My Mini Penn Writers Conference Experience

Hi Friends!

Some of you may know that my writers group, Round Hill Writers Group, was instrumental in PennWriters mini conference “Project Runway.”   Since it was in my home town I was so excited about going and took full advantage of all it offered. The following are three of the workshops I took.

Pat DiCesare and Clara Bowman-Jahn

Pat DiCesare and Clara Bowman-Jahn

Pat Di Cesare –”Rocking the Runway- Promoting Your Book-

More and more writers are required to do their own marketing. Learn what to do and how to do it.”

“Don’t give up with the first obstacles.”

book “Hard Days Hard Nights”

I am so glad I met Pat. He is a marvel.  When he came back from being drafted to Vietnam he bought the concert halls rock and roll stars were preforming in and wrote about the experience in “Hard Days Hard Nights.”

Hana Haatainen Caye and Clara Bowman-Jahn

Hana Haatainen Caye and Clara Bowman-Jahn

Hana Haatainen Caye – “Fashioning Your Stories to fit the pattern for Chicken Soup For the Soul. Find out what the designers are looking for at CSS. Gather your supplies, and get ready to wow your audience.”

Her quote -“Read Chicken Soup for the Soul to figure out their formula. Don’t use controversial subjects like politics.” is the books web site, hers is

Hana’s Story “The Infinite Worth of a Nickel” is in two editions of CSS and her other stories are in four or five CSS editions including 20th Anniversary Readers Choice.

Her book “Vinegar Friday’s” is about green living and using vinegar for many ailments. She is also the author of over seventy children’s stories in istorybooks.

Her story “The Infinite Worth of a Nickel” is famous for bringing her adopted daughter back to her after she grew up. Without the reunion there would not be a story.  Caye, besides writing stories,  teaches the formula on how to get submitted into CSS and is also an editor.

Ramona De Felice Long – “Couture scenes.  Design your manuscript with High quality, custom-made scenes that will move your plot and dazzle your reader.”

She says “Make a list of all the places your characters can go. Get out of the kitchen.”

Her many short fiction and creative non fiction pieces have appeared in many journals and blogs including “What I Don’t Know About Nature”  in The Fox Chase Review which is a literary magazine published three times a year in Philadelphia. Please check out her web site for the many other stories. She’s also an editor and teaches about scene online and in person.

I got my photo taken with her but it didn’t show up in my camera. Boo hoo.

(Also other photos of authors in my Round Hill Writers Group –Linda Sittig author of “Women of Strong Cloth” and Dixianne Hallaj, author of numerous books like “Lola” and “Check Point Kalandia” turned Publisher of S and H publishing. )So many funny and fun photos that just didn’t turn out.

In addition to these three workshops I took workshops by Val Muller on editing, Don Helin on character developing and another by Hana Caye on writing short stories that matter.

However this whole conference wouldn’t be have happened if not for Bobbi Carducci who is the president of Area 7 in Penn Writers and my area. The area outside Pennsylvania. She was the organizer for this whole thing. Somehow in the midst of Marketing her book “Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver” she found the time to put this together.

We even had a books seller table with Second Chapter Books handling the sales. I felt so proud with two of my books on the table, and even better as I was signing some at the end of the conference.

But all in all? When not taking photos? I was taking it all in. The information, the fun, the authors and books, the fun. All in all it was a terrific experience. I hope all of you get to go to a writer’s conference sometime.

And what do you know? You can! Registration is now going on at Pennwriters for this May 2015, conference in Pittsburgh. I think I’m going. With or without a ride.  Or I may just hitch hike. If you think you’re going? Get in touch with me. Let’s meet. Oh the fun of going to a conference. The possibilities!

Posted in Clara Bowman-Jahn, Clarike Bowman-Jahn, life story, personal growth, social networking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Mack Made Movies/ #PPBF

Hi Friends,

Snow has melted and this coming weekend is supposed to be beautiful. tomorrow I will attending Penn Writers mini conference of Writer’s Project RunWay – fashioning your story. It will prove to be awesome. And if you show up wanting in I am sure a place will be found for you.  

