Successful Bookbinding Workshop

Last weekend, 10 students were fortunate to create their own nature journals using traditional bookbinding techniques. This MOBY class (paid for with federal funds through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners) was free to participants.

Teacher Benares Angeley, owner of the Children's Art Lab in Mattapoisett, MA, taught students to create two kinds of books: the 3-holed pamphlet stitch and the secret room book.

Students started by making a small pamphlet stitch journal out of paper.

Students were encouraged to decorate their paper journals using a variety of beads.

Students were encouraged to decorate their paper journals using a variety of beads.

Then they learned the secret room book, which involves folding and cutting one piece of paper. While Benares prepared the cereal boxes students had brought for the project, students "broke in" their journals. Benares told students a great piece of advice she got from a teacher she once had: If you don't write in your newly created journal, it can become too precious and you never want to write in it. So she gave students an open-ended prompt to get them started.

I completely understand Benares' point. I had to stop buying nice journals for my day-to-day writing. I wouldn't use them because I worried the writing might not be worthy of such a journal. I now write all of my first drafts in regular old school notebooks or composition notebooks. I save the journals for when I'm traveling. I generally choose one journal per trip and include all of my notes, sketches, and ephemera from that trip.

Once students had a chance to break in their journals, Benares took them through the 3 holed pamphlet stitch again. This time they created a larger journal with a cardboard (cereal box) cover. Once students finished stitching their journals together, they were encouraged to decorate them however they chose using the variety of materials provided. They were given beads, paper scraps, markers, pencils, colored pencils, etc. Benares told them to ask if they wanted a material and didn't see it. Several students asked for fabric and within minutes, Benares reappeared with scraps of material, ribbon, and lace. I enjoyed watching how students surveyed the materials, selected what to use, and then executed their ideas. One student collaged with paper, another with yarn, and others with ribbon. One student was inspired by a sample journal and used waxed linen to stitch animal tracks on her cover.

The beginning of a bear track.

The beginning of a bear track.

a few examples of their creations in progress.

a few examples of their creations in progress.

Overall, the feedback was excellent. Several students said they want to come back to learn more advanced techniques. 

 

Create a Nature Journal/Learn Bookbinding

Some of my new readers are particularly interested in the library program I’m part of called My Own BackYard (MOBY). I decided to share this event here, even though many of you live far away, because MOBY is something any library can replicate.

One component of MOBY is “Explorer Backpacks,” that include materials and books to get kids out exploring nature. Every backpack also includes a small journal. We hope students will record a few observations from their adventures so others who check out the backpacks can see them. We also hope students will be inspired to keep nature journals of their own.

That’s where this class comes in. Local artist Benares Angeley will teach students in grades 6-8 book binding. Students are invited to use their journals however they choose, but we hope they’ll use them for nature journaling or to document their letterboxing adventures. Journals will be created using a combination of found and purchased materials (all participants are asked to bring an empty cereal box).

This arts program ties in nicely to our STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) focus.

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If MOBY interests you, I hope you’ll sign up to receive blog posts in your inbox (there’s a box to the right to enter your email). You can also like the MOBY Facebook page and follow #MOBYfun. We’re building this collaborative program as we go, so more details will emerge over time. We hope other libraries will be inspired to develop similar programs.

MOBY "Snow Mob"

If you don't know about the My Own BackYard library program I'm part of, I hope you'll hop over to my MOBY Tab and read about it.

Our three libraries (Marion, Mattapoisett, and Rochester Massachusetts) held simultaneous flash mobs we decided to call "Snow Mobs." 

Here's a sampling of what happened at each of the libraries:

Kids and their families gathered at the libraries to sled on snow piles.

Do a little reading.

Play games.

Decorate and fed the birds.

Test out the snowhoes the library has available for check-out.

And study the perfectly symmetrical snowflakes that decided to fall just for us.


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We have lots of fun programming coming throughout the year. I hope those of you who are local will join us. If you live elsewhere and want to know more about our program, please email me at michelle(at)michellecusolito(dot)com or contact one of the libraries (linked above).

What cool programs are happening at your library?

Snowshoeing

Unless you've been away from all media recently, you know the northeast has been buried in snow these past couple of weeks. It's snowing again today.

One day, after all the snow was cleared from our driveway and walks, my son and I went out snowshoeing.

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Some cross country skiers had been down the trail before us.

Some cross country skiers had been down the trail before us.

we went straight to one of my favorite places.

we went straight to one of my favorite places.

The Lake was frozen so we walked out a little ways. But we'd had enough recent warm days so we didn't want to venture too far. We couldn't tell how deep the ice was under the snow.

Of course, my son had dragged his sled out, so there was sledding..

Then is was time to head home.

