Danielle

Let Books Live stop motion video!

So excited to announce:
we made a new video,
Let Books Live“! 

It’s a stop motion short video to uplift libraries and the stories, diversity, possibility, and community they contain because books teach us about the past, inform our present, and determine our futures. 

I wrote and produced it, my partner, Todd Davis, directed—because we love making whimsical public service announcements.
(You can follow along with all our creations on our new official stop motion project Instagram!)

And we’re happy to be partnering with EveryLibrary to spread the word and get folks involved!
We immediately thought of them because their organization advocates for libraries and the freedom to read, something desperately needed right now. 

Our hope is that what our main character, Book, has to say, will resonate with viewers and be of use to librarians in their vital work and tireless efforts during a very difficult time.

 

One favorite part? Librarian friend, Lauren Kratz, is the voice of Book! She’s been a librarian for over 15 years at New York and Los Angeles public libraries—and currently manages the Octavia Lab, a DIY Makerspace at the LA Public Library. She also works as a content developer for the Modern Library Platinum Award Winner, LibraryCall.  Lauren develops and records original and diverse stories.




 


 
Join us, Lauren, and EveryLibrary in signing this petition to show you oppose book banning.

Here’s a blog post up at EveryLibrary where I write about the origin and intention of this video.

And if you’re a librarian, please reach out, and I can get you a copy to download and share with your patrons and network! 

River of Mariposas Event with Mirelle Ortega at Vroman’s!

 

I’ll be at Vroman’s in Pasadena near LA on August 13th for a special story time and a conversation

with the author-illustrator of her newest picture book RIVER OF MARIPOSAS,

my friend Mirelle Ortega


River of Mariposas is a gorgeous, melodic book with a sense of mystery, emotion, and place, as well as

a main character who learns the beauty any artist knows of making a dream inside your head come to life

—and how the storms that are inevitable parts of that process so often bring their own magic too.

All the event details!

Swimming is Writing Workshop

Swimming is Writing, a virtual workshop to nurture storymakers from me, the author of TO MAKE.

(In conjunction with my video series on TikTok and Instagram as well as my Swimming is Writing advice letters substack.) 

You’re invited to explore the who, what, how, and why of what you’re up to in order to give you a reboot, boost, and plan to move forward—plus inspiration you need to keep swimming and keep writing. Whether you’re deep in a project, looking for a spark of inspiration, or needing to buoy your writing practice, this one’s for you!

Leave with a stronger sense of your creative identity, process, and purpose. Plus, a prompt for a WIP or new idea and there’s a Q&A. To join us Thursday, August 10th, simply email or fill out his form and we’ll get you signed up. 

Both full scholarships are filled, but plenty of other spots left! I hope you’ll join us. 

All the info and sign-ups are in this google form

 

 

another picture book group for writers in 2023

I’m offering another Picture Book Group for Writers online in the new year! This time a Saturday slot!

Over a month, we’ll meet on Saturdays from 10am to noon Pacific with a bonus 15 minute mingle at the end:

Saturdays January 14, 21, 28 and February 4 via Google Meet. 

 

I’ll facilitate two components:

  1. A reading and discussion of a recent picture book title in which we illuminate what makes it sing.
  2. A supportive feedback session (like a critique group) with positive comments as well as a dialogue of our constructive responses and suggestions led by the writer. 

8 participants max.

4 manuscripts each time, so every participant gets their read twice over our month! One draft and then a revision. 

This is open to writers and illustrators of all experience levels with a manuscript in progress who are looking for feedback, community, and camaraderie around this special form and endeavor! (Your ms should be 1,000 words or fewer.)

Cool bits:

You get a picture book read to you! After that, I’ll facilitate a group discussion of what’s effective about it along with what it has to teach us.

You get a supportive environment to confidentially share your work led by a facilitator who is an experienced writer, editor, and teacher who is rooting for you!

You get to receive and respond to comments on your work from other writers (and me), creating a valuable dialogue that supports your voice and vision for your story as you revise. 

You get to build your writing community over four weeks.

You get two opportunities to have your work read—once and then once again after revising per our comments. Folks will get to know your story and we’ll have more context to offer on the second go! Plus, we’ll all learn from one another’s stories. 

You get a 15 minute mingle after the group in case you’d like to stick around and chat, ask questions, or share resources. 

Email me to sign up (I’ll send you a PayPal link unique to me), inquire about the scholarship, or ask a question!

 

 

 

 

 

picture book group for writers!

I’m super excited to offer something new! A Picture Book Group for Writers online!

Over a month, we’ll meet on Wednesdays from 4-6pm Pacific with a bonus 15 minute mingle at the end:

November 2, 9, 16, and 30 via Google Meet.  (Skipping November 24.)

 

I’ll facilitate two components:

  1. A reading and discussion of a recent picture book title in which we illuminate what makes it sing.
  2. A supportive feedback session (like a critique group) with positive comments as well as a dialogue of our constructive responses and suggestions led by the writer. 

8 participants max.

4 manuscripts each time, so every participant gets their read twice over our month! One draft and then a revision. 

