Fuse #8

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Ultimate Author/Illustrator Map of Residence

Let's discuss whether or not this would be a good idea or a bad idea. What if there were a database, map, website, or other useful online listing of all the children's authors and illustrators out there organized by their place of residence? I ask you this because many times I've found that residents of a particular area of the country, be it Virginia, California, or Pago Pago, would like to invite an author or artist to their school but aren't entirely certain who's local.

I think this might be beneficial to everyone. It would give people working in the field more exposure. It would allow schools, bookstores, and libraries the chance to meet up with their local celebrities. Everyone would benefit.

Does such a thing exist or are we going to have to make it ourselves? And is it even a good idea? Thoughts on the matter?

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At 7:55 AM , Blogger Gail Gauthier said...

Try America Writes For Kids usawrites4kids.drury.edu/

At 9:09 AM , Blogger Jennifer Schultz said...

Some states have authors' organizations, and that would be a place to start. DC has The Children's Book Guild of Washington DC, but that's a membership organization. If an author isn't in it, she/he isn't listed (for example, I don't see Katy Kelly listed-author of the Lucy Rose books-and she lives in DC. She doesn't have a website either, unfortunately.).

Other than that, The Children's Book Council might be a place to start: http://www.cbcbooks.org/contacts/

Children's Book Guild of Washington DC: http://www.childrensbookguild.org/speakersbureau.htm#K

At 9:16 AM , Blogger Matt Holm said...

The America Writes For Kids map is a good start ... but I don't think anybody knows about it. (I didn't, and neither Jenni nor I are on it.)

I think it's a good idea, assuming we limit the location to the county level. (Those little kids can be persistent!)

At 10:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It kind of creeps me out, actually. Perhaps if we had a list by state or county or something, but the idea of mapping any group of people by their home addresses -- well, I know it can be done, but it has a whiff of stalkery about it.

At 11:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know about other local branches of the SCBWI, but the Illinois branch has a speaker's directory that's available for anyone to look at: http://www.scbwi-illinois.org/Speakers.html

Since authors sign themselves up to the directory, there's no danger of contacting someone who's not agreeable to a speaking engagement.

At 11:46 AM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

See, that was my concern. I don't like the idea of getting too clear. But I do like the idea of grouping people by county. That's vague enough not to creep people out, but enough so as to give locals a sense of who their best bets are for author/illustrator visits.

At 12:39 PM , Blogger Gail Gauthier said...

America Writes For Kids only links to author websites. You want to find an author in a given state, and America Writes For Kids will direct you to the websites of authors who live in that state. Addresses aren't given. You want to contact the author, you contact them through her website. It may be an opt in sort of thing--I contacted them and asked to be included.

Also, State libraries will often maintain lists of state authors at their websites. They don't say where an authors lives, just that she's in that state. I've been contacted more than once by organizations in my state that found me through the State library.

I realize that some states are large, but nonetheless I don't know why it would be necessary to have a directory that went beyond the state level. County level (and in some states county government barely exists) seems adding a lot of administrative work. And having strangers know what county you live in may be getting a little too close to home for a lot of people.

At 12:41 PM , Blogger J. L. Bell said...

SCBWI New England has a portion of its website called CONNECTIONS that lists members who do school and library visits in the region. Several other SCBWI regions do the same. These listings offer links to members' websites or other contact info they choose to share.

At 12:55 PM , Blogger Cynical Girl said...

Unfortunately my first thought was--but then if someone who registers a complaint about a book knows where the author/illustrator lives....

Hypothetically and on a state level or region (where authors could mark a region to which they would travel?) I think it's a great idea though :)

At 9:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It already exists:


It is a new site, and when you click on "authors/illustrators" a US map appears, with links to writers and artists in each state.

At 10:47 PM , Blogger MotherReader said...

That site doesn't seem to have many people listed. Maybe they're just starting it up?

At 11:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, the Children's Literature Network site is in the early stages, but has great potential. The site came highly recommended by Toni Buzzeo, a wonderful author and media specialist who lives in Maine. http://www.tonibuzzeo.com/


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