Hawaii Book and Music Festival

Celebrating books at the

Hawaiian Book and Music Festival


This free event brings together booksellers, publishers, musicians, actors, authors and illustrators. Not to mention the food of Hawaii! Scbwi Hawaii were represented by a few of our members at the HBMF this past weekend

We first met at the former Olympic gold medalist, Kristi Yamaguchi’s reading tent. Kristi has a foundation that helps support early childhood literacy. The books in her program are all-digital and can be accessed through student’s classrooms. She also has her own children’s books “Dream Big, Little Pig”, “It’s a Big World, Little Pig” and “Cara’s Kindness”. http://www.alwaysdream.org

SCBWI member and Hawaii State Librarian, Author Christin Lozanoshared her book “Island Toes”

Christin began her career as a 4th grade teacher and quickly discovered that her young students’ favorite part of the day was when she would read aloud to the class. The experience became so rewarding that she decided to become a Children’s Librarian. Today she is the Reference Librarian at Kaimuki Public Library. After having read hundred’s of keiki stories with mainland themes, she became motivated to write her own story for local keiki. This is her first book.

SCBWI Member Sue Cowingshared some of her poems that were published in the Bamboo Ridge, Journal of Literature and Arts.

Sue was born to a family of amateur naturalists and poetry lovers and grew up in Carl Sandburg’s birthplace, a small town in western Illinois called Galesburg. She’s been writing poems and stories and letters since She was about seven. Her favorite days then and now have always been rainy days, because they fill her with energy and ideas for inventing stories and poems and songs.

Though She studied and eventually taught history, Sue has always loved myths and fairy tales too. She believes they tell their own kind of truth. An illustrated book of Chinese tales she read in elementary school stirred what would become a lifelong curiosity about Chinese culture and art. As soon as Sue could manage it, she moved to Hawai‘i to study Chinese history, which she’d had a taste of in college. Sue soon made Honolulu her home because She loved, and still loves, the multicultural world of Hawaii. She has continued to enjoy exploring Chinese and Japanese culture through t’ai chi, tea ceremony, and taiko drumming.

Sue’s greatest pleasure in writing poetry is finding just the right language to convey an observation or experience that might otherwise be lost. In fiction she tries to write stories of serious hope, with a dash of humor. In almost every story of hers there is a hint of Asian culture and a special object, and often a major character is some kind of artist.

Focusing on writing means that there is not enough time for many things that she would like to do, but she can always write about them. Sue hopes to be lucky enough to do this for the rest of her life.

SCBWI member Mirka HokkanenRead her debut book “Four Otters Toboggan: An Animal Counting Book”Which came out this March.

 Mirka is a Hawaii artist, illustrator and author. Mirka’s favorite things to illustrate are animals and kids. She loves a good chuckle and adds a spark of humor where ever she can fit it. When not brandishing a pencil, Mirka is probably wielding a cheese stick and a book to appease the three wild kids that claim her as their mother at home. Her debut book, Four Otters Toboggan: An Animal Counting Book, came out in March 2019.

Thrilled that I got to meet the Hawaii State Librarian Stacey Aldrich

Martina Wing a diver and a SCBWI member from the Big Island also join us at the HBMF. She is an ambitious author with a true story about a dolphin that came to a group of divers asking for help, she filmed the dive master helping the dolphin. It’s a truly inspirational story. You can find her book and story on mantarayadvocates.com

It was a wonderful weekend to celebrate books! I visited many of the local publisher’s tents, and they are always looking for a good story, especially one for the children and adults of Hawaii.  You can look at their websites for their submission process.

Here are a the publisher’s represented at the HBMF :

Mutual PublishingBeach house Publishing

Bishop Museum Press

Kamehameha Publishing

Watermark Publishing

University of Hawaii Press

Bess Press and Da Shop

Bamboo Ridge Press- Journal of Hawaii Literature and Arts

Here are a few pictures from the event.



by akikowhite

Creative mother of three, children's book illustrator, writer and cakelustrator. Represented by Storm Literary Agency.

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