I find this trail so peaceful. For my regular readers... "my" wood frogs are frozen solid, hiding under leaves and logs all through these woods.

I find this trail so peaceful. For my regular readers... "my" wood frogs are frozen solid, hiding under leaves and logs all through these woods.

We found some "snow urchins."

It's really bundles of white pine needles that landed at just the right angle to resemble an urchin.

It's really bundles of white pine needles that landed at just the right angle to resemble an urchin.

We studied shadows cast by beech leaves clinging to trees.

And tracked some animals.

A deer left tracks, then the wind blew leaves into the tracks.

A deer left tracks, then the wind blew leaves into the tracks.

 

When's the last time you had fun outdoors?

Are you  in the Northeast? If yes, your kids are probably home again today. Head outside for some snow play. Then share what you did in the comments.

Warm weather friends, I don't want to hear about it.  He he. Just kidding. Please share your adventures, too. 

What nature fun is  happening in your part of the world?

2014 Accomplishments

Welcome to my new website and blog. I hope you like it! It's still new, and I have lots more to do here, but it's a start. I'll be adding more content over the coming months.

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Regular readers of my old blog know that I stopped blogging last year when life got too complicated. We lost several loved ones and others faced difficult medical issues. With so much happening in my personal life, something had to give.

My primary goal has been to work as a children’s author.  Blogging can help raise an author’s profile and build a brand, but all that is pointless if you don't publish a book. So, I decided to stop blogging and to spend any time I had for building my writing career to focus on the writing. I’m happy to report that I made the right choice, for even though this last year has been incredibly difficult, I wrote more than ever and signed with literary agent, Jill Corcoran. My hope is that a book sale isn’t too far in the distance.

The other day, Children's author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants in 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!

I thought this would be a great way to launch my new website and blog.

So here is my list for 2014. I’ve left off many of the smaller accomplishments I listed in my journal and bolded the ones I’m most proud of.

  •  Completed the "Start the Year Off Write" challenge.
  • Participated in Julie Hedlund’s 12 X 12 Picture Book Challenge.
  •  Drafted 5 new picture book manuscripts. Two are “on submission.”
  • Completed more than two dozen revisions.
  • Drafted and revised 3 cover letters.
  • Submitted a query letter for critique by Emma Walton-Hamilton.
  • Submitted a manuscript for the Penn/New England award.
  •  Submitted manuscripts to 5 different agents.
  • Received critiques on 4 different manuscripts.
  •  Applied for the SCBWI Work-in-Progress (WIP) grant.
  •  Applied for the (NE-SCBWI) Glass Scholarship.
  • Applied for a Boyds Mills "un-workshop."
  • Signed up for Video Idiot Boot Camp. (In 2015 I WILL create a welcome video for my website).
  • Signed with Jill Corcoran Literary Agency.
  •  Attended the NE-SCBWI spring conference.
  • Read FROG FRENZY at the NE-SCBWI open mic.
  • Met more than 20 “12 X 12” participants at NE-SCBWI.
  • Worked with 3 library directors to apply for a STEAM grant. Our program, called My Own BackYard (MOBY™), focuses on getting students in grades 3-8 outside exploring the ecosystems in our area.  We got the grant! (Twitter: @MOBYfun #MOBYfun. Facebook: MOBYfun™). You will also be able to learn more by clicking the My Own BackYard tab on this website once I add the details.
  • Completed my work as “Writer in Residence” for grade 2 students at Rochester Memorial School. All students published an illustrated story or poem.
  • Solicited blurbs from two teachers to use on my website.
  • Submitted 2 workshop proposals for the NESCBWI 2015 spring conference. My workshop on School Visits was accepted. (Will I see you there?)
  • Loosely participated in KidLit Summer School by Nerdy Chicks Sudipta and Kami. 
  •  Applied for a "Tiny Letter" Residency.
  •  Launched MOBY.
  • Presented MOBY™ at a small libraries conference with tri-town library Directors Gail Roberts, Susan Pizzolato, and Elizabeth O’Neill.
  • Began a focused study of structure in non-fiction with another NF author.
  • Participated in PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) during November. Came up with 33 ideas. Two are already manuscripts.
  • Completed full reads of 3 YA novels for critique group members.
  • Contacted an expert to arrange an interview for my WIP.
  • Drafted back matter for FROG FRENZY and TIDE POOL SECRETS.
  • Arranged for Wood Frog expert to vet FROG FRENZY manuscript and back matter.
  • Launched this new website! (Which still needs work, but I wanted to get something up).

How was your 2014? What were your successes? Please share them in the comments.

Waiting for Spring

It's been a long hard winter for my family for many reasons. The hardest part was the illnesses, hospitalizations, and loved ones lost. But there was also a polar vortex that kept us buried under snow with temperatures in the single digits for far too many days at a time. I knew my family had had enough when my 8 year-old daughter told me she was sick of snow. That, my friends, is a sure tip-off that winter is no longer welcome!

