2010 TLA in San Antonio!

What an amazing experience! The 2010 Texas Library Association Conference held in San Antonio April 14 – 17 brought publishers, authors, illustrators and Texas librarians together at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center — and afforded me two very exciting opportunities.

First, I was honored to conduct a book signing at the Albert Whitman & Company booth.

Librarians and parents graciously shared with me the ways they made use of my books in their classrooms and with their own families. It’s so gratifying to learn that my book Bugs in My Hair?! had helped some children feel better while dealing with a case of lice, or that The Terrible Secrets of the Tell-All Club was read aloud to an attentive and enthusiastic classroom.

I also had the chance to meet other Albert Whitman & Company authors, including Dori Hillestad Butler. In the photo above, we each hold up one our latest titles at the Albert Whitman & Company booth (that’s Dori on the left).

And how wonderful to visit at TLA with my gracious editor, Abby Levine, and to meet for the first time in person our dedicated promotions coordinator, Michelle Bayuk.As special events co-coordinator of the San Antonio chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), I also had the chance to be part of the team that organized this year’s SCBWI Texas Chapters booth at TLA.

During the compilation of our new “Book an Author! Book an Illustrator!” SCBWI speakers sourcebook of Texas and regional members who conduct school visits, I corresponded with many esteemed and award-winning SCBWI authors and illustrators. I learned much about their books and their background.The “Book an Author! Book an Illustrator!” booklet, designed by our chapter’s talented Jennifer Zinsmeyer Murillo, featured elements many of us remember from the libraries of our childhood: Each author’s and illustrator’s bio appeared on a card catalog-type card, and the cover sported a stamped, check-out card. Many librarians brought home a copy, enthusiastic to learn about the exciting programs of our local members.

Our chapter’s creative Regional Advisor Heather Powers carried on the elegant library theme, adorning this year’s SCBWI booth with richly textured and colored fabrics draped on tables displaying our members’ published titles.

And a highlight of our booth — our raffle bestowed a collection of ribbon-wrapped books signed by Texas authors and illustrators to many lucky winners!

Throughout our days, we met librarians from all over the state and enjoyed visits from SCBWI members from across Texas and across the country. We were also assisted by SCBWI members from not only our own San Antonio based chapter, but from the Austin, Brazos Valley and Houston chapters as well.

A big thank you to all who volunteered or visited our booth and made the event a success!
(SCBWI booth photo credit Heather Powers)

Bugs in My Hair?! Now Available in Paperback


Catherine Stier announces the March 2010 paperback release of her book, Bugs In My Hair?! illustrated by Tammie Lyon and published by Albert Whitman & Company.


Originally released in hardcover in 2008, the book was named a Bank Street College of Education Best Books of the Year. School Library Journal called the title “a charming story that demystifies the fears and false information surrounding lice infestation.”

Authors, educators share insights on school visits

Thank you to all who attended the “Successful School Visits with Author Catherine Stier” presentation and book signing October 17, 2009 at the Barnes & Noble, 321 Northwest Loop 410, San Antonio, Texas. Following the program, authors, librarians and educators shared their questions, insights and experiences during a lively and informative discussion.

During the book signing, I had the opportunity to meet with educators from all over San Antonio to discuss author school visits and my newly released novel, The Terrible Secrets of the Tell-All Club. One teacher told me she was looking forward to introducing her real live fifth-graders to the fifth-grade characters in the book.

A special thank you to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators-Southwest Texas (SCBWI-Southwest Texas) and Barnes & Noble for arranging and hosting the event.

For more information on upcoming SCBWI-Southwest Texas events, visit their website at http://www.scbwi-swtx.org/

New Program! Successful School Visits with Author Catherine Stier

Successful School Visits with Author Catherine Stier

SCBWI-Southwest Texas
October 17, 2009 – 1 – 3pm
Barnes & Noble
321 Northwest Loop 410
San Antonio, TX

Join published author Catherine Stier for an informative program on how to create a school visit that captures your audience and how to work with the school to ensure a productive event. This talk will also include information for librarians and educators on ways to find local speakers and create excitement for an author visit.

Join us at Barnes & Noble on San Pedro, across from North Star Mall. Our event will be in conjunction with Educator Appreciation Week at the store. Catherine will also sign her new book.

Catherine Stier is the author of If I Ran for President, If I Were President and Bugs In My Hair?! Her latest book is The Terrible Secrets of the Tell-All Club, a tween novel. Visit her website for more details on the author.

