Friday, March 7, 2014

Episode 1 Call for Guests!

Hi folks!

We have our inaugural podcast coming your way this month and we're going to focus on productivity and how you get the work of writing amazing fiction...well...done.

Are you a work horse or an organization maven with tips for other writers?

Do you have a release coming up soon that could use a little warming spotlight?

Want to feature your book in a giveaway?

All free and a perk of being part of our little Kidlit University community.

If you'd like to be part of our first podcast scheduled for Monday March 24, please contact us at kidlituniversity (at) or via twitter (@kidlituni).

We can't wait to work with you!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Children's Books: This Week's Publication List (2/18/14)

Each Monday, we do our darndest to give you a glimpse into books being released this weeks (thanks to publisher's weekly for a good portion of the list!)

February 18, 2014:

Pete the Cat: Old MacDonald Had a Farm by James Dean (HarperCollins, $9.99; ISBN 978-0-06-219873-0). 150,000 copies.

Mind Games: Perfect Lies by Kiersten White (HarperTeen, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-213584-1). 100,000 copies.

Barber Game Time Books: Extra Innings by Tiki Barber and Ronde Barber (S&S/Wiseman, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-4424-5726-3). 75,000 copies.

Biscuit Loves the Library by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, illus. by Pat Schories (HarperCollins, $3.99 paper; ISBN 978-0-06-193506-0). 75,000 copies.

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor (HarperTeen, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-227920-0). 75,000 copies.

Zits: Shredded by Jerry Scott, illus. by Jim Borgman (HarperTeen, $9.99 paper; ISBN 978-0-06-222853-6). 50,000 copies.

February 20, 2014

George Brown, Class Clown: Lice Check #12 by Nancy Krulik, illus. by Aaron Blecha (Grosset & Dunlap, $4.99 paper; ISBN 978-0-448-46112-0). 100,000 copies.

Colors by Sophie Pelham (Price Stern Sloan, $6.99; ISBN 978-0-8431-7242-3). 50,000 copies.

The Slayer Chronicles: Third Strike by Heather Brewer (Dial, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-8037-3785-3). 50,000 copies.

Want a book featured on our weekly list? Drop us an e-mail!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mo Willems: A Wish and a Giveaway!

Today is Mo Willems birthday. We propose that February 11 be known as "Mo Willems Day" from this day forward. Or maybe even "Knuffle Bunny Day."

How about "Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Day"?

Whatever your vote, we hope you join us and wish one of our generation's greatest author/illustrators a happy birthday and many, many MANY more. (I've got four kids over here, I need more material for "Book Review Friday" and our annual library projects...keep 'em coming, Mo!)

In honor of his birthday, we want to send YOU a present. Send Mo a birthday wish on Twitter (technically, you're sending a tweet to The Pigeon, but I'm sure he'll pass the message along.)

Make sure you mention us in the tweet (@kidlituni) and you'll be entered to win a copy of "I'm a Frog" the latest from the Elephant and Piggy series.

We'll select a winner from Twitter tomorrow evening at 8 p.m. CST and announce it via Twitter. Good luck!

Can I get a hooray?

Happy Birthday, Mo!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Childrens Books: This Week's List

Each Monday, we do our darndest to give you a glimpse into books being released this weeks (thanks to publisher's weekly for a good portion of the list!)

February 11, 2014:

Survivors #4: The Broken Path by Erin Hunter (HarperCollins, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-06-210268-3). 150,000 copies.

The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage (Penguin/Dawson, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-8037-3671-9). 100,000 copies.

Before My Eyes by Caroline Bock (St. Martin’s Griffin, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-250-04558-4). 75,000 copies.

The Cold Cereal Saga: Champions of Breakfast by Adam Rex (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-06-206008-2). 75,000 copies.
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith (Dutton, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-525-42603-5). 75,000 copies.

Amelia Bedelia Joins the Club by Herman Parish, illus. by Lynne Avril (Greenwillow, $3.99 paper; ISBN 978-0-06-222130-8). 50,000 copies.

Cupcake Diaries: Mia Fashion Plates and Cupcakes by Coco Simon (Simon Spotlight, $5.99 paper; ISBN 978-1-4424-9790-0). 50,000 copies.

Little Poems for Tiny Ears by Lin Oliver, illus. by Tomie dePaola (Penguin/Paulsen, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-399-16605-1). 50,000 copies.

The Lure by Lynne Ewing (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-220688-6). 50,000 copies.

Order of Darkness: Fools’ Gold by Philippa Gregory (Simon Pulse $19.99; ISBN 978-1-4424-7690-5). 50,000 copies.