My calendar tells me that wood frog migration should be any day now. So do my daffodils:

Alas, my observations tell me that is not likely...
Much of the ground is still covered with snow.

The lake out back it totally frozen. (So is the "frog pond" where they mate)

Yes, the  temperature the last two days has gotten into the 50's, but snow is predicted for tonight.

I'm hanging in for spring and hoping that I'll see those wood frogs soon!

How's the weather where you are?


Blogging Hiatus

I've been absent for quite some time and decided I should post an update.

My family has had a challenging 6 months for many personal reasons I don't wish to share on the internet. I haven't had time for blogging because my focus has been on my family. Any time I've had for writing has been spent on my stories for children, which is the writing that is most important to me.

To help keep me focused, I participated in the Start the Year off Write challenge which provided daily writing prompts for 21 days. I'm also signed up for Julie Hedlund's 12x12 Picture Book Challenge which is pushing me to write 12 picture book manuscripts in 12 months. I will also revise and submit as many manuscripts as I can during that time. And yes, I'm still plugging away at that YA novel I mentioned once or twice.

Part of what kept me from blogging an update was the feeling that I should set a new schedule and stick to it. The problem is, I just don't know what schedule I can manage. So for now, I'll leave this post here to keep readers informed and I'll return to blogging when it feels manageable.

KidLit for the Philippines: The Fundraising Continues!

I've been hard at work tallying up our final numbers and making sure all of the pledged donations have been paid directly to UNICEF and Mercy Corps. There are a few high bids that still need to be paid, but I'm hopeful those folks will take care of their donations in the next day or so. 

(If you are a donor and have not heard from me about delivery of your service or item, that means the highest bidder has not yet made the pledged donation. Please do not make arrangements outside of the auction to deliver the items. I know it's easy to communicate these days with Facebook, Twitter and other places on-line).

Drumroll please....

The final auction total is $4627!

But that's not the end! Katie Davis has made an amazing offer. For every full price Video Idiot Boot Camp course she sells, she'll donate HALF of the cost to #KidLitPhil. So far she raised an additional $742.50!

So the current total is: $5369.50! YAY! We broke $5000!! 

Learn about Katie's offer below. And please help spread the word! Let's see how high we can get the grand total.



A few housekeeping details:
  1. Emails have been sent to everyone who was a "highest bidder" and submitted proof of donation to me. If you sent your proof and have not heard from me, please email me ASAP and I'll connect you with the donor of your item. michelle(at)michellecusolito(dot)com
  2. In case you're someone who likes to add up totals... you'll notice that the published highest bids do not equal the total at the top of this page. That is for 2 reasons: Some people donated more than their winning bid; other people made a straight donation and submitted a receipt to me so the donation would count toward #KidLitPhil.
  3. Which brings me to this: If you just heard about #KidLitPhil and don't want to take Katie's course, you can still help. Make a donation to UNICEF or Mercy Corps and send me a copy of your receipt (michelle at michellecusolito dot com) and I'll add it to our total. 
Finally, THANK YOU so much to everyone who donated, bid, tweeted, emailed and otherwise shared news of the auction. You really cannot understand how much it all means to me.

With that, I'm signing off from blogging until the new year. I'll post donation updates on our Facebook page. If you're interested in seeing them, please "like" the page. Come January, I'll publish the final number here on the blog.

Until then, Happy New Year everyone!
With Sincerest Thanks,
Michelle


KidLit for the Philippines: An On-Line Auction to Benefit Typhoon Survivors

KidLit for the Philippines is an on-line auction to benefit survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The KidLit community (folks involved in the creation of books for children- authors, illustrators, agents, editors, etc.) has a history of generously supporting others in times of need.

(Two recent examples are KidLit4Japan and Kid-Lit Cares. Greg Fishbone and Kate Messner shared their expertise gleaned from organizing each of those fundraisers and granted me permission to use their guidelines here. Thank you Kate and Greg!)

What exactly is KidLit for the Philippines?

It’s an online talent auction to benefit Mercy Corps and UNICEF relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan (aka Yolanda). Agents, editors, authors, and illustrators have donated various services and items to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with donations being made directly to Mercy Corps and UNICEF.

The full list of current auction items is below (new items will appear each day). You can click on any item to see all the details, and bidding happens in the comments.  To bid on an item, check the current high bid in the comments, and place a higher bid by leaving your name and bid amount in a new comment, along with some way to contact you.

What happens if I win?

