Writers’ Loft Holiday Bazaar at An Unlikely Story

As you may know, I am an active member of The Writers’ Loft, a local writing community in the Boston, MA suburb of Sherborn. This Saturday, November 21 from 1-4 pm, we will be holding our 2nd Annual Holiday Bazaar and Book Fair. But because the Loft has grown so much in the past year, we needed a bigger venue. So this year we’re partnering with Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney’s new bookstore, An Unlikely Story, in Plainville, MA and holding the bazaar in their amazing 2nd floor event space.

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The following authors (including me!) will all be on hand signing copies of their books all afternoon.

  • Sarah Brannen (Madame Martine, Madame Martine Breaks the Rules, Feathers: Not Just For Flying)
  • Greg Fishbone (​Galaxy Games: The Challengers)
  • Josh Funk (Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast)
  • Susan Goodman (How Do You Burp in Space?, See How They Run, The Truth About Poop And Pee)
  • Thea Iberall (The Swallow and the Nightingale)
  • Jane Kohuth (Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree, Duck Sock Hop, Ducks Go Vroom)
  • Lisa Kramer (P.O.W.ER)
  • Michael G Lewis (The Great Pirate Christmas Battle)
  • Sharron Kahn Luttrell (Weekends with Daisy)
  • Ellen Mayer (A Fish to Feed, Red Socks)
  • Marika McCoola (Baba Yaga’s Assistant)
  • Susan Meyer (New Shoes, Black Radishes)
  • Ammi-Joan Paquette Princess Juniper of the Hourglass, The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Mermaids, Nowhere Girl)
  • April Jones Prince (Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing, Dig In!, Who Was Frederick Douglass?)
  • Warren Ross (Teapots and Assorted Things)
  • Anna Staniszewski (The Dirt Diary, My Very UnFairy Tale Life, I’m With Cupid, Power Down, Little Robot)
  • Tara Sullivan (Golden Boy)
  • Jane Sutton (What’s Up With this Chicken?, Esther’s Hanukkah Disaster)
  • Laura Woollett (Big Top Burning)

So if you’ve been meaning to check out Jeff Kinney’s gorgeous book store, or want to see what The Writers’ Loft is all about, or feel like purchasing some great signed books as holiday presents, or just want to meet and hang out with some fun authors -> then stop by on Saturday and say hi.

The Writers’ Loft in Sherborn, Massachusetts is a retreat, a conference, and a writers’ room of requirement all rolled into one supportive community. Like a year-long writing conference, the Loft hosts classes and workshops. The Loft also hosts frequent panels and free craft chats with authors and illustrators. The Loft offers critiques from agents and editors, and hosts monthly write-ins, social gatherings, manuscript mixers, and book launches. It’s also home to critique groups and think tanks for writers and illustrators in all genres, for those who are traditionally published, self-published, and pre-published. And, like any good writing retreat, The Writers’ Loft always has a quiet space for you to write. The Writers’ Loft is a 501(c)3 organization, centrally located just West of Boston, but not far from the New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut borders with members from all over New England. For more information about their groups and upcoming events, please visit www.thewritersloft.org.

Two for You: Lofter Holiday Edition

1. The Great Pirate Christmas Battle written by Michael G. Lewis and illustrated by Stan Jaskiel

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2. Esther’s Hanukkah Disaster written by Jane Sutton and illustrated by Andy Rowland

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My PiBoIdMo Post: Do Your Worst

Quick note: My 2015 PiBoIdMo Post Josh Funk Dares You to Do Your Worst went live yesterday. I encourage everyone to check it out and if you register for PiBoIdMo and comment on the page, you’ll be eligible to win some Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast swag (see image below):

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Registration for PiBoIdMo is now open (click here) but it’s only open for TWO MORE DAYS! So register now if you want to have a chance at winning any of the giveaways (literary agent consultations, books, swag, etc) throughout the month.

Two for You

1. Stone Giant written by Jane Sutcliffe and illustrated by John Shelley

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Enthralling story of how Michaelangelo’s David came to be.

2. Hiding Dinosaurs written and illustrated by Dan Moynihan

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Boy hatches dinosaur eggs. Hilarity ensues.

7th Annual Picture Book Idea Month Is Here!

PiBoIdMo 2015 Calendar

Why is November 1st one of my all-time favorite days of the year?

No, it’s not my wife’s birthday! (or is it?)

November 1st is the start of Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month)! According to the FAQ (found here), “PiBoIdMo is a free November writing challenge for picture book writers and illustrators. The object is to jot down one picture book concept daily. By the end of the month you’ll have at least 30 bright & shiny new ideas! You can then refer to these ideas throughout the year to jumpstart your creativity and write new manuscripts.”

Registration for PiBoIdMo is now open (click here)! It’s free and it’s awesome. Every day throughout November a different author or illustrator will post on Tara’s blog in order to inspire and ignite your creativity. I posted last year (see here) and I’ll be posting this year again (on November 2nd!). Here’s the calendar for the entire month:

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What a lineup, eh? And what a logo! PiBoIdMo founder and organizer Tara Lazar works tirelessly every fall to organize this event.  And today happens to be the book birthday for her third picture book, Little Red Gliding Hood. So let’s give Tara a hearty congratulations! I’d also like to congratulate Little Red Gliding Hood illustrator (and PiBoIdMo 2015 Artwork Creator), Troy Cummings.