Want a book featured on our weekly list? Drop us an e-mail!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pitch Opportunity: Pitch+Page Contest

Straight from the awesome crew at Adventures in Ya Publishing:

"Pitch+Page Contest, which will begin at noon on 2/15/14. We've created a whole new blog (Adventures in YA Contests) just for contest entries, so things will run much more smoothly. But don't let the name fool you. The contest will be open to MG, YA, and NA as well--in the sense of NA as a great book with college age or slightly older protagonists in any genre.

Here are the rules.

We will take the first 100 Middle Grade/Young Adult/New Adult entries submitted after noon on 2/15. Please remember that we have many teen readers on this blog who are under 18, so keep the first pages rated PG. (I'm the last person to suggest any kind of censorship for ANY reason, but there is a level of expectation based on what readers are used to seeing here at AYAP.)
Entries will consist of a pitch of no more than 150 words and the first sentence of a COMPLETED manuscript.

The entries will all be posted on

We will invite reading, comments, love, and voting for a favorite — from anyone who wants to participate — until 6:00 AM ET on 2/22. At noon on 2/22 we announce the top 50 entries.

The top 50 entries will be judged by a group of respected bloggers, who will score the entries according to a standard scale with two bloggers reading each entry and a third blogger serving as a discrepancy judge if there is a wide disparity in scores.

The top 25 entries will be invited to send in their first page in addition to their pitch. These full entries will be scored by a group of authors according to a standard scale — two authors per manuscript with a discrepancy judge available.

The top 10 will move on to the agent round

Winners will be announced on 3/15/14.

All feedback, from the public, bloggers, authors, and agents will be posted as comments on the entry, but the identity of the judge making the comment will not be revealed. You'll just see Judge 1, or Judge 2, etc. You will, however, have a bio for all of the judges involved in that round.

This will give all participants the opportunity to receive feedback that they can apply immediately to their work, and give anyone who is inclined to watch the process the ability to learn vicariously.

Want to participate?

Here (again) is what you need:

A completed MG, YA, or NA manuscript.
A 150-word pitch for the above.
A kickbutt first sentence. (Or at least one that doesn't suck.) Trust me, I KNOW how hard that is!)
A fabulous first page. (Or at least one that introduces voice, a story question, and a character doing something.)
An iron suit to wear over your prickly skin. Suck it up, Buttercup. Publishing is tough, but if you get good, hard, thoughtful feedback, you can apply it to make your manuscript stand out.)
The desire to improve.

That's it.

Now, a word of caution, and I am speaking here from having queried two manuscripts before I sold COMPULSION. Are you listening?

You don't need to do a contest to get an agent.
You don't need to jump through hoops to court agents online.
You don't need prayer beads and voodoo dolls.

Agents want good manuscripts. Publishers want good manuscripts.

If your writing is solid, your query letter makes sense, your approach is professional, and your concept is marketable--and your timing isn't horribly bad--you can query any agent who is open to new clients, and he or she will read at least the pitch and probably a few pages, too.

Although we have agents judging this contest, this contest isn't about just getting your manuscript in front of an agent. It's about getting your manuscript READY for an agent. It's about developing the kind of analytical ability that will let you survive the hard work of the publishing process and hopefully be ready for reviews. It's about giving your manuscript the best possible chance to succeed.

And yes, there will be prizes. An agent critique of your first chapter or first three chapters. And books. GREAT books. Like Stephen King on Writing and some fun things."

For more information, head over to YA Adventures in Publishing!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pitch Opportunity: Pitch Madness (Clue Edition)

Straight from

"The Pitch Madness submission window will be open for 24 hours on March 10!
Pitch Madness is a contest to win a request from one or more of the participating agents. I will have an agent introduction post up soon.
The submission window will be open from 12:01 AM EST on March 10 until 11:59PM EST. You should have plenty of time to get your submissions in. There is no limit of how many entries will be accepted. Please note: All entries sent before or after the allotted times will be deleted.
There will be 60 finalists moving onto the agent round. Pitch Madness will accept Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult completed fiction, novel length (no novellas) completed and polished manuscripts only. This time around we will not accept non-fiction. Only one entry per writer this round.
What do you need to enter? A 35-word (max) pitch and the first 250 words of your finished manuscript. If the 250th word falls in the middle of a sentence, go to the end of the sentence. I will post formatting instructions before the submission window opens, along with the email address to send your entries to.
Pitch Madness will be on four blogs and each blog host will have a co-host helping them choose their top 15 entries. I will have a post up soon to introduce the hosts, co-hosts, and slush readers.
We’ll have a small team of first readers checking for formatting and putting their top picks through to the hosts. This time around, the hosts and co-hosts of each blog will choose their team of slush readers for the second round. Some blog teams may opt out of having slush readers. So I won’t be choosing all the slush readers this go around."
All the twitter fun will be happening on the hashtag #PitchMadness!
Read more at!