Hey, everyone! Today was my LAST day of school for the summer! After packing up my room, I'm exhausted. But I'm over at the Grog Blog today talking about my path to writing a lyrical picture book manuscript. Have a slice of virtual Baskin Robbins cake and join me.
I'm over at the Grog Blog today discussing Guided Reading Books. Hope to see you there! And I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend!
"He has risen!" Matthew 28:6
She announced there was a new agent at her agency, a children's agent who would specialize in the Christian market. My eyes took notice, and I started researching her. My stories weren't specifically for the Christian market, but they could be tweaked to lean that way. I queried Adria with two stories I felt she might like. The next day she said to send them over. About three weeks later, she emailed that she had read my stories that same day I emailed them and hadn't been able to stop thinking about them. And she asked for THE CALL! I was thrilled. So that weekend (working out time zones) we talked, and I printed out those lists of questions to ask an agent, and she offered representation. I signed the contract on December 5th, after first querying her on October 30th. To God be the glory!
It's been wonderful having Adria by my side, my advocate, cheerleader, and one to submit for me. If it wasn't for her, I think I would have given up on one of my stories. We've gotten good feedback from editors and are pushing my story to be the best it can be. I've learned that real, true, revising is HARD.
Adria will also help negotiate my Scholastic Asia contract for my novel coming out next summer 2018! I heard from my editor and have received a list of things to revise.
Meanwhile, my husband & I just finished proofreading a Korean/English pocket dictionary for a publisher. Who knew there was such a job? And because of my blogging about guided reading books, a publisher from Australia discovered my site and just commissioned me to write 22 books for them. I guess I might not have another blog post until summer. :P
Thanks for bearing with me! What have you all been up to?
I was just telling my son that tomorrow is the last day of 2016. Time flies! So much has happened and changed this year. These 12 days after Christmas I'm participating in a writing activity. See below.
Children's author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year's resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity - what DIDN'T get done or achieved in the previous year. Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution! Here is my list for 2016.
Please note that all this is accomplished because God gave me strength! Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
Not in any particular order:
1. Revised 9 picture book stories
2. Wrote 3 new picture book stories
3. My novel manuscript, Chasing Freedom:The Asian Underground Railroad won 1st Runner Up (2nd place) in the Scholastic Asian Book Award.
4. Attended my first writing conference in Singapore at the Asian Festival of Children's Content where I accepted the award in #3.
5. Met Leonard Marcus, pb historian and judge at the AFCC, met authors Emily Lim, Cynthea Liu, and Cynthia Leitich Smith whom I had known of online in kidlit circles
6. 2 stories accepted by Clubhouse Jr. magazine
7. Wrote a new teacher unit for my little store in Teachers Pay Teachers
8. wrote several book reviews for a Korean Christian children's magazine
9. Proofread a Korean/English textbook for publishers Tuttle and Pagoda Books
10. Wrote many blog posts for the Grog Blog
11. Commissioned to write educational material for Oxford University Press Asia (will start Feb. 2017)
12. Acquired a literary agent!! (more to come on this in another post)
I know Christmas is over, but I love the lyrics in this song Noel by Lauren Daigle. (the chorus) The chorus sums up how I feel about this year.
"Noel, noel. Come and see what God has done." And all this was done while I taught kindergarten in a new school & city.
To God be the Glory!
I love picture books, especially Christmas ones! My friend, Evelyn Christensen and her debut picture book, The Twelves Days of Christmas in Kentucky are at the grog blog today. Join me to see how Ev landed this contract.
Wanna know more about conducting author Skypes? Read about it at the Grog blog where I interview picture book author, Laura Murray, of the Gingerbread Man Loose in the School series. She recently Skyped with my students. It was fabulous!
Also, don't forget November is picture book month! Each day a picture book author shares their thoughts at the Picture Book Month web site!
Since I am teaching kindergarten this year, I'm in the trenches of back to school picture books. Some picture books correlate nicely with a theme in which the teacher can use the picture book to support the classroom theme.
For example, I am using a pirate theme. There are soooo many pirate picture books out there. Sadly, I don't have that many, but what I do have, I'm excited to share because it goes perfectly with my theme. I found this image below on Pinterest.
My fun "assignment" for you is to think of a great classroom decorating theme and go write a picture book that a teacher could use with that theme. For example, I recently saw Planet Kindergarten (haven't read it yet), but that might be fun to decorate with a space theme. If you research "Kindergarten" or "back to school books," check out what themes have been used. Create your own. I don't want to be doing pirates forever!
I'm at the Grog Blog today talking about translation in children's books. I learned so much from a session I observed.
I set sail for Pyeongtaek, South Korea, in a new school, teaching my favorite grade--kindergarten! As you can tell from the picture and title, my decorating theme is pirates. Since then I've noticed a plethora of pirate picture books + International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19th!
Our first reading unit theme is nursery rhymes. Lo and behold, my friend, Nancy I. Sanders, wrote A Pirate's Mother Goose, which I'll read to them after they learn the originals.
It's so fun to teach these little ones to become readers and writers.
Speaking of writing--try brainstorming a fresh hook or premise for a pirate children's book. I will try, too.
Happy summer! Now that school's out, I'm FREE to write! Bring it on!
Actually I'm wanting to do some work-for-hire like I used to do as well as work on my own manuscripts. So I prayed for work to come in. And it did! One client is a repeat client, Tuttle Singapore. But a new client, Oxford University Press, contacted me this week, wanting me to write for their educational books. She's based out of Hong Kong. I asked her how she found me. Her answer--my profile on the SCBWI website! She was/is looking for Asian writers for a specific cultural project. And then I thought--oh no, have I even updated my profile? What does it show? So this past week I updated that, plus my profile on Linked In which was long overdue.
So the bottom line is--make sure all your profiles and web pages are updated because you never know how you'll land a writing contract!
And if you happen to be a Malaysian freelance writer, she's looking for one. Let me know, and I can connect you!
Tina M. Cho, children's author
I'm a children's author and freelance writer for the educational market. Welcome!