Sunday, April 22, 2018

Environmental Book Club

I am back on-line in time to get this Environmental Book Club post on reality-based picture books up for Earth Day.

I haven't been doing many environmental book club posts this past year because I find so few "environmental" books, particularly in fiction, that I want to read. Forgive me, if I've said this here before, but too often I find novels about the environment pedantic and predictable. They tend to be about saving an animal or piece of land from an evil business (middle grade) or a post-apocalyptic world that exists because of an environmental disaster caused by humans (YA). I find myself drawn, instead, to picture book stories based on true environmental situations. Reality is actually more interesting and less predictable than fiction.

The Water Princess by Susan Verde with illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds is about an African village whose women must travel for miles each day to get water. This isn't an entirely new-type of narrative. We've heard of water problems in Africa before. But the fact that this story is based on someone's experience gives it a sense of reality a totally fictional account wouldn't have. This was one of my ReFoReMo reads. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I'll just repeat what I've already said about it. "...what makes this book so workable is the main character, who fantasizes about being an African princess. Also, she recognizes the struggle she and the women she knows deal with, making a lengthy round-trip each day to get water, but she doesn't lecture the readers about it. The author trusts us to recognize that this is a tough subject."

I also liked One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul with illustrations by Elizabeth Zunon, another ReFoReMo title.  This book is based on a group of Ghambian women who handled a solid waste problem caused by plastic bags piling up and up around them by crocheting them into purses. I thought the author used repetition well, giving the book a "creative nonfiction vibe."  One Plastic Bag reminded me of Ada's Violin, a book about a group in Paraguay recycling solid waste in a creative way. Ada's author, Susan Hood, also uses creative nonfiction techniques well.

Friday, April 20, 2018

And How Was Your Week?

I had only one work day this week, as I expected, but on top of that I wasn’t able to do the social media work I usually do in the evenings. We had an Internet disaster. It involved a pop of light and an enormous crack of thunder on Monday afternoon. We’ve been limping along with our limited Internet  access with our phones. We have quite a lot of limited access, because that’s how we roll, but not enough to be spending hours each evening blogging and researching  author appearances for the Connecticut Children’s Lit Calendar. Oh, and tweeting. I do enjoy a little Twitter.

I had gotten ahead on blog posts last weekend, because I knew I had a houseguest Tuesday through Thursday. I was able to use my phone to post those from home. I’m doing this post on my iPad  at the nursing home I visit one to two times a week.  I got very excited before I left my house this morning when I realized I’d be able to access the nursing home’s wifi with my iPad, which I can’t do at home. I love my iPad. It may be my favorite possession. I’ve finished my visit and have camped out in the lobby, wondering if I’ll get kicked out of here any minute. I have been coming here weekly for over six years. I think I should be able to set up somewhere with my laptop and lunch. But you can’t predict the reaction of others, can you?

Computer Guy spent two days hunting for a new modem, which we were able to get yesterday. When I left him this morning, things were not going well with the repair. I’m not looking forward to going home.

You know those things you read about how glorious life is when you disconnect from your technology? Those people are hallucinating.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Time Management Tuesday: Don't Do Things Automatically; Make Decisions

It is spring in New England, and in our region's childlit world, writers' minds turn to the New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' annual conference. It's coming up this weekend. People have been looking for roommates on the NESCBWI listserv for the last month or so. A chunk of my writers' group will be there. There's been talk on Facebook. People will be getting really psyched there over the next week.

What's Gail Doing Conference Weekend?

Lunch With Writers' Group
Within a day or two of registration opening I decided to skip it again this year. I've written before about my mixed feelings about conferences in relation to managing time. And this is another of those situations. I saw a couple of workshops I was interested in this year, but not on the same day, so I could just go up for Saturday or Sunday. Or even Friday afternoon. But there also wasn't enough programming I thought I could use right now to justify me being there all weekend. Sure, I would have seen a number of people I know and had lunch with my writers' group at least once. But, still, to get those two workshops I could have ended up there for a lot of time. A lot of time.

I've had many weeks recently when I could only work three days. This week it's going to be only one, unless I can squeeze in a few minutes here or there. (I'm not working today, by the way.) I rarely am able to pick up any work time on weekends. I have a big project I want to finish before fall and a marketing project I want to plan and pull together for July. I need to make a synopsis for two different manuscripts before I can submit them. If I were to go to a conference on a weekend for two days, or even one, that would be like working on a weekend. Except I wouldn't be doing any of the work I need to do to produce and promote material. I wouldn't be working toward my major professional objectives for the year.