 Winners will be notified when the auction ends and should be prepared to make an online donation directly to Mercy Corps or UNICEF in the amount of the high bid at that time. After you’ve made your donation, you’ll forward your receipt to me, and I’ll put you in touch with the person who donated the service you won so that the two of you can work out the details about how and when. All services will be provided at the convenience of both the person making the donation and the auction winner, but this should happen within three months of the auction’s end unless something else is agreed upon by both parties. Exceptions are noted on some auction pages.

Who is Michelle Cusolito and why is the auction on her blog?
Well, I'm the organizer of this auction. I'm a "pre-published" children's author. (That's a nice way of saying I'm not published, YET). I have benefited from the support and guidance of many, many people in the KidLit community and have been continually impressed by their generosity. 

I was also a Rotary exchange student in the Philippines when I was in high school. From the time I arrived, I was welcomed, loved and supported by my host families, school mates, the Rotary and practically every person I interacted with. I still have many friends and "family" there. Some of them lost family members or were otherwise impacted by the typhoon. 

I hope you'll find items here that you can't live without and you donate lots of money to the relief effort. I also hope you'll support the amazing folks who donated their time, services, books, artwork, etc. Buy their books. Visit their websites. Send them a thank you Tweet.

Even if you choose not to bid, I hope you'll spread the word far and wide to others who might bid. Thank you.

Without further ado...here are the items open for bids right now:

(You can click to jump to individual items from here or scroll down)

Auction Item #2: Portfolio Critique by Hazel Mitchell  CLOSED

Auction #3: Mermaid Tales Sparkling Collection from Author Debbie Dadey CLOSED

Auction #5: Skype visit with Leslie Bulion (CLOSED)


Auction #19: Critique + book from Donna Earnhardt (CLOSED)

Auction #20: Portfolio Review from Russ Cox  (CLOSED)



#KidLitPhil Auction item 33 from Paul Czajak

KidLit for the Philippines is an online talent auction to benefit Mercy Corps and UNICEF relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan (aka Yolanda). Agents, editors, authors, and illustrators have donated various services and items to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with donations being made directly to Mercy Corps and UNICEF.

Auction #33: School Visit based on the Monster&Me Series

Description:  A 30 -45 minute visit for a daycare or classroom (grade preschool to second grade) within 45 miles of Danvers, MA.  Paul will work out the specifics of the visit with the highest bidder.

Estimated Value: $150

Minimum Bid: $50

Auction Ends: 12/8/2013 at 10:00 PM EST

Bio: Paul Czajak got an ‘F’ with the words “get a tutor” on his college writing paper and after that, never thought he’d become a writer. But after spending twenty years as a chemist, he knew his creativity could no longer be contained. His recently published picture book, Monster Needs a Costume through Scarletta Kids, is the first in the series titled Monster & Me. The second title, Monster Needs his Sleep, is due out in April 2014.

Donor Paul Czajak’s Website: PaulCzajak.com 

Auction Instructions:
* Bid by posting a comment with your bid amount in U.S. dollars; no anonymous bidding.
* Do not bid unless you intend to pay that amount to Mercy Corps or UNICEF.
* To automatically receive updates on the latest bids, check the “Notify Me” box when you submit your comment.
* Highest bid before the end of the auction wins.
* A note about last-minute bidding: If you are used to online auctions that end at an exact, given second, please know that the KidLitPhil auctions don’t work quite that way. Each auction ends when I post the “Auction closed” comment. I do that when my computer turns to 10pm EST, but because I have multiple auctions to close at that time (also because I am human) it will not be precisely at 10pm EST. At any rate, the winning bid is the high bid before the Auction Closed comment, even if the time on your computer reads slightly after 10:00. Thanks for understanding!
* Winning bidder must donate the winning bid amount to a designated charity organization and provide a copy of the receipt within three days of notification.
* For physical items, unless otherwise noted, donor pays standard shipping within the U.S.; winning bidder pays for express shipping or for shipping outside the U.S.

#KidLitPhil Auction item 32 from Katie Davis

KidLit for the Philippines is an online talent auction to benefit Mercy Corps and UNICEF relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan (aka Yolanda). Agents, editors, authors, and illustrators have donated various services and items to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with donations being made directly to Mercy Corps and UNICEF.

Auction #32: Video Idiot Boot Camp (on-line course)

Description: A course for people who think videos are hard to create. Learn more here: http://videoidiotbootcamp.com/ (Note from Michelle: I haven't taken this on-line course but I did take Katie's face-to-face intro workshop at the Spring NE-SCBWI conference. It was terrific! I'm confident this course will be fantastic.)

