Current IssueFall 2011from the editor

This time of year, summer’s glory fades in such a way as to remind us how beautiful endings can be. Meanwhile, children in shiny new school clothes remind us of the promise and joy of new adventures ahead. Similarly, this issue of the Prairie Wind is full of writers sharing lessons learned from their past and excitement about writing projects to come.

This issue also represents four years for me as assistant editor of the Prairie Wind. And it’s my last issue, because my family has just made a cross-country move. Happily, because our publication is online, I can still enjoy it from Connecticut. I have so enjoyed working with the SCBWI-IL writers and editors on the Prairie Wind and am proud that it offers a wealth of resources for us here in Illinois, as well as anyone creating children’s literature nationwide.

As always, the Prairie Wind thanks its contributors, editors Jeanne Becker and Susan Tarcov, webmistress Chris Vasilakis, pdf-creator Paula Nathan, SCBWI-IL RAs Alice McGinty and Lisa Bierman, and ARA Sara Shacter.

Happy reading and happy writing!

Cheryl Bardoe
Assistant Editor


Greeting: Returning from the LA conference with a mile-long reading list, Regional Advisor Alice McGinty offers strategies for keeping up with all the great books out there.

~ Our Chapter ~

  • Illustrator in the Spotlight: Louann Brown introduces some of the events and accomplished artists of the vibrant SCBWI-IL Downstate Illustrators Network.
  • Tales from the Front: First-time author Allan Woodrow shares how sticking to a New Year’s resolution led to the lifelong dream of publishing a book.
  • Fall Crop: Check out the books in this season’s crop, compiled by Ruth Spiro.

~ Happenings ~

  • Classes: June Sengpiehl has compiled a list of learning opportunities.
  • News Roundup: Learn about upcoming events and contests and recent awards from Michelle Sussman.
  • Food for Thought: Sallie Wolf announces two exciting events this fall.
  • Don’t Miss: The 7th annual Prairie Writer’s Day: Get Hooked!

~ Craft ~

  • Writing Tips: M. Molly Backes encourages us to tap into our subconscious for creative ways to show emotions in characters.
  • Illustrator Tips: Laura Montenegro explores how channeling the dream state leads to spirit and spontaneity in art and story.
  • Writer’s Bookshelf: Cheryl Bardoe recommends writing exercises from Brian Kiteley’s The 3 A.M. Epiphany to develop your fiction and nonfiction.
  • Book Look: Jodell Sadler examines craft elements in Jaycee Dugard’s A Stolen Life: A Memoir that are integral to compelling YA literature.

~ Career ~

  • The Irrepressible Writer: Carol Coven Grannick finds ways to fortify her inner writer’s compass amidst the varying voices of critiquers.
  • Promote that Book! Kate Gingold presents a checklist to make your website work for your audiences and you.
  • Kidlitosphere: Hilary Wagner shares tried-and-true tips for setting up group blogs that are fun and functional.
  • A Fly on the Wall: Sarah Barthel was among the writers who found communion and rejuvenation at the Words by the Lake: Reflections Retreat.
  • Guest Expert: Juliet Bond explores how writers fit into the creative collaboration of adapting stories for the stage.

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