A Writer Is Supposed To Write

These last two months while I've been second guessing my decision about the conference, I've been thinking a lot about a woman in a writers' group I was in years ago. She had a marketing plan for a book she hadn't written more than a chapter or two for. She may not have written that much. She really needed to be writing, not planning how she would sell something she hadn't created yet. That's how I feel about a two- or three-day conference and me right now. Without getting some more work out, do I really need a conference?

That's the kind of time decision writers need to be making all the time. The year my computer guy and I went to the NESCBWI Conference to take a workshop on creating eBooks, I needed to be there. (Well, he needed to be there.) The year I took a storytelling workshop that revolutionized my school presentations, I needed to be there. This year, I don't.

So What's Gail Doing Conference Weekend, Again?


I'm writing.

Even before I attended last weekend's nature writing retreat, I had planned to create a pseudo-retreat for myself during NESCBWI Conference weekend. If I am able to work even two or three hours, that will be the equivalent of attending two or three one-hour workshops. Instead of making time for a conference on a weekend, I'm going to make time to write.

That's the plan, anyway. And plans are so important for managing time.

It won't be easy. Soon after deciding to do this, we had an opportunity to take part in a two-hour hike Sunday afternoon. Okay, that's like going for a walk at a retreat, which I did last weekend. So we're probably going to do that. Then a couple of weeks ago, I was asked to do some volunteer work that weekend. Being a witch, I begged off. On the positive side, it's not my weekend to do eldercare.

My NESCBWI friends and I will all be doing professional activities this weekend. We've just decided we won't all be doing the same thing.

NOTE: The weekend is three days away. That's a long time for things to go wrong Chez Gauthier. Plenty of opportunity for my weekend work plans to blow up in my face.

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Terrific Alex Award Winner

Somehow I got onto a newsletter a year or two ago, which provides me with some interesting info on books. Earlier this year, I learned on the newsletter about All Systems Red by Martha Wells, one of this year's Alex Award winners. I thought it sounded intriguing, and I was able to get the eBook for a very reasonable price. Cheap, really. You know me. Intriguing. Cheap. I bought that thing.

It is fantastic.

All Systems Red is the first in the Murderbot Diaries, Murderbot being the name an android gives itself, because...Well, isn't it obvious? Murderbot is a security android assigned to a group of scientists doing research on another planet. Its main interest is watching what we'd call soap operas it's downloaded. But when its people are endangered, it focuses on saving them.

I loved this book. As I was reading it, though, I wondered what made this one of the ten Alex winners, "book written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18." But by the time I finished, I got it. Murderbot is trying to understand why it is the way it is. And the humans in the story tend to treat it as a youth.

All Systems Red is a novella, one I purchased in print form for my niece to read during exams. I'm planning to get another copy for a family member short on time. There are three more novellas coming out this year.

Friday, April 13, 2018

What Did You Do This Week, Gail? April 13 Edition

Another three-day week, though I am definitely getting into squeezing some work into odd-times on between other commitments. I worked into the evening once, which is extremely rare and unusual and unique for me.

Goal 1. Submissions. I received a couple of rejections this week, which is, you might say, the opposite of submitting. Wait. No. The opposite of submitting would be not submitting. Rejection is something else. I checked out a couple of on-line publications today. Both won't work for me.

Next week I'll only be working only two days. If I can manage any work time at all on the other three, I'm going to commit it to market research.

Goal 2. YA Thriller. Got a few pages of this ready for writers' group Monday night. The discussion there was helpful in terms of getting one particular character settled. And I've come up with a couple more ideas during the week. Maybe just one.

Goal 3. Generate New Work With Good Women. I have finished revising the first eight chapters and have made some progress undercoating/blueprinting/outlining (choose your metaphor) additional ones. That will be my focus the rest of this month.

Goal 4. Community Building/General Marketing/Branding. 
  • Attended a writers' group meeting.
  • Made four blog posts, promoting them at various places.
  • Updated my Goodreads blog for the first time in a couple of months.
  • Started posting Goodreads reviews of my ReFoReMo reading.
In totally unrelated news, I finished what I'm calling a rough draft for a vacation itinerary for this fall. That was weeks and weeks of work spread over about three months.

Environmental Book Club

I am sure you recall that last weekend I went on a writing retreat where I read some nature poetry. Well, I've read some more. I'm rather liking this stuff.