Estimated Value: $297

Minimum Bid: $197

Auction Ends: 12/8/2013 at 10:00 PM EST

Bio: Children’s author/illustrator Katie Davis has published nine books and appears monthly on the ABC affiliate show, Good Morning Connecticut, recommending great books for kids. She produces Brain Burps About Books, a podcast about kidlit, a blog and regular newsletter. Katie has volunteered in a maximum-security prison teaching Writing for Children and over the last dozen years has presented at schools and writing conferences. She’s a 2010 Cybils judge and has also judged the Golden Kite, smartwriters.com, and Frontiers in Writing awards. Recently Katie was selected to be on the Honorary Advisory Board for the Brooke Jackman Foundation, a literacy-based charity.

Donor Katie Davis’s website: http://katiedavis.com/

Auction Instructions:
* Bid by posting a comment with your bid amount in U.S. dollars; no anonymous bidding.
* Do not bid unless you intend to pay that amount to Mercy Corps or UNICEF.
* To automatically receive updates on the latest bids, check the “Notify Me” box when you submit your comment.
* Highest bid before the end of the auction wins.
* A note about last-minute bidding: If you are used to online auctions that end at an exact, given second, please know that the KidLitPhil auctions don’t work quite that way. Each auction ends when I post the “Auction closed” comment. I do that when my computer turns to 10pm EST, but because I have multiple auctions to close at that time (also because I am human) it will not be precisely at 10pm EST. At any rate, the winning bid is the high bid before the Auction Closed comment, even if the time on your computer reads slightly after 10:00. Thanks for understanding!
* Winning bidder must donate the winning bid amount to a designated charity organization and provide a copy of the receipt within three days of notification.
* For physical items, unless otherwise noted, donor pays standard shipping within the U.S.; winning bidder pays for express shipping or for shipping outside the U.S.

#KidLitPhil Auction item 31 from Eleanor Rubin

KidLit for the Philippines is an online talent auction to benefit Mercy Corps and UNICEF relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan (aka Yolanda). Agents, editors, authors, and illustrators have donated various services and items to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with donations being made directly to Mercy Corps and UNICEF.

Auction #31: Sticks and Stones Poster Signed by the Artist



Description: My poster "Sticks and Stones" was created to increase tolerance and to help stop bullying. It is colorful and appealing created originally with watercolor and torn paper. It has been available continuously from 1978. Human Policy Press adapted the Sticks and Stones poster for the Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education in the fall of 1992, and the Office of Civil Rights distributed 5,400 posters to elementary schools, high schools as well as college campuses. This poster is no longer available.


Estimated Value: At least $100 (Note from Michelle: several years ago it was valued at $100 but there are so few left, it's probably worth more).

Minimum Bid: $60

Auction Ends: 12/8/2013 at 10:00 PM EST

Bio: I am a printmaker whose artwork is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. My work is currently on view at Boston University in the Biennial exhibit of the Boston Printmakers. I am working on a non-fiction picture book biography described at Beyond the Margins


Donor Eleanor Rubin’s website: http://ellyrubinjournal.typepad.com

Auction Instructions:
* Bid by posting a comment with your bid amount in U.S. dollars; no anonymous bidding.
* Do not bid unless you intend to pay that amount to Mercy Corps or UNICEF.
* To automatically receive updates on the latest bids, check the “Notify Me” box when you submit your comment.
* Highest bid before the end of the auction wins.
* A note about last-minute bidding: If you are used to online auctions that end at an exact, given second, please know that the KidLitPhil auctions don’t work quite that way. Each auction ends when I post the “Auction closed” comment. I do that when my computer turns to 10pm EST, but because I have multiple auctions to close at that time (also because I am human) it will not be precisely at 10pm EST. At any rate, the winning bid is the high bid before the Auction Closed comment, even if the time on your computer reads slightly after 10:00. Thanks for understanding!
* Winning bidder must donate the winning bid amount to a designated charity organization and provide a copy of the receipt within three days of notification.
* For physical items, unless otherwise noted, donor pays standard shipping within the U.S.; winning bidder pays for express shipping or for shipping outside the U.S.

#KidLitPhil Auction item 30 from Kelly Light

KidLit for the Philippines is an online talent auction to benefit Mercy Corps and UNICEF relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan (aka Yolanda). Agents, editors, authors, and illustrators have donated various services and items to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with donations being made directly to Mercy Corps and UNICEF.

Auction #30: The Quirks, Welcome to Normal print, Signed by the Artist

Description: 8x10" framed print (Chapter 11) from the 2013 release "The Quirks, Welcome to Normal" - by Erin Soderberg, Illustrated by Kelly Light - Bloomsbury

Estimated Value: $200

Minimum Bid: $25

Auction Ends: 12/8/2013 at 10:00 PM EST

Bio: Kelly Light was born off exit 149 on the Garden State Parkway. She grew up down the shore surrounded by giant roadside dinosaurs, cotton candy colors and skee ball sounds. Schooled on Saturday morning cartoons and Sunday Funny pages, she picked up a pencil and started drawing and never stopped. She spent quite a chunk of time drawing all of your favorite cartoon characters for companies like Disney, Warner Bros, Nickelodeon, Henson Productions, King Features and Hanna Barbara. These days, she gets to create her own characters for children's books. She has illustrated the chapter books series "Elvis and The Underdogs" and "The Quirks.". Fall 2014 ,"Louise Loves Art" comes out - her first picture book as author illustrator. More Louise books will follow, as well as "Don't Blink" by Amy Krauss Rosenthal in 2015 and in 2016, "Just Add Glitter" by Angela DiTerlizzi.

