Thursday, May 20, 2010


I am thrilled to announce that Robin Mellom has sold 2 fun, funny YA books to Christian Trimmer at Disney-Hyperion!

Here's the PM listing:

Robin Mellom's debut DITCHED, pitched as THE HANGOVER for teens, in which a girl finds herself lying in a ditch the morning after her prom with no memory of the last twelve hours which includes a disappearing prom date, a Tinkerbell tattoo, and a dog-swapping escapade, to Christian Trimmer at Disney-Hyperion, in a very nice deal, in a two-book deal, for publication in Winter 2012, by Jill Corcoran at The Herman Agency (NA).

Robin Mellom is one of the funniest, most talented writers I know. Many of you know her from her Disco Mermaid days, but for every forth you will know her as a force in YA kidlit:)

Robin Mellom has taught grades 5 through 8 and has a master’s degree in education. She has written local content for the entertainment section of The San Luis Obispo Tribune newspaper, and also co-wrote a series of manga-style algebra assessments for the UCLA Department of Education. Currently, she is a social worker for children with autism. Robin spoke at the 2006 SCBWI National Conference in Los Angeles with author Lisa Yee on the positive aspects of blogging. She presented information on how blogging can help connect authors with the writing community and allow for a unique creative outlet. As a three-member group, her blog, The Disco Mermaids, focused on the process of writing and gained the attention of editors, authors, children’s librarians and many writers.

Check out Robin's new solo blog and read all about her road to publication, and of course her happiest post: OMG...I SOLD MY BOOK!

As you will read on her blog, Hyperion's Christian Trimmer is the perfect editor for Robin. They are both witty, fun, super hard working and smart, smart, smart!

Congrats to both of you, Robin and Christian!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Come have dinner with Me + 3 other agents + 6 editors + 2 writers

Come out to hear the amazing line-up of speakers for the SCBWI NJ Conference June 4&5

Plus come have dinner on Sat night, June 5th with ME and:

REGINA GRIFFIN, Senior Editor Egmont USA

TRACEY ADAMS, Owner and Agent, Adams Literary

CAROLYN YODER, Editor, Calkins Creek Books; Senior Editor, History, HIGHLIGHTS

REBECCA FRAZER, Editor, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

HEATHER ALEXANDER, Assistant Editor, Dial BFYR

KATE SULLIVAN, Assistant Editor, Little, Brown and Co.

SCOTT TREIMEL, Agent, Scott Treimel Literary Agency

STEPHEN BARBARA, Agent, Foundry Literary + Media

JILL CORCORAN, Agent, Herman Agency

SIMONE KAPLAN, Owner Picture Book People

DAVID L HARRISON, Keynote speaker, author of 80 books

KRISTIN VENUTI, Author Leaving the Bellweather (E.B. White Read Aloud Award Shortlist)

Cost to attend is $100 per person. Dinner includes appetizers, your choice of dinner, dessert, wine, coffee and tea.

Artwork by Steve Haskamp

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bid on my critique & help the flood victims of Nashville! Do the Write Thing for Nashville

Bid on my critique & help the flood victims of Nashville! Do the Write Thing for Nashville:

30 famous authors whose works were rejected (repeatedly, and sometimes rudely) by publishers

Great article by Book Examiner's Michelle Kerns: 30 famous authors whose works were rejected (repeatedly, and sometimes rudely) by publishers

My favorite editor quotes:

William Faulkner One publisher exclaimed in the rejection letter for Mr. Faulkner's book, Sanctuary: Good God, I can’t publish this!

Vladimir Nabokov Mr. Nabokov's Lolita was greeted by one publisher with these words: …overwhelmingly nauseating, even to an enlightened Freudian…the whole thing is an unsure cross between hideous reality and improbable fantasy. It often becomes a wild neurotic daydream…I recommend that it be buried under a stone for a thousand years.

D.H. Lawrence After reading Mr. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover, one publisher warned: for your own sake do not publish this book.

And for us kid writers out there:

J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (later Sorceror’s) Stone was rejected by a dozen publishers, including biggies like Penguin and HarperCollins. Bloomsbury, a small London publisher, only took it on at the behest of the CEO’s eight-year old daughter, who begged her father to print the book. God bless you, sweetheart.

Meg Cabot The Princess Diaries slipped through the hands of 17 publishers before finally being accepted for publication.

Madeleine L'Engle A Wrinkle in Time was rejected by 26 publishers before finally breaking into print. It went on to win the 1963 Newbery Medal.

Judy Blume Ms. Blume received “nothing but rejections” for two years.

According to Ms. Blume:

I would go to sleep at night feeling that I'd never be published. But I'd wake up in the morning convinced I would be. Each time I sent a story or book off to a publisher, I would sit down and begin something new. I was learning more with each effort. I was determined. Determination and hard work are as important as talent.

Determination and hard work certainly did the trick for Ms. Blume, who is now considered to be one of the most influential children's literature writers of her generation.

Here's my final word on rejection---after enduring years on my own writing and a year on behalf of my writers (yes, agents feel the sting of rejection much more than you all since there are few of our writers who sell their books without at least one rejection):

F*** Rejection!

Write the best book you can.
No really, go back and look at it with a critical eye.
Revise some more.
One, maybe two...three, four, five more times.
And then believe.

Believe in your words. Believe in your creation. Believe in yourself.

Now get out there and submit. Rejection is part of the process.
Deal with it and move on.

Friday, May 14, 2010


THAT'S NOT HOW YOU PLAY SOCCER, DADDY! (Peachtree) will be featured in the June School Library Journal e-newsletter Curriculum Connections! Sherry Shahan and Tatjana Mai Wyss will be recording audio clips to accompany the piece.

From Booklist: In a reversal of the usual competitive sports message, a parent teaches his son to just have fun. At soccer practice, Coach yells, Drill! Drill! Drill! and when the team leaves, she reminds them to Practice! Practice! Practice! for the big game next week. Team captain Mikey is totally driven: We have to win, win, win! Crowds of moms and dads shout from the stands—except for Mikey's dad. He wants to have fun with his son, and the two set winning aside to roll in the grass with their puppy, a belly tickle, a belly chickle. The playful illustrations in watercolor and collage show the team playing ball and also goofing off; and the simple, rhythmic words, featuring lots of repetition, will have kids joining in. Best of all are the pictures showing the big grown-up fumbling and stumbling over the ball—and loving it. Rochman, Hazel

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


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