Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Member News: Spring 2015

SCBWI Japan Member News

Posted by Misa Dikengil Lindberg, Vermont, USA


This latest collection of member news reaffirms my conviction that hardworking writers, illustrators and translators who persist in their craft eventually earn recognition. Success also seems to snowball; for many, an initial publication may lead to signing with a literary agent and additional book deals. How inspiring! Congratulations to all SCBWI Japan members with recent successes. 


Avery Fischer Udagawa published the essay "We Need Translated Books" at Literary Mama in August 2014 and the article "Ways (and Whys) to Love Translators!" in the SCBWI Bulletin, January/February 2015. Her translation of the short story "Swing" by Mogami Ippei appears in Kyoto Journal 82. 


Suzanne Kamata's YA novel Screaming Divas (Merit Press, 2014) was named to the 2015 ALA Rainbow List. 


Naomi Kojima's artwork was exhibited at the picture book art museum Chisana Ehon Bijutsukan, Yatsugatake branch from September 20–November 30, 2014. The exhibition showed full illustrations from Naomi's picture books Mr. and Mrs.Thief, The Flying Grandmother, Singing Shijimi ClamsThe Christmas Song Book I & II, The Alphabet Picture Book, The Story of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, and Baku yumehime no gogakuyu (Yumehime the Tapier and Her Schoolmate). 


Leza Lowitz recently signed with literary agent Kelly Falconer at Asia Literary Agency. Her young adult novel in verse Up From The Sea has been sold in a two-book deal to Phoebe Yeh at Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin/Random House and is slated for publication in Spring 2016. Her second book will come out in 2017.

Gerri Sorrells signed a contract with NHK for Eigo de asobo and has been writing stories for the picture book section of the program, in part thanks to SCBWI Japan members Holly, Mariko and Naomi for finding the opportunity and coordinating the logistics. Also, Gerri's latest book "Cute" to "Pretty" wa dou chigau? (What's the Difference Between "Cute" and "Pretty"?) was published by Seishun Shuppan in March. Written in Japanese, it covers the fine nuances of English words through simple illustrations and explanations. Although the publisher's target audience was young graduates setting out into the business world, the book is finding itself in the hands of elementary and middle school students who have just started studying English and older kids taking TOEIC and TOEFL exams. 


Holly Thompson's picture book Twilight Chant, a lyrical evocation of animals at twilight was sold to Clarion. Her poem "Obon" was recently published in the Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations, and she finished the final edits on Falling into the Dragon's Mouth, a middle-grade verse novel set in Japan to be published by Henry Holt in 2016.