Donor Kelly Light’s website: www.kellylight.com

Auction Instructions:
* Bid by posting a comment with your bid amount in U.S. dollars; no anonymous bidding.
* Do not bid unless you intend to pay that amount to Mercy Corps or UNICEF.
* To automatically receive updates on the latest bids, check the “Notify Me” box when you submit your comment.
* Highest bid before the end of the auction wins.
* A note about last-minute bidding: If you are used to online auctions that end at an exact, given second, please know that the KidLitPhil auctions don’t work quite that way. Each auction ends when I post the “Auction closed” comment. I do that when my computer turns to 10pm EST, but because I have multiple auctions to close at that time (also because I am human) it will not be precisely at 10pm EST. At any rate, the winning bid is the high bid before the Auction Closed comment, even if the time on your computer reads slightly after 10:00. Thanks for understanding!
* Winning bidder must donate the winning bid amount to a designated charity organization and provide a copy of the receipt within three days of notification.
* For physical items, unless otherwise noted, donor pays standard shipping within the U.S.; winning bidder pays for express shipping or for shipping outside the U.S.

#KidLitPhil Auction item 29 from Paul Weiner

KidLit for the Philippines is an online talent auction to benefit Mercy Corps and UNICEF relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan (aka Yolanda). Agents, editors, authors, and illustrators have donated various services and items to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with donations being made directly to Mercy Corps and UNICEF.

Auction #29: Early Reading

Description: Small sketch of a little girl deeply involved in a picturebook. The little girl loves to read when she isn't playing.This is one of a series of little girls created for the children's publishing market.  A 7.5" X 11" digital pencil sketch duotone copy on white Bristol board.


Estimated Value: $20

Minimum Bid:  $10

Auction Ends: 12/7/2013 at 10:00 PM EST

Bio: Paul discovered his inner creativity as a young child. He was continuously drawing when he had the chance; even when he shouldn't have. His favorite spot was his parents' livingroom walls. They didn't appreciate this. He gradually learned discipline and tempered his drawing to his drawing pads and sketchbooks. His parents appreciated this.

While in high school he loved to dissect frogs and thought he would become a famous surgeon. His hopes were dashed when he barely passed biology (to his teacher's relief). Paul didn't care much for math and always avoided difficult problems. After graduating from high school he applied to several schools and decided Massachusetts College of Art would be fun.

After graduating Paul started commissioned illustration assignments for magazines, design studios and educational publishers. He has experience as a digital instructor at Montserrat College of Art and Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston.

He loves to relax and play music with the Harmony Gritz band. He is quite sure his harmonica playing is scaring the neighbors' cats and dogs.


Donor Paul Weiner’s website: www.paulweiner.com

Auction Instructions:
* Bid by posting a comment with your bid amount in U.S. dollars; no anonymous bidding.
* Do not bid unless you intend to pay that amount to Mercy Corps or UNICEF.
* To automatically receive updates on the latest bids, check the “Notify Me” box when you submit your comment.
* Highest bid before the end of the auction wins.
* A note about last-minute bidding: If you are used to online auctions that end at an exact, given second, please know that the KidLitPhil auctions don’t work quite that way. Each auction ends when I post the “Auction closed” comment. I do that when my computer turns to 10pm EST, but because I have multiple auctions to close at that time (also because I am human) it will not be precisely at 10pm EST. At any rate, the winning bid is the high bid before the Auction Closed comment, even if the time on your computer reads slightly after 10:00. Thanks for understanding!
* Winning bidder must donate the winning bid amount to a designated charity organization and provide a copy of the receipt within three days of notification.
* For physical items, unless otherwise noted, donor pays standard shipping within the U.S.; winning bidder pays for express shipping or for shipping outside the U.S.

#KidLitPhil Auction item 28 from Diane Allison

KidLit for the Philippines is an online talent auction to benefit Mercy Corps and UNICEF relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan (aka Yolanda). Agents, editors, authors, and illustrators have donated various services and items to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with donations being made directly to Mercy Corps and UNICEF.

