. They are a continuation school serving at risk youth, and they have 29 classrooms all across the LA school district. There is no main library for these 600-800 students, but each classroom tries to have some books for their teens. The teachers will choose which ones they want for their classrooms from the donations brought.

I'm very excited that we now have two very worthy schools to accept all the books that get donated during our holiday party!

So come one, come all, and let's have a joyous time singing,* dancing,* snogging,** and eggnogging*** this Saturday, Dec. 3rd, at 5 PM at the Wellesbourne!

* suggested activities are purely optional
** for snogging you will need an accomplice
*** eggnog not guaranteed; you might have to bring your own.

I'll be there with bells on . . .


P.S. For more info, visit

The Kid Lit Holiday Party Facebook event page
Lee Wind's blog post

And you will probably hear about this event from its many organizers (which include Lee Wind, Jenn Bosworth, Sara Wilson Etienne, Gregory K. Pincus, Jill Corcoran, and me) as well as excited attendees.

* * * BONUS!! * * *
On the same day, you can also attend Carol M. Tanzman's book launch party for Dancergirl,  a young adult thriller published by Harlequin Teen. Carol's book launch is happening from 4 to 6 PM this Saturday at the Curve Line Space Gallery/Frame Store at 1577 Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock. Lots of people are planning to attend both. We actually extended the time of the Holiday Party so everyone could!

This event will feature live performances, Brooklyn Treats by Eagle Rock Bakery, book sales by Skylight Books, and, of course, Carol and her new book, Dancergirl!

Spread the word, everybody! Hope to see you Saturday!
* * * * *

Oct. 26th, 2011

01:00 am - Photos: LA Kid Lit Costume Party! 2011

Happy Halloween Week, Everyone!

I had a great time this past Saturday at the LA Kid Lit Costume Party! 2011–the third LA Kid Lit Drink Night since a few of us started them in June. Because of Halloween, Jenn Bosworth suggested we dress up as book characters this time, and she picked the Wellesbourne as a swanky new location.

The Wellesbourne was fantastic! The dark, wood-paneled library/tavern with roaring fireplace suited every character perfectly, from Hogwarts students to detectives to gothic and whimsical creatures of the night.

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Above: I went as Bunnicula, a vampire bunny that sucks the juices out of vegetables in the night (turning them white), by James Howe. Some of my other favorite characters brought to life included Roald Dahl's The Witches, which Hilary and Elizabeth did to perfection; Sherlock Holmes; Encyclopedia Brown; and Harriet the Spy, and The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds–the latter two played by Sara and Lee of my writing group, respectively.

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Writing group fun! Because this is what all of our meetings are like.

You can see all of my pictures on Facebook here
or view the same album with bonus images on Zenfolio, which is prettier. (You can download all of the full-size images from Zenfolio, and watch a slideshow.)

A lot of the costumes were gorgeous. Check out this Dia de los Muertos creation!

Those horns and that makeup . . . not to mention the perfect Sherlock outfit! I am in awe.

I love Halloween. It gets us all to play together. Sara recently blogged about the need to find your community for every next phase of your journey (and she also blogged her recap of the Kid Lit Costume Party–with more pictures!). The Kid Lit scene is definitely my peeps. Everyone got my costume right away! Not only did they get it, they waxed rhapsodic about Bunnicula, and one author revealed she knows James Howe! (She took my picture to send to him!)

A lot of my non-Kid Lit friends waxed rhapsodic about Bunnicula, too, when I mentioned I was going to this. You could see the shock of recognition in their faces, and the growing excitement as memories came back. That's what I want for my characters when I grow up. :)

I also met Mrs. Whatsit, from A Wrinkle In Time, and this Special from Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series.

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That's exactly what Mrs. Whatsit would look like! And I was intimidated by Lori, the Special. I've never seen her hair tamed before. It suggested great power, ready to be unleashed.

I lis(th)ped through my fangth all night, which made talking about my book ridiculouth. I was proud of the giant daikon I found, and the white radishes. (I went through every daikon at two different Japanese stores to find the most carrot-shaped one. It weighed over two pounds! It cost more than a dollar–which is nothing for Halloween but a lot for daikon. And yes, I plan to eat these vegetables–if I don't use them on actual Halloween. I haven't decided yet what I'm doing for West Hollywood.)

In hindsight, I can't help but wish I'd taken more pictures–that took advantage of the location, especially. Like, why didn't I get Sherlock Holmes leaning on an armchair in front of the big, roaring fireplace? And how come I don't have a photo of Mia's gorgeous, red-lightning-riddled back (the main character from Jenn Bosworth's upcoming novel Struck)? I was too busy juggling daikon and lithping.

Ah, well. Next year.

Until then, see you in the next post!


P.S. I realize I've barely mentioned people, and all the great friends we've made. Can you tell I love Halloween? But seriously, we had a lovely time.

Aug. 6th, 2011

01:33 am - The 2nd Ever LA Kid Lit Drink Night Is This Sunday!

Hey there! What's up. Besides me. At 1:30 AM.

I had such a great time at the SCBWI Summer Conference today, and we've got three more days! Can't wait to see everyone tomorrow--and I especially can't wait to see you all at the 2nd-Ever LA Kid Lit Drink Night, which is happening this Sunday evening--and which is not officially Conference-sponsored, so everyone interested in children's books should come! It'll be at Pink Taco in the Century City Mall (across the street from the conference) on Sunday, from 6-8 pm. Our first LA Kid Lit Drink Night turned out awesome. This one should be nuts.

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Kid Lit friends at Pink Taco during the 2009 SCBWI Summer Conference. I definitely expect these faces to be there Sunday.

You can also read about this hotly anticipated event at
Lee Wind's blog,
Jill Corcoran's blog,
Greg Pincus's blog, plus
Sara Wilson Etienne knows all about it, too.
But, of course, you heard it here first . . . at 1:30 in the morning on the day before . . . Right??

I know a lot of people will be stopping by this blog in the days immediately following the Conference to see when my pictures go up. (Thanks!) Stay tuned . . .

In the meantime, I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's Pajama Party.


Jun. 16th, 2011

09:23 pm - The first LA Kid Lit Drink Night is this Saturday!

Hello, Friends!

I'm looking forward to our first LA Kid Lit Drink Night this Saturday night, 6-8 pm, at Pink Taco in the Century City Mall!

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Fun with Kid Lit friends at Pink Taco during the 2009 SCBWI Summer Conference. A few of the people in this picture will be there this Saturday night (Charlie Cohen, upper right; Greg Pincus, lower right), as will I, the photographer not pictured. :)

Here is a re-post ("RP") from Jill Corcoran's June 12th blog entry:

Los Angeles Kid Lit Drink Night June 18 from 6-8pm

The First Ever Informal And Amazing Los Angeles Kid Lit Drink Night
Saturday, June 18 from 6-8pm
Pink Taco in the Century City Mall . . . meet on the patio!

BIG NEWS: LA KidLit Drink Night #2
Sunday, August 7th 6pm at Pink Taco

Inspired by the Kid Lit Drink Night cooked up by Betsy Bird and Cheryl Klein in NYC, Los Angeles whips up our own version of the drop-by-for-drinks-and-food-(you-buy-your-own)-and-great-conversation-with-cool-people-in-the-Children's-Literature-Industry Evening! Masterminded by Lee Wind, Greg Pincus, Rita Crayon Huang, Sara Wilson Etienne and Jill Corcoran! Help spread the word and invite YOUR Kid Lit World friends...

For more info, visit the Facebook event page here.

Kids' Book People in southern CA, come one, come all! Hope to see you there!

P.S. Also check out Greg's post about it here and Lee's post here!