#NESCBWI16 workshops

I’m going to be a part of two workshops at the NESCBWI this coming spring. For some of you who don’t already know, NESCBWI is the New England branch of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and they have a conference every spring. My first conference was back in 2008, but this will be my first time as a presenter!

The conference attendees are an interesting mix of newbies (“What the heck is a query letter?”) and award-winning authors. I love going to this conference because otherwise, I spend most of my time either alone with my computer or scrambling around with my two small (but growing) children. This is my opportunity to talk to actual grownups who care about children’s literature :)

The two workshops I’m doing are both on Sunday. The first is a panel called “Don’t Dis Disability: Writing What You Don’t Know”. This panel features experienced librarian and disability advocate Carrie Banks and award winning author Padma Venkatraman. This topic is a new one for the NESCBWI conference, so I am hoping this is the first of many future conversations about disability in children’s literature.

The other workshop is called “Part-Time Writer, Full-Time Mom: A Discussion on Parenting and Creating Books”. I think the importance of this topic is self-evident :)

I hope you can come! Registration begins February 9th but the info is up now so you can start thinking about which workshops you want to pick.

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The blog formerly known as Monkey Poop

In case you didn’t already notice, I’m taking a bit of a break from blogging. In the meantime, I’ve been playing around with the title and colors and such of this blog. Let me know what you think! Good? Bad? Kind of okay or WAY too weird?

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Get to Know Asian American Children’s Authors: Arree Chung, Author and Illustrator of Ninja!

Arree_Chung_Author_Large

Hi everyone! This week, I’m excited to have Arree Chung, author and illustrator of numerous books, including Ninja!. Based on his responses here, it looks like he’s working on a middle grade novel as well. Can’t wait to see it!

1) Which of your characters do you most identify with and why?

Well, the character I relate to most is a middle grade book I’m working on titled, Ming Lee. I relate to it the most, well because it’s largely autobiographical!NINJA_CLAN

Ming Lee explores what it means to be American. As an ABC (American Born Chinese), I didn’t completely identify with American or Chinese culture. I felt stuck in-between and belonging to none. When I tried to fit in either culture, I failed at both.  I didn’t have the cool clothes the white kids had at school and I couldn’t speak Chinese. 

Through making a few friends and some embarrassing moments, I learned that there really was no such thing as an American. We all come from different places and I learned that the other “cool” kids at school experienced the same things I experienced- just through a different cultural lens. What made us all American is that we were growing up together and learning about each other. That made us American.

I’m developing the story now and am very excited about it.

2) How_To_Pee_GirlsIf you could give your Asian American kid readers one piece of advice, what would it be?

Read lots of different things. Reading is magical because it gives you the ability to look inside somebody else’s mind. Through reading, you’ll learn about different ideas and cultures. 

Read things that you like already but also try subjects that you many not think you are interested in. You’ll be surprised! 

3) Who is your favorite Asian American children’s author or illustrator right now (other than yourself)?How_To_Pee

Well, I have several, so I’ll list a few, ok? 

Dan Santat (Picture Books & Middle Grade) I love Sidekicks and of course Beekle.

Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet series

Mariko & Jillian Tamaki’s This One Summer.

About the Author:

Arree Chung is the author and illustrator of the popular picture book, Ninja!, which has received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal and has been named one of Amazon’s best books for 2014. Ninja! was also named one of NPR’s best children’s books of 2014. Ninja!, Attack of the Clan the followup to Ninja! will be releasing in 2016, along with How to Pee: Potty Training for Girls and Fix-it Man. Arree has a two picture book contract with MacMillan and is also illustrating books from other publishers.

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Last of the Italy trip pics

More from Rome!

http://amithaknight.tumblr.com/post/130497308812/last-set-of-photos-from-my-trip-to-rome-last

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More Rome pics

http://amithaknight.tumblr.com/post/130488885428/more-photos-from-rome

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Photos from my trip to Rome

http://amithaknight.tumblr.com/post/130481117129/photos-from-my-trip-to-rome

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Venice From Above

Photos by my mom!

http://amithaknight.tumblr.com/post/130158362946/venice-from-above

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More Photos from Venice

http://amithaknight.tumblr.com/post/130150906336/more-photos-from-venice

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Photos from my trip to venice!

http://amithaknight.tumblr.com/post/130137676621/some-pics-from-my-trip-to-venice-we-had-an

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Photos from my trip to the Rosicrucian Gardens and Egyptian Museum

IMG_20150828_153031 Statue of Pythagoras, Rosicrucian Park, San Jose, California

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go to California and turned it into a self-made writing retreat. My mom babysat the kids and I flew across the country and spent time writing. It was amazing! I also did a tiny bit of sight-seeing. If you’d like to see some of my photos to the Rosicrucian Peace Gardens and Egyptian Museum in San Jose, head on over to my tumblr page.

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