Saturday, August 22, 2009


So where has the dubber been the last couple weeks? Passed out under a bench, on a top-secret-kid-book-paparazzi mission for Betsy Bird, or planning which children's book author/illustrator will be the next to be Punked (we try to spell correctly around here for fear of the Grammarian Gestapo)?

No. None of these things.

The Dubber was actually working as an indentured writer servant to the great Martha Brockenbrough.

But having cast those chains off, I am back and ready to dub! A hint: Above is my writer's digest shelf of writing books.

This week a certain Cocoa-flavored nom de plume has nominated someone to be thoroughly dubbed. Not just any someone, but a huge SOMEONE in our field. Nothing like aiming high. Here goes...

Alice Pope is a pillar in the children's book field. But it was not always so...

"When I was a kid, I wanted to be a rock star. I spent countless hours jumping around on my bed singing into my hairbrush along with my favorite Journey album."
- A.P. from 2006 CWIM

For those of you who haven't yet seen the Writers Digest Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market, especially the brand-spanking new one, then drop whatever you're doing and go get one. NOW. Seriously. It's like a ten pound snickers bar, packed with all kinds of great information about publishers and agents, interviews with the best authors and illustrators, and tons of great articles on all kinds of topics. Contests, awards, grants, you name it, Alice Pope has it COVERED.

"Believe. Keep working and sending out your work. Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market is here to give serendipity a hand." A.P. from 2005 CWIM

She was also the guiding light of the SCBWI TEAM BLOG for the annual SCBWI LA conference.

So without further ado, it's business time. I, BJW, officially and with a little bit of rust after a two week hiatus, abiding all informal rites and regulations and with due pomp and circumstance, with zero humility and mass ego, by the powers in-the-vest-on me, with full admiration and plenty of anticipation of the next CWIM,

Do Dub Thee...

The Beacon. As in The Beacon that shineth its light into the seemingly impassable and treacherous waters of Children's Book Publishing. Just imagine the legions of kid's book stories that you have kept off the shoals and out of Davy Jones' Locker and the writers and illustrators you have saved from publishing purgatory. Maybe I should have dubbed you The Pope, or Her Holiness, but no. The Beacon it is, you are.


  1. Perfect! "10 lb. Snickers bar" describes a CWIM absolutely. Good going, Ben! Alice is a rockstar.

  2. Can't wait to check out that new edition. Thanks, Ben!

  3. I like that you have Characters & Viewpoint and Beginnings, Middles, & Ends on your shelf. I've learned more from those 2 books than almost anywhere else.

  4. Alice is awesome, even though I have never met her in person. She interviewed me years ago when I had my first book published. (The only reason I got published in the first place was because of the info in CWIM!!)

    Yea, Alice!!


  5. Alice IS awesome! And I would have named my daughter Alice after her if I'd met her in time.

    Ben, if you're my indentured servant, I have approximately six more years and 11 months of your time. So...

  6. Thanks, Ben! I've never been called a pillar before. (And I've been called lots of things).

  7. I was taking a big bite from an OH HENRY! when I read the snickers bar line...otherwise, I would've been off buying a snickers bar.

  8. Hmm...Snickers, Oh Henrys...there goes my diet!

  9. cheers Angie!

    Thanks to CocoaJaime for yet another dubbing nomination. Jaime is the Great Oz of children's book publishing. She has her hands on most levers, wheels, and whatchya-call-it's in our industry. Don't believe me? Just peek behind this curtain.

    Hi-ya Kjersten! Me neither. From the teases I've seen/heard, it sounds like the best yet (if that's even possible).

    Preach it Brother Adam. "Characters and Viewpoints" is in my top three, along with "Bird By Bird" and "On Writing." I've got a bit of a writing book obsession. I collect them. It helped working at a used bookstore before I moved up to Canada. Someday I'm going to make a target list of writing books that must be written. Ann Whitford Paul for pic books (Check and available), Cheryl Klein (check, coming soon) AND Arthur Levine, Laini Taylor, and Bonny Becker (story structure) for starters. More to come.

    That's so cool that she interviewed you Shelley. You're FAMOUS! Woohoo. I seriously wonder how many people her book has helped people get published. Must feel pretty good to be so dang useful.

    Hey Martha Bee. Just tell her you did. Maybe she's just really good with words and stuff but can't add. The flip side to being your indentured servant is that you have pretty sweet fun jobs. What's next? Writing commercials? Cartoons? Secret word verifications for blogger? You are the fun job pimp. All hail Martha.

    HELLO ALICE! Welcome. Have a seat, take your shoes off, get comfortable. Hot tea? Foot rub? It's an honor having you. Glad to add to the list of things you've been called. It's what I'm good at. Pillar sounds better than the welcome mat, no? Seriously though, CWIM has been a huge help to a lot of writers/doodlers I've met. Your book and the SCBWI website are my first two recommendations for anyone asking about getting published. Those and a psychiatrist to talk them out of it. (i kid)

    Now I want an OH HENRY bar. Great. Better make a run to the store. Or Snickers, either way. We're on the same wavelength Anita.

    Hey Lazy Susan! (i can't stop, it makes me laugh every time. I'm easily entertained) Sorry but that four-letter word that starts with a d and ends in a iet is not allowed on this blog. I'll forgive you this time, but next time it will cost you a candy bar.

    Thanks everyone, especially Alice for commenting and stopping in. Always welcome.

  10. PS I love when my own blog rejects my comments. Keeps me humble.

  11. And Alice edited my book WRITING PICTURE BOOKS. She's wonderful . . . and so are you Ben. Good luck with your blog

  12. I forgot to put YOUR brand new book on writing pic bks Ann on the WD shelf. That's because it's out and I'm READING it! It's brilliant (of course). It'll get its own pic and more soon enough.

    And how cool is it to get both Ann Whitford Paul AND Alice Pope to both comment? PRETTY DANG COOL! Ann was on the top of my list of writers that need to write/publish a book on writing. She's the first one to be checked off. More to come on this soon enough. Thanks Ann! Cheers!

  13. Another perfect dub! I love me some Alice Pope! And I love that you, like me, still have ALL of your CWIMs. I don't think I'll ever part with them.