I Knew Them When …

Children’s book writers all over the world have been polishing their manuscripts in anticipation of this season: Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) regional conference time. These events provide the inspiration and hope that keep us plugging along, one-word-at-a-time for the remainder of the year. I love conference season, because all who plunge in with an eagerness to learn are stepping closer to publication. I’m on the edge of my seat for those who are ripe to be discovered.

Here are a few of those writers:

Louise Aamodt was awarded runner-up in the 2011 Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories Contest with her picture book manuscript Frankie the Flop. The 2011 web page is no longer available, but below are a couple of screenshots.

















Louise, an empathetic teacher, mother, and animal rights activist, has a gift for pulling her readers’ heartstrings and pressing their funny bones. Her smart and diverse picture books–some humorous and some dramatic–promote thoughtfulness and understanding. Whether they are underappreciated vultures or underdogs with or without tails–they’ve found refuge in Louise’s imaginative manuscripts.

Elise Parsley, picture book writer and illustrator, recently conducted a successful, hands-on dummy book workshop that drew 24 attendees from all over Minnesota.

HylenDummyTalk2013DummyWorkshopElise gained her dummy book creation expertise by writing and illustrating four of her own fabulous masterpieces. I laugh just thinking about Elise’s funny and charming characters. In fact, I feel like I know them–like I’m their aunt or something (well, except for the cows, although I’m awfully smitten with them). I think you’ll feel the same way.

Other MN writers I’d like to endorse are Randy Holland and Alicia Schwab.

Randy Holland’s middle grade mystery novel manuscript first pages blew me away when I attended my first MN SCBWI critique meet-up. I aspired then to try to write as clear and tight as Randy. He’s stocked his manuscript full of intrigue.  And, he’s already busy writing the sequel, because the ideas just keep coming.

Alicia Schwab is another lucky writer who can illustrate, too. She’s got a delightful  picture book ready for bedtime snuggling. If you click on her link, you can see she’s already a published illustrator, but this will be her debut as a writer and illustrator.

Yes. I’m an unapologetic name dropper. And, I hope I’m as right about writing talent as Frankie MacDonald is about South Dakota weather. (Deadwood got 48 inches of snow, BTW.)

I wish my friends (and all conference attendees) success. And I want them and everyone to know how grateful I am that I knew them when …

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