News and Information about me
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This page gives the latest news about the site and about my activities, and includes information about me and my work as a children's book editor. You can check back here from time to time or join my email announcement service. -- Harold Underdown
Children's Books at Amazon
February 17, 2014: Several updates and bits of news! First of all, a new review, of Margery Facklam and Peggy Thomas's excellent Anatomy of Nonfiction, the only comprehensive guide to writing nonfiction for children that I have encountered. Several updates to my Conferences page--note in particular my upcoming Webinar, "Find the Right Fit," on researching agents and publishers. In it, I'll give my insider's view of how best to find out about "the market" and how best to approach publishers and agents. There are also some updates to the Who's Moving Where page
Off the site, Kid's Book Revisions has set up a newsletter so that you can hear about our events. Please sign up at the KBR Newsletter page to stay up-to-date on what we are doing; I won't always put our news here. Last but not least, I'm looking forward to presenting this weekend at the NY SCBWI conference, and hope to be passing on some of what I say there.
January 29, 2014: It's the end of January, and that means that the ALA has announced their awards. And that means I've started working on updating my Children's Book Awards pages again, so far with just the Caldecott and Newbery winners, but with more to come. As a new feature, I'm putting up an image of the jacket of the winners on their page--let me know what you think.
November 28, 2013: I've been working on the Children's Book Awards section --mostly cleaning up the code in the background, but I also updated the Scott O'Dell Award page and created a new page for the National Book Award in Young People's Literature.
November 11, 2013: Yes, it's been a couple of months, but I'm back. I've updated the Who's Moving Where page. I've also updated my Conferences page, with early 2014 events, including the NY SCBWI conference in February and a PB workshop in March in Massachusetts.
I've also finally posted my comments on the 2014 edition of Children's Writers' and Illustrators' Market, and updated the agent resources page that lists resource books and websites.
September 1, 2013: It's been a busy summer, and I haven't been able to add anything new to the site in a while. But today I did a catch-up post on the Who's Moving Where page, with several bits of news. I've also got more details about my fall schedule, which includes SCBWI conferences in the Hudson Valley and Pittsburgh, on my Conferences page. I'm excited to be running Everything You Need to Know about Writing Children's Books at the Highlights Foundation, in partnership with Susan Campbell Bartoletti. Together with the Crash Course in Children's Publishing, which precedes it, it provides a solid grounding for beginners--and in only 4 days. If you know a beginner who wants to get oriented, please point them in this direction.
June 23, 2013: There are several new pieces of news on the Who's Moving Where page, including news of a reorganization at Bloomsbury. I've also updated my Conferences page so that you can click through for the information on the Highlights site about the twofer workshops on the basics (publishing and writing) at Highlights in October. I'll be running the one on Children's Writing with the help of Susan Campbell Bartoletti. And we've added a panel of editors to the Kids Book Revision Retreat in August, to discuss working with writers on revision and the value of revision in publishing today.
May 5, 2013: There's an interview with me on the Mixed-Up Files Blog: An Interview with Independent Editor Harold Underdown. There's also a link to it from my Interview page. And there are a couple of new items on the Who's Moving Where page from late April.
April 2, 2013: I have two new contributed articles up on the site.
One is an interview with packager Patricia Stockland by Melissa Higgins. This is useful as a peek into the world of packaging.
The other is an article by illustrator Stan Jaskiel, Choosing an Illustrator When Self-Publishing. Stan works with authors who self-publish and has some suggestions.
March 25, 2013: Quite a few updates this month on the Who's Moving Where page, so be sure to check that out.
And don't forget that Eileen Robinson and I are giving a workshop at the end of April on Planning and Revising Your YA Manuscript. Registration is open now.
March 17, 2013: At long last I have completed my review of the new (2013) edition of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market. There are a number of changes this year, so be sure to read the review if you are considering buying the book.
Also, I've updated my article Manuscript Format Basics with two YouTube videos created by Andrew Karre that demonstrate "clean-up" that a publisher must do with a manuscript before putting it into production.
February 27, 2013: Here's a different kind of article: Three Great Things (and More) About Children's Publishing Today, which is composed of tweets sent in response to a request to hear what the good thing in our business are. Take a look, and if you want to add something, just hop on over to Twitter.
I'm also pleased to say that I've finished updating ALL of my children's book awards pages with the awards announced at the recent ALA conference.
January 29, 2013: Now I have updated the Coretta Scott King Award page.
January 28, 2013: So the ALA awards were announced today, and I've been hard at work updating my Award-Winning Children's Books section. So far I've done the Newbery and Caldecott pages. I've also updated my Conferences page. And of course there are more updates on the Who's Moving Where page.
December 31, 2012: I've got details of three workshops in the spring in Connecticut on my Conferences page, including ones on picture books, critique groups, and young adult manuscripts. There's also a new update on the Who's Moving Where page.
December 16, 2012: Changes to my conference schedule! Instead of the 3-session Revision Intensive, I'll be doing one-day workshops in Westport, CT, starting with Revising--and Reimagining--Your Picture Book Manuscript, on February 16, 2013.
