Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Nonfiction Heaven at the 21st Century Children's Nonfiction Conference

I'm just back from the 21st Century Children's Nonfiction Conference at SUNY New Paltz. This is the glass entryway into the student union where all the action occurred.
If you write nonfiction for children, you go to conferences and they spend 95 per cent of the time talking about fiction and 5 per cent talking about nonfiction. But at this conference it was 100 per cent nonfiction.
It's been a journey of discovery for me to learn that I'm better at nonfiction than fiction. Maybe all writers want to write the Great American Novel.
But nonfiction is important too. I remember choosing a book about Annie Oakley when given the choice of any book at my elementary school book fair. I had been in "Annie Get Your Gun" and wanted to know more about the real Annie Oakley.
I met editors, authors and aspiring folk like myself.
The coolest moment was when Lou Waryncia who heads up Cobblestone Publishing gave me a shoutout about my four articles in Calliope last month. How cool was that?
Well, not as cool as the two editors who said they will look at my book proposal on Civil War Bands.
Many thanks are due to Lionel Bender and Star Consulting for bringing the thing together.
We stayed in the dorms. What a trip back in time! 
And did I mention the strawberries? I bought a quart of freshly-picked strawberries on my way into New Paltz and used them for snacks in between sessions.
More info on sessions in my next post.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tooting my own horn--Calliope!

I had the amazing opportunity to write four articles for May's issue of Calliope magazine. If you're not familiar with this Cobblestone publication you can find out more about it and see a sample issue here: Calliope magazine website.

For the issue, I wrote an article about music that talks, the piano, and, most fun of all, I got to interview Michael Giacchino, the Oscar and Golden Globe-winning composer. He won the Oscar for Up!

Not only did I get to talk to Mr. Giacchino but I also was sent a page from the original score and a page from the suite he wrote from Up. My annotations on the score are also in the magazine!

Such a fun project! As I'm now preparing to attend the first-ever conference on children's nonfiction, I'm so happy I have this issue to be proud of as I talk with book and magazine publishers.