Newly Released: The Terrible Secrets of the Tell-All Club

The Terrible Secrets of the Tell-All Club
By Catherine Stier


A fresh, funny novel about friendship and being who you want to be.

From Kirkus Review: Picture-book author Stier transitions to tween novels with this savvy exposé of the perils of clandestine groups…the author’s inclusion of male and female protagonists makes this tale accessible to audiences of both genders…The author deftly addresses the high-interest topics for fledgling teens as her characters struggle to cope with such universal issues as peer pressure, handling bullies and the true nature of friendship. (Fiction. 9-13)

Appearance at SCBWI-New Mexico Retreat

I’ve been invited to serve as a Guest Critique Leader at an upcoming SCBWI-New Mexico event in October 2009. It sounds like a beautiful location for a writer’s and illustrator’s retreat. Here are the details:

SCBWI-New Mexico Writer’s and Illustrator’s Retreat
in Jemez Mountains, New Mexico

Children’s book writers and illustrators of all experience levels are invited to a working Writers’ Retreat at Hummingbird Music Camp near Jemez Springs this autumn. This annual retreat is sponsored by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

October 23-25, experienced authors will lead small groups in a weekend of intensive critiquing, revising and writing. As an extra bonus, author Suzanne Morgan Williams will lead a Saturday afternoon discussion and workshop focused on Fabulous First Chapters. Williams is the author of the middle grade novel Bull Rider and the nonfiction books China’s Daughter’s, Piñatas and Smiling Skeletons, The Inuit, and Made in China. The other critique group leaders are Lucia Zimmitti, a freelance editor and writing coach at www.ManuscriptRx.com, and author Catherine Stier.

A member of SCBWI-Southwest Texas, Stier’s picture book, If I Ran for President sold more than 130,000 copies since its Fall 2007 release and led to a book signing at Mount Rushmore. Her other books include If I Were President, named an IRA Los Angeles’ 100 Best Books, the award-winning Bugs in My Hair?! and a new middle grade novel, The Terrible Secrets of the Tell-All Club.

In addition to the intimate group critiques, participants can get a written critique from Kate Fletcher, an associate editor at Candlewick Press, one of the largest independent children’s book publishers in the world—a great chance to get feedback from a professional editor, and make a contact at a respected publishing house.

The weekend also includes networking, a fireside reading, book sales, a silent auction, and personal time for reflection and working on your writing and illustrations.

The retreat is October 23-25, Friday evening through Sunday afternoon, with an optional extra day on Friday. The enrollment deadline is September 20.

The cost is $200 for members of SCBWI and $220 for non-members. This includes a private room and six meals. Writers and illustrators who don’t want to participate in critique groups can work on their own for the discounted price of $175. The Optional Early Working Day Retreat and professional manuscript critique from Kate Fletcher are each an additional $45. To register or for more information, go to www.scbwi-nm.org or email fallretreat@scbwi-nm.org.

My Book in Braille

Recently the National Braille Press selected If I Ran For President to offer in a Braille format for their children’s book club. The book is also available to purchase in this format at their website at http://www.braille.com/
These books have both the original text and illustrations, as well as the identical text in Braille on transparent plastic sheets.

And a National Braille Press Book Signing, Too

A big thank you to the National Braille Press for the invitation to appear at a book signing at their booth at the Texas Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired conference held at the Sheraton Gunter in San Antonio on March 27, 2009. I enjoyed myself, met some wonderful people, and learned quite a bit about available resources.

Quite an Inauguration Day Honor

This week, on Inauguration Day, Lackland Air Force Base’s Lackland School in San Antonio invited me for a visit as Guest Author. What an honor to celebrate such an exciting, historic, eventful day with a group of bright and enthusiastic students!

I have also learned that several schools, home school programs and libraries have featured If I Were President and If I Ran for President as part of their lesson plans, Election Day or Inauguration Day observances and recommended reading lists. It is quite wonderful to know that parents, teachers and librarians are sharing these books with kids all over our country! I hope these books help young people to better understand the electoral process and the challenging and important job of President of the United States.

If you have introduced these books to kids, I’d love to hear about it! Send me a note at info@catherinestier.com
To check out one cool lesson plan idea from Social Studies and the Young Learner visit:

The Big Move!

I am in the process of updating my website to include news of my new location. This summer, I relocated from the Chicago area to South Texas, on the edge of the beautiful Hill Country.