December 6, 2012: More updates on the Who's Moving Where page, and I've also penciled in some dates on my Conferences page for 2013. And I've updated the page where I list books and other resources for researching agents and publishers, with US, CA, and UK links.
November 17, 2012: There are several new updates on the Who's Moving Where page.
Also, I've posted details on the KBR site of a 3-part revision workshop that Eileen Robinson and I will be giving in Connecticut. And the National Book Award winner for literature for "young people" was announced, and I've updated my list of winners.
September 24, 2012: Even more updates to the Who's Moving Where page!
September 3, 2012: It was a busy summer as my family and I moved, but we are settled in again and I've brought the Who's Moving Where page up to date. Also did some tidying up of outdated links on my Links pages, but there's more to do.
May 27, 2012: There have been two updates to the Who's Moving Where page this month--be sure to browse it if you haven't seen it recently.
April 17, 2012: I've had to update the Who's Moving Where page as I've heard news of three people leaving publishing (this is a coincidence, not a trend). I've also posted my answer to the question "Do Traditional Publishers Market Their Books?" as a short blog item, which I will be revising and expanding.
March 31, 2012: With lots of other things to distract me, including a revision workshop in Connecticut at the beginning of the month, I haven't been able to work on the Purple Crayon in a while.
I have now posted several bits of news on the Who's Moving Where page, and put a couple of new items on the Testimonials page on the editorial services part of the site.
I'll soon be busy with conferences and workshops for the spring, and am particularly excited about the "Revision Retreat and Critique Group Recharge" planned for the Highlights Foundation at the end of May. The weather should be beautiful, and we will have five nights there to work on manuscripts, learn revision techniques, and get more out of critique groups. Scholarships are available and there's a special follow-up visit available to critique groups who attend.
January 28, 2012: I've now finished updating all of the pages in the Award-Winning Children's Books section. I've now been maintaining this section, with its lists and resource links, for ten years. Suggestions for additional resources are always welcome.
January 23, 2012: The ALA announced many awards at their Midwinter Convention. I'm updating my Award-Winning Children's Books section, so far with the Newbery and Caldecott. I've also updated the Scott O'Dell Award page, since that was announced recently. I notice all of the Newbery titles are historical fiction, and all of the Caldecott titles are by male author-illustrators. Any other common threads? More updates to come soon!
January 12, 2012: I've updated my Manuscript Format Basics article.
There is also some new news.
And you can read about what I'll be doing at the April New England SCBWI conference--registration opens soon: an independent editors panel and submissions strategy consultations.
And don't forget--the ALA Midwinter Convention takes place in less than two weeks, and that means that I'll be updating my Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, and other pages in my award-winning children's books section with all of the winners.
December 6, 2011: Big news of the acquisition of Marshall Cavendish's children's imprint by Amazon is on my Who's Moving Where page.
November 22, 2011: I've updated my list of National Book Award winners to include this year's winner, and links for more information about the "6th nominee" debacle.
October 16, 2011: Now up--a review of Cheryl Klein's Second Sight, a book that provides practical help with revision and insight into editors and the publishing business.
I've also updated my Conferences page with what I know so far of my 2012 schedule, notably including the Highlights Foundation "Revision Retreat and Critique Group Recharge" that Eileen Robinson and I will give at the end of May.
October 10, 2011: I've updated my Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market review--it now covers the the 2012 edition, which has some significant changes. And you'll find some new updates on the Who's Moving Where page.
September 21, 2011: There are new updates on the Who's Moving Where page.
September 13, 2011: I've added a new agent website case study, on Adams Literary, a "boutique" agency, to help you identify legitimate agents just by looking at their websites. It replaces a study of an agency that closed and links to two other studies of websites: Writers House (a large agency), and a shady agency that shall not be named.
As you may have noticed, I've also started using larger social media buttons on this and other pages. Please use them to let your friends know about The Purple Crayon on Facebook, Twitter, or other networks.
September 9, 2011: I've updated my Agent Resources page with links to the 2012 editions of US, UK, and Canadian market guides. I've also updated the Who's Moving Where page with a few items.
Older news: This goes all the way back to 1996, if you're interested.
About me and the work I do: I'm a children's book editor, working as a consulting or independent editor and writing teacher. Previously, I was Vice President and Editorial Director at ipicturebooks. Before that, I was editorial director of the Charlesbridge trade program, and have also worked at Orchard Books and Macmillan.
I am the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books, now in its third edition. I give workshops through Kid's Book Revisions. I speak at conferences, provide editorial services to publishers and authors, and maintain this web site.
If you want to know more about me, please explore this website, or you can see a (very out-of-date) list of books I've edited
Personal: I'm a Boston Red Sox fan (and thus enormously relieved when they won the World Series!), even though I live in New York (near the fascinating Atlantic Avenue Tunnel). For leisure reading, my favorite genre is science fiction/fantasy; my favorite author right now is Octavia Butler. I am a fan of Jonathon Richman and of Monty Python. As a child, I loved Lego blocks. I went to Haverford College for my BA and played cricket there: for information on cricket and cricket at Haverford, visit the CC Morris Cricket Library. Other things I'm interested in will be found all over the site. Family on the WWW: brother Phil has a photographic Portfolio. Other members of my family so far do not have personal WWW sites.
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