15 Aug

FREE stuff for Writers!

Posted in Conferences, Writing

OK, today’s post is going to be a short one, but I wanted to share some awesome free things that are available for writers for this week only.  Yes, that’s right.  FREE.  As in, it costs you $0.00!  How awesome is that?

So, for free awesome thing #1, we’ve got WriteOnCon.com which is an online conference for writers of children’s literature.  This includes everything from picture books to middle grade, to YA.  Does that mean that non-children’s book writers may not attend the conference?  Of course not!  As I understand it, the more the merrier.  The only caveat is that the speakers and agents presenting at the conference are all in the kidlit world, so writers of adult fiction wouldn’t necessarily find agents to query at this event.  But there’s still tons we can all learn about publishing and writing, even if kidlit isn’t your genre.  The dates for the conference are August 16-18 and all you have to do is go to the website.  To see the schedule of events, click the link.

Free awesome thing #2 (I know, could it get any more awesome than a free conference?) is free books!  Writer’s Digest is doing a Back To School sale and they’re giving away a bunch of writing eBooks for free.  All the books look fascinating but the two that I had to snap up for myself were The Portable MFA in Creative Writing and Robert’s Rules of Writing.  This sale only lasts this week, so click right over and grab some free books.

I’m sure you know of other writers who like free stuff. (Who doesn’t, right?) So share the wealth and spread the word!


30 May

More BEA Fun!

Posted in Conferences, Literature, Reading

BEA 2011 has come and gone and I’ve come home with armloads of treasure, some of it collected especially with you in mind, reader friends.

On the left you see a stack of books, all of which I picked up just for you (I even met one of the authors and managed to get that book signed!)  You’ll have a chance to win these books over the summer and fall via giveaways either on iggi&gabi or on YA Cafe. Stay tuned.

More exciting yet, I’ve put together two awesome bags o’ swag.  Each includes an adorable tote, two ARCs, an iggilicious journal and much more!  I assembled these bags especially to commemorate a sooper-seekrit, sooper-exciting blog milestone that will be coming up within the next week or so.  Don’t worry.  I’ll let you know more details on how to win these bags-of-awesome when the time comes.  All you gotta do is keep your eye open for updates.

OK, reader friends, that’s all for today.  Missed you tons!  Did ya miss me?


29 May

5 Best Books… from BEA that I Can’t Wait to Read

Posted in Conferences, Literature, Reading

Today I’ve decided to join the 5 Best Books meme hosted by Indie Reader Houston.  This week’s theme is 5 Best Books I picked up at BEA, but I wanted to make it more specific.  I picked up a ton of books at BEA and it’s tough for me to know which ones are the “best” until I read them.  Instead, I’m listing the 5 books that are on the nightstand right now as we speak, the 5 books I absolutely cannot wait to read.  Here’s my list.

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
I read The Invention of Hugo Cabret and loved it.  About a year ago I had the opportunity to meet Brian Selznick and hear him speak about this new book.  I’ve been waiting anxiously for it ever since!

The Wikkeling by Steven Arnston
This is perhaps one of the most beautifully designed books I picked up at BEA.  The art is gorgeous, including several color plates in the middle and silhouette illustrations throughout.  Many of you who know me, know I love books that pay attention to every detail of the reading experience.  I have a feeling, this is one of those books.

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg
I am a huge fan of The Mystery if Harris Burdick and the line-up of authors contributing to this anthology is nothing short of awesome.  Oh and let’s not forget Van Allsburg’s gorgeous illustrations.  If the stories are as amazing as the drawings, this will probably make my list of all-time favorites.

The Future of Us by Carolyn Mackler and Jay Asher
I love Carolyn Mackler’s books.  I’ve read every single one and I’ve been waiting for what feels like an eternity for the next one to come out.  The fact that she’s teamed up with Jay Asher (author of Thirteen Reasons Why) makes this book all the more exciting.  Also, I love books that are co-authored because I like seeing the different author voices work together.

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, adapted by Seymour Chwast
The Canterbury tales are among my favorite pieces of literature of all time.  What could be cooler than reading a version of the tales in graphic novel form?  Needless to say, when I saw this at BEA, I jumped on it.  And the cover image of the Wyf of Bathe riding a motorcycle… hello?  That just rocks.

For more 5 Best Books, check out Indie Reader Houston’s blog.  You can also join the linky at her blog and share your own 5 Best Books list.


19 May

BEA Survival Tips

Posted in Conferences, Tips

This post is co-written by me and Melissa Paris (Missy), who’s been doing the fitness series called Feel Better Write Better.  For more information about Melissa Paris, check out her blog and her Facebook page or connect with her on twitter (@Melissa_Paris).
The internet is filled with great posts giving BEA-related tips.  I recently did a BookExpo America round-up where I listed the posts I found most helpful.  Many of these posts give great advice on figuring out the logistics and getting the most out of BEA, but not all of them talk about ways to keep your mind and body healthy during that crazy week.  OK, maybe you think I’m being melodramatic, but only someone who has attended or worked at a trade show in the Javits can fully understand the utter chaos that it entails.  Here are some tips to help you keep your mind and body healthy while you’re at BEA.
BEA Survival Tips

•  Wear sneakers or shoes with good arch support.   Do not wear flats, or *gasp* flip-flops. Shoes with a little bit of a heel are easier on your feet than flats.

•  Avoid carrying heavy loads for a long periods of time.  Switch shoulders when carrying that heavy bag of books or put the bag down while standing in long lines.  When lifting that heavy bag, try not to hunch over but bend down with your knees.

•  Bring a small rolling suitcase and use the available suitcase check.  Store your books in your suitcase periodically so you don’t have to carry so much in your shoulder bag the whole time. 

•  While standing in line, don’t lock your knees.  Keeping your knees slightly bent is actually better for your posture and will make waiting in line less exhausting.

•  Take a break and go to at least one of the conference talks.  Not only will it give you a chance to sit down for a little while, but it will also let your mind rest from all the over-stimulation from the Javits Exhibit Hall.

•  Stop to refuel.  Take a break for lunch if you can.  Also, bring snacks that are easy to carry and eat on-the-go but also pack a nutritious punch.  Trail mix is a great snack, especially a mix with walnuts and dried cherries.

•  Stay hydrated.  Take a small bottle of water and refill it several times throughout the day.

•  Don’t attempt a long walk home.  The Javits Center is FAR from pretty much everything in NYC.  At the end of a long day, splurge on a taxi or take a Javits shuttle to your hotel.  If your home or hotel isn’t doesn’t have shuttle service from the Javits (check here), you can always take the shuttle to one of the hotels that does have service and take the subway or city bus from there.

•  Don’t take it personally.  A trade show at the Javits is kind of like the Bermuda Triangle: it can drive people a little crazy and make them behave like they’re not themselves.  You have to understand where everyone is coming from, though.  Exhibitors are trying to promote books and make connections with clients.  The buyers and other attendees are trying to make the most of the show and cover as much ground as possible.  Everyone’s a little frantic.  Sooner or later someone is bound to say or do something that will rub you the wrong way.  When that happens, don’t take it personally.  Chalk it up to the insanity, take a deep breath and let it go.

Do you have any trade show or BEA tips to share?


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