I picked up the picture book Snow Toward Evening: A Year in a River Valley (illustrations by Thomas Locker and poetry selected by Josette Frank) at a library without giving it a lot of thought. When I sat down to read it, I wasn't expecting much. I am not much of a poetry reader, have little knowledge of it, and it's not something I have much experience of.

Why, I may be much like a child reader in those ways.

I was taken with Snow Toward Evening immediately. The first poem, January by John Updike (Updike! Never got into him, either.) begins "The days are short,/The sun a spark/Hung thin between/The dark and dark." How is that for an image?

There are only twelve poems here, one for each month of the year, with a nature/landscape illustration. The poetry isn't children's poetry (Updike!), though it is very accessible. (Hey, I liked it.) The book functions:
  • As beautiful in and of itself
  • As a lead-in to adult poets for young readers who may be unfamiliar with them (Updike!)
  • As a cross-over book for adults.

Unfortunately, you're going to have a hard time finding Snow Toward Evening. It was published in 1990 and is out-of-print. Way out-of-print, presumably. Both the illustrator and compiler are dead, and it looks as if finding some good used editions could take a little effort. Personally, I'm suggesting this as a gift some family member can make the effort to find for me.

By the way, the book title comes from the poem Snow Toward Evening by Melville Cane, which is included in this collection.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Author Of "My Beautiful Birds" Wins First Malka Penn Award

I'm a little late with this news, but I recently learned that early last month author Suzanne Del Rizzo was presented with the first annual Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children's Literature for her book My Beautiful Birds. The award was announced last November at the Connecticut Children's Book Fair. The award presentation took place at the Thomas Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut, which, I can assure you, is a lovely building. The Northeast Children's Literature Collection is there.

The award will be given "to the author of an outstanding children’s book addressing human rights issues or themes, such as discrimination, equity, poverty, justice, war, peace, slavery or freedom."

In addition to this being Connecticut childlit news, and thus of importance to Original Content, I met Malka Penn a few times many years ago. Additionally, I read the lovely My Beautiful Birds last month as part of ReFoReMo.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Time Management Tuesday: Don't Be Ashamed

A few years ago, I wrote about time shaming, the attitude that writers who struggle with finding time to write are weak with no future. The writer being shamed may even be portrayed as suffering from some kind of moral failing.

Writers Aren't The Only People Who Get Time Shamed

Recently, I was listening to a talk on finding time for yoga. The speaker had "guru" attached to his name. Someone (a woman, the guru said when he wrapped up) forwarded a question to him at what may have been a public forum. She got up at 6 AM each morning, she explained, cooked, got her children ready for school, left for work around 8:30, was home by 6:30, dealt with the children and herself transitioning home, prayed, cooked, dealt with homework, and went to bed. How could she fit yoga into her life?


Over the course of five or six minutes, this guru told the poor soul that she had time to eat and gossip. I have no idea where the gossip thing came from, but I think he was implying she could give up either of those activities and, voila, yoga time. He also said that she acted like a martyr, taking care of everything but herself.  Unless you actually are killed for others, "martyr" almost always has negative connotations. If the woman  really was concerned about her children, she would want to provide them with a loving atmosphere (with yoga?) rather than material things (purchased with the wages of her work, which was keeping her from yoga?). She was told that she needed to look at the fundamentals of her life. Also, if her body and mind were more organized, she could get rid of unnecessary action and have more time. Though he had nothing to say about how to do that.

Finally, he told her to get up at 5:30 to fit yoga into her life. I can't imagine someone being able to get out of bed at any time after being told all that.

I'm sure you can see why this reminded me of the kind of time shaming I've heard addressed toward writers.

What To Consider If You Are Time Shamed

Speakers/writers addressing writing and time who say things like:

  • If writing was really important to you, you'd find time.
  • It's your dream...surely you can find time for your dream.
  • You say you don't have time, you're too tired, your job is too consuming, your children need you...excuses!
  • Well, you have time to eat and gossip.
are probably talking like that because they have no knowledge of the research/studies/writing on:
I could go on and on, but I don't have any more time. And don't get any ideas about making me feel ashamed about that.

My point is that there is so much time shamers could tell writers, and those who want to work yoga into their lives, that would have the potential to really help them. And yet they shame, instead.

That doesn't mean we have to accept it from them.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

A Short Retreat Makes For A Great Afternoon

Looks nature-like, doesn't it?
I spent this afternoon at a nature writing retreat sponsored by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association and run by Katherine Hauswirth. It was not what I’d expected, and yet a very good experience. Because I’m in to that mind-of-the-beginner thing. I can be open.

