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19

WEDNESDAY

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Here’s my advice to you: If you decide to sign up for Peter Mandel’s seminar on picture-book writing, use an assumed name. That’s right: Under no circumstances let them know who you are—or where you live. In the post-college crisis years, my well-meaning but benighted mother (OK, but I’m blaming her) once clipped an ad for the Institute of Children’s Literature (sorta like those “Draw Binky” ads, but with no aptitude required) and signed me up. It was years—years, I tell you—before I got away from them. No matter where I moved, those fuckers found me. Better than my college alumni office. (Now that’s a real lie—nobody finds people better than my college alumni office.) And all my roommates knew. Now, you may reasonably want to get the “inside scoop” on marketing your book to agents and publishers—but take my word for it, you don’t want your roommates to know. Pick your pen name before attending “Write Your Children’s Picture Book (and Get It Published!)” at 7 p.m. at First Class Inc., 1726 20th St. NW. $37. For reservations call (202) 797-5102. (Caroline Schweiter)