Writing Picture Books

Treasured Picture Books (the list goes on…)

My critique partners, appropriately named the PBJs (Picture Book Junkies), talks about, reviews and studies picture books. All. The. Time. Every week we bring books to the table and we learn from and drool over the fact that we are holding years of effort, sweat and love.

In early December we have our annual Christmas Tea to celebrate our year-end. We laugh at all the fun we’ve had, the minor successes, the heartbreaking and champagne rejections, the nominations, the mentorships, our writing news. It is a wonderful celebration!

We also have a gift exchange and everyone leaves with full bellies and either a craft book, picture book, MG or YA to enjoy. This year we will also bring a list of our top 15 favorite picture books. This is a challenge for me, but I’ll sort out the ones that have stood out over time or new ones just hitting the charts as best books of the year. Here are some of my most favorite time-treasured picks:

  1. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (will probably remain #1 forever!)
    *the rest are in no particular order*
  2. Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
  3. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  4. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  5. Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
  6. On the Day You Were Born by Debra Frasier
  7. The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
  8. Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick
  9. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
  10. The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse by Mac Barnett
  11. The First Dog by Jan Brett
  12. Owen by Kevin Henkes
  13. Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
  14. Train by Elisha Cooper
  15. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

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One day, I hope to add my name to this list or be on someone else’s list of top picks. Until then, I will work diligently at my craft and enjoy the beautiful (and sometimes agonizing) process along the way.

Golden Pen Finalist, Letters & Lines Conference, RMC-SCBWI, Writing Picture Books

2017 RMC-SCBWI Golden Pen Finalists

Golden Pen Finalists

This year at the Letters & Lines conference, faculty members selected ten outstanding manuscripts to be the Golden Pen Award finalists. The authors of these manuscripts not only have bragging rights but also the opportunity to be selected as the winner. One winner will be chosen by a committee of three judges. The winning author’s manuscript will be announced in November and that winner will receive free conference tuition to our 2018 Letters and Lines conference. Here are the finalists:

I was one of them! Can’t wait to hear who the winner is!

·        Cara Davies, Homestead

·        Megan E. Freeman, Lone Girl

·        Ashley Hastings, Blame It on the Cow

·        Katy Hess, The Pirate’s Hand

·        Lori Himmel, Waiting for Kai (THAT’S ME!)

·        Ann Morris, Thin

·        Paula Obering, Grizzly Bird

·        Laura Perdew, Undercurrents

·        Nancy D. Riley, Chaska and the Great Flood

·        Laura Wynkoop, Deer, Bear and Bicycle

 

writing contest, Writing Picture Books

2017 Halloweensie Contest

Susanna Leonard Hill, Children’s Author is hosting the 7th Annual Halloweensie Contest. The rules are: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children using the words candy cornmonster, and shadow. Here is my entry:

“Shadow! Shadow, where are you?”

“Mom, have you seen Shadow?”

“Check your room.”

I scoop up a handful of candy corn and run upstairs.

No Shadow.

I look in my sister’s room.

“Go away Sheldon! I’m transforming into a princess. And princesses don’t look for lost pets.”

“Dad, have you seen Shadow?”

“Check the porch.”

My monster-dressed friends are ready to trick-or-treat–costumes, bags, flashlights.

I’m ready too, but it won’t be Halloween without my best friend!

I finally give up looking.

We start trick-or-treating then something softly lands on my shoulder.

“Shadow, you found me!”

Pirate costume complete.

 

Susanna Leonard Hill- Children’s Author