So Here’s What Happened

I heard about this nature writing retreat that would start with some sharing of nature writing, a brief group discussion of writing approaches, themes, and formats. Then we’d spend time in nature (going for a walk) and engaging in the writing process. I jumped right on this because I hear “nature writing” and what do I think? I think “nature essays.” And I write essays!  I have a couple of nature-ish essays on my hard drive! I have those blog posts I’ve done about snowshoeing! This retreat was only 4 hours long, it was a half hour from my house, and it cost $20. Seriously, who wouldn’t jump on this?

Well, the first thing I figured out during the brief group discussion was that “nature writing” does not automatically mean “nature essay.” It can be poetry, journals, almanacs… We were not talking a straight essay retreat, I just thought we were, because that’s how my mind runs. Essay, essay, essay. 

The second thing I figured out was that I was way over my head with this crowd as far as reading nature writing is concerned. To me a nature writing book is Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit, which is, obviously, about walking. I got it at the library, maybe eight years ago. These people were reading books about spring and mushrooms. They own these things and have just read some of them.

But There's Always Something To Take From Every Experience, Right? Right?


We had about two and a half hours between the 45-minute intro and the 45-minute wrap-up. During that time I:

  • Went for a walk with the group. While out in the woods I learned that Connecticut has fairy
    The trail I used.
    shrimp in its vernal pools.
  • Got an idea for the framing I need for another, totally not nature essay.
  • Went back to the meeting room.
  • Read Katherine's terrific handouts.
  • Looked up Ron Harton on-line; Katherine referred to him in her handouts.
  • Read some nature poetry.
  • Had a revelation that nature writing may be observational while the two nature-ish essays I have on my hard drive are more in the area of recollection, even though they do involve recalling natural situations. That might make them memoir, rather than nature writing.
  • Used some of the points Katherine makes in her handout to try to come up with some changes for my nature-ish essays.
  • Decided one of my nature-ish essays needs a different tone, which has nothing to do with nature writing.
  • Bought a copy of Katherine Hauswirth's book, The Book of Noticing.  
  • Ate some pretzels and listened to some George Winston on my phone.
Katherine's book

Spending a Sunday afternoon reading about and talking about writing, even a type of writing that I don't actually do, was...both relaxing and stimulating at the same time. I would appreciate a retreat like this about travel writing and food writing. Oh, yes. Food writing. 

I'll jump on something like that.

Friday, April 06, 2018

What Did You Do This Week, Gail? April 6 Edition

The Done List is back! I did a few things on a three-day work week.

Goal 1. Submissions. I made two submissions. Have someone in mind for another one.

Goal 2. YA Thriller. I had some great ideas for this, maybe for the ending. But I forgot them. I have to do some work on this before writers' group on Monday night.

Goal 3. Generate New Work With Good Women.  This is my focus this month. I've been revising early chapters to get characters functioning at their best, which I find makes moving on easier. I've also been able to work on underpainting a later chapter, which just shows my "begin again" policy works. That's my story.

Goal 4. Community Building/General Marketing/Branding.
  • Four blog posts that were feebly promoted.
  • Beginning to review the 47 picture books I read last month at Goodreads.
  • Building up followers on Twitter.
  • Came up with an idea for marketing Saving the Planet & Stuff this summer.   

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Environmental Book Club

Why, yes, it has been a very long time since I've done an Environmental Book Club post. I'm hoping to get some up this month, what with Earth Day coming up on April 22 and all.

The Nature Generation has released its Green Earth Book Award short list.The winners will be announced on April 22, Earth Day.

This award goes to authors and illustrators "whose books best convey the environmental stewardship message to youth." There will be awards for Picture Book, Children’s Fiction, Children’s Nonfiction, and Young Adult Nonfiction. Interesting that there's no YA fiction.

Let's see what happens at the end of the month.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

And Still More Picture Book Training

For those of you whose appetite for training for picture book writing wasn't taken care of with last month's Reading for Research Month, tomorrow The Children's Book Academy will be running a free webinar on The Writer's Trifecta--Character, Emotion, and Action. Note that it's an evening program.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Time Management Tuesday: We Just Passed A Temporal Anamoly...Ah...Ah...I Mean A Temporal Landmark

Okay, you all remember when I wrote here last year about temporal landmarks? They're  "distinct events that “stand in marked contrast to the seemingly unending stream of trivial and ordinary occurrences that happen to us every day.” What's important about them is they are "special occasions and calendar events (e.g., a birthday, a holiday, the beginning of a new week/month), which demarcate the passage of time and create numerous “fresh start” opportunities at the beginning of new cycles."