Meanwhile Let’s do our Perfect Picture Book Friday one of my favorite days of the week. What Diane Tulloch says about it is this “I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books. Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors. by Diane Tulloch at Patient Dreamer here:


Mack Made Movies book cover_So here is my selection for today.


Title : Mack Made Movies

Author/ illustrator : Don Brown (No not DAN Brown but Don Brown)

Publishing info: Roaring Book Press, 2003,  ages four to nine.

Summary: “ A simple biography of the director whose silent films immortalized such slapstick clowns as the Keystone Kops, Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle,  Mabel Normand, and Ben Turpin.”

Themes: Motion Picture Producers and Directors, Biography, Mark Sennett, Motion Picture actors and actresses, TV, Films, Silent Films

First Three Sentences : “In 1900, twenty year -old Mack Sennett was a horse’s rear end. It was just a silly role in a foolish skit on a shabby Manhattan Stage, but it was his stage debut and Mark dreamed of being a show business star.”

Links to Other Resources :  You can enter your information for a pdf of teacher guides from the author by clicking on this link :

For a guide aimed at kids and showing the fun of this book along with many other resources.

Information about the author and his other book.

Why I love this book : Do you ever wonder who made Charlie Chaplin famous and who directed him in movies? Or have you heard of the Keystone Kops but didn’t’ know more about them? Here is a picture book about Mark Sennett who at first was a one man show in silent movies but later became one of a team that brought us Charlie Chaplin, WC Fields and KeyStone Kops. This is his picture book biography and I love these short well written picture books.

So if you want to join other PPBF writers go look at Susanna Hill’s site for today and enjoy other reviews on her links. also you can click on Perfect Picture Books and find books categorized by theme or alphabetized. No matter which way you go it will be fun.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

See you back here on Tuesday and again next Friday for another PPBF.



My Books! in logo by Margot Finke.

My Books! in logo by Margot Finke.

Posted in blogging, Clara Bowman-Jahn, Clarike Bowman-Jahn, Course or Book Review, Perfect Picture Book Friday, social networking | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Abandonment Issues

Hi Friends!

I just read the essay “Abandonment Issues” In the New York Times Book Review by Mark O’Connell, Slates Books columnist. This prompted me to think of the projects I have abandoned. Not my writer projects per say because of continued hope I will revise those half-finished pieces. Picture Books manuscripts mainly.

But before I started writing full-time I was so enthused with craft projects in my life going from sewing my own clothes and drapes to others. After making approximately ten quilts both twin and queen, I have the half-finished quilted pillow shams and a chicken quilt. All the pieces nicely cut out but not sewn together. then I went into making my own cards with stamps and Stampin  up.

I guess Stampin Up was a craze or fad because no one does cards anymore. Maybe you’ll find the occasional thank you card or birthday  card, but cards are not so much in fashion anymore. Not in my circle anyway.

Knitting came next for me. I went from knitting scarfs, to sweaters in fishermen’s cable. Everyone in my family got at least one sweater from me if not two. In the midst of knitting one for my husband I abandoned knitting and started going to writing classes.

I was enthralled with the idea of writing a picture book. I had had an epiphany while ill to turn a bird’s song into a picture book. That became “Annie’s Special Day.” (Yes, it totally morphed.) and I learned so so much.

I Joined a writers group , observing and absorbing every word. I started blogging when I started querying. I Joined Penn Writers and went to my first writing conference. I’ll be attending the miniconference this Saturday. (And there’s still time to register)  Then I joined SCBWI and started my own picture book critique group meeting once a month in the library.

And after two years of abandoned picture book projects stuck with what was to become my second picture book, “Edmund Pickle Chin, a Donkey Rescue Story.”

Meanwhile, I had gone to Memoir writing classes because with the advent of getting

Credit Creative Commons _Flicker

Credit Creative Commons _Flicker

“Annie’s Special Day,” published, I harbored not so secretly the desire to of somehow making my journals into public writing. And now after three years of classes I have the first rough draft of my memoir,  “Spiraling, My Battle With Bipolar Disorder.”

