Taking a Leadership Role

As the amazing Elissa Cruz moves on to new adventures, four contributors to From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors have stepped up to fill her big beautiful shoes and lead the blog. I’m pleased to announce that I am one of those four. I’m both honored to take on a bigger role and excited to do even more to¬†spread the word about¬†middle-grade books and readers.

Introducing Gather Here, Pacific Northwest History for Young People

I am beyond excited to finally announce a little project I’ve been working on with the amazing Valerie Stein and Mark Holtzen: Gather Here, Pacific Northwest History for Young People. We hope to support efforts in the education system to bring more local history into the classroom by telling stories aimed at a third to fifth grade audience. What better way to learn about my new home than through researching local history.

You can read more on Valerie‘s and Mark‘s blogs.

2015 SCBWI-WWA Annual Conference

Our SCBWI Annual Conference took place over this past weekend right here in Redmond. It was a weekend of inspiration and community. The Chinook Update blog has a great recap of the conference. Once again, I am so thankful to be a part of the amazing writing community here in Western Washington. As much as I loved our time in Finland, living in a place where I can meet face-to-face with writers on a regular basis is amazing.

QUEST FOR THE KALEVALA Selected for PitchSlam

I’m thrilled that my middle-grade fantasy, QUEST FOR THE KALEVALA, was selected to participate in April’s #PitchSlam contest. In addition to the outpouring of support from the writing community, I got expert feedback on my first page. Thanks to that feedback and yet another round of revision, the critical first page of my story has the high polish it needs.

Thank you to everyone who made this contest possible! Your dedication to paying it back to the writing community is much appreciated!

2015 Children’s Literature Conference

One of the great things about our recent repatriation is the wealth of conferences, festivals, and other book- and writing-related events available in the Western Washington region. So I was thrilled to attend Western Washington University’s 2015 Children’s Literature Festival in Bellingham, Washington in February.

I shared some moments of inspiration in my Love-Letter to Children’s Books over on From the Mixed-Up Files.