Highlight of  Easter dinner
And you all remember this past weekend, right? We just celebrated Easter on Sunday, and it was the first day of a month...a holiday and the beginning of a month. So those of us who celebrate that holiday have just passed a double temporal landmark. Passover began on Friday evening and will continue until the evening of Saturday, April 7. When that is over, a temporal landmark will have passed for those who celebrate that holiday.

Anyone else feel as if they're getting a fresh start opportunity, because something new is beginning? I sure do. Of course, I've just finished a month-long project, which certainly makes me feel I'm ready to start something new, as well.

Easter is a moveable feast. I can't recall it falling on the first of April, nor can I recall ever getting psyched for post-Easter, the way I get psyched for post-Christmas. So the beginning of the month may be the big factor in giving this temporal landmark its punch.

Now, let's hope those of us who are into this can take good advantage of it.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

My Reading For Research Month

Okay, folks, Reading for Research Month is over. This is the last time you'll see me writing about it. Probably. Maybe.

According to the ReFoReMo Facebook Page, I am not the only participant who had trouble keeping up with the reading. I'm just the only one who whined about it incessantly.

This project brought up a lot of interesting points about picture books and picture book writing. Because it was done in a blog format, there was a limit to how deeply each point could be discussed. Before starting another picture book, I'll try to go through my ReFoReMo "notebook" and perhaps go try to pursue a few of the subjects addressed. I also wonder if go over this material again might be useful before trying to write a submission letter.

Sitting down to read Easter present
The best part of this project was acquiring a much broader knowledge of picture books and their creators through the reading of the daily suggested mentor texts. I read some marvelous books and actually bought two I'd never even heard of to give for Easter presents. I took a couple of library copies with me while visiting young family members. I plan to discuss a couple of the books here next month in relation to Earth Day.

The Notebook

What follows are my 21 ReFoReMo notebook entries, which include links to the original ReFoReMo posts and lists of the books I read for this project.

Day 1. Using Repetition

Day 2. Fresh Concepts 

Day 3. Back Matter

Day 4. Theme

Day 5. "How To" Books

Day 6. Tough Subjects

Day 7. Second-person Point-of-View

Day 8. Strong Beginnings and Endings

Day 9. Using Dialogue to Create Voice

Day 10. Picture Book Biographies

Day 11. Universal Themes

Day 12. Seeing Things Through a Different Perspective

Day 13. Concept Books

Day 14. Writing Out Picture Book Texts

Day 15. Common Picture Book Themes and Formats

Day 16. Interactive Books

Day 17. Inspiring Creativity

Day 18. Board Books

Day 19. Longer Picture Books

Day 20. Writing With Economy

Day 21. Character Transformations

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Reading For Research Month, Day 21

I thought Reading for Research Month was twenty days long, but, lo and behold, a twenty-first post is up. Co-ordinators Carrie Charley Brown and Kirsti Call finished off the month-long program with a post on character transformations. "You may have heard publishing professionals say that characters need to make their own growth by solving the problem on their own," they tell us. I would say that in children's books, it's important that a child character needs to solve the problem. Children's books with adult main characters are few and far between and are often awkward.

I've read some of the mentor texts listed in the past, but not in relation to yesterday ReFoReMo concept. So no new reading.

Can I use the idea of character transformations in my picture book manuscript? This is something I think I could be stronger on.

Final Number of ReFoReMo Books Read: 47 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Reading For Research Month, Day 20

Day 20's Reading for Research Month post on the importance of writing with economy was particularly interesting coming right after Day 19's on longer picture books. "...each word and sentence contains essential ingredients that, taken together, elicit a particular and specific response in the reader," editorial director Mary Lee Donovan writes.

Another day when I read only one of the mentor texts.

Yesterday's Picture Books

Baby's Got The Blues by Carol Diggory Shields with illustrations
by Lauren Tobia is adorable and a neat read. The basic premise, a baby creating a blues song, is clever. I think the use of a repetitive pattern is one of the ways the author makes each word and sentence contain essential ingredients and elicit a specific response.

As you can see from the picture to your left, I read Baby's Got the Blues with an actual baby. To him, to be accurate.

Can I use this material with my own picture book manuscript? I hope so. I'm a big believer in everything in a book having a particular function, no matter what type it is.

ReFoReMo Books Read To Date: 47 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Reading For Research Month, Day 19

Can you believe it? I'm behind again.

