Friday, October 14, 2016

Poetry Camp, a CWIM Giveaway, and Lots More!

Our Teaching Authors topic for this new series of posts is agents: who has one, who doesn't, and the advantages and disadvantages of submitting with or without an agent.

But before I begin that discussion, I must mention Poetry Camp, an amazing experience organized by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell, the geniuses behind Pomelo Books and the Poetry Friday anthologies, along with Western Washington University's Sylvia Tag and Nancy Johnson. I was so happy to see our own April there, along with 35 or so other children's poets and a very enthusiastic audience of teachers, librarians, and other poetry people. What fun! Besides meeting, talking with, and learning from all those wonderful poets, we ended the conference with a performance by Jack Prelutsky. In its online Industry News, Publishers Weekly included a photo of our group.

My husband and I drove from Wisconsin to Bellingham, Washington, for the conference--an amazing journey of 4,685 miles! We took advantage of a few opportunities to camp along the way. Here's a camping poem from our first night outside:


in the middle of somewhere
vast star-bright sky
tiny dome home
we fall asleep to owl hoots
coyote howls
train whistles
wake up to bluebirds
singing in the new day

Now back to our scheduled topic. I've never worked with an agent, so I can only discuss the pros and cons of submitting on my own. In a nutshell, I have the freedom to submit to any editor who accepts unagented manuscripts (I also add names to my contact list when I meet editors at conferences), and I bear the responsibility of managing all that submitting and negotiating on my own.

I wrote about submitting directly to editors in an article in the Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market (CWIM) 2017. For "Be Your Own Literary Agent," I interviewed four other children's book authors who also submit their own work. Mary Ann Rodman, Lisa Moser, Janet Halfmann, and Gretchen Woelfle answered questions about networking, finding editors, tracking submissions, and negotiating contracts. To celebrate the article, we're giving away a copy of the CWIM 2017, courtesy of Writer's Digest Books. You can enter below.

Another announcement: Hundreds of new children's books published in 2016, both traditionally and independently published, are celebrated in the SCBWI Book Blast. You can search for specific titles and authors and even buy books. Among other treasures, you'll find Carmela's new edition of Rosa, Sola (in paperback and ebook) with discussion questions for classroom use.

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win your own copy of the Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market 2017. You may enter via 1, 2, or all 3 options. If you choose option 2, you must leave a comment on today's blog post. If your name isn't part of your comment identity, please include it in your comment for verification purposes. If you prefer, you may submit your comment via email to teachingauthors [at] gmail [dot] com. The giveaway ends October 31 and is open to U.S. residents only. Email subscribers, if you received this post via email, you can click on the Rafflecopter link at the end of this message to access the entry form.

Irene Latham has today's Poetry Friday Roundup at Live Your Poem. Enjoy!

JoAnn Early Macken

a Rafflecopter giveaway

46 comments:

jama said...

Wow -- didn't realize you drove all that way to Poetry Camp! What an amazing event that was -- enjoyed all the posts and pics about it. I need to check out the SCBWI Book Blast. Congrats on your article in the new CWI Market!

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Thank you, Jama! You were at Poetry Camp, too--we spread the word about your fabulous blog during our blogging presentation. Yes, the conference was truly amazing!

Linda B said...

I have loved all the posts about Poetry Camp, yours, too, JoAnn, but this time I love the idea of that long trip with your husband. It sounds so wonderful. Thanks for the bits of advice here, and the chance to win the latest copy of the new CWIM, with your article, too! Have a good weekend!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

What an amazing poetry/camping adventure, JoAnn. Congratulations on your forthcoming article, too!

Violet Nesdoly said...

I enjoyed your reading at Poetry Camp, JoAnn! My husband and I drove too, but it wasn't a thousand or even a hundred miles... a mere 40-ish from just north of the border. (You don't have to put me in the draw because I'm from Canada... though I've had a CWIM book in the past and found it most helpful.)

Molly Hogan said...

How wonderful that you were able to combine a road trip with Poetry Camp. I loved your poem, and especially the title. (I'm noticing titles a lot these days after Irene's post and because I struggle with them so!) I'd love the chance to win a copy of the CWIM book.

Buffy Silverman said...

Wow--that's quite a road trip! So fun to hear all the poetry camp love (and wishing I had gone. Next time.)

Irene Latham said...

JoAnn, I love thinking of you in your tiny dome home. :) What an adventure, indeed! So glad to have met you and only wish we'd had more time to get to know one another. Thanks for sharing your experience being your own agent. There are many paths to publication, aren't there? No one right path. Agented or not, we all have to keep walking one step at a time. Thank you!

Rosi said...

Fabulous trip. Thanks for telling me about it. And thanks for the chance to win this book.

Kathleen Mazurowski said...

What an adventure! I don't have good luck camping, but your poem almost inspired me to try it again. Thanks!

Mitchell Linda said...

Fabulous post!
You drove over 4,000 miles to and from Poetry Camp?! Holy Cow! That is some serious dedication. But, how wonderful to stop and camp along the way. I love camping....but my hubs doesn't. So, I lingered wistfully over your photo and poem. Every account I have read of Poetry Camp is wonderful. I live in hope that there will be an East Coast Poetry Camp someday soon.

Carl Scott said...

What a fun trip that must have been. I love long road trips, especially if we get to camp along the way. Thanks for the chance to win this special book, it's a really great tool. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

Avigayil Perry said...

This looks like an awesome blog! Can't wait to read more!

Brenda Harsham said...

4,685 miles! Wow!! That is a testament to where people will go for poetry, all around the world. Love the dome house photo and the poem, too. I love that you brought Jama with you to Poetry Camp. I went to SCBWI's NE Encore yesterday, and someone recognized me from my blog. Give me a giggle to think about it. Connections are being made all the time, even when we don't realize.