This is open to writers and illustrators of all experience levels with a manuscript in progress who are looking for feedback, community, and camaraderie around this special form and endeavor! (Your ms should be 1,000 words or fewer.)

Cool bits:

You get a picture book read to you! After that, I’ll facilitate a group discussion of what’s effective about it along with what it has to teach us.

You get a supportive environment to confidentially share your work led by a facilitator who is an experienced writer, editor, and teacher who is rooting for you!

You get to receive and respond to comments on your work from other writers (and me), creating a valuable dialogue that supports your voice and vision for your story as you revise. 

You get to build your writing community over four weeks.

You get two opportunities to have your work read—once and then once again after revising per our comments. Folks will get to know your work and we’ll have more context to offer on the second go! Plus, we’ll all learn from one another’s stories. 

You get a 15 minute mingle after the group in case you’d like to stick around and chat or share resources. 

Email me to sign up (I’ll send you a PayPal link unique to me), inquire about the scholarship, or ask a question!

 

 

 

 

 

September Picture Book Revision Workshop!

I’m thrilled to once again offer a special picture book revision workshop–online so you can join from anywhere!

It’s supportive, interactive, and will help you revise your manuscript, reflect on your writing journey, receive inspiration, and revitalize YOUR storytelling—all in one sitting! Well, there will be a few breaks sprinkled in. 

This is truly a meaningful revision method that focuses on you as a writer and your picture book manuscript in a unique way that will have a lasting impact on your story—and your vision of yourself as an artist!

Writers and writer-illustrators welcome. (I use this method myself for every project.)

Saturday, September 24th, 2022

9 am Pacific (noon Eastern) to 12:30pm Pacific

You can sign up immediately via that PayPal button below (Pay $175 and please include your email address)! If you have any questions or would like to sign up for a full scholarship—there are three available for creators with marginalized voices in publishing—please do drop me a line! I’d love to have you join, and those spots may go fast!

Register and pay for this workshop here ($175)! (Do include your email address for me to get in touch with details.)

Contact me about a full scholarship!

Within 48 hours of payment, you should get an email confirmation directly from me after I’ve had a chance to log your sign-up (please reach out if you don’t hear from me in a couple of days as that means there was a snafu). 


Here are some testimonials from past workshop series I’ve offeredthat are a little different as they include four sessions and peer critiques.


Last thing! If you are part of the workshop and would like a one-hour video critique of your revision by October 14th, you can schedule with me after the event at a half-price discount! ($75; normally $150; critiques arranged via email after our class.)

 

 

 

the story of to make

So excited to share this with you:

“The Story of To Make” video!

Edited by Skylar Zhang.

This ten-minute video is an origin story from both Mags DeRoma and me on how to To Make came to be. The notebook where I first wrote and doodled the story and why “Keep making” is its essential message; behind-the-scenes of Mags’s beautiful studio and materials she used to make the art; and a peek at our individual creative processes plus how our collaboration got its start.

May this be of use in your own creative endeavors and to show kids so they can dive into how one picture book has come to be!

It was also such a treat to have it up on School Library Journal courtesy of Travis M. Jonker at 100 Scope Notes right here!


 

 

“Teachers Make Readers (and Writers)” on Nerdy Book Club

It’s such an honor to have a post up on Nerdy Book Club!

Teachers Make Readers (and Writers)” shares how teachers make readers (and writers) and about the two teachers on the dedication page of TO MAKE from Singapore American School who made me both.

“Mr. P and Mrs. A aren’t the only ones. There are myriad teachers like them who do this every hour in classrooms and at desks and while sitting on beanbag chairs. Teachers make readers. Teachers make writers. They make worlds and possibility. And they made me.”

 

 

 

to make events!

I’ve got some TO MAKE events on the books to share with you in hopes you may be able to join—I’d be thrilled if you can make one!

First up, a virtual launch with me and illustrator, Mags DeRoma June 7th at very favorite Brave + Kind Bookshop! It’ll be a storytime, a chat, and an activity to take with you so you can make something too! Free registration here.

Makers Mess in Downtown LA is hosting us for an in-person celebration, “Everyone is a Maker” on July 17th from 2-4pm. Stay tuned for more details on that special time!

June 25th I’ll be at kids craft and magical space, Collage Collage in Vancouver BC, making something neat together after a storytime.

pre-order to make time!

It’s getting close! To Make is almost here! 
May 31st is our publication date.
And you can pre-order now!
(Pre-order sales really help authors and illustrators.
They’re kind of a big deal!)

Here’s the neat news:
if you’re one of the first 40 people to order our book through the wonderful
Brave+Kind Bookshop,
you’ll get a thank you in the form of this 11 x 17 poster of a very special theme-containing spread
with words by me and dreamy, beautiful pictures by Mags DeRoma

We’re so lucky that Brave+Kind has partnered in this way
and will be hosting our virtual launch on June 7th
if you’d like to save the date.

Big thanks to this stellar bookshop created and run by a marvelous person!

More soon on that and other events!

Pre-order from Brave+Kind right here!

And thank you so much for your support.

 

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