A Speech, THREE Drink Nights, Two Panels, and an Announcement

1. The text of the speech I delivered on Friday at Carleton College, "The Wand Chooses the Wizard: Of Carleton, Children's Books, and Creating Yourself," is now online at my website here. It's less about Harry Potter than about the idea of being yourself, and the pleasures and the real pain of that, with some thoughts for soon-to-be college graduates on adulthood and a life's work.

2. Our next New York Kidlit Drink Night will be tomorrow, Monday, April 26, at our old favorite Sweet & Vicious, in Soho between Bowery & Elizabeth, starting around 6:30 p.m. By coincidence we'll be there at the same time as the Teen Author Drink Night that David Levithan runs, so all your children's AND YA literature drinking needs will never be satisfied more fully than they'll be that night. Hopefully it will be warm enough that we can hang out in the back garden.

3. We will also host a BEA Kidlit Drink Night exactly a month later -- Wednesday, May 26, 6 p.m. at the Houndstooth Pub on 8th Ave. (where we were last year).

4. And if you're coming to the ALA convention in June in Washington, D.C., Sara Lewis Holmes has your Kidlit Drink Night goodness then! Mark your calendars for Friday night, June 25, and get the details here.

5. New Yorkers: Francisco X. Stork, the wonderful and very wise author of Marcelo in the Real World and The Last Summer of the Death Warriors, will be appearing on two different panels on Thursday as part of the PEN World Voices Festival -- "Writing, Speaking, Dreaming," during the day, and "A Gathering of Voices" in the evening, alongside David Almond and several others, moderated by Betsy Bird. More information ahoy.

6. And on Saturday, May 1, at 2 p.m. I'll be appearing at Betsy's Children's Literature Cafe at the main New York Public Library as part of a terrific panel called "Lost in Children's Literary Translation." Les deets on that one.

7. Finally, I'm sorry about this, but starting May 1, I am closing to unsolicited submissions (SQUIDs) for a couple of months, except in the cases of conference attendees submitting under the terms established at that conference, and writers with whom I've previously corresponded and invited to send future manuscripts. (Agented submissions are also welcome, of course.) I'm doing this because there has been a remarkable uptick in submissions in the last few months (which I'm not the only one experiencing -- and anecdotally I've heard other agents say the same); this time off will hopefully let me clear out some of the backlog. Thanks for understanding.