Friday, August 3, 2018

Sounds of Summer...

For the next few weeks we Teaching Authors are exploring how the summer season might affect our writing, work plans and/or schedule.
We’re also offering readers the opportunity to win an autographed copy of Patricia Karwatowicz’s HP? WHO’S HE? Be sure to read the details at the end of this post.
. . . . .

I’m proud to say, I spend my days - and often nights - growing writers, seeding and feeding human beings who want to tell their stories to children.
Like farming, it’s a four-season endeavor, not to mention, fortunately, a labor of love.

Often while planting and fertilizing, each crop’s possibilities have me pinching myself.
Canadian writer Brian Brett wrote, “Farming is a profession of hope.”
Writing for children is one in the same.  Indeed, isn’t the offering of hope what defines a children’s book?
(My own writing, when I find or finally make the time, can be similarly described.) 😊

this summer,
I’ve simply kept on keepin’ on. I’ve turned page after page to feed myself the newest books - sighing, laughing, crying and ah-ing whilst watering and sunning my writers 'til the cows come home.
As always, I continue to LOUDLY thank the Universe, for my writers as well as for my teaching opportunities – specifically, this summer’s Advanced Picture Book Workshop at Chicago’s Newberry Library, the one-week July Manuscript Workshop in Landgrove, Vermont and my current participation in Judson University’s Doctor of Education in Literacy program.

I’d decided last December to mainly utilize children’s books published in 2018 in my teaching and coaching throughout this year.  Showcasing the marketplace is always a plus. Writers need to know the books being published.  Writers also need to know, though, publishing happens.  Debut authors offer pure Inspiration.

Let’s hear it for these rich resources that continue to help me feed my writers:

Epic Eighteen Authors and Illustrators
The Electric Eighteens (debut mg and ya authors)
Kids Indy Next Lists (seasonal)
The Nerdy Book Club
Mr. Schu Reads (Twitter)
ALA Booklist (Twitter)
PW’s Children’s Book Issues/Children’s Bookshelf

And let’s hear it, too, for my Chicago Public Library’s budget and reserve system that placed each season’s books in my welcoming hands.

Finally, that sound you hear is me enthusiastically applauding Juana Martinez-Neal, Lindsey Stoddard and Adrienne Kisner, authors respectively of these three debut cream of the crop 2018 books – the picture book ALMA AND HOW SHE GOT HER NAME (Candlewick Press), the middle grade novel JUST LIKE JACKIE (HarperCollins) and the YA novel DEAR RACHEL MADDOW (Feiwel and Friends).  Their characters – Alma, Robbie and Brynn - opened my heart and their stellar craft opened my eyes, enabling me to further fortify my writers and students.

Hands together clappin’ and Happy Growin’- all-year-long!

Oh, and be sure to click HERE to enter our Book Giveaway of Patricia Karwatowicz’s HP? WHO’S HE? Today’s the last day!

Thanks to Mary Lee and Franki at A Year of Reading for hosting today’s Poetry Friday AND helping me feed my writers.

Esther Hershenhorn

Here’s a photo of Epic Eighteen debut picture book author Christy Mihaly sharing her Holiday House picture book HEY! HEY! HAY! with 3 of my Vermont Manuscript Workshop writers (from left to right Laurie Stein, Nancy Ramsey, Christy, me, Cheryl Sullivan) this July.


Linda B said...

You've made your summer sound very good, Esther. I'm glad to see more debut authors, and loved Alma and How She Got Her Name, have the other two on my list! Thanks for sharing each part that makes your summer good!

Christy Mihaly said...

I agree, "Alma" is fabulous! Thank you for this lovely meditation on the joys of writing and books and teaching writers, Esther. I loved meeting your Vermont workshop writers. Thanks again for the opportunity to share my book and stories about writing with them, and you!

Esther Hershenhorn said...

Thanks, Linda B. and Christy, for taking time out of YOUR summers to post.
The 2018 pb's are so very terrific. I'm still reading my way through the Fall entries to share with my Fall pb writers.