Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Speech, THREE Drink Nights, Two Panels, and an Announcement

1. The text of the speech I delivered on Friday at Carleton College, "The Wand Chooses the Wizard: Of Carleton, Children's Books, and Creating Yourself," is now online at my website here. It's less about Harry Potter than about the idea of being yourself, and the pleasures and the real pain of that, with some thoughts for soon-to-be college graduates on adulthood and a life's work.

2. Our next New York Kidlit Drink Night will be tomorrow, Monday, April 26, at our old favorite Sweet & Vicious, in Soho between Bowery & Elizabeth, starting around 6:30 p.m. By coincidence we'll be there at the same time as the Teen Author Drink Night that David Levithan runs, so all your children's AND YA literature drinking needs will never be satisfied more fully than they'll be that night. Hopefully it will be warm enough that we can hang out in the back garden.

3. We will also host a BEA Kidlit Drink Night exactly a month later -- Wednesday, May 26, 6 p.m. at the Houndstooth Pub on 8th Ave. (where we were last year).

4. And if you're coming to the ALA convention in June in Washington, D.C., Sara Lewis Holmes has your Kidlit Drink Night goodness then! Mark your calendars for Friday night, June 25, and get the details here.

5. New Yorkers: Francisco X. Stork, the wonderful and very wise author of Marcelo in the Real World and The Last Summer of the Death Warriors, will be appearing on two different panels on Thursday as part of the PEN World Voices Festival -- "Writing, Speaking, Dreaming," during the day, and "A Gathering of Voices" in the evening, alongside David Almond and several others, moderated by Betsy Bird. More information ahoy.

6. And on Saturday, May 1, at 2 p.m. I'll be appearing at Betsy's Children's Literature Cafe at the main New York Public Library as part of a terrific panel called "Lost in Children's Literary Translation." Les deets on that one.

7. Finally, I'm sorry about this, but starting May 1, I am closing to unsolicited submissions (SQUIDs) for a couple of months, except in the cases of conference attendees submitting under the terms established at that conference, and writers with whom I've previously corresponded and invited to send future manuscripts. (Agented submissions are also welcome, of course.) I'm doing this because there has been a remarkable uptick in submissions in the last few months (which I'm not the only one experiencing -- and anecdotally I've heard other agents say the same); this time off will hopefully let me clear out some of the backlog. Thanks for understanding.


  1. I'm sad about the squid closure. :(

    But I really liked The Last Summer of the Death Warriors!

  2. I can't stop laughing. The Rejectionist cracks me up. Thanks for reminding me of her though I'm sorry about the deluge.

    I just got Marcelo from the library where it was prominently displayed (yea!) My son had an autistic boy in his class last year with whom he bonded pretty well. The boy often invited my son (Duncan) to eat lunch with him in his special lunch room. Duncan seeks the boy out at the middle school to say hello. Duncan will absolutely devour a book he likes, but is picky about what he likes. I brought home as many books as I could carry hoping to intrigue him and Marecelo and Dull Boy both caught his eye.

  3. Cheryl,

    Thank you so much for sharing your speech. I'm two weeks away from being a senior in college and the freaking out has already set in. All I know is that I'm tired of my major (Spanish) and I want to write and I want to dance and I want to be involved with the Harry Potter community. I like plans and I like routines and it's really, really hard not to know what I'm going to do after I graduate, but your words have helped. After hearing you speak at LeakyCon, I remember thinking, "Wow, she's pretty much the luckiest person in the world to have gotten the chance to do the job that she loves -- which involved shaping the Harry Potter books." I still think you're pretty darn lucky, of course, but it helps to know that such a lucky person was once out on the foggy high seas in my boat.

  4. yay im hoping i can finally get to a kidlit drink night with you during BEA! :) hope you are well.

  5. KidLit Drink Night! WOOOO!

  6. Word of this speech reached me this morning. My Wenesday walking buddy and her daughter heard you give it. And now, it will be sent to my oldest daughter,soon to graduate. Wrestling with words, finding the stories that beg translating fuel her engine. It's this mother's hope that perhaps your telling tale will help her to find her own way, too.

  7. Thoughts on the grad speech:

    I believe on most accounts that popularity only matters in high school and politics. Interest,lasting relationships, selflessness, hobbies, a life's work shared in the company of those we love and cherish; those things matter the rest of our lives.

    I guess my wand also chose a book loving weirdo, and I am quite thankful.

  8. Cheryl,

    I just found your blog and website, and am so tempted to send you a query, though I don't write for the YA market. Your website said that you had a mad, passionate affair with the Time Traveler's Wife (which is not YA), so maybe I should send it anyway. Thoughts? Since you're closing off May 1, I'd best get my act together if a time-travel fiction novel is something you would be interested in reviewing! :)


  9. Hey, will you be open to "Squids" by fall? I'm getting married soon so my manuscript has been on the back burner but i really hope to revise it and send in my query this fall. :) Hope things are well and the manuscripts get cleaned up quick!

  10. For Kid Drink Nites, please stay away from bars likely to be selected as targets by that Mad Bomber who tried to take out Times Sq.

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