Congratulations to Award Winners!

by Laura Crockett
Scribbles & Wanderlust

This weekend, Philadelphia hosted the ALA Midwinter meetings and exhibits, where the winners for the Caldecott, Newbery, and Printz awards were announced.

The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually to the artist of the “most distinguished American picture book for children.” Many times the artwork is simple, conveying the story through the whitespace; today’s winner is one of detail, emotion, and pure storytelling through the artist’s historical accuracy. Brian Floca’s Locomotive won the Caldecott, with three other Honors books: Aaron Becker’s Journey, Molly Idle’s Flora and the Flamingo, and David Wiesner’s Mr. Wuffles!.

The Newbery Medal is awarded annually to the author of the “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” So many beloved classics are Newbery winners, and Kate DiCamillo’s won yet another (her first the adorable The Tale of Despereaux) with Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. Four other Honors included Holly Black’s Doll Bones, Kevin Henkes’s The Year of Billy Miller, Amy Timberlake’s One Came Home, and Vince Vawter’s Paperboy

The Printz Award is awarded annually to the author of the best book for teens based on its literary merit. This year’s winner is Marcus Sedgwick for Midwinterblood, an excellent blend of the strongest YA themes and subgenres today: fantasy, history, paranormal, horror, beauty, love, and preservation. Four other Honors were awarded to the stunning Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park, Susann Cokal’s Kingdom of Little Wounds, Sally Gardner’s Maggot Moon, and Clare Vanderpool’s Navigating Early.

To see more information, including the other awards and honors presented today, hop on over to Publishers Weekly’s announcement. Feel free to follow the #alamw14 and #alayma hashtags on Twitter to see the reactions, links to other news sources, celebrations, and book reviews!

Student Thoughts: Managing Stress

by Laura Crockett
Scribbles & Wanderlust

For as long as I can remember, my schedule was packed. From music lessons to rehearsals, school and after school activities, honors societies and work, I was constantly on the go. Somehow, some way, I managed my stress just fine in those days.

But graduate school is a whole different ball game. The classes are fun and interesting, so the workload doesn’t feel like a burden. Working 40+ hours per week can be exhausting, but if you’re like me and you love your job, you don’t mind the hours. I blog for Quirk Books whenever the idea actually makes it to a word document and is sent to their editors. And this semester, because I’m always curious about writers and their word babies, I’ve edited and looked over two manuscripts for our MFA students.

The thing is, I love doing all these things. I love learning, I love working, and I love editing. So why does graduate school feel so much more stressful than any other time of my life? Well, I don’t have the answer to that, but I can certainly help you figure out how to manage it!

We all need some prescribed ice cubes.

We all need some prescribed ice cubes.

Remember: You’re Not Invincible
Everyone has their limitations. Once you start realizing you’re losing sleep, not eating properly, and on the verge of some sort of mental breakdown, it’s time to cut back on things in your life. What’s absolutely mandatory? What can be made more flexible? What can wait till the winter holidays?

Find a Way to Express Your Stress
Whether that’s wailing into your pillow, all woe-is-me and making your neighbor very concerned, or calling up your parents and listening to their voices, or even writing it all down in a journal, notebook, or on a sheet of paper — vent your stress. Talk to someone. You don’t necessarily need them to solve your problems. What you need is a way to get all those thoughts out of your head and in the open. You’ll feel lighter, liberated, once you’ve expressed yourself.

Make a Happy List
This sounds so cheesy, but it’s immensely comforting. Create a list of things that make you happy, things that aren’t related to school or work. Finger painting, rolling down a hill of leaves, a nice hot meal at a restaurant, watching a movie with a friend, you name it! Write it down — then go out and make it happen. You deserve that mental break.

Self-Care Days Are Important
A friend of mine is getting her PhD and she told me last year that I must schedule a day of the week for self-care. “You’ll go crazy without that one day,” she said. Last year I made sure I had everything done by that one day of the week I didn’t have to work or go to class. And on that day, I was reading for fun, chowing down on nachos and popcorn and cookies, watching BBC dramas with friends, catching up on TV shows. I forgot to do that this semester, and immediately felt the effects. It’s not a happy place, folks. Schedule that day of rest, that day of fun. You’ll feel so much better for it!

Learn to Say No
You’re brilliant, intelligent, hard-working, and wonderful — everyone can see that, everyone admires that. So of course, they think you’re invincible (I repeat: you’re not) and pile on more favors. “Could you edit this? You’re so great at it!” “I love your design — could you help me with mine?” “My manuscript needs some development. Could you look at it?” You want to help, you really do, and you’re interested in these tasks — but you’re overwhelmed. Say no. It’s kind of like turning down a date: It may break your heart at first, and you may feel really guilty initially, but say it anyway. Tell the person you’d love to but can’t, you’re already swamped with other things. They’ll understand. The world won’t end. One day you may find time to help them and maybe they’ll return the favor — but that day is not today.

How do you handle stress? Any tips and tricks you’ve learned over the years?

The Start of Fall Classes…

by Laura Crockett
Scribbles & Wanderlust

Welcome to the program, new students, and welcome back, old students! In a little over a month classes will begin and I’m really looking forward to it!

I am entering my second year in the program, with 24 credits under my belt and a thesis looming over my shoulders. “Looming” probably isn’t the correct word to use, as it’s thrilling to research, read, and write on a topic I’m deeply passionate about, but it will certainly be a large undertaking. After my first year at Rosemont, the thesis will be a piece of cake.

When I first moved out of the Midwest and to Philadelphia to attend the graduate program here, I was nervous, excited, anxious, and eager about everything pertaining to the program and the area. Would I do well in my classes? Would I make any friends? Would I venture out of my apartment and explore? Within a month of classes beginning, I did all these things. The enthusiasm every student brought to the table helped shape the experience of the program.

In the year I’ve been a Rosemont graduate student, I’ve learned how to write and recognize good query letters and book proposals; I’ve learned about the digital and e-publishing industry; I’ve examined the Young Adult genre and its history in detail; I’ve learned to copy-edit properly, using a variety of industry symbols; and I’ve learned how to use the various CS6 programs for design. This coming year I have so much to look forward to as well: marketing in the YA and Children’s industry, developmental editing, acquisitions editing, branding, contracts, and legalities in publishing. It sounds overwhelming, but reflecting upon what I’ve learned in 12 months shows that I — and you, dear reader — am capable of learning something new and applying it to other classes in the program to help with my future career in the industry.

The other students in the program are doing remarkable things as well. Some of us are interning for local publishers in the area, including Lippincott, Running Press, and Quirk Books. Some have created their own webzines, others contribute to local magazines, and others blog for publishers. We’ve received Advance Reader’s Copies of books, mingled with publishers and editors at gatherings, and even hosted the very first Rosemont College Book Festival.

And to think — we were all in an orientation meeting listening to the seemingly impossible things we’d accomplish in a year. I promise you it’s entirely possible, friends. And I can’t wait to begin a new year with you.


Image via Flickr: crenae