MultiCultural Round-Up: SCBWI Conference and more…

I’m so excited about the following announcements!

SCBWI once again gives us something to celebrate. The Summer Conference will be open for registration on April 21 at 10 AM PDT. As always, the program is fabulous. Mouthwatering. Where do I start?

Even if the organizers do not always state so in the program, cultural diversity is never ignored in SCBWI international events. In previous conferences, I had the opportunity to listen to and sometimes interact with outstanding, award-winning authors and illustrators such as Jacqueline Woodson, Nikki Grimes, Sherman Alexie (I nearly passed out when he said “hi.” I’m ridiculous, I know. Some can’t handle their liquor. I’m like a kid when I meet my literary heroes.), Kadir Nelson, etc… The international conferences, New York and Los Angeles, could be considered pricey depending on your budget; however, trust me, they are totally worth it. If you are a writer or illustrator, it is an investment in your career. It could be a defining moment. For everyone, publishers, publicists and who-did-I-miss?, it is an extraordinary opportunity to network.

Back to the 2010 Summer conference in L.A. Among the fabulous keynote speakers are Jon Scieszka, Gennifer Choldenko, Illustrators E.B. Lewis, Ashley Bryan… The premium workshops, available for an extra fee, fill up pretty quickly. Within the hour in some cases. This year there is an opportunity to work on your YA manuscript with DelaCorte (Random House) Senior Editor Krista Marino (the link is an interview she gave on Shelli Johannes’ Market My Words in 2009), on picture book craft with Golden Books Editorial Director Diane Muldrow, to learn about graphic novels, digital illustration and more…

The conference fee includes sessions such as Writing for Magazines, Solving Plot Problems, Media 101: How to Make the Most of Twitter, Blogging etc… Read the complete program. You won’t regret it.

I saved the best for all. SCBWI did it!!! *You can’t see, but I’m actually doing the happy dance in my living room*
They’ve included the following break-out session: WRITING MULTI-CULTURAL IDENTITY. I’m dying to know who the presenter is. Will keep you update, and feel free to check SCBWI website on April 21 for the answer!

Of course, most if not all the sessions in the program are useful in regard to writing multicultural stories for kids and teens; however, it is really helpful to have at least one specifically dedicated to that topic.

Shameless advertisement: SCBWI rocks your socks, and I hope you’ll consider joining if not already. πŸ˜€ It’s $85 for the first membership fee, then $70 when you renew each year. Upon registering you will receive a package that, if you are a novice, will provide you with invaluable information regarding the publishing field: from the first steps to take as a writer, advices on query letters etc… plus list of children’s book publishers and magazines, and much more.

There is likely to be a SCBWI presence in your region. To find out about it, visit SCBWI website and click on regions, then regional chapters. The chapters often have monthly meetings open to members and non-members for a very small fee, as well as affordable local conferences that will enable you to meet agents and editors, while networking with fellow artists.

Okay, moving on. Didn’t expect to write so much about it. πŸ˜€

April is quite a busy month. I knew about National Poetry and School Library Month, but Edi at Crazy Quilts also mentioned Alcohol Awareness, Stress Awareness, Mathematics, Donate Life, National Jazz and National Garden. Are you still there?

Let’s start with National Poetry Month. I want to know: How do you celebrate? Share you deeds, leave the URL of your blog if you have one. I and I’m sure others will gladly visit and let ourselves be taken on the lyrical journey. Thought of using the s**k word but will refrain. Don’t laugh at me and my language barrier, I still haven’t figured out if “suck” is a bad word or not; so I’ll rephrase: I’m *terrible* when it comes to writing poetry, but so enjoy reading it over and over again.

I hope that you will visit PaperTigers’ Blog and read about their wonderful multicultural poetry round-up! You won’t regret it.

In addition PaperTigers had a shout-out to the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBYP) regarding the 1st National Children’s Book Award. Deadline is April 15. Head over for more info!

I also warmly recommend Donna’s blog, Word Wrangler NC, a place where you can get your poetry fix any time of the week. πŸ˜‰

Bear with me, I have a few more announcements to make. Author Zetta Elliot’s blog, Fledgling, is on fire. Seriously. You gotta head over and read. You’ll be enlightened. I haven’t really been online for the past four weeks, so catching up, but still hung up on her posts. Thanks to her I learned about a tradition of oral storytelling picking up in Crown Heights, NY, as part of a project. A group of young women interview people who live or have lived in Crown Heights. The interviews will be donated to Brooklyn Historical Society. It made my heart feel warm when I read some of the interviews. That initiative tells me about the identity of Crown Heights. It’s like a glimpse at the soul of the neighborhood, something so rare nowadays, especially in era where neighbors hardly know each other and people hardly interact in person (Facebook and Twitter do not count). Oral tradition is important. Giving and knowing the identity of our neighborhood matters, as opposed to letting a label be put on it…

Niway, please, when you have a minute, visit Crown Heights Oral History Project.

Back to Zetta, she breaks down books written by or about Blacks in Canada. I shook my head in disbelief: Why such low numbers? Not enough Black writers? I doubt this. Even if you take the ratio of Black people forming the Canadian population, the number shouldn’t be so low. In addition, many of the books about Black people published there ship to Africa. Lots of them deal with slavery… I’ll keep reading Zetta’s blog. Want to know what her take and analysis of this phenomenon is.

Still reading? Good, because it just gets better: Edi Campbele is your highschool librarian, and she has much to say about School Library Month and the budget cut affecting school libraries. Most importantly, she needs your votes! Tell her what you think and show your support by voicing up and expressing your stand in a poll. Destination: Crazy Quilts.

Last but not least, author Medeia Sharif posted about winning MR’s March giveaway: APALA 2010 winner, Cora Cooks Pancit (Publisher: Shen’s Books). Thank you for participating, Medeia! πŸ™‚ She also shares about her latest reads and much more.

Over a thousand words. Wow! Let’s wrap it, shall we? I wish you a delightful weekend, filled with happy reading moments.

Cheers,

Nathalie

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About Nathalie Mvondo

Nathalie Mvondo lives in Northern California. She is a writer, a blogger, a community organizer and a social entrepreneur.
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10 Responses to MultiCultural Round-Up: SCBWI Conference and more…

  1. Ari says:

    Yay you’re back Nathalie! Well it appears that you have been back for a bit and I just missed it =/

    Great round up! I love these posts, so thorough and informative. I take it you’re going to SCBWI Summer Conference? If so, I look forward to reading your posts on it.

    I don’t do poetry. haha. I’m so bad at it. I’ll try and read some novels in verse during April. We shall see.

    Zetta’s stats were shocking. The lack of diversity in Canadian literature really made me sad. And more appreciative of the U.S. and its literature.

    Like

  2. Greg Pincus says:

    Does this mean I’ll be seeing you this summer? Sweet! And I also get star-struck. Who doesn’t? That’s part of the fun!

    Like

  3. Marjorie says:

    Wow, what a round-up! We really enjoyed meeting lots of SCBWI members in Bologna – we haven’t blogged about it yet – but we will! And our new issue of PaperTigers focuses on Canadian Aboriginal Children’s literature so thanks for the heads up on Zetta’s research – I’ll definitely head over there and have a read.

    Like

  4. Thanks, Nathalie, for the book and linkage.

    I don’t celebrate National Poetry Month, but I should. Before I wrote novels, I wrote poetry, a lot of it. I feel like it’s the foundation for everything I’m currently doing, yet I haven’t written a poem in years.

    Like

  5. Matera the Mad says:

    Facefook and twitter don’t count? Waaaahh.

    Like

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