I’m the new SCBWI Co-Regional Advisor for SCBWI Wisconsin!

I’m excited to be the new Co-Regional Advisor for SCBWI Wisconsin, working together with author Miranda Paul. Big thanks to Michael Kress-Russick for co-leading our chapter for the last five years!

Miranda and I, along with Illustrator Coordinator Deb Gross, are busy planning the Wisconsin Fall Conference, which takes place October 21-23. Check out our stellar lineup HERE.

I had a great time at the Wild Wild Midwest this past weekend, meeting other state RA’s and gleaning so much from the amazing faculty. In addition to all the learning, we took a break Friday night for a Roaring 20’s costume party. Here’s a picture of Miranda and me in our aviator costumes inspired by Amelia Earhart.

Miranda & Andrea_WWMW


Shimmerling Wins the Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist!

Shimmerling CoverI’m excited to find out this week that… Shimmerling has won another award!
The Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist! I’m hoping to attend the awards reception during BEA in Chicago later this month.


To read Shimmerling, click HERE.

To learn the inspiration behind the book, click HERE.

To watch the book trailer, click HERE.

To view a video showcasing the making of Shimmerling, click HERE.

To Purchase Shimmerling, visit Wooden Nickel Press or Amazon

The Shimmerling residency was funded by Arts@Large. To learn more about this amazing non-profit or to donate to their worthy organization, visit http://artsatlargeinc.org.

Picture Book Halloween

My favorite holiday gets a little bit better when my family and I dress up as characters from pictures books. Last year my daughters Evey and Celia got to have all the fun, but this year Michael and I, our nephew, and my brother and sister-in-law got to join in as the creatures from Maurice Sendak’s book Where the Wild Things Are.

WILD THINGS! Costume picture

Wild things10

Recap of SCBWI Wisconsin Fall Conference

Great times at SCBWI’s Wisconsin Fall Conference. My top five favorite memories:

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FUN: Hung out with my LITtle Ladies critique group—Sheri Roloff, Rachelle Lisiecki, and Rochelle Groskreutz, and my “conference wife” Amy Ward.

FACT: Presented The School Visit Toolbox and shared what to do if you’re presenting to a class and have sharp pencils thrown in your direction.

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FUN: Learned from Dan Santat that font is important, and unless you’re an artisanal goat cheese restaurant in NYC, Helvetica might not be the best choice.

FACT: His advice—pick design over execution, meaning you can have a great painting/illustration, but it won’t matter if the design isn’t considered.


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FUN: Crashed a formal fundraiser with Katherine Harrison and Sheri Roloff.

FACT:  Circumstances can change and be imagined, but write what you know emotionally says Katherine in regards to voice and character.

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FUN: Embarrassed by my tear-streaked faced during Pat Zietlow Miller’s closing keynote, until I looked around and realized I was not the only one.

FACT: Writing success takes Talent, Luck, and most importantly, Tenacity says Pat.

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FUN: Found out why you should never leave a bird’s nest close to your house (i.e. bird mites are the new bed bugs) from Bruce Coville over a BLT at Roots Cafe.

FACT: “Craft without inspiration leads to basket weaving, inspiration without craft leads to contemporary art.” —Bruce Coville

SCBWI SE Wisconsin Meet up with Deb Gross & Jessica Salyer

Please join us for the SE Area Meet-up at the Wauwatosa Library.

DebraGross12October 1st from 10-3pm @ Wauwatosa Library
10-12pm Creating A Picture Book Dummy with Illustrator Deb Gross

Creating book dummies isn’t just for illustrators. All creators benefit from laying out their text in a page-turning format. In this presentation Deb Gross will cover the purpose and general construction of a picture book dummy. I will talk about how to layout a storyboard, create simple sketches, organize a book dummy package and submit to publishers.

Deb Gross has enjoyed working in children’s publishing for the past 16 years. She works in pencil, pen & ink, watercolor, and colored pencil. She also creates illustrations in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator alone or in combination with conventional methods. Her clients include Barron’s Educational Series, Harcourt Educational, McGraw Hill, National Geographic School Publishing & Compass Publishing.
Deb serves as the SCBWI-WI Illustrator Coordinator.

jessicaOctober 1st from 10-3pm @ Wauwatosa Library 1-3pm
Using Scrivener
w/ Jessica Salyer

Ever wonder why people use Scrivener? Come learn the basics and the unique elements that make Scrivener an Author’s tool box essential.

Jessica Salyer is the co-author of Secret Catch, a modern day Romeo and Juliet retelling with a happy ending. She can be found furiously typing on her laptop when her kids go to bed, but she probably won’t hear you because of her earbuds and loud music. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, or her website where she will hear you.


Our Next Meet-up is December 3, 2015 @ 6:30pm – 8:30pm at the Wauwatosa Library Children’s Storyroom. Youth librarian Anne Kissinger will present How Picturebooks Work

tosa libraryJoin children’s librarian Anne Kissinger as she discusses how picturebooks work– peritextual elements (endpapers, covers, book jackets) design elements (fonts, orientation of the book, borders, etc.) visual grammar (offer and demand, color, composition), mindful literacy (What does the text say? What does the text mean?), adult-directed & child-directed books (read by an adult to a child or child reads independently), appropriate age and classifications for writing, close reading (writing), how the library handles acquisitions and gaps in the current collection, and how to effectively communicate with your librarian.

Following the presentation there will be time for discussion with an opportunity to peruse the collection and check out books. The library closes at 9:00pm. Wauwatosa Public Library 7635 W. North Avenue 53213 wauwatosalibrary.org (414) 471-8486 anne.kissinger@mcfls.org