Auction #28: Author/illustrator school visit

Description: I have done school programs all over the country, incorporating my story-telling/performance skills with my teaching experience to give children a rich understanding of the joys of writing and illustrating stories. I ask the question, where do books come from? And the answer, IDEAS! help the child realize that they have all the resources inside them to do great work. I use original artwork, dummies, reference material and finished books as teaching tools. We have a wonderful time.

I will do three 30 minute sessions for groups of up to 60 students, ages from kindergarten to high school. (Older students are taught seminar-style).

If the school is over an hour outside of Brooklyn, transportation and lunch costs must be paid by the school.


Estimated Value: $500

Minimum Bid: $100

Auction Ends: 12/7/2013 at 10:00 PM EST

Bio: Diane is an author/illustrator/performer trained in Montessori teaching. She lives in paradise, aka Brooklyn, a bike ride from Prospect Park, the Botanic Garden, an art museum, zoo, and BAM, and she often bikes over the Brooklyn Bridge and back to work at her favorite book stores. If she's not working there, or writing poems or songs, or honing her drawings and dummy books, she may be performing one person, one act, one (life-size) puppet play, MIRIAM, or helping her husband with campaigns for UNICEF.

Donor Diane Allison’s website: dianewallison.com

Auction Instructions:
* Bid by posting a comment with your bid amount in U.S. dollars; no anonymous bidding.
* Do not bid unless you intend to pay that amount to Mercy Corps or UNICEF.
* To automatically receive updates on the latest bids, check the “Notify Me” box when you submit your comment.
* Highest bid before the end of the auction wins.
* A note about last-minute bidding: If you are used to online auctions that end at an exact, given second, please know that the KidLitPhil auctions don’t work quite that way. Each auction ends when I post the “Auction closed” comment. I do that when my computer turns to 10pm EST, but because I have multiple auctions to close at that time (also because I am human) it will not be precisely at 10pm EST. At any rate, the winning bid is the high bid before the Auction Closed comment, even if the time on your computer reads slightly after 10:00. Thanks for understanding!
* Winning bidder must donate the winning bid amount to a designated charity organization and provide a copy of the receipt within three days of notification.
* For physical items, unless otherwise noted, donor pays standard shipping within the U.S.; winning bidder pays for express shipping or for shipping outside the U.S.

#KidLitPhil Auction item 27 from I.W. Gregorio

KidLit for the Philippines is an online talent auction to benefit Mercy Corps and UNICEF relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan (aka Yolanda). Agents, editors, authors, and illustrators have donated various services and items to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with donations being made directly to Mercy Corps and UNICEF.

Auction #27: Agent query critique + 15pp author critique

Description: Get two query critiques and a critique of your first 15 pages!
First I.W. Gregorio will critique your query + first 15 pages of your manuscript. Then, after you revise if you so desire, agent Jessica Regel of Foundry + Media will critique your query.


Estimated Value: $100

Minimum Bid: $30

Auction Ends: 12/7/2013 at 10:00 PM EST

Bio: I. W. Gregorio is a practicing surgeon by day, masked avenging YA writer by night. A graduate of the Yale School of Medicine, she studied creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University. Her debut YA novel, NONE OF THE ABOVE (Balzer & Bray / HarperCollins, Fall of 2015), is MIDDLESEX meets MEAN GIRLS. She is represented by Jessica Regel of Foundry + Media.

Donor I.W. Gregorio’s website: http://iwgregorio.wordpress.com

Auction Instructions:
* Bid by posting a comment with your bid amount in U.S. dollars; no anonymous bidding.
* Do not bid unless you intend to pay that amount to Mercy Corps or UNICEF.
* To automatically receive updates on the latest bids, check the “Notify Me” box when you submit your comment.
* Highest bid before the end of the auction wins.
* A note about last-minute bidding: If you are used to online auctions that end at an exact, given second, please know that the KidLitPhil auctions don’t work quite that way. Each auction ends when I post the “Auction closed” comment. I do that when my computer turns to 10pm EST, but because I have multiple auctions to close at that time (also because I am human) it will not be precisely at 10pm EST. At any rate, the winning bid is the high bid before the Auction Closed comment, even if the time on your computer reads slightly after 10:00. Thanks for understanding!
* Winning bidder must donate the winning bid amount to a designated charity organization and provide a copy of the receipt within three days of notification.
* For physical items, unless otherwise noted, donor pays standard shipping within the U.S.; winning bidder pays for express shipping or for shipping outside the U.S.

# KidLitPhil Donations



UPDATE 11/30: Thank you to everyone who donated items to the auction. I am no longer accepting donations of items or services. If you wish to help, please bid on one of the many wonderful items currently open for bids.  

Thank you for your interest in donating. Please read this carefully before deciding to donate.