Bobbi Miller said...

What an amazing journey to make. I think that is a book waiting to be written. Love this post! Thank you for this inspiration.

Kelly Wade said...

Having 6 teacher/authors work on this post provides great variety, insight, and inspiration for me, as a teacher who wants to write. Thanks.

April Halprin Wayland said...

JoAnn! I'm waking out of my TeachingAuthors sabbatical slumber to say how wonderful it was to hug my blog buddy in real life--it's been too long.

Loved Poetry Camp and the thought of you camping along the way!

xox

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Hello, hello, & belated thanks to all! I'm happy to read all your thoughts about poetry, camping, & Poetry Camp! Now to catch up from the trip!

Carmela Martino said...

Congrats on the article, JA! And I love your poem.

jan godown annino said...

"Hoots... howls...whistles...singing..."
JoAnn - you enjoyed a jumpstart on that fabulous-sounding Poetry Camp with your & your hubby's own version, enroute. I love the cozy image of your camp with lit fire. And the poem.
For those of us who didn't attend, it's been fun to identify writing pals in the photos of this creative time you all enjoyed.
Kudos on the 2017 article - I look forward to finding it. Hopefully, in a copy I win, but if not, at the Library or I'll cadge a copy from a writing pal.

Joanna said...

I would have loved the road trip as much as the camp! Congrats on your article!

Abi Cushman said...

I look forward to reading your article about CWIM. It seems like a pretty daunting task to submit and negotiate on your own, especially these days when so many publishers are closed to unagented submissions. So I'm curious to read how you do it.

Doraine Bennett said...

I didn't realize you drove all the way to Bellingham. What a marvelous trip. Love the poem.

Danielle H. said...

I want to go to poetry camp! My favorite poet of all is Jack Prelutsky. I'm so happy to have found your site!

Susie Sawyer said...

Wow, JoAnne, this couldn't be more timely. I'm currently torn between continuing as an unagented writer and focusing on subbing agents instead of publishing houses. Thank you!

Susie Sawyer

Carol Varsalona said...

JoAnn, I was intrigued that you traveled so far and camped out. My daughter and son-in-law are big campers but I have never tried it. Your poem is delightful and I love the information in all of the Teaching Author blogs. Perhaps, you might like to offer your camping poem and photo as a combined #Imagepoem for my #Autumnventure Gallery for it is a trued autumn adventure.

Shelly Worscheck said...

Very informative and lively website. I appreciate your thoughts on pro's and con's of having an agent or not.

michelle kogan said...

Poetry Camp . . . Sounds intriguing, and what a wonderful rode trip adventure, with bluebirds at the end of the rainbow! I look forward to reading your article in the 2017 CWIM.

Linda said...

The topic of finding an agent has been something I've been thinking about lately. I would love to read your article in the 2017 CWIM about submitting to editors. I'm really not sure where to begin, and your article would be very helpful. : )

Julie A. LaCombe said...

I feel so fortunate to have found our blog. What a wealth of information! I look forward to exploring the site and upcoming posts. Thank you!

JoAnn Early Macken said...

I'm home again after another trip, this one much shorter--to Green Lake, Wisconsin, for the SCBWI-Wisconsin Fall Conference, where I spoke about Three Routes to Publishing, including a discussion about agents. I'm enjoying reading these different perspectives; aren't you?

Jane Heitman Healy said...

Poetry Camp--what fun! And what fun and inspiration any time writers get together, even if it's only online. Thanks for the informative posts on this blog!

Kristi Veitenheimer said...

Love your blog!

Traci Bold said...

JoAnn, besides reading this great post from you on this blog, I heard your fantastic presentation on agent vs. no agent at the conference this weekend at Green Lake. While I stink at poetry, I have shared this post with my poetry writing friends.

Nancy Goodfellow said...

Love, love, love your poem - especially the title!

Jen said...

Looking forward to reading your CWIM article -- so glad to have found your blog!
~Jen Garthe

Sandy Brehl said...

Buying a copy is on my November to-do list- since I'm holing off with fingers crossed that I'll win! This series is so valuable. It's all too easy, even simplistic, to fall into "if only" thinking, especially if that is "if only I had an agent". If/when it happens, it needs to be right time, right market, right goals, and a dollop of magic!

Tanya Konerman said...

Great post...love the poem. Nature gets those brain cells and writing endorphins pumping, imho!

Janet Halfmann http://www.janethalfmann.com said...

I'd loe to win the new Children's Writers and Illustrators Market. Such a great resource--and also would love to read JoAnn's article in the book, in which I'm interviewed. Happy Writing to All!

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Best of luck to everyone who entered! Two more days till we find out who wins. Maybe it's you!

Sue Heavenrich said...

what an awesome way to travel to a conference! On my bucket list: cross-country camping trip - conference optional. Thanks for your post (and following one) about agents.

Wendy said...

Congratulations on your CWIM article! I look forward to reading. :)

Irene Pozoukidis said...

Look forward to reading your article on submitting to editors sans agent. Poetry camp sounds like fun!

Karen Angelini said...

I am interested in the criteria for selection, pros and cons of being (versus hiring) a literary agent. Thank you!

Judy Sobanski said...

Your article sounds very informative. I look forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing about the Poetry Camp, too!

jane buttery said...

I found your early experiences interesting to read. I chose the self-publishing route and learned so much in the process. I have now done 14 books -picture books to YA novels.Since they are regional (including 2 historical novels) self-publishing works well, gives me control and I can use local illustrators providing local work and local printers with a job. i also write people's life stories
jane in Ontario
http://janebuttery.com