Yesterday at Reading for Research Month, Susan Eaddy's post on longer picture books was particularly interesting if you're a writer. Word count for picture books has been a subject for discussion for years. And years. And years. Eaddy is a supporter of longer texts. "...stories are often more complex...Bedtime reading can be comprised of a single book."

I read five of the longer picture books suggested (one being Finding Winnie from a few days back). I had an interesting response.

Today's Picture Books

I've had years of reading the shortest picture books and seeking out shorter ones for a young family member. I found that I wasn't that interested in the two long traditional stories, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse Kevin Henkes or Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DiCamillo with illustrations by Harry Bliss. Lilly was a great character, but it just seemed like another school story. And the chicken story just went on and on. But, as I said, I may have become too accustomed to the very short picture book.

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson with illustrations by E.B. Lewis is an interesting twist on an improving book, the classic "how would that make you feel, if someone did that to you, sweetheart?" story. This story of an ostracized child is told from the point of view of the person doing the ostracizing. I've been wanting to read something from inside the bad kid's mind for years. This one doesn't have a happy, let's-all-live-together ending. It's about regret. But in a modest, child-friendly way. I actually liked this.

The longer picture books I really liked were the two that had a historical angle. Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine with illustrations by Kadir
Nelson (seen his work this past month) really ought to have been categorized as a biography, but the library where I found it shelved it as fiction. It's the story of Henry "Box" Brown, who escaped slavery in a particularly fascinating way. There's an entry point to this story for kids, in that it begins with a very brief mention of brown's childhood. Then it's all adult, all the time. The reality of this adult's life has plenty to interest a child reader.

That Book Woman by Heather Henson with illustrations by David Small
is what might be called historical fiction. Historical fiction in picture books. Is that a thing? This book deals with the Depression-era Pack Horse Librarians who brought books to rural Kentucky. Though the librarian is an adult, this is a piece of fiction and we learn about her through a child character's point of view.

So I guess what I've learned as a result of today's ReFoReMo work is that if I'm going to read a longer picture book, I want it to be about something substantial.

Does this longer picture book issue have anything to do with my own picture book manuscript? No, I don't want to extend this thing. I did get an idea for a picture book bio today, though.

ReFoReMo Books Read To Date: 46 

April Connecticut Children's Literature Calendar

An active month for children's literature in Connecticut. Notice the illustration workshop being offered at the Wethersfield Academy for the Arts. I mention this, because I'd never heard of that place.

Wed., April 4, Mike Lupica, Nathan Hale-Ray Middle School, Moodus 6:30 PM  Sponsored by R. J. Julia Booksellers. Registration

Thurs., April 5, April Jones Prince, Women's Forum of Litchfield, Litchfield 2:30 PM Fee at door and reception

Sat., April 7, Jenna Grodz, Barnes & Noble, West Hartford 12:00 PM

Mon., April 9 through Fri., April 13, Christine Kornacki, Wethersfield Academy for the Arts, Wethersfield 9:00 AM-12:00 PM Illustration Workshop, Registration and fee.

Fri., April 13, Melissa-Sue John, Olivia Lauren, Shaneika Burchell-Kerr, Imani Grant, Prosser Public Library, Bloomfield 4:30-6:00 PM Local authors' showcase 

Sat., April 14, John Himmelman, R. J. Julia Booksellers, Madison 10:30 AM

Tues., April 17, Katie L. Carroll, Milford Public Library, Milford 2:00-4:00 PM Book launch   

Tues., April 17, George Hagen, Simsbury Public Library, Simsbury 4:00 PM Registration by 4/13 

Wed., April 18, Helen Lester, Simsbury Public Library, Simsbury 4:00 PM Registration by 4/14

Thurs., April 19, Ying Chang Compestine, R. J. Julia Booksellers, Madison 10:30 AM

Thurs., April 19, Gina Ciocca, Fairfield University Bookstore, Fairfield 7:00 PM

Thurs., April 19, Ying Chang Compestine, Wesleyan R. J. Julia Bookstore, Middletown 5:30 PM

Sat., April 21, Sara MacSorley, Wesleyan R. J. Julia Bookstore, Middletown 10:30 AM

Thurs., April 26, Siobhan Vivian, R. J. Julia Booksellers, Madison 6:30 PM

Fri., April 27, Melissa-Sue John and Olivia Lauren, Pitkin Spring Fair, East Hartford 5:30-8:30 PM

Sat., April 28, Melissa-Sue John and Olivia Lauren, Wesleyan R. J. Julia Bookstore, Middletown, 10:00 AM