Your donations will be made available in an on-line auction. (Bidders will leave their bids in the comments). Winning bidders will donate to one of two organizations: Mercy Corps or Unicef. I chose these two organizations because they allow donors to designate their contributions to specific relief efforts and they each are highly rated based on the percent of the money that goes directly to those in need (as opposed to going toward administrative or fundraising costs).  

I will not handle any money or donations. Winning bidders will send me a copy of their receipts, I’ll connect bidders and donors, and donors will send the items directly to the winning bidders. Any shipping costs will be paid by the donor (you) unless otherwise noted in your donation description.

Please make sure your description clearly defines what you are offering. All services should be provided at the convenience of both the donor and the winning bidder, but this should happen within three months of the auction’s end unless something else is agreed upon by both parties or noted in your description.

I will open the auction as soon as I am able, perhaps as soon as Monday, November 25th.  All updates will be shared through social media and on my blog.

Once I have received all of the donations, I will set up firm guidelines regarding how many items will be released each day, etc.  At this point, I estimate between 3 and 5 items per day and that they’ll each be open for about 5  days. But that’s my best guess right now. It  may have to change. Since I am one person, I may need to limit the number of donations I can manage. That would be a good problem to have.

Therefore, for obvious reasons, I am especially seeking bigger ticket items. In addition, in the interest of staying focused, I’m only accepting donations from the KidLit writing/illustrating community.

I’m especially seeking donations such as these:
1.       manuscript and portfolio critiques from editors, agents, and published kidLit authors/illustrators.
2.       “jump the slush pile” critiques with editors/art directors
3.       Original art or prints from KidLit illustrators.
4.       Skype visits by published KidLit authors/illustrators.
5.       School visits from published authors/illustrators.
6.       Something else exciting or creative that you might dream up. Please don’t let this list limit you.
Those ideas don’t work? Maybe one of these?
  • If you are an author or illustrator, perhaps your donation could be to help secure a critique or portfolio review by your editor, art director, or agent.
  • Maybe several people would like to work together on something? (Keep the auction format in mind, though. Make sure it will work).
  • Name a character in your next book after the highest bidder (or a name of his/her choosing).
Thank you, in advance, for donating, bidding, or spreading the word however you can. 

Other ways to stay informed:
  1. Subscribe to/follow this blog.
  2. “Like” the Facebook page. 
  3. Follow the twitter account @KidLitPhil 
  4. Use the hashtag #KidLitPhil
Please make all donations through the on-line form. (11/30: The on-line form is now closed)

ADDED 11/25: I've been monitoring the on-line form and all seems to be working well. Due to the volume of work, I'm unable to send individual acknowledgment emails. I will publish a final list of donors before the auction goes live so you can let me know if anything is missing. Thank you for your understanding. If the form stops working, please let me know by leaving a comment. 

#KidLitPhil Auction item 26 from Scott Blagden

KidLit for the Philippines is an online talent auction to benefit Mercy Corps and UNICEF relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan (aka Yolanda). Agents, editors, authors, and illustrators have donated various services and items to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with donations being made directly to Mercy Corps and UNICEF.

Auction #26: Signed copy of Dear Life, You Suck and t-shirt

Description: Signed copy of the young adult novel Dear Life, You Suck by Scott Blagden and a Dear Life, You Suck t-shirt - Dear Life is printed on the front and You Suck is printed on the back. Dear Life, You Suck has been nominated to YALSA’s 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults list, the 2014 Texas Library Association TAYSHAS reading list, and the New Jersey Association of School Librarians Annual Best Books for Young Adults.

Estimated Value: $40

Minimum Bid: $20

Auction Ends: 12/6/2013 at 10:00 PM EST

Bio: Author of Dear Life, You Suck, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013

Donor Scott Blagden’s website: www.scottblagden.com

Auction Instructions:
* Bid by posting a comment with your bid amount in U.S. dollars; no anonymous bidding.
* Do not bid unless you intend to pay that amount to Mercy Corps or UNICEF.
* To automatically receive updates on the latest bids, check the “Notify Me” box when you submit your comment.
* Highest bid before the end of the auction wins.
* A note about last-minute bidding: If you are used to online auctions that end at an exact, given second, please know that the KidLitPhil auctions don’t work quite that way. Each auction ends when I post the “Auction closed” comment. I do that when my computer turns to 10pm EST, but because I have multiple auctions to close at that time (also because I am human) it will not be precisely at 10pm EST. At any rate, the winning bid is the high bid before the Auction Closed comment, even if the time on your computer reads slightly after 10:00. Thanks for understanding!
* Winning bidder must donate the winning bid amount to a designated charity organization and provide a copy of the receipt within three days of notification.
* For physical items, unless otherwise noted, donor pays standard shipping within the U.S.; winning bidder pays for express shipping or for shipping outside the U.S.