Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 15, 2015

Free Fall Friday – Kudos

joycewandoublecropJoyce Wan will receive the Mills Tannenbaum Award for Children’s Literacy, founded by Helen Mills and Gary Tannenbaum, long-time advocates of children’s literacy. The award recognizes children’s book authors dedicated to promoting a lifelong love of reading in young children.

Wan is an author-illustrator of several award-winning books for children, including You Are My Cupcake (Scholastic), We Belong Together (Scholastic), and The Whale In My Swimming Pool (FSG), which was a Junior Library Guild Spring 2015 selection. Sleepyheads (Simon & Schuster), written by Sandra J. Howatt, illustrated by Wan, was most recently chosen as a CCBC 2015 Children’s Choice Selection.


Bethany Strout has agreed to be our Guest Critiquer for May. She is an Associate Editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. She has worked with authors and artists such as Sherman Alexie, Libba Bray, Chris Colfer, Wendy Mass, Peter Brown, Bryan Collier, Dan Santat, Ed Young, and the team of Keith & Theodora Richards. Among the books she has edited are the historical fantasy (and 2015 YALSA BFYA pick) Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper; the stylistically adventurous MG debut If You Find This by Matthew Baker (called “Reminiscent of Louis Sachar’s Holes in a Booklist starred review); and the four-starred, laugh-out-loud picture book by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Zachariah OHora. She is always looking for novels where the setting is its own character, romances that feel messy and real, fully realized fantasy worlds, and a middle grade puzzle novel in the vein of The Westing Game! She is drawn to picture books that tell true or imagined stories with emotional resonance. Prior to joining LBYR in 2010, Bethany worked her way through the book business with stops at her local library, The University of Chicago Press, and the literary agency Writers House.

Follow her on Twitter at @BethanyStrout

You can meet Bethany at the NJSCBWI Conference in June.

Here are the guideline for submitting a first page for critique:


In the subject line, please write “May 2015 First Page Critique” and paste the text in the email, then attached a Word document of your first page to the email. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it is as picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top on both the email and the Word document.

Your First Page Word document should be formatted using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double space – no more than 23 lines – only one page. Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES: Your submission will be skipped over if you do not follow the directions for both the pasted email and the attached Word doc. This is where most people mess up.

DEADLINE: May 21st.

RESULTS: May 29th.

Please only submit one first page a month. If your first page isn’t one chosen from the hat, feel free to submit your work next month. Thanks!

Talk tomorrow



  1. Hooray for Joyce!!!


  2. Congratulations, Joyce! 🙂


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