Friday, February 27, 2009

The Write Connections

(Photo by Kendra,

Writing is a solitary activity, yet writers seek and need connections with other writers. When writers get together, they exclaim, explain, proclaim. They commiserate, participate, and sometimes even conjugate!

Perhaps the best organization for writers and illustrators of children's books and articles is the Society for Children's Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

I'm pleased to announce the SCBWI Dakotas Spring Conference! If you want to know more about writing or illustrating for children's publications, or if you want to hear up-and-coming authors tell how they became up-and-coming, please join us in Sioux Falls on Saturday, April 4. Spread the word!

The Dakotas Region of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators presents
"Books, Art, and Beyond"

Date: Saturday, April 4, 2009

Time: 8:30-4:00 Conference
4:00-5:00 Critiques, portfolio reviews, informal manuscript exchange

Location: Central Baptist Church
3100 W. Ralph Rogers Rd.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Speakers: Tim Gillner, Art Director, Boyds Mills Press

S.T. Underdahl, Young adult novelist --The Other Sister, Remember This

Mary Scarbrough, Nonfiction children's book author--Mission: Space Camp

Jean L.S. Patrick, Children's book author--The Girl Who Struck Out Babe Ruth

Martyn Beeny, Associate Editor, S.D. State Historical Society Press

Mark Geary, Technology and Children's Literature, Dakota State University

Cost: $75 SCBWI members $85 non-members

Advance registration required
Registration form available at

Critique Opportunites (optional)

* Artists/Illustrators: Bring portfolio for general review from Tim Gillner, Art Director, Boyds Mills Press

* Writers: Submit manuscript appropriate for children (1500 wds max)
5-6 of these will be selected for a public first-page review
Deadline: March 14, 2009, postmark

* Private critique: Submit complete story or first chapter (1500 wds max)
Cost: $40 Deadline: March 14, 2009
Don't delay! Limited number of spaces available.

For complete information, go to

Please forward this information to others who are interested in writing and illustrating children's books. Thanks!

If writing for children is your dream, here's your opportunity to make the write connections!

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Gettysburg Address

"Four score and seven years ago...." So begins one of the most often memorized and quoted speeches ever given, the Gettysburg Address. In honor of President's Day and in observance of Lincoln's 200th birthday, let's reflect a moment on that speech, given in November 1863 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as a way to honor all war dead.

The address shows a lot about Lincoln's character and understanding of the United States as a persevering nation.

The United States has another Gettysburg address, persevering on the prairie. Gettybsurg's 1,000 residents have a sense of history and a sense of humor in promoting their town.

Gettysburg, SD, is known for its outdoor opportunities--hunting, snowmobiling, fishing, boating, and swimming. It's a friendly community with a lot of spirit.

And if you still want to visit the other Gettysburg, here are directions:

And may it be that these hardy South Dakotans keep their senses of humor and that, in Lincoln's words, "government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth."