One Writer’s Journey

March 1, 2019

Graphic Novel Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:51 am
Tags: , , , ,

Are you interested in writing graphic novels?  If so, then the KS/MO SCBWI region has a great writing event for you.  Graphic Novel Day: The Whole Picture is all about writing and illustrating graphic novels.

When:  April 6, 2019 from 8:30 to 4:30 pm

Where: KU Edwards Campus, BEST Conference Center, 12600 S. Quivira – Overland Park, KS 66213

The speakers are:

Lucy Bellwood. Professional Adventure Cartoonist, author, and educator based in Portland, Oregon. Her first graphic novel, Baggywrinkles: a Lubber’s Guide to Life at Sea, collects educational stories from her time aboard the Lady Washington. Bellwood’s most recent book is 100 Demon Dialogues, a guide to living with Imposter Syndrome. You can find her work in The New York Times, Boing Boing, Kazoo Magazine, Fast Company, The Nib, Buzzfeed, Anxy Magazine, The Rumpus, Atlas Obscura, and The Hollywood Reporter. You can find out more about Lucy at You can find Lucy on Twitter at @LuBellWoo.


Ben Hatke. Author and illustrator of the New York Times–bestselling Zita the Spacegirl trilogy, the picture books Julia’s House for Lost Creatures and Nobody Likes a Goblin, and the graphic novels Little Robot and Mighty Jack. He lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and their boisterous pack of daughters. You can find Ben’s blog at Ben is on Twitter at @BenHatke.

Colleen Ann Felicity Venable. Author, designer, and maker. Her latest books include the YA graphic novel Kiss Number 8 (illustrated by Ellen T. Crenshaw), the quirky counting boardbook One More Wheel (illustrated by Blythe Russo) and the upcoming Maker Comics: Build a Robot  (illustrated by Kathryn Hudson). Her graphic novel series Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye (illustrated by Stephanie Yue) was nominated for an Eisner for Best Publication for Kids and awarded “Best Book” recognition from Kirkus Reviews, NYPL, Bank Street, and the Junior Library Guild. In 2017 she was named a Publisher’s Weekly StarWatch Top 5 Finalist. In her day job she works as the Creative Director for Odd Dot/Macmillan, a new imprint devoted to creating quirky non-fiction for kids. You can find Colleen’s website at Colleen is on Twitter at @colleenaf.

Each presenter will give 2 hour-long sessions.

This looks like a great opportunity so don’t put off registering. Seating is limited and they are only taking registration through April 1st.  I’d love to go but guess who just got a jury summons.  The day I report?  April 1st.  Sigh.  The rest of you should definitely benefit from this opportunity.












June 11, 2018

Mentorships: A Great Opportunity to Learn and Grow as a Writer

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:42 am
Tags: ,

In a writing mentorship, a less experienced writer gets to work, often one-on-one, with a more experienced writer.  It is an opportunity to get personalized feedback from someone who has come to know your writing.  That’s so important because they know what your weaknesses are and can offer advice tailored to overcoming these issues. Critique, advice, reading and more are part of this type of relationship.

Often these types of relationships are informal.  I learned a lot from Pat McKissack who taught the class I took on writing for children.  Over the years, I could count on her for advice and a gentle nudge whenever I got discouraged.

The Kansas/Missouri Region of the SCBWI has a mentorship opportunity for writers.  The mentor for the upcoming year is young adult author Cynthia Leitich Smith.  Cynthia is the New York Times best-selling author of the award-winning Feral series and Tantalize series. Both adventure-fantasies were published by Candlewick Press in the U.S., Walker Books in the U.K. and Australia/New Zealand, and additional publishers around the globe.  In the fall of 2018, she has another contemporary YA coming out – Hearts Unbroken also from Candlewick. I’m eager to see this one because the protagonist is Native American and Cynthia hasn’t had a book with such a main character since 2002.

Cynthia has also published picture books, short stories, nonfiction essays, and poetry for young readers. I’ll leave you too look that up on her website because the mentorship this year focuses on young adult. To be eligible, you must be a SCBWI member living in the KS-MO region who has not yet published YA.  Applications must be turned in by the end of the month and include 10 pages of a manuscript and a synopsis.

This is program is free and I would strongly encourage any and all who are eligible to take advantage of this opportunity.  You can find out the details here.



Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: