Jena Benton - Writer and Illustrator

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Blog: Of Tea and Mermaids

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Premiering Simply 7!

Posted by Jena Benton on June 17, 2016 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Here it is!  I'm so very excited to introduce my very first (of several yet to come) Simply 7 interview with author Rebecca Gomez.  Yeah!


Rebecca is a children's author, poet, and self-proclaimed "fan of all things creative and fun."  She has written two fabulous pictures books (co-authored with Corey Rosen Schwartz) with the most amazing rhyme you've ever seen.  "What About Moose?" was released June 2015 and her most recent book "Hensel and Gretel: Ninja...

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Disappointment and the everlasting bloom of HOPE

Posted by Jena Benton on June 17, 2016 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (2)

Yesterday I participated in my first ever #PBPitch on Twitter (a pitch day just for picture books).  I pitched a manuscript I'm very excited about (I think it has a ton of potential) to agents and editors reading these posts in great hope of its success.  To say I was anxious all day is an understatement.  To say I was disappointed when I didn't get even a single nibble is yet another understatement.  I had to drop my plans for the day and get out of the house because I wa...

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That Lobster Bit

Posted by Jena Benton on June 14, 2016 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

So I got to thinking about that Lobster example that I referred to yesterday in my blog more and more.  I think I should have explained the illustration a bit better.  In "Big Magic" Gilbert nearly ends her book with this briliant anecdote about an artist who was invited to a costume party.  I will not do justice to the summarization.  I've since returned to the book to the library and cannot find the exact annecdote anywhere on-line, BUT this one comes close:

http:/...

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Big Magic and Rejection

Posted by Jena Benton on June 13, 2016 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (2)

Rejection takes many forms, and it stings in whatever form it takes.  An agent can reject you and it stings.  A lack of response to a set of interview questions for a magazine article (although the initial response was warm) can also sting.  Maybe my questions weren't good enough?  Did they somehow seem unprofessional?  I have no way of knowing, but now the other side of rejection has kicked in: the self doubt.


And it really has nothing to do with me...

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Simply Seven

Posted by Jena Benton on June 6, 2016 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I think I found my "thing."  Maybe not the only thing I end up doing, but I don't know why it never occured to me to use my Journalism skills in the pursuit of my picture book passion.  I read a ton of picture books (new and old) all the time.  I read a ton of blogs by authors and interviews with authors about this amazing picture book process.  I only recently interviewed a fellow picture book author for an upcoming blog about his soon-to-be-released book and it occured t...

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My mermaid obsessions: seahorses

Posted by Jena Benton on May 30, 2016 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (2)

School got out on the 20th.  BUT wouldn't you know I got sick right after wrapping up my classroom.  AND last week was a week long Picture Writing class I took to help me teach writing to my kids next year.  It is a passionate topic of mine, but I have struggling students in this area.  SO I've been searching to find the perfect solution to get my kids engaged and involved in writing (in the hopes that they might be as passionate about it as I am).  I believe this cla...

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The Weekly Update

Posted by Jena Benton on May 8, 2016 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I missed the picture book Friday post.  I don't know that I will be able to come up with one every week (even though I'm reading TONS of them!).  It might be too ambitious for me at this point.


As I've said before, I struggle to find the time to deal with work and now all the things my pursuit of Picture Book Writing entails.  I'm doing something every day to keep on top of things (revising, writing, reading e-mailed blog updates, reading picture books as ment...

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Perfect Picture Book Friday #3--It's Only Stanley

Posted by Jena Benton on April 30, 2016 at 1:40 AM Comments comments (1)

I've been thinking all week about what picture book to recommend (and what activity to include), and I have to go with one that was kind of a sleeper hit with me.  I didn't love it on the first read.  BUT the more I thought on it and mulled on it, the more it reached up and grabbed me.  It's a subtle form of humor with a sly twist at the end.  And I really don't know how to discuss it without giving some spoiler or other (but I will really try as I HATE spoilers!).

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Not a Picture Book post

Posted by Jena Benton on April 24, 2016 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)

This weekend has been consumed with family (mom is in town visiting and it is the first niecling's 7th birthday today).  SO I've had no time to research activities to go with my picture book recommendation.  I will work on that for next week.


However, I brought my own tea with me to brunch at a restaurant today and my niece wanted to smell it (she had smelled a cup of tea I made yesterday as well).  I let her and she said "Yum!  What kind is it?"  

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Perfect Picture Book ALMOST Friday #2--Mother Bruce

Posted by Jena Benton on April 18, 2016 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Fridays have been hectic for me (thanks to work), so remembering to do things when my brain is fried is not my strong point.  That being said, I had every intention of posting this entry last Friday and forgot.  SO here it is a few days late.  AND I pick one of my latest "favorite of all time" picture book finds.


Title: Mother Bruce

Written and Illustrated By: Ryan T. Higgins

Disney Hyperion, Fiction, November 24, 2015

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