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
News and Information about me
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April 8, 2018: I have caught up on the Who's Moving Where page, with new imprints as well as editor moves.
I've also updated the conferences page, with registration links for some upcoming events where I will be presenting.
And I've started the process of updating the Award-Winning Books section of the site, which has fallen two years behind, by updating the Newbery Medal page. My goal is to update at least one page per week until I've caught up...
January 16, 2018: Registration is open for the "Revising and Re-Imagining Your Picture Book" webinar that I am co-teaching from the end of February into April with Eileen Robinson.
January 10, 2018: I have written a review of the new 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, which will continue to be the style guide used by children's and adult trade publishers. I also have updated my conferences again, with some date changes and links to registration pages added. Please take note in particular that I'm giving a free webinar on "How Picture Books Work" on January 23.
Lastly, I've updated the Who's Moving Where page, with news from Rodale, Harper, and Lonely Planet.
November 19, 2017: I have updated the resources listed on my Resources Listing Literary Agents and Artist's Representatives page with 2018 editions of market guides. I have also updated the listing of Caldecott Medal and Honor books with 2107 winners, and decided to leave other 2017 updates until the 2018 awards are announced in January.
I want to announce that I am available for critiques and other editorial and publishing work in December. Please check out my rates and services in the PC Editorial Services section of the site.
I also have updated my conferences with 2018 dates, and added some news to the Who's Moving Where page.
September 20, 2017: There are a few new additions to the Who's Moving Where page.
I also want to note that the the "Revising and Re-Imagining Your Novel or Chapter Book" online class that I am teaching this fall is filling up. This is an opportunity to learn useful techniques, work on a manuscript, and get feedback from a personal teacher. We will close registrations October 1.
August 14, 2017: Lots of updates to the Who's Moving Where page, including Neal Porter moving his imprint to Holiday House, Dinah Stevenson becoming an editor-at-large, and more.
I have also updated my Conferences schedule, with registration page links now live for two events this fall: the "Revising and Re-Imagining Your Novel or Chapter Book" online class, and a Picture Book Revision mini-retreat in Syracuse NY in October (this is a great deal if you are anywhere near Syracuse, so be sure to check it out.). I've also put in dates for some 2018 events that are now confirmed, with more to come...
May 16, 2017: Updates! I updated an old article about why books cost what to they do and re-titled it "Why Does a Hardcover Book Cost $18?" There are more updates to my Conferences schedule, notably a link to information about the "Revising and Re-Imagining Your Picture Book" summer school that Eileen Robinson and I will be running soon. I've also updated my article about no-advance publishers, What About No-Advance Publishing?, in order to answer some questions I've received.
May 1, 2017: I have done a new update to the Who's Moving Where page, with several new items, most notably the layoffs at HMH.
April 9, 2017: Lots of updates to my Conferences schedule! I've added two new events in June, put in dates for upcoming online Kid's Book Revision events, and updated other events.
March 19, 2017: I've posted an article about no-advance publishers, What About No-Advance Publishing? I hope it helps anyone considering publishers who work in this way, and clarifies how they are different from traditional publishers on the one hand and self-publishing on the other. While working on that article, I also updated an article on publishing options between traditional and self.
March 9, 2017: Better late than never, I have posted my review of the 2017 edition of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market, which has a big concentration of material related to finding an agent--definitely a theme this year.
I also did another update to the Who's Moving Where page, adding 6 new items, to just about bring it up to date. I'm going to work to update it monthly, or as needed.
February 25, 2017: I've completed a new update to the Who's Moving Where page, catching up on news of new and expanding imprints as well as Cheryl Klein's move to Lee and Low. I hope to do another update soon, as this does not get the page entirely up to date.
My big news for the site is that I am switching The Purple Crayon's newsletter from an outdated setup at YahooGroups to a new and better home at MailChimp. I have already moved over 800 email addresses to Mailchimp and after sending out one final announcement via the old list, will start up the new. I have also set up a sign-up form for the new mailing list, so if you been getting my announcements of updates to the site, you can go right ahead and sign up.
October 16, 2016: I've got a new batch of updates on the Who's Moving Where page, and I've also updated my Conferences page.
March 6, 2016: After not updating the Who's Moving Where page for some time, now I've had to update it again, as news came in since the recent update.
I've also written this year's review of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market--read the review for details, but one interesting change this year is more content for illustrators.
February 27, 2016: It's been a while since I updated the Who's Moving Where page. I have now--I hadn't mostly because there hasn't been much news. Please let me know if I have missed someone's move, or news of an imprint opening or closing...
I have also updated my Conferences page, notably with links to three conferences I will be speaking at in April, and made some fixes around the site, not worth mentioning here.