I sincerely hope I don’t abandon this one! :)


My Picture Books in logo by Margot Finke

My Picture Books in logo by Margot Finke


Posted in Clara Bowman-Jahn, Clarike Bowman-Jahn, life story, marketing, memoir, personal growth, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

All Different Now/ #Perfect Picture Book Friday

All Different Now/ #Perfect Picture Book Friday


Hi Friends,

Friday, time for Perfect Picture Books, my favorite day because tomorrow I have time to go over all the selections from Susanna Leonard HIll’s  picks on her blog. And from there they will go into her data base called Perfect Picture Books on her website where she has over two hundred books organized according to theme and category. An easy way for parents, teachers, librarians and authors to find the books they are looking for. So whether you are looking to read this friday’s picks or to find a special book go to her site and browse around. You will not be disappointed.  Here is my pick for today.


All Different Now book cover_Title: All Different Now –Juneteenth, the first day of freedom

Author/ Illustrator:  Angela Johnson/ E. B. Lewis

Publishing info: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2014,

Summary: Juneteenth, the first day of freedom. “In 1865, members of a family start their day as slaves, working in a Texas cotton field, and end it celebrating their freedom on what came to be known as Juneteenth.”

Themes: slavery, African-American, family life, history, emancipation.

First Three lines: “A June morning breeze off the port blew the smell of honeysuckle past the fields, across the yard, and into our room to wake us. And nobody knew, as we ate a little, talked a little, and headed to the fields as the sun was rising, that soon, it would be all different. Then we worked, and worked, and worked some more under the hot Texas sun.”

Resources: Do you want to know more about Coretta Scott King? here is a site with videos , lectures and articles, anything history can tell us.

Here is all you ever want to know about E. B. Lewis. HIs books, interviews on PBS and more.

For Preschool, Kindergarten and young students here is the link to go to for nurturing young writers and readers.


Why I Love this book: Just reading those three lines above covering six pages into the story you know something big is going to happen. Something big like before and after. No one really knows or can really know how a slave felt that day when it was announced that he was free but this book makes a good stab at it, the back matter explains a lot. How no one actually knows and how explaining this was such a challenge.

E.B. Lewis has won many Coretta Scott  King awards for his illustrations and this book might make the grade too. He explains how a high school class in S. Carolina dressed up in period clothes and struck poses for him while he photographed in the beginning of illustrating this book. And then the hard part started.


A link for my friends who want to learn anything for free. Have you heard of the Khan academy? here is the link.


See you on Tuesday with one of my repurposed blog posts from a blast from the past. Hopefully if all goes well I”ll be talking about my boys when they were in high school.


And my books!

The book for the Thunderclap!

Available on Amazon and kindle!

MY BOOK!! *Yay!*

MY BOOK!! *Yay!*






Posted in blogging, Clara Bowman-Jahn, Clarike Bowman-Jahn, Course or Book Review, Perfect Picture Book Friday, social networking | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments

Marketing My Butt OFF!

Hi Friends, 

Everything I’ve been reading tells me I should be including bolded headlines in my blog post as well as  SEO. Today I got as far as  headlines and I’ll save the SEO for another time. Tell me how you like it in the comments okay? 

Taking time off from writing to market: 

My Picture Books in logo by Margot Finke

My Picture Books in logo by Margot Finke

Even though I’ve been spending time revising my memoir, “Spiraling, My Battle With Bipolar Disorder”, I have also been marketing my two picture books, Annie’s Special Day and Edmund PIckle Chin a Donkey Rescue Story. Two Saturday’s ago I spent time telling the story of Cinderella to sweet little princesses sitting next to my table with my books displayed. Some parents took the  hint and bought one.

School Visits as part of the marketing plan

This week I had the wonderful opportunity for an author’s visit at Primrose School. I gave a talk on “Annie’s Special Day” and telling time, bringing out my clocks and poster I gave it for two Pre K classes and one  KIndergarten class.

