My new book for elementary-aged readers came out this past week. Invisible Inkling: The Whoopie Pie War is the third book in the Invisible Inkling series. The return of the killer unicorn head, 15 ways to make pumpkin ice cream, pygmy hedgehogs, romance, a league of supervillains, moderate violence. What more could you want? Oh! Pictures by Harry Bliss. It's got those, too.
I am recently returned from teaching at Hamline's MFAC -- an MFA program in writing for children. It's a low-residency program, which means there are intensives in July and January, and the rest of the time the students work directly with an advisor on their creative and critical work. There are only a couple programs like it in country, specializing in writing for kids, so if you're interested I recommend you check it out.
This was my second residency, and one of my favorite things about teaching there is that I get to attend my colleagues' lectures on the craft of writing. Oh, hearing Franny Billingsly explain how to develop a character, or Anne Ursu talk about "staging" a novel, or Gary Schmidt talk about point of view -- all in a day's work.
I did a lecture this time called Self Editing: Better Living Through Technology, which was about using Final Draft, Scrivener and the Track Changes function of Word.
The other big thing that's going on with me right now is I am judging the National Book Awards, young people's literature category. There are five judges total, and the long list of top ten books is announced on September 12, 2013. So I am reading reading reading. Here is a link to Up All Night Reading, the National Book Foundation's online exhibition of the YPL category winners and finalists, organized by year. It is very fun reading and has loads of essays about the books and tidbits about their authors.
Hope you are doing some amazing summer reading, too!