January 17, 2016: And today I completed the Sibert and Scott O'Dell Award pages, meaning that I have completely updated the award-winning children's books section--it includes listings and also key resources pages and articles. Please let me know of any useful/significant resources not listed.
January 16, 2016: Today, I updated the The Pura Belpré Award page.
January 15, 2016: I kept updating the award-winning books section. Today, I did the Young Adult Awards page and the Lifetime Achievement Awards page.
January 14, 2016: I continued to update the award-winning books section, and today finished the Coretta Scott King Award page, with the author and illustrator winners and honor books.
January 13, 2016: The Newbery, Caldecott, and other awards given by the American Library Association have been announced, and that means I've begun to update my award-winning children's books section. So far I've updated the pages for the Newbery Medal and Caldecott, and I've also done the National Book Awards page, which had fallen behind. More to come!
October 25, 2015: Update time! I've been working on several pages. First, I updated this for a conference: What's Going on in Children's/YA Publishing in 2015. It's a selected and loosely organized list of links to articles and other resources that cover trends in our business.
I've also updated my Resources Listing Literary Agents and Artist's Representatives with 2016 editions of market guides.There are, of course, updates on the Who's Moving Where page.
I've also been tackling updates and some behind-the-scene cleanup in the section where I list award-winning children's books. You'll see the most obvious changes on the Coretta Scott King Award page.
Finally, you'll see that I've added some dates to my conference schedule for next year; more still to come, though it is filling up.
August 5, 2015: It's been a while since I have been able to do any work on the site, but there are now several new updates on the Who's Moving Where page. I plan to do some other work in the coming weeks. Watch for it!
June 14, 2015: Big resource list compiled for a presentation at NJ SCBWI on what's going on in our business: Top Ten Things You Need to Know about Children's/YA Publishing in 2015
April 21, 2015: There are several new updates on the Who's Moving Where page.
Also, I have started to update the Children's Book Awards area with the 2015 awards. I have done the Caldecott and Newbery Medal and Honor books--some exciting choices this year, I thought. As I work on these I am restoring links to Amazon for the individual books, because I've heard that people find them convenient. Feel free to let me know what you think!
February 22, 2015: I've posted what should be my final conference schedule for 2015, with the biggest news being a webinar version of Kid's Book Revisions' "Revising and Re-Imagining Your Picture Book Manuscript" coming up at the end of April, with a free preview in just a few weeks!
There are also more updates on the Who's Moving Where page.
January 19, 2015: More updates on the Who's Moving Where page!
December 17, 2014: I've updated the Who's Moving Where page with several bits of news, and redone my Conferences page with my schedule so far for next year.
October 12, 2014: I helped with the 2015 edition of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market, which I'm excited to say is now out, with improvements particularly aimed at agents. It of course remains extremely useful for writers. I've also updated my Agent Resources page with all of the 2015 editions of various market guides, some now available and others due to be released soon.
I've also been updating the Who's Moving Where page for October.
September 14, 2014: I have finished that work in the Children's Book Awards section that I mentioned last time--I've removed hundreds of individual links from books to Amazon, and instead just list the books with a simple link on each page to either Amazon or Indiebound for anyone who wants to buy them to use. I've also finished updating all of the pages with 2014 winners.
September 7, 2014: I'm excited to announce that in October, Eileen Robinson and I will be doing an online version of the "Editing without an Editor" workshop that we've so far given only as a physical workshop. Go to my Conferences page for a link to information about the webinar, and also for a link to a page of comments about our recently completed Revision Retreat.
I've also updated the Who's Moving Where page and started the process of removing Amazon links from pages that list books with the Newbery Medal and Honor Books page. Take a look and let me know what you think!
July 30, 2014: Updates for July on the Who's Moving Where page! Sad news about Frances Foster, a digital imprint from Alloy Entertainment (the well-known packager--is this a harbinger of things to come?), and more.
May 6, 2014: More news from April and early May on the Who's Moving Where page--including three editors leaving Little,Brown, Emily Easton landing at Crown, and Nancy Conescu heading for Australia.
March 16, 2014: There's lot of news, not all of it good, on myWho's Moving Where page. I've also updated my Conferences page, with more 2014 events, including a MG/YA novel workshop in June and an advanced PB workshop in the fall.
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, writing and revision teacher, and workshop/retreat and online class presenter (mostly via my partnership with Eileen Robinson, Kid's Book Revisions. 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 also work to 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 in 2004), even though I live in Brooklyn. For leisure reading, my favorite genre is science fiction/fantasy; my favorite authors in that area are Ursula LeGuin and NK Jemisin. 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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