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Congrats to Tara & Troy!

And as I do at the conclusion of every blog post, here are two recommendations for you:

Two for You (Tara Lazar Edition)

1. The Monstore written by Tara Lazar and illustrated by James Burks

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Just in time for Halloween, pick up this family favorite, Tara Lazar’s debut!

2. I Thought This Was a Bear Book written by Tara Lazar and illustrated by Benji Davies

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Alien crashes into a bear book. Hilarity ensues. Meta at its finest!

Featured Interview in Huffington Post

I was interviewed by The Book Doctors in the Huffington Post today in an article entitled “Josh Funk on the War Between Pancakes & French Toast, SCBWI & Getting Published” – it’s probably the most in depth interview I’ve done to date, with some seriously awesome questions, such as:

  • How did you go about getting a book contract not only for Lady Pancake, but also for your next two books which are coming out?
  • Hasn’t anyone told you that rhyming books don’t sell? How did you overcome this ridiculous idea, and why do you think people keep saying that?
  • What are some of the most horrifying things about being a professional author?
  • How has being a member of SCBWI helped you in your career and as a person?
  • Why in the name of all that’s good and holy would you choose to get into the publishing business? Have you had your head examined recently? Been checked for brain parasites?
  • How do you keep it so funky?
  • and more …

And I got to share the #TeamKrush logo designed by Jessie Devine.

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Check out the entire interview here.

Two for You

(two books I highly recommend)

1. Backhoe Joe written by Lori Alexander and illustrated by Craig Cameron

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Want a backhoe for a pet? Of course you do!

2. There Was a Wee Lassie Who Swallowed a Midgie written by Rebecca Colby and illustrated by Kate McLelland

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A Scottish twist on this much-loved rhyme!

My First Podcast Interview: Let’s Get Busy with Matthew Winner

Just a quick note today: if you’ve never listened to the Let’s Get Busy Podcast with Matthew Winner, you certainly should. And today you have TWO reasons … because I am the featured guest on Episode #193 talking about Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast!

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In this interview I:

I highly recommend you subscribe to the Let’s Get Busy Podcast if you haven’t already. Matthew Winner has so many amazing interviews with fabulous guests in the previous 192 episodes (and many more lined up to come!). And certainly check out his new home for the podcast – All the Wonders, a home for readers to discover new books and to experience the stories they love in wondrous ways.

Also, I decided today to start a new tradition. Because so many of my blog posts are about me, I’d like to share two favorite books by others at the end of every post from this day forward. I’ve decided to very creatively call this:

Two for You

(two books I highly recommend)

1. Boats for Papa written and illustrated by Jessixa Bagley

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I love everything about this book. Get the tissues ready, cause it made me start crying in the middle of a bookstore.

2. Snoozefest written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Kristyna Litten

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Great rhymes and illustrations, and starring a sloth.

My Guest Post on MuggleNet [My Marriage with Harry Potter…]

Funk Wedding Cake

I had the fortunate pleasure of writing a guest posting on MuggleNet.com, The #1 Harry Potter Site. I’m also giving away a signed copy of Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast at the end of the guest post. See the excerpt below:

My Marriage with Harry Potter… and Getting Pancakes Published

It’s not what you think. My wife’s name isn’t Harry Potter. Her name is Mrs. Funk. But Harrywas there when we fell in love. And Ron was there when I proposed. And Hermione was at our wedding.

Let me backup. I started reading Harry Potter in 2000 when Goblet of Fire came out. When I started dating the future Mrs. Funk in 2002, she hadn’t yet read Harry Potter, so we read them out loud to each other. I remember one particularly late night when we stayed up reading the last 120 pages of Prisoner of Azkaban until sunrise (because once you hit “Professor Trelawny’s Prediction,” there is absolutely no good stopping point)….

Click here to see the rest of the post on MuggleNet.com.

Josh Funk’s Guide to Writing Picture Books (in 12 easy steps)

Yesterday I updated my official website (joshfunkbooks.com) to include a new Resources for Writers section.

Josh Funk's 12 Step Guide to Writing Picture Books

For those of you that have been following this blog for a while, those 12 lessons may look familiar. I took my Tips for Writing Picture Books series and reorganized it a bit to make it a little cleaner and available all in one place.

See all of Josh Funk’s 12-Step Guide to Writing Picture Books

Lesson #1: So, You Wrote a Book. Now What?
Lesson #2: Picture Books Are Short
Lesson #3: Every Word Counts
Lesson #4: The Illustrator Is Your Partner
Lesson #5: Show Don’t Tell
Lesson #6: Write with Active Emotion
Lesson #7: Story Arc Components
Lesson #8: Don’t Write In Rhyme
Lesson #9: Rhyming Is All About Rhythm
Lesson #10: Some Ideas Don’t Work
Lesson #11: Keep Learning
Lesson #12: Now You’re Ready! Dive In!

I hope that these lessons help any prospective picture book authors, as it’s basically a massive brain dump of things I’ve learned in the last ~4 years.

Feel free to share – and enjoy!