It’s amazing how much more mature the kindergarten class was. they were able to follow the text if I read it while I had only told the story of the Pre K. In Pre K the children came up to me for hugs and were excited to tell me each of their names There was no such excitement shown in the Kindergarten class. (granted it was my third of the morning in two hours and my back was hurting)

But some of the parents had gotten autographed copies of “Annie’s Special Day,” for their children so I sold some books that way.

Belong to writer’s groups 

And March 28, although I’m attending a mini conference by PennWriters, Fashioning your Story. I’ll be part of many other authors selling their books after the conference. A big multi book signing. There is still time to register if you’d like to go. It is very easy. Just go to the site and fill out the registration form. Or pay by  PayPal and it does the rest.

Include Local Bookstores in your plan 

I do hope to remember my camera then, I forgot it for my authors visit and felt very sorry. And of course there are the book stores to put your books up for consignment. I visited Books and Other Found Things,  and sold a few books there in the past. I hope to visit Second Chapter Books in Middleburg to do the same You can find both these stores in Facebook.

Have an Author’s Platform

And let’s not forget my online presence.  There is my Clara Bowman-Jahn, Author, page     and the Edmund Pickle Chin  Page  . I’m trying to post something there every day. It’s hard to know what kind of impact these sites have on selling books. But they are all part of an author’s platform. See you there!

Include a Blog in Your Author’s Platform

And have a Great week and I’ll see you back here on Friday when I do a picture book review for Susanna Leonard HIll’s site of Perfect Picture Book Friday, where all the books get categorized according to themes or alphabetized. It is a great site for parents, teachers and librarians to look up their particular book with resources for further study or activity to go along with their book.

Or just to browse.

See back here on Friday!


Posted in blogging, Clara Bowman-Jahn, Clarike Bowman-Jahn, life story, marketing, Perfect Picture Book Friday, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

#PPBF/ Red Butterfly

Good Morning Friends,

We had a wonderful week of warm weather in the forties and fifties. It was heavenly after the February we had. And I trust most of you had the same? Nice way to bring in Spring, right? Today I have a book with brilliant summer hues.

RED Butterfly book cover_dTitle: Red Butterfly

Author / Illustrator: Deborah Noyes/ Sophie Blackall

Publishing info: Candlewick Press, 2007

Age Range: 6 to 9 years old with grades one through four being best.

Themes: retelling of legend, China, princess, courage,

First Three Lines: “In my father’s kingdom are many splendors. Bells and drums and conchs sound in the city streets. All day long ladies with careful eyebrows crisscross palace courtyards.”

What the jacket says: “Flowing silk flies along behind a young Chinese princess as she lovingly says goodbye to the many splendors of her father’s kingdom. “Goodbye, pink peach petals. Goodbye yellow moon.” At summers end, she must venture to an oasis far away in the hot dry desert. But secretly, boldly, she’ll carry a little piece of adored home with her.

Red Butterfly reimagines the legend of how a gently defiant princess revealed to the world a secret the Chinese had guarded for two thousand years – the secret of silk.


Resources: For a display on red butterflies, Look here:

For an even better teacher guide to red butterflies not having anything to do with the book but I just can’t resist the great display look here:

For a teacher guide on China look here:

Why I Love the Book: I love retellings of legends. see a post I did on Thunderbird about an Native  American boy and his petroglyphs: and a retelling of an old fairy tale. :)

And this retelling of an old legend of how a  princess smuggled the secret of silk out of  China is another grand tale. Told in poetic imagery reminiscent of Chinese with its red butterfly, lotus and peach blossoms, I escaped into long ago China.

In the retelling, the princess is just a child in an arranged marriage and the skill Noyes uses to depict this is amazing. “I am a child with my hair  yet cut across my forehead, but soon I will marry the king of far  Khotan.”

And the princess goes on to say goodbye to her beloved, yellow moon and pink peach petals. (hear the alliteration? ) Then the  courage of with which she hides some silk worms and mulberry seeds upon which they feed is evident. All in all a grand picture book. Just right for Perfect Picture Book Friday.


For my writer friends:

The business of self publishing Children’s Books : Jane Friedman tells all.

How to shut up your inner editor: 

This is what Vivian  Kirkfield says about the fun over at Susanna Leonard Hill’s site: “Today is Friday  and this is my 450th blog post! I have a children’s book review to add to the Perfect Picture Book resource list that author Susanna Leonard Hill is building on her blog. For more wonderful reviews from authors, educators and others who contributed today, please go here.”


Christie Wild had a class examining picture books, I just came too late to the  table but here is Vivian’s take of one of her classes. 

Enjoy your weekend everyone!




Posted in blogging, Clara Bowman-Jahn, Clarike Bowman-Jahn, Course or Book Review, Perfect Picture Book Friday, social networking | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

Clarbojahn Presents! Kidlit Author Donna Martin

Hi Friends!

I have another kidlit author friend on board this morning. Meet début author Donna Martin! Her new book The Story Catcher was just released last month and is making a splash in the picture book department. I was fortunate that Donna gave me an interview.


Donna Martin's book_STORY CATCHER BOOK COVERQ: What’s the premise of your new book?

My début picture book, THE STORY CATCHER, is about a little girl who desperately wants to learn how to read.


Q: What would you like people to know about the story itself?

The universal theme of my book is based on the martial arts tenet of perseverance. A

person should never give up when they’re trying to reach a goal.


Q: What do your characters have to overcome in this story? What challenges do you set before them?

My main character is a little girl named Addie who struggles to learn how to read. Her

family tries to help encourage her to keep trying but every time she tries on her own,

things go horribly wrong. Addie even tries some creative ways to capture those wiggly

words herself with interesting results.

Q: What unique challenges did this book pose for you, if any?

This book is based on a real experience I had a couple of years ago while being a READ

TO ME volunteer. The young girl I worked with really struggled to understand the words

on the pages of her favorite book, even though her family read to her all the time. By

the end of the year she was finally reading on her own. I knew telling her story could

possibly help others understand they’re not alone with their learning disabilities but I

wanted to make sure I also captured the frustration that comes from not understanding the

written word.

Q: What has been the most rewarding aspect of having written this book?

My book was released by Anaiah Press on January 20th

telling me how they can relate to little Addie’s story. It makes me feel good to know THE

STORY CATCHER is touching people’s hearts in that way.

Q: Tell us your publishing journey

I’ve been writing for more than 40 years but only started writing professionally for

the past 5 years. After writing THE STORY CATCHER a couple years ago, I started

submitting it to different agents through Julie Hedlund’s 12 X 12 forum but received no

interest. Then in January of last year I participated in a Twitter pitch party and received a

request from my editor, Jessica Schmeidler, to read my manuscript. After that everything

went rather quickly and by the end of SIX DAYS, my story had been read, reviewed, a

book contract offered, contract sent to me, contract signed and returned to Anaiah Press.

A year later, here I am celebrating the release of my début picture book!


Q; Where can we find you on the web?

Here is one place Donna didn’t think to include but I found surreptitiously, I Loved reading about her here as well.

And now for the usual places and links:







Author Email:

Story Catcher Fan Club Email :


Donna Martin, Author of Story Catcher

Donna Martin, Author of Story Catcher

Donna Martin’s Bio: 

Children’s book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old.

She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a Ninja writer of children’s picture books, middle grade chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins Christian Publishing as part of their Book Look Blogger division. Donna is a lover of chocolate, good stories, and adoptive mom to 20-pound guard kitty.


Book Blurb:

Addie comes from a long line of readers or “story catchers” as her family likes to call

themselves. Every time Addie tries to catch a story on her own the wiggly words play

tricks on her. She tries different ways to make those words sit still but it will take a little

faith for Addie to become the next STORY CATCHER.


Book Trailer

Thanks so very much, Donna for giving me an intricate look into your process of your publishing journey and your book, Story Catcher.   I love your book trailer and I can’t wait to read your book. Congratulations!


See you all here on Friday for another Perfect Picture Book Friday.



Posted in Clara Bowman-Jahn, Clarike Bowman-